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November 18, 2006

National Prep Showcase rolls on

WORCESTER, MASS. - The National Prep Showcase rolled on at Assumption College on Saturday and guys like Craig Brackins absolutely brought their A game while Friday's stars kept shining.

Greedy is good

For the second straight day, it was the Jamine Peterson show. The New York native dominated down low. Did we mention he is only 6-foot-5 and playing against one of the top teams in the country in Hargrave Military Academy? Peterson, who goes by "Greedy", lived up to his name. If there was a loose ball, he was grabbing it. If there was a bucket to be scored down low, he converted.

Peterson scored 24 points and collected nine rebounds in Notre Dame's 90-89 victory over Hargrave. The question has been floated around about his ability to have that kind of impact of at the high-major level. That will be debatable. What isn't is his ability to make things happen when it matters and no one did it better than him all weekend.

The big question coming into Saturday's Notre Dame Prep-Hargrave game was how does Michael Beasley respond to an off night like he had on Friday. The answer? He did a better of a job in his second game back from a groin injury to the tune of 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Beasley didn't pour in the main points, that was Peterson's job, but he did make passes, good passes, to get guys involved. When he was crashing the boards, he seemed to play harder on the offensive end.

Texas sized surprise

Texas Tech inked a very solid class during the early signing period, headlined by a number of home grown players from the Lone Star State. However, Daryl Ashford, a Houston native, has not received a lot of attention nationally. He is looking like a guy that will fit in just nicely for Bob Knight.

Now at New Hampton Prep, Ashford showed off the kind of game that usually gets minutes sooner than later for the General. For starters, the athletic 6-foot-3 values defense. He is jet quick from end to end and does a great job on the ball. Offensively, most of his buckets come inside 15 feet, at least they did on Saturday morning. Ashford finished 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a pair of steals in a 67-56 New Hampton win over Champlain St. Lambert.

South Kent goes West

South Kent relied on a pair of Pac-10 signees and a UTEP bound wing to pick up a 75-54 win over Maine Central Institute.

Future Oregon State guard Calvin Haynes dropped in 17 efficient points in the victory. The 6-foot-2 lefty played one of the better games we've seen from him in a long time and did the little things very well in the victory.

UTEP bound wing Manual Cass was the most productive player for the Connecticut team, scoring 18 points and grabbing five rebounds. No surprise here, most of Cass's points were above the rim and usually drew a loud response from the crowd.

Ditto for Matthew Bryan-Amaning. The future Washington Husky must have had a half dozen dunks and finished with 14 points. Like we've said before, if the game is running, he is shining.

Other notables from Saturday

Brewster Academy handed the ball to Craig Brackins and got out of the way. The 6-foot-10 forward flat out got it done in Brewster's 94-65 stomping of Massanutten Military Academy. The future Iowa State big man scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The way Brackins put in his points was down right scary. He sank a couple of threes, he powered his way around down low and scored a number of times in the midrange. The Cyclones have a future star coming to Ames.

Also playing well for Jason Smith was junior Emmanuel Negedu, who continues to defy all kinds of gravitational laws. The long-armed forward ripped down eight offensive boards (11 total for the game) and usually skied for monstrous put back dunks. He finished with 16 points.

For the second day in a row, Malcolm Grant was outstanding. The future Villanova point guard poured in 26 points, including six three-pointers, in an easy Winchendon 69-51 win over Fork Union. Grant found ways to get buckets all the while staying poised and the vocal leader for his young team.

Jerrell Williams doesn't seem to mind the mornings. The LaSalle bound wing was outstanding for his Northfield Mount Hermon team, scoring 30 points on 14 of 20 shooting from the floor and corralling 12 rebounds in a huge win over Our Savior New American.

Prior to the NPT, those that knew about Tirrell Baines knew that the South Carolina native could have a huge showing at the event. On Saturday, he did what he is perfectly capable of doing. The athletic 6-foot-6 forward was the driving force for Patterson as the Bulldogs worked hard to get a 86-82 win over St. Thomas More.

Baines' play is revolved around using his great athleticism to his advantage, scoring at the rim, slashing to the basket, working the baseline and finding opportunities to get to the foul line. Baines scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win. He said he knew that this tournament would give his recruitment a needed shot in the arm. Now it is just a matter of waiting to see who will jump into the picture.

"I'll go to Timbuktu to play," Baines said.

Baines said he is hearing from Nebraska, Ole Miss, Seton Hall and Arizona at the moment. None have offered and he said he has a qualify score and a 2.9 grade point average.

When Allen mans the paint, the Hokies will put the ball into the hands of Dorenzo Hudson. He is a great scorer who does nice work off of screens and can really pour in the points in a hurry. In his career in the ACC, Hudson will certainly be amongst the top scorers in the conference. Make no mistake about that. Check 21 of his 25 points coming in the second half. Hudson can pour it in quietly.

It was man up time for Jeff Allen and he definitely did just that. The future Virginia Tech post player looked like his old self despite a tough loss to Notre Dame Prep. When he focuses in on being a dominant interior force, there are few better in this class. Allen knows how to throw his big, broad shoulders around on offense to get position under the basket and he also knows how to grab rebounds out of his area and go right into the fast break.

The Hokies will likely employ his skill set right away. Some nights he could even do what he did against Notre Dame Prep, scoring 18 points, rebounding 10 boards, swiping six steals, dishing out four assists and blocking three shots.

Jeremy Jacob may be a little unorthodox with his play style but boy is he productive. The future Georgia Bulldog is more like a junk yard dog, scrapping for buckets and doing the little things. Jacob put 15 points and eight rebounds.

After spending most of the summer banged up, Dominique Sutton is back to full strength and playing like Kansas State knew he could. The 6-foot-5 wing has looked very impressive in two days of action, showing off a keen ability score and attack the glass. The biggest question that has always surrounded him was his shooting touch. Sutton drained his only three-point attempt and sank five of six free throws en route to 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals in Patterson's win over St. Thomas More.

Another day, another double double for Devin Ebanks. The five-star junior was the offensive lynch pin for St. Thomas More in defeat. He lead his squad with 20 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

Coaches in the house

For the second straight day, there was only one head coach in the building. St. John's Norm Roberts led the charge on Saturday.

On tap

SUNDAY, NOV. 19
10:00 a.m. - New Hampton (N.H.) vs. Patterson School (N.C.)
11:30 - Brewster Academy (N.H.) vs. American Christian (Pa.)
1:00 p.m. - Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) vs. Champlain St. Lambert (Canada)
2:30 - South Kent (Conn.) vs. Massanutten Military Academy (Va.)
4:00 - Tilton School (N.H.) vs. Blair Academy (N.J.)
5:30 - Maine Central Institute (Maine) vs. Stoneridge Prep (Calif.)


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