This time of year in the high school basketball world, you either win or you go home. Looking around the country, several players are playing with a purpose as they eye a state title in the near horizon. We took a broad look from coast to coast and check in on a number of prospects, including Indiana's Jeff Teague.
Freshman shines in Hoosier state
For the hardcore recruiting addicts out there, the name DeShaun Thomas is familiar. For those that haven't heard about the 6-foot-7 freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., you will. A lot.
The Bishop Luers prospect scored 40 points in an 88-86 win over Southside High School, featuring future Indiana guard Eshaunte Jones. Thomas connected on four three-pointers and was eight of nine from the foul line. Moreover, he scored the winning tip in as the buzzer sounded.
Jones scored 27 points in three quarters time. He didn't play the first quarter for undisclosed reasons.
Down the highway in Indianapolis, Jeff Teague recorded a new school record at Pike High School with his 42 points in an 87-45 blowout of Warren Central. Teague, a Wake Forest signee, was hot from the floor. He shot 16 of 20 from the field, two for two from deep and eight for eight from the foul line.
Warren Central's Walter Offutt was held to four points on one of five shooting from the floor. Offutt is a 2008 Ohio State commitment.
St. Patrick's luck runs out
A game after beating Huntington (W.V.) on national television, St. Patrick returned back to New Jersey and was welcomed with a big time test against a big time team in Linden.
The welcome home gift was a 63-54 defeat for St. Pat's in front of 4,225 people at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth, N.J.
Linden (24-2) guards Darrell Lampley and Desmond Wade combined for 41 points. Lampley, a junior, lead all scorers with 26 while Wade, a 5-foot-9 junior, added 15 points.
Corey Fisher and Jeff Robinson, stars in the Huntington game, were kept in check. Fisher scored 20 while Robinson only had 10 points.
Two-sport star shines in Pittsburgh
Terrelle Pryor, the No. 1 football player in the country according to Rivals.com, is no slouch on the hardwood either. The 6-foot-6 junior, a five-star hoop prospect, recorded a triple-double as he helped his Jeannatte (20-3) team claim an 81-62 win over Shenango. Pryor scored 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists.
Sticking to the Steel City, Aliquippa took advantage of a three-headed monster of Herb Pope, Jonathan Baldwin and Antonio Reddic and picked up a big 95-64 win over Monessen. Pope, a New Mexico State signee, scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Baldwin, an athletic 6-foot-6 junior, added 19 points while Reddic led the team in scoring with 27 and grabbed nine rebounds.
Buffalo bound big man Jawaan Alston was a block away from a triple-double in Albert Gallatin High School's 80-73 upset win over Moon in the WPIAL quarterfinals. Alston, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked nine shots to hold off Brian Walsh and his 29 points.
West coast prospects making noise
New Mexico forward Jeff Taylor continues to put up eye-popping numbers at Hobbs High School. The 6-foot-7 forward scored 37 points and grabbed 29 rebounds as his team claimed the district championship against Clovis High School.
Future Illinois guard Quinton Watkins scored 30 points for his Dominguez squad in a 68-60 win over Thousand Oaks over the weekend.
Luke Babbitt has struck again. The 6-foot-8 junior helped his Reno (Nev.) Galena team claim its second state championship in as many years. The four-star forward scored 25 points and knocked down a big three-pointer in the victory. Babbitt will be announcing his college decision in the next week or two.
Keep an eye on a big man from Seattle. It will be hard not to. For starters, his name is Josh Smith. And he is a 6-foot-8, 269-pound 14-year-old freshman from Kentwood High School. The youngster poured in 32 points and 12 rebounds in a big win over Mount Tahoma High School. The big man is having a big time year as a rookie and has his team prepped for the playoffs. Mount Tahoma had 32 points from Patrick McCollum in the defeat.
Sticking with the Emerald City, Venoy Overton was the catalyst in a 86-59 win for Franklin over Garfield. The future USC guard finished with 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Peyton Siva added 16 as Franklin enters the playoffs with a No. 1 seed on Wednesday.
Wrapping up the weekend
Looking for a big man in the 2008 class? Put Rashanti Harris on the short list. The Mississippi big man has had a big year this season for New Hope High School and the streak continued as he put in 20 points in an 83-81 win over Lanier. Harris's efforts helped New Hope (31-5) snap Lanier's 30-game winning streak.
Future UTEP guard Randy Culpepper lived up to his reputation as one of the premiere scorers in Memphis. The 5-foot-9 guard tallied 42 big ones against Trezevant.
Chicago Simeon is known for the play of McDonald's All-American Derrick Rose, workhorse Tim Flowers and versatile forward Kevin Johnson. But the Windy City power is leaning on another guy these days. Unsigned senior Bryant Orange has been a scoring option. He put in 21 points in a big 89-57 win over Washington, featuring DeAndre Liggins, who put in a modest seven points.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Orange is being recruited by Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.