Big day for Marcus Johnson at TOC

<b>RESEARCH TRIANGLE, NC</b> University of Louisville prospect Marcus Johnson came up big in a Saturday afternoon matchup against O.J. Mayo. Complete coverage of Saturday's action from the Reebok/Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, including evaluations and recruiting notes.

For most of the first half of a Saturday evening pool play game between the D-One Greyhounds and the Southern California All-Stars, 6-foot-5 sensation O.J. Mayo looked like he was going to steal the show.

Mayo scored every way imaginable in the early going and looked in control.

That's when 6-foot-6 Marcus Johnson put the claps on the sophomore-to-be sensation. Johnson, who favors Syracuse and Louisville, came up big in a head-to-head matchup against Mayo and finished with 27 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.

Johnson scored with his jumper, had several dunks on the break, including a jaw-dropping alley oop, and got himself to the free throw line a dozen times by constantly attacking the basket.

Johnson and University of Kentucky prospect Bryan Harvey led SCAS to a first place finish in pool play and a berth in the National Division Playoffs.

TOP PERFORMERS

Marcus Johnson, SF, SCAS - Johnson is a tremendous athlete who excels in transition and at the defensive end. He used his long arms and quick hands to get four steals in an evening matchup and shut down O.J. Mayo at the offensive end. Showed the ability to knock down the outside jumper on more than one occasion and attacked the basket every chance.

Vernon Goodrich, PF, Blessed IJN - He was still challenging ans blocking shots in the lane on Saturday. Showed a nice stroke from the line and a little half hook from the block. Attacked the offensive boards relentlessly and even drained a short baseline jumper.

Marques Johnson, G, Blessed IJN - Played unselfishly and stuffed the stat sheet against Garner Road (NC) to the tune of 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Scored from behind the arch, going to the basket and with a midrange pull-up.

O.J. Mayo, G, D-One Greyhounds - Mayo scored 40 points Friday night and looked like he was on his way to another big time scoring effort Saturday evening until Marcus Johnson got involved. It's no secret that Mayo is an offensive weapon. He scores every way possible and is hard to stop when he gets it rolling. Has deep range, can run the offense and certainly creates his own shot. He's a great passer and has a deadly crossover. No question he's an elite level performer.

Tasmin Mitchell, WF, New Orleans Jazz - Had a monster game to open the playoffs, crashing the boards and getting numerous points in the paint. Showed his range knocking in a triple from the key and proved he's both relentless and a fierce competitor. He's probably not the best prospect in the class but he's certainly someone you'd want to go to war with.

Lance Thomas, WF, New Heights Warriors - Long and athletic (2006) prospect showed nice post moves, went to the boards hard and scored around the basket. Posted 17 and 7 in an afternoon pool play contest.

Eric Devendorf, SG, Michigan Hurricanes - Showed he could be effective even when the opponent set out to stop him. Despite the tight defensive focus on him, still managed to contribute with his passing and defense until he got his offensive game rolling. Scored 12 points in the second half vs. New Heights.

Jerry Devon-Jefferson, F, H-Squad - A deluxe athlete in the Dorrell Wright mold. Showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the hole and blocked a few shots on the defensive end. He's long and athletic and spent considerable time shooting free throws.

RECRUITING NEWS AND NOTES

Devendorf will play for Coach Steve Smith at Oak Hill Academy next season...Nolan Smith, son of former U of L great Derek Smith, will play O.J. Mayo and his North College Hill High team in Louisville next January...Brandon Rush said the NBA wasn't on his mind at present and that Louisville was his "clear favorite,"...Oklahoma and Indiana are pushing for a visit from Rush...Jerry Devon-Jefferson, who once lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana and still has relatives in the area, listed Louisville among his favorites and says he's "wide open" with his recruitment.


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