Road Report: Gonzaga

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Located blocks from the steps of the Capitol, Gonzaga is home to a number of prospects including junior Max Kenyi.

In the ultra competitive WCAC, the difference between fourth and fifth place means a playoff home game and that's big. Friday night at Gonzaga, Steve Turner's team took apart Paul VI and in the process laid claim to 4th place in the league.

Gonzaga beat Paul VI 61-43 and the contest was never in doubt. Gonzaga's "Cameron Crazy" student section was on top of its game and Turner's club ran it offense and rebounded the basketball. It was a well-rounded team effort.

Junior guard Max Kenyi, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard and native of Sudan, led the way with 12 points. Freshman Tyler Thornton had 10 of his own. Junior wing Cameron Johnson, a clutch player all season for Gonzaga, sat out most of the second half after injuring himself on a big time dunk attempt.

Gonzaga has players, each with something to prove and areas to improve. All excellent students of the game and in the classroom.

Kenyi, according to Turner, is in the process of changing his body to better prepare for the next level. "Before the season he put on 12 pounds of muscle. He knows he has to continue to work hard."

On the floor, Kenyi carries himself and to a degree resembles Virginia's Mamadi Diane. "Actually I like watching him play and when he's hot he's pretty good," Kenyi said. The Cavaliers are recruiting Kenyi and plan on giving him a long look. "Virginia is looking at me pretty tough. I really like that and it's the ACC and you get a good education."

So far, Kenyi's biggest offer is Marquette. George Mason, VCU and Hampton have made scholarship overtures as well and rightfully so.

Johnson, according to Turner, flucuates between football and basketball. Depending on the season he may prefer one over the other. Football-wise he's got serious offers already. Pittsburgh, Virginia, Maryland and Duke want him for his gridiron talents.

The D.C.-Baltimore corridor has terrific point guard play from the Class of 2010. There's Darryl Tranyham at Henry Wise, Eric Atkins at St. Joseph and Kendall Marshall from O'Connell. Over the next few years the guys will separate themselves but Turner says now there's a healthy respect amongst the guards for each other.

"Really they all grew up playing together. He played with Kendall in middle school and Atkins on his AAU team. If they play different nights they're out watching each other. Even though there's a rivalry they support each other."

Thornton is wise beyond his years. Turner said he's not even sure if Thornton realizes the extent of his basketball IQ. The freshman sees the floor and loops pinpoint passes in transition. His DNA is all over the way this team plays.

Friday night, in a charged up high school atmosphere, Gonzaga delivered the goods.

North Carolina State assistant Pete Strickland made the trip from Raleigh to watch the local talent. … The best prospect we saw on Friday was 6 month old Laney Bossi, the daughter of scouting guru Eric Bossi. Laney, as tough as they come, is recovering nicely from surgery in Philadelphia! …


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