BARRINGTON, R.I. - The National Prep School Tip-Off Showcase is now behind us and ushers in the offical start of the high school and prep school hoops season. The big time performances were few and far between on Sunday but the 2007 studs like Nayal Koshwal helped the day go by.
Chicago ball reigns on Sunday
Chicago's Boys to Men Academy picked up a big 86-68 win over South Kent School on Sunday thanks in large part to the stellar guard play of sophomore Jeremiah Kelly and junior Jamel Jackson. The duo combined for 32 points and seven of 12 shooting from deep.
Kelly is a crafty and tough Chicago native guard that ran an efficient offense and exploited the holes in South Kent's defense. He played like a guy that was ready to put his name on the national map and keep it there. Jackson had a rep as one of the best shooters in NYC last year while at Lincoln High, where Bassy Telfair ran things just two short years ago, and he lived up to that this weekend. The 6-foot-1 guard is getting looks from the Big Ten and Big East.
Nayal Koshwal had a better game on Sunday and his thundering and one dunk over Papa Dia helped spark Boys to Men to victory. He ended with 16 points and seven boards in the victory.
South Kent junior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning is a guy that remains on the watch list for a number of high-majors. The 6-foot-8 London native had a decent showing this weekend as he used his good size to his advantage inside and ability to run the floor to create offense. At times, he was a bit erratic with the ball and forced up some questionable shots.
Bryan-Amaning is being courted by some of the best of the best. He rattled off a list of Connecticut, Duke, Texas, Washington, Texas and said he's been offered by Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Baylor and Syracuse.
While Bryan-Amaning didn't have a great day on Sunday, Pitt commit Gilbert Brown was the stud once again for South Kent. His jumper isn't a question anymore and don't try to block him when he's going to the rack. He'll challenge one's manhood.
Notes from around the gym
In yesterday's report from the NPT we reported that Darrion Pellum was a major sleeper in 2006 but we were incorrect. He's now reclassified to the class of 2007 and the Massanutten Military Academy guard is working on his academics and while improving in that area, he'll have some high-majors jumping on him for next year. He had another strong day at the office with 18 points and seven rebounds in a big win over Brewster Academy.
In today's prep school world of basketball, watching teams run the score up to 100 points is common place. So is one on one basketball and horrible shot selection so when a team like Champlain St. Lambert comes along from Montreal, Quebec you tend to take notice.
The Cavaliers were organized, made crisp-passes and were able to pick up a 70-51 victory over Worcester Academy. Davidson signee William Archambault was the bright spot for John Dangelas's team. The 6-foot-3 super shooter will step into J.J. Redick's shoes as the best shooter in North Carolina next year and should be a guy to put on your sniper list as a freshman. This kid can flat out stroke the rock.
Worcester's top players Chas McFarland (Wake Forest) and Ben Eaves (Connecticut) were both missing their A game on Sunday. McFarland enjoyed a very good first showing at the NPT but foul trouble kept him to two points and 0 for 5 from the field. Eaves utilized his great vertical hops for a team high nine boards but he's more of a 6-foot-7 power forward at this point and left a lot ot be desired in his first two games in the United States.
When Brady Morningstar committed to his dream school, Kansas University, people probably weren't wowed in the recruiting world but the fact of the matter is, the Jayhawks are getting a guy that will help the program in his four-year career in Lawrence. The son of former KU starter Roger Morningstar is a fundamentally sound floor general that loves to share the rock, orchestrate the offense and play basketball like a guy that was raised in a region that worships guys like Phog Allen and a guy named Naismith.
St. Andrew's Rakim Sanders was one of the better juniors in the field this weekend and his 22 points (but 2-12 from deep) was the spark for Mike Hart's club in a 114-84 beating on Sunday. Sanders was being watched closely by the Providence staff as they hope the school is kind to them again. Current freshman forward Jonathan Kale played for Hart before making the transition to the Big East. Sanders certainly has the ability to play at that level but still needs some work to do to be a definite must-recruit guy for the country's deepest conference.
Unsigned guys are making coaches work
Former Missouri commitment Keaton Grant is getting used to seeing the temperature dip below the 40 degree mark for the first time in his life. Bridgton (Me.) Academy is certainly not Florida come November and December but Grant's game is still the same. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound said he's now hearing from Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Providence and Indiana.
Former Illinois State signee Dodie Dunson is now at Brewster Academy and has a change of plans on the recruiting front. The point guard gave us a list of George Washington, Boston College, Illinois, Notre Dame and Michigan. However, he played more like a guy that would be better served at a school like Illinois State.
Mike Freeman has been a long time fixture on the East Coast recruiting radar and like Dunson, he's spending a year at Brewster with hopes of landing at a school that fit's him the best. The 6-foot-7 Virginia native said he's hearing from Hartford, Rhode Island, Charlotte and Tennessee and remains wide open in the process. He was hardly a blip on the radar in a 90-85 early morning loss to Massanutten Military Academy on Sunday.
Philly Lutheran guard Deven McClendon flirted with high-major schools on Saturday with his strong play against Brewster Academy as he pushed closely to the 30-point marker. On Sunday, he may have chased them away, going 0-for-6 and scoreless against Wincendon School. He said no one was recruiting him coming into the NPT and for those that saw him only on Saturday, he'll have some high-majors to list. For those that saw part two, they may want to wait him out. It's up to him.
Speaking of being up to him, former Texas and Iowa State commitment Theo Davis is not playing like a guy trying to find a home in a major basketball conference. The power forward from Toronto is at Philly Lutheran this season but even with the lack of talented big men left in 2006, the high-majors are looking elsewhere. Davis just isn't playing with passion, getting after it on the glass or making an effort to earn a free ride at the highest level.
It was another day and another good showing from big man Phil Jones from Laurinburg (N.C.). He's a guy you'll be hearing about more in the coming weeks and months ahead if he can remain focused on earning a scholarship at the highest level next year. His 12 points and nine boards were enough to keep his name on the minds of the high-majors.