Md. Prospects Show Skills at Weber Tourney

Easter weekend brings two important events to the nation's capital: the White House Easter Egg Roll and the first of the three AAU tournaments here by D.C.-area hoops maven Charlie Weber. Terp Sports Report was at Gallaudet University Sunday to check out the several Maryland recruits in the playoffs of the three-day event.

In the 17U American semifinals, 2008 prospect Henry Sims and 2009 Montrose Christian prospects Terrell Vinson and Isaiah Armwood led the Baltimore Stars to a 57-52 victory over the Long Island Lightning. Vinson scored 18 points on a variety of drives and jumpers, showing off his versatile game. Sims scored 8 points and Armwood, the 6-foot-9 forward whose stock is sure to rise this summer, finished with 8 points.

"It's real exciting at times," Armwood said on playing with Sims and Vinson. "We're all big, play inside and out and we all get it done at the same time."

Though Armwood is teammates with Vinson at Montrose Christian, the up-and-down style of AAU ball allows them to showcase their skills and involve each other differently than in Montrose's more methodical offense.

The duo will likely lead Montrose next season with the departure of a talented senior class, including Terps recruit Adrian Bowie, who participated in Sunday's action as a scorekeeper.

The final pitted the Stars against arguably the most talented team in the tournament in Triple Threat, which included Georgetown recruits Chris Braswell and Jason Clark. Guard Maurice Creek, a 2009 Maryland target, along with Clark, made for a potent Triple Threat backcourt.

The Stars were down by as many as seven points but fought back and took the lead going in to the fourth quarter. However, foul trouble and sloppy play allowed Triple Threat to regain the lead and hold on for a 59-54 victory and the 17U American title.

Sims, matched up against Braswell, led the Stars' frontcourt trio with 10 points while holding Braswell to only six. Vinson had nine before fouling out late and Armwood was held scoreless. Creek had nine points, but could have had more if not for some foul shooting troubles. Clark led Triple Threat scorers with 17 points.

The AAU circuit is typically a time for prospects to showcase their skills for college coaches and hone aspects of their game. Armwood, who said he could grow to as tall as 6-foot-11, wants to improve his outside game and be able to play the "3" or "4" position. Vinson wants to step out a little further and work on his three-point range.

The one thing they both already possess is the attention of college coaches. Maryland assistants Keith Booth and Chuck Driesell, along with Virginia Coach Dave Leitao and a slew of assistants from all over the east coast took in both of the Stars' games.

Though it is still early, Vinson said he is in contact with a bunch of schools, including Maryland, Syracuse, Villanova and Texas. The Longhorns featured dazzling freshman Kevin Durant, a teammate of Vinson's last year at Montrose.

"He told me it's nice down there, warm all year round," Vinson said.

Armwood is hearing from Maryland, Villanova and Syracuse, though talk is very much informal at this time. Along with Vinson and Tristan Spurlock, the 2009 class may be the best Montrose Coach Stu Vetter has ever had, which says a lot considering the players he has coached in his time.

TSR also took in Team Jersey Elite and 2008 forward prospect Quintrell Thomas. Unfortunately, some undercooked waffles at the team hotel kept Thomas on the bench for most of the day with an upset stomach.

"I went to go up and dunk and I couldn't even reach the rim," he said in disbelief.

He did, however, have some time to talk about his recruitment. Though he said his high school coach at the storied St. Patrick's in New Jersey handles most of his college inquiries, he singled out Maryland and Marquette as the two he talks to most.

"Maryland started looking at me halfway through the time I was playing because I had to sit out the first 30 days [because of transfer rules]," Thomas said.

The 6-foot-7 and No. 33-ranked forward by finished with four points in limited action in the semifinal game.

Thomas said he plans to decide at the end of the summer, but is giving no hints where he may end up.

"There's schools I'm leaning towards," he said. "But I'm not gonna say for sure."

For TSR's Weber highlight reel of Vinson, Armwood, Sims, Creek and Thomas, click here.

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