Smith's Clayton Goes For 27
The atmosphere inside Greensboro Dudley's gym on Friday night was big time. The place was packed and Dudley and Smith played to a standing room only crowd. Aside from the environment, the game had everything you could ask for: talent, competitiveness and good young players.
Smith ran out to the 18-4 1st quarter lead and led the entire way though Dudley made a series of runs in the second half. In the initial quarter, Smith 6-8 junior power forward Quinton Goods had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Later he would foul, out but his presence keyed Golden Eagles early. Goods' recruitment will start at the mid-major level and his athleticism and bounce will be attractive.
As good as Goods was in the first period, Smith's Jeremy Clayton was better for the entire game. Clayton, a 6-6 small forward, scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the game. Each of his rebounds was a memorable one and a lot came in traffic. Clayton is a very good athlete who really does well getting to the rim, leaping in traffic and hustling. We didn't get to see the jumpshot at all in this one, but we liked the rest of his game and he's a prospect we'll keep a very close eye on throughout the year.
Like Smith, the Dudley Panthers are young. Unlike Smith whose best players are a pair of juniors, Dudley two horses are a sophomore and freshman.
Let's start with 6-7 center Kevin Swinton, a sophomore. The big fella posted 10 points and 6 rebounds. In addition to battling foul trouble for most of the game, he was poked in the eye with 4:36 remaining in the game and while he tried to come back, his vision was impaired and he had to watch from the bench.
The Dudley P.A. announcer calls Swinton "The Franchise" and it's not tough to figure out why. He has long arms and has the look of a super post scorer. Right now, as a sophomore, his inside game from a pure scoring standpoint is terrific. He positions well on the blocks, has long arms and goes strong to the rim. Here's a young man who probably hasn't done much lifting so when this post scorer gets strong, look out.
"The Butler" is freshman small forward William Graves. The 6-5 forward would never strike you as frosh the way he carries himself on the floor. He had 13 and is obviously still feeling his way around varsity basketball games. He had one play where he slashed, tucked the ball away, finished with contact and went to the foul line for the 3-point play.
To make a long story short, you can bet we'll be in the gym the next time these two teams tangle.
NOTES: North Carolina assistant coach Fred Quartlebaum was the lone college recruiter in the building from what we could tell. ... In addition to a coach, UNC was represented by forward Jawad Williams and guard Melvin Scott. ... Dudley is the high school that produced former North Carolina standout Brendon Haywood. The center was on the last Dudley team to win a state title. ...
Last year, Dudley produced Eric Hicks (Cincinnati) and Mike Hayes (NC A&T). Hayes was in the gym on Friday and is now a starter for A&T. ... Here's something strange: we watched four high school games last week and the visitors were victorious in each game. Home teams, hope we didn't jinx you. ...