ATLANTA, GA. - The second day of the National Elite Athletic Association (NEAA) NIT tournament had more of an AAU tournament feel on Thursday. It was high-scoring, good rivalries, back-to-back games for a couple of teams and a squad that showed up three hours late for their scheduled game. The games went on however and Harmony Prep and Boys to Men made it worth all of the trouble.
Day two top performers
Craig Brackins, Boys to Men (Ill.) - The California transplant has reclassified to the 2007 group and a year spent in the Windy City is already helping his confidence inside the paint. The 6-foot-10 big man is athletic and uses his long frame to sky for points above the rim. Great with both hands, he scored with a left-handed hook three times on Hamady N'diaye, the best interior defender here at the tournament. Brackins is getting his grades straight first, says Boys to Men head man Loren Jackson, before focusing on his recruitment.
Mac Koshwal, Boys to Men (Ill.) - The 6-foot-8 manchild forward from the class of 2007 has added noticeable muscle to his big granite-like frame. He's added a three-pointer to his arsenal, making him even tougher to defend.
Hamady N'diaye, Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) - After a subpar first day at the NEAA, the 6-foot-10 big man had a better showing against a team that matched his size inside. Still a much better defender than an offensive player, N'diaye changes the way teams attack the basket but often times, he takes himself out of the game because of early foul trouble. The four-star forward plays with a ton of emotion and has taken on a leadership role with his foreign teammates.
Herb Tanner, Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) - The Boston native had another solid day of work, showing off a good deep ball shot. He was much better against an under matched Genesis One Select squad and had trouble against a much more physical and stronger Boys to Men. When Stoneridge needed big perimeter buckets, Tanner has been that player to provide them. Providence and UMass are two of the schools recruiting him.
Deonta Vaughn, Harmony Community School (Ohio) - The former Indiana commitment was the day's best performer. He led Harmony with 22 points in a 85-51 victory over GAAA. He sunk four three-pointers and exploited the GAAA defense for scores. Vaughn shared the point guard duties with two other guards and had little trouble running the show against a young and inexperienced backcourt.
"I've just been working hard in the gym getting ready for the season," Vaughn said on Thursday night. "I try to take nice shots and it's easy to do that when you have good guards around you."
On the recruiting front, Vaughn said he's still open in the process but since opening things back up, he's heard from Georgetown, South Florida, Eastern Illinois and said his coach has heard from Michigan State, Illinois and Pepperdine.
Alex Tyus, Harmony Community School (Ohio) - The class of 2007 stud had 14 points in an easy victory. He's one of the more versatile players in the country because of his incredibly long arms, athleticism and herky-jerky motion from the wing. He did his best work off the pick and roll and scored a majority of his buckets at the rim. The high-major schools are making their way to Atlanta on Friday to check him out. It will be interesting to see who shows up to get a glimpse of the St. Louis native.
Marvell Waither, Toronto Prep - The 6-foot-8 senior scored a team high 21 points in a 89-76 victory over Genesis One Select. Nicknamed "Tayshaun" in Toronto, the long and skinny wing forward shot the ball like the former Kentucky Wildcat. The nickname doesn't bother him, he said.
"They say I play like him. I can it like he does but I can block shots like him, too," Waither said. "I like to guard all of the court. If they say like I play like him, that's fine with me."
Waither said he's on the radar for a couple of Division I schools. He's claims offers from San Diego and Cansisus. He's unofficially visited Michigan State and Iowa. Waither said he's still open in the process.
Kandi Mukole, Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy - This 6-foot-7 senior caught our attention yesterday and he backed up a good Wednesday performance with another strong showing against Harmony Prep, the best team here. Mukole, a native of Belgium, was mastering the art of taking offensive charges. He works well from block to block and rebounds with a lot of energy. Not a great athlete, he's knows how to bull his way around to be successful. Early interest has come from New Mexico, Kansas State and Baylor, who have all inquired. He'd be a good get for a low to mid-major school.
Quick hitters
Boys to Men was supposed to play Stoneridge Prep at 5:30 to start the day's event however due to an ever-changing schedule during the first of the week, the Chicago team thought they were playing at 8:30. Instead, they ended up playing Stoneridge (who played a 40-minute running clock game at 6 p.m.) at 11:00 at night.
Genesis One Select played back-to-back games, losing both.
Boys to Men senior Thijin Moses is being targeted by DePaul, Nebraska and others, according to his coach.
At the other gym, word has it Chris Singletary had another strong game, putting in 25 points for Florida Prep in a 12-point win over Genesis One Elite.
Playing well for Genesis One Elite was Alabama commitment Verice Cloyd, who connected on three straight three-pointers against Florid Prep.
On tap
2:00 p.m. - Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy vs. Florida Prep (at GAAA)
3:30 p.m. - Genesis One Select vs. Harmony Prep (at Community Christian School)
5:00 p.m. - North Atlanta Christian vs. Stoneridge Prep (at CCS)
6:30 p.m. - Sound Doctrine vs. Genesis One Elite (at CCS)
8:00 p.m. - Covenant Christian vs. Boys to Men (at CCS)
9:30 p.m. - Community Christian vs. Toronto Prep (at CCS)