Marshall County 68, Century 61 Oak Hill Academy 77, Lexington Catholic 59 Mater Dei 87, Warren Central 67
Rajon Rondo, PG, Oak Hill: This young man will rank highly in our next Top 100 poll. He's clearly one of the biggest risers of the year. He controlled the flow and tempo of this game and was Oak Hill's leader. He tossed alley-oop after alley-oop to Smith and the chemistry between the two is definitely there. The kid dunked twice for 17 points and 9 assists. He gets into the paint anytime he wants.
Josh Smith, SF, Oak Hill: He made 12 fields goals. Two of them were 3s, one was an elbow jumper and the rest might have been dunks. His boy Rondo took care of him as he posted 29 points and 8 rebounds. As good and productive as he was it still didn't seem like vintage Josh Smith – that's how good he is.
Dayshawn Wright, PF, Oak Hill: The tournament record for rebounds now belongs to him. After 11 first half rebounds he finished with 21 for the game to go with 12 points. Wright acted like the energy guy he'll be at Syracuse and played within the framework of his game to get it done.
Marcel Jones, SF, Mater Dei: The Oregon State-bound Jones was the high-scorer of the day with 30 points. He scored most of them in transition or in the paint while making a pair of 3s and 9 free throws. He also tossed in a baker's dozen boards.
Lonnell DeWalt, PF, Warren Central: He's one of the better two-sport guys around and they say he's the No. 2 football prospect in the Bluegrass State. The guy had 18 rebounds so despite the score you know he never gave up. His offense comes 10 feet and in. If he plays a little hoops in college he'll make the adjustment quicker than most two-sporters because his game is about athleticism and energy.
Ray Nelson, PG, Century: Very athletic guard who likely winds up as a point guard in college. Long arms and can really get to the basket. Tends to favor one side of the court but he's a sound passer. Can get his shot when he wants. He'll have to work on keeping his composure. Finished with 20 points (9-20, 0-6 3's) in a loss to Marshall County. Likely a mid-major prospect.
Taylor King, SF, Mater Dei: We credited him with 16 points, 7 boards and 7 assists. The Larry Bird-like hookshot was pretty impressive. At this stage, his poise, passing and understanding of the game really sets him apart. Toss in a varied skill package and you have one of the elite freshmen in the nation. His basketball IQ is up there.
The Josh Smith from Rajon Rondo combination doomed Lexington Catholic in the second quarter. Lexington led 17-15 after the first quarter but trailed 38-23 at the half because of Smith's acrobatics and Rondo's alley oops. … Rondo's defensive anticipation tends to go unnoticed. His long arms are a huge help at that end. … Junior shooter K.C. Rivers will have better shooting nights. His bread and butter is the deep ball and he missed all four of his attempts. …
Mater Dei's Chris Henry deserves a lot of credit. He's really toned his body up and is more active than he was in the summer. He runs better and it's helped his game. … Lonnell DeWalt of Warren Central gets as many contested rebounds as any 6-6 kid we've seen. He had one of the plays of the night when he got an assist off an athletic tip pass. … Steve Smith received good minutes out of Brian Johnson who was aggressive and had 11 and 7. … Mater Dei junior point guard Mike Gerrity had 9 assists and 15 points, all of which came on jaunts to the basket. …
News & Notes
Thad Fitzpatrick, an assistant for Indiana, was here to watch Josh Smith. … Josh Tabb of Century did not play as expected and should have his cast removed Dec. 8. … On the rumor mill, it sounds like Illinois is making a push for Rajon Rondo and he's responding to the attention. Georgia remains in the picture in a big way with Arkansas and Boston College trying hard. Louisville can't be counted out either. Proximity to his home base of Louisville could be a big factor. …
Colleges In Attendance: Indiana, Eastern Kentucky.