The Marshall County Hoopfest is now a staple on the major event scene during the high school season and the 2005 field of participants is once again loaded with the best players from across the country. This year's event is highlighted by a Tywon Lawson and Derrick Rose match-up, two of the top point guards in the country.
Friday kicks the event off strong
Lawson, a five-star prospect headed to North Carolina next year, leads the for Steve Smith's Oak Hill squad this season and he'll be faced with a difficult task of defending Rose, one of the finest guards in the class of 2007.
It probably won't be a defensive battle as Lawson and Rose are both capable of going off for 40 points on any given night. While the game may not be that big for Lawson, it's a huge one for Rose.
The schedule ahead for the 6-foot-2 floor general is not easy. After Lawson, he'll face up with Eric Gordon and Sherron Collins this season as well. Always looking for the best competition possible, you better believe Chicago's finest will be ready for the battle with Lawson.
Full state on Saturday
Future Duke guard Jon Scheyer and his nationally-ranked Glenbrook North (Ill.) team against Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway. Scheyer is at his best under the direction of his head coach Dave Weber.
The six o'clock game features two of top point guards in the Southeast when Bolivar's Willie Kemp takes on Arlington Country Day's Josue Soto. Kemp, a future Memphis Tiger, and Soto, a future Florida State Seminole, are somewhat similar in their styles of play and control the game at their speed.
The other storyline to watch is Wayne Chism, a Tennessee signee, against 7-foot-2 center Jason Bennett of Arlington Country Day. Chism is one of the few players that can give Greg Oden fits. He's not afraid to play physical and get after inside the paint. Bennett, a much improved prospect, will have his hands full. Word from tournament officials is that former Cincinnati head coach Bob Huggins will be on hand to see Bennett play.
North Carolina fans love the Marshall County Hoopfest. Last year Tyler Hansbrough put on a show at the event and this year Lawson and Brandan Wright are in town. Wright and his Brentwood (Tenn.) take on South Laurel High School from Kentucky.
Oak Hill, a usual at the Hoopfest event, boasts a young and talented squad featuring the D.C. duo of Michael Beasley, who is committed to Charlotte, and Nolan Smith, a fan favorite for Louisville fans. Also on the squad is Kentucky native Albert Jackson, a Georgia signee.
They take on a talented Canton (Ohio) McKinley team, headlined by Michigan State recruit Raymar Morgan. McKinley won the AND1 National Championship this summer and the Oak Hill game is the first of many challenges ahead this year.
Capping off the night is the loaded Memphis Mitchell squad, featuring the event's highest rated player in the country Thaddeus Young, who recently signed with Georgia Tech. He's been good for 25 and 12 each game this season and has plenty of help on the wing with Brandon Powell, a Florida guard. They'll take on a Peoria (Ill.) Richwoods squad, featuring a talented junior big man Bill Cole.
Friday, Dec. 2 7 p.m. - Marshall County (Kent.) vs. Lexington Catholic (Ky.) 8:30 p.m. - Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. Chicago Simeon (Ill.)
Saturday, Dec. 3 8:00 a.m. - Heath (Ky.) vs. Carmi White County (Ill.) 9:30 a.m. - Paducah (Ky.) Tilghman vs. Carbondale (Ill.) 12:30 p.m. - Trigg County (Ky.) vs. Union City (Tenn.) 2:00 p.m. - Graves County (Ky.) vs. Lexington (Tenn.) 4:30 p.m. - Glenbrook North (Ill.) vs. Memphis Ridgeway (Tenn.) 6:00 p.m. - Bolivar (Tenn.) vs. Jacksonville Arlington Country Day (Fla.) 7:30 p.m. - South Laurel (Ky.) vs. Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) 9:00 p.m. - Canton McKinley (Ohio) vs. Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 10:30 p.m. - Memphis Mitchell (Tenn.) vs. Peoria Richwoods (Ill.)