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January 17, 2010

Flyin to the Hoop: Day One

KETTERING, Ohio - Day one at Flyin to the Hoop was headlined by the play of the nation's No. 1 player, Brandon Knight. While Knight was big time in his clutch performance, there were several other strong performances in the day full of hoops.

Class of 2010 prospects

Brandon Knight: The first half was definitely a struggle for Knight. The combo guard from Pinecrest High School simply couldn't get it going. He struggled to get his shot to fall, but Knight kept on staying aggressive. In the second half the talent was on full display. Knight was able to get into the rim at will, but more often than not it was his outside game that was so impressive.

Though he had an average shooting display at best, 10-29 from the field, Knight came up big when it mattered the most. With the game tied at 61 with time running down, Knight took a deep three and it was all net to give his team the 64-61 win. For the game Knight finished with 36 points, six assists, and eight rebounds.

Jordan Sibert: While Knight was big in the second half, the first half of the game was dominated by Sibert. The Ohio State pledge started off the game strong with 10 points in the opening minutes, but from there he began to struggle. Sibert still looked a little hesitant to explode to the rim off of his surgically repaired leg, and in the second half he just couldn't get anything to fall. He finished with 15 points and four rebounds on 5-15 shooting, including 3-10 from three point range.

Darrien Wilkins: One unsigned senior who is having an excellent season is Wilkins. The undersized power forward is an absolute attacker on the offensive glass. With a motor that never quits, long arms, and a nose for the ball, Wilkins was able to give Princeton a whole host of second shots. He finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the game, and was the player that gave Pinecrest the most problems.

Allen Payne: The Auburn University signee had a solid game in an overtime win for Winton Woods. A skilled combo forward, Payne showed excellent court vision in crunch time setting up the game tying bucket at the end of regulation, and the game winning basket at the end of overtime. Also Payne was extremely efficient scoring 18 points on only 5-7 shooting. He also managed to grab six rebounds and dished out four assists.

Donte Williams: Williams a long and athletic player on the interior who isn't asked to do much scoring, and is simply counted on to block shots and provide energy. On Saturday Williams struggled some, and only finished with six points and two rebounds. Still the unsigned senior is attracting quite a bit of college attention because of his ability to finish above the rim and make an impact on the defensive end.

James Bell: Clearly the best player for Montverde Academy on Saturday was Bell. The athletic wing who is headed to Villanova had a very solid game. Bell struggled from the perimeter, only going 1-6, but he attacked the rim with effectiveness and also finished in the mid-range. Overall Bell had 14 points and five rebounds, and was the energizer of the Montverde attack.

Jamail Jones: One thing is for sure, Jones can score in bunches. At 6-foot-6 with good athleticism, Jones is a unique player because of his ability to shoot the basketball. Jones went 3-6 from three point range, and has a quick and smooth release that allows him to get shots off quickly and consistently. However Jones didn't do much outside of being a three point shooter, despite having an excellent frame to be a rebounder off the wing, Jones only pulled in three boards and also didn't attack much off the bounce. Overall Jones finished with 11 points on 4-10 shooting.

Papa Samba Ndao: Ndao has had a very impressive season to date, but he struggled in a big way on Saturday. The Boston College bound wing wasn't able to scratch in the scoring department. He was 0-2 from the field, and didn't get to the foul line. Also Ndao only pulled in two rebounds in over 21 minutes of action.

Cory Joseph: There are few perimeter players in the country that can match up with Joseph, and Cleveland Benedictine definitely didn't have one. The super athletic combo guard was attacking off the dribble and knocking down shots from the outside. He only attempted nine shots, but he finished with 14 points and was able to control the flow of the game in a Findlay Prep win.

Tristan Thompson: The future Texas Longhorn can wow you at times with some plays. In the second half especially Thompson was extremely aggressive attacking out of the high post and finishing above the rim in traffic. Also Thompson used his size and strength advantage to finish in the post and control the glass. Had he been able to knock in some free throws, Thompson's numbers would have been ridiculous, but still he was able to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and looked like the best player on the floor.

