Samuels scored 25 points and also had seven rebounds, while holding the 6'9 Monroe to just 11 points. Monroe also had 10 rebounds. "He's a good player," Samuels said. "I was happy with my defense. I wanted to go out and show that I can play defense and that I'm not just an offensive player."
In the tournament championship game, Samuels had 20 points and five rebounds to lead St. Benedict's, the No. 1 ranked in America in USA Today's Super 25 boys high school rankings, to a 68-55 win over 16th rated Chester (PA).
Samuels was the unanimous choice for the tournament's Most Valuable Player Award.
"By the way, back in the day when we once referenced that (Samardo Samuels) was an Elton Brand clone; he's looking the part," said Dave Telep, Scout.com national recruiting analyst. "Only Swiss watches are slightly more reliable than this guy."
Samuels also had 26 points and 10 rebounds (8-16 FG, 10-12 FT) against Kinston (NC) and 23 points on 9 of 11 shooting against Gainesville at the City of Palms tournament. For the tournament, the 6'9, 240 pound Samuels averaged 23.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Pitino watches Buckles
Louisville coach Rick Pitino travelled to Fort Myers last week to watch 6'8 junior Rakeem Buckles play at the City of Palms tournament. Buckles recently made an unofficial visit to Louisville and is seriously considering committing to the Cardinals. Miami and Florida State are also recruiting Buckles hard.
"There's something about this young man," said Telep. "If we're right, he's a year and some polish away from being a potential Top 25 national prospect. If we're wrong, he's no worse than the 50-75 range. His shot is awkward but goes down. The way he rebounds above the crowd, his overall athletic ability and consistent progression with his game and body means we're going to value him highly early and roll the dice. He's got work to do and can't afford to be tainted by the recruiting process. He's a real talent should he opt to stay the course. 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 turnovers aren't eye popping but again, with him it's a projection."
Top sophomore lists Louisville
Tristan Thompson, a 6'8 sophomore from St. Benedict's Prep, listed Louisville as one of his early favorites at the City of Palms tournament. Thompson, who teams with Louisville signee Samardo Samuels, told Scout.com that Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Texas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Kansas and Maryland are his favorites.
"We haven't seen every team in America but we're pretty confident that no one goes to the bench and brings a kid like him into the game," Telep said. "America's top sixth man (?) is a 6-foot-8, rangy forward who has the makeup of a potential star in his class."
Jared Swopshire scored 24 points on 11 of 16 shooting in a loss to Westlake (FL) in the Amare Stoudamire Classic. The 6'7 Louisville signee also had eight rebounds. Swopshire also 15 points and six rebounds in the tournament semifinals.
Tyreke Evans led American Christian to a 71-66 win over Withrow in the marquee game of the Cincinnati Scholastic Play-by-Play Class Saturday. Evans had 32 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. Lamont Jones had 13 points in the game, including 3 three-pointers. Evans had four three-pointers.