Thomas, Williams Win Openers

Pack signee Johnny Thomas and commitment C.J. Williams both won the opening games of their respective tournaments on Tuesday. Signee J.J. Hickson and commitment Tracy Smith begin tournament play today.

Pack signee Johnny Thomas and commitment C.J. Williams both won the opening games of their respective tournaments on Tuesday.
Johnny Thomas

Thomas and Greensboro Day defeated Northwest Guilford (NC) 58-40 in the opening round of the 2006 Pizza Hut Little 4 Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Thomas totaled 11 points as Day improved to 10-1 on the season. The No. 1 seed Bengals will now face Northeast Guilford tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the semifinals. The winner of tonight's game will play the Dudley-Southwest winner tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. All games are being played in Greensboro, N.C. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

On the season Thomas is now averaging 20 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-5 wing was NC State's first commitment in the 2007 class.

2008 commitment C.J. Williams has led Fayetteville (NC) Jack Britt to a 10-1 record and the No. 1 seed in the 2006 SunCom Boys' Basketball Holiday Tournament.

C.J. Williams
The Bucs opened the tournament with a 57-45 victory over Gray's Creek Tuesday afternoon.

Williams was once again superb. He finished the game with 25 points, as he knocked down 9-of-13 shots from the field and was 1-of-2 from behind the arc. He also connected on 6-of-7 free throws.

Britt and Williams face E.E. Smith this evening in the semifinal game. Gametime is 6:00 p.m., and it will be played at Seventy First High School. Should Jack Britt advance, they would play the Pine Forest-Westover winner at 8:00 p.m. Friday night at the Crown Arena. If Britt loses, the Bucs will play the Pine Forest-Westover loser at 4:00 p.m. Friday night at the Crown Arena.

Williams is now averaging 24.8 points and eight rebounds this season.

NC State's other 2007 signee, J.J. Hickson, begins tournament play today.

J.J. Hickson

Hickson and Marietta (GA) Wheeler High (5-1) play Grant (OR) High in the opening game of the 2006 Les Schwab Invitational, and tip-off is set for noon. Wheeler is making their first appearance in the LSI and is coming off three consecutive 6A State Championships. They ended 2006 ranked #23 by USA Today and are ranked #12 this year.

Through six games, Hickson is averaging 24.2 points and 16 boards.

A consensus top 25 player, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound standout is rated the No. 3 center prospect in the country by The network has also tabbed him a five-star prospect and the No. 21 player overall in the class of 2007. He is expected to be a McDonald's All-American this spring.

Other top teams and players in the tournament include: No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Julian Vaughn: FSU, Nolan Smith: Duke, Alex Legion: Michigan, Brandon Jennings: USC), Lake Oswego (Kevin Love: UCLA), and South Medford (Kyle Singler: Duke).

Tracy Smith and Durham (NC) Mt. Zion plays just one game in the 2006 Glaxo Invitational. In a showcase game, Smith and Mt. Zion will face Aston (Pa.) American Christian tonight at 9 p.m.

Tracy Smith
American Christian features 6-foot-4 guard Tyreke Evans, one of the nation's top 2008 guard prospects. The game will be played on NC State's campus in Reynolds Coliseum.

A consensus top 50 player, Smith is rated the No. 13 power forward prospect in the country by The network has also tabbed Smith a four-star prospect and the No. 45 player overall in the class of 2007.

The 6-foot-8 combo forward, committed to NC State this fall over offers from USC and Oklahoma State. He has yet to sign a letter-of-intent, but he plans on inking with the Wolfpack this spring.

Smith is the star for this year's Durham (NC) Mt. Zion Academy team. He is averaging 24.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and two blocks as Smith is shooting an astounding 79 percent from the floor.

Also, 2008 commitment Julius Mays and Marion (IN) won't begin play in their tournament until December 29th.


Pack Pride will have extensive coverage of all players in action, including game recaps, photos, quotes, video and audio so stay tuned!

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