Virginia Independent Roundup

<b>PETERSBURG, Va. –</b> The Virginia Independent Schools crowned their state champions last weekend. Here's a look at some of the talent that was in the tournament along with the winners.

Joe Wootten's Bishop O'Connell Knights defeated Paul VI to capture the Division I state championship Saturday at Richard Bland College. Erik Smith, O'Connell's senior guard was named the MVP of the tournament.

Interestingly enough, O'Connell could find itself in the very same position next year as its top two prospects are both underclassmen. In Friday's semifinal win over Blue Ridge School, the Knights two top juniors shared 32 points.

Marcus Ginyard, a guard headed to North Carolina, went for 18 points and 7 rebounds. Ginyard pushes 6-5 and is a glue guy. He's a very versatile guard yet tough to assign position wise. He's got a live body and is an excellent rebounder for his size.

He's athletic, can handle it and shot it the best we've seen him in recent memory. Though not a point and not wired to be a pure scorer or shooter, it's easy to project him as an early contributor at UNC.

Look for Ginyard to be a sort of all-purpose, jack-of-all-trades, glue guy. He'll play three perimeter positions when called up, defends well and his versatility will be his best asset.

O'Connell's No. 2 junior option will be the No. 1 option for a plethora of schools next year. David Neal, a 6-7 (maybe) power forward, is going to be a mid-major special. He's got big time grades and reminds me of Matt Shaw (Southern Illinois) though not as athletic.

Neal has the ability to step out and nail mid-range jumpers. He's a hustler with a strong hoops IQ.

Though they didn't advance to the title game, Blue Ridge School does have a junior big man that is going to receive looks from the high and mid-major schools. Laurynas Mikalauskas pushes 6-8 and has plenty of strength. He made the all-tournament team. A drive and baseline dunk did more than open some eyes up around the gym. He'll be further evaluated this spring. Teammate Tony Lewis, a sophomore guard, has athleticism and is one to watch down the road.

Notre Dame Academy captured the Division II championship by virtue of a win over a feisty bunch from Roanoke Catholic. Larry Cullinane's bunch was led by MVP RaShaun McLemore, a junior shooting guard.

Notre Dame has a host of young kids, in addition to unsigned senior center Alan Metcalfe. Lucas Steijn, a junior big man will receive mid-major looks as will junior swingman Ed Jones. McLemore is the scorer of the bunch and his spring AAU efforts will go a long way in determining his level of recruitment which will begin at the mid level and could go higher.

Metcalfe, a senior, has great size and academics are important to him. He's not a lock high-major guy but he'll receive looks. Senior point guard Brandon Clayton is looking for a home at the low-major level while senior wing Joe Posey takes his game to JMU and it looks like he's improved his athleticism.

Roanoke Catholic put three players on the all-tournament team and the most promising prospect is freshman guard DeAngelo Robinson. Though he's not a great outside threat, he can get himself to the rim and made a pair of huge plays to clinch the semifinal win over Potomac School.

Speaking of the Potomac School, center Peter Prowitt has bulked up. The Stanford-bound big man has put on some good weight up top as he begins to fill out. For the Cardinal, he'll likely be a role player but he's solid at the cup. He's not much of an athlete which might determine just how the Cardinal uses him early in Pac-10 play.

We didn't catch any of the Division III championship bracket but the Steward School defeated Shenandoah Valley Christian to win the title. Adam Lonon was the MVP.

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