As the holiday season kicks into high gear, several high school tournaments have attracted the nation's best prospects including several Blue Devil targets and commitments.
Commitment Taylor King
At the annual City of Palms tournament in Fort Myers (Fla.), the Duke bound forward took home MVP honors after tearing through the event to the tune of 28 points and 10 rebounds per night. All while shooting over 50% from the field and 45% from the perimeter. In the championship game against Liberty Tech (Tenn.), King couldn't get a grip on his outside shot, hitting just one of five. So the 6-foot-7 Mater Dei star took his game inside, showcasing a deep bag of post moves that produced 24 points and hold off the opponents. In total, King shot 9-of-13 inside the arc, grabbed 8 rebounds, and blocked five shots.
Prospect Greg Monroe:
Perhaps the top recruiting target on the board in the class of 2008, the 6-foot-10 Monroe led Helen Cox (La.) to a fourth place finish at the City of Palms event. After falling to King's Mater Dei squad in the semifinal round, Monroe's team struggled to get the ball inside to Scout.com's number one overall prospect in the junior class. It "limited" him to a final statline of 22 points and 9 rebounds. Feeding the post was a problem for Helen Cox throughout the event as teams focused their defensive attention on stopping the 6'10 Monroe. Still, he managed to score more than 20 points per game in the event, while bringing down nearly 10 boards per night.
Monroe, who had been the subject of many recruiting rumors suggesting the race for his services is a two team event between Duke and LSU, spoke on that subject:
"Right now I'm wide open," Monroe said. "I'm considering a lot of schools at this point but I'm holding off my decision in the season. After the season I'll cut it down."
LINK: Coach's Take on Monroe
LINK: Palms Profile - Greg Monroe
Prospect Drew Gordon:
After taking his unofficial visits to Tobacco Road a week prior, Drew Gordon returned to the court with vigor over the last few days in the annual Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C. In his first game against New Hanover (N.C.) High, Gordon scored 17 points (8-for-15 FG) to go with 6 blocks of his own and 7 boards. Throughout the rest of the event, Gordon would battle foul trouble and would finish with 11 points and 7 rebounds against Meadowcreek.
Prospect Patrick Patterson:
The only remaining recruiting target on the Duke radar in 2007, Patterson has led Huntington (W.Va.) to a perfect 5-0 record along with Scout.com's top overall prospect in 2007 O.J. Mayo. The latest victory came on Saturday night as Huntington routed Beckley High 98-48 behind a 31 point, 18 rebound, 9 block performance by Patterson. Mayo was just as good, scoring 31 points to go with 12 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Patteron served notice of his dominance early on, helping his team to a 26-4 lead after one quarter with 10 points and 10 rebounds in those opening eight minutes. It was a welcomed sight to Huntington coach Lloyd McGuffin, who had spoken with his start post player before the game about being more assertive.
"We talked before the game and (Patterson) was told he needs to become more of an offensive force, especially in our half-court offense," said McGuffin. "Once he decides he's going to be a dominating force in a game, he can pretty much do whatever he wants to do."
Several high school prospects of interest have been logging big performances as the holidays arrive including Patrick Patterson, Greg Monroe, Taylor King, and Drew Gordon.
Several high school prospects of interest have been logging big performances as the holidays arrive