Primetime Shootout Coverage

On Tuesday, the 2011 Primetime Shootout got underway at Trenton Catholic High School with opening-round games. Hawk Hill Hardwood was on hand and got to see a handful of impressive teams and prospects.

The first game of the game, between Bethlehem Liberty and Octorara went to Liberty behind a 20-point performance from junior Greg Noack. That game took place before I was able to find my way into the gym.

At 1:30, Philadelphia Electric and Linden began their contest. The headliners in this game were Linden sophomore big Quadri Moore and PET junior post Jai Williams. Moore and Williams both stand right around 6'8 or 6'9 and neither are twigs. Moore checks in right around 250 pounds, and is down some weight, making him an even more impressive prospect.

Williams and Moore, despite similar heights, have far different games. Moore, despite his size, spent most of his time Tuesday floating around the perimeter, which is his game. After a relatively slow start, he got rolling. The big man has a terrific stroke that extends beyond the three-point line. He also earned himself trips to the charity stripe, where he knocked his shots down with ease. On the afternoon, Quadri Moore tallied 15 points in the 63-45 win. With his size and stroke, Moore has the look of a big-time prospect. Kansas was in to see him last week, and any high-major searching for a pick-and-pop 4 man will probably be making the trip to Linden to see the sophomore.

On the flip side, PET junior Jai Williams spent most of the day around the basket. He was able to post up Moore, despite giving up some serious weight to him. Jai struggled at times to finish in close, but did show an ability to gain position in the post. While the productivity wasn't necessarily there on this day (he finished with 7 points), the tools are there. La Salle and James Madison have offered, while Saint Joseph's, Temple, Drexel, Villanova, and VCU are other interested programs.

The day's third game was arguably the best, between Philadelphia's Math, Civics, and Sciences and Trenton Central. The game was closer than many would have imagined, with Trenton ahead 29-24 at the half. A strong third quarter propelled MCS to a 65-57 win.

At the moment, the biggest name on MCS is junior Jeremiah Worthem, but after watching the action yesterday, that may not be the case for long. The standout performer on the day was arguably MCS sophomore guard Malik Starkes. Starkes possesses good size at right around 6'2, has above-average speed, and is an absolute menace to keep out of the lane. He showed glimpses in the first half yesterday but was unable to finish. That changed in the second half when he single-handedly gave MCS the lead for good. All of his points came on either dunks or finishes around the basket, and Starkes shot 0-4 from the free throw line in the game's final minutes. Starkes will need to improve his perimeter game, but after watching him yesterday, there is no doubt that he is a 2014 guard in Philadelphia that we will be hearing a lot from.

Junior Jeremiah Worthem appears to be in the midst of transitioning his game from the post to the wing. Last year, Worthem was an undersized 4 willing to mix it up around the bucket and score a lot around the tin. He spent much of yesterday around the three-point line and even bringing the ball up the court. Only a junior, Worthem has time to improve his perimeter skills, but he struggled yesterday and looked out of place at times. Last year, he had great success as a junkyard type of player around the basket, so it will be interesting to follow his development this year. Whether he returns back to that role or tries to really develop his game into a perimeter player remains to be seen.

Quentin Davis, Quadir Welton, and Abraham Massaley were also impressive in yesterday's win. While he didn't put up the numbers yesterday, MCS sophomore Basil Thompson is another promising young player.

At 6 o'clock, Baltimore's Milford Mill Academy took on New Jersey's Piscataway Tech. From the get-go, Piscataway was clearly over-matched and trailed 12-3 after one quarter. A sloppy second quarter by both teams saw Milford Mill take a 23-14 lead into the half. In the second half, the better team pulled away and Milford Mill got the win 53-36.

Milford Mill Academy is a deep team, but their biggest name is senior Saint Joseph's commit Isaiah Miles. The 6'7 forward committed to the Hawks in September after taking an official visit to Hawk Hill. He struggled a bit in the first half yesterday, missing two shots from three, and a few from the free-throw line extended area. At the half, Miles had 3 points and just about as many rebounds.

The second half was a different story though, for Miles and his teammates. In a span of what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes, Miles hit a contested three from the top of the key, and then connected on two jumpers from the 17-foot range. In the end, Miles finished with 10 second-half points, and 13 for the game. His play earned him MVP honors in the winning effort.

Isaiah Miles' ability to knock down jumpers should earn him playing time next year. There are areas of improvement in his game, and it would be a stretch to call him a knock-down lights-out jump shooter. He can, however, stretch the floor with his shooting ability. He did post up on a few occasions, and is definitely willing to mix it up on the boards. Initially next year, he will be able to help the Hawks as a sort of face-up 4, capable of knocking down jumpers.

Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda spent all day in the gym yesterday. Temple assistant Dave Duke was also there, and head coach Fran Dunphy was on hand for the MCS-Trenton game.

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