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CITY OF PALMS REPORT – DAY TWO
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Day 2 at the City of Palms Classic featured national powerhouses Mater Dei (CA), Arlington Grace Prep (TX), and Miller Grove (GA) in action for the first time. Despite these big names the game of the day was St. Raymond’s (NY) come from behind overtime victory over Trinity (KY) in which they trailed by 15 in the 4th quarter. Through sheer force of will and a couple of standouts outlined below they stormed all the way back and then overcame another 5 point deficit in overtime. It highlighted a fun day of big time competition with quite a few monster individual performances.
Top Performer of the Day:
Isaiah Austin (Arlington Grace Prep 2012) – signed with Baylor – Austin is often criticized for floating on the perimeter and not using his 7 foot frame to score inside. If today’s performance is any indication, he has heard the critics and made an adjustment. Matched up against future Ohio State defensive end Adolphus Washington, Austin went to work in the lane and stayed there all day. He dominated the paint on both ends of the court finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 blocks. While still a finesse player, Austin seems to have learned to use his extreme length to get into easy positions to score and then use his soft touch to finish plays. He even initiated contact with the 6’6” beast of man Washington and worked his way to the free throw line. On the defensive end, Austin basically sent back every shot attempt within 6 feet and caused opponents to settle for jumpers because of his presence. Today’s performance was one that makes it clear why Austin has as much long term potential as any member of the 2012 class.
Sleeper Performance of the Day:
Charles Foster (Trinity 2012) – signed with Morehead State – A potential steal for Morehead State, Foster was the catalyst offensively for Trinity all day. He’s very quick with the ball in his hands and worked his way to the rim on multiple occasions. Foster also showed range to the 3 point line and a defensive intensity that fueled his team. While he struggled during his teams late collapse to St. Raymond’s it doesn’t take away from the countless plays he made to get his group a 15 point 4th quarter lead.
Other Notable Performers:
Daniel Dingle (St. Raymond’s 2012) – signed with Temple – Dingle was the best player on the floor during his game and willed his team back for their massive comeback. He was unguardable in the paint leading to 16 free throw attempts (12 made) and many more finishes inside. In addition to serving as a beast down low, Dingle has a very refined game for a post player as he’s able to serve as a point forward surveying the defense and finding teammates.
Darryl Hicks (Trinity 2013) – Hicks is a high major 2 guard who has outstanding form on his long range jump shot. He made more than a couple 3 point shots but it’s the elevation and pure release on his shot that impress the most. He needs to work on his penetration game more as the length and toughness of St. Raymond’s gave him problems but he’s a high major shooter without a doubt.
Jordan Mickey (Arlington Grace Prep 2013) – Austin’s partner in crime in the paint for Grace Prep, Mickey is a handful down low. Standing 6’9” with a strong build, he works hard to get great position and once he catches down deep utilizes superior footwork to finish plays. Mickey didn’t rebound as well as you would like but has in the past so that’s likely just a onetime outlier. A face up game or a consistent 16 foot jumper would take his already impressive game to the next level.
Mickey Mitchell (Prestonwood Christian 2015) – Mitchell didn’t put a lot in the stat sheet today but his immense skill level is obvious after just a few minutes on the court. The 6’7” freshman is his team’s best passer and plays with a feel for the game that is well beyond his years. As he gets older and learns to be a little more aggressive offensively, Mitchell’s ceiling is extremely high. He projects as a top 10 player nationally in 2015.
Savon Goodman (Constitution 2012) – Goodman was his usual high flying acrobatic self and delivered 3 or 4 dunks that brought the capacity crowd to their feet. He is at his best attacking the rim and finishing plays in transition but still gets in trouble when he settles for jump shots. Goodman should never shoot outside 12 feet because he doesn’t need to but seems intent on expanding his range. Regardless of this criticism, the former Villanova commit will be an instant crowd favorite at whatever school lands his services.
Ricardo Gathers (Riverside Academy 2012) – For the 2nd day in a row Gathers performed well, this time against one of the nation’s top big men in Tony Parker. Gathers defended Parker with little or no help and made it very difficult for his opponent to score inside. While Parker gave him some struggles on the other end as well, there was no doubt that Gathers won this individual matchup of elite big men.
Elijah Brown (Mater Dei 2013) – While other more heralded recruits for legendary Mater Dei sat on the bench in foul trouble Brown carried his team with toughness and long range shooting. The son of Lakers coach Mike Brown, Elijah has a high basketball IQ and enough athleticism to be successful. He sometimes drives too deep into the lane and finds himself with nowhere to go but he sticks to midrange pull-ups and long jumpers he is very effective.
City of Palms Free Throws
6’8” lefty Brandon Morris will bring energy, toughness, and athleticism to a Georgia Bulldog program that desperately needs it… Nkereuwem Okoro is not a good but rather a great defender. He defends multiple positions and rebounds at a very high level for the wing… Sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay didn’t have his best day today but he is going to be a star. He’s athletic, big, plays under control, and cares about winning… Cleon Roberts of Miami Norland is going to score the ball for Georgia Southern. He will pull the trigger from anywhere at any time and scored 26 today as a result… Daiquan Walker from Constitution in Philly is going to be an effective lead guard for a mid-major program. He can shoot it but is best getting in the lane and making plays… For the 2nd day in a row 6’6” Donald Thomas stroked long 3 pointers and held his own everywhere else… Colorado signee Xavier Johnson makes “grown man” plays in and around the paint abusing smaller wings who can’t handle him… It needs to be said again. Isaiah Austin was fantastic today. He did everything scouts have been asking him to do for a couple years.
Jordan Mickey (Arlington Grace Prep 2013) – Mickey said he holds offers from Kansas, Texas A&M, Providence, and Houston with Duke starting to get involved as well. He says his dream school is Kentucky but they have not recruited him as of now.
Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian 2013) – Randle is in no hurry to make a decision and stated that he plans to wait until after taking all 5 official visits during his senior year before making a decision. He hasn’t decided definitively on what any of those 5 visits will be yet but does plan to take all of them. He listed offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, North Carolina, Kentucky, NC State, Duke, Florida and “a host of others (he) couldn’t remember.” When the time comes Randle listed education, a family atmosphere, and coaches that will push him to be the best player he can be as the 3 determining factors in his decision.
Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei 2014) – According to a Mater Dei assistant coach, Johnson has early interest from UCLA, USC, Auburn, Butler, and “basically the entire Pac-12.” UCLA, USC, and Butler have all been on Mater Dei’s campus this fall to check out Johnson in person.
The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .