GSK Invitational: Ingram, Walker Put In Work

RALEIGH, N.C. – It wasn't pretty but the finals are set at the GSK Invitational. A young Kinston bunch will play for the title against a scrappy Christ The King contingent. Sophomores Donovan Ingram and Erving Walker led the way for their teams.

Donovan Ingram, SG/SF, Kinston – His confidence has gradually been building and we're probably a season away from fully seeing what he can do. In the meantime, he's beginning to come into his own as a player. In a huge upset win, he scored 18 and did it by going 6-for-8 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line. He's a pianist, an honor roll student and 92 percent free throw shooter on the year. He just turned 15 and given natural progression, could be Kinston's next high level player.

Erving Walker (shown), PG, CTK – Without him, CTK is playing in the consolation game. He made two plays down the stretch – a huge 3-pointer and a special delivery blown assist turned into a pair of free throws – that proved to be the turning point of a close game in the 4th quarter. His speed is one of his greatest assets as his size (5-foot-7) will eventually determine what level he's built to succeed at. He had 17 points in this one. He did a nice job of locating teammates, especially once he got himself into the lane.

Solomon Alibi, C, Montverde – The big fella out of Nigeria had 5 points and 3 boards but that's not why we're writing about him. The 7-footer has tools to work with and while he's got more rebounding and defense than offense right now, it's not like he's void of offensive moves, it's just going to take some time for him to progress. There are producers and there are prospects. Right now he's more prospect than producer but that's fine given his long range potential.

Chris Wright, PG, St. John's – Like Larry Davis, Wright's stroke eluded him. He shot an uncharacteristic 3-for-13 from downtown and he's simply a better shooter than that single game might indicate. Now, he dug himself a hole with some of his perimeter shot attempts, especially when you consider how difficult it seemed to be guarding him on the drive. Good player, tough night, 17 points, 1 assist and 5 boards.

Tyree Graham, CG, Southern Durham – How many times do you see a guy flirt with the triple-double and come up short in the points department? We had Graham with 7 points, 11 boards and 10 assists. This was a strong effort by a guy feeling out his position (right now he's a combo) and who is in the midst of dealing with a personal tragedy; his friend Maurice Marley died last month. With a bunch of coaches in the gym, Graham provided leadership and steadied the ship as his club recorded a strong win. His willingness to pass up shots for assists probably caught Broughton by surprise.

Daquan Joyner (shown), PF, Goldsboro – 26 points and 5 rebounds but his team missed a number of chances to ruin Seattle Prep's day. Joyner, a 6-foot-6+ insider, stood his ground and blocked a number of shots. He's got a tendency to drift toward the perimeter and that's where most of his misses came from. Solid hands inside to go with a strong body.

Brock Young, PG, Broughton – The speedy point had 21 points (8-for-19 FG) and 7 steals against his buddy Graham. He's got a lot of responsibilities for Broughton as its leader and top scoring threat.

Dan Werner, PF, CBA – His squad led 25-10 at the half and he was busy carving up Phoebus to the tune of 19 points and 9 rebounds. Structure is his friend as he's a very skilled and cerebral player. It would have been nice to measure him against Seattle Prep and their stud but since Hawes isn't here, Werner won't get to test his mettle against an elite big man.

Larry Davis, SG, CTK – Coming off a 23-point game, Davis ran into a cold-shooting spell that he simply couldn't shake. After missing all 6 of his 3-point attempts in the first half, he would go on to miss 3 more in the second and finished 3-for-14 from the field for 9 points and nearly two handfuls of rebounds. His personal shining moment came when he canned a pair of free throws to pad his team's lead with under a minute to play.

The HUGE disappointment of the day occurred when Seattle Prep took the floor and Spencer Hawes not only wasn't in uniform, but he wasn't in the building. Tournament officials were not notified of his absence in advance and that's a no-no. A school administrator from Seattle Prep owes somebody an explanation for skirting the issue and not being up front with tournament officials who had no idea Hawes was injured, let alone not making the trip.

Hawes, according to his high school coach, has a sprained ankle which is understandable. When you're hurt, you're hurt. It's unfortunate, but it happens. The coach said the doctor would not sign off on Hawes flying because it might cause swelling in the ankle. Obviously, with Hawes picking the Huskies over the Heels, he wasn't going to receive a standing ovation but there were people in the building for the sole reason of watching one of America's finest prospects play. …

North Mecklenburg's Jamie Skeen is not playing because of a meniscus tear. Reportedly he had arthroscopic surgery and could return in 4 weeks. … Did you know that St. John's College coach Paul DeStefano was Johnny Dawkins high school coach? The same Johnny Dawkins who is now recruiting DeStefano's star guard Chris Wright. … Vlad Moldonveanu is a face up four man with legit ran on his jumper for St. John's. …

Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Duke, Wake Forest, UNC-Greensboro, Hampton, VCU, Navy, William & Mary, New Hampshire.

Head Coaches In The Gym – none

Roy Bright, a Durham resident now playing at Garden City JC after leaving Cincinnati, lists Oklahoma State, Delaware, St. John's and Fresno State as programs that are interested in him. … Solomon Alibii has Florida State, Virginia and St. Joseph's chasing him hard. …

Wake Forest and Duke had assistants at Chris Wright's game. N.C. State caught a tough break as Wright's game coincided with their own game against New Hampshire which was going on right down the street at the RBC Center. …

Julian Gamble at Southern Durham is coming on and has the mid-majors buzzing. He's a few consistent and tough efforts inside from really helping his own recruitment. …

Wake Forerst signee L.D. Williams scored just 3 points in his team's loss. Who is he in college? He's got the defensive acumen of Trent Strickland and is in search of his offensive comfort zone. … VCU loses Nick George and Jeff Capel's bunch is ready to plug in Frank Ndongo right into his place. Ndongo is more skilled than George at the same stage but George made strides each year in college with his offense.

"It's not like we would have un-invited them. It just would have been nice to know."

  • A tournament director's reaction to learning at game time that Spencer Hawes was not at the event


  • Southern Durham 67, Broughton 63
  • Kinston 45, Montverde 43
  • North Mecklenburg 62, Cary 50
  • Seattle Prep 48, Goldsboro 43
  • Christian Brothers 57, Phoebus 30
  • Christ The King 47, St. John's College 43

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