Primetime Tour: Jersey I

TRENTON, N.J. – The stars were out and on display at the Primetime Shootout. The best effort of the day belonged to either Lance Stephenson who dropped 42 or DeJuan Blair. The Schenley star did his best "Big Baby" impersonation in the upset victory over DeMatha.

Every now and then Oak Hill, at the amazement of the high school hoops watching nation, will drop a game. It happened once in Chicago this year and it almost happened again in Jersey.

Michael Glover, Tyreke Evans and American Christian gave the Warriors all they could handle. Oak Hill won the ballgame 73-72 but it wasn't until the final second of the contest that this one was settled.

Brandon Jennings ran the clock down and then drove to the bucket. With less than a second left he was clubbed on his way to the cup. It was a difficult call to make but the correct one. However, the pro-American Christian crowd wasn't too happy.

As the crowd "booed", Jennings missed the first free throw and connected on the second, providing Oak Hill with the working winning margin.

Glover's toughness has been noted all season long and it was never more evident than Saturday night. The Seton Hall power forward finished with 25 points and a manly 16 rebounds. Evans tossed in 23 of his own.

Nolan Smith, Oak Hill's senior leader, was his usual self with 26 and 16, including some big buckets when the Warriors needed them most.

DeJuan Blair, PF, Schenley – The dream senior year continued in Trenton. With a personality equal to his game, Blair worked it out to the tune of 32 (15-30 FG) and 20 rebounds. Basically down the stretch, he was in a word: unguardable. He dominated the glass. He rebounded the way polar bears snare salmon in Alaskan streams. Whatever post-season honors or games he participants in, he's earned the invitation.

Michael Glover, PF, American Christian – Kids walk on egg shells around him, especially if they know he's not happy. There's an attitude that he brings and expects his teammates to play with. Seton Hall now has an enforcer inside and this is the guy.

Jeff Robinson, SF, St. Patrick – An outstanding senior season continued with a 10-for-13 showing here. The Memphis signee had 30 points and made all 8 of his free throws; he also gobbled up 9 rebounds.

Jeff Peterson, PG, DeMatha – With his safety net commitment gone (he de-committed from Princeton) Peterson is playing for a scholarship. He looked every bit a strong mid-level point today. He made shots, set up his crew and finished with 16 points and a half dozen assists.

Austin Freeman, SG, DeMatha – His first half ending flurry was vintage and he wound up with 23 points. Not a whole lot let to say about one of the elite wing players in the senior class.

Lavoy Allen, C, Pennsbury – Probably the best we've seen him perform and it was due to a commitment on both ends. Cranked up his intensity and asserted himself on offense. Showed a little half hook and the willingness to use it. Stayed active and blocked 5 shots to go with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Bradley Wannamaker, SF, Roman Catholic – These sort of things are becoming old hat for the veteran wing. After putting together a scrappy 27-point effort Wannamaker walked out of the gym with an MVP trophy and an upset victory. Wanna know how hard he played? He shot 18 free throws and made 15 of them.

Rakim Sanders, SG, St. Andrews – The most impressive thing about his 18 points didn't show up in the stat sheet. Sanders scored some "big boy" buckets as he connected on difficult shots with guys draped on him.

Jerryd Bayless, SG, St. Mary's – Talk about a tough road trip. Travel to frigid Jersey, draw the No. 3 team in the nation in their backyard and not bring enough ammunition. By his standards, Bayless was average and St. Mary's, an enormous underdog, would have needed Superman to keep it close. 18 points, 6-13 FG.

Samardo Samuels, C, St. Benedict's – Set your watch by him because his junior season has been that reliable. He only missed four shots en route to a dominating 30-point, 12 rebound effort. Everything, including a more athletic game inside, is coming together as the high school resume for one of the country's best bigs has played out perfectly.


Samuels Was Dominant
Tyreke Evans, SG, American Christian – Nolan Smith has a well earned reputation as one of the top defensive guards in his class and that's why this is important to note: Smith had trouble keeping Evans in front of him. Tyreke's crafty ball-handling was replayed over and over on the Jumbotron for the crowd to relive. He's a skilled guy who showed he's an excellent finisher and can get his shot when he needs to make it happen.

Mike Rosario, SG, St. Anthony's – A model of efficiency as we credited him with 22 points on 7-for-11 from the field. Here's the deal: he's not there physically and that's fine because the guy can get buckets. He's wired up to score and finds the bottom of the cup. Liked the runner he showcased on Saturday. "We know he could have had 30 today," Bob Hurley said of his star.

