From the shores of the Kentucky River in Benton, Rajon Rondo had an outstanding homecoming Friday night at the Marshall County Hoop Fest against Lexington Catholic.
For starters, the 6'2 point guard is vastly improved since we last saw him in action during the summer. Rondo was in command the entire game for the Warriors, creating easy scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Simply, Rondo was spectacular. He was strong with the ball going to hole, drew fouls and got to the foul line, and played under control while leading the Warrior fast break.
Rondo had two plays that created a roar throughout the crowd late in the action. The first was a one handed jam that rattled the rim off a steal, while the latter dunk was of the reverse type on the break.
And his play certainly impressed those along press row, including the nation's top high school basketball scout.
For the record, Rondo had 17 points on 5-11 shooting from the field and 7-10 at the line. He also had 9 assists, 4 rebounds and at least 2 steals for the game.
On the recruiting front, some regional powers are now trying to get involved with Rondo, but the word continues to be the homegrown talent wants to play for Louisville. It's an open secret and everyone knows it. At this point, it's a question of how that happens.
Rondo is clearly a top flight national talent and he'll have big time options in the spring. Will Louisville be one of those?....
Brian Johnson (ITV)
The 6'9 Louisville signee was impressive, doing most of his damage around the basket.
Johnson scored on a few put backs on the night, but prefers to face up and shoot it, which he does quiet well. He's got plenty of athleticism and elevates high on his jump shot. His release is solid and he strokes it well out to the 17-19 foot range.
Though he only managed to get six shots off on the night, he was efficient, knocking down five to finish with 11 points. His follow slam in the second half demostrated his athletic ability and reach and impressed, to say the least.
Have no doubt, Johnson will help Louisville immediately and will play major minutes as a freshman. He rebounds, runs the floor and challenges shots. Now what he needs is a mean streak.
Stat line for Johnson: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assists. 5-6 FG 1-3 FT.
6'6 Lonnell DeWalt, the two sport standout from Warren Central, was a terror on the boards against the nation's second ranked team, Mater Dei (CA) High.
DeWalt pulled down 18 boards all told and tossed in 10 points for good measure.
DeWalt has a nice combination of size and athleticism and could certainly play in Coach Pitino's system. Think Donta Smith coming out of high school. He's a stud WR on the gridiron, too.
Bamba Fall (ITV)
Despite his limited minutes for the Warriors and thin frame, Oak Hill's Steve Smith says he still gets quite a bit of mail from college coaches, including Louisville.
Remember this name Kentucky high school hoops junkies. 6'6 sophomore F/C Daniel Ard of Marshall County. Ard does q lot of things well.
For a young player, he understands how to play the post and showed a nice drop step and the ability to score from the block. He also led the break a few times and made some solid passes to cutters for easy layups.
Ard had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists on 6-8 field goals and 4-6 free throws.