Bull City Classic, Day One
Ryan Academy 49, Bonner Academy 43 Ocala Shores 66, Love Christian 56 Coastal Christian 61, Laurinburg Institute 55 Word of God 89, Abundant Life 48 Our Savior 74, Tabor Academy 61 Life Center 70, Mount Zion 64 (OT)
Arnaud Dahi, SF, Life Center: He scored 28 points in the win, but was most impressive was how he flourished during the second half while playing with 4 fouls. He scored from everywhere, caught fire from 3-point land and led his team to an impressive victory. Life Center was dead in the water at halftime when they trailed by 14 and dropped three games at the War On The Shore last week but Dahi wouldn't let them lose. Dahi is unsigned.
Martin Iti, C, Mount Zion: The Charlotte-bound prospect had some foul trouble throughout this one and eventually fouled out. He scored 5 points and had 5 rebounds. Now, understanding Mount Zion's guard don't do a very good job of getting him the basketball, at 6-11 he's got to do a better job of creating chances on his own. He was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field when put in a position to score so the Warriors need to feed him more.
Konimba Diarra, C, Our Savior: He's come a long way and will only get better before he makes his way to South Florida. Last year at this time Diarra was an offensive project. Now, if you dump it to him low he can turn and face and hit short jumpers. Get it to him and he's got an idea what to do with it. In our eyes, he's made some nice strides from the time when he was just a rebounder and shot blocker.
JR Pinnock, SF, Coastal Christian: He scored 30 points and probably could have hit for 40 if he made his free throws. Pinnock is a driver by trade and was his team's only legitimate scoring option since Ray George wasn't in attendance.
Sam Ashalou, SF, Love Christian: He went for 31 versus Ocala Shores Christian. He's a power perimeter player. He's best when he's posting on the blocks and using his muscle to score close to the rim. He's got mid-major potential and hails from Canada.
Gaston Moliva, C, Ryan Academy: Against Bonner Academy he put together a nice stat line. He scored 14 points (none in the second half), had 9 rebounds and 8 blocks. He's a strong player who challenges shooters. Get it to him and he'll dunk it, otherwise he's not generating much offense. Probably a mid-major spring recruit. Hails from Cameroon.
Tristin Martin, SG, Love Christian: The native of Canada is in his 5th season and second with a North Carolina-based school. He's still a super athlete with amazing leaping ability. He's playing the point for his team but that's not his strength. He's a driver by trade and his jumper remains inconsistent.
Tello Palacios, PF, Our Savior: Another super effort from the big fella. He missed just four shots and went for 21 points and 8 rebounds. The weight he's lost has allowed him to be lighter and quicker on his feet but he's retained his inside scoring touch and his face-up game is coming around.
Glen Dandridge, SG, Mount Zion: He was making NBA-length 3s against Life Center. In fact, he connected on 5-of-10 shots from downtown. He finished with 17 points. He catches and shoots well with nice form and speed. Just a terrific shooter.
Mohamed Tangara, C, Mount Zion: He finished with 9 points and 4 rebounds. From the line he went 3-for-6. It seems like he's had difficulty getting on track offensively this season. Again, his teammates do a poor job of getting him the rock, but that doesn't mean he can't be a dominant rebounder.
Arturas Jomantos, SF, Laurinburg Institute: The 6-6 Lithuanian is strong and savvy. He passes well and plays with a good hoops IQ. He'll turn it over some but he's being aggressive. Jumper needs to become consistent from deep but he's got a chance to be a solid mid-major player.
Colby Santos, SF, Tabor Academy: David First will have a good team on his hands by mid-year despite playing with tons of underclassmen and Santos is a main reason why. He's a nice looking 6-5 wing athlete who has savvy and can pass, handle and shoot.
Asiam High, PG, Word of God: It's way too early to project a level for him because he's tiny right now. With that said, the 5-9 (maybe) and 150 pounder (maybe) can really stroke it. He made 5 3s in a win.
Memphis signee Ivan Lopez played sparingly for Ryan Academy today. He's nursing a tender ankle. Lopez left Miami Christian because a relative of his is in the armed forces in Norfolk. … Mario Taybron wasn't himself today, despite getting 24 points. Taybron's normally smooth jumper wasn't on track until late in the game. … Luis Rodriguez saved Ocala Shores Christian in the second half against Love Christian. …
Laurinburg Institute coach Rolando DeLaBarrera used to mine talent from the Dominican Republic. This year he's switched allegiances and has no less than four players from Brazil on his roster. … Word of God big man Aaron Fleetwood impressed some low and mid-major scouts with his tenacity and athleticism. … Mount Zion is going to have to find someone who can run the point. Ramel Bradley left for Thanksgiving and there's no timetable for his return. In truth, he might not be the answer regardless. The big men are starving in the post. …
Ray George did not play for Coastal as he was back home for the break. … Temple sent an assistant coach to watch Mario Taybron play. … Richmond and Providence were among a handful of schools evaluating Moliva today. … Ocala Shores center Ben Elias signed with New Orleans last week. He had four points and 5 rebounds today. … Tar Heel staters James Mays, Montez Smith, Roy Bright and Bobby Perry were in the building taking in action on Friday. …
Action was delayed half an hour in the afternoon due to a buildup of condensation over the roof. … Ashalou is hearing Central Michigan and Jacksonville State. … Palcios drew assistant coaches from Providence (Phil Seymore), North Carolina State (Larry Harris) and Connecticut (Tom Moore) on Friday. … Friday was the first time we saw new Richmond assistant Gary DeCesare on the road. We're used to looking at him on the sidelines with powerful St. Raymond's. …