TheInsidersHoops.com Daily Roundup: Part I, Day Three
Ricky Soliver, SG, All Hallows: His 48-point outing was the simply the best high school performance we've seen all year. He wasn't out there gunning; he was just hitting everything that he tossed up. It was a special night. After two days in Fort Myers, it's becoming obvious that there aren't many better available players in the nation than this kid. Ricky, welcome to the Big East. That is when someone wises up and puts out the offer.
Marcus Morrison, SG/SF, Lakewood: He proved the other night wasn't a fluke. He got off to a slow start but energized his team in the 2nd quarter. Finished with 19 points and was active at both ends.
Torin Francis, C/PF, Tabor Academy: See Tabor game story.
Armando Surratt, PG, Oakland Tech: He tallied 19 (8-for-19 FG, 3-7 3s) in the win over Cypress Lake. He's a rhythm guy. When he gets it rolling he'll go on big runs. He'll make sweet jumpers off the pull from mid-range and deep. He goes stretches without making shots but then hits his stride and for a few minutes he's deadly. Love how he drives and finds guys, but still needs to take care of it a little better and work on the decisions.
Anthony Paez, SG, Lehigh: Throw out the first half of the first game he played here and he's been very good. Probably a low-to-mid guy with good athleticism who can handle, rebound and will play above the rim. He had 24 in a 9-point loss to Hightower. He also won the 3-point shootout.
Chudi Chinweze, SF, Hightower: He's been Hightower's leading scorer in the event. Credit him with a good performance despite getting cut over the eye and then getting undercut and landing hard on his tailbone. Athletic and a nice shooter, he didn't sign with anyone.
Chris Taft, 6-8, 210, PF, Xaverian: Each year, one post player seems to distinguish himself as the best passer in the class. Like Jason Parker and Sean May before him, Taft has a chance to be in the same category. He's not a guy who needs to score to make an impact. He's a willing and gifted post passer, aside from being an accomplished scorer on the blocks. It's a gift to be able to see the court and find open guys as he does. Florida came back to watch him on Thursday. In a loss to Lakewood, he scored 14 points and had 4 assists, but you can bet they missed a few on the stat sheet.
Leon Powe, PF, Oakland Tech: Three days and the same conclusion is drawn: He's the best player here. Didn't have to work hard today and wound up with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
If you are a true junkie, you'll remember that Lakewood senior Marcus Morrison played in an event or two with the Atlanta Celtics last summer. At that point, he looked like a mid-major guy but he's made strides since then and should academics permit, he'll get recruited by high-major schools looking for a wing athlete with scoring tools and quickness. … Xaverian winger Shamar Green is being recruited at the low-major level. It's entirely possible for him to play at a mid-major school but to do that, he'll have to flash some kind of a jumper from mid-to-deep range. In two games, the senior did not attempt a 3-pointer and all of this 6-4 prospect's offense is generated in the paint. … Who's the most famous basketball alum from Xaverian you ask? How about former St. John's star and Dream Teamer Chris Mullin. … Xaverian is going to need a shooter to emerge; otherwise league teams will sag on Chris Taft all day long. …
Having seen Shavlik Randolph more times than anyone, I know the guy wears No.42. Not anymore. In Myrtle Beach, someone stole his jersey so he dons the No. 20 these days. … Did you know that Carmelo Anthony was born in Puerto Rico and actually lived there for a while? He did according to Miami Christian coach Art Alvarez. … Props to Broughton forward Michael Brandon. He drilled four 3s against All Hallows and he's made tremendous strides since his junior season when he wasn't much of a contributor for the Capitals. He's a solid Division II player… Ricky Soliver visited Iona this year. He's about to become one of the hottest unsigned prospects in the nation. … Lehigh's Anthony Paez won the Spring Long Distance 3-point shootout over Westchester's Brandon Heath. …
Roll Call (colleges in attendance): Florida (Anthony Grant), Clemson (Darren Tillis), Auburn, Georgia Tech (Dean Keener), Georgia Southern, Petersburg Junior College, Notre Dame (Anthony Solomon). Jim Valvano "Never Give Up Awards" (last coaches in the gym): Grant and Tillis.
Lakewood 75, Xaverian 69 (OT) Oakland Tech 80, Cypress Lake 56 Hightower 66, Lehigh 57 Tabor Academy 51, Salem 49 All Hallows 86, Broughton 63 Kathleen 66, Calhoun County 51