Alonzo Gee was the big name for the Wildcats entering the title game. Jovan Adams and Gerald Green were the Elite stars. However, when the smoke cleared and Tallahassee emerged as the winner, it was guard Daryl Merthie that had done all the damage. Merthie, a 6-foot point man out of St. Pete Cathedral, scored 25 points to lead John Adkins' bunch to the championship.
Merthie's jumper, toughness and excellent early start set the tone for his team. However, the Wildcats had to stave off a comeback led by Adams. The feisty little guard struggled in the first half but erupted in the second to finish with 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting. His running, Gerald Green never got it going. The offensive minded Green scored only 2 points and a cold 1-for-8 shooting effort. Gee finished with 15 points for the Wildcats and though he struggled with his jumper he got on the glass and made positive contributions in other ways that didn't show up in the final stat sheet.
Charles Little, F, Atlanta Celtics: Coming off a strong effort at the ABCD Camp, Little has shown his cards to the college coaches and his recruitment will pick up. He's a tweener forward who plays all out all the time. He uncorked a 360 dunk in transition on Saturday. He's got a lot to offer as a college player. If he goes mid-major he's a potential league player of the year candidate down the road. He'll have high-major options and can play at that level as well. He's got a decision to make.
Ryan Reid, PF, Tallahassee: There's no doubt that he can make mid-range jumpers and the ability to convert those shots has high-majors interested. He was a steadying force for the Wildcats in their run to the title. He played a complimentary role on this team and he should be able to provide the same lift at a high-major program in the future.
Gerald Green, SF/SG, Houston Elite: It was a rough championship game for Green. After a series of big time scoring efforts, Green was derailed in the finals. He just wasn't able to get his jumper to go down and Elite doesn't win when he's making shots.
A.J. Slaughter, SG, Derek Smith 16s: With Leroy Nobles suspended for Saturday's game, the scoring burden rested on his shoulders. He's a nice player with high-major potential. He's not very strong right now but he burns it up from mid-range and he's a player.
DeAndre Bynum, SG/SF, Memphis Elite: Another guy who benefited from his team's star missing the title game. Super quick guard Randy Culpepper missed a wake up call and didn't play on Saturday. Bynum, however, did not miss his call. At 6-4, he's got ideal size and an array of scoring options to his game. The floater he goes to is lethal.
News & Notes
The Delk Twins – Reginald and Richard Delk – were watched on Saturday by a throng of coaches. Head coaches Buzz Peterson and Jeff Lebo were there. Assistants from Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina and UAB were in the house. … Cliff Warren of Georgia Tech was in the stands watching 2006 point guard candidate Javaris Crittendon hoop it up. …
Charles Little of the Atlanta Celtics was viewed by the head coach from Tennessee and assistants from Mississippi, UAB, Middle Tennessee and Alabama. … Atlanta Celtics forward Rashad Chase was watched by assistants from Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Alabama and Mississippi. … Sean Sutton was in attendance for the championship game to watch Gerald Green. …
Head coaches at the Showtime final: Charlotte's Bobby Lutz, South Florida's Robert McCullum and Arkansas' Stan Heath. … Lewis Clinch, one of the hottest names at the event, was eyeballed by coaches from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Duke, Alabama and Florida State in his final game. … ...
Anthony Mason, Jr. was eyeballed by Washington State coach Tony Bennett and St. John's Norm Roberts. … Title game hero Daryl Merthie said he's heading from Miami, Appalachian State (offer), Central Florida (offer), Florida State and Colorado State (offer). …
Warriors Win Peach Jam
Larry Butler's Illinois Warriors became the first AAU team to win two Peach Jam championships. The Warriors defeated BABC 78-46 as Top 10 stud Julian Wright put the finishing touches on an impressive string of performances.
Wright went off for 35 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists and four blocks in his two games on Saturday. Wright is down to Arizona, DePaul and Illinois.