September 29, 2005

Ellington, Evans put on a show

Six-foot-4 North Carolina bound senior Wayne Ellington and 6-foot-4 sophomore PG Tyreke Evans combined for 55 points in the grand finale of the 2005 Gym Rats Midnight Madness last weekend at Cherry Hill East HS in New Jersey. There was a ton of talent in the building and Rivals.com was there to cover the action.

All American Game

Red 111
White 92

The Red team, led by UNC-bound senior Wayne Ellington and 6-foot-4 sophomore Tyreke Evans cruised to a 111-92 win in the nightcap of a talent-filled day of basketball at Rick Barretts 2005 Gym Rat Midnight Madness. Ellington turned on the juice in the second half to finish as the game's high scorer with 30 points. Evans had a smooth 25 points, and 6-foot-4 senior Charles Boozer had 22 points, including 4 bombs from beyond the arc.

The White Team was led by 6-foot-4 LaSalle recruit vRodney Green's 20 points. 6-foot-8 senior [db]Lance Thomas and 6-foot-7 sophomore Troy Gillenwater had 16 points each, and St. Joseph's recruit Jawan Carter added 14 in the loss.

Junior All American Game

White 104
Black 102

In the junior game Philly prospects Ameer Ali and Kashief Carr had 32 and 30 points respectively to lead the White squad to a come from behind victory over the Black. 6-foot-2 sophomore Jared Dubois from Westchester HS in Los Angeles added 15 for the winners.

6-foot-7 Fremont, CA sophomore Troy Gillenwater led the White team with 24 points. 6-foot-6 St. Patricks (NJ) junior WF Jeff Robinson had 21 points, and 6-foot-9 Philadelphia Prep Charter junior Markief Morris added 18. 5-foot-10 Michigan sophomore Brad Redford was on fire in the first half with 19 points, but did not score in the second half.

Notes

Tyreke Evans doesn't blow you away with any one aspect of his game. However, the total package is more than impressive. Things come easy for Evans at the offensive end of the floor. The youngster has matured a bit in the past few months, improving his shot selection and decision making skills from the PG spot. Evans points all came in the flow of the game, and he seemed to enjoy running with Ellington in the backcourt.

Ellington found his stroke in the second half, and piled up the points to break the game open. The future Tar Heel is smooth, but also showed his power and athleticism on a couple of impressive throw downs. He has a certain confidence about his game that flows down to his teammates.

Lance Thomas struggled with his jumpshot, but was very active on the glass and in transition. He can use the dribble to get into the lane, but he's actually more effective catching the ball in the paint at this point.

Each year at this event, when they move guys up from the Junior game to the Senior game a player stands out in both. This year it was Troy Gillenwater with 24 points in the Junior game and 16 in the senior game who gets the award. Just a sophomore at Fremont HS in California, Gillenwater is a quick leaper who finds ways to score around the basket. Leon Powe played here several years ago, and Gillenwater has a lot of the same qualities. Great rebounder, tough around the basket, deceptive athletic ability. His is a name to file away.

One of the "biggest" attractions at the Midnight Madness was 6-foot-11 296 lbs. junior center Melvin Oliver from Cheyenne HS in Nevada. Oliver has great feet and hands for a guy his size, and plays with a bit of a mean streak. Despite scoring just 8 points in the Junior game and 6 in the senior contest, Oliver was a monster in the paint. In two games he totaled over 25 rebounds and 15 blocks. Oliver was all business right up to the final buzzer too, stuffing Duke-bound senior Gerald Henderson on a dunk attempt with less than 5 seconds remaining in the game.

Henderson struggled with his perimeter shooting in the game, but did have a few opportunities to show off his impressive athleticism. He declined an offer to particiapte in the slam dunk contest.

The celebrity coaches materialized for the game, but I'm not sure they did much coaching on Saturday night. Governor Cody and Q-Deezy looked a little bored at times, particularly toward the end of the game, and current 76ers Andre Igoudala and Stephen Hunter had great seats, but didn't do much with the clipboard.

Jeff Robinson defeated 6-foot-2 junior Senario Hillman in the slam dunk contest.


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