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May 28, 2005A shot at the buzzer gave Jackson MBA Hoops a one point victory over Blessed IJN in Saturday morning action at the Tournament of Champions. 6-foot-8, 2009 prospect Renardo Sidney did not fail to impress as he played every position on the court for MBA Hoops, including point guard down the final stretch of the game. Also playing well for MBA were Verice Cloyd and 2008 6-foot-3 combo guard prospect Chris Sims.
Against a formidable frontline of two 7-footers in Kyle Luckett and Clarence Holloway, Sidney struggled offensively around the basket and with his jumper. But when he began to run the point midway through the second half against the Blessed IJN zone, he hit his stride. First came an 18-foot pull up jumper off a double ball screen on the side of the zone. Then came two three-pointers and several pinpoint passes through the teeth of the zone for scores.
The most impressive aspect of Sidney's performance was the maturity with which he turned his poor start into a strong finish.
Athletic and well built, Sims was impressive throughout the game, hitting clutch jumpers, handling the ball, and finishing some tough shots on the run. Hot 2006 prospect, Verice Cloyd did not have his best shooting game, but the wily left hander hit some timely shots and was active throughout the game on the wing and baseline.
Blessed IJN News
After the tough loss, Blessed IJN coach Eric Vaughn was gracious enough to fill in Rivals.com on the news concerning his crew.
Marques Johnson, who took an unofficial visit to North Carolina State, has the Wolfpack at the top of his list just ahead of Tennessee.
"He likes North Carolina State, but he is definitely going to visit Tennessee," said Coach Vaughn. "Arkansas has also offered, and there is Georgia Tech, Purdue and Georgetown."
Rivals.com sees the Johnson as a shooting guard who can step over and run the offense as a big guard. Johnson can shoot the ball and sees the floor well, but he plays much too upright and does not have the foot speed with the ball to consistently create scoring opportunities late in the shot clock.
Blessed IJN big man Kyle Luckett is down to three options right now- the NBA, prep school or junior college. Luckett, like many others, is throwing his hat into the ring to see what might happen in the month preceding the 2005 draft.
"He has a private workout in 11 days at Tim Grover's Hoop Gym in Chicago," said Vaughn. "Washington was here today to watch him, and Toronto, Utah and the Knicks have all been to Fort Wayne to watch him. He is not going to sign with an agent or anything, but he is going to test the waters. If it doesn't workout he will either go to a prep school or a junior college."
2007 combo guard Eshaunte Jones has been offered by Ole Miss.
Clarence Holloway will definitely not attend Louisville next year because of academic reasons. Where he will prep this year has yet to be determined.
Texas Flavor for Stevenson
Perry Stevenson still makes most of his noise by blocking shots and grabbing rebounds on the defensive end. The very slender power forward's offense should come around once he puts on more weight and gains strength.
After his morning game, Stevenson commented on his recruitment.
"I am hearing the most from Texas Tech, Texas and Baylor," he said. "Every once in a while, I hear from Kentucky and Georgia Tech. I don't have a leader right now and am just trying to stay open. I'm just looking to get along with the guys and have an opportunity to play."
Other School Lists
Clint Amberry named Arizona, Purdue, Clemson and UCLA. The sweet shooting big man does not have any offers yet.
Matt Gwynne has offers from Clemson, Florida State, James Madison, Chattanooga and William & Mary according to his AAU coach Tony Knox.
Jamil Tucker would like to visit Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, USC and UCLA