As usual, the Martin Luther King Day weekend offered up several options in the high school basketball world. The Road Show started off on Thursday by heading to the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. From there, it was on to the Flyin' to The Hoop event held on the outskirts of Dayton.
There were no shortage of high level guys and the trip also offered the rare chance to speak with Brandon Knight in person.
Knight Taking His Time
Saturday night, the nation's top available point guard Brandon Knight found himself in the midst of a cold shooting night. But, when it mattered most, the 6-foot-3 point guard turned it on nailing some crucial shots including a game winning three pointer with just four seconds to finish with 36 points and lead Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest to a win over Cincinnati (Ohio) Princeton.
Swarmed by reporters outside his locker room, Knight discussed his evening, the game winner and the status of his recruitment.
"I didn't shoot the ball well. But I was just trying to put our team in a situation to win," said Knight who also added eight rebounds and six assists. "I was just trying to get a good look, a good shot that I work on very day and I was able to do that."
According to Knight, there are still six teams fighting for his services and he's not giving any indication that he's leaning one way or another.
With one more official visit available to him, Knight is planning to check out hometown Miami within the next couple of weeks. But, for the most part he's trying to keep his mind off of recruiting and is trying to keep it from becoming a distraction to his senior season.
A lot of it is focus," said Knight. "I'm in the middle of the season and just trying to focus on it minute by minute."
As he's done throughout his recruitment, Knight didn't really say much about each particular school, preferring to keep things general and speak about what he's looking for.
" There's not one factor," said Knight of what he's looking for. "When I feel like I have a good connection with a certain coach and that I know that I will be able to come in and make an impact and know that a certain school is the right environment for me is when I will make my decision." "I am not trying to hold anybody up."
Other Notable Performers
Brad Beal- The 6-foot-4 Florida commitment didn't shoot the ball like he usually does and struggled with some turnovers. However, he also did some very positive things on Thursday. He's continuing to get bigger and stronger, is a skilled shot creator and has added a new level of explosiveness to his game. Even though he committed to Florida, some schools have continued to chase him.
Winston Shepard- The Texas native is attending mighty Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. A 6-foot-7 sophomore, he's a very athletic and active kid who has an excellent frame. He runs the floor and uses his athleticism but doesn't seem to have a true position yet. He's a high level prospect, it's just whether or not he's recruited as a small or power forward that remains to be decided.
Luke Cothron- He finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds in an overtime win but remains a tough guy to figure out. He's a clever scorer around the rim and can use his length to cause problems. But, at the same time, he spends a lot of time floating around the perimeter hunting jumpers and becomes his own toughest defender.
Gerron Johnson- The breakout performer of the weekend, Johnson is a 6-foot-2 senior combo guard at Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar. An explosive athlete with problematic, for defenders at least, quickness he's relentless in attacking the rim. Passes the ball well and is wired for scoring. As a talent, he's probably deserving of some high level looks.
Thomas Hamilton- His Whitney Young team took a whooping at the hands of Dayton Dunbar, but that didn't stop him from impressing. Standing near 6-foot-9, Hamilton is big, strong and skilled. Love that he has soft hands and already knows how to use the glass and finish with touch around the hoop. A deadeye shooter, he can face up and shoot to the three point line as well. His future is very bright.
Joe Jackson, PG- Memphis bound senior earned MVP honors with an outstanding showing at the Bass Pro. As usual he attacked off the dribble and scored at the rim. Mix in some jumpers and Jackson just did what he's become so well known for, score the basketball at a high rate.
More Notes From the Road
Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine has a good looking freshman in 6-foot-7 forward Mark Williams. He's athletic, does damage on the glass and runs the floor. He looks like a guy who could track as a high major recruit. … Flora MacDonald Academy junior Rayvon Harris is a lot of fun to watch. The 6-foot-4 wing is solidly built and plays the game like a man. A high level athlete who goes to the rim over and over and over again. … Justin Coleman is one of the nation's top wings but was very quiet in Dayton. He's an athlete, but stuggled some with his jumper. … Texas bound senior Tristan Thompson looks to be in his best ever shape. The lefty has really solidified his 6-foot-9 frame and has added a right (off) hand jump hook. …
Total games watched- 95.
Total teams watched- 165.
Total miles traveled- 12,107.