City of Palms Classic coverage

<b>FORT MYERS, Fla. –</b> A pair of high school basketball heavyweights locked horns in a quarterfinal game at the City of Palms Classic. University whipped Bremerton 69-32. Here's a look at how the superstar showcase went.

On Saturday night at the City of Palms Classic, two future McDonald's All-Americans laced them up. Glen Davis, the 6-8, 335 center for University Lab, earned the win over 6-8+ Marvin Williams and Bremerton in a 69-32 route.

The spotlight shone brightest on Davis whose combination of beef, brawn and power inside game dictated the entire pace and flow of the contest. For Davis, it was a game which solidified his McDonalds candidacy, though he had punched his ticket long ago in this voter's mind.

What Davis was able to do was jack up his intensity, score on the block and set the rules for the flow of the game. The young man dominated the glass with 17 rebounds. He didn't take a shot – outside of a late-game 3 which he made – outside of five feet from the basket.

Still recovering from a bout with a stomach virus, he sucked it up and played tremendously hard. Davis had a favorable matchup inside and went to work early. By halftime he had blocked a few of Williams' shots, scored over and around him, and earned a double-double. He would finish with 25 points and 17 rebounds in a sensational performance.

Offensively, he stuck to his game plan: be physical. His game is so interesting because he's a power guy who plays without fouling and there's a reason why he's not a foul machine: footwork.

Davis, at 334, is nimble. He hit Williams with a baseline spin move and finished the play with an athletic layup that clearly caught the Bremerton standout by surprise.

It's important to note that this was not a match up of like players. It wasn't a battle of two guys who play the same position so they can't be compared in that manner. Davis is a center in college while Williams is a three man who can play some four in a pinch. As the biggest man on his team, Williams is asked to man the fort inside.

Having said that, Williams is the best prospect at the City of Palms and is a Top Five prospect nationally. He doesn't have the supporting cast that Davis plays with and that can be limiting.

Marvin did a few things in this game that just let you know what his talent level is like. For example, a smooth dribble drive to the rim, a hit on the move, a good looking stroke from 3 off the catch and a muscle conversion at the rim were more than enough to announce his presence.

The major issue Williams faced in this one was how to help guard Big Baby. As the judge and jury for his team's season, he decides how successful they'll be. They can't have him fouling out. He had to be mindful of his activity in and around Davis. In short, he had to operate inside on defense with care, especially in the first half.

Realizing he means so much to his team, Williams was eager to avoid situations where he could pick up cheap fouls and probably wasn't as aggressive as we've seen him in the past and Davis should be credited with reading that and going to work.

Regardless, Williams had 2 steals, 10 rebounds and 11 deflections. He's got a knack for passing that will only be accentuated with greater talent around him.

He finished with 17 points on an evening in which he shot 7-for-14 (0-3 3s). He sat for about half of the fourth quarter once Coach Casey Lindberg wisely deemed this one to be over.

In short, Big Baby was big time and his team is going to challenge for this Classic championship. Williams, on the other hand, probably had an average game by his standards and Bremerton lost its second straight ballgame. The game was a showcase of a pair of elite players with different level teams going in opposite directions at this point in the season.


FORT MYERS, Fla. – On a stage set for elite level players to do their thing, a new talent emerged out of Saturday's action. Lexington Catholic's Demetrius Green took center stage at the City of Palms Classic.

Saturday's Scoreboard

Toledo St. John 61, Miami Senior 47
Lexington Catholic 108, South Gwinnett 83
Westchester 63, Birmingham 42
Seagoville 66, Pendleton 54
Raines 83, Naples 33
Brandon 84, Charlotte 51

2004 Checklist

Glen Davis and Marvin Williams: see game summary story.

Demetrius Green, SG, Lexington Catholic: He didn't attend any shoe camps and he isn't in anyone's Top 100 – for now. Demetrius Green simply stole the show in game featuring a pair of outstanding junior guards. His toughness, savvy and sheer competitiveness can't be overlooked. He shot it 35% from downtown last year and is on target to have an even better season.

Green had 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting. He turned it over 7 times, but that went unnoticed. This kid is a potential Top 100 prospect who has some work to do academically but if he gets it done someone is going to receive a spring steal.

Lamarcus Aldridge, C, Seagoville: He didn't play in the morning game and underwent an x-ray on his knee at the local hospital after the game. A few hours after the visit to the hospital, Aldridge returned to watch some games on crutches. He's got a strained knee and hopes to be back in action for the Dell Curry Shootout Jan. 1-3. That's good news.

Walter Sharpe, PF, Parker: The 6-9 Sharpe went 5-for-13 from the field for 21 points and 8 rebounds. He's certainly got the skills of a face-up four man who likes to handle it. He'll be a sought-after player in the spring and could really help himself in college with the weights.