Lance Stephenson, SF, Lincoln – The Railsplitters sophomore turned in the most outstanding individual line of the day: 42 points on 17-for-23 from the field. A trip inside the numbers tells the story. Stephenson's shot was dropping early and often. He shot an impressive 5-for-7 from behind the arc and played in attack mode the entire ballgame.

Dalton Pepper, SF, Pennsbury – He's that guy who knows his way around the basketball court and is a valuable player. A true stat stuffer with a high hoop IQ, you come away more impressed with him as a player with each evaluation. Better first half than second and finished with 12 points.

Dexter Strickland, SG, St. Patrick – It's going to be fun watching his game round out the next few seasons. He set the tone with his offense in the first quarter then settled down and shared the basketball. He had 12 points and 9 assists.


RU Strong With Rosario
Temple coach Fran Dunphy was in town checking out signee Lavoy Allen and his Pennsbury mates. … On Friday, Clemson received a commitment from Georgia guard Cashmere Wright, a speedy combo. He rolls with the Atlanta Celtics and has proven himself as a crafty scorer. … Montrose 6-4 shooter Troy Brewer is unsigned and wasn't efficient today but he's got a stroke you can believe in. …

Michigan State was in town checking on Trey Thompkins and Dexter Strickland. … St. Louis sent an assistant likely to see DeMatha's Jeff Peterson and Schenley's D.J. Kennedy. …

D.J. Kennedy says he's ready to go academically and has interest from St. Louis, Virginia Tech and Marquette. … St. Pat's forward Quintrell Thomas is gaining admirers. Rutgers offered him and Marquette is getting closer to pulling the trigger. …

Troy Brewer has offers from American and Loyola. Virginia Tech, Maryland and George Washington have touched base. He's got big time grades. … Mike Rosario lists Rutgers prominently and only spoke about the Scarlet Knights and Miami as possibilities right now but he's committed to seeing if anyone else shows interest throughout the season. …

Head Coaches In The Gym – Fran Dunphy, Temple; Jay Wright, Villanova.

Assistant Coaches In The Gym – Temple, New Hampshire, Mount St. Mary's, Boston University, Bucknell, St. Peter's, Connecticut, Fairfield, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, St. John's, St. Louis, Canisius, Rhode Island.

Corey Fisher should be given credit for reshaping his body and his approach. He did an outstanding job of sharing the ball, picking his spots leading his basketball team. …


Strong Game In Trenton

We loved Terrell Vinson as a small forward but Montrose needs him inside and he's taking on the challenge of playing a different spot. Scored 9 and had 7 boards. … Tristan Spurlock of Montrose is filling out his frame. Once a slasher, Spurlock makes deep buckets nowadays. … A low level program is going to get a very good player in Joey Accaoui; word is that program may be St. Peter's. …

Play of the Day I – Tyreke Evan's nasty crossover by Nolan Smith then a tough finish with contact. …

Play of the Day II – Bradley Wannamaker drives and throws down a nasty one-handed punch dunk on Terrell Vinson in a close game. … Montrose has an unsigned shooter in Troy Brewer and he's got grades. … Zach Rosen dropped 14 assists against St. Andrews. …

Quintrell Thomas of St. Patrick's is a very good basketball player. Should that not work out; he can line up at defensive end and scare some offensive linemen. …

Lance Goulbourne showed a little expanded game by smoking 4 of 6 tries from 3-point range. He finished with 24 points. … Academy New Church plays team basketball. Heading the charge is undersized 2008 power forward Sammy Givens who had foul trouble but rattled down 16 points. … Corey Stokes went for 4-for-7 from downtown to finish with 16. …

Who did DeMatha task with guarding Blair? They awarded that honor to Kenny Tate, a football player, who did his very best. Tate's a tough, strong athlete who likely gladly accepted the challenge. …

"Nah, I paid $150 for those shoes!"

  • DeJuan Blair to a kid who asked Blair for his sneakers

    SCOREBOARD

  • St. Anthony 83, St. Mary's 54
  • Our Savior 54, Hun School 52
  • Pennsbury 54, Academy of New Church 50
  • Roman Catholic 68, Montrose Christian 61
  • St. Benedict's 86, St. Andrew's 64
  • Schenley 85, DeMatha Catholic 74
  • St. Patrick's 91, Lincoln 74
  • Oak Hill 73, American Christian 72
  • St. Benedict's 86, St. Andrews 64

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