FORT MYERS, Fla. - Top-ranked 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad had the points, but 2013 elite prospect Julius Randle controlled the game and led Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian to a 76-70 quarterfinal win in the City of Palms Classic.
Virtually on an island, Muhammad cranked up 42 points on 14-of-29 shooting from the field, 2-of-8 from three and 8-of-12 from the line. Unfortunately he was the only double-digit scorer for Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman.
Meanwhile, Randle was a physical and emotional force, scoring an efficient 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, 0-of-2 from three and 8-of-12 from the line. In addition to his scoring, Randle grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists. But more than the stats indicate, he defended at a high level on Muhammad during crunch time and galvanized his squad to a hard-fought win.
Randle hasn't always displayed the killer instinct, but against Bishop Gorman he was out for blood and at his best.
"I just wanted to do whatever my team needed me to do," Randle told Rivals.com. "Whether it was to guard when it mattered or get a big bucket."
As far as Randle's recruitment goes, he is not divulging much information.
"I'm wide open,' he said. "I'm not going to make a decision till after the summer. I just consider it an honor to be recruited by all the schools that are recruiting me."
Amongst all the schools recruiting Randle, Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State will get a visit after he plays in the Beach Ball Classic.
Unlike Muhammad, Randle had a lot of support. 2013 point guard Marquan Botley played the role of solid point guard, scoring 13 points and dishing out six assists to one turnover. Not only was his assist-to-turnover ratio efficient, Botley hit 2-of-4 shots from the field, 1-of-1 from three, 8-of-8 from the line.
MICKEY'S BIG NIGHT
It looked like it was over at halftime for Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep, down 18 points to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. But from the start of the second half Grace Prep made a concerted effort to feed 2013 four-star forward Jordan Mickey the ball on the block. Mickey went to work, scoring 13 points in the third quarter and bringing Grace Prep to within two points. The fourth quarter was evenly played, ending up with a tie score. In overtime Grace Prep pulled away to win 86-80.
In total, Mickey had 29 points, 23 of which were in the second half, on 11-of-15 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 from the line. He also had seven rebounds and four blocks in a truly dominating performance.
Elite forward Isaiah Austin, who is headed to Baylor, wasn't too shabby either. Austin put up 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, 1-of-1 from three and 2-of-3 from the line. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and played with an intensity that spurred on the comeback.
In recruiting news for Grace Prep, 2014 prospect Micah Seaborn, who scored 10 points in the game, said he is hearing from Kansas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Kentucky.
Mater Dei had a balanced attack led by Katin Reinhardt. The scoring guard headed to UNLV scored 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting from the field, 2-of-8 from three but only 2-of-8 from the line. He also had four assists to only one turnover.
Colorado recruit Xavier Johnson had a superb first half but only scored three points in the second half, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. His six rebounds were a team high.
Class of 2014 prospect Stanley Johnson contributed 14 points and 2013 prospect db]Elijah Brown[/db] tallied 12 points.
BRANTLEY BEATS BUZZER
In one of the Signature Series games of the City of Palms Classic, 2013 four-star point guard Jaylen Brantley hit a driving bank shot with 2.5 seconds left to give Wilbraham (Mass.) & Monson a 60-59 win over Ulm (Germany) Urspringschule.
Slick off the dribble and with a deft shooting touch, Brantley led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from three and 0-of-3 from the line. Equally impressive, Brantley dished out a game-high seven assists to only two turnovers.
Taking a slow approach to his recruitment, Brantley is wide open and won't form a school list till the end of the summer. He did list offers from Syracuse, Florida, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Richmond, Missouri, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Connecticut hasn't offered yet, but Brantley attending their midnight madness. He has also visited Georgetown.
Vanderbilt recruit Kevin Bright struggled for Urspringschule. He fouled out in 12 minutes of play, scoring two points on 1-of-5 shooting.
BIRD FLYS HIGH
Highly regarded 2013 prospect Jabari Bird spearheaded a strong team effort in Richmond (Calif.) Salesian's 87-74 win over Louisville (Ky.) Trinity. A high flying athlete with a diverse and solid wing game, Bird efficiently shot 10-11 for 20 points. He was also game high rebounder with eight boards and dished out six assists to two turnovers.
A coveted west coast recruit, Bird relayed to Rivals.com that he is focused on a top three of California, Arizona and Washington. California and Arizona have already hosted Bird on a visit. He is looking forward to visiting Washington next. Oregon and UCLA are also in play for Bird and will likely get visits. All five schools have offered.
Forward Jeffrey Parker also played well for Salesian, scoring 22 points. Class 2013 point guard Mario Dunn had an outstanding game, scoring 16 points, dishing out eight assists and snagging four steals. He made 6-of-8 shots from the field including 2-of-2 from three.
A 5-foot-10 quickster with leadership skills, Dunn is presently only hearing from low to mid-major schools. Expect high majors to get involved.
Trinity received a solid scoring game from 2013 Rivals150 prospect Darryl Hicks, who scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-9 from three.
CORTESIA LEADS MONTVERDE
Behind a sterling effort from Ole Miss recruit Anthony Cortesia, Montverde (Fla.) Academy dropped New York St. Raymond's 80-61. Cortez pumped in 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, 4-of-6 from three and 2-of-3 from the line.
A stacked Tilton (N.H.) squad was way too much for Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends' Central. Despite Amile Jefferson's 19-point, 10-rebound effort, Friends' fell 80-50.
Iowa State recruit Georges Niang was the top scorer with 20 points which included three three-points and a perfect 5-of-5 from the line.
The top prospect on the court Nerlens Noel dominated with nine points, 17 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. Noel is establishing himself as an elite all-around prospect.
On the perimeter for Tilton Wayne Selden is one of the top 2014 prospects in the country. He bullied his way to 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, 2-of-4 from three and 1-of-2 from the line while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Seldon is presently hearing from Connecticut, Kentucky, Duke, Missouri and Florida.