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January 19, 2010

Flyin to the Hoop: Day Three

KETTERING, Ohio: The final day of the Flyin to the Hoop tournament didn't disappoint. Several high level seniors showed off their games. Two of them in particular came to play. Brandon Knight once again was a stud, but on Monday it was James Bell who might have shown the most improvement in his game.

Class of 2010 prospects

James Bell: Always a big time athlete, Bell is capable of showing flashes of stardom, and he did that on Monday. The Villanova signee was absolutely unstoppable for Montverde Academy. With his teammates struggling to get things going, Bell put them on his back. He scored all nine of Montverde's points in the first half, on three perimeter jumpers.

After the first quarter it was much of the same. Bell used his athleticism to bother the Wayne backcourt, and he converted that defense into offense. He managed to score 22 points on 7-14 shooting, but it was more than just that. Bell made smart decisions with the basketball, was solid on the glass, and proved that he can be a matchup problem with his athleticism and strength.

Jamail Jones: Though Bell clearly carried the load for Montverde, Jones also did his part late. After struggling with his shot early during the game, Jones got to the rim a few times and saw the ball go through the net, and that seemed to give him some confidence. With Huber Heights Wayne making a run, Jones hit a dagger three to seal the game, and also collected a few key rebounds. For the game Jones finished with nine points and seven boards.

Brandon Knight: After struggling with his shot for the majority of the first game of the tournament, Knight had it working early and often on Monday. Dayton Jefferson simply had no matchup for Knight, and that was very, very obvious. The nation's number one player did absolutely nothing to hurt his stock. He scored 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Pine Crest in the win. Most impressive is that Knight was 6-15 from three, and just seemed in total control of the game at all times.

Adreian Payne: There is no denying the flashes. Every game Payne makes two or three plays that simply wow you. First early on he knocked down a three, then he scored on a nice move in the paint, and then he closed out the game with an unreal dunk in which he was well above the rim. The problem is Payne at times would disappear for long stretches. Still the flashes he shows are just so impressive. Overall Payne padded his numbers from the foul line late and finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds on 4-11 shooting.

Ralph Hill: With his future head coach looking on, the future Dayton Flyer had an absolutely enormous game for Westerville North. A high level catch and shoot guy, the 6-foot-6 Hill was on his game. He carried North in the first half, and continued with good defense and solid shooting in the second half. Hill scored around the rim, in the mid-range, and from three point range. He was 9-15 from the floor and 8-8 from the foul line to finish with 28 points and nine rebounds in one of the best performances of the day.

Luke Cothron: The player responsible for going against Hill was Cothron. The NC State pledge had another lackluster effort. He wasn't bashful, shooting 30 times, and managed to get 23 points. Cothron was 0-8 from three and 11-30 overall. He has a lot of skill in the mid-range and down low, but spent way too much time on the perimeter and it showed in his stat line.

Devonta White: Georgia State has an absolute steal in White. The guard from Centennial High School isn't the biggest player in the gym, but he flat out gets things done. White showed his impressive quickness and tight ball handling to put his team on his back. While White couldn't quite will his team to a win, he did manage 26 points on 11-13 shooting, and like any good point guard added five assists.

Jelan Kendrick: The five-star forward bound for Memphis didn't leave the bench during the first half, and it showed for Wheeler as they fell behind, but when he came into the game in the second half he made an impact. As usual Kendrick was very difficult to handle off the dribble, and even knocked down his only three point attempt of the game. While he didn't attack the glass like usual, Kendrick was still impossible to guard. He managed to score 14 points in the second half, and overall he made the difference as Wheeler came back to get the win.

Quentin Rollins: The Miami-Ohio pledge did everything that he could to keep Wilmington in the game against Miller Grove. Without too much help, Rollins was in attack mode and showed a good understanding for the game. A pass first point guard, Rollins was forced to shoot the ball more than he would like, and he did struggle at times, but still he managed 14 points, and only had a pair of turnovers against a tough defensive team.

Donte Williams: After struggling in the opener, Williams gave Miller Grove a big lift on Monday. He played above the rim like usual, but in the win over Wilmington he did a good job of attacking the glass. Williams finished with a team high 10 rebounds and also chipped in with seven points. Overall Williams looked much improved in terms of toughness and energy, and it showed in the final result.

Class of 2011 prospects

Henry Brooks: Like his older frontcourt teammate, Brooks also showed good improvement. He looked much more comfortable off the dribble going to the rim, and though he didn't finish as well as he would like, he was solid. Also defensively Brooks blocked shots and did a good job of running the floor to hurt some fast break opportunities. He finished with 10 points, which was good for second on the team.

Markus Crider: When Crider plays hard he can be very difficult to deal with, and against Montverde he looked motivated. The 6-foot-6 wing can be a factor inside and outside, and that was on display. Crider finished with six rebounds and 16 points, which led Wayne in both categories. He is tough off the dribble, and finished through contact better than he had in the past. Overall it was one of his better overall efforts we have seen out of Crider.

Travis Trice: Sometimes shooters have tough days, and this was one of those for Trice. After putting up huge numbers all season long, Trice just didn't have it working from outside. He finished with only six points and was 1-8 from beyond the arc. Trice did play more on the ball than he did last season, and showed more signs of being a point guard.

School Lists

It is still early in the process for Markus Crider but he has offers DePaul, Wisconsin, Dayton, and several other schools in Ohio. Also he says he is hearing from Notre Dame.

Wayne guard Travis Trice currently has a long list of schools looking at him, including Notre Dame, Dayton, Butler, Akron, Miami-Florida, and Miami-Ohio. He singled out Butler and Dayton has showing a lot of interest.

Miller Grove combo forward Henry Brooks is hearing from Xavier, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, and others.


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