Five-star 2009 prospect Leslie McDonald led a young but talented Memphis Briarcrest squad into the Tennessee DII state playoffs, but Chattanooga Baylor School's deliberate style of play and a last second shot sunk Briarcrest to a 56-54 loss.
McDonald, who came into the tournament averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds per game, looked every bit like a five-star prospect, but never put a dominating stamp on the game. Much of that was due to Baylor's zone defense and the fact that McDonald played on the baseline while Briarcrest held a lead until the last seconds of the game.
For the game, McDonald finished with 19 points on eight of 16 from the field including one of four from the arc and hit both his free throw attempts, five rebounds, two blocks, one steal and two turnovers.
Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl and a Georgia Tech assistant were in attendance.
Briarcrest head coach John Harrington provided Rivals.com with a breakdown on McDonald's recruiting interest.
"Coach Pearl (Tennessee) has done a great job recruiting Leslie," said Harrington. "Coach Cal (Memphis) has also been in a lot. Georgia Tech, Alabama, Ole Miss and Clemson have also been in to see him.
"Duke has called about him and so has Florida, LSU and UConn."
McDonald had this comment about his recruiting after the tough loss.
"I'm just a sophomore, so I really haven't started to pick out schools, yet," said McDonald. "I'll start doing that during my junior year. But I do like Duke. And I kind of like Tennessee. Ole Miss is coming on, and Alabama is coming on also."
Also scoring in double figures for Briarcrest was 6-foot-6 power forward Johnny Williams, who is also only a sophomore. He tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the game. In need of a couple more inches to be a high-major prospect, Williams has a long reach and great hands around the basket.
"Johnny is going to be good," said Harrington. "He is only 15 years old, and he's still growing."
Leslie McDonald scouting report:
A solid athlete with a smooth shooting stroke, McDonald is in the process of extending his range and improving his consistency from deep. He has the potential to be a great shooter. When crowded he loves to take the ball left and shoot either a pull up or floater. Has a good feel for moving without the ball and is capable of playing some point guard. He also has the length and quickness to be a lockdown defender.