Charm City Challenge Wrap-Up
Terp Sports Report was front and center for the action and we have the scoop on how Maryland's recruits looked as well as which other players are ones to watch in college beginning next year.
Braxton Dupree: The prevailing fear about these games is the possibility of being injured during a meaningless exhibition. And that's precisely what happened to Maryland's most prized recruit, who twisted his right ankle when he landed on the foot of future teammate Dino Gregory early in the game.
The good news: Dupree's injury didn't seem to be of the serious variety, though he did have the ankle heavily taped and was given crutches to ease the stress.
The bad: There would seem to be virtually no chance Dupree will play in front of the home fans in Thursday's Capital Classic in College Park. He said it was the worst he'd ever twisted an ankle. The 6-9 post man from Calvert Hall will likely be on the shelf for a little while.
For the six minutes he did play, though, Dupree looked good, tapping in a missed shot and hitting a nice double-clutch jumper from the foul line en route to a quick four points and four rebounds.
Dino Gregory: This is not the best setting for Mount St. Joseph's Gregory, whose value lies in how tough, intelligent and active he is as an undersized power forward. Still, he posted a more-than-respectable 11 points and eight rebounds, including a couple of nice jumpers and putbacks. It will be interesting to see how he fits into a position in college. The hope is that he'll continue to grow taller, though we see him as an eventual quality contributor regardless.
Shane Walker : Remember what we just said about the run-and-gun all-star game not catering to Gregory's style of play? Well, turn that comment upside down for Walker.
A very good athlete at 6-10, Walker's game is perfectly suited for these kinds of full-court, low-defense games. He was impressive, scoring 10 points mostly on crowd-pleasing dunks and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Everyone liked what they saw of the Montrose Christian product, but keep in mind that this wasn't a real game, and Walker struggled to score points during the regular season. He looks like he'll eventually have an impact at Maryland, but he'll need to get bigger, work on his post game and develop some inside moves over the next couple of years. As a run-and-jump big man, though, he's quite gifted.
Jeff Allen (Hargrave Military Academy, Va./Virginia Tech): The former DeMatha standout has always been big and strong, but he's been hitting the weights hard – or perhaps swallowing them – during his prep year. Allen is massively big and muscular, but still handles the ball very well for a 6-9 bruiser. In the paint, he was a man amongst boys, scoring 15 points and producing a few big-time dunks and blocked shots. He seems a shoe-in to start at Tech next year and will be a player to watch.
Malcom Delaney (Towson Catholic, Md./Virginia Tech): Seth Greenberg pulled the daily double with Allen and Delaney, the latter of whom seems to get better every time we see him. The 6-3 shooter deluxe started with a barrage of 3-pointers and also showcased his ability to get to the hoop and finish with creativity, scoring 27 points and earning MVP honors. Simply put, he's going to score a lot of points in college.
Rick Jackson (St. John Neumann Maria Goretti, Pa./Syracuse): Like Allen, Jackson has surprisingly good ball skills for a thickly built 6-9 player. He's also a load in the paint. Jim Boeheim has a keeper here.
'Scoop' Jardine (St. John Neumann Maria Goretti, Pa./Syracuse): Playing alongside his current and future teammate Jackson, Jardine used a late surge to finish with 17 points for the nationals. Though he's got unusual form on his jumper and wasn't among the most athletic players in the event, Jardine should be a solid shooting guard at Syracuse.
Aric Brooks (St. Frances Academy, Md./Undecided): The athletic 6-6 wing man was one of the few players who didn't have a college or any potential college suitors listed in the game program (though we did learn that he likes to play pool and video games). We also learned he can play a bit, as he posted 24 points on a tidy 9 of 11 shooting, including several breakaway dunks.
Nikita Mescherikov (St. John's-Prospect Hall, Md./Undecided): We've honestly been a bit surprised to hear that the 6-8 native of Belarus is drawing attention from programs such as Georgetown, as he's skinny, raw and all finesse. But he does have good ball skills and a nice touch for a big guy, somewhat similar to another local standout who hails from Europe, St. John's (D.C) senior Vlad Moldoveanu (George Mason). Mescherikov came alive in the second half and finished with 13 points. He's a long-term investment sort of prospect.
Darrell Bryant (Randallstown, Md/James Madison: It doesn't matter that Bryant had a pretty quiet night. He authored the highlight of the evening, a powerful one-handed dunk over Pitt commit Darnell Dodson on a breakaway. In Dodson's defense, though, he was trying to chase the play down from behind and swoop in for a last-second block, which isn't exactly commonplace in all-star games.
Darnell Dodson (Eleanor Roosevelt, Md./Pittsburgh): Dodson did his usual thing stroking 3-pointers like free throws en route to 20 points. With his size and 3-point stroke, he could play early at Pitt, though he'll need to put on some muscle and become a bit more physical to thrive in the Big East.
Chris Tolson (Laurel, Md./Hampton): We've said it before and we'll say it again: Hampton got itself a steal in Tolson, a slick lefty who shoot the three quickly and accurately and has a variety of moves to get to the hoop. And he's a gamer. He probably could play in any college basketball conference.
Jeff Jones (Monsignor Bonner, Pa./Virginia): The one-time Maryland commit received a smattering of boos during pre-game introductions and went on to have a sub-par night, with six points. We'll give him an grade of ‘incomplete, since we know he was a prolific high-school scorer.
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