Southern Invitational, Day One

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Other than a mini-tornado ripping through the outskirts of town and the doorknob falling off the hotel room door where I was staying, Friday was rather uneventful at the Southern Invitational.

True Story I

A number of opening round games had to be moved from University Hall when an afternoon tornado descended upon a junior college graduation ceremony. The resulting effect was U-Hall hosting the graduation in the evening and Southern Invitational games being moved to local high school gyms.

True Story II

There's a lot of sporting events in addition to the Southern Invitational taking place on UVa's campus this weekend. Yours truly forgot to make a hotel reservation and didn't remember until Thursday. The result of forgetting is a two-night stay in one of the less-posh establishments in Charlottesville. Upon returning to my room Friday night, I inserted the key into the lock and the entire doorknob fell off. The night manager had no idea what to do with this one.

Now for the hoops …

2004 Checklist

Andre Blatche, C, Syracuse RAP: We told you at the Boo Williams that this was a raw but promising prospect. Well, tonight against Susquehanna Valley you could see some of the rust falling off. Blatche scored 16 points and probably had as many rebounds. He blocked shots and granted the competition level wasn't great, he produced and we've got a feeling he's going to be a good one. Plus, we thought he looked taller than he did four weeks ago in Hampton and he copped to having grown an inch to get himself to 6-10.

Marquie Cooke, PG, Boo Williams: In an uneventful yet closer-than-expected game against a relative unknown AAU team, he had 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting. He was an efficient 7-for-10 from the line.

Brian Gilmore, SF, Boo Williams: Apparently, he couldn't miss in an open gym session in Richmond two weeks and the colleges were hot on his trail. Tonight he had 9 points and went 3-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

2005 Checklist]

Greg Paulus, PG, Syracuse RAP: Admittedly, he didn't have a very good shooting night. In going 6-for-18 from the field he scored 18 points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the line. Statistically it would have been a better evening but his jumper wasn't clicking and he left some layups on the rim. The good news is that Paulus is best at passing the basketball and has great vision. He posted 11 assists and ran the team well.

Off The Dribble

Boo Williams picked up a sophomore postman from Blue Ridge Academy. Laurynas Mikalauskas looks to be a solid mid-major power forward who's a lefty. … "They were too small, who was he going to guard," Boo Williams joked as he reasoned why big man Quaostarasi "Q" Waddell didn't play against the tiny Westfield Rams. …

Apparently Kentucky-bound junior guard Adam Williams was held to five points in an opening round win by West Virginia Select. In his defense, apparently he was in foul trouble. … Jeff Green, a power forward with the Metro Stars erupted for a nightly-high of 43 points in the 10 pm game. …

Susquehanna Valley shooter Adam Blevins scored 24 points, all of which came on 8 3-point shots. We couldn't recall him missing more than one attempt. … Ryan Pettinella, a 2003 Penn commitment, scored 20 points for RAP. Teammate Marty O'Sullivan, a Fairfield signee, turned an ankle in the win. …

News & Notes

Boo Williams has won this event three years in a row. … The Atlanta Celtics are in the tournament but they didn't bring the varsity. The Celtics roster is missing all of their stars. … New Hargrave head coach Kevin Keatts was out on the road tonight. … Waddell lists Georgetown, North Carolina State and American among the schools that he feels are recruiting him. According to him, so far none have offered. …

Andre Blatche's early list is a long read. Try Manhattan, Providence, UConn, Syracuse, Yale and Siena. He takes the SAT for the first time May 31. Currently, he has no offers but that should change in time. … RAP sophomore Greg Paulus could decide within the month. He's not talking about who leads but maintains a list of Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Xavier. He hasn't spoken to new UNC coach Roy Williams personally as of Friday. …

Local Establishments: We tried out the new Wild Wing Café Friday night and that wasn't bad. It'll be a good weekend if we can get a Riverside burger sometime in the next two days.


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