City of Palms: Wright Makes It Look Easy

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A portion of the North Carolina recruiting class was on display at the City of Palms and man did it look strong. Brandan Wright turned in the day's most outstanding effort.

Brandan Wright, PF, Brentwood – He was so good that the gym began clearing shortly after the 3rd quarter ended. The future Tar Heel was merely showing off for Steve Robinson who was so entertained by Wright that the coach found it difficult to hold back the smile. The full package was on display against Lincoln and it was pretty. Wright put it on the deck, pinned a few shots on the backboard, scored with his jumper and of course was a big hit with his crafty Chris Bosh-like work inside.

We've seen this guy a lot but he brought another level of nastiness against the boys from the NYC. Who is Brandan Wright? He's the equivalent of the all-pro receiver who scores a lot of touchdowns, points to his quarterback to acknowledge the look and hands the ball to the official – just like a pro whose seen the end zone a few times. 32 points, 8 rebounds, 12 field goals and 8-for-11 from the line in the day's signature performance.

Wayne Ellington, SG, Episcopal – Sometimes it's the subtle differences that really make the difference. For instance, Ellington is just a little faster with a better burst to the rim than anyone else on the floor. His step to the rack is quicker and in traffic he'll rebound a little higher. Against a really talented and well coached Lake Howell team he coolly dropped 30 points (15 of them from the line) in a very effortless manner. He'll run the shooting guard in college and do it well but we aren't counting out a later in the career position switch ala Gilbert Arenas, once he starts playing for pay.

Gerald Henderson, SF, Episcopal – Another 22-point, 12-rebound day at the office for the muscular athlete out of Philly. So strong and smart, the lefty runner from the free throw line was a new one. He really passed the ball well and went 8-for-15 from the floor.

Tony Davis, SF, Riverview – UCF did their homework early and they'll enjoy the benefits next season. This 6-foot-6 athlete will be ready to come in and help as a rookie. Athletically he's superior to most of the wings coming into the league and he's got the size to boot. If he puts some polish on his game the sky could be the limit.

Demond Carter, SG/PG, Reserve Christian – The young man went for 27 points and he shot 11-for-24, including 3-for-10 from downtown. He had 6 turnovers and 2 assists. The big question surrounding him is how does he transition from a volume shooter to playing more of a role as a point man in the Big 12?

Eneil Polynice, PG, Booker – Having only seen him once, it's tough to make a call here but clearly a Division I prospect. He's probably a long, slender 6-4 and a solid athlete. He handles it and made plays for himself and others to the tune of 18 points, 8 dimes and 4 turnovers (2 of them late in the game). He's a guy to keep an eye on who could stir potential mid-major interest if another outing like this one ensues.

Chandler Parsons, F, Lake Howell – It's going to take some time to unravel the real question of who is Chandler Parsons? For now, he's a 6-8 forward (not small or power) who has a tremendous stroke … BIG TIME stroke. Just a junior and once committed to Florida State, he's got upside. The guy made 6-of-8 3s and looked real good doing it. He's a worker off the court and a kid that deserves to have a real close eye kept on him.

Nick Calathes, PG/SG, Lake Howell – One of the biggest competitors was smarting after the loss to Episcopal but it was his ability with the ball that resurrected Lake Howell's chances to start the second half. He made some plays off the dribble and gave it a valiant effort. 19 points, 9 rebounds and 7 turnovers against one of the best guard tandems in America. Not too shabby.

Gary Clark (pictured), SG, Booker – Solid effort by the future Gator. He's more skilled with the ball and a better passer than we saw last summer. He's efficient with his offense and solid when it comes to handling it as a secondary point man. He could play a Justin Gray-type role at Florida. He had 18 on 7-for-16 from the field.

Edwin Rios, PG, Chaminade-Madonna – For the first time we can recall, he didn't score in a half. Rios would finish with 12 points, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. His 3-for-19 from the field and 3-for-14 overall made for a rough go of it. He's a better shooter than he showed today.

Chris Sims, SG, Piney Woods – Certainly wasn't very best effort (6-for-18) with 15 points and just 2-for-11 from the field. This was our initial viewing of him and he's a long bodied guard who has a chance. The offense is there, just needs some polishing.

Eloy Vargas, PF, Chaminade-Madonna – He's a face up player with a nice stroke. He had a high number of rebounds with 17 to go with 11 points. He's a youngster so time will tell but he's got the body to carry more poundage and his skill package is strong at this juncture.

Lance Stephenson, SG, Lincoln – The anointed "next one" out of the Big Apple looked extremely comfortable under the big lights of the national stage. His team wasn't ready for a seasoned bunch from Brentwood but this freshman wasn't too phased. 21 points on 9-for-17 from the floor ain't too shabby for a young guy in this setting.

Piney Woods freshman Renardo Sidney is sitting out the season after being declared ineligible. Coach Wayne Brent is still searching for the reason he was suspended for the year. …

Head Coaches –. Billy Donovan, Florida;

Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Miami, Florida, Southern Cal, Massachusetts and numerous junior colleges.

Chandler Parsons claims offers from Florida State, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, Miami and South Florida. …

George Fosto, a center with Piney Woods (5 points, 4 rebounds) visited VCU early and will trip to Old Dominion this winter. He's a native of Cameroon. …

Guys develop reputations at different stages in their careers. Sometimes the really highly-regarded kids early have a difficult time fending off the late comers who are hitting their strides athletically, physically and talent wise later in their careers. On the flipside, there are kids like Gary Clark who mature later (or midway) and their stride comes on the back end of their careers.

The early bloomers often have good college careers but in some cases their ceilings are lower than say a player like Clark who has room to mature physically and has more room to achieve within the framework of a larger ceiling of potential. The late bloomers have more space to max out their talents in college. People often wonder why extremely productive kids experience a "drop" in the ratings and its because of the prospects who bloom in the later stages of their career leave themselves more room for improvement and exit high school on the upswing of their careers. …

Konstantinos Brozos picked an opportune time to drill a 3-pointer. He knocked down the game-winner against Piney Woods with about 3 ticks remaining on the clock. … Sophomore Brandon Tobler at Cape Coral is worth keeping on the watch list. He's a big body who scored 15 but we'd like to see him begin developing a skill set inside. … Josh Bone of Brentwood looked as comfortable as we've ever seen him as he dropped 5 smooth 3-pointers against Lincoln. He finished with 22. …


  • Episcopal Academy 81, Lake Howell 65
  • Sarasota Booker 69, Chaminade-Madonna 63
  • Reserve Christian 58, Piney Woods 55
  • Riverview 58, Cape Coral 46
  • Brentwood Academy 82, Lincoln 63

    Our coverage of the event takes a break on Wednesday and resumes Thursday with the final day of the event.

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