Here are some quick thoughts on some of the players that stood out to me at the Jordan Classic this year.
Kyrie Irving, Duke: What can I say that I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t said this year? Jay Williams said Irving was a combination of himself and Chris Duhon and that sounds about right. So creative, so smooth in transition, with a feathery jumper. He completely took over the game and the crowd in the final three minutes, when nobody could stop him going coast to coast. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the total package, and when Mike Kryzewski gets him playing that hard man-to-man defense, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking at a future Chris Paul in the making.
While watching Roscoe SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s athleticism and talent help tilt the scales in favor of Oak Hill in their showdown against St. Patrick on Friday night, it was clear to me that what he brings to the table could definitely have helped DukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team next year.
And I recalled that at one point, Smith wanted very much to go to Duke, and that the feeling was somewhat mutual, though he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t their first target Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that would be Harrison Barnes, the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top recruit who famously and publicly picked North Carolina.
So with Barnes rocking baby blue, why didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Roscoe end up taking the spot earmarked for his contemporary at Duke, opting instead to commit to the University of Connecticut?
Talk about a lousy day. After St. PatrickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (No. 6, ESPN Rise) was banned from the New Jersey state tournament earlier in the day because coach Kevin Boyle attended practices before he was technically allowed to, they lost an absolute heartbreaker, 79-78, to No. 7 Oak Hill when gritty shooting guard Derrick Gordon missed a pair of foul shots with .4 seconds left.