CSG National Prep Showcase
In place of the annual “War in the Shore” was the CSG National Prep Showcase, where pre-season No. 1 Laurinburg (N.C.) and its squad of Memphis commits left undefeated after barely surviving Chris Lutz and Brewster Academy (N.H.), Lutheran Christian (PA.) swept the floor, and Rob Thomas and Sam Young worked in 30 point games.
VOORHEES, N.J. – With the annual War in the Shore Tournament in Delaware falling through at the last minute, Jeff Goodman of Scout Recruiting and Rich Marcucci of CSG International came together to get the prep school teams that were slated to play in the War to instead play in South Jersey at what was the usually talent-filled tournament at just a different location. The event was called the CSG National Prep Showcase and it was a success.
Scout’s pre-season ranking of No. 1 was owned by the Laurinburg (N.C.) team that has a roster almost entirely filled with Division 1 committed players. Seemingly a farm system for Memphis, the uptempo and pressing Laurinburg club got consistent play from all four of the future Tigers in Antonio Anderson, Kareem Cooper, Shawne Williams and Robert Dozier.
They blew out Notre Dame Prep (MA) and Bridgton Academy (ME) in their first two games, but come Sunday, Brewster Academy (N.H.) and its high-octane starting five were ready to match them after coming off two close wins over Coastal Christian (VA) and Our Savior New American (N.Y.).
Purdue recruit Chris Lutz was on fire yet again as his three-point shooting was a reliable option for Brewster against Laurinburg. Lutz had five triples against OSNA and hit four from behind the arc against Laurinburg. However, Laurinburg had just enough more and wound up on top in this one that went down to the final minutes, 96-92.
The long, LSU future forward Magnum Rolle led Laurinburg with 17. Cooper, a versatile, inside-out, big forward, had 16 points for Laurinburg.
Lutz finished with 25 points for Brewster in the loss. Unsigned swingman Chris Cornelius, whose two free throws with two seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Brewster’s earlier win over Coastal Christian, had 19 points and UCONN committed power forward Jeff Adrien had 15.
Lutheran Christian (PA) also emerged from the CSG National Prep Showcase as one of the top prep teams in the East. UTEP recruits Stefon Jackson and unsigned Maurice Thomas were solid all weekend and especially in a win over South Kent (17 for Jackson and 19 for Thomas), junior Dionte Christmas showed off his wing skills and scored 20 points against Notre Dame, and Mississippi State committed center Vernon Goodridge had six blocks against Coastal Christian.
South Kent (CT) junior Rob Thomas and Hargrave Military Academy (VA) Sam Young, who is headed to Pittsburgh, both had showings worthy of consideration for being some of the top individual performers, with the likes of Lutz.
Thomas had two consecutive 30-point, 10-rebound games, one coming against Young and Hargrave. The inside-out playing junior who was a force inside had 30 points and 11 rebounds against Hargrave to follow up on a 33 and 12 game the day before, but Young’s 31 points and help from Shane Clark (Maryland), Tommie Liddell (Saint Louis) and A.D. Vassallo (Richmond) was just too much for Thomas, NBA-intended Andray Blatche and South Kent. Hargrave won 79-75.
INSIDEHOOPS.COM-SPOTTED RISING TALENT AT THE 2004 CSG NATIONAL PREP SHOWCASE:
-Matthew Bryan-Amaning, South Kent: Long, athletic, 6’8” swingman from London. Only a sophomore. Raw but runs the floor and can fly.
-Jim Baron, Worcester Academy: scouts and coaches loved his 32-point shooting display against Life Center (NJ). Committed to Rhode Island, Baron was said to be looking like a very good Atlantic 10 player in the future.