Jerryd Bayless, SG, St. Mary's – "That was a big win," he glowingly told his coach as he exited the floor. Bayless was correct, it was a huge victory over highly-regarded Arlington Country Day. Bayless led the charge over the Apaches. The senior all-american finished with 34 points (10-18 FG, 3-6 3s) but it was his commitment to his team that laid the foundation for the victory.
Sure, he went and got a bucket when it was time but his performance was the perfect blend of star power and unselfishness. He set up kids on the drive and kicked it to open shooters. Few elevate with the separation of feet from floor the way he does. He's intense on the floor and wasn't about to lose this game. 34 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, five steals, 2 blocks and one "big win."
Taylor King, SF, Mater Dei – The big fella went 4-for-4 from downtown and took most of the evening off as Mater Dei mounted a huge lead and he played assistant coach much of the second half. Before calling it night with 26 points, King became his high school's all-time leading scorer. (14 rebounds)
Anthony Stewart, PF, ACD – The numbers at the end of the night were solid with 17 points and 11 rebounds and he did a nice job as an offensive rebounder. There's going to come a time where he'll need to assert himself on this team and command the basketball down the stretch if they're going to be a dominant squad.
Greg Monroe, PF, Cox – With his high school team he's cast in a variety of roles – high post, transition. Monroe had a very solid opening round game with 21 points 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 7 turnovers. Charlotte collapsed on him when it could. A lot of his damage came when he attacked in transition or was able to put it down and attack from the free throw line. Like the thoroughbreds do, when it came time to be "the man" he was able to deliver the goods.
Terrelle Pryor, SF, Jeannette – In case you haven't heard, his team lost a heartbreaker in the football state finals on Saturday, woke up Sunday morning and flew here. They have a new coach, hadn't practiced and were treated to the No. 9 team in the nation. A rusty Pryor finished with 11 and its going to take a while to get the stroke and timing back. Kudos to his team for coming out and treating it like spring training. 11 points, 4-for-10 FG.
Rayford Shipman, SF, Pace – It was rough sledding for Pace and Shipman struggled. A big, strong wing player with a dose of athleticism, he's got a chance if he polishes up his game. His jump shot comes and goes and he's got to find a few easier ways to score other than bullying his way to the hoop. Maybe some post-ups to take advantage of his size to get himself rebooted when the outside shot isn't falling. 10 points, 5-for-13 FG.
Dago Pena, SF, Charlotte – He wasn't as impressive as he was back in September but you can see the ability. What we like best is his overall feel for the game. Forget the 3-for-13 from the field; he's capable of making his shots. We trust that he's got the attention of some very good mid-level programs right now.
The freshman went 2-for-4 from the field with 4 points and 7 rebounds.
Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Florida, Duke, Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisville, Southern Cal, Air Force, Southern Cal, Miami-FL, Stetson, Pittsburgh, Fordham, Villanova, VCU, La.-Monroe, Florida International, Central Connecticut State.
After the game we caught up with Monroe and he said Coach K, Bill Self, Rick Barnes and Tim Floyd have been down to see him. He probably unintentionally left out a bunch of names because it was hectic and mentioned that Louisville and Kentucky sent assistants. Duke, Southern Cal and Louisville were in attendance tonight. UNC was watching but has never figured prominently on his list to date. …
The Wear Twins went 10-for-12 for 20 points against Jeannette. … Strangest sight: a 5-foot-3 kid from Liberty Tech running the floor and rejecting a 5-foot-6 guard from Monsignor Pace on a breakaway. … Rayford Shipman was whistled for a series of charges. That means two things: 1) he's being aggressive and 2) he's got to develop a bailout mid-range shot to use when he can't get to the rim.
Terrance Santil is a mid-major junior power forward with a lot of muscles. He's physically imposing and has some post moves. Now the trick will be making opponents uncomfortable around him inside and stepping out of his comfort zone while being more aggressive at both ends. … Josh Sain led Liberty Tech with 22 points. … Lefty Devon Lamb led ACD with 29 points. An opportunity bucket maker, Lamb was in the right place and converted his chances. … ACD's senior marksman Gabriel Charley shot just 5-for-18 from the field. …
Calvin Thompson, a junior out of Cox, has a chance to make it as a mid-level prospect. His stroke looks on point and he finished with 24, making shots from different spots on the floor.
"Welcome to Ft. Myers guys and we hope you have your track shoes on because you're playing a Top 10 team in the nation!"