TheInsidersHoops.com Daily Roundup: Part I, Day Two
Comets Win Again
It was far from a pretty game, but Westchester received a team effort in beating Miami Christian. Two coasts and thousands of miles might separate these two schools but they duked it out like they were bitter neighborhood rivals. Westchester pretty much iced it away in the second quarter and led 51-27 at the break. Technical fouls, elbows and rough play was the order of the day. 88-54 was the final score.
Rashad Anderson, SG, Kathleen: He touched Xaverian for 30 points on 12-20 shooting, including 3-for-6 from downtown. He did a little of everything in this one. He opened up playing the power forward slot and guarding Chris Taft. He did some work on the blocks and was his usual sniper self from the perimeter. You would have never known he got 30 just by looking at the stat sheet. Few shots were forced.
Torin Francis, C/PF, Tabor Academy: Irish assistant Anthony Solomon watched The Notre Dame-bound senior. He did a terrific job on the glass at both ends of the floor. In his defense, Tabor's guards don't get him the ball enough when he's open on the blocks. He stepped out and hit a handful of jumpers. Defensively is where he still makes his biggest impact.
Ricky Soliver, 6-3, 175, SG, All Hallows: He came up with five steals and 24 points in the first half alone before taking a shot to the groin. No cause for distress because after a few minutes he was OK and All Hallows was already up 25 at the time of his unfortunate injury. He returned in the 4th, but like we said, the Gaels didn't need him. Soliver is a smooth scorer with a fine handle and can play either guard spot though one wouldn't want to handcuff him as a scorer. He did not sign during the early period and is a perfect A-10 recruit who, academics permitting, could get some higher looks.
Hassan Adams, SG, Westchester: He started to look more like his normal self today. However, there has to be something bothering him because he doesn't seem to be having much fun and often times the expression on his face says his mind is elsewhere – see the 6 turnovers today. He did have 14 points and 5 rebounds and made some plays that indicated his talent level. Adams said after the game that he's been a little sick.
Michael Robinson, SF, Tabor Academy: He led his team in scoring and for all intents and purposes was the star of the game. His conversion with less than 2 seconds remaining gave Tabor the upset win over Oakland Tech.
Warren Scott, F, Abramson: Against an out-manned Bishop Verot team, he hit for 29 points giving him an even 25-point average for the tournament. Is he a 3-man or a developing 4-man? That question will determine the level of his recruitment. The path he goes down position-wise appears yet to be determined. Right now, he's playing like he would like to give small forward a try. But, his impending size may make the transition to PF inevitable and we'd have to see more of him to figure out how he would do defensively against more athletic forwards.
Leon Powe, PF, Oakland Tech: Not quite as good as he was in the opener BUT still looks like the best prospect here.
Chris Taft, 6-8, 210, PF, Xaverian: Here's a good-looking post prospect. He displayed legitimate post offense and court awareness. Willing to mix it up inside and makes plays. The way he chases shooters inside is impressive and he gets off his feet well. Offensively, he'll go to the hook and wastes little motion on the blocks in catching, turning and scoring. Extends like Eddie Griffin at the rim and it makes his shot tough to block.
Chris Richard, 6-8, 210, PF, Kathleen: Unknown nationally but has a little rep in Florida. He's athletic and active inside. This was our first look but it won't be the last. He appears to have legit high-major aspirations. He connected on some short jumpers, rebounded, and stood his ground inside against Taft. His defense is way ahead of his offense. Block to block, he's very fast and hunts shooters for rejections. He's been working with Anderson on his footwork in the post and it is paying dividends.
Ivan Lopez, 6-8, PF, Miami Christian: Watch him once and you like him. Watch him twice and you begin to appreciate how he plays. Rugged, more athletic than first glance and energetic inside describe him. He's a gamer; a throwback that plays every possession like it's his last. He was good today, despite having a nightmare time (1-for-9) from the line. He says no one is recruiting him. Well, he's got a chance to be a high-major contributor.
Charles Burch, 6-5, 190, F, Tabor Academy: Still not sure what position he is but that's because he's young and hasn't filled out his body yet. Today, he was very effective around the basket. He's a nice athlete who runs the floor and always finds himself around the ball.
Calhoun County guard Zam Frederick is a coach's son. Zam, Sr., led the NCAA in scoring while playing for the Gamecocks in 1981. He played 9 seasons of professional basketball. … The Calhoun County-Hightower game did not start until after midnight. The reason: Hightower was not allowed to play until Thursday of this week. … Billy Donovan was in town to watch Oakland's Leon Powe. … One college assistant from a Big East school on Blair Academy swingman Luol Deng: "Wow!" … Thumbs down to the Tuesday night manager at Shoeless Joe's on 41 South. How can you try and close a bar with 20 people in it who are watching the Duke-Kentucky classic. Further adding to my consternation was the fact it was a sports bar. … Here's one you might not have known. Trevor Ariza's connections to Florida run a little deeper than living in the state. His father played at Florida in the 80s. Generally, January official visits might be a little risky this year but from the sounds of it, Ariza making a journey to Gainesville this winter seems like a good idea if you are a Florida fan. … Kathleen junior PF Chris Richard said he has a qualifying test score. … Roy Williams was here to watch Ariza and Powe. He was not in attendance for Scott's games. … Here's a new one. All Hallows wasn't decked out in Nike or adidas. Nope, these guys were sporting New Balance 775's. Nice shoes. … Meanwhile, Calhoun County sported Converse. Converse? ... Junior colleges should be on the lookout for Cypress Lake's Richard Young. The 6-8 PF is as athletic as they come. He's short in the GPA department and could be a nice juco player. Check his teammate, PG Larry McClinton as well. … Chris Taft says he's interested in Duke, North Carolina, St. John's, Pittsburgh and Kentucky. It appears as though St. John's and Pitt are on him the hardest. The Red Storm was in the building tonight. … Quote of the Day: from Charleston assistant Marty McGillan. "The best part about this game is that an hour after we leave the gym we can read about it in the paper." McGillan was speaking of the midnight start for the Hightower-Calhoun County game.
Roll Call (colleges in attendance): Marshall, Notre Dame, Florida, High Point, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern, Kansas State, Kansas, Tennessee Tech, St. John's, Central Florida, UConn, Michigan, Maryland, Miami-FL, California, Kentucky. Early Bird Award (first coach in the gym): Tom Moore, UConn.
Abramson 68, Bishop Verot 46 Tabor Academy 52, Oakland Tech 51 Kathleen 65, Xaverian 56 All Hallows 69, Cypress Lake 44 Westchester 88, Miami Christian 54 Calhoun County, Hightower, late