High School Basketball Notebook (Jan. 7)

This week's notebook looks at North Carolina's big week, a few loaded showcase events and Daniel Orton's shattered backboard.

Carolina Adds Three Post Prospects

The biggest recruiting story of the week was definitely North Carolina's ability to snag not just one 2009 post prospect, but three of them, as they added John Henson, David Wear and Travis Wear.

Henson, a 6-foot-10, 200-pound power forward, committed to the Heels on Thursday and the speculation was that would likely eliminate the Tar Heels from the Wears consideration.

That clearly wasn't the case as David and Travis Wear, who are ranked No. 26 and No. 27 respectively, gave North Carolina verbal commitments the very next day.

With the addition of Henson, who checks in at No. 24 overall, and the Wear twins, the Heels certainly have bolstered an already impressive frontline that has Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller on their way to Chapel Hill in 2008.

North Carolina will now turn their attention to picking up some guard prospects. Dexter Strickland, Dominic Cheek and Leslie McDonald appear to be their top prospects and each is strongly considering UNC.

Flurry Of Commitments

To go with the commitment that North Carolina received, there were also plenty of other prospects making their decisions this week.

Matt Simpkins, a member of the 2008 class, ended his recruitment on Saturday. The 6-foot-9 power forward gave the Memphis Tigers a verbal commitment during an official visit.

Underrated combo guard Shelvin Mack, of Lexington (Ky.) Bryan Station, made a commitment this weekend too. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder picked the Butler Bulldogs.

Crandall Head, of Richton Park (Ill.) Rich South, gave Illinois their second commitment for the 2010 class. Head, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard, committed to Bruce Weber on Sunday.

Timberwolves Shootout

For the second year in a row the Timberwolves Shootout put together an impressive schedule and was loaded with talented prospects. Among the best participating were Jrue Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Nick Wiilliams.

Holiday, a UCLA signee, had a big night, as he scored 30 points against Minnetonka. The 6-foot-3 guard scored 22 of his points in the second half as he led Campell Hall to a 90-61 victory.

Williams and Cousins put up impressive performances this past weekend as well. Williams scored 20 points, while Cousins scored 11 point and grabbed 9 boards in a 71-55 win over Princeton.

There were also three other boys games in the event. White Station defeated Cass Lake-Ben 99-68, Hopkins knocked off DeMatha 73-66 and Benilde-St. Margaret got a 71-58 win over Madison Memorial.

Davis and McKie Go Off At Slamfest

The match up between Ed Davis and Deshawn Painter turned into a one-sided affair. Davis, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play at North Carolina, went off for 30 points, 11 rebounds and 13 blocks.

Behind Davis' big effort, Benedictine scored a 69-51 victory over Booker T. Washington in the Slamfest Tour. Painter finished with just 10 points and 5 rebounds in the loss.

The event also included three other games. John Marshall beat Atlantic Shores 76-62, Collegiate defeated Hampton Roads 63-53 and The Miller School won 78-55 over Meadowbrook.

Travis McKie, of John Marshall, is a sophomore worth keeping an eye on. He's putting up big numbers this year, and that continued Saturday, as he scored 26 points in their win.

Oregon bound big man Michael Dunigan went off for 17 points and 17 rebounds, but Farragut fell in the title game of the Public League Holiday Tournament to No. 4 Simeon by a score of 47-45.

While Dunigan was in Chicago putting up huge numbers, Howard Thompkins was doing pretty well in his own right in Georgia. Wesleyan beat Paidea 60-37 behind a 31-point effort by the future Georgia star.

Taft and Dominguez hooked up for the second time this year on Saturday and much like the first time they played, Taft ran away with it as they won 73-59 behind double-doubles by Larry Drew and Terran Carter. Drew scored 24 points, tossed out 11 assists and grabbed 6 boards, while Carter scored 20 points and corralled 15 boards in the win.

Santa Margarita was able to hold off Orange Lutheran because of a big effort by Washington State signee Klay Thompson. The talented wing scored a game-high 24 points and made some key plays when O.L. was trying to get back in the game.

Verdell Jones and Scott Suggs matched up on Saturday and Jones' Champaign (Ill.) Central scored a 56-48 victory. Suggs finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Jones scored 12 and tossed out 5 assists with Bruce Pearl looking on.

Two of the best guards in the country went head-to-head this weekend when American Christian and Boca Raton matched up. Although Kenny Boynton put up 26 points, it wasn't enough as Tyreke Evans went for 33 in A.C.'s 99-72 win.

Ryan Pearson and Erving Walker led Christ The King to a 65-62 victory over Rice on Friday. Pearson went for 31 points and Walker chipped in 13. Chris Fouch led the way for Rice with 21.

Daniel Orton knows how to break in a new gym. With under a minute to play in Bishop McGuinness' contest with Tulsa Union, the 6-foot-9, 260-pound big man went up for a dunk and shattered the backboard. With B.M. up 64-54, the game was called.

For more on the backboard shattering incident, check out The Oklahoman's video feature on the talented 2009 prospect.

Orton's AAU teammate Xavier Henry had a good weekend as well. He finished 9-for-17 and scored 26 points in Putnam City's 67-50 win over Edmond Santa, who was undefeated.

Kevin Parrom had 17 points and 10 boards for St. Raymond's as they were able to hold off Holy Cross and win 79-69. Sylvan Landeberg led H.C. with 25 points in the loss.

Whitney Young sophomore Anthony Johnson went for 22 points in the third place game of the Chicago Public League Holiday Tournament against Marshall. The Dolphins won 70-67, despite Ryan Hare's 23 points.

Dunbar needed two overtimes to get past Aiken by a score of 90-89. Although his squad lost, freshman Chane Behanan exploded for 34 points in front of a pair of Ohio State assistants.


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