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December 12, 2010

Graham dominates hoops festival

HYATTSVILLE, Md. - Saturday afternoon, Team Takeover boss Keith Stevens hosted the fourth annual National High School Hoops Festival in the brand new Wooten Gymnasium on the campus of DeMatha Catholic. The event featured 14 teams from the greater Washington, D.C. area and a little beyond, but it was Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God's star junior Torian Graham who stole the show with a scintillating 34-point outburst.

National high school hoops festival standouts

Torian Graham, SG, Word of God- A super-athletic off guard, Graham exploded out of the gate with 15 points in the first two-and-half minutes and never looked back. Long and lean, he's got legitimate range to at least 22 feet, drives to the rim for huge dunks and loves to finish with floaters and short jumpers when driving lanes get cut off. He's prone to taking some plays off and is a bit right hand dominant, but the four-star wing has huge upside and hasn't even begun to mature much physically. He listed N.C. State, West Virginia, Xavier, Louisville, Clemson, Miami, Boston College, Villanova, Marquette, Indiana and Rutgers and indicated that he's in no hurry to cut down on his list.

Dorian Finney-Smith, SF, IC Norcom- The Virginia Tech signee is absolutely one of the most versatile wings in the class of 2011. At 6 feet 7, he effectively ran the point for stretches, slid over to fill lanes in transition and provided a post presence when his team needed it. He plays plenty hard, but if he can crank the engine up one more level he has huge upside. He's a stat sheet stuffer and finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and three steals.

Jevon Moore, SG, National Christian- Fairfield, UNC-Wilmington and Towson State are likely going to see a few more schools looking to join them in the recruitment of Moore. The 6-foot-2 senior was perhaps the day's most pleasant discovery. A dangerous shooter from anywhere between 12 and 22 feet, he buried jumpers from all over the floor as he put National Christian on his back and nearly brought them back from a huge deficit against Word of God. He can create scoring opportunities off the dribble and defends pretty well too. He was good for 34 points, five rebounds and six steals.

Kavon Glover, SF/SG, Fredrick Douglass- The 6-foot-4 southpaw picked a good time to play big. With at least 18 division one programs from all levels in attendance, the junior went off for 24 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. A long and skinny wing with above average athleticism, he plays with relentless effort and intensity on both ends of the floor. His recruitment figures to start at the mid major level and go up from there.

Trey Davis, SG/SF, Benedictine- Richmond got themselves a nice looking player in Davis. A versatile 6-foot-4 wing, he was productive on both ends of the floor while racking up 24 points and 11 rebounds in a hard fought win over Paul VI. He's got a college ready frame, finishes with athleticism around the rim and is a fine jump shooter. If he can improve his ball-handling a little more, he could make an instant impact as a freshman at his hometown school.

More hoops festival notables

T.J. Warren, SF, Word of God- Although he was slowed by foul trouble, the near 6-foot-7 wing looked good. He's more of a power wing who likes to operate along the baseline off of the dribble or in the high post where he can make mid-range jumpers. He will hit the glass, plays defense and is an unselfish kid.

Keith Shivers, SG/PG, Henry Wise- A 6-foot-1 junior combo guard, Shivers was the main weapon for Henry Wise and carried them offensively. He's a streak shooter who loves to attack the basket off the rim or pull-up from between eight and 12 feet. Coaches will appreciate his work on the glass and the defensive end. He finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and six steals.

Julian Debose and Soren Dossing, SG, St. John's- Debose, a Rice bound senior, and Dossing, a junior, give St. John's a nice wing tandem. More of a slasher, the 6-foot-4 Debose has added strength which allows him to finish more effectively at the rim and fight for rebounds. He finished with 18 points and 10 boards. More of a spot up shooter, Dossing is a 6-foot-3 perimeter sniper who is very clever away from the ball. He drained four deep threes en route to a team-high 19 points.

Jairus Lyles, PG/SG, DeMatha- Just like he was on Thursday night, the 6-foot-1 sophomore was a spark on both ends of the floor for DeMatha. He's fundamentally sound, defends, can shoot the ball from deep, gets to the rim at will and has an extra gear of speed that he can shift into that is matched by few high school basketball players.

Stanford Robinson, SG, Paul VI- Just a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 lefty is thinking attack on the offensive end. He can shoot the ball from beyond the three point line, has a quick release and already deeks defenders with shot fakes that get them in the air while he drives past them. A fine athlete, he's got potential to get recruited on the high major level

Kennedy Meeks, C, West Charlotte- A 6-foot-8 sophomore, "Baby" is a low post wide-body who is still maturing and shedding baby fat. He didn't have the greatest day finishing, but he dominated on the glass where he corralled 17 rebounds. His hands are big and sure, he's pretty light on his feet for a kid his size and he's very young for his class with a bright future.

