RivalsHoops.com was in attendance as two of Alabama’s top 6A teams; Parker (23-1) rated No. 2 and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (15-7) rated No. 6 in the state, battled in a contest that showcased two of the state’s best big men in the class of 2004.
Rivals.com rates D.J. White (pictured), 6-foot-8, 235-pounds, as the nations 7th best prospect while Walter Sharpe, 6-foot-9, 215-pounds, has remained relatively unknown. But after Sharpe’s impressive performance that will not be the case for long.
Parker headed into the game after suffering their first loss of the season, losing to Central Tuscaloosa 62-60 in a game that saw the Thundering Herd shoot only 5 of 19 from the free throw line.
Sharpe led Parker, who jumped out to a 48-23 halftime lead and never looked back, with 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the field. He also pulled down six rebounds and blocked five shots despite sitting most of the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score. White scored 14 points while hitting six of eleven shots from the field, including hitting two shots from outside the arc. He also added seven rebounds.
Scouting Sharpe: This game was the best we’ve seen the Sharpe look over the past two years. He showed great handle when taking White out on the perimeter and then blowing by him three times. Another impressive part of his game is his ability to pass and see the floor. Several times Sharpe set up his teammates for easy baskets by seeing over the defense. He also showed the ability to create his own shot and to knock down the three-pointer. He guarded White man-to-man the entire game and did a good job in the paint of forcing him out of his comfort zone. Sharpe displayed impressive athleticism and a well-rounded offensive game.
Bottom Line: Sharpe could be every bit as highly touted as fellow Alabama big men Mike Williams and D.J. White, if he would play with the same intensity that he did Tuesday night game in and game out. His ability to play with his back to the basket or on the perimeter, will make him a valuable commodity to college recruiters.
Scouting White: This was not White’s best performance but a lot of the blame has to fall on his guards, who were unable to break the Parker press and get him the ball in the paint. He will not face many players as versatile as Sharpe but when he does he will have to do a better job defending on the perimeter. White did show some versatility of his own by stepping out and hitting the three-pointer.
Bottom Line: White is one of the nation’s best big men in the nation and works hard on both ends of the floor.