Boo: Hendrix vs. Rogers

HAMPTON, Va. – Richard Hendrix did everything a top player is asked to do at a major event last weekend. Kevin Rogers (pictured) did his best to try and hold serve against him and for his efforts raised his national stock as well.

Rare is the occasion when two post players can tangle and both draw high praise for their efforts. Sunday morning, on the final day of the Boo Williams Invitational, a matchup between Team Texas and Alabama Select produced that kind of a result.

Richard Hendrix entered the contest ranked as a Top 10 player in the class. After a weekend at Boo Williams that produced a triple-double in one game and countless big numbers in others, he's moving up the charts quickly. At 6-8 (barely), Hendrix throws around 250 pounds of muscle, force and skill. The Athens (AL) High product is battle-tested and always battle ready.

The challenger, Kevin Rogers of Team Texas, didn't have nearly the same resume as Hendrix coming in. No slouch himself at 6-8 and 215 pounds, the lefty is in the process of creating his national persona. After a series of games at Boo, he's on his way.

Simply put, Hendrix was dominating in just about every game in Hampton last weekend. Against Team Texas, he jammed his shoulder early and quietly dominated this game as well. We say quietly because it was about as workman-like a 25-point, 22-rebound effort could be. Rogers wasn't bad either and stood his ground to the tune of 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Rogers, a junior at South Oak Cliff, isn't even considered the best prospect on his high school team. That honor goes to sophomore Durrell Arthur. However, after last weekend, it would appear that he's closing the gap.

"He changed this weekend," Team Texas coach Wes Grandstaff said. "He did some different things here."

Rogers lobbed a pair of jump hooks over Hendrix. If you can do that against Richard, there's a safe bet that you can do it against anybody. Twice against Hendrix he anticipated contact and the shot blocker then used the rim to ward off defenders for athletic finishes.

The Texan made his point. He showed no fear, got a lot done and stood his ground. However, in the end, it was the powerful Hendrix that wore him down in the final minutes.

Hendrix brandishes his own jump hook and even stepped back to make a 3-pointer. He's always been a good shooter on the baseline and showed it again. Where he wore Rogers down was on the glass. There might not be a better rebounder (apologies to Jon Brockman) in the class.

Hendrix's physicality is going to be tough for high school level players to deal with. He's so strong shoulder to shoulder and aggressive in the paint that when it comes off the board, he's always in position.

In the end, Hendrix proved he belongs near the top of Top 50 and Rogers, well, if we did a Top 50 today he'd be in it and he's still got room to grow.

Hendrix will visit UNC and Alabama in May. Rogers listed UNC, Arizona, Kansas, UConn, Georgia Tech and Florida as some early possibilities.

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