Ray Shipman, SF, Pace – Last year when Cherokee was signed to play in this event it had Chris Singleton on the roster. Well, Singleton's here but he's suiting up for Dunwoody and that means Cherokee had no one to guard Shipman and he made them pay to the tune of 17 first half points. Shipman ended his night with 31 points, including 4 trifectas.
Patrick Jackson, SG/SF, Boys & Girls – He busted up ACD's first half zone and his guards applied the pressure in the second as Boys & Girls held on against a man-down club from ACD. Jackson, who didn't have a great night from the field (4-for-16) stroked 3 triples and led the way with 15 points.
Singleton, well, he's supremely talented and for stretches he was focused. He might even be 6-foot-9. The next step is refining his game and focusing his attention so that he impacts all the time. Singleton ended with 20 and Graham 24. Did we mention Singleton had 18 boards?
Jared Marine, PF/SF, Hartsville – If we were forced to down a dose of truth serum, you'd learn that we saw him last week and didn't think much about his game. At 6-foot-4 he's got to either beat the odds as a power forward or round out his skill package. Here's a vote for him figuring it out and being a nice complimentary player in college. Against Wheeler, only a Marine showed up ready to play and he had 18.
Ari Stewart, SF, Wheeler – The junior small forward put in the bulk of his work in the first half as it was getting ugly. Stewart had 13 shots and 24 points as 6 Wheeler players hit double figures.
Shawn Kemp, C, Cherokee – The son of the NBA stud with the same name is different than his dad. This Kemp is more of a block player and not nearly as athletic; however he's got the rep for being a solid athlete. At close to 6-foot-9, he didn't play to his reputation the first time out but we'll see him again. Kemp ended with 7 points and 2 rebounds; he and Terrance Saintil (8 pts., 3 rebs.) cancelled each other out.
James Bell, SF, ACD – With Wally Judge on the shelf, somebody had to crank it up. Bell caught and alley oop and drilled a 3 in the first half alone. What slowed him down was the pair of first half fouls he picked up. Bell finished with 11 and junior combo forward Emari Bailey stepped up with 22. ACD got crushed on the glass 40-24.
ACD is without stud junior Wally Judge. The native of D.C. is home and won't be eligible per Florida standards until Jan. 3. Coach Rex Morgan reports that he's in excellent academic standing but a class he took as a freshman didn't transfer over to his new school. …
Rakeem Buckles, a junior we value, was 3-for-3 for 6 points and 4 boards in his team's dismantling of Cherokee. The forward is sick and insisted on playing. … Keaton Cole, a Western Carolina signee, stroked 6 triples. He and teammate Tyler Murray split 44 points. … Chris Singleton turned it over 8 times and it's simply a product of slowing down and valuing the basketball. Eliminate the flash, settle for the simple and that number plummets. …
Last week we liked Jordan Scott of Hartsville – still do – but the sophomore was overwhelmed by the size and speed of Wheeler. Chalk up a learning experience for the youngster. …
Shawn Kemp indicated that Florida and Washington are tracking him. If he plays this summer look for him to suit up with the Atlanta Celtics. However, Kemp said he's got schoolwork to attend to and his availability is to be determined. …
Jared Marine reports offers from the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern. He indicated South Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, Wofford and Winthrop were looking. … Sophomore Phil Taylor has strong initial interest from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Clemson and Xavier are interested in the Brooklyn native. …
"You know what I realized? Christmas isn't as fun when you get older."
Coaches -- None. Dec. 26 is a dead period.