Monday, February 7, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, Philadelphia University hosted the Hakim Warrick Classic, a triple-header of high school hoops featuring some of the best teams in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In fact, the headliner game of the day featured the number one high school team in America, Jersey City's Saint Anthony. In order to get something up here tonight, I am breaking the recap into two parts. The day's first game, between Neshaminy and Penn Wood, ended up being much more of a one-sided affair than I anticipated. Penn Wood won going away, 85-49. Penn Wood got a 29 point, 12 rebound MVP performance from senior wing Aaron Brown. I will write about Brown, fellow Penn Wood seniors Sean Oakman and Darian Barnes, and Neshaminy junior Ryan Arcidiacono tomorrow, so please check back. The focus of this entry will be on the day's second game, between Friends' Central and Saint Anthony.
Earlier in the week, Saint Anthony coach Bob Hurley registered his 1,000th win of his career. On this day, he would earn win 1,002, although, the game was anything but easy for Hurley and his Friars. Saint Anthony came out of the gate very slowly, and found themselves trailing 12 to 7 at the end of the first quarter. Saint Anthony actually went into the locker room trailing 22-21 at the half. An offensive outburst at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter helped Saint Anthony close the gap and take the lead. Rutgers-bound guard Myles Mack caught fire near the end of the third quarter. He scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half. The Friars ended up winning the game 59-49, but it was a much closer and more competitive game than that score indicates.
A few players on each side stood out to me. Below are write-ups on the Friends' Central players, with Kyle Anderson, Josh Brown, Jerome Frink, and Myles Mack's write-ups for the Saint Anthony side of things being posted tomorrow.
Devin Coleman- Friends' Central Senior: Coleman won MVP honors for the Friends' Central Phoenix, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. It was a gritty performance by Coleman, who scored all 19 points in the paint and at the free-throw line. In the first quarter alone, Coleman scored on three offensive rebound put-backs. While he never got it going from the perimeter, Coleman was extremely effective defensively, on the glass, and scoring the ball. The 6'2 guard plays with toughness and a great competitive streak. His athleticism and toughness were on display yesterday as he went toe-to-toe with the number one team in America. A number of college coaches were in the house yesterday, a few of whom were probably paying extra attention to Coleman. Clemson, Penn, Saint Joseph's, La Salle, Penn State, and Siena are rumored to be among the schools battling for his services next year.
Amile Jefferson-Friends' Central Junior (Pictured Above): Jay Wright, Fran Dunphy, and Phil Martelli represented 3/5 of the Big Five at the games yesterday. With the possible exception of Saint Anthony's Kyle Anderson, there was no player yesterday who those coaches would rather have on their team in two years. Amile scored his 1,000th career point during yesterday's contest. Despite being riddled with foul trouble, Amile had a strong outing, scoring 15 points and collecting 8 rebounds. Amile picked up his third foul in the second quarter on a questionable charging call. From that point on, he had to play more tentatively, and FCS coach Jason Polykoff went offense-defense substitutions with Amile whenever he could. Amile has just about every school in America recruiting him. Where he plays in college will be interesting, as he appears to be a combo forward at the moment. For Friends' Central, Amile is the only player about 6'2 or 6'3 that gets significant minutes, so he is forced to play in the post. He is very likely, at 6'8, to play at the 3 in the right college system too. Wherever he plays his college ball, and whatever position, Amile is one of the nation's most interesting and talented juniors.
Conrad Chambers-Friends' Central Freshman: Chambers is a freshman guard who played well beyond his years yesterday, scoring 10 points and handling intense ball pressure from Saint Anthony. Chambers hit at least once from beyond the arc during the contest, and also earned a few trips to the free-throw line, where he knocked down critical shots. At the moment, Amile and Devin get the lion's share of the recognition at FCS, but Chambers and sophomore guard Karon Davis are going to earn their accolades as well. Chambers really impressed yesterday, playing a very mature game for a freshman on a big stage.
Karon Davis-Friends' Central Sophomore: This was my third time seeing Davis, and he continues to impress. The heady, strong sophomore guard is one of many talented sophomores in Philadelphia. Davis, like Conrad Chambers, handled Saint Anthony's defensive pressure very nicely. Davis, Chambers, Malique Killing, and Devin Coleman were the primary ball-handlers for FCS during the game. Davis scored five points, including a corner three when Friends' Central was in control of the game. Only a sophomore, Davis is one-half of Friends' Central's backcourt of the future.
A write-up of the Penn Wood game, as well as player reviews for Saint Anthony will be up tomorrow, so please check back again then. I am also working on a number of other articles. These will be a bit of a departure from the norm here. I'm looking forward to writing them and hope you will enjoy them. They will pop up over the next week or so.
Picture of Amile Jefferson Courtesy of bluedevilnation.com