If you are looking above the rim you won't find him.
At 5-foot-9, Alexander Hamilton (Wis.) point guard Chuck Lee isn't getting the same attention as his junior classmates - Rivals.com top 150 recruits Elgin Cook and Darnell Harris - but then again he plays a different style of game.
Listed at 145 pounds, Lee hassled the Socastee backcourt for 29 minutes defensively while tallying 15 points and seven assists Saturday.
"His size is working against him from a recruiting standpoint," Alexander Hamilton coach Tom Diener said. "Right now he has offers from Horizon League schools ... we are hoping some bigger Division I schools will give him a look."
Leading 65-36 with 5:41 to go in the second half, Lee put the ball between his legs, dribbled right - causing the defense to shift - and threw a one-handed pass through three Socastee defenders. The result? An uncontested layup for Itavian Belcher.
"That's just the type of player he is," Diener said. "There is nothing size or strength can do for his style of game."
Nichols (N.Y.) center Will Regan guards his defensive goal with tenacity.
The Virginia signee finished off a double-double with 6:39 remaining in the second half when he grabbed his 10th rebound against D.W. Daniel on Saturday. His uncanny ability to challenge shots - he also blocked seven - and not commit fouls kept him on the floor long enough to net 22 points while committing just two fouls.
But not all of Regan's ability can be captured on a stat sheet. With 2:39 left, the 6-foot-8 Regan boxed out Daniel forward Shaq Lawson so much that Lawson fell to the ground yelling "He's fouling me, ref."
"We have been trying to get him to toughen up," Nichols coach Gregory Plumb said. "If he is going to play at the next level he needs to get up and get in their face and be physical."
World Wide Web
The Beach Ball Classic's broadcast on the Web was truly worldwide on Saturday night.
Myrtle Beach Police officer Kevin Hines, also a recently activated member of the Army National Guard, tuned into the Webcast from Afghanistan, Beach Ball Classic officials said.
Hines tuned in to watch Concord (N.C.) beat Myrtle Beach. Although the Seahawks didn't win, he did get a small glimpse of life back home at Christmas time and a nice break from the war.
Pace plays a role
There were several different recipes for success Saturday. If the rest of the week plays out the way Day 1 did, the team that can dictate tempo may be the team that takes home the 2009 crown.
While Alexander Hamilton (Wis.) likes to play in transition and get its athletes moving in the open court, Concord (N.C.) doesn't take a wasted step. The Spiders scored 89 points in their opening-round victory against Myrtle Beach, but with their tallest player listed at 6-foot-3 a slow-paced game against a team like Nichols would not favor them.
"We preach straight-line driving," Concord coach Scott Brewer said of his offensive philosophy. "Since we don't have much size, playing on a big floor like this will work to our advantage."
Nichols tried to play at a fast pace with D.W. Daniel but found out that if it slowed down it is much more efficient. At opposite ends of the bracket, a Nichols-Concord matchup would take place in the championship if they both win out.
"We won't be doing much scouting, but if we run into a bigger team we will fullcourt press them and hope to score," Brewer said. "We have some pretty good shooters but we will be at the mercy of the gods if we can't score.