There were plenty of good performances, but one effort stood out above all.
THADDEUS BRINGS IT
Paul Hewitt and company are probably smarting after Georgia Tech’s upset loss on Friday night. However, they should take comfort in knowing that help will be on the way soon in the form of Thaddeus Young. The Jackets should also be thanking commissioner Stern for instituting an age regstriction for the NBA Draft, otherwise the silky 6-8 lefty wing would never spend a minute in college.
After roasting Stanley Robinson and Birmingham (AL) Huffman to the tune of 34 points and 13 rebounds, the Memphis (TN) Mitchell star was at again and finished with 30 points and nine boards in an 83-69 win over host Forrest City (AR) High.
He’s a confident player who doesn’t look to be forcing anything out there. He’s in complete control of everything that happens while he’s on the court and does a little bit of everything. He can run the point for stretches, is a creative passer, elevates quickly for jumpers and has power forward skill and footwork around the basket. He may not look particularly explosive, but he’s constantly elevating from a crowd and stretching out his impossibly long arms for finishes and blocks.
While he still needs to add some weight and he’s not more than an average jump shooter at this point, Young is clearly a top five prospect in the class of 2006 and has the talent to be an instant star at Georgia Tech.
OTHER NOTABLES ON FRIDAY NIGHT
George Goode - The 6-7 ½ combo forward from Raytown (MO) South came out like a house of fire on Friday night. The crafty junior beat Kentucky bound Perry Stevenson with shot fakes and drives, step back jumpers and also followed up a miss with an impressive tip dunk over a few other players. Unfortunately, his PG Roderick Pearson picked up his fourth foul in the first quarter and Ray South pretty much packed it in from there in and limped home to an ugly loss. Goode finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, a stat line that included only one rebound after the first quarter.
Stanley Robinson - He wasn’t particularly aggressive on Friday night, but the 6-8 WF from Birmingham headed to UConn is a big time talent. He’s adding some strength to his long and lean frame and wields a jumper that looks like it is ready for the NBA. He’s still got some power forward in his game and doesn’t put it on the floor a ton, but he should step right in for Rudy Gay next year presuming Gay goes pro.
Marcus Britt - Hometown Forrest City (AR) High may have three division one prospects in their junior class, but Britt a 6-3 WG is the best looking of the bunch. He’s a long and active athlete who attacks the basket, gets good elevation on his jumper, rebounds very well and plays intense defense. Nobody could have stopped Thaddeus Young, but Britt made him work despite giving up five inches and 20 pounds to the Memphis star. He’s been good for 26 and 9 and 19 and 10 in his two games. His ball handling could stand to improve and as it does he’ll get long looks from some high majors.
Demond Carter - The 5-10 point guard heading to Baylor lit it up for 32 points and five assists on Friday night. He’s a bullish point who is at his best using a hesitation dribble and crossover to get into the lane. He’s got three point range and a green light (32 threes attempted in just two games) making him hard to defend. It was good to see him making more plays for his teammates than he has in the past.
OTHER NOTES FROM FORREST CITY
One person who didn’t give up for Raytown South was 6-1 senior WG Chris Allen. The explosive athlete has added a dangerous jumper that is true to 22 feet and has significantly improved his ball handling. He went off for 25 points and played hard until the final buzzer.
Little Rock (AR) Christian has a nice looking duo in Cameroon native Gaby NGoundjo a 6-7 junior BF and 6-5 senior wing Rony Tchatchoua. They are both tremendous athletes who play hard and they seem to be picking up the fundamentals pretty quickly. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both eventually end up in a high major, or at the very least a powerhouse mid major, program.
Arkansas State head coach Dickey Nutt was in the building to watch his son Logan who is a junior guard at Jonesboro (AR) High.
Speaking of the building, the Mustang Arena is one of the better venues the Road Show makes it to on a yearly basis. It is actually built like a mini arena rather than like the typical high school gym. The result is a pretty raucous atmosphere when it is at its capacity of 2000 or so people.
While Stanley Robinson was a little off on Friday, his frontcourt partner Demetrius Jemison was a stud. The 6-6, maybe 6-7 if you want to be really generous with his height, power player is comfortable on the blocks and has some nice scoring moves. He had 20 and 9 during his Friday game and should be a target of high majors in the spring. …
Schools in attendance- Arkansas State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Missouri State, Ole Miss, Southeast Missouri.
- Total teams seen- 29
- Total games watched- 24
- Total miles traveled- 3,549