City of Palms: Top Performers

Michael Gilchrist, Austin Rivers and Rakeem Christmas brought their "A" games to Florida last week. The three join Derrick Gordon and Xavier Johnson as the top performers at the City of Palms Classic.

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Quick Take: Last year at the City of Palms it was Rivers, of Winter Park (Fla.) High, that dropped 46 points in a game. This time around the 6-foot-4 guard headed to Duke went for 42 points in one game and led his squad to a 4th place finish at the high-level event. Rivers has an advanced skill set, an impressive long-range jumper and is likely the most talented scorer in all of high school basketball. His range extends well past the three-point stripe and he's capable of making tough shots with defenders draped on him.
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Quick Take: Like Rivers, Gilchrist ranks among the top five prospects in the country and it's easy to see why. Gilchrist, a 6-foot-6, possibly 6-foot-7 wing prospect, led St. Patrick to a City of Palms title and was sensational in the championship game. Although he's not known for his scoring ability, Gilchrist did just about everything for the Celtics. He defended, grabbed boards, knocked in mid-range jumpers, scored in transition and showed off his vision. The future Kentucky Wildcat had a great tournament and continues to prove himself as one of the best prospects in the nation.
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Quick Take: We've been waiting for Rakeem Christmas to come out of his shell. He's been known as the best shot blocker and the top rated center for quite some time. At times this summer he didn't play like he's capable. This past week, at the City of Palms, that changed. Christmas played as motivated and aggressive as we've ever seen him, going for 17 points and 14 boards against a talented St. Mark's squad. He was active on both ends, scored it around the basket and proved to be the prospect/player we have always thought he was.
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Quick Take: While Gilchrist was the man for St. Patrick late, it was Derrick Gordon that got things rolling for them early. In their opening round game, Gordon went for 37 points on 12-for-20 shooting, including six three-pointers. The Western Kentucky signee will be a significant contributor for the Hilltoppers right away, as he's a terrific scorer that is equipped with a very nice long-range shot. Gordon continues to improve and played a big role in St. Pat's run through the City of Palms Classic.
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Quick Take: Over the course of the event, Xavier Johnson impressed us in all facets of the game. He's improving and it's at just the right time. He appeared a little taller, as he stands at least 6-foot-6 and he played as active as we've ever seen him. Defensively he moved his feet well and did as good of a job on Austin Rivers as we've seen. His length can causes issues for the opposition and he's a pretty impressive all around athlete. His wing skills continue to improve and his jump shot is gaining consistency. Overall it was a good week for Johnson.

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