MLK Classic Norfolk: Favors Flexes Muscle

NORFOLK, Va. – The scores were lopsided most of the day as the hometown teams went 0-for-9 at the MLK Classic. Derrick Favors punctuated an out of town effort with 25 and 21 while Tyreke Evans gave everyone a scare.

Another day at the office for Derrick Favors.'s No. 1 junior didn't disappoint against Deshawn Painter and his Booker T. Washington squad. The 6-foot-9 Favors is making his bid for national player of the year honors in a big way. The gentle giant erupted for 25 points and 21 rebounds as the good folks of Norfolk got to see one of the nation's premier players on the top of his game.

The highlights: a lethal jump hook over Painter in the first half and ridiculous follow jam in traffic. For Favors, performances like this are nothing out of the ordinary. Most guys strive for double-doubles, Favors sees 20-20 as his job.

"A good night is 30 and 20," Favors said. But what does he make of last month's 46 and 20+ effort? "That's ridiculous."

The only thing missing from Favors masterful performance was college coaches. Not a single assistant or head coach from his fan club made the trip. In fairness, it's a Saturday night on a weekend almost everyone is playing. Favors took notice. "I'm surprised by that."

Last year at this event, a young Painter drew DeJuan Blair. Recently he's seen Ed Davis and now Favors in his own murderers row of big men. Painter, ranked No. 8 by, remains a futures stock. The thinking is after seeing him hammer people in the early summer and show flashes later, he's still a few months away from hitting his stride.

Evans Taken To Hospital
Tyreke Evans, SG, Amer. Christian – With 2:33 left in the third quarter, Evans attempted to block a shot. He came up empty but was leapt high and Keith Wright ducked under him. Evans' head hit the floor and he was taken off on a stretcher to the hospital. An hour later the public address announcer told the crowd Evans suffered a mild concussion and would be alright.

Keith Wright, C, Norfolk Collegiate – It's been a great year for Wright. After gaining notoriety as a prospect at this event last year, his final performance at the MLK Classic was a 24 point, 13 rebound effort. His role at Harvard will be significant.

Karon Burton & Nasir Robinson, Chester – The duo ran major game on Ocean Lakes. We can't reiterate enough just how strong a fit Robinson is for Pittsburgh; Robinson scored 22. Burton, whom we're really warming up to when he values the ball as he did today, scored 14. Burton is in a position where he's got to rally to make the grades. Should he do it, you can expect mids to chase him through the spring. He's tiny but once you get over his size you can't overlook that he affects the game.

Mike Bynum, PG, Indian River – The floor general is a D-I caliber prospect, likely on the lower level. Has ownership in his team and controls the tempo. Take something away and he has enough in the bag to counter. Tiny (5-foot-7) but has the ability to change speeds and create.

Lamont Jones, SG, Amer. Christian – When you're hot, you're hot. Jones was smoking in the first half and sank 7 3-pointers. He tallied 28 points for the game and tested his range from the deep spots on ODU's floor. Might have had the most impressive game outside of Favors.

Donte Hill, SF, Collegiate – It was almost a tale of two halves for the wing. With Evans in the game he deferred to the star's status. When he left, Hill began to play in attack mode. Against a superior opponent he pretty much had to do it all in terms of play the role of handler and scorer. We expect programs from a variety of levels to maintain a file on him.

Jay Copeland, PF, King's Fork – He scored 13 points and definitely has the look of a mid level prospect. Not many guys his age has legit post up skills and counters but when you're 6-foot-6 you've got to have survival skills around the rim and he's adapted well.

Word of God point guard John Wall fractured his left hand and could not play. His team pulled out of the event and was replaced by Laurinburg. … Lincoln was worried about replacing Lance Stephenson's 22 points per game. They didn't need him and he couldn't play as he served a suspension for fighting with his teammate. Stephenson did not make the trip. …

Tyreke Evans had 24 points before he sustained what may be a concussion. … Collegiate played its third game in as many days. … It's going to be tough for guys to make for themselves against Favors this summer. He physically dominates in his age group. He's focused and just because he makes it look easy it can't be overlooked how hard he plays. This guy never asked anyone to be No. 1, he's earned it. …

Lincoln center Justin Greene had the best offensive game we've seen him string together. Apparently he's been player well as of late and he hit for 23 on Saturday. … In a completely unrelated note, while we still rank the Greenbelt Marriot No. 1 in terms of most comfortable beds, honorable mention goes to the fine digs at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. …

IC Norcom junior Desmond Lee (20 points) is a mid-level winger. Strong body, good scoring tools should mean heavy CAA interest for the shooting guard. … The local teams didn't fare well here. They went a combined 0-for-9. … Christ The King's Ryan Pearson, a George Mason signee, has a unique trait. Pearson has fast twitch muscles and gets his shots up quickly. He netted 21. … Iona's Trinity Fields led Cardoza. A combo guard, he's an attacker. …

Atlantic Shores didn't play in the event but junior Steven Pledger was around watching the action. Hampton has offered and interest is coming from Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. … Marquette seems to be coming the strongest on Donte Hill. … James Padgett has West Virginia, Providence, Clemson and Rutgers in his corner. …

"I don't get calls. I need to get calls."

  • Karon Burton on where his recruitment stands

    Assistants In Attendance – N.C. Central, LaSalle, Harvard.


  • Cardozo 66, Landstown 50
  • Laurinburg def. Indian River
  • American Christian 80, Norfolk Collegiate 56
  • Chester 95, Ocean Lakes 52
  • Christ The King 76, Kings Fork 65
  • South Atlanta 90, BT Washington 46
  • Lincoln 77, IC Norcom 52

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