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April 19, 2005

Around the gym at the Capitol Invitational

The competition was fierce on Saturday and Sunday at the 2005 Charlie Weber Capitol Invitational. With college coaches taking in the action for the first time this spring, the players went at it a little harder than usual, and we were treated to some outstanding performances. Guys who made an impact in pool play and the early playoff rounds included Curtis Kelly, Tyreke Evans, Nayal Koshwal, Herb Tanner, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, and Antonio Jardine among others. Rivals.com goes around the gym in DC.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was 6-foot-4 combo guard Herb Tanner from Catholic Memorial HS in Boston, MA. Tanner lit up the score board for 24 points in his pool play debut with the New York Ravens on Saturday. He was nothing short of spectacular, draining threes, handling the ball flawlessly, and showing big time athleticism and the ability to finish in traffic.

We talked to him and found out that he was a senior this year who nearly went to Bowling Green. We didn't get the full story as far as what happened there, but Tanner is apparently qualified and may head to prep school in the fall. We say he "may" head to prep school, because the situation reminds us a lot of Jared Dudley two years ago in the spring. Don't be surprised if Tanner, like Dudley, lands on a high major division I campus in September. Coaches who saw him play this past weekend seemed very impressed.

Tyreke Evans, a 6-foot-4+ PG from American Christian in Aston, PA put on a show on Saturday. He had 27 points in the afternoon game, then poured in an astounding 42 points in a loss to Wayne Simone's Connecticut Select team in the nitecap. We understand that Evans and LeBron James are pals, and his "King James" tribute jam in transition had the gym buzzing in its wake. There are some big challenges ahead for Evans, including a week at the NBPA Camp, and the Nike All-America Camp this summer. He looks more than ready. Evans just seems to be getting better each time we see him play, and that's downright scary.

The Chicago Jaguars brought a couple of teams east to play in the Capitol Invitational, and though they finished 2nd in their 17 and under pool, and got bounced in the consolation playoff game by their midwest brethren Team Detroit, 6-foot-9 250 pound sophomore Nayal Koshwal loudly announced his presence to the college coaches in the building. Koshwal showed that he could run the floor well, and he is a terrific finisher around the basket. The skill package he possesses allows him to dribble baseline and rise up, or shoot short pull up jumpers in the lane. He's a beast on the glass and the Jaguars probably would have had a lot more success here if they'd focused more on getting him the ball. Against Baltimore Select Koshwal finished with 17 points and a dozen rebounds. In short, he may not have been in Arkansas last weekend, but he's still the "Real Deal".

After a somewhat disappointing season, which had many questioning whether he was really as good as advertised, 6-foot-2 sophomore combo-guard Antonio Jardine played like a man with something to prove at the Capitol Invitational. He was aggressive and confident, if still a little wild at times, and most importantly showed that his jumpshot was still a weapon to be feared.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward from South Kent School in Connecticut is getting his first taste of AAU ball this spring, and he seems to have taken a liking to it. He scored 16 points for the Delaware Sharpshooters on Sunday morning, and is making great strides in improving his overall skills package. Amaning is an outstanding athlete and physical specimen, and the fact that he's getting better as a basketball player has coaches taking notice.

School Lists and Visits
Jawan Carter, a 6-foot PG from Tatnall School in Wilmington, DE told us that he'd been visited by Villanova, Vanderbilt, and Clemson the first week. Georgetown visited him yesterday, and NC State and St. Joseph's are coming today and tomorrow. Carter, a prolific scorer, averaged 28 points and 8 assists per game last season. Geography could be a factor with him.

Gilbert Brown, a versatile 6-foot-6 G/F from South Kent told us that Wake Forest, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Georgia Tech, and Miami have been recruiting him, but we're not sure how heavy the interest is from all of those schools. We hear that Purdue and Miami are most serious at this time, but don't be shocked if those other schools kick it up a notch as well. Brown is a very good athlete with size, and he can knock down the perimeter jumper.

Curtis Kelly, a 6-foot-9 forward from Rice HS in New York said that Georgia Tech, St. John's, and Connecticut visited him last week. He's expecting visits this week from South Florida, Miami, and Illinois. North Carolina and Syracuse are also trying to setup dates.

Kelly's high school and AAu teammate Edgar Sosa said that NC state, Miami, and Vanderbilt have already been in to visit. Louisville, Florida State, South Florida, and Pittsburgh are coming this week.

6-foot-9 C/F Rockwell Moody from Bishop O'Connell HS said that Richmond would be in on Monday, St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, and Villanova on Friday. Central Florida was at the Capitol Invitational watching Moody, and they are trying to work out a date to vist as well.



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