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April 6, 2009

Charm City Challenge news and notes

In their first game together as teammates, James Padgett and Jordan Williams didn’t disappoint.

The Maryland-bound post players powered the U.S. All-Stars to a 112-86 win over the Baltimore All-Stars in the Charm City Challenge on Sunday night at the Towson Center.

Padgett scored 22 points on 11-for-13 shooting and earned game MVP honors for his efforts. Williams contributed seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

For a complete recap of the event, click here for Sun reporter Rich Scherr’s game story. Click here for Sun columnist David Steele’s take on Padgett and Williams.

• Sunday’s game was the end of a long weekend for St. Frances small forward Terrell Vinson. The four-star prospect played Friday in the National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep, scoring 29 points in a 74-65 loss to St. Benedict’s of Newark, N.J. The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder finished second on the Baltimore team in scoring Sunday with 15 points. “I could’ve used a little rest from the weekend, but it was nice,” Vinson said. “It was good I got to come back and show my face in my city, but I wanted to win.”

Vinson said he’s looking primarily at three schools. “I like UMass, Maryland and possibly Louisville,” he said. After the dead period is over, Vinson plans on visiting UMass and most likely Maryland. Louisville has a scholarship crunch, but they could factor in depending on attrition. Vinson said he’ll likely make his commitment next month, and until then he’ll pay close attention to the news. “There’s going to be coaching changes and you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Vinson said. “Somebody might say they’re going to be staying at their school today, but [they] might have a different feeling tomorrow.”

• Digital Harbor point guard George Jackson scored 14 points for the City team in its 89-86 win over the County All-Stars. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder said he's staying in Baltimore for college. “I did a verbal commit to Coppin State ... last week,” Jackson said. “They’re building new facilities, they’re upgrading. So it looks like a nice fit for me. Their point guard (Tywain McKee) is leaving, and I can come in and be good.”

Jackson, who picked the Eagles over Tulsa and Bowling Green, said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell has high hopes for him as a freshman. “He just wants me to come in and work hard everyday. He believes if I stay all four years I can go to the next level.”

• Last year it was Mount Carmel point guard Troy Franklin who wowed the Towson faithful on his future home court. On Sunday it was John Carroll forward Isaiah Philmore’s turn. The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder, who signed with Towson last fall, was greeted with a nice round of applause and gave Tigers fans a preview of things to come. Philmore scored six points and demonstrated nice touch around the hoop. “[The fans] treated me very well,” Philmore said. “I’m looking forward to next year. ... I’m going to try to do just as well as Troy did his freshman year. We’ll see if we can go ahead and get to the finals of the CAA.”

Nick Groce ran the point efficiently for the County team, scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists in 20 minutes. The St. Mary’s standout could get a chance at running the show for UMBC next season due to Jay Greene’s graduation. “Well we haven’t really talked about it yet, but [stepping in for Greene] is kind of what they’re implying,” Groce said. “There’s another guard there, too, so we’ll probably be splitting time. But I should be getting a lot of time, hopefully.”

• Georgetown Prep’s Robert Olson was the only U.S. team member not committed to an ACC or Big East school, but the Loyola-bound guard more than held his own, scoring seven points and showing great range. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder said he had never played on a team with so many highly-rated players, but he felt completely comfortable right from the start. “I just soaked in the experience,” Olson said. “I knew I could play with good players. It wasn’t a matter of confidence for me. It was just a matter of showing everybody that I could play.”

• Former Lake Clifton point guard Derrious Gilmore connected on three foul shots in the final 11 seconds to seal the win for the City All-Stars. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder finished with 12 points and four steals. Gilmore spent his senior year at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham. “I had a real good season,” said Gilmore, who averaged 15 points, eight assists and three steals per game. “We played on the national scene. I got a lot of good looks and got my academics together. It was a good experience.” Gilmore, who expects to receive his latest SAT scores any day now, said he’s being recruited by UNC-Greensboro, San Jose State and Fordham. “I’m trying to finish up the school year real strong so I can get eligible for Division I basketball. If not, I’ll go to prep school and have another year to work on my body, get smarter, tougher and become a better basketball player.”

• Bel Air forward Donn Hill opened some eyes Sunday, leading the County team in scoring with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range. Hill said he’s heard from Penn State, Loyola, St. Francis (Pa.) and York College, but he’s still waiting on a qualifying SAT score. He’ll take the test again in May. If his score falls short of NCAA standards, Hill said he’ll likely attend Cecil College. “It’s number one in the country,” Hill said of the Seahawks, which finished with the nation’s best junior college record at 34-2. Three participants in last year’s Charm City Challenge ended up at Cecil: Douglass point guard Omar Strong, Towson Catholic power forward Brandon Greene and Digital Harbor small forward Jermaine Edwards.

• Walbrook guard Donte Stuckey will most likely continue his playing career at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College. He’s also considering CCBC-Catonsville and Colby (Kan.) Community College, but the 6-foot-4, 180-pounder is “liking Tallahassee because I want to get away.” Former Baltimore standouts Jeremy Robinson (Northwestern), Jermaine Dixon (Blake, Pittsburgh), Marcus Hatten (Mervo, St. John’s), Bootsy Thornton (Dunbar, St. John’s) and Marcus Johnson (Annapolis, College of Charleston) all played at TCC. Stuckey said he’s fine with following in their footsteps. “I understand the situation I’m in and I know what I’ve got to do to fulfill my dream.”

Notes: Milford Mill point guard Xavier Drake, a Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, is still on the market. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is fully qualified academically, but will likely head to either prep school or junior college next season, unless a Div. I school comes in late. “It’s basically an exposure thing,” Drake said of his plans for next year. ... Arundel guard Auraum Nuiriankh impressed Sunday with eight second-half points. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder said Albany called recently, while Wildcats head coach Jeff Starr mentioned that several Div. II schools have expressed interest. “I’m just trying to play somewhere,” Nuiriankh said. “I’d prefer to stay on the East Coast, but if not, I’d go anywhere.” ... Hammond point guard Chris Baker will take an official visit to Missouri Southern State, a Div. II program, on April 16. “Hopefully if everything works out I’ll be going there,” Baker said. “If it doesn’t, I’ll probably just go to a prep school.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 12:46 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Comments

Is it lost on anyone that Maryland is 2-1 against the final 2? Has any major sports show/channel interviewed Gary, coach of the only team to face both and beat each one? I bet he could provide a good piece on what it takes to beat each.

The only people who knows or even cares about that stat are Maryland fans.

What's the deal with Terrell Vinson? If he is really a 4-Star player, why hasn't Gary put on the full-court press for him instead of hoping for a miracle and Lance Stephenson?

RDK,
Good question. I've wondered why Vinson doesn't seem to be getting much attention from the Terps. He's certainly made it clear that we'd be the frontrunners if we really went after him.

RDK and Jeremy -- I'm not sure that Maryland is the definite favorite. He seems to really like UMass.

Vinson has never liked Maryland. He could have easily come here, and instead picked Loyola.

What's the latest recruiting forcast from Brian? Gary can't make a move without him.

On a side note, I saw that the MD students watched a half hour of that porn flick...isn't that usually all that it takes anyway?

Stephenson, Smith, and Barton...we need you and we got PORN at MD!!!!

rob- if i were a recruit, you would have just sold me. Hook, line and sinker. I guess Rudy Gay took UConn's 25-grand over MD porn.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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