words by Justin Walsh

For 35 years, the Nike Say No Classic has been the top summer men’s league in the USA. Sanctioned by the NCAA, the SNC features the best basketball talent and competition in SoCal. Players were selected from a tryout of over 1,000 athletes and only 260 make the cut.

Before this NCAA season began, as it does each summer, some of the top young college talent in the country assembled in a reworked airplane hangar–the only facility fitting for athletes of that caliber.

Twenty-four teams in two divisions competed in a six week schedule with players representing the Big-12, Pac-10, Missouri Valley, Atlantic-10, Big Ten, ACC, WAC, WCC, Ohio Valley and Ivy League conferences. At the end of the day, The Top Prospects squad became champions of the 2008 Nike Say No Classic.

The Top Prospects may have had the best tournament, but Demar DeRozan had the best game. In his final game, he dropped 40 points on 14-25 shooting (12-13 free throws), 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Here’s to hoping USC gets Demar enough looks to drop figures like that this season!

This year’s tournament was a nice preview to some of the competition all the major conferences will be dealing with this season. Here’s the BallisLife mix of the action.

And, if you’re curious, the following are the 12 players featured in this mix and their current schools:

Justin Carter — Creighton
Joseph Morgan –3 Lattc
Gerard Anderson- — Cal State Fullerton
Michael Thompson — Pepperdine
Tony Dandridge — New Mexico
Derrick Oneil — Fl Gulf Coast
Demar Derozan — USC
C. Hernandez — USF
Clay Thompson — WSU
Jamaal Boykin — Cal
Mamadu Diarre — USC
Johnathan Gibson — New Mexico State