City of Palms, Day Two
St. Andrews 63, Pahokee 58 St. Raymond's 92, Andrew Jackson 86 Fort Myers 68, Northwestern 55 Mater Dei 87, Lehigh 36 Rice 91, Woodham 48 Creekside 75, Dunbar 52
Mike Woodard, PG, Creekside: Of all the guards we saw on Thursday, nobody controlled the pace, tempo and overall success of his team better than Woodard did. He led the romp over Dunbar and while his numbers were on the quiet side, his game spoke loudly. 10 points, 4 assists and 4 steals just didn't do him justice. He has a presence at the point and just knows how to play. Youngstown State stole one. "They just recruited me hardest," Woodard said. "They let me know they wanted me." Credit YSU on a great recruiting job.
Demetris Nichols, SF, St. Andrews: His coach was on him for a good part of the game about his offense but he couldn't complain about his defense. We've said this before but it's impossible to understate: Nichols is one of the best wing defenders in this class. He blocked shots at a good clip in this one and really does a nice job. (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks).
Jamon Gordon, PG, Andrew Jackson: St. Raymond's sew this one up after the third quarter but Gordon kept pumping away. He scored most of his hoops either at the rim or off medium-range pull-up jumpers. He did a nice job against the St. Ray's defensive pressure. Liked how he kept his poise. Took a trio of 3-pointers and wasn't able to hit any of them.
Devon Pearson, F, Northwestern: The SMU-bound forward had a much better outing today than he did on Wednesday. He had 21 and 13 in the loss. He did struggle from 3-point land (1-for-6) but was active in the paint. A forward without a label – small or power – but he stays active and goes hard.
Shagari Alleyne, C, Rice: He will be as good as his teammates allow. For his future success, he'll need a willing point guard and a program that values his 7-3 size, but that's just the half of it. The remainder of the ingredients have to be self-supplied. Alleyne will have to go back to the basics: start with an attention to detail on defense (ie. shot blocking) and a passion for rebounding. With that said, he played a good game against an outmanned team. He had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks.
Zabian Dowdell, PG, Pahokee: Get this, he's got grades and he's unsigned. Dowdell, a lefty at 6-1, is a potential mid-major player. He does a nice job of finding guys and will keep you honest on the perimeter. Mid-majors will take looks this year. (10 points, 5-17 shooting).
Daon Merritt, PG, St. Raymond's: Paced the way for the Ravens with 17 points and made both his 3s. Made sure first-year coach Oliver Antigua had a smooth transition to his new digs as head coach.
Tre Kelly, PG, Dunbar: His team got rolled but he tossed in 26 points. Almost all of his hits came off fast drives to the hoop which is really what his game is all about. He did not record and assist against Creekside and his team only had 1 assist in the game. Right now, he plays at one speed and that's fast. To be successful at South Carolina, he's going to have to play with some pace and make sure he distributes the basketball better. He can put pressure on defenses with his drives.
Robinson Louisme, C, Fort Myers: "His hands were like rocks in the 8th grade, they're not now," an assistant from Fort Myers said. "Tulane wants him right now. Miami likes him." If they got him the ball he's score more; there's no fuzzy math about that. He had 11 and 8 today in a win.
Russell Robinson, SG, Rice: The speed is there and so is the range on the jumper. Having seen him play a fair amount of times, we know that despite the scoring total, he's been better. Really will get after it on defense. He had 20 points and went 11-for-13 from the line.
Ricky Torres, SG, St. Raymond's: He had 9 points but it was how he scored them that we liked. Torres appears to have good ball handling skills and made his only 3-pointer. Liked his body type and athleticism.
Chris Bethel, F, St. Raymond's: He just worked inside and that's where his points came from. Around the basket he's a good leaper and strong finisher. Again, who knows how much this 6-5 forward will grow and right now his game resembles that of a power forward.
Off The Dribble
St. Andrews guard Abdi Lidonde had 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the first half. … Syracuse signee Louis McCroskey had 12 and 7 against Andrew Jackson. … Brandon Rooney had 26 to lead Fort Myers. … Northwestern center Greg Killings teases you with his potential. He's 6-9 and long bodied and twice today hit sweet hook shots. But, 6 points and 2 rebounds later, he's got you wanting more. … In Mater Dei's 87-38 win, what would amount to the Mater Dei JV team played most of the first half. …All but one player on the Mater Dei roster scored against Lehigh and only two kids – Travante Nelson and Chris Henry – reached double digits. …
St. Patrick has a little case of the flu running through its camp. Michael Nardi and Grant Billmeier have essentially been quarantined from the rest of the team. … We hear Rhode Island might have the inside track on St. Andrews SF Lamar Barrett. … We got a chuckle out of St. Andrews head coach Mike Hart yelling "photosynthesis" and "Van Gogh" at his team. Apparently, the academic minded St. Andrews school is trying to mix academics with hoops this year. …
St. Raymond's put 6 players in double figures against Andrew Jackson. … Cedric McGowan had 12 points and as many boards in Northwestern's loss. … Lehigh center Mario Henderson, a 350 pounder, is a big time football recruit who is hearing from the likes of South Carolina and Clemson with the in-state powers sniffing around as well. … Woodham High's gear was provided by boxer Roy Jones Jr., a resident of Pensacola. … Rice sophomore point guard Taskico Brown played sparingly today. Brown said he wasn't feeling well at the start of the game. …
In The Stands: Florida Atlantic, Tulane, Georgia Southern, Florida State, UNC-Greensboro, Minnesota.