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April 16, 2006

Derby Festival Breakdown: Black team

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It's not the McDonald's All-Star game, but this year's version of Kentucky Derby Festival All-Star Classic wasn't far off.

The annual affair included five McDonald's All-Americans, a handful of the biggest snubs and a slew of other prospects heading to elite programs.

The combination proved to be very entertaining. The White team emerged with a 118-106 win in overtime on Saturday night in a game in that produced several spectacular plays.

With a 2-on-2 tournament, 3-point and dunk contests and a handful of practices, it also provided a great chance to learn more about the nation's top prospects.

Rivals.com was there for it all and we have a breakdown of of the Black team, complete with each player's performance, scouting report and stats. Look for a similar report on the White team on Monday (the schools each player signed with are in parentheses):

Derrick Caracter (Louisville): This massive big man's stock is on the rise. First, the New Jersey native showed up with a noticeably smaller frame. Long considered overweight, he has lost at least 15 pounds since last season. Then, he showed off an extraordinary shooting touch, burying his first three attempts from 3-point land and hitting another from NBA range. He also made one of the game's most spectacular plays. Fouled while elevating for a 15-foot jumper, he hung for what seemed like a full two seconds in midair and released the shot on his way down. The ball rattled into the hoop, creating some big cheers. He created the biggest roar during player introductions. After Gerald Henderson stomped on the logo at midcourt, he came out with cleaning spray and a towel and cleaned it off which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Scouting report: A gigantic big man … Possesses one of the biggest frames in any class … Much more agile than size indicates … Great shooting touch and range … Capable of playing power forward or center … Creates matchup problems with his face-up game … Similar to Glen Davis (LSU star) … Doesn't get off the floor quickly … Lacks explosiveness … Questionable work ethic … Average defender … Needs to lose about 15 more pounds … Will play significant minutes right away for Cardinals.
Stat line: 17 points (6-of-11 from field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range, 1-of-3 from FT line), five rebounds, four steals, two blocks.

Wayne Chism (Tennessee): All-Star games are not this power forward's specialty. Not nearly as athletic or explosive as most of other big men, the West Tennessee product was overshadowed for most of the week. Still, he proved he belonged when game day arrived. He showed good instincts in the first half, grabbing an offensive rebound in the lane and quickly putting up a short jumper for his first points. He also managed to escape the long reach of Robin Lopez and throw down a powerful, one-handed dunk off a fast break.
Scouting report: Savvy big man who excels in the high post … Has college-ready frame … Very strong … Great rebounder … Good passer … Moves well without the ball … Poor finisher (misses lot of easy layups) … Lacks explosiveness and versatility … Will play significant minutes and provide inside presence right away for Vols.
Stat line: Five points (2-of-9 from field, 0-of-1 from 3-point range, 1-of-2 from FT line), six rebounds, one block.

Javaris Crittenton (Georgia Tech): Nobody was really able to guard or slow down the nation's top-ranked point guard all week long. The Atlanta prep star used his strength and quickness to continually penetrate into the lane and draw fouls. However, he continues to have a penchant for making spectacular plays and then following them up with ugly ones. He made a steal early in the first quarter and broke away for a two-handed, reverse dunk. Moments later, he forced a well-contested jumper that barely touched the rim.
Scouting report: Explosive point guard with makings of future lottery pick …Great first step … Extremely tough to guard one-on-one … Excels at breaking defenders down off the dribble and getting into the lane and to the basket … Good crossover … Good rebounder … Muscular frame … Can overpower defenders with strength … Average outside shooter … Poor decision-maker and uses poor shot selection … Will need to be more of a distributor in college … Will start and make big impact right away at Tech.
Stat line: 16 points (5-of-15 from field, 1-of-9 from 3-point range, 5-of-8 from FT line), seven rebounds, four assists, three steals, six turnovers.


Duke Crews (Tennessee): If any doubt remained about this big man ranking among the nation's elite prospects it's gone now. He was clearly one of the top players invited and made an impact in several areas, particularly on defense - which has to excite Vols coach Bruce Pearl. A handful of his game-high seven blocks came from help defense and pure hustle. He showed some shooting range during the 2-on-2 games and some solid offensive moves in the game, including a hook shot that he made amidst a crowd of defenders in the first half.
Scouting report: Extremely versatile and athletic power forward … Extraordinary defender, capable of guarding several positions and shutting down opposing big men … Good rebounder … Good finisher around the basket … Developing a solid jump shot … Plays with great energy … Needs to polish post moves … Must move better without the ball and learn to pass out of the post … Will make immediate impact for the Vols and be an ideal fit for Pearl's full-court pressure and uptempo style of play.
Stat line: 12 points (6-of-10 from field, 0-of-1 from 3-point range), 11 rebounds, seven blocks.

