Terone Johnson, PG, North Central – In what turned out to be a nearly 30-point blow out, Johnson, a 6-foot-2 combo guard headed to Purdue, was aggressive offensively, especially in the first half where he scored 15 of his 19 points. Using his strong developed frame Johnson scored in transition at the rim, but also mixed in a trio of three-pointers.
Khristian Smith, SG, Pike – In a game where three juniors were the headliners, Smith, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound wing, sure put together a solid effort for Pike. The athletic senior had it working from mid-range, as he buried at least four 15 to 18 footers, but he also used his athleticism and body at the rim, where he scored a handful of buckets. Word is Smith will head off to prep school next year, and top tier mid-major programs should begin to take a look. Smith went for 21 points in the win.
Marquis Teague, PG, Pike --- It took some time for the decorated junior to get things going for Pike, but in the end it was his six free throws in overtime that helped the Red Devils get the win. A 6-foot-3 lead guard, Teague showed his terrific athleticism on a tip dunk he threw down midway through the first half. In the second half he began attacking the basket, finding open teammates and finishing at the rim. For the game, Teague finished with 16 points and a couple of assists.
Ryan Taylor, SF, Lawrence North – Since we last saw Taylor, a 6-foot-6 forward, in the summer he's made some progress with his jump shot. Now the talented wing is hitting shots from mid-range with consistency. To make the full transition to the wing, he'll have to spruce up his ball handling and prove he can guard the three spot. Assuming Taylor makes the full transition, He'll be a load at the three-spot because of his athleticism, nastiest inside and rebounding ability. Taylor was an efficient 9-for-12 from the field as he scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Michael Chandler, C, Lawrence North – Much like Taylor, we like the improvement we've seen in this 6-foot-10, 225-pound big man. Since the first time we saw him a year and a half ago until today he's made drastic improvements to the make up of his game. He always had good hands and played hard, now he's starting to become more efficient around the basket and has developed nice touch on his half hook. On defense he's active and is a presence altering shots around the basket. The Louisville commit was 6-for-8 for 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, PG, North Central – While Johnson was on his game in the first half, Smith-Rivera turned it up in the second half. Much like Johnson though, Smith-Rivera is a stocky built guard that takes contact extremely well, especially when he's looking to score at the rim. He's also developed a nice floater in the lane, made some nice passes in transition and mixed in a three-pointer. He finished with 16 points in the win.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera claims scholarship offers from Xavier, Indiana, Purdue, Tennessee and Cincinnati. He also mentioned interest from Georgetown. He said all of the schools have been in to see him.
Marquis Teague said his list is still at five – Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Purdue. He's planning to make his college choice shortly after his high school season.
Terone Johnson's younger brother Ronnie is a big part of North Central's squad. The sophomore point guard starter pushes the tempo at every opportunity and showed good vision, especially in transition. Johnson went for 11 points in the win. Patrick Ingram is another interesting prospect for North Central. Just a sophomore, Ingram stands 6-foot-3 and is a pretty good athlete. Unfortunately Ingram was knocked out of the game early in a fall, where he hit his head on the Conseco Fieldhouse floor.
There was a pair of head coaches at the Ivy Tech Downtown Shootout on Wednesday. Indiana head coach Tom Crean was there, as was Rick Pitino, who also brought a pair of assistant coaches with him.
"He makes the hard plays look easy and the easy plays look hard." – One of Teague's teammates while walking by Teague during an interview.