Derek Jackson: Central Michigan is getting a heck of a player in Jackson. Though he is probably best off the ball as opposed to being the primary ball handler, Jackson proved to be a tough matchup with his athleticism, quickness, and ability to hit shots from the outside. Jackson had 22 points on the game to lead Benedictine, and was simply the only player that Findlay Prep had no answer for. Currently Jackson needs to improve his ability to handle the basketball, especially in traffic, but he has the look of a major contributor in his career at the mid-major level.

Cameron Wright: It wasn't a game to remember for the future Pittsburgh Panther. Wright did manage to get into double figures with 12 points, but it took him 17 shots to get there. He is good at getting to the rim with his combination of slashing ability and athleticism, but he struggled to finish once in the paint. Also his outside shot wasn't going, 0-4 from three, but Wright still plays hard every time out, and this game was no different.

Class of 2011 prospects

Nick Johnson: Things started out well for Johnson, but he faded as the game progressed. The Findlay Prep combo guard finished with eight points and three assists, and was only 2-9 from the floor. Johnson did show some improved athleticism on a very nice reverse dunk, but without his shot falling he didn't attack off the dribble enough in order to keep the defense honest, and that was exposed as the game went on.

Aaron Thomas: The Cincinnati Aiken wing is continuing to make big strides with his game. Athletic and with long arms, Thomas attacked the basket off the bounce with no fear despite going against an imposing frontline. He didn't finish as well as he would have liked, but still Thomas showed an improved ability to handle the ball, and has the athleticism and size on the wing to be a problem. Overall Thomas finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Henry Brooks: It just wasn't Brooks' day on Saturday. The Miller Grove power forward got into foul trouble early, and seemed to never be able to get into the flow of the game. He was only able to finish with four points and four rebounds, and didn't have the look of the same player that he showed he could be during the summer.

Trey Lewis: There is absolutely no doubt that Lewis is a dynamic scorer. At 5-foot-11 he has the ability to score off the dribble going to the rim, and he has range that extends well beyond the three point line. However he didn't show much of a feel for shot selection, and also was way too loose with the ball as evidenced by his seven turnovers. With that said Lewis still finished with 25 points, and was 4-10 from three and 9-14 from the foul line.

Class of 2012 prospects

Tony Parker: One thing is for sure, the big man from Miller Grove isn't quite as big anymore. Parker has done an incredible job of re-shaping his body in a short period of time and now looks to be in excellent shape. Parker looked more athletic, quicker, and in better shape than he ever was during the summer, and it paid off on Saturday. Despite missing some easy shots around the rim, Parker was still able to finish with 12 points and nine rebounds. Overall he was clearly the biggest force on the court, and was instrumental in Miller Grove's big win over Aiken.

Winston Shepard: With the transfer of Jabari Brown back to California, Sheppard is now beginning to get a lot more playing time for Findlay Prep. With good size, a lot of athleticism, and long arms, Sheppard has a world of potential, but he still finding his way. He only scored four points and grabbed three rebounds on Saturday, but it was still obvious to see the potential and why so many people are high on him.

Class of 2013 prospect

Mark Williams: For a freshman it isn't easy to check Thompson, but Williams tried to do so, and showed well for himself. He has good size, a decent feel for the game, and plays very hard. Williams struggled with the physicality of the senior, but still he was able to hold his own for most of the game, and at least kept one of the nation's top players from going off. This was a huge reason why Benedictine was able to stay in the game, and bodes very well for his future.

School Lists

Brandon Knight noted that he still has the same list of six schools. He is still considering Kentucky, Florida, Miami, UConn, Syracuse, and Kansas. His final official visit is coming up shortly to Miami. Knight wasn't sure exactly when the trip would take place, but noted that it is scheduled.

Aaron Thomas says Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Louisville, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana are all showing interest.

Tony Parker said that UConn leads with Tennessee right there. Also he is hearing from Duke, North Caorlina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, and VCU. Parker has offers from the Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets, Huskies, and Volunteers.

Donte Williams has offers from UAB, Georgia, Central Florida, Tennessee, VCU, and Auburn.


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