Gerald Henderson (Duke): No prospect was more impressive overall. During the 2-on-2 games, the ultra-smooth shooting guard looked unguardable, consistently beating a variety of defenders to the basket. He and Quincy Pondexter (Washington-signee) won the tourney title. He also won the 3-point contest, a week after winning the McDonald's dunk contest (he sat out the first rounds of Derby Festival dunk contest with a strained quadracep suffered on Friday night). In the game, he rolled off screens and hit a handful of mid-range jumpers and also caught an alley-oop that Edgar Sosa threw from almost halfcourt.
Scouting report: One of the top shooting guards in this class … Extremely fluid ... Great leaper … Excellent shooter … Good finisher … Pure scorer ... Gets tremendous elevation on jump shots … Excels at drawing fouls … Stock is rising fast thanks to great postseason performances … Can be too selfish at times … Must become a better passer … Will start immediately at Duke and play big role on offense.
Stat line: 19 points (9-of-20 from field, 0-of-2 from 3-point range, 1-of-3 from FT line), seven rebounds, three assists, one block, four turnovers.


Marques Johnson (Tennessee): A non-factor for most of the week. His unselfish style wasn't a good fit for the entertaining atmosphere and he was overshadowed by the other point guards. Played the least minutes (16) of any player, due in large part to being on a team that had a backcourt of Henderson and Sosa. He did make a couple of well-placed dishes early on, but also tried to force too many risky passes.
Scouting report: True point guard … Has size to create matchup problems … Extremely unselfish … Constantly looking to pass the ball … Solid ball-handler … Solid shooter, but doesn't show it nearly enough … Lacks quickness and athleticism … Not a good fit for Tennessee's style of play, but may earn minutes regardless.
Stat line: 0 points (0-of-0 from field), four rebounds, two assists.

Antonio Pena (Villanova): Wasn't a big factor. Although, the power forward did show he was one of the better ball handlers among the big men. He led a handful of fast breaks up court and created some easy baskets for others, which was impressive to watch for someone with his size. He also threw down some of the most powerful slams in the dunk contest.
Scouting report: One of the strongest players in this class … Blessed with big frame and powerful lower body … Handles the ball well for a post player .. Excels at drawing contact and fouls … Needs to work on offensive skills … Must develop jump shot and back-to-the basket game … Lacks agility … Won't make big impact right away at Villanova.
Stat line: 5 points (1-of-6 from field, 1-of-4 from 3-point range, 2-of-4 from FT line), four rebounds, three assists, six turnovers.

Stanley Robinson (Connecticut): Might have more potential than any other player invited. It's clear the McDonald's All-American selection committee made a mistake by passing over this future Husky. The Birmingham, Ala., product proved he is clearly one of the nation's elite prospects, displaying tremendous athleticism and deep shooting range. He operated on the perimeter for much of the game, hitting a 3-pointer and also using a crossover to score on a drive. He also won the dunk contest thanks to a powerful windmill.
Scouting report: Extremely athletic and lanky combo forward with the makings of a future first-round draft pick... Great leaper … Quick and agile … Solid shooter with range out to the arc … Dangerous in the open court … Needs to add weight … Should be more of a force on defense … Must improve ball-handling skills and prove he can play on the perimeter and impress scouts.
Stat line: Nine points (4-of-8 from field, 1-of-3 from 3-point range), seven rebounds.

Edgar Sosa (Louisville): The fan favorite put a scare into Cardinal supporters early on, but won them over by the end of the game. After struggling in the 2-on-2 games and the 3-point contest, the gutsy guard missed six of his first seven shots in the game. But, he kept pulling the trigger in the second half and hit back-to-back 3-pointers and got a handful of layups in transition. He also put together a near 3-point play, driving to the hoop, creating contact and a foul and banking a tough leaner in. He fouled out in overtime after playing a game-high 35 minutes.
Scouting report: Hard-nosed combo guard … Similar to a lot of former New York City guards … Very aggressive and tough … Streaky shooter … Capable of playing on wing, but long-term future is better suited for point guard … Must improve ability to create for others … Shot selection also needs work.
Stat line: 19 points (8-of-23 from the field, 3-of-13 from 3-point range, 0-of-1 from FT line) six rebounds, six assists.

Marreese Speights (Florida): Looked much better than the nation's No. 117 prospect. More than held his own against the other big men, reaching the finals of the 2-on-2 tournament along with Trevon Willis (Memphis signee). He carried the team, consistently knocking down mid-range jumpers and scoring in the post. Wasn't as impressive in the game. He struggled to deal with near-7-foot twins Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez down low, but did hit baseline jumpers from almost exactly the same spot on back-to-back possessions.
Scouting report: Athletic power forward … Similar to Florida power forward Al Horford, although not nearly as strong … Does well in transition … Has developed reliable 15-foot jumper and hook shot … Good rebounder … Plays with a lot of emotion … Possesses big upside … Post defense needs work … Must get stronger … May not play heavy minutes right away at Florida, but could develop into star.
Stat line: Four points (2-of-9 from field, 0-of-1 from 3-point range), eight rebounds, two steals, one assist.

Note: The White team included D.J. Augustin, Derrick Jasper, Willie Kemp, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Jodie Meeks, Pierre Niles, Quincy Pondexter, Perry Stevenson and Trevon Willis.

*The game was played with four, 12-minute quarters. No zone defenses were allowed and players had to get six fouls to foul out.


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