Reebok tourney loaded

Promoter Sonny Vaccaro says 21 future first-round NBA Draft picks competed at his just-completed Reebok Big Time AAU Tournament in Las Vegas.

One of those can’t-miss candidates is Kansas University prospect Derrick Rose of Chicago’s Simeon High, who scored 12 points in Meanstreets Express’ 69-63 loss to the Kevin Love-led Southern California All-Stars in Wednesday’s championship game.

Rose’s backcourt partner, future Illinois guard Eric Gordon, had 25 points and nine rebounds. Future UCLA center Love tallied 20 points with 15 rebounds for the winners.

“Derrick Rose is one of the greats ever to play in the state of Illinois,” Vaccaro told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“He is going to be an All-American in college and an all-pro after that. He is the first kid this talented who everyone didn’t know about until recently. It hit at ABCD Camp with his quickness, explosiveness and his physique, and he only played one day (because of an ankle sprain).”

The 6-foot-4 Rose, who is scheduled to play for Meanstreets Express in a first round Price Chopper K.C. Prep Invitational game in Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee, has KU, Memphis, Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona and many others on his list of schools.

“Rose is the best blend of athleticism and pure point guard skills AAU basketball has seen since : find a name to put here,” gushed Justin Young of “The knock against Rose was he was too unselfish, if you can call that a knock, but since the playoffs at the Peach Jam, he’s scoring at will.”

The 6-foot-3 Gordon has played so well this summer he’s battling the much-hyped O.J. Mayo for the honor of being top player in the Class of 2007.

“I think he’s the best scoring guard in the country. I’d take him over Mayo,” recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons of the All Star Report told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The 6-foot-4 Mayo of the D1 Greyhounds is considering Southern California, Kansas State and Florida as well as the option of playing in Europe a year and signing a shoe contract while awaiting eligibility for the NBA Draft.

Harden explodes on scene: Previously little-known recruit James Harden, a 6-5 guard from Artesia High in Lakewood, Calif., dominated the adidas Super 64 Tournament in Las Vegas. Harden, who will attend either Arizona State or Washington, led Pump N Run Elite to an 86-60 victory over D.C. Assault in the title game.

Larry Drew, Jr., 5-10 from Taft High in Woodland Hills, Calif., added 15 points for the winners. The son of former NBA player Larry Drew is believed to favor UCLA over KU, North Carolina, Arizona, Stanford and many others.

Future Kansas State player Michael Beasley scored 30 points for D.C. Assault.

“Beasley is the toughest player in the country to defend,”’s Young said of the 6-foot-8 player from Oak Hill Adademy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. “He can do it all from every spot on the floor.”

Texas recruit fares well: Gary Johnson, a 6-7 forward from Houston’s Aldine High who has committed to Texas, scored 17 points to lead Houston Hoops to a 70-52 victory over Seattle Friends of Hoop in the finals of the Vegas Main Event Tourney.

The winners of the adidas and Main Event Tourneys tangled in the Las Vegas Prep Showcase on Wednesday night, with Pump N Run prevailing, 103-86. Harden had 29 points and Johnson 17.

Aldrich agressive: Future KU center Cole Aldrich, 6-11 from Bloomington, Minn., played at the Big Time Tournament with the Fox Valley Skillz.

“Aldrich looked much more comfortable with his new summer squad the Fox Valley Skillz on Saturday, scoring on the blocks with efficiency (8-10 from field 4-4 from stripe) and hauling down 12 boards for good measure, showing us that dominating game we hadn’t seen in a while,” said Van Coleman of Aldrich, who was slowed by a foot injury earlier in the summer, was reportedly aggressive in attacking the rim at the tourney.

Recruit tidbits: KU coaches were in Orlando, Fla., this week watching several prospects, including James Anderson, a 6-6 senior-to-be from Junction City, Ark., who has KU, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma State and others on his list. … Jerryd Bayless, a 6-3 senior from Phoenix St. Mary’s High, said he’s considering KU, Arizona, Texas, Georgia Tech and Washington. … Jeff Withey, a 7-foot junior from San Diego’s Horizon High, said he has KU, Arizona, Boston College, Louisville and Washington on his early list. … Greg Monroe, a 6-10 junior from Cox High in Harvey, La., said KU, LSU, Duke, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, Memphis and North Carolina top his list. … Burlington senior Tyrel Reed and Shawnee Mission Miege junior Travis Releford will play at 5 tonight at the KC Invitational in Shawnee. Releford exploded for 33 points, while Reed had 15 in K.C. Pump N Run’s 93-74 victory over New York’s Juice All-Stars at the adidas Super 64 tourney. Reed still has a massive list that includes KU, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Miami, Missouri, Oklahoma and Stanford. Releford likes KU, North Carolina and others. … Those interested in attending the Price Chopper K.C. Prep Invitational today through Monday can locate a bracket at