Nike MDC: Day 3 Rundown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Led by Xavier Henry, who scored 28 in the semi's and 17 in the championship, Athletes First got two big wins on Monday to win the Bobby Hussey Nike Memorial Day Classic.

In the semi-finals and championship Athletes First built big leads only to see them dwindle in the closing minutes. Despite making the games interesting, A.F. managed to pull out wins in both games and take home the Nike MDC title.

Xavier Henry was terrific all weekend, but he had a pretty solid supporting cast as well. Kyle Hardrick made big plays and scored inside, Daniel Orton manned the paint on the defensive end and Terrence Boyd put together a solid championship game.

Behind strong efforts all weekend from Vander Blue and Anthony Johnson the Illinois Warriors won the 16's division, while Everett Pleasant led Houston Hoops to the 15's title.

Durand Scott, SG, New York Gauchos – When the Gauchos need a bucket, Scott usually has his number called. The 6-foot-5 guard used his speed to get in the lane and has a penchant for scoring at the tin. He's not afraid to use his off arm in the air and he loves a little extra contact. He played terrific defense all day and led the Gauchos' assault on the Houston Hoops in the semi-finals.

Sean Johnson, SG, New York Gauchos – Heading into the Nike MDC, we hadn't heard much about Johnson, but that quickly changed. The 6-foot-2 guard stepped up in big situations and was among the main reason the Gauchos climbed back against Athletes First in the championship game.

Most of his buckets this weekend came from three-point range, but he did show that he's a capable of driver in the title game when he attacked the rim, drew contact and finished with his off hand. He put up 17 points in the semi-finals and 24 in the championship game.

Augustine Rubit, C, Houston Hoops – Despite losing to the Gauchos, Houston Hoops had a pretty solid weekend. Keith Gallon was terrific at times, but so was Rubit, of Houston (Tex.) Smiley. The 6-foot-7 big man takes up a lot of space inside and manages to grab a lot of offensive rebounds. He maneuvered well inside and is tough to stop when he gets it in the paint.

Xavier Henry, SG, Athletes First – Scoring just isn't an issue for Henry and he proved that throughout the Nike MDC. Whether it's shooting deep threes or attacking the rim, Henry makes it look easy. His size and strength are definite factors and he also has a knack for getting to the free throw line. Henry went for 17 points in the championship.

Kyle Hardrick, C, Athletes First – The unsung hero for A.F. was definitely Hardrick. The 6-foot-9 Oklahoma bound center scored a team high 22 points in the championship and worked the paint for rebounds and buckets. He was the recipient of multiple Daniel Orton feeds from the high post and nearly all of them led to buckets. Although he didn't show many post moves, he was able to corral offensive rebounds and score in transition.

Daniel Orton, C, Athletes First – It's simple with Orton. When he wants to be a factor and has the desire to be force, he's among the best bigs in the nation. Strength and athleticism are among his best attributes, but his array of post moves is what sets him apart. He doesn't get many touches inside, but when he does he's capable of dropping in a hook, spinning past defenders or even knocking down a face up jumper.

Doron Lamb, SG, New York Gauchos – During the Gauchos' semi-finals match up with the Houston Hoops, Lamb used crossovers and hesitation moves to get in the lane. He and Scott attacked the Hoops' guards over and over and scored bucket after bucket in the paint. Lamb has developed a solid mid-range game and his floater seems to be his shot of choice. He went for 17 points and six rebounds in the semi-finals game.

Illinois Warriors Backcourt – Vander Blue and Anthony Johnson might make up the best backcourt in the country in the 16's division. The two led the Warriors to the title in their division and each stood out the entire weekend. Blue is a quick, athletic lead guard that can score, but also looks to get his entire team involved. Johnson on the other hand plays off the ball, where he can attack the rim and pull up for mid-range jumpers.

Everett Pleasant, PF, Houston Hoops 15's – Houston area scout Jim Hicks told us to check out this 6-foot-6, 210-pound freshman and it was certainly worth our time. He appeared to be a solid athlete, is capable of making adjustments at the rim and is physically stronger than most freshmen. He went for 23 points in Houston Hoops' semi-finals win.

Chris Jones & Andre Hollins, PG, Memphis YOMCA 15's – Yesterday it was Wayne Martin that caught our eye for the Memphis Y, today it was a pair of slick guards. Jones, who stand 5-foot-10, is a quick, jitterbug type guard that can create space, get in the lane and knock down off the dribble jumpers. Hollins, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, spent time on and off the ball and scored majority of his points off of floaters and finishes at the rim. The pair combined for 44 of Memphis YOMCA's points in a semi-finals contest against the Arkansas Wings.


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