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April 18, 2005

Capitol Invitational draws coaches, stars

It was a busy weekend in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with aau teams and college coaches zig-zagging between Catholic University, Georgetown, Gallaudet University, and several local high schools to see and to be seen at the 2005 Charlie Weber Capitol Invitational.

The action concluded Sunday afternoon with a quartet of championship games in the 17 and under division. Rivals.com was there with full coverage.

Durant and Lawson lead Blue Devils to American Divsion Title
In the American Division final, the DC Blue Devils, led by Oak Hill Academy duo 6-foot-10 forward Kevin Durant and 6-foot guard Tywon Lawson, overcame a sluggish start to hold off a pesky Cincinnati Royals squad 52-47. Durant led the way with 16 points and Lawson added 14. 6-foot-4 G/F Bobby Shannon added 9 points in the win.

The Royals got 8 points apiece from 6-foot PG Rayshawn Green, 6-foot-7 forward Cam Thoroughman, and 6-foot-2 guard Kevin Carr in the loss.

Durant was efficient, showing off his delicate three point stroke, mid-range game off the dribble, and grace and athleticism in transition. Coaches in attendance were continually awed by his seemingly effortless performance.

Lawson kept things under control and got the rest of the team involved in the action. Each time the Royals drew to within striking distance, it was the Blue Devils' point guard who made the critical plays to preserve the lead. Lawson, during the past couple of weeks, has made a very strong case for top floor leader honors in the class of 2006.

Summers caps off impressive weekend with Patriot title
Cecil Kirk has played inconsistent basketball the past couple of weeks, as coach Anthony Lewis has labored to mold this talented group of players into a team. 6-foot-8 forward DaJuan Summers from McDonogh School in Maryland has mirrored his team's efforts with up and down performances and looking generally uncomfortable on the floor.

It finally came together for both Summers and Cecil Kirk this past weekend, as his 17 points led the way in a 67-56 win over the Juice All Stars from Brooklyn, NY in the Patriot Division title game. Summers was effective both in the paint and from beyond the arc, and looked once again like an elite level recruit. Willowy thin 6-foot-5 2G Jahmar Young added 16 points and 6-foot-2 combo-guard Jamal Barney had 11 in the win. The game actually ended with a flagrant foul as Barney was hammered going in for a layup with about 15 seconds left. He was seriously shaken up, and rather than let tempers flare, the referees decided to call the game.

For the Juice All Stars, Jamel Jackson scored 19 points, draining several threes in the process. 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Marvin Roberts added 12 in the loss.

McKenzie's threes bury Fairfield in the National final
6-foot-2 2G Brian McKenzie put the finishing touches on a breakout performance over the weekend by nailing 5 three pointers on his way to 17 points as Team Odom snatched a come from behind 61-52 victory from the Fairfield Stars in the National Division final. Slick 6-foot-3 combo-guard Larry Davis added 13 points, and 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Andrew Gabriel had 12 in the win

McKenzie had several Big East and Atlantic 10 coaches scrambling for information after a series of impressive games. He's athletic, can work off the dribble, and is a lights out shooter. He had a nice run this winter helping Xaverian to the New York CHSSA title, and has carried that momentum into the spring AAU season.

Senior PG Mike Trimboli led Fairfield with 21 points. 6-foot-7 senior Colin McIntosh added 20 points and showcased his perimeter shooting, nailing several threes early in the game.

Harris comes up short as Squires win Diplomat title
6-foot-6 senior WF William Harris scored 23 points, but it wasn't enough as his New York Elite succumbed to a balanced Squires attack, losing 68-59 in the championship game of the Diplomat Division.

6-foot-2 guard Matt Samuels had 12 points to lead Richmond. 6-foot-2 guard Anthony Coleman and 6-foot-3 Jeremy Hence each added 11 points, and 6-foot-4 Jennard Flemming had 8.

Around the Gym
6-foot-6 forward William Harris who prepped last year at Maine Central Institute told us that he does not plan to enroll at Nebraska next year. Harris said that due to a family situation, he needs to be closer to home, and is planning to look for a prep school in the fall. He said that he's not thinking about college at all right now, but he hoped to get back into the mix this summer with some of the schools close to his Queens, NY home. Harris put up gaudy numbers over the winter, averaging 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists per contest.

Both Kevin Durant and Tywon Lawson told us that they plan to be back at Oak Hill next season. Speculation had them transferring to a school in Maryland in the fall.

It's looking like the Oak Hill pair will take a couple of official visits together in the coming weeks. Durant told us that he's traveling to Connecticut for a visit with the Huskies the weekend of April 29th. He'll then head to Chapel Hill, NC for a sit down with the National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels the following week, May 5-6. Lawson said that he was definitely going on the North Carolina trip with Durant, and that there was a good chance that he would also be on the Connecticut trip

In the National Division semi-finals Larry Davis and Brian McKenzie combined for 33 points to lead Team Odom over Hunting Park. Davis showcased his ability to get to the rim off the dribble. He's always been a deadly shooter, but he enhanced his reputation here by showing that he had the speed and the handle to break guys down and turn the corner. Buy Larry Davis stock now!

And while you're at it, an investment in Brian McKenzie stock is likely to pay big dividends as well. Not only is McKenzie a terrific basketball player, who seems to be improving by the minute. He's also a very good student with around 1000 on the PSAT. Columbia, Princeton, and Fordham have done their homework, as have Notre Dame and St. John's. He told us that he's looking for a combination of good athletics and good academics in his school choices.

Georgetown and Georgia Tech paid school visits to DaJuan Summers last week. Notre Dame, NC State, and Connecticut are in the process of scheduling trips to Owings Mills, MD. Summers averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds per game at McDonogh School this past season. Wake Forest and Maryland are also in the picture for the already qualified big man.

Columbia was in last week for a visit with Brian McKenzie.

Larry Davis got a visit from NC State last week. Pittsburgh is coming on Monday, then Villanova on Tuesday, and Syracuse on Wednesday. This one looks like a Big East vs. ACC war with St. Johns, Miami, Florida State, and