Capital Classic Report
Montrose Christian combo guard Adrian Bowie led the way among the future Terps, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting to help the Capital All-Stars to a 149-145 victory over the U.S. All-Stars. The 6-2 Bowie, who will instantly provide Maryland with a strong presence defensively, enjoyed playing against future ACC backcourt foes like Virginia Tech signees Malcom Delaney (game-high 31 points) and Dorenzo Hudson as well as UVA commit Jeff Jones and Clemson recruit Terrence Oglesby.
"It meant a lot to me because this is where I'm gonna be playing the next four years," Bowie said. "I just wanted to show everyone I could play against ACC competition."
Playing for the United States team, Terps signee Dino Gregory (Mount St. Joseph's HS) acquitted him self nicely with 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting, along with five offensive rebounds. Gregory, who is an undersized power forward at around 6-6, said he'll spend the next several months working on his perimeter game.
"I'm going to be in the gym every day, trying to work on my handle and my jumpshot, trying to get my lifting in," said Gregory, who felt right at home playing in Comcast.
"I played [here] during pickup, but with the lights on and people watching, this was the first time. It was great. I had a good time, it was great. I can't wait to get into a packed gym and we're playing somebody like Duke and Carolina," he said.
He joined sidelined future Terp teammate Braxton Dupree (sprained ankle) in spending the week recruiting El Paso, Tex., guard Cliff Tucker, who appeared to be all but signed up as he exited Comcast. His grandparents, who reside in Forestville, came to the game armed with posters hinting at Tucker joining the Terps (see photo), and a commitment seemed imminent, though he seems like he won't announce until national signing day next week.
"Yeah, I think he's gonna come," Gregory said. "Me and Braxton were always in his ear about that, all day and night."
Tucker played 21 minutes for the U.S. team, but deferred to others, taking only two shots while showing off the excellent passing skills we've been hearing about. He has excellent vision and playmaking abilities and can defend and rebound. He finished with seven rebounds and five assists.
"My roommate was Braxton, so he was talking to me a lot and I was getting used to my future teammates, hopefully," he said. "I was just having fun, that's just how I approached this game. I'm a real unselfish guy and I like to get my other players involved, so I was just having fun.
"This was my first time playing at Comcast, so it was a good experience playing with all these guys. I liked it a lot," said Tucker, who happened to see snow for the first time in his life when a few flurries fell early Thursday morning.
"We don't get snow down there in El-Paso," he said.
Gregory's scouting report on Tucker: "He showed me something.
"He looks like a D.J. Strawberry-type player to me, kind of in that kind of mold, and I think he'll bring a lot to the table."
Meanwhile, Bowie's Montrose teammate Shane Walker, another Maryland signee, was limited to 13 minutes because of a nagging shoulder injury, but managed to grab five boards and show off his smooth stroke from the free-throw line. Walker was coming off an impressive 10-point, 15-rebound outing at the Charm City Classic last Sunday.
"It's a confidence boost," Walker said. "That was one of the [most fun] parts, playing with Dino and them … I can't wait. Seriously, I can't wait. I was up here last weekend and it was just so much fun. It's going to be great."
The fourth Maryland signee, Dupree, will be out three-to-four weeks with his ankle injury, but had a good time watching the game and was happy to note afterward that he'd been credited with a blocked shot in the official box score.
One player who didn't receive such charity was onetime Maryland commit Jeff Jones. Jones, who verbally committed to the Terps last year before de-committing and choosing Virginia, was booed every time he touched the ball. He struggled, shooting 3 for 9 for seven points.
"I knew it was coming. Everyone was talking about it all week. I respect Maryland fans. They're real passionate, so I was ready for it," Jones said.
Reflecting on what happened, he explained, "I think I committed too early, then I had time to think about it, and luckily it was just a [verbal] commitment. I stepped back for a minute, I still was looking at Maryland, I didn't rule them out, I thought about it and went through the whole thing again, and I chose Virginia."
Bowie was often matched up with Jones, holding him in check on defense and taking him to the hoop with a couple of strong moves.
"I just wanted to not let him score on me," Bowie said.
Among other notables:
-- Future Virginia Tech Hokies Maclom Delaney (game-high 31 points), Jeff Allen (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Gus Gilchrist (24 points, nine rebounds) had a lot of people talking about the job Seth Greenberg is doing of drawing talent to Blacksburg.
-- Clemson commit Terrence Oglesby (20 points) may not be the most physically impressive player, but he can really stroke the three. He has great elevation and textbook form, and will be a pain for a lot of ACC teams. He did make the mistake of trying to sneak a 3 over national Christian 7-footer Anthony McClain during one last comeback bid by the U.S., and was swatted emphatically.
-- Possible Terp target Mike Davis of T.C. Williams shot 5 for 7 for 10 points in 15 minutes. He'll head to a prep school next year and will remain on the radar.
-- George Mason has an excellent class coming in. St. john's 6-10 shooter Vlad Moldoveanu only took three shots, but he could have played in bigger-name conferences. DeMatha wing Isiaiah Tate looked good as usual in the preliminary game, and Freedom (Va.) guard Cameron Long was impressive as well, totaling 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.
-- There's no longer any doubt Sherwood point guard Deontay Twyman has the ability to play at just about any level of college basketball. Twyman, who has received little recruiting interest, was arguably one of the best players in the game, piling 16 points and eight assists. Though only 5-10, he has great athleticism, a very strong handle and outstanding court vision. He's most likely headed to Polk (Fla.) Community College, and Maryland will be keeping tabs on him as well.
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