Oak Hill 94, Lanier 80 Bolivar Central 52, Marshall County 37 Bowling Green 77, Paducah Tilghman 59
Monta Ellis (2005), Guard, Lanier: Scout.com's No. 2 player in the country delivered the goods in a loss to Oak Hill. Though not nearly as dramatic a performance as last year against Oak Hill, Ellis did what superstars do: he lived up to the hype. Officially he was credited with 46 points, breaking Ty Rogers old mark of 42. However, we somehow had him with 51 for the game. Either way, he put it in the hoop and shot 20-for-38 for the game to go with 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Folks, Jamont Gordon is a good defender but there was just no way anyone could stay in front of Ellis. In fact, the only time Gordon stayed in front of Ellis all night was when he trashed talked late in the game. Ellis answered by busting a deep 3 on him.
Kevin Durant (2006), SF/PF, Oak Hill: People who had never seen him before watched in awe as he made a pair of 3s. There isn't much he can't do at this level and he's starting to put some polish on his game. Whether he's making tough catches, finishing with dunks or handling when needed, he's got the total package. Without going overboard, let's just call him scary good.
Tywon Lawson (2006), PG, Oak Hill: He made 5 3s in the game and finished with 23 points as he caught fire in the second half. Even with Durant and Ellis doing their thing, Lawson was able to stand out.
Michael Jackson (2006), PF, Bowling Green: Playing in an event like this one is about maximizing your opportunities to be seen and Jackson did just that. After a sophomore year in which he averaged just 4 points, the 6-foot-7 forward hosted a coming out party on Friday with 18 points and 15 rebounds; not bad considering a few mid-majors were in the house. "Nobody knew me last year," Jackson said. They sure do now as he's got a chance, with some polish on his offensive game, to blossom into a mid-major signee.
Wayne Chism (2006), PF, Bolivar: Is it possible for a guy to look good even though he finished with only 4 points and 3 boards? Sure it is and Chism did it. With guards firing around him at will, Chism didn't get the requisite touches he needed to post numbers. However, he did do something that had to tip you off in regards to his talent level: he passed the ball with skill. Big guys who show the feel for the game as a post passer, despite taking some time to come around, are a step ahead of the game. We've seen him before and are quite sure he's a priority high-major recruit in the making.
Willie Kemp (2006), SG/PG, Bolivar Central: He's been putting up good numbers since the season began and he did so again tonight. After making his initial pair of 3-pointers, Kemp went into a bit of a slumber before coming around late in the game when needed to finish with 17 points. It'll be interesting to see what position the college guys view him as: a short two-guard or a scoring point man? His best asset is his ability to get in the paint.
Daniel Ard (2006), SF/PF, Marshall County: After breaking a bone in his hand this football season, the word is that he wants to be a hoops guy in college. The multipositional mid-major forward is deceptively athletic, has a hoops IQ and makes mid-range shots with confidence. Overmatched size wise, he still mustered up 23 points in a loss.
Ellis is the best in the country in terms of creating opportunities. He's a contortionist on the court. Now, he's going to have to learn to trust his left hand on the drive, but hey, that's nit-picking at one of the most gifted offensive players in America. …
Eric Devendorf looked much more comfortable this time out than he was two months ago when we last saw him. He went for 21 in the win. … Mark it down: Bamba Fall is going to be a surprise for the SMU Mustangs. His offense is coming around. … Olajuwon Kemp is a 6-foot-7 power forward at Bolivar who is top quality mid-major recruit who likely needs a prep or junior college next year. … The coaching move of the evening goes to Bolivar which slapped a funky gimmick defense on Marshall County. Few in the stands could figure it out and Marshall County didn't have much luck in the first half either. …
News & Notes
Lawson's father rattled off North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and North Carolina. He appears destined to play in the ACC. … N.C. State had assistant Larry Harris in the building watching Lawson. … Illinois assistant Jay Price was in town checking out Chism, Jason Bennett of Arlington Country Day and Kemp. … Western Kentucky was in the building looking at Michael Jackson of Bowling Green and Daniel Ard. … Murray State was also taking a peek at Ard. …
For more information on the event, including pictures, visit HoopsFest.com, the official site of the Marshall County Hoopsfest.