BeeJay Anya, C, DeMatha- Mike Jones' program continues to pump out talent and the sophomore big man is intriguing. A big bodied post player who takes up some space in the lane, Anya gives great effort and has good hands. Much lighter on his feet than you might expect, Anya is anything but a plodder and gets off the floor quickly for slams.

Michael Gbinije, SF, Benedictine- The hecklers were out in full force for the Duke signee but he did a nice job. A big wing who keeps getting stronger, he's a sneaky athlete who likes to work his way to the rack. He makes just enough jumpers to keep defenders honest and could develop into a fine wing defender with size.

DaVonte Beard, SG, St. Vincent-St. Mary- The 6-foot-2 senior initially committed to St. Francis but decided to open things up and see what kind of attention he could draw this winter. Odds are he's going to get heavy mid major attention. He's got the ball-handling to create scoring opportunities for himself, gets to the rim and is an outstanding jump shooter. The way he explodes off the floor and shoots with a compact, high releasing shot is textbook.

Final hoops festival notes and observations

Riverdale Baptist features senior shooting guard Jerome Tolson and junior power forward Milan Durant. Tolson is a tough 6-foot-1 slasher who gets to the rim and crashes the glass, he was good for 18 points and 12 rebounds. Provided Durant is a better finisher than he showed on Saturday, the 6-foot-7 insider will get division one looks because of his length, hands, ability to run the floor and relentless crashing of the glass. … 2013 point guard Josh Newkirk of Word of God had some issues taking care of the ball on Saturday. But, the 6-foot-1 floor general has some high level tools. He's got an electric first step, length and is a kid who shares the ball and scores off the dribble when needed. High major programs will surely track his progress. … While he remains a work in progress on the offensive end, N.C. State signee Joseph Uchebo is in terrific shape and did outstanding work on the glass. The 6-foot-9 center pulled down a whopping 25 boards to go with his nine points during 30 minutes of action. …

I.C. Norcom has a pair of unsigned seniors who are deserving of division one looks. 6-foot-5 small forward Kameron Mack is a big-time athlete who fills lanes for dunks and crashes the glass. He's not a big ball handler, but he can make the open jumper out to the three point line. DeCarlos Anderson is a quick 6-foot-1 shooting guard who likes to operate off the dribble where his first step gets him separation to get to the rim or pull up for short jumpers. … North Florida signee Jacoby Davis has his body in terrific shape and physically looks like a college junior. The 6-foot-1 senior spent time running the point, but he looked much more comfortable playing off the ball and attacking the rim from the wing en route to a game high 21 points. … Sophomore Jamal Robinson and junior Coleman Johnson are two young guys to watch at Paul VI. Robinson is a slashing 6-foot-4 wing while Johnson is a lean, long and athletic 6-foot-7 power forward who crashes the glass and runs the floor. …

Surely there's a program on the low to mid major level that can find room for Richmond Benedictine senior point guard Erik Moody. The six-footer takes good care of the ball, finds his scorers, defends and can play an up and down or more controlled pace. According to his coach Sean McAloon he's not drawing much attention and is open to all programs who want to look into him. … DeMatha junior wing Jerami Grant bounced back nicely from a tough night on Thursday. With Florida coach Billy Donovan on hand to take a look, the 6-foot-6 Grant made an effort to attack the rim and showed off much more athleticism than he has in the past while crushing several dunks. He also hit the glass and finished with a nice double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. … Grant's senior teammate Mikael Hopkins was held out of the starting lineup but responded well. The Georgetown signee was good for 15 points, 12 boards and three blocks in just 19 minutes of action. … Thursday night, junior guard Marcellous Bell came off the bench to provide a huge spark for DeMatha with his toughness. Saturday, he earned a start and came up big with a 20 point outing. He's not really a point guard and he's not really a shooting guard, but he gets things done. …

Only a freshman, National Christian shooting guard John Davis is going to be a force to be reckoned with down the road. The 6-foot-2 Davis has a pure stroke and terrific hoops instincts. St. Vincent-St. Mary senior point guard Ricky Johnson is a division one player. He's not huge, but at 5-10 or so he's got very good quickness and is an excellent three point jump shooter. … Finally, Florida's Billy Donovan wasn't the only head coach in attendance as we spotted Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg, George Washington's Karl Hobbs and Howard's Kevin Nickelberry. We also noted assistants from Siena, American, Mt. St. Joseph, Georgetown, Northeastern, Xavier, Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Maryland, South Florida, Morgan State, Holy Cross, Boston College and Rice.


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