January 14, 2007

Flyin' to the Hoop: Sunday

DAYTON, OH - The second day of the Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational saw a stellar performance from Nayal Koshwal in the morning game while a handful of other prospects did their thing at Vandalia Butler High School. Rivals.com was on hand for all of the action.

Koshwal shines again

Sunday mornings, especially the dreary morning in Dayton, should be spent diving into a newspaper, a cup of coffee in hand and lounging around the house. But for Boys to Men and Stoneridge, the 11 a.m. game was back and forth and far from relaxing.

Playing in a tug of war battle, the two teams saw leads grow, diminish and straddle the line all game long. Boys to Men rode a strong fourth quarter and came away with a 70-69 win.

Led by the sharp-shooting of senior guard Alvin Abreu, the pin-point passing of Jeremiah Kelly and the brute strength of Nayal Koshwal, Boys to Men held off a late run from Stoneridge.

Abreu, a 6-foot-1 unsigned senior, scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 28 points. Abreu knocked down five three-pointers in the game and seemed to always have the answer for Boys to Men.

In the first four minutes, Koshwal missed his first five shots thanks in large part to the pair of seven-footers standing under the basket. Then Koshwal found an answer and a way to make it happen in a big way.

The future DePaul Blue Demon scored 18 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and five assists in the victory and emotionally took the fire out of the Stoneridge frontline. The 6-foot-8 big man capped off a very strong two game showing at the Flyin' to the Hoop. Koshwal, the No. 26 ranked senior in the nation, just brings it and doesn't take any prisoners.

Kelly didn't have a strong game offensively but made the right passes in the clutch to help push Boys to Men over the edge.

Stoneridge double dips

Outside of Brandon Jennings, Angelo Johnson gets to spots faster than any other guard in the event field. The Stoneridge point guard picked apart the Boys to Men guards in the first half and got to the rim with ease. Eventually, his legs wore thin and didn't have the same kind of acceleration that he had in the first 16 minutes of play. He finished with 12 points, four assists and four rebounds in the tough loss in the morning and then responded well with a victory in the evening against Christian Life Center. Johnson said he is visiting Cincinnati on Monday after his game.

Perhaps the biggest surprise so far of the event has been Stoneridge wing J.P. Olukemi, a 6-foot-5 junior, seemed to do a little bit of everything. He scored 19 points in the loss and collected a stat line that would serve him well in a fantasy basketball league. Olukemi is as good as any mid-major player in his class and could sneak in with a high-major program. He's just now cracking onto the scene and schools like Nebraska, Colorado and Washington have taken notice.

Five-star big man Mamadou Diarra was a non-factor on the offensive end, scoring just four points and grabbed eight rebounds against Boys to Men. Against Christian Life he pulled down nine rebounds and scored four points.

Jordan & Miles play well again

DeAndre Jordan has paired up against some of the biggest guys in the event and didn't have any trouble whatsoever. It's doubtful he'll ever suit up against a frontline quick like Stoneridge's again before heading off to Texas A&M. Jordan did nice work on the right block against fellow five-star Mamadou Diarra, scoring over the 6-foot-11 forward with a soft baby hook.

Jordan did a better job on the glass on Saturday, grabbing eight first half boards and exerting more energy to get loose balls. Defensively, he was much improved as well. His presence gave the Stoneridge big men a headache as they struggled to get points around the cup. Jordan finished with 12 points (5-6 FG, 2-2 FT) and 14 rebounds in the defeat.

Nate Miles struggled with his shot in the first half against Stoneridge, shooting a cold one for seven from the field. He came out strong to start the second half, hitting three of his first four shots. Miles finished with 13 points and five rebounds. He shot five of 16 from the floor.

News & Notes

Sophomore big man Matt Cavanaugh from Centerville (Ohio) High School did a nice job of working the glass against Villa Angela-St. Joseph. The 6-foot-8 forward is certainly a prospect to look at for the quality mid-major programs. He's got a body that will only get bigger and stronger and he understands how to play his position. There's a prospect in him and certainly a guy that a lot of teams will be gauging over the next couple of years.

Tearon Hill, a 6-foot-8 post grad player at Cornerstone Christian, impresses as a shot-blocker. He played with a sense of urgency on the defensive end and swarmed to the ball like a gnat. He was one of the few post players in the day that played big and played tough around the basket.

Prince Avenue Prep guards may be small but Xavier Collier and Tim Downs will be solid catches for low-major schools. Collier, a potent scorer last year as a senior in Augusta, Ga., could be slide into a mid-major program. The 5-foot-11 sparkplug is a pure scorer with good hops, good wheels and enough to make schools take a long look. Collier said he is hearing from Providence and Georgia Southern and he is waiting on his SAT score. Downs said he is hearing from Appalachian State, Fairfield and Winthrop.

Cleveland Rhodes power forward Deyonte Culpepper didn't have a dazzling game by any means but there is a prospect inside of him. The 6-foot-7 junior is long, moves well, has an ounce of athleticism and certainly possesses potential that should garner looks from the mid-majors. Once he can finish around the basket and capitalize on his crafty post moves, he'll seal his spot at the mid-major plus level.

Cornerstone Christian's guard Jonathan Dunn scored a team high 17 points in a win over Genesis One. Dunn is hearing from Houston, George Mason, Robert Morris and Oral Roberts. He recently took a visit to Georgia and Wake Forest and Cincinnati were on hand to get a peek.

Four-star junior forward Troy Gillenwater didn't play on Saturday in two games. He was not injured and Stoneridge coach Babacar Sy said it was a coaching decision.

Rhodes played without the services of Rayshawn Goins, who sat on the bench with an ice pack on his knee.

All eyes on us

Coaches in the house included LaSalle head coach John Giannini and assistants from Ball State, Cleveland State, Cincinnati, IPFW, Morehead State, Providence, St. Bonaventure, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Wright State.

Sunday's Scoreboard

Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) 70, Boys to Men (Ill.) 69
Prince Avenue Prep (S.C.) 91, NC Georgia Elite 67
Eastern Commerce (Can.)50, Rhodes (Ohio) 39
Cornerstone Christian (Texas) 66, Genesis One (Miss.) 46
Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) 49, Life Center Academy (Texas) 42
Centerville (Ohio) 45, Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) 38

On Tap

Monday, Jan. 15
11:15 a.m. - Eastern Commerce (Can.) vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio)
1:00 p.m. - NC Georgia Elite (Ga.) vs. Genesis One Elite (Miss.)
2:45 p.m. - Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) vs. Hamilton (Ohio)
4:30 p.m. - Wayne (Ohio) vs. Lakota East (Ohio)
6:15 p.m. - Cornerstone Christian (Texas) vs. Harmony Prep (Ohio)



 

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