Midnight Madness: The Pre-Game Punch
We're in the gym at five arenas tonight blogging live in HANG TIME while Going South is at Kentucky's Rupp Arena, so here's a quick run down of the Midnight Madness visitors for those college hoops fans that don't normally dip into the recruiting scene....
Georgetown - Talk about building on momentum. JTIII's got the nation's capital and the surrounding areas on lock, plus the staff worked to pick some of the best from the west in, and they'll host the nation's best available player in No. 2 overall Greg Monroe from Gretna, LA. The three Class of 2008 commits are from close proximity to campus. Forwards Chris Braswell (No. 65) and Henry Sims (No. 57) come in as guys who play with that classic GTown toughness and are sure to bring some Hoya Paranoia to any guards thinking about bringing it down the lane. The backcourt keeps up its four-deep fueling. They'll have Sapp, Summers, Wright and Freeman this year, and Jason Clark (No. 103) will come in a year from now ready to contribute. 2009 wing teammates at Montrose Christian (Kevin Durant's HS senior year stop) Isaiah Armwood and Terrell Vinson (No. 12 and 40) will be there, and coming in cross country are Hollis Thompson (No. 11 junior) and Renaldo Woolridge (No. 75 senior, choosing from the Hoyas, Tennessee, USC, Marquette and Illinois). With Monroe, they'll have to top the LSU win over Florida last week on the gridiron that Monroe was front and center on the sidelines for in his bayou backyard. Getting the Midnight Madness visit is as plenty important as hosting him for a big football game, considering they fought the likes of Duke, UConn and Texas for it. Long enough list of potential future Hoyas? Hibbert might even have someone hiding in his 'fro.
Memphis - The excitement for Memphis hoops is carrying on down. Highlighting the visitors is Elliot Williams (No. 18), another player like Rose that gets to the rim at will and attacks it violently. He's an in-state kid and has them on his final list of three along with Tennessee and Duke. Xavier Henry of Oklahoma is the No. 4 rated junior in the country and would be another CDR, but he's got offers from whoever he wants and his brother is CJ Henry, a Kansas hooper and 1st Round MLB Pick in 2005 by the New York Yankees. Speaking of the Big Apple, long and lean swingman Durand Scott (No. 55 junior) might trip down. If not, they'll be sure to have him at their two Madison Square Garden games this pre-season as Scott's list is in the early stages of being trimmed but has a national feel. The Tigers are ready to run rough shot on the nation and this is one night where they don't want Derrick Rose to be unselfish. If you weren't ready to gel your hair up like Coach Cal than the Jason Kidd/Baron Davis remix of a point guard will make you lose it.
North Carolina - Ed Davis (No. 10-ranked overall senior) is bringing his block party to Late Night with Roy. The 6-9 forward commit will make Heel fans happy with his silky smooth footwork and his alarm clock shot blocks (great timing). He's got a younger running mate from his summer ball team joining him for the event, and that's Kendall Marshall (No. 10-ranked sophomore). If Davis isn't playing for pay by 2010, Marshall will be back teaming with and running the show for the Heels at that point, since he's already given a verbal commitment to the program. Was there a time you ever wanted Serge Zwikker and Kevin Salvadori to own the paint together? 7-footish twins Travis and David Wear (No. 23 and 30) make the hike in from California. And it's not going to be Ronald Curry Pt. II, but one of the nation's top football players comes in to Chapell Hill. Don't doubt the link of 'Ol Roy hitting the ol' stomping grounds and pulling Arthur Brown out of Jayhawk land in Wichita, Kan. What a worker. Roy really does give a flip.
USC - The Trojans get their new juice debuting OJ tonight and now they've got twin towers in the Galen Center. Renardo Sidney (Mississippi to Artesia, now to Fairfax) and Jeremy Tyler (San Diego) are some of the best big men nationally in their classes ('09 and '10) and would be big-time lands if they decided to stay home. That's two and three years away though. It seems like SC's got each year covered for excitement at this point in time though. The one not mentioned? 2008, and they've got two high-profile commitments. DeMar Derozan (No. 5) was the biggest rising wing of those players this past summer that were heading into their senior years and improved his game to the length of getting pro talk around him. Percy Miller still needs a growth spurt, but his pops if you didn't already know is Master P (used to rap, got a try-out with the league's Toronto Raptors, made some millions). Should be a nice donor kick-back if all goes smooth with his son. Lastly, speaking of sons, Dwayne Polee Jr. (No. 33) is a 2010 commit and his father's on the staff now as Director of Basketball Operations. Can't wait for O.J. to son the Pac-10.
Kansas - A big-time class enters its junior season and despite losing Julian Wright, watch out as Sherron Collins, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush go into takeover mode this year with Darrell Arthur showing his true colors. The Jayhawks will have Travis Releford (No. 33 senior) and post-graduate/fifth-year players Marcus (No. 60) and Markieff Morris (No. 82) from Philadelphia. The blog from the Phog might seem quiet for big-timers, but you know that best known for his recruiting Bill Self's probably got something cooked up that we're not seeing.
Kentucky - Save the best for last? Legit excitment can be made for Kentucky Basketball this year. Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley have their trigger finger's ready for their senior season and freshman Pat Patterson is ready right now to be an SEC force. The roof might come off Rupp with the intro of new head coach Billy Clyde Gillispie and he's bringing a crew with him that will be sitting behind the bench. Commits for next year DeAndre Liggins (No. 32) and Darius Miller (No. 46) are givens, but it's the long list of others that shows BCG's recruiting prowess that everybody in the circles have pumped him up for. Chris Singleton (No. 28 senior) is a late-bloomer nationally after a huge summer, and look who's got him for the big night. Likewise for John Wall (No. 15 in 2009), representing the break out performer in the junior class and now considered one of the top point guards nationally. Oh, and they've got a 7-foot priority in Ralph Sampson Jr., the son of the former NCAA phenom at Virginia.
Save The Date
Just a thought - Of the teams we've got covered tonight, all six of them will face each other in some capacity...
North Carolina vs. Kentucky - December 1st
Kansas vs. USC - December 2nd
USC vs. Memphis - December 4th
Georgetown vs. Memphis - December 22nd
Posted by Patrick Stevens on October 12, 2007