NEW YORK, N.Y. -- He went outside. He went inside. He dropped in three-pointers from both sides of the court. He finished with authority and appeared to have drained Worcester Academy of any life heading into the fourth quarter with a monster jam.
Charlie Villaneuva, a 6-9 forward from Blair Academy in New Jersey, did everything humanly possible to help his team to a victory. But he could not do it himself nor could his teammate, Luol Deng.
Villanueva and Deng combined for 55 of the team's 70 points in a loss to Worcester Academy yesterday at the Boy's Club Holiday tournament. "I thought we had it," Villanueva said. "We played hard. But they have a great team too."
Villanueva hit for 33 points in all. Deng dropped in 22. Both were also a factor in the rebounding department. Villaneuva had 10 rebounds, Deng also had 12. It was a shame someone had to lose this battle. But Worcester's 75 points were too much for two people to overcome.
"It was a great game," Villanueva said. "Everyone played hard. We just came up a little short."
Villanueva said he is working on his strength this season. "I want to work a little bit more in the weight room," Villanueva said. "I am always looking to improve other parts of my game."
Is Charlie Villanueva bye-bye? What we mean here is that Villanueva will Charlie likely jump to the NBA? It's possible. Especially if he shoots the ball like he did yesterday.
Charlie hit three three-pointers, ran the court hard all the time. "I am just focusing on my season," Villanueva said. "I am not really thinking about colleges."
When asked if he had a leader, Villanueva shook his head and said, "Don't have one. Not really thinking about it right now."
When asked about the NBA, Villanueva replied: "It's my first option right now."
Villanueva, 6-9, would have an opportunity to jump if his perimeter game becomes more consistent. It was very consistent yesterday. But one game does not make a chance at a lottery pick. But if Villanueva starts stringing together games like he had yesterday, you can bet the NBA scouts will come calling.
So this might be an alarm for any school involved in the process interested in recruiting Villanueva. It appears Charlie is very interested in jumping from the high school to the NBA level. But his performance over the next year will determine whether he will have the market value to do so.