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December 20, 2008

City of Palms: Day three

FORT MYERS, FLA.- It was quarterfinals day at the City of Palms, and Mike Gilchrist made a huge impression in St. Patrick's first game of the event.

Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick 77, Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God 69

With a strong emphasis on defensive transition, St. Patrick got back into its 3-2 zone before John Wall could wreak his usual havoc. Then on the offensive end, the one-two punch of Mike Gilchrist and Derrick Gordon for St. Patrick, who was playing without a suspended Dexter Strickland, was too much for Word of God.

Mike Gilchrist- (30 points on 10-15 shooting, 10-10 from the line, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists, 7 blocks in 30 minutes)

It is hard to imagine seeing a sophomore prospect better than Austin Rivers at the same event, but watching Gilchrist provided just that opportunity. Explosive and long at 6-foot-7, Gilchrist is a heady player who plays with a high energy level. His ball handling in the open court is impressive, his work on the boards outstanding and he gets the ball in the hole.

Just having turned 15 this fall, Gilchrist is in the running for the No. 1 spot in the 2011 class along with LaQuinton Ross and Anthony Wroten, Jr. Coming off a recent visit to Georgetown, Gilchrist is also listing Memphis, Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse, Villanova and UMass.

Derrick Gordon- (27 points on 12-21 shooting, 0-1 from three, 3-4 from the line, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 turnovers)

Gordon is a well built 6-foot-2 wing prospect who got is points inside the arc. Projects on the low to mdi major level.

John Wall- (21 points on 8-19 shooting, 1-5 from three, 4-4 from the line, 3 rebounds, 7 turnovers in 31 minutes)

St. Patrick made it a priority to keep Wall out of the lane, and for the most part they were successful. Wall did get to the rim for a couple highlight plays, but primarily he had to knock down jumpers to get his points. Limiting Wall's penetration took away assist opportunities and influenced him into turning the ball over when he forced the issue.

C.J. Leslie- (20 points on 5-9 shooting, 0-1 from three, 10-17 from the line, 8 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 3 turnovers in 25 minutes)

Leslie played with energy and was aggressive attacking the rim on offense as his 17 free throw attempts testify.

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 72, Philadelphia Roman Catholic 70

A much larger Mater Dei squad jumped all over Roman Catholic for a 28-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. But then Roman Catholic junior guard Rakeem Brookins caught fire, and Roman Catholic steadily climbed back into the game, actually taking the lead midway through the third quarter. After that point the game went back and forth until Tyler Lamb was fouled with 5.5 seconds and sank both free throws to win the game.

Tyler Lamb- (19 points on 5-11 shooting, 1-4 from three, 8-8 from the line, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 2 assists, 2 turnovers in 32 minutes)

Mater Dei's best defender struggled with Brookins, but he did lead Mater Dei in scoring. Lamb impressed with his overall play during the first two games.

David Wear- (18 points on 9-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover in 27 minutes)

Wear is scoring to both shoulders and hitting face up jumpers. He and his brother Travis are develop physically and growing into their games.

Andy Brown- (9 points on 4-12 shooting, 1-2 from three, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 4 assists, 1 turnover in 31 minutes)

Brown is improving and should be able to help Stanford. He has a flawlessly sound fundamental game, makes great decisions with the ball and is a skilled four man.

Rakeem Brookins- (27 points on 12-20 shooting, 3-8 from three, 0-1 from the line, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 assist, 2 turnovers in 32 minutes)

The 2010 guard was the man of the hour for Roman Catholic. He shot the ball with confidence and is a mid-major treasure.

Maalik Wayns- (20 points on 6-22 shooting, 0-6 from three, 8-10 free throws, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 points in 32 minutes)

Wayns has struggled mightily in these first two games with his shooting, but the real problem was that he kept shooting from the outside. Bottom line is that defenders can't keep Wayns in front of them. When Wayns put it on the deck with purpose, he produced assists against Mater Dei. He just needs to relax, play to his strengths, and take open jumpers in rhythm instead of forcing jumpers. When Wayns gets to Villanova, he will have plenty of opportunities for assists.

Winter Park (Fla.) 60, Los Angeles Westchester 54

In a well played game, Westchester held a small lead through three quarter until Winter Park tied the game with a backdoor lay up on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Elite sophomore guard Austin Rivers took over the game for the rest of the quarter.

Austin Rivers- (30 points on 10-20 shooting, 3-8 from three, 7-11 from the line, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 2 turnovers in 26 minutes)

We are talking about the real deal with Rivers. He has the bounce to dunk in traffic, three-point range on his hop back jumper, a lethal hesitation move going either direction and a high level floater off the bounce. Most importantly, Rivers puts all this together in a way that wins games.

Robert Lovaglio- (13 points on 6-9 shooting, 1-1 from the line, 11 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 assists, 2 turnovers in 29 minutes)

The ultimate glue guy, Lovaglio is a 6-foot-4 2010 wing who simply makes plays all over the court. Not a high major athlete, Lovaglio projects as at least a low major prospect who will help a college team win games like he helps his high school team win games.

Jordin Mayes- (20 points on 8-23 shooting, 1-10 from three, 3-5 from the line, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 2 assists in 32 minutes)

Although he played point guard on the travel circuit, Mayes project as a shooting guard at the next level. A guy who knows how to move without the ball and use screens, Mayes normally shoots the ball at a high level. Today he struggled shooting in a large part because Rivers' defense.

Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler 101, New York Lincoln 84

Wheeler took over in this high scoring affair in the second quarter when they outscored Lincoln 30-15 with Lance Stephenson on the bench the entire quarter with two fouls. Ari Stewart, Tahj Tate, Phil Taylor and Richard Howell combined for 91 of Wheeler's 101 points.

Ari Stewart- (25 points on 10-16 shooting, 3-3 from three, 2-5 from the line, 8 rebounds 1 block, 1 assist, 2 turnovers in 24 minutes)

The Wake Forest commitment was terrific on Saturday night. Stewart played his typical high energy game but with a sense of control that isn't always there. His shots came within the rhythm of the game while he hunted out opportunities to score. Both in transition and in the half court, Stewart was on point.

Phil Taylor- (26 points on 9-18 shooting, 0-3 from three, 8-9 from the line, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 7 assists, 1 turnover in 32 minutes)

Wheeler's point man wasn't too bad either. Taylor keep the pressure on the defense with his penetration while keeping his turnovers down.

Tahj Tate- (24 points on 8-14 shooting, 1-1 from three, 7-7 from the line, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers in 16 minutes)

Tate did what he does best- get out in transition and score.

Richard Howell- (16 points on 6-14 shooting, 4-5 from the line, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, 1 turnovers in 27 minutes)

Besides working the backboards, the NC State commitment had some nice plays off the bounce from the high post.

Lance Stephenson- (26 points on 9-19 shooting, 1-6 from three, 7-8 from the line, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover in 22 minutes)

Stephenson started the game off strongly with nine points in the first six minutes of the game, but he never got back on track after sitting out the entire second quarter in foul trouble. Stephenson's lack of a steal in the game represents Lincoln's defensive woes as an entire team.


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