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April 29, 2007

King James: Saturday's action

AKRON, Ohio -- The King James Shooting Stars Classic continued on and some of the top players in the event stepped up in a big way. A pair of free throws from Delvon Roe held off a man-sized game from Kenny Boynton while a pair of five-star wings tangled up in a dandy.

Our state, our tournament, our victory

In a standing room only gym tucked away at the University of Akron recreation center, the tournament had one of the most memorable games of this year's event. King of the Court and Team Breakdown traded baskets, big baskets, all game long.

It made perfect sense that the game came down to the final seconds to settle. Tied at 71 thanks to a huge, and deep, pull-up three from Kenny Boynton, Breakdown broke the three-point gap down and had the game focused on an overtime trip.

Instead, King of the Court drove down the court, missed a pair of shots but had a whistle blown on an attempted Delvon Roe shot. From there, the Michigan State commitment went to the line and knocked down the two freebies.

Roe finished with a well-earned 22 points, scoring with his trademark rough and tough moves inside the paint and proved to be a difficult player to defend because of his size, his primary left hand, his constant pivoting and determination to get buckets.

Boynton was determined to get buckets, too. The five-star 2009 guard is playing at a high level this spring and he continues to pour in points at a constant pace. Boynton finished with 35 points, including seven three-pointers. It was one of those nights that everything Boynton put up found the bottom of the net. He plays much bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame and makes big shots on the big stage.

Freshman guard Brandon Knight continues his strong spring as made a splash in the highly competitive game. The 6-foot-3 combo guard is playing with great confidence and has the makings of a guard that will be one of the best of the best in his class for the duration of his prep career.

Roe had plenty of help from Robert Wilson, a 6-foot-4 guard from Garfield (Ohio) Heights. Wilson scored 20 points in the victory and he impressed a number of coaches on the sidelines. That's too bad for them because Wilson committed to Wisconsin this weekend.

Wilson is proving to be a nice get for the Badgers and it could not have come at a better time. His pledge beat the rush of several other high-majors that will certainly ready to come on strong after this weekend, especially after Saturday night's game.

Pryor, Ebanks square off

In terms of match-ups, it didn't get any better than two top 25 wing forwards going at it early on Saturday morning. Two-sport star Terrelle Pryor tangled up with Devin Ebanks and the game produced a good fireworks show for those that came to see it.

Pryor scored 36 points in a 95-89 win for his Team Adidas club and did a fine job on Ebanks defensively in the second half.

The five-star wing and the nation's number one football player checked off on all of his options and showed off a fine array of skills against one of the best players in the country at his position.

The 6-foot-5 wing scored at will at the basket and played with a smoothness that oozed confidence at the game went along. Pryor has a fine future as a football star and if he decided to focus solely on basketball, which he isn't, he'd have a fine career at the high-major level.

Pryor didn't shoot too many shots and if he did, he scored mainly from 15 feet and in. He scored nearly all of his buckets in transition or at the rim. His passing skills are underappreciated and his physical style of play seemed to knock Ebanks off of his game in the second half.

Ebanks scored 27 points in the defeat and despite his cold streak in the second half, the New Yorker proved his worth. The smooth 6-foot-8 forward has a Kevin Durant quality to his game because of his perimeter touch, ability to do things with the dribble and play inside.

Clearly one of the best wings in the nation, Ebanks still has a high ceiling of potential to improve upon his crafty skill set. When all of the pieces come together and his body fills out, the end result will be fun to see.

Fundamentals make for great game

In a pairing of two of the better teams and not collection of athletes, the Westchester Hawks and Illinois Wolves played a game that those that respect the game would certainly enjoy.

The Hawks held on in a back-and-forth battle for a 65-63 win in a game that never saw the lead grow bigger than five points for three quarters.

Thanks to the hot perimeter shooting of Mookie Jones and tough baskets from the backcourt, the Hawks seemed to match the buckets by the Wolves and claimed the victory.

Not only did Jones connect on five three-pointers, he made those buckets over outstretched arms of defenders and with a hand in his face. It was a great night in a great game for Jones.

The 6-foot-6 forward from Peeskill (N.Y.) High School said his recruitment has a Big East and ACC flair. Jones said he is holding offers from DePaul and Syracuse while St. John's, Miami, Florida State, Florida, Wake Forest, Seton Hall and Virginia Tech are recruiting him. Norm Roberts was on hand to see the Hawks.

Also playing well were guards Sean Kilpatrick and Tyshawn Taylor. Kilpatrick, a 6-foot-3 guard from White Plains (N.Y.), came out firing and connected on a trio of three-pointers and attacked the basket with great confidence. He can slide over to the point when needed and distributed the ball nicely on dribble drives and kick outs to the wings.

Kilpatrick said he is hearing from St. John's, Syracuse, Louisville, Miami, Siena, Fordham and Rutgers.

Taylor, a 6-foot-3 guard from St. Anthony, made a couple of great athletic plays to the basket and played like a quality mid-major plus guard that could make a blip on the high-major radar.

Kevin Jones, a 6-foot-7 forward from Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High School, showed a couple of nice plays away from the basket, including a three-pointer and a jumper from the elbow.

All eyes on you

Ebanks has a top four, consisting of Texas, Miami, Indiana and Rutgers. Rick Barnes and Frank Haith sat together to see the rangy New Yorker with the Hoosiers and Scarlett Knights were represented with assistant coaches. Ebanks will visit Miami next weekend unofficially and could be on Indiana's campus come May.

Billy Donovan and Thad Matta shared a spot on the sideline at the Team Breakdown-King of the Court pairing on Saturday night. The national championship game teams probably shared thoughts about seven combined players leaving the two schools early for the NBA Draft. And probably a little bit about the way Boynton, a Gator target, and Anthony Crater, an Ohio State commit.

Justin Young is the Senior National Basketball Recruiting Writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at jyoung@rivals.com.


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