12:25: The first contest features Denver (Colo.) East vs. Charlotte (N.C.) Northside Christian. I watched Northside Christian two weeks ago and view Keyshawn Woods — a Charlotte signee — as a potential top 100 prospect in the senior class.
Denver East has Colorado-bound point guard Dominique Collier, who has hit a pair of threes early. Later, I'll see numerous other major signees, including Emmanuel Mudiay, Theo Pinson, Donte Grantham and others.
1:12: Not surprisingly, Collier and Woods are dominating the action. Northside stormed out to a double digit lead in the second half, but East has cut the deficit to six with six minutes remaining.
Collier's three-point shooting has been the difference for East, while Woods is scoring from multiple ranges and also dishing out clever passes.
1:19: Incidentally, East star and Creighton signee Ronnie Harrell isn't playing due to a reported broken wrist.
1:58: Northside Christian wins behind Woods' balanced performance. He notched another big scoring effort and facilitated more today than he did when I watched him two weeks prior. He finished with 22 points on 8-14 shooting along with six assists.
After a quiet first half, Northside's James Demery raised his level of play in the second. He isn't the best handler or shooter, but as a transition slasher he's fun to watch. The future St. Joe's performer should develop into a stout defender, too.
Collier caught fire from deep and looked the best he has in quite awhile as a shooter, and I'll have more on him later. He final line: 35 points, 10-26 field goals (8-14 on threes but only 2-12 on twos) with three assists.
Next up is Washington (D.C.) St. John's versus Philadelphia (Pa.) MCSCS.
3:06: A rout ensued in the second game of the day. St. John's leapt ahead early and never looked back, and with 2:00 to play they lead 92-51.
It's difficult to evaluate players in that context, but I did emerge with a few thoughts:
Junior guard Samir Doughty appears to have filled out slightly since last summer, and accordingly he's playing more physically. He's also a good scorer using a jump shot in the lane, and he can finish with either hand.
The question he must address during the spring and summer is whether he possesses the requisite quickness for the high-major level. He actually may slot better as a wing than a point guard for defensive purposes. Meanwhile, he also will enhance his stock if he can knock down jump shots more consistently.
Today wasn't a fair platform by which to evaluate him, so I'll look forward to watching him as the year progresses.
Also for the losers, power forward Mike Watkins is a nice prospect. The junior committed to Penn State early and already has a solid body. With another couple years to develop, he should be able to contribute early.
St. John's has two high-major signees. Tre Campbell is a Georgetown-bound point guard with impressive quickness and speed. He definitely does need to get stronger, however. How well will he shoot for the Hoyas?
James Palmer has been the source of intrigue at Scout.com world headquarters throughout the season. The Miami signee has long arms and is capable jump shooter with solid ball skills. I'll have a more detailed feature on him later.
Sophomore point guard Anthony Cowan is another player to watch. He's fast already and passes with effective court vision, and he appears to possess uncommon maturity for his age.
Now we move to strong Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military versus Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian.
4:35: Clemson signee Donte Grantham tantalizes. He's a fine athlete with the mobility to play on the wing, yet he also has the solid frame and height to play inside as well. He isn't shooting his threeball well here, and becoming consistent from range will be critical as he attempts to transition to the perimeter full-time.
Oldsmar's Troy Holston inked with South Florida in the fall and should become an excellent four-year player for the Bulls. He has a quick release and three-point range, albeit with something of a screwball rotation on his shot.
Though not an elite athlete, he can put the ball on the floor going right or left and has a nice touch in traffic. I'm not projecting he'll be a star, but I do think he can become a multi-year starter.
Unsigned 6-6 combo forward Jeff Garrett is a utility athlete who's getting some attention from lower high-major programs. He's at his best working along the baseline and getting offensive rebounds, but he can step out defensively and guard some wings. Offensively, though, I do prefer him closer to the bucket.
I spoke to Anthony Cowan following his victory with St. John's, and the sophomore claims scholarship offers from Maryland, Xavier and DePaul, with interest for numerous others.
5:04: Hargrave survives an aggressive challenge from Oldsmar, leading into the 5:00 game. We'll now get a heavyweight tilt between Karl Towns and Goodluck Okonoboh, playing for Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph and Wilbraham (Mass.) W&M.
As I mentioned in the preview story, Okonoboh didn't perform to his standards against Thon Maker at the recent High School OT Invitational, and this contest will enable him to try his hand against versus a likely prep All-American.
6:04: Towns has demonstrated a complete arsenal of post moves this evening, and his team has benefited. With his back to the basket, his post footwork may be tops in the class and his scoring touch is superb. His left hand is better than that of many NBA big men, already. That said, he continues to plod a little more than you'd prefer in an elite prospect. I'll dig into this more deeply early next week.
Okonoboh has made some nice moves of his own, but he's struggling to finish. He needs to do all he can to improve his shooting touch, which admittedly can prove very difficult. On the upside, he remains a shotblocking force and has made some nice passes.
6:56: St. Joseph took care of W&M, and Towns clearly was the star of the show. Indiana signee wing forward Max Hoetzel played better in the second half, hitting a couple long bombs, but on the whole W&M couldn't generate effective offense.
The event's final contest features Dallas (Texas) Prime Prep against High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian. Emmanuel Mudiay leads Prime Prep and Theo Pinson stars for Wesleyan.
7:39: No arguments from anyone in attendance about this game's star players. Mudiay's club holds a 10-point lead at halftime. His jump shot always has been subject of conversation, but he knocked down a pair of threes in the first half and made a nice drive as well.
For his part, Pinson is slashing to the rim, hitting short and long jumpers and has done his best to keep Wesleyan competitive. Both players are enjoying fantastic senior seasons.
8:40: Prime Prep rallies in overtime to defeat Wesleyan Christian. Pinson, who had a great night overall, missed a three that would have won the game at the buzzer.
Mudiay was quieter than he was last night but did drill a huge three late. Both stars, headed to UNC and SMU respectively, should have great college careers.
That wraps up my night here, but I'll have more coverage from the event the next couple of days.