Drew Gordon is one of the biggest sluggers in the junior class. An intense rebounding machine that plays strong around the bucket and to mid-range. Gordon had his hands full. Walker finally toed the line with a big timer and held his ground.
Walker, the top prospect in the of North Carolina's 2008 class, walks away from his matchup brimming with confidence knowing that he was able to hold the line in a juiced up environment.
Traditionally a fast starter when it comes to blocking shots, Walker set the tone for the matchup. He made it tough on Gordon as he blocked a number of chances against the Mitty power forward when guarding him head up. Gordon gave up 3 inches to a prospect who conceivably has the longest wingspan and reach of any 2008 post player.
The North Carolinian got some help from his big New Hanover teammates, in particular George Bryan, an N.C. State football recruit. Bryan's physicality on Gordon on the defensive end allowed Walker the luxury of not having to take on Gordon each possession so he was ready when needed. It gave New Hanover another body which to use against Gordon.
Gordon finished with a hard earned 17 points (8-for-15 FG) to go with 6 blocks of his own and 7 boards. Most of his misses came against the outstretched arms of Walker. Like the player he's touted to be, Gordon rose to the occasion in the second half when he and teammate Collin Chiverton (22 points) mounted the comeback which eventually came up short.
Walker flirted with a triple double. The Wildcats center had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 9 blocks by our count. He shot 5-for-9 from the field and played his strongest the beginning of the game. Gordon's physicality got to him midway through the second half but he did manage to establish himself early which was a key to the win.
New Hanover was paced by James Beatty who stuck 6-of-10 trifectas for 24 points.
Marquise Carter, SG, Horizon – He missed a bunny to end it but redeemed himself in the second overtime when he was fouled and made all three free throws. He had interest from UNLV and a D-II offer prior to playing in D.C. and Columbia. The swing will yield numerous mid-level offers by the time he returns home for Christmas. A solid combo guard who can change gears, he should be a solid perimeter player down the road. Great story as Santa is bearing scholarships real soon!
Zach Swansey, PG, Dunwoody – Three players on his team, including himself, scored 20 points. However, none had the balanced game like the future Georgia guard did. He's improved since the summer and has a certain unquantifiable way about him. He thinks he's a player, keeps his poise and makes open shots while always thinking assist. 20 points, 5 assists.
Damier Pitts, PG, Char. Christian – He is the only sub-six-footer we've seen this year dive to the blocks and post up. Not only did he do it, but he scored off the post up. "I was feeling big," Pitts joked. The kid can play and he's got a sweet shot. 18 points, 5 assists and an economical 8-for-11 from the field.
Collin Chiverton, SG/SF, Mitty – Where did this guy come from? He's got the look of a player and he's got offensive game from the wing. Chiverton slashed baseline but did most of his damage from the perimeter, nailing 4-for-8 from downtown. He finished with 22 and we can't wait to see him again.
Teondre Williams, SG, Meadowcreek – The young athletic wing made a big splash his first game here and followed it up with 18 points before fouling out. He's at least two inches bigger than the last time we saw him and that means a high-major recruit is about to ensue. There's plenty to work on in terms of tightening up his game but the flipside is there's enough athleticism and ability to make him a must-see for the SEC crew.
Milton Jennings, PF, Pinewood – Keenan starts a slew of youngsters and the kids learned a very important lesson the hard way. They insisted on driving the ball directly at the rim only to find Jennings staked out and ready to pounce on shots.
Unofficially Jennings had 8 blocks in the first half. Officially, the strategy by Keenan's guards backfired. They switched to the jumper in the second and fired away until Jennings finally showed fatigue. The sophomore held on for 23 points, 9 boards and 8 blocks. He's thin and the wear and tear of a game gets to him now so adding bulk should be a major focus the next two seasons.
Kenny Manigault, SG, Pinewood – Entering the event he was totally under the radar. The youngster has a combo to eventually be a big combo guard. Just 4 points but he impressed with his feel for his backcourt position and the basketball IQ he used. You can't overlook the 8 assists.
Dave Odom was front and center for Milton Jennings' game while Clemson had an assistant in the stands as well. … Mark Gottfried loves Georgia guards. He tried hard with Jodie Meeks and he's sniffing around Teondre Williams. Marquette, South Carolina and Clemson were also in the building being seen. …
On the transfer front Avery Jukes is leaving Alabama. We expect him to receive an unconditional release. Schools we've heard he'd like to explore include Miami-FL and Auburn. Playing time was an issue with the Tide and we'd expect mid-majors to snap him up quickly. …Ty Walker drew assistants from UNC and Kentucky.
We fully expect the Kentucky Wildcats to enter the hunt for Ty Walker.
Head Coaches In The Gym – Dave Odom, South Carolina; Mark Gottfried, Alabama.
Milton Jennings likes to list South Carolina, Clemson and North Carolina as a few early programs he's interested in learning about. … Charlotte Christian's Omar Carter has been offered by Jacksonville, Gardner Webb and Coastal Carolina. … Damier Pitts has a lot of programs looking at him. Clemson, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and West Virginia are showing a high degree of interest. …
Lower Richland has a Division I player at a low level in Rashawn Brailsford. The shooting guard scored 18 points on 6-for-14 from the field. He's a feel guy with decent size. … There's another Curry in the pipeline. With Stephen Curry getting it done at Davidson there's no chance Seth goes under recruited. Family history says he's a solid mid-major player with a sweet jumper. Like his brother, he's physically not there yet. Also like his brother he's improved each season and has a hoops IQ. …
Navy beat the curve with Mark Veazy. Having seen him at his high school as a junior he was not tracking as a D-I prospect. Well, he's much improved and an outstanding signee for the boys from the Naval Academy. Veazy finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds; more importantly he's competing and getting better. …
"That's what happened with Jared Dudley too!"
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