Slam Dunk: Day 3 Report

* Last night's after-hours highlight was a 12:30am trip to Wawa for some late-night snacks. Clint's chili dog and Jeff's eclair looked far from appetizing. Then it was back to the hotel to work on the site into the wee hours. But we'd already lost our hardcore zeal for Slam Dunk, skipping some early morning consolation games today in order to get extra sleep and then hit the workout room. According to the recruiting bible, that is a disqualifer for guru status. Jeff, meanwhile, took the opportunity of a free morning to peruse the local collection of clothing store outlets.

* A lethargic Tabor Academy fell, 54-48, to Archbishop Spalding in the morning matchup. "They just seemed to lack the energy they usually have," IC correspondent Sir Gant explained. Perhaps the fact that they played only six players had something to do with that. The Tabor head coach David First, meanwhile, had too much energy. He got ejected in the third quarter. Torin Francis posted a workman-like 17 points and 12 rebounds. The usually accurate sophomore gunner Khaliq Gant was 1-5 on long-range attempts, totaling seven points.

Japhet McNeil

* Chris Williams, from Oxon Hill (Md.) has been one of the pleasant surprises of this event. The senior forward's defense on J.J. Redick yesterday was solid and he's got a great basketball body -- a strongly built 6-6. He's got a nice shot with range, he battles on the boards and he's fairly athletic. Williams dropped 26 points and pulled in six rebounds today in a one-point win over Winton Woods, 65-64. Winton Woods' Robert Hite, a senior shooting guard who will play at Miami next year, had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds. "He's an absolute steal for Miami," IC's Jeff Goodman commented.

* Coach Hicks definitely gave his Cave Springs (Va.) squad an earful in the postgame locker room after they were routed, 57-37, by Christ the King (N.Y.) this afternoon. They were outplayed in every aspect of the game. Duke-bound star J.J. Redick was held to a woeful seven points on 2-11 (1-5 3pt) shooting. That was J.J.'s lowest point total since his freshman year in high school. He, and the rest of the team's starters, sat out most of the second half. Give credit to Christ the King point man Japhet McNeil for his second-straight great outing. Last night he outplayed future Terp John Gilchrist and today he led his squad to a dominating win. McNeil, whose hairdo has drawn comparisons to both Snoop Dogg and Raggedy Anne (or "Raggedy Snoop," as said one observer), had 12 points, six assists and four steals in the first two quarters en route to a 17-point halftime lead, before sitting out for the majority of the second half. He finished with 16 points and eight assists.

Collins and Townes

* Cave Springs scored a total of 20 points in the final three quarters of their loss, and the woeful offense continued into the next game, as Memphis East (Tenn.) managed a mere two points in their first quarter against Redondo Union (Calif.), who featured senior Adam Zahn and junior Wendall White. "Both are above-the-rim transition athletes that don't have a clue how to play a halfcourt game," IC's comedic analyst Clint Jackson said. "And White went from a skywalker to a big-booty-having power forward in six months." Memphis East sophomore Jerrell Houston came in with a big buzz. He's about 6-8 and 180 pounds -- all arms. "He blocked six shots and has a soft touch," Jackson said. "He's one to watch for the future, as he'll probably grow to seven feet or so."

* The Inglewood (Calif.) vs. Archbishop Carroll (DC) matchup pitted dominant senior center D'Angelo Collins and Georgetown-bound junior center Darian Townes. In the first half, Collins dominated. "D'Angelo knocked Townes around like a pinball," Jackson said. "Townes definitely looked intimidated." Collins had his second-straight big game for the NBA scouts, putting up 20 points, 19 boards and six blocks. Townes eventually gained some confidence and held his own, including some impressive blocks on Collins. The box score gave Townes only three blocks, but we're quite sure he had at least seven.

* Tar Heel assistant Doug Wojcik arrived for the Rainier Beach (Wash.) game against Cedar Hill (Texas). He was there, of course, to watch Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart. The twins, however, were overshadowed again by teammate Nate Robinson. Rainier Beach fell behind by double-digits by halftime thanks to a two-point second quarter. Lodrick sat out much of the quarter with shin problems, while Robinson was on the bench in foul trouble. Rodrick was left to try and carry the load, and he in turn racked up a good number of forced shots and turnovers. Robinson awoke in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 of his 23 points on threes and fantastic drives through traffic, closing the big lead to two. But, Daniel Horton showed why he is one of the best guards in the class of 2002, hitting a big three to put the game out of reach. The game stats for the Stewarts? Rodrick had 13 points (5-14 FG, 1-4 3pt), three boards and three steals, while Lodrick (3-10 FG, 1-4 3pt) posted eight points and five rebounds.

Doug Wojcik (2nd from left)

* As an aside on Wojcik, it was good to see him exchange big smiles and friendly words with former recruiting target Jason Fraser. That says a lot about the relationship that was formed during the recruiting battle.

* For coverage of the evening game featuring LeBron James, see the other article which will go up later today.

* Those left in attendance as Friday evening neared midnight, watched Germantown Academy (Penn.) squeeze out a win over All Hallows (N.Y.), 56-52. Germantown was led by the usual duo of Lee Melchionni (27 pts, 7 reb) and Matt Walsh (22 pts, 10 reb). They'll face Cedar Hill tomorrow night in the championship of the Slam Dunk division.

* There was a tie for quote of the day …

Clint Jackson, after SV-SM's Sian Cotton, a 6-4, 285-pounder, stole a ball at half court -- "He took that like a Snickers bar!"

Jeff Goodman, as the crowd emptied after LeBron James' game – "If only they knew Ted Skuchas was up next …"

* And by the way, for those who were curious, Jeff got his aforementioned car problem fixed. A gas station attendant noted that the reason his keys were stuck in the Xterra ignition was because an Altoid box was preventing the gearshift from moving fully into Park. Just thought you might like to know how that situation was resolved.

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