Dayshaun Wright, PF, Albany City Rocks: This was a different Wright than the one we saw at the Boo Williams. He rebounded like a man and finished plays with strength. On the final play of the game, he ran the floor and hit the game-winning layup. He finished with well over 20 points and used his athleticism and energy to impact the game against Westside.
Lorenzo Wade, SG/SF, Belmont Shore: The fifth-year prep has a smooth floor game and plays with patience and purpose. He only had 10 points in a rout, but they were noteworthy. The lefty is a high-major player in a big conference.
DeMarcus Nelson, SG, Belmont Shore: The shoulder he injured two weeks ago looked pretty good tonight. He had 18 before sitting down to watch a good portion of the second half of a route from the bench. There are all kinds of things to like about his game but he really passed well and rebounded above the rim on this occasion.
Alexander Kaun, C, Team Florida: He scored 12 of his team?s first 18 points. He would finish with 15 and 7 rebounds. An undersized NCI squad got team Florida to go small and negated his effectiveness in the second half. Regardless, Sasha has us convinced he?s big time.
Emanuel Mayben, PG, Albany City Rocks: He had a much better closing half than he did opener. In the first half, he wasn't taking care of the ball well enough but in the second, he made plays down the stretch. He buried a pair of 3s in the closing minutes and then hit a streaking Wright for the game-winning layup.
Off The Dribble
Jason Rich?s 24 points led Team Florida. Rich did a good portion of his damage from the perimeter where his jumper especially his medium J looks improved. The NCI vs. Team Florida game could best be described as an NCAA tourney game where the No. 1 seed got pushed by the No. 16 seed. ? Small forward John Williams led the NCI charge.
Belmont Shore big man Devon Hardin is a presence. He?s got the body and is a fine shot blocker and even better rebounder. He just needs a few developed post moves to make some serious waves. ? Houston Westside guard Sean Morris has a pretty stoke. He?s a two guard packed into a point man?s frame and he?s headed to Colorado State.
Texas commitment Dion Dowell had 10 points and 7 rebounds in a heartbreaker against Albany. Dowell is a good athlete and versatile small forward. Speaking of Dowell, he was involved in the play of the day, but for the wrong reasons. Dowell went up strong for driving dunk and was met by Dayshaun Wright straight up at the rim. Wright won the battle with a major-league rejection.
NEWS & NOTES
Alexander Kaun is heating up big time. Last Friday, he worked out in front of Chris Collins, Billy Donovan of Florida, Rick Pitino of Louisville, Leonard Hamilton of Florida State and assistants from Ohio State and Michigan. Pitino offered him a scholarship as did Donovan. On April 30, Mike Krzyzewski and Tommy Amaker are trying to make arrangements to go see him.
We ran into Rob Kurz today and he told us that he?d like to make a decision by the end of the school year. His finalists are Indiana and Notre Dame with Villanova in the third position. IU?s Mike Davis met with him on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Rick Pitino met with Belmont Shore swingman Lorenzo Wade. The talk in Houston was that sleeper swingman Dorrell Wright out of L.A. will pick a prep school and do a tour of duty there before eventually heading to Southern Cal.
Our frequent flier award of the spring has to go to Devon Hardin. The power forward has played in three different tournaments with three different teams in three consecutive weekends. ? Texas center James Thomas sat courtside and watched the Albany City Rocks, his former AAU team, play Friday night.
Jason Rich on one of the schools on his list: ?I?m definitely visiting Connecticut if they?ll have me.? That?s a good bet. UConn took Rashad Anderson, another sunshine state product, in 2002. ? Albany power forward Sam Dolan is receiving attention from MAC schools and also Rutgers, Rhode Island and LaSalle.
Teams we watched Friday night: Nike Team Florida, NCI Hoopstars, Belmont Shore, Georgia Warriors, Albany City Rocks, Houston Westside All-Stars, Portland Elite Legends, E&S Elite Houston.