Game of the Day: The D.C. Hawks and SRAP (Syracuse-Rochester Area Players) needed all of the time allotted to decide a winner in the first round of the playoffs. SRAP sophomore Greg Paulusshort runner with 6 seconds remaining gave his team the 103-101 lead. On the last play of the game, Johvon Whitby scored his first bucket of the day for the D.C. Hawks and his running 25-footer at the buzzer gave his team the 1-point win in a shootout.
Paulus led all scorers with 33 points. Teammates Marty O' Sullivan and Ryan Pettinella shared 50 in the loss. The Hawks were paced by Folarin Campbell who shot his way to 32 points. Campbell has a serious stroke from downtown. His teammate, Antoine Hardy, tossed in 26 as well and he was equally as adept as Campbell from behind the arc.
2004 Checklist James Mays, F, NC Gaters: If there was a guy who played with more energy or got more done on Saturday we certainly didn't see him. Mays is tough when he's being athletic and rebounding and that's exactly the way he played as his team staved off the Squires. Mays was boarding and blocking shots as he impacted the contest. His ability to get off the ground quickly causes problems for teams athletically.
Alex Galindo, SF, Playaz Basketball: The native of Puerto Rico has a great feel for the game. He began Saturday morning's blowout smoking Js from downtown. His game has pace and he's a good passer. This guy is only going to get better and he's pretty good right now.
Manny Quezada, SG, CAS Warriors: The St. Alban's product had 22 in the first half of an afternoon game. He actually took a while to get heated up but when he did his jumper was on from all ranges. He's a big time student who is receiving recruiting attention from two different levels. Finished with 26 points (9-19 FG, 3-7 3s, 5-5 FT) in the game we caught.
Cedric Simmons, C, NC Gaters: This was our first look at the big 6-10 fella in game action. He had 11 points and 5 rebounds against the Squires. He's a physical presence whose best days are ahead of him because he's just tapping the potential. Once he gets his footwork down, he will be a force. Simmons stroked the game-winning free throw against the Squires with no time on the clock.
Brandon Costner, PF, Playaz 16s: The lefty's father played at St. Joe's and had a cup of coffee in the NBA, so we've been told. Brandon can play as well. He's tough, has offense inside and out and will play hard. He's a good passer. You'll hear a ton about him in the coming season.
Andrew Pusar, SG, Playaz 16s: Tough kid. The guard figures out a way to score and has a nose for the basketball. He made jumpers, sacrificed his body in the paint and affected the game against the DC Blue Devils.
Greg Paulus, PG, SRAP: If you really watch him more than once you notice the kind of leader and student of the game he is. Paulus is in tune with his teammates and surroundings during a game. He's a great set-up man and his jumper was on point against the DC Hawks.
Off The Dribble The Squires No. 2 team has a 6-11 big man named Chris Johnson. The likely mid-major candidate is rail thin but has some face up skills and had 19 in a game today. Albert Webber of the No. 1 Squires team remains his squad's best overall offensive player. And, he's money from behind the arc.
The Playaz Jermaine Bell had a great matchup in the morning and owned his man just like he should have. Bell won't be back at IMG next year, but admitted just how productive his one season in Bradenton was. Sean Singletary was slow out of the game in the morning session and reportedly played much better throughout the rest of the day. National Christian's Abdullah Jalloh was active this afternoon and made some big plays.
James Mays is one of the bounciest athletes in the country. He has an uncanny leaping ability around the basket. He gets in two jumps before defenders can land from their first one. We love how hard Bombale Osby gets after it at 6-5. But, against a big Gaters from line, he had problems consistently scoring and that's why he's best suited at a good mid-major program. He did get loose for one nasty baseline dunk.
Mack Montgomery is a fine student and plenty of schools are looking at him from two distinct levels. He's got a nice touch on his jumper. James Posey's normally reliable jumper was not there against the Gaters but did return to him later in the day when he got real hot in a contest from downtown. Tyree Evans had 36 for Team Richmond in a loss to Baltimore Select.
News & Notes Playaz forward Taj Finger is a prime Ivy League candidate. Alex Galindo is listing St. John's, Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall, UTEP and North Carolina State. ? Like the Atlanta Celtics, Belmont Shore did not send it's 'A' team. Manny Quezada is listing Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, St. Joe's, Stanford and Providence. He says none of the schools have offered to date.
Jermaine Bell said that St. John's remains his No. 1 choice. He feels committed there but has to take care of his academics first. Syracuse is also recruiting him, but the Johnnies are the prohibitive favorite. He'll be at Notre Dame in Massachusetts prepping next year. He needs more core classes? Gaters guard JamesOn Curry was participating in a state track meet on Saturday.
Squires forward Jahron Giddings is listing Virginia Tech, Richmond, UNC-W and Georgetown. He said that Richmond has offered. BTW, kid's got a size 18 sneaker. Mack Montgomery of the Gaters likes Stanford, East Carolina, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia, William & Mary and UNC-W.