GSK Invitational: Day 2 Rundown

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Gray Bees of St. Benedict's raced out to a big lead on Taft and never looked back to capture the 35th GSK Invitational championship.

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Gray Bees of St. Benedict's raced out to a big lead on Taft and never looked back to capture the 35th GSK Invitational championship.

Corey Stokes, SG, St. Benedict's – Being aggressive and looking to score were points of emphasis for Stokes heading into the final. Stokes, who has a right to insert an "r" into his name and call himself "Strokes" for branding purposes, played with passion and intensity. He set the tone in the first half when St. Bene's dropped the hammer on Taft. A strong candidate for the McDonald's game (he's earning it each time out with his efforts), Stokes was named the event's MVP.

Yorel Hawkins, SF, Apex – When a guy lives 20 miles from your home you shouldn't miss on him. Sorry, Yorel we missed the boat. After hitting up Middle Creek for 39 points, if the secret hadn't come out the night before, it sure was out of the bag by Friday morning. Congratulations to the Fairfield Stags who snuck into North Carolina and escaped with a player that will help the reloading project up north.

Michael Glover and Keenan Ellis, American Christian – How many kids have their own body guard? Ellis does. The spindly big fella is free to roam and play to his strengths as a jump shooter; he scored 10 points. Glover bangs, bruises and intimidates giving his friend the room he needs to operate. Glover dunked himself to 32 points. It's quite the tandem of clashing styles but it works out perfectly for Ellis and Glover. As Ricky Bobby would say, "shake … and bake."

Samardo Samuels, C, St. Benedict's – We'd really have to go back awhile to find a game when he hasn't been productive. He was honored with the event's most outstanding player award. 15 points in the final game.

Larry Drew, PG, Taft – After a scintillating opening round performance which was the talk of the town, Drew found it rough from the perimeter the next two days. He shot 2-for-12 from the field and its tough watching a good player unable to purchase a bucket. However, to his immense credit, you would never have known he struggled by his body language. He kept playing, passing and creating chances for his entire team. By the way, Taft shot a robust 27% from the floor against St. Benedict's so it wasn't just Drew that went cold. As a team, Taft shot only 6-for-17 from downtown.


Gabriel Makes Statement

Ken Gabriel, PF, Hope Christian – Seen him twice, liked him both times. He's a unique power forward at 6-7 and maybe 190. He's a mid-range face-up artist with long arms, a defensive mindset and the willingness to mix it up inside and rebound. Doesn't have a post game at this stage and needs to beef up the body. Very intriguing kid on the mid to high level fence.

Tyreke Evans, SG, American Christian – Fans in Raleigh, unfortunately, didn't see the Tyreke Evans who dazzled all last season. From our vantage point, Evans looks a tad road weary. Prior to the season he was banged up and this club has played a lot of games. For those catching his act for the first time this wasn't a great taste of abilities. His body language wasn't that of a frustrated guy, his team won and he facilitated the offense by keeping everyone involved. Having seen him play to an elite level we can tell you he's capable of unleashing much more and will in the future.

Omari Lawrence, SF, St. Raymond's – His coach describes him as a slashing type player and that's consistent with his play here. His 19 points led the way for St. Raymond's. You can see him being recruited at a high level because he's wiry; defensive minded and seemingly has intangibles. Should he augment those traits with a mid-range shot he's a lock.

Charlotte and East Carolina were in the building evaluating Bo Ingram. … Omari Lawrence was watched by Memphis Friday afternoon. … The crowd for Davila: Virginia, Memphis. … Charlotte was in the house watching Davila and Gabriel. … UNC and Duke were the crew for Drew. … Evans had UNC, Virginia and Memphis tracking him. …

Thumbs up to Dijon Manns. The Knightdale sophomore entered the event with the biggest reputation on his team. Against Goldsboro he played to his potential but even as important he gave a passionate effort and it was noticeable. This should be a stepping stone game for the young insider. … On the flipside, in the same game, Daquan Joyner ramped up his energy level and had 22 points in a much stronger showing that the day before. …

Gerald Colds, one of those pesky, get-to-the-bucket guards did in Riverside. His driving hoop at the end of the contest provided St. Ray's with the game-winner. … Sophomore Justin Hawkins of Taft is a hustling combo guard, a vocal wing and a solid player. … Give Broughton's Brock Young 24 more points. The Caps guard readied himself for conference play by performing well the second straight year at the GSK. ...

Darryl Bryant of St. Ray's is interested in Pittsburgh, St. John's, Memphis, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Marquette and Miami. … Gabriel holds offers from East Carolina and High Point. Wake Forest and Clemson would be high on his list as well. …

Head Coaches In The Gym – Ricky Stokes, East Carolina.

Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Duke, North Carolina, Charlotte, Virginia, Memphis, Rutgers.

SCOREBOARD

  • Kinston 67, Broughton 62
  • Apex 67, Middle Creek 56
  • St. Raymond's 65, Riverside 63
  • Knightdale 71, Goldsboro 65
  • Southern Durham 69, Starmount 52
  • St. Benedict's 69, Southern Durham 43

    "I'm ready to go home. I'm fighting a cold and I've seen two oceans in 7 days. "

  • – assistant coach on his travel schedule

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