A day in the year marked to honor a true pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement, January 19 has officially become the one day any hoop fanatic should mark on their calendar to make a trip up to Seattle and see the premiere high school talent in the country. Today at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, a staggering number of Division 1 recruits from the area (as well as one from California) went head-to-head while a number of college coaches watched from the stands. One specific recruit, Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep, has already signed a letter of intent to play for Washington.
Here’s a quick rundown on the games featuring potential Huskies…
Kentwood (9-3) vs. Bothell (6-5): Feat. Josh Smith
Kentwood would win the game 55-39 in a game where Smith never really had an offensive groove going. However the big man was able to pull down 18 rebounds, something which would be very handy for the Huskies once Jon Brockman graduates this year. Kentwood features some other talent , notably the athletic junior Tre Tyler, but like any other Kentwood game the focus of the opposing defense was all on Smith. Bothell was able to frustrate Smith, but its quite obvious Kentwood was able to frustrate them given they only scored 39 points. The most significant moment in the game in a Husky fan’s perspective is that when Smith came running out of the tunnel, the entire current Husky team met with him and shared a playful moment with arguably the #1 recruit in the nation for the 2010 class.
Decatur (11-2) vs. Federal Way (12-2): Feat. Marcus Tibbs, Cole Dickerson, Michael Hale, Jerron Smith
This game perhaps did not feature true Division 1 talent (though you could make a case for at least six guys), it was to me the most intriguing game on the schedule. Decatur and Federal Way are fierce rivals, and the intensity of the game is only added by the fact that last year Hale was a Gator and Tibbs was able to return for a fifth year. The game remained close throughout until the second ranked Eagles were able to pull away in the fourth to finally beat the seventh ranked Gators 71-63. Hale stood out for the Eagles by putting in 20, while Jordan McCloud was an awesome 10-10 from the field and ended with 20 for Decatur.
Dominguez (California) vs. Rainier Beach (7-1): Feat. Aaron Dotson
A game that went two overtimes and featured more missed free throws than last year’s Husky team (shockingly possible). The game featured Dotson, who is bound for LSU under Trent Johnson. Dotson was a kid who really became recognized after last season through the press while playing in the shadows of the Gaddy’s, Bradley’s, Smith’s, and Wroten’s of the world. His Rainier Beach team ended up going against a very prominent California school in Dominguez (of Tyson Chandler, Tayshaun Prince, and Dennis Johnson fame). It seemed as if Rainier Beach constantly was playing catch up to Dominguez, and it caught up at the right time when Dotson hit a three at the buzzer to send it into overtime. Both teams had the chance to win in the first OT, but they went a combined 2-13 from the line. Yes, 15% for five minutes of play. In the end Dominguez was able to pull away, but for the fans it was the highlight of the day.
Bellevue (12-1) vs. Bellarmine Prep (7-7): Feat. Abdul Gaddy, Aaron Bright, Alex Schrempf
Another intriguing matchup that put arguably the top point guard in the nation against arguably the top 3A team in the state. Unfortunately for Gaddy, essentially a one man team, Bellarmine’s struggles continued as much of the focus was put on him and the Lions only were able to put up 43 points. The Schrempf (you know you are from the Northwest when you can spell that name) and Bright led Wolverines were able to put great defense on the Lions and control the game throughout. Gaddy did what could be his biggest weakness, and that was feed his teammates too much. But when your the one player that sees constant pressure, it is easy to see why he only went for 11 points (as well as 8 rebounds and 4 assists). For Bright (a kid who could be the next Dotson for his class), he was only able to put up 7 in front of Romar. But his 16.7 points per and record as the Wolverines’ point guard could make him a sleeper recruit.
Franklin (10-0) vs. Garfield (8-1): Feat. Peyton Siva, Tony Wroten
The conventional marquee game on today’s lineup. The two top ranked teams for 3A and 4A went head-to-head that featured a top-50 recruit in Siva for the Class of ’09, and the top recruit for the Class of ’11 in Wroten.