Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oak Hill Academy vs St Benedict's

In Benton, Kentucky, as part of an Old Spice event, Oak Hill Academy of Mount Wilson, Virginia squared off with St Benedicts Prep of New Jersey in front of an ESPN crowd and 6,000 in the stands. The game was previewed earlier here at Recruitng Wars.

So what did we learn after watching the game? For one thing, that Fran Frachilla needs to retake Math 101: "300+ division 1 schools, with 13 scholarships each is more than 1,000 players" said Fran. *Cough* *cough* How about 4,000 players?

Brandon Jennings had a lot of weight on his shoulders with Jason Campbell injuured (broken hand) and Malik Story dismissed from the team for other reasons. After watching this game, there's one thing that Brandon Jennings reminded me that I didn't think of before: Salim Stoudamire. And it's not just the step-back three, but his on-court demeanor/moodiness. Which perhaps explains his college destination (Arizona).

If Jennings is the #1 player in the 2008 class, he didn't show it on Thursday. He surely showed flashes of great talent and explosiveness but he was not the star of the game by any means.

The other touted player in the game, Samardo Samuels had a solid game, but was not as dominant as his top ranking might suggest. Part of it of course was the Oak Hill bottling it up zone, part of it facing a 300-pounder in "Tiny" Gallon.

But there was a star in the game, Tamir Jackson, a junior (2009 class) of St Benedicts, who almost put 30 points on the scoreboard. Not bad for a player who was definitely flying under the radar on the national scene. #11 showcased his skilled at a very big stage, ESPN - and he certainly deserved it!

A number of other juniors (2009 class) showed promise, like big man Greg Echenique of St Benedicts who promises to be a highly sought after big man among the premiere college programs. Oak Hill's Glen Bryant (#31) has a lot of athletic talent, and he's certainly at the right place to make the most of his talent. Another player in a similar situation is the big 300-pounded Tiny Gallon. Frachilla compared him to an Oliver Miller (no one was throwing burgers on the court as far as I could tell).

But wait, there's more! The 2010 class (sophomores) was well represented, with Oak Hill's starting wing duo of Howard and Allen, and St Benedict's promising wing Aaron Brown (#22) and promising Canadian forward Tirstan Thompson (#13) coming off the bench.

Of course as you are well aware a single game does not tell the whole story, but it can tell part of the story.

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