<b>Benton, KY</b> - Louisville signees Brian Johnson and Terrance Farley had big nights at the Marshall County Hoop Fest. We've got juicy tidbits, player evaluations, a Farley injury update, news about Telfair and Rondo and much more in this jam packed article!<p><b>EXTRA</b><br><li><a href=http://theinsidershoops.theinsiders.com/2/209851.html><b>Dave Telep from the Hoop Fest</b></a> <img src=http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif>
Are you a hoops junkie? Would you enjoy spending 14 hours in a high school gym on a cold December Saturday in the middle of no where? If you're like me, it's the perfect day and you wouldn't or couldn't be any place else.
The Marshall County Hoop Fest is a first rate tournament and we saw some great basketball played the entire day. Beginning at 10 AM and last until 1AM, we watched eight great games loaded with talented players like Shuan Livingston, Josh Smith, Monta Ellis, Brian Johnson, Rajon Rondo, Terrance Farley, Taylor King, and several others.
It was certainly a busy day and there was lots going on inside the Marshall County High School gymnasium. Here's what found interesting…
Pleasure Ridge Park 76, Centralia (IL) 57
The Panthers poured on the press as soon as they stepped off the bus and created big problems for Centralia and 6'7 Southern Illinois signee Matt Shaw.
JuJuan Spillman and Terrance Farley led the Panthers to an impressive, 76-57 victory. Spillman was a standout on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor and made a national name for himself with his performance. Farley, who blocked 10 shots and grabbed 7 rebounds, was impressive and clearly one of the more athletic defenders in the tournament. Farley scored 6 points on 1-3 field goals and 4-4 free throws.
Shaw had 17 points and 10 rebounds but struggled against the Panthers uptempo, pressing style.
Oak Hill Academy (VA) 80, Jackson Lanier (MS) 75
Oak Hill put it on Lanier early and often and opened a 44-28 lead at the break. Josh Smith had a big first half with 19. Louisville signee Brian Johnson also played well in the first half, with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. 6'2 Rajon Rondo also had 8 first half points and finished with 12 before fouling out of the contest.
In the second half, Rondo picked up two early fouls and 6'4 Monta Ellis took over on offense, leading Lanier back into the contest. Ellis single handidly took Oak Hill down to the wire, scoring 40 points on the night. Oak Hill, behind 6'9 Josh Smith and Johnson, escaped with an 80-75 victory.
Smith was named MVP following the game but gets major props for calling Ellis over and handing his award to the 6'4 standout guard.
Notables6'9 Brian Johnson had two solid performances this weekend. Both nights he was aggressive on both ends of the court. Saturday against Jackson Lanier, Johnson crashed the offensive boards for two first half putbacks and drilled a nice jumper from 10 feet inside the paint. He gave his all on the court, challenged shots, and even hit the deck for loose balls. Brian did most of his damage in the paint and finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. He'll help Louisville right away inside the paint.
6'10 U of L signee Terrance Farley had swelling in his knee earlier this week and fluid removed but played Friday night against Shawnee (10 points, 11 rebounds), and Saturday night at the Hoop Fest against Centralia (IL). There appears to be no damage or tear to the knee's ligaments, according to PRP assistant Larry Kihnley. Before Saturday's game, Farley said his knee felt fine but didn't know how or when he injured it. Farley had 12 points and 11 rebounds last weekend against Scott County in Rupp Arena.
5'11 PRP junior point guard JuJuan Spillman was named MVP after an impressive 23 point, 5 assist outing against Centralia. Spillman was on target from deep, passed well on the break and connected on 4-7 three pointers.
"At both ends of the floor he was really aggressive," TheInsiders Dave Telep said of Spillman's performance. "I think he's a guy who will have a choice to make because he's got a chance to be a high major point guard who passes the ball really well."
Louisville assistants Vince Taylor and Reggie Theus arrived just moments prior to PRP's game against Centralia.
6'4, 200 sophomore power forward Randon Cavette from Graves County, Kentucky was named MVP of Saturday's second game against Louisville Eastern. Cavette has the talent to rank among the state's top prospects in the class of 2006. He's got great hands, finishes strong around the hoop, and runs the floor well.
Cavette led Graves County with 22 points (10-14 FG) and 9 rebounds in a, 49-47 win over the Eagles.
6'4 junior forward Rick Bodiford of Louisville Eastern played well despite a subpar shooting effort against Graves County. He's improved his ball handling skills since last season and was aggressive taking the ball to the hoop but must improve his jump shot to jump ahead of players like JuJuan Spillman and Maurice Grinter in Metro Louisville's class of 2005. He finished with 10 points and 7 boards.
6'4 Crystal Kelly of Louisville Sacred Heart, University of Louisville women's coach Tom Collen's top recruit, led the Valkries to a, 52-51 upset of #1 nationally ranked Shelbyville (TN). Kelly dueled with 6'2 Alex Fuller and acquitted herself well against one of the top high school basketball players in the country. Kelly finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Sacred Heart junior guard Carly Orrmarond had 18 points on 7-10 shooting.
How good is defending state champion Mason County? Consider this when answering that question. They hung 105 points on perennial North Carolina power Greensboro Dudley and defeated the Panthers by 12 points. Dudley is considered one of the top three teams in the Tar Heel state this year and has two of the better underclassmen in North Carolina in 6'7 junior Kevin Swinton and 6'6 sophomore William Graves. Dudley is ranked #14 in the nation by USA Today.
6'2 Rajon Rondo of Oak Hill Academy, mentioned Illinois first when asked about his recruitment. As TheInsiders Dave Telep reported Friday, the Illini are making a strong a push for the Louisville native. Georgia is also still being mentioned by the talented point guard. And depending on Sebastian Telfair, Louisville could figure prominently in Rondo's plans this spring. U of L assistant Vince Taylor continues to keep tabs.
A source close to the Sebastian Telfair situation insists the NBA is not an option for the 6'0 Louisville signee at this point and believes he'll spend at least one season at U of L…Telfair and Lincoln High School will take on Darius Washington and Orlando Edgewater this Thursday on ESPN.