Marshall County Hoopfest: Day 2 Rundown

DRAFFENVILLE, Ky. – When we left the gym at 1:02 Sunday morning, a few hundred people lined half the court. Anyone still awake was in the dunk contest. That's the beauty of the Marshall County Hoopfest. Brandon Jennings found out they love their hoops down here.

Scotty Hopson, SF/SG, University Heights – He had an interesting match up today. He was guard by power forward Tyler Griffey a good portion of the first half and then as UH's biggest kid had to guard inside as his team has no interior presence. It was a strange assignment at both ends.

Offensively he has the tools to be special. He was aggressive – as called for – but had one of those misfires good players experience. We had Hopson for 25 on 9-24 shooting and if half the good looks rimmed in 35 points were within reach. It's not how much you score it's how you go about your business and he's got the tools of a moneymaker someday. Elite talent with a lot on his mind.

Brandon Jennings, PG, Oak Hill – Hales Franciscan left a lot of balls on the rim and it seemed like each time they did Jennings countered on the other end. We've seen him so much its easy to take for granted just how fast he is the ball and how acrobatic he can be finishing at the rim. And for the details: 36 points, 13-23 FG and a perfect 10-10 from the line. He got everyone involved early and put on a show in the 4th quarter once the outcome had been decided.


Hopson Has Elite Package
Taylor Stewart, SG/SF, Lexington Catholic – Simeon found that life without Derrick Rose is full of thorns (sorry for the poor play on words, it's after midnight). Anyway, Air Force signee Taylor Stewart imposed his will on this game from beginning to end by hustling and making plays. He scored 29 points without taking a single 3-pointer and converted 9-of-11 free throws.

Stan Simpson, C, Simeon – There weren't many bright spots for Simeon once point man Kenyon Smith picked up his 3rd foul in the first half. Simpson blocked a handful of shots, which is what he presently does best. He exerted himself more in the second half and ended with 20 and 7 rebounds.

Jorge Gutierrez, G, Findlay Prep – The kids from Wheeler were in his ear start to finish. The guard never got rattled and hit them up for 20 points and the game MVP trophy. At halftime, Findlay was up 41-17 and the final score was never indicative of the command it had on the ballgame. They played harder and left no doubt.

DeAndre Liggins, SF/PG, Findlay – We're warming to the idea of him running the point. The 6-6 Chicagoan is extremely comfortable with the ball in his hands. The more options UK can put around him the better because he's not a natural scorer but will excel when he's got weapons alongside him.


Cassidy Raises Stock
Kyle Cassidy, SG, Pinkneyville – By nature this job is about analyzing and dissecting players. Sometimes it's a whole lot simpler than it looks, at other times not. In this case, Cassidy more than proved himself a player worthy of a mid-major scholarship.

In the first quarter Cassidy dislocated his finger and it was nasty. Courageously he returned and almost led his team to the upset. What does he do? He competes at a high level.

In a big time setting he switched himself onto White Station's best player (who is a whole lot quicker) and was smiling with the game on the line. Give him a good mid-major scholarship and he'll reward you with four good years. Great feel, legit stroke and he's able to stuff the stat sheet. Was lukewarm on him here last year, loved him this time around. Cassidy had 20 points (9-14 FG) and 7 rebounds.

Tyler Griffey, PF, Lafayette – He rallied – as his team did late – to post solid offensive numbers. A late surge of 3s and aggressive takes to the hole allowed him to finish with 22. Would have liked to see him crash the boards earlier . Defensively he was asked to check Hopson early and we didn't envy him.

Joe Jackson, SG, White Station – He's one of those guys you label a PG because of his size but naturally he's a scorer at this juncture (think same dilemma for Kenny Boynton). However, word is Jackson would prefer to attend a program that sees him at the two-guard slot. Jackson led White Station with 18 points (6 for-18 FG) and he's capable of more precise efforts with his jumper. He gets his shot when need be and he's not married to one spot on the floor. Excellent offensive player.

Malik Story was expelled from Oak Hill Academy this week so he obviously did not make the trip and has played his final game for the Warriors. … Add Brice Massamba to the list of walking wounded at Findlay Prep. The senior who is beginning to gain national level interest tweaked his knee and a cross-country plane ride wasn't exactly a good remedy; he did not make the trip. …

The scramble to get the skinny on senior guard Julian Kenner yielded the following nugget: he's headed to Long Island University on a baseball scholarship. LIU would be wise to get him involved in their basketball program immediately. …

Some behind the scenes scoop on Scotty Hopson reveals that Kentucky is definitely pushing hard along with Tennessee and Louisville. Hopson's mother said Tennessee was coming the strongest. Rick Pitino called the other day and mom indicated Kentucky, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Clemson were making inquiries. There's no question that Mississippi State remains a factor. "We might still go to Mississippi State," Hopson's mother said. "It's a big decision and that's why we're going to wait until the spring."


Jackson Prefers SG Role
This one is setting up to provide enough winter drama for everyone involved. Bruce Pearl was in the house and Cincinnati dispatched an assistant. The game was played in the early afternoon when many of the schools could not attend because of their own games. …

After signing about 1.5 million autographs, Billy Gillispie patiently ended a long day by watching DeAndre Liggins whose game began after 11:45 p.m. We can't forget about the post midnight dunk contest that was on the schedule. Yikes. …

Here's how you know you run a big time basketball program. They're selling all sorts of t-shirts and memorabilia here BUT what's going to fly off the table is the Oak Hill gear. The Warriors have their own stash on sale and people were lining up to dish out the dollars as the workers were trying to set up the stand. …

This is a first. A young man from Rose Hill, who did not play but was in uniform, sat on the bench with designer sunglasses. Again, the game was indoors and it was cold and rainy outside. …

Whitney Young may have more point guard prospects than any team in recent memory. When you're rolling Chris Colvin off the bench you're deep. Colvin, a junior, can get to the cup. A.J. Rompza (Sr.) is the set up man and defensive juice. Bryan Hall is the bigger defensive muscle who had 13 today. Ahmad Starks is the pint size sophomore who comes off and heads to the shooting guard slot while soph Anthony Johnson is diversifying his game with SG minutes. Then there's wing Marcus Jordan who brings a strong body to the backcourt. However, today it was Julian Kenner, a senior, who set the tone with his sweet shot and 17 points. …

Tyshawn Edmondson of UH would be a strong mid level combo guard for someone in the spring. … Sometimes Scotty Hopson appears bored. It can happen when because of personnel you find yourself filling different roles each time out. He's not the first elite level guy this has happened to. …

Tough afternoon for Rose Hill Christian. Against the hometown team Dakotah Euton never got it going from the perimeter and Chad Jackson was frustrated all afternoon in the upset loss. As bad as Rose Hill was offensively its defensive production was worse. Euton finished 2-for-17 from the field. … Oak Hill's Glenn Bryant is gaining confidence. The kid can has tremendous natural athletic ability. …

At the end of the third quarter against Oak Hill, Matthew Humphrey had a good look at a 3 that didn't go down. He pounded both fists on the bench and that summed up the night for his team. Hales left a slew of balls on the rim and Humphrey didn't dial it in on some baskets that could have swung momentum. Oak Hill only gives you so many chances to cash in. …

It appears as though Richard Howell is warming to the idea of playing more power forward. That's a good thing because his body development is nudging him in that direction and we think he can be a good one should he embrace the role. …

Chad Jackson, a sophomore, said he's receiving early looks from Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia and Xavier. … Tyshawn Edmodson reports offers from Western Kentucky, Texas Christian, Morehead State and Murray State. What's he waiting for? He would like to play in the SEC. …

As Buffalo (and others) scurried to learn more about Cassidy, the senior told Scout.com that he's got offers from UMKC, Arkansas State and SIU-Edwardsville. Illinois State took a peek early and Southern Illinois signed their allotment of wings. He's moved himself into no-brainer mid-level status. …

Oak Hill junior combo forward Glenn Bryant has an offer from Syracuse and has heard from Memphis, Kansas, Kentucky and Florida. …

Head Coaches In Attendance -- Billy Gillispie, Kentucky; Bruce Pearl, Tennessee, Billy Kennedy, Murray State.

Assistants In The Stands -- Austin Peay, Dartmouth, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Chattanooga, Murray State.

SCOREBOARD

  • Massac County 49, Jefferson City 45
  • University Heights 56, Lafayette 50
  • White Station 51, Pinkneyville 45
  • Oak Hill 83, Hales Franciscan 62
  • Whitney Young 75, Scott County 72
  • Lexington Catholic 67, Simeon 56
  • Findlay Prep 68, Wheeler 54
  • Marshall County 60, Rose Hill Christian 44

    "It's going to be a lot worse next week!"

  • Brandon Jennings after 30 kids fought over his sneakers and socks at midcourt. Jennings returns in 5 days to play on national TV at Marshall County HS

  • Scout Hoops Top Stories