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January 14, 2005

The Gibbons Report: weekend tournaments abound

It now appears that there will be almost as many Martin Luther King Weekend high school events as there were post-Christmas holiday tournaments. Some of the best are Jeremy Treatman's Mississippi Play-by-Play Classic on January 15 in Jackson, Miss.; North Carolina Play-by-Play Classic in Greensboro, N.C., on January 17; and Ohio Play-by-Play Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on January 17.

The dream matchup in the Mississippi Play-by-Play Classic is Rivals.com's No. 2 rated senior, 6-foot-1 Louis Williams, and his Snellville, Ga., South Gwinnett High School team going against Rivals.com's No. 9 rated senior, 6-foot-4 Monta Ellis of Jackson, Miss., Lanier High School in a head-to-head confrontation that could help determine who will be the top-rated guard in the Class of 2005.

Louis Williams, and his teammate, and fellow Georgia signee, 6-foot-4 lead guard Mike Mercer, will play against USA Today's No. 1 rated high school team, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy at 5:00 p.m. EST in the North Carolina Play-by-Play Classic in the Greensboro Coliseum Annex in Greensboro, N.C., on January 17. This game will be televised by Comcast Sports Television.

Another key game in the North Carolina Play-by-Play Classic will be the 7:00 p.m. contest between Triad area powerhouses, Winston-Salem, N.C., R.J. Reynolds High School vs. Greensboro, N.C., Dudley High School.

Oak Hill Academy's game against Snellville, Ga., South Gwinnett High School, will be Warriors' fifth game in six days. Coach Steve Smith's outstanding team beat the Australian Junior National Team, 82-61, on January 12; crushed East Bend, N.C. Forbush High School, 97-39, in a game played at Mt. Airy, N.C. High on January 13; tonight they play at home against Statesville, N.C., Christian School; on Saturday, January 15 they play at Franklin, Va., High School; and on Martin Luther King Day, January 17, the Warriors will meet South Gwinnett High School.

I plan to make the one and one/half hour drive across the Blue Ridge Parkway tonight to see Oak Hill play Statesville Christian; and I also plan to be at the Play-by-Play Classic in Greensboro on Monday, January 17.

Duke basketball signee, 6-foot-2 point guard Greg Paulus, Syracuse, N.Y., Christian Brothers High School, is having one final football fling this weekend. Paulus has been practicing all week in San Antonio, Texas, to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, January 15. The game will be televised by NBC-TV at 1:00 p.m. EST.

I may be totally off the wall, but, I truly believe that if Notre Dame had not fired head football coach Tyrone Willingham, Paulus would have delayed his hoops signing with the Blue Devils, and, probably would have signed a football grant with The Fighting Irish in February. But, we will never know.

The top players in the 11th annual Pangos Dream Classic at Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif., last weekend included: junior standout, 6-foot-9 power forward Alex Stepheson, who scored 19 points, and his teammate, Yale-bound, 6-foot-3 second guard Ed White, added 14 points to lead North Hollywood, Calif., Harvard-Westlake High School to a 62-55 win over Fresno, Calif., San Joaquin Memorial High School. 6-foot-10 junior twins, Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez, scored 14 points and 10 points, respectively, for San Joaquin Memorial.

The player having the best senior year in California, UCLA signee, 6-foot-1 point guard Darren Collison, continued his brilliant play scoring 27 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, but, his nationally No. 2 ranked Etiwanda, Calif., High School team lost, 58-53, to Compton, Calif., Dominguez High School. Louisville recruit, 6-foot-five guard/forward Bryan Harvey led Dominguez High with 20 points.

A noteworth matchup of big men this weekend will be in the California Hoop Challenge at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif., on Saturday, January 15, when UNLV recruit, 6-foot-8 forward Davon Jefferson of Lynwood, Calif., High School, plays against Duke signee, 6-foot-7 forward Jamal Boykin of Los Angeles Fairfax High School.

Reportedly, the North Carolina Tar Heels may be close to getting a commitment from talented junior, 6-foot-6 wing forward William Graves, Greensboro, N.C., Dudley High School.

Rivals.com will keep you informed.


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