NPSI: Day One

It was just another day in the office for Lazar Hayward as the Marquette-bound wing led Notre Dame Prep to an easy win. The first full day of the National Prep School Invitational is in the books.

KINGSTON, R.I. – The National Prep School Invitational was in full swing on Friday and it was a team out west that drew most of the intrigue from college coaches in attendance.

2006 CHECKLIST

Chris Martin, G, MCI: The strong and stocky point guard, who played at Christ the King last year and is already locked in with Stony Brook, did a nice job getting into the lane. He finished with a game-high 20 points in MCI's win against Redemption.

Paul Harris, G, Notre Dame Prep: Recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 11 boards and 10 assists. Came out and set the tone early in an easy win against Stoneridge Prep. Controlled the tempo of the game with his unselfish play. Displayed all the intangibles that will make him an impact guy right away at the college level.

Lazar Hayward, SG, Notre Dame Prep: In a fairly quiet night, the Marquette-bound wing managed 23 points. Hit four trifectas, but as usual, also showed that he could get some buckets inside battling against a much bigger Stoneridge Prep team. Truly one of the most underrated players in the country.

Lamonte Ulmer, F, Notre Dame Prep: The Connecticut native made a name for himself back in November with his stellar play, but he only played 12 minutes on Friday and scored 4 points. Coach Bill Barton's decision to keep him on the bench was somewhat puzzling.

Derrick Caracter, PF, Notre Dame Prep: Caracter is back receiving minutes after sitting on the bench for a stretch. He came out of the gates and got an early bucket inside. Had one of his better games of the season with 9 points and 7 rebounds, but he still needs to learn to use his big body and natural ability to his advantage more consistently.

Mamadou Diarra, F, Stoneridge Prep: The 6-foot-1, 215-pound native of Mali was the most intriguing player at the entire event because of his versatility and skill package. While many players who come over from Africa are ahead on the defensive end, Diarra showed the ability to score virtually anywhere on the court. Finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds in the loss to Notre Dame Prep.

Hamady N'diaye, PF, Stoneridge Prep: Hasn't played in a couple of weeks due to a knee injury and probably wasn't ready to go against Notre Dame Prep, but the defensive-minded big man gave it a shot and had 2 points and 3 boards in 23 minutes. Not his best effort, but don't penalize N'diaye for effort.

Djibril Thiam, G, Stoneridge: The long, 6-foot-8 senior was the team's point guard and actually did an admirable job against Notre Dame Prep's pressure. Very impressive ballhandler for someone his size. Needs to work on his outside shot, but will likely be recruited by some high-major schools.

Pierre Niles, PF, Patterson: The Memphis-bound Niles recently landed at Patterson after Florida Prep basically shut down its basketball program. Niles' body needs some serious work, but he's got a ton of potential. Finished with 6 points and 5 boards in 7 minutes.

Keith Cothran, SG, Winchendon: The Rhode Island-bound wing is finally healthy and it showed with a strong 24-point effort in a win against Community Christian. Cothran plays bigger than he is – and does a lot of his damage on the baseline.

Solomon Tat, SF, Community Christian: One rumors swirling is that Tat will play pro next year overseas, but he needs to go to Virginia and work on his perimeter game. There's no way Tat is skilled enough to make money yet – unless it's as a middle linebacker.

Ben Eaves, F, Worcester: Tat isn't ready to play for money – and the England native Eaves isn't ready to play at UConn. He's struggling to make baskets. Period. Not shooting the ball well from the perimeter – and also unable to put the ball on the floor and get by defenders. Had 5 points in 29 minutes.

Chas McFarland, C, Worcester: Still not a finished product, the Wake Forest-bound McFarland competes and shows glimpses of a player who can make an impact in the ACC down the road. People have to remember that this was a kid who was a mid-major player coming out of the summer.

Keaton Grant, G, Bridgton Academy: Not his best performance, but Grant, a one-time Missouri signee, was solid. He's not a natural point guard and is more suited to playing on the wing, but Bridgton coach Whit Lesure is having Grant run the show because of necessity. Grant needs to work on his decision-making at the point guard spot.

2007 CHECKLIST

Dominique Sutton, SG-SF, Patterson: His coach, Chris Chaney, is touting him as a Top 10 player in the nation, but we don't think he's quite at that level. Sutton was active on Friday, getting buckets in transition and also working hard on the glass. Scored 8 points and grabbed 7 boards in the easy win against Gulf Shores.

Corey Bingham, SG, Lee Academy: As a late fill-in for Florida Prep, Bingham is Lee Academy's top player. However, Antonio Anderson's cousin struggled to a 2-of-9 shooting night in a blowout loss to St. Thomas More – with all of his shots coming from behind the arc.

NEWS & NOTES

Stoneridge seniors Hamady N'diaye and Djibril Thiam are taking an official visit to Rutgers this weekend. The connection is that N'diaye played at Life Center in New Jersey last year. … N'diaye also said that George Washington and Pittsburgh are in the mix. … Jarrett Jack's mother made an appearance to see her younger son, Justin, who plays for MCI. Then she left to make the 90-minute drive to Boston to watch Jarrett Jack of the Portland Trail Blazers face the Boston Celtics. … Patterson's Ray Brewer is out for the season with a torn ACL. … Herb Tanner of Stoneridge lists USC, Tulane, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Michigan. According to sources, Tulane is the one of the group that is really Tanner. … Mamadou Diarra said, through a translator, that there is no leader currently – but with a pair of assistants in the house, it appears as though USC is in strong position.


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