Day One At The Prime Time
Randy Foye, SG, Newark Eastside: In a pseudo matchup with St. Benedict's Art Bowers, Foye came out on top. He scored 18 points in the first half while Bowers didn't scratch in the scoring column during the same time. In reality, the two weren't always matched up but when they were, Foye was able to score on Bowers as he created his own shots via a smooth step back move and launched 3s with great success. Bowers missed his first 9 shots before finishing with 9 points; a tough night for a very good member of the Class of 2003. In contrast, the Villanova-bound Foye hit for 29 points on 11-for-20 from the field including 3-for-7 from deep. The star of the day also grabbed 7 rebounds, blocked 2 shots, dished out 4 assists but did turn it over 4 times. He was the player of the day at the Prime Time.
Paul Williams, PF, St. Patrick: Rob Lanier and the Saints of Siena have themselves a player. Williams is much improved from last season. He has plenty of bounce, plays with passion, intensity, and goes and gets the ball off the cylinder. His skill level has also improved and he now has a little turnaround jumper. He'll block shots and chase rebounds. He's one of the kids who would have been recruited at a higher level if he didn't sign early.
Charlie Villanueva, PF/SF, Blair Academy: Not a bad effort for the native of Queens. He scored 18 points and chipped in to lead the team with 14 rebounds. Did not start the contest but energized his team off the bench. He actually finished the first half with 10 rebounds. Technically, he was 1-2 from deep but the make didn't count per a foul underneath the basket. Anyway, he has a nice looking stroke from the perimeter and depending on the college he picks he'll play either the SF or PF but he could do both. EDITOR'S NOTE: Villanueva is a top UK prospect for this coming year.
Loul Deng, SF/PF, Blair Academy: Saddled with three fouls in the first half, he didn't get it cranked up until the third quarter. He finished with 16 points (7-14 FG) and 10 rebounds. He would have tallied an easy 25 but he left numerous chippies on the rim. To recap, it wasn't his best game of the year but he sure demonstrated that he can 1) pass 2) block shots 3) has a decent handle 4) is very versatile.
Frantz Dorsainvil, 6-8/215, PF, Elizabeth: Came to Elizabeth from Canada and the Minutemen are glad he did. The skinny on him is this: he seems to have good hands and catches the ball well enough even in traffic. Good, not great athlete but he's got a big-time body. He's quick to get his shot up from the blocks. However, he's not particularly adept at finishing yet. He's got a chance to be a potential high-major guy with development.
Tony Wilson, 5-11/160, PG, Linden: His team once led 8-0 but that only last a quarter as host Elizabeth came back to take control and win the game. Wilson, an offensive minded point guard, poured in 27. He's got good speed, plays in transition well and is a Division I player. On what level? That's to be determined.
Stanley Branch, 6-9/220, PF, St. Benedicts: He's one of the best rebounders I've seen this year. He has tremendous bounce and leaping ability. He's also a serious shot blocker. This re-classified sophomore is a serious player with big time game inside. Tonight, he showed a soft hook and loves to finish strong at the rim. EDITOR'S NOTE: Branch is emerging as one of UK's top targets for 2004.
Senior guard Andre Dabney scored 25 in Plainfield's loss to Blair. ... Elizabeth senior forward Rashad Robinson had 25 and 10 and likely will need a juco. ... St. Patrick 6-11 junior Grant Billmeier was terrific two years ago at Nike Camp. However, the hard worker seems to have leveled off and is no longer listed among the Top 10 at his position. ... St. Pat's junior Danny Hinds sat out the game for academic reasons but PG Mike Nardi dressed and that could be a sign that he'll return from a foot injury a little earlier than expected. ... St. Patrick could make a run for nationally-ranked 8th grader Derek Character for next season. ... Beach Ball Select skipped John Rhodes says UNC-bound guard Raymond Felton is 96 points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in the state of South Carolina. ...
Roll Call (coaches in attendance): Kevin Clark (St. John's), Fred Hill (Villanova), Reggie Hanson (Kentucky), Jim Carr (Fairleigh Dickinson), Bill Coen (Boston College), Mike Wilson (Auburn), Garland Mance (Rutgers), Randy Piel (Virginia Tech), Northwestern.
Blair Academy 64, Plainfield 55 Elizabeth 93, Linden 85 St. Patrick 61, Passaic 54 Newark Eastside 61, St. Benedict's 55