Scout's Views

One of the real issues for Louis Williams has been his accuracy from downtown and we've got a solution: move in closer. Williams insisted to repeatedly fire 3s from five feet behind the arc. He's a talented shooter but there's little reason to make it harder on yourself. He's taking wide open 3s and regardless of the kind of shooter he is, they're just too far behind the arc. …

Gabriel Pruitt had 13 points, 3 assists and 4 turnovers in a relatively easy win. Pruitt fits the Comets' style of play perfectly. He's an up-tempo guy who isn't necessarily a "true" point man but he's just the right guy to run the Comets offense. …

Want to know how much influence the presence of Glen Davis had on Bremerton? Well, Bremerton didn't shoot a single free throw in the first half. For the game they shot just 6 FTs and Marvin Williams shot four of them. That tells me they weren't very aggressive. …

Glen Davis is such a charismatic personality and crowd favorite that everyone immediately gravitates toward him. Many people wondered if he made a mistake by giving up football. Well, that remains to be seen but there's something about him, an intangible, that leaves you thinking that's going to be a huge success in life and maybe basketball will be the ticket. He grabbed 10 rebounds in the first 12 minutes of the game today. …

Ryan Boyd had 10 points and 7 rebounds in Seagoville's win. So far, he's had a very quiet two games here. … Derwin Kitchen of Raines understood that he was the best guard on the floor and got after it against Naples. He had 7 steals in limited action. … 8th grader Michael Beasley had 18 points and 15 rebounds in Pendleton's loss to Seagoville. …

Zarron Cann is an interesting guy. His body dictates that he's built for power. However, if he's got a good look at the bucket he can make some 3s. He's not going to put it on the deck and blow by you or shoot them off the catch, but if he's got a good look and time to square, the stroke will go down. …

News & Notes

Jerome Johnson, a 6-8 PF out of IMG Academy, said that he's hearing from Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Auburn, Princeton and Cincinnati. … Saturday was a play day for college hoops so the college coaching presence was greatly reduced. …

NBA guys generally don't wear their team colors and can be tough to pick out, but we can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt there were at least three general managers in the building for the Williams-Big Baby matchup. …

According to his coach, two schools have some ties with Demetrius Green already. Kentucky and Western Kentucky have done some work with him and you can bet the interest level of each is about to increase. Green has some academic work to do and could opt for a year of prep school, but t

Dwain Williams, a sophomore from Pendleton School captured the Sprint 3-Point Shootout. He won it with 14. Louis Williams finished second, followed by Edwin Rios of Miami Senior and John Tolliver of Westchester. … The scariest moment of the tournament thus far was when Glen Davis chased a ball out of bounds and into the crowd. Some of the people in the front row never moved that fast in their lives. …

We understand that UNC's Roy Williams will be in the house on Monday watching Marvin Williams and Louis Williams.


FORT MYERS, Fla. – B.J. Raymond of Toledo St. John's is putting in work at the Classic. Meanwhile, Louis Williams is struggling with the rims at Bishop Verot High School.

2005 Checklist

B.J. Raymond, SF, St. John's: How much more efficient can a guy be than to go 8-for-13 from the field, grab 6 boards, make all four of your 3-pointers and 8-of-9 from the line for 28 points? Raymond was terrific against Miami and played his second outstanding game of the event. He's picking up the slack with Zack Hillesland out of action.

Michael Mercer, PG, South Gwinnett: He's beginning to come into his own. At 6-4 he's long and can pass, handle and shoot it. He had 21 points and 5 assists in this one. Unfortunately, South Gwinnett, a team that likes to run, got beat by a team that was better at the running game.

Louis Williams, SG, South Gwinnett: The rims at Bishop Verot High haven't been kind to Williams. In his two games at the Classic he's gone 5-for-24 from 3-point range, including a 3-for-13 round on Saturday. Overall he's just 18-for-54 in two games. He is a legit offensive talent but that doesn't mean his shot selection couldn't stand improvement.

Derwin Kitchen, CG, Raines: It was never a contest against Naples and Kitchen understood his role: stuff the stat sheet and enjoy the remainder of the game with a good courtside view. He pumped in 19 points on 9-of-15 from the field. His team got up so big that the running clock rule Florida adopted this year for the second half went into effect 1 minute after halftime.

Zarron Cann, PF, Brandon: His game with Charlotte was never really that close. 23 points and 3 rebounds later, Cann and his crew recorded a 33-point win.

Marcus Johnson, SF, Westchester: During the Comets first-half run that essentially took the wind out of Parker's sails, Johnson was experiencing a lot of success. His offensive game included more skilled shots today than his previous games. He led the way with 15 points.


Edwin Rios, PG, Miami Senior: He's so poised and has total control of his team that it leaves you wondering: just how could this guy be a freshman? The sweet-shooting Rios pumped in 16 points, including 4 3s. He's got a chance to be a big timer.

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