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May 28, 2006NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Think stats don't matter in the world of AAU basketball? Don't tell the folks at the Memorial Day Classic.
The officials at the MDC this weekend at Ensworth High are accounting for every point, rebound, assist, steal and even all the turnovers made in the tournament.
It provided us with a unique opportunity to see just how productive each prospect is and we have broken down the best of the bunch from day one's action on Saturday.
Making names for themselves
With many of the highest touted prospects from the class of 2008 in the field one of the best made a statement right away. Tyreke Evans put together a versatile performance in his first game, scoring 23 points, grabbing eight rebounds, dishing out four assists and adding four steals to lead Team Final to a hard-fought 74-70 win over Team STAT. Evans did much of his damage by drawing fouls and then taking advantage, going 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
Nasir Robinson, another 2008 prospect, scored 18 points for Team Final.
The stat sheets also showed steady performances from highly-touted 2008 small forward Greg Monroe, who led the New Orleans Panthers to a 67-43 win over the Arizona Stars by scoring 16 points and grabbing six boards.
Panthers' point guard Josh White played particularly well, scoring a game-high 20 and adding two steals.
One of the event's smallest prospects and another class of 2008 product, Andre Young, who stands 5-foot-8, put on a show versus All-Ohio. Young racked up a game-high 28 points and his teammate Jarvis Jones from the class of 2009 added 16 more in a 73-67 win for the Georgia Blazers.
Coincidentally, the veteran-laden All-Ohio team was led by 2008 prospect Chris Johnson who scored 19.
Thrilling performances, thrilling finishes
Kyle Singler, who is ranked the No. 6 prospect in the class of 2007, didn't disappoint in his opening game either. Singler scored a game-high 24 points against All-Ohio and the Portland Legends needed every single one to hold on for a 56-55 win. He also added seven boards.
All-Ohio was led by point guard Ronnie Stewart, who poured in 17 points, and Ohio State-commit Jon Diebler, who chipped in 13.
Athletes First edged the New York Gauchos 68-66 in one of the most exciting night games thanks to a pair of free throws from rising 2009 prospect Xavier Henry in the closing seconds.
Both teams were led by balanced efforts.
Athletes First had three players finish with 12 points, including Oklahoma-commit Cade Davis, Kyle Hardlick and Henry.
The Gauchos had three players in double figures, including Darryl Bryant (12), Kharigue Irick (11) and Terrell Holloway (10). Irick had a big first day, scoring 17 in the Guachos' 71-58 win over the Murfreesboro Stars.
The South Florida Heat and Kentucky Hoop Stars combined for one of the day's most entertaining games as the Heat came away with a 103-101 win. Players on both sides produced some impressive numbers.
The Heat's 5-foot-11 point guard John Roberson led the way, scoring a team-high 26 points.
Kentucky was led by a pair of low-profile seniors. Matt Walls finished with a game-high 36 points and Aaron Carter had 23.
Team STAT managed to hold off the Miami Tropics and their solid trio of prospects for a tough 77-72 victory.
Jonathan Rodriguez (22), Javi Gonzalez (19) and Freddy Asprilla (13) combined for 54 of the Tropics' points.
Christopher Hyche of the Jackson Tigers put together one of day's best games, racking up 31 points in a 66-52 win for the Tigers.
Don't blame the point guards
Big scoring nights from a handful of prospects weren't enough to keep their teams from losing.
FOH Seattle put together a furious second-half comeback against the Alabama Lasers thanks to Washington-commit Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas finished with 23 points, but it wasn't enough to stop the Lasers from pulling away for an 82-68 win.
Tennessee Travelers point guard Tony White, Jr. - the son of the former Tennessee standout - put up 30 points in the Travelers' 82-58 loss to the D.C. Blue Devils.
News and notes
Three major recruits which were expected to be part of the field aren't playing. That includes Oklahoma-commit Blake Griffin (tendonitis in knee) of Athletes First and Chris Wright (sick) of Boo Williams. Wright did not make the trip and either did Nike Team Florida's Solomon Alabi.
Ole Miss NEWS