Las Vegas, Nev.- A matchup between two of the top 2008 prospects in the country, Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans, was the main event at The Main Event on Monday. Yet, as it often happens, another player in the contest was the difference in Team Finals' hard fought 60-56 win over the New Orleans Panthers.
With Monroe and Evans struggling from the field, Washington commitment Matthew Bryan-Amaning put up a game high 22 points on an array of dunks and mid-range jumpers. With good feet and a good motor Bryan-Amaning was a constant presence on the floor and did a nice job defending Monroe.
Struggling to find the basket early in the game, Monroe did get it going in the second half to finish with 16 points on 7 of 19 shooting. Most impressive for the left handed Monroe was the way he scored on spin moves to his left shoulder on a couple of occasions, once even finishing with his right hand.
In the process of developing a lethal inside/outside scoring game, Monroe put the ball on the floor from the perimeter going either direction. Not always successful in these scoring attempts because of a high dribble and a lack of strength, the future brilliance of Monroe's game was quite evident.
Although he finished with 7 turnovers, Monroe made up for them with 8 blocks on the defensive end. Not necessarily an explosive jumper, Monroe does have quick feet and a quick leap off the floor to go along with a tremendous sense of timing. He also finished with 10 rebounds.
For the winning Team Final squad, Evans only shot 4 for 20 from the field and missed all three of his three-point attempts to finish with 11 points. In what was obviously a sub-par performance, Evans also had 7 rebounds but only registered 1 assist. However, that assist led to the game-winning bucket. On the prior offensive possession, Evans hit a contested lay-up to tie the game with less than a minute to go in answer to a go ahead bucket by Monroe.
Also standing out in the contest, 2008 prospect Brandon Moore was explosive off the floor, blocking shots and snatching rebounds. He is not as tall or as skilled as his teammate Greg Monroe, but Moore is an explosive enough leaper to make athletic plays that might even be beyond Monroe's reach.
A plethora of coaches were at Durango High School to take in this heavyweight battle. Head coaches included North Carolina's Roy Williams, LSU's John Brady, Louisville's Rick Pitino, Washington's Lorenzo Romar, Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury and Villanova's Jay Wright. Assistants from Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas and Connecticut were also in the stands.