GSK: Day 3 UNC Target Report

RALEIGH, N.C. --- The Holiday Invitational wrapped up on Friday evening at Reynolds Coliseum. Included: Tyreke Evans' coach talks about the UNC visit; Larry Drew to revisit UNC; Samardo Samuels takes home the hardware. Here's the full report ...

Tyreke Evans

American Christian (Pa.) wore out a short-handed Hope Christian (N.C.) team, 70-61, in what was an uncharacteristically low profile night for Evans.

The high profile guard has been moved to the true point role on this team and as a result is scoring less and deferring more. He had 10 points (4-12 FG), three assists and five rebounds.

"Tyreke has the ability to score 30 or 40 without issue, he's done that for us this year, but he's working to become a better basketball player," said AC coach Tony Bergeron. "He was tremendous defensively tonight, he moved the basketball, he did the extra things, he scored if he had to."

The American Christian team, including Evans, was in the Smith Center on Thursday night for the Tar Heels' basketball game against Rutgers.

"We went to the North Carolina game - it was a nice environment for them to see, packed house," Bergeron said.

However, they weren't able to speak with the UNC staff because of NCAA rules, according to Bergeron.

"[No contact] whatsoever," he said. "They can leave tickets, that's it. It's an evaluation period, so no contact."

And when asked what the players, especially Evans, got out of the experience of visiting UNC, Bergeron's response was surprising.

"My kids don't really care, to be honest with you," he responded.

Bergeron wouldn't allow the media to talk to Evans postgame, so questions about the star guard's recruitment had to go through the coach. And after hearing that he "didn't care" about attending his first Tar Heel game, the question had to be asked about Evans' unprovoked comments in the past about UNC being his "dream school."

"If Tyreke was at Louisville, that would be his dream school ... if he was in Storrs, Conn., that'd be his dream school ... if he was in Philadelphia that'd be his dream school," Bergeron said. "I haven't heard him say Carolina [is his dream school] yet. ... Tyreke has as much idea of where he's going to college as you [reporters] do."

Larry Drew

A week that started with light's out shooting from Drew ended in unfortunate fashion.

He shot 2-for-12 and finished with nine points and five assists.

"I never really found my rhythm and they did a good job [defending] me," Drew said postgame.

After cutting a double-digit deficit to 17-15 early in the second quarter, Drew's Taft (Calif.) team watched St. Benedict (N.J.) string together a remarkable 26-0 run that put the game well out of reach the rest of the way. The final score was 69-43.

"This is my 19th year and that may have been the most physical game I have ever been involved with. It was more like a Division I collegiate game," said Taft head coach Derrick Taylor.

He added that the physical play took Drew out of his game and Taft had little chance to prevail with its floor general struggling.

"Larry was getting held, pushed and shoved -- and they let it go both ways," Taylor said.

Drew added, "I've never played a game that physical. ... I got a little frustrated."

It wasn't all somber news postgame, as Drew was named to the All-Tournament Team for his performance throughout the week.

"He did a good job - he was the main reason we got [to the finals]," Taylor said. "He put guys in position to score."

Taylor, and Drew's mother, confirmed that they'll be heading back to Chapel Hill on Saturday at 10 a.m. to get a more in-depth look at the campus and attend the Tar Heels' practice.

"I'm going to look at the campus and go and see the Tar Heel way of life and go back home and soak it all in," Drew said.

Samardo Samuels

Samuels and St. Benedict weren't satisfied with their semifinal overtime win and found additional motivation from another area as well.

"First of all, yesterday we didn't play as good a game as we're supposed to, so we were planning on playing a good game today anyway," Samuels said. "Then in the morning we heard that we were the No. 2 [seed] in the tournament which was a shocker to me and [gave us] even more motivation, so we came out to beat them badly."

And beat them badly is what they did, to the tune of a 69-43 final score.

"We played angry today," St. Benedict coach Danny Hurley said afterwards.

Samuels did his part, battling in the paint for baskets and rebounds and reaping the benefits of running the floor on the break for dunks. He scored 15 points (6-10 FG), hauled in seven rebounds and recorded three highlight blocks.

His consistency throughout the week was not missed by the tournament committee, which named him Most Outstanding Player.


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