HOUSTON -- Houston woke up to a cold and wet morning on Saturday and for those that made it into the gym, they received a needed shot in the arm for a lazy day in Lone Star State.
Texas bound guard J'Covan Brown showed why he's considered the top prospect in the Houston area on Saturday evening. The Port Arthur Memorial senior poured in an event high 43 points in a back-and-forth 72-70 win over Smiley High School and had complete control in the closing minutes of the game.
On Friday, Brown scored 31 points but struggled with shot selection and decision-making but this game he looked like a guy that wanted the win a little more. He was poised and collected. Brown did a fine job of getting to the foul line time and time again for easy buckets. He scored just about everywhere inside the three-point line.
Smiley leaned on 6-foot-7 junior Augustine Rubit throughout the game. The big man is an immovable force inside the paint. He, like Bootle in the game before him, was a load to handle on the blocks. Rubit is a little bit bigger and longer than Bootle and much more mobile and agile inside with a more diverse game around the cup. Rubit finished with a team high 25 points in the defeat.
Sweet as Shug-a
With 3.4 seconds left on the clock and with the ball on it's baseline, Dallas Pinkston drew up a great play to free up South Alabama bound guard Demarius Jones for an open three in the deep right corner. Jones, who goes by "Shug", caught the entry pass and sunk the game winner as the buzzer rattled down to zero.
The three-pointer was Jones's fourth of the game and the three-star guard scored 24 points in the game. Jones found his groove early and had great success in the right corner of the floor.
Jones had plenty of help from backcourt mate Juarez Willis, mostly in the second half. The unsigned senior scored 24 points and hit for four three-pointers, three of which came in the final two quarters of the game. Willis, a low-major prospect, quietly did his part to help Pinkston be in position to win a tough one.
St. Pius didn't go down without a fight. In fact, the home town team was the one that was throwing the punches early. St. Pius held the lead for the majority of the game thanks in large part to the play of guard Mike Davis and senior Dwight Miller.
Davis, a 6-foot-3 guard, showed a lot of grit in his two games at the Texas Jamboree. He scored 26 points, handed out six assists, grabbed five steals and collected four rebounds in a hard fought effort. His floater in the lane with less than 10 seconds to play gave St. Pius a short lead with the game winding down.
His toughness and basketball smarts overcompensates for his average athleticism. He didn't have much trouble getting into the lane to score in the paint with the dribble drive. Davis has been one of the nice surprises over the two-day event and it wouldn't surprise us to see a couple of high-majors sniff around with him.
Miller looked much better on Saturday after his 11-point performance the day before. The Pittsburgh bound big man went back to his best strengths and that was pounding the ball inside on offense and crashing the boards on both sides of the floor.
The 6-foot-8 forward scored 19 points (8-14 FG) and finished the game with 13 rebounds. Paired against Southern Miss bound Andre Jackson, a massive 6-foot-9 center for Pinkston, Miller did a fine job of making his presence felt inside the paint.
More from Monroe
It took overtime but Greg Monroe and his Helen Cox team held on for a 55-50 win over St. Thomas on Saturday afternoon.
Monroe finished with 21 points (8-12 FG, 5-7 FT) and seven rebounds and quietly did his job amongst constant double and triple teams. He did a fine job of keeping his man off of the glass as well.
One quality of Monroe's game is his passing ability. Monroe sees the floor incredibly well and in Georgetown's style of play, he will fit in beautifully. There is a Jeff Green quality to his game.
Playing under the microscope of being the number one player in the nation is never an easy task. His game is dissected, examined, evaluated, broken down and discussed by every self-proclaimed basketball maven. While his game wasn't as it is capable of, hopefully those that saw him in action caught a glimpse of the good things that Monroe does.
Monroe didn't do it alone. He had 15 points from Howard signee Calvin Thompson. The 6-foot-4 guard had a good weekend of work in Houston. He's a shifty guard that played well off the ball and did a fine job of crashing the boards. He collected seven in the win on Saturday.
Once again, St. Thomas looked to Sam Houston State bound big man Antuan Bootle for help inside and the big fella stepped up as much as he could. He scored 19 points and was nearly perfect from the floor for three quarters. Monroe's length and athleticism kept Bootle off the boards. The big man was held to just three rebounds in the defeat.
St. Thomas advanced to overtime thanks to a leaning three-point shot with a second to play from junior guard Blake Jolivette.
Other notables from Sunday
Kimball had a well-balanced effort from Davion Green (14 points), Nevada bound London Giles (10 points), Wichita State bound David Kyles (9 points), super sophomore Julian Washburn (7 points) and