FORT MYERS, Fla.- There were a number of impressive performances during the final three games of Saturday night's action at the City of Palms Classic, but none matched the scoring spree of Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon.
With a number of high major prospects on the court, this Rivals150 prospect and Western Kentucky signee simply stole show in St. Patrick's blowout win over Whitney Young. Doing his best Josh Selby meets Eric Gordon impersonation, Gordon stroked 6-9 three pointers, was 12-20 overall from the field and hit 7-8 free throws for a total of 37 points. Gordon will be an impact player at the next level and will likely lead Western Kentucky to its share of upsets during his career. As a scorer, he has a burst, plenty of savvy and a deadly stroke. Defensively, he did a great job of keeping Sam Thompson in front of him.
Gilchrist had a solid outing with 13 points, eight rebounds (game high), seven assists and two blocks. Still not a confident shooter, Gilchrist went 0-4 from three and 3-7 overall from the field but did hit 7-9 free throws. Known for his hardnosed play going towards the basket, Gilchrist doesn't get enough credit for his ability to penetrate and then find shooters on the arc. He will have ample opportunity to utilize this ability next year at Kentucky.
This future Buckeye has a lot of former Buckeye Evan Turner to his game. Thompson is long and versatile and spends most of the game running the point. His slashing and finishing ability along with his court vision put a lot of pressure on the defense. And like Turner at the same stage, Thompson needs to improve his shooting range and his strength. For the game Thompson shot 4-12, 1-2 from three, 8-11 from the line for 17 points. He also had three rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Dakari Johnson (2014, St. Patrick)
Listed as 6-foot-10, 240-pounds as a freshman, Johnson was the most impressive post prospect in the game. He didn't miss a shot, going 3-3 from the field and 1-1 from the line and grabbed eight rebounds (tying Gilchrist for game high). Most impressive, however, was how he moved his feet defensively and his timing as a shot blocker. Johnson blocked three shots while also factoring in on many other misses.
Does the future ever look bright for this 6-foot-7 wing scorer. White is smooth and composed with the basketball but also has an explosive burst. It is obvious that White will grow into being a "go-to" scorer for Whitney Young, but it is nice to see how engaged he is in all aspects of the game. Playing just half the game, White was his team's leading rebounder. He also scored 14 points on 5-6 shooting, 2-2 from the arc and 2-2 from the line.
In the first half Rivers only took six shots, and it was Brett Comer who forced the action for Winter park. But in the second half Rivers took over the game. Using his two patented moves- an explosive drive off a hesitation dribble and a hop back three- Rivers put up a game high of 28 points on 11-17 shooting, 3-7 from three and 3-6 from the line. Rivers was also good on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds, and he showed the ability to play the role of distributer, handing out five assists. He is right on track to bring both an explosive and mature game to Duke next year.
Florida Atlantic got a good one in this physical lead guard. Comer does a little bit of everything as indicated by a stat line of 20 points on 6-7 shooting, 2-2 from three, 6-9 from the line, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and one block.
Gathers was a physically dominant force around the basket, but he just couldn't get enough shots to fall to dominate the game. He ended up with 21 points but that was on 8-27 shooting, 1-6 from three and 4-8 from the line. Aggressive to the end, he also had 14 rebounds and four steals.
BillyDee Williams (2012, Winter Park)
Williams spearheaded a team effort by Winter Park to deal with Gathers on the boards. A well put together athlete at around 6-foot-6, Williams grabbed a team high eight rebounds and did a great job defending Gathers in the post, blocking three shots. Williams also had 10 points, going 4-7 and making both his three-point attempts.
Brissett must be a phenomenal football player if that is considered his best sport. On Saturday night against Bishop Gorman he was the best player on the court. His controlled competitiveness and physicality set him apart from anyone else out there. Still working his way into basketball shape, Brissett only played 22 minute. And it was one game when he was in there and another game when he wasn't in the game. In those 22 minutes he had 30 points on 10-16 shooting, 0-2 from the arc and 10-10 from the line. He also had a game high 11 rebounds.
Muhammad had a good game for Bishop Gorman, but he just didn't have the physicality to impact the game like Brissett did. Nonetheless, Muhammad competed and scrapped for boards and points to keep Bishop Gorman in the game. He finished with 31 points on 10-22 shooting, 1-2 from three and 10-13 from the arc. He also had seven rebounds and three steals.
Allen looked great shooting the basketball, going 5-7, 3-4 from the arc and 2-4 from the line for 15 points. He also grabbed five rebounds but had four turnovers to zero assists. As with the Bishop Gorman team in general, Allen didn't always have the strength to make plays against the stronger Dwyer team.
A monster of a low post player, listed at 6-foot-10, 280-pounds, James will be an attraction for college coaches during the summer evaluation period. He has great hands and the lefty is a reliable finisher. He scored 14 points on 6-8 shooting but missed both his free throws, grabbled seven rebounds and blocked two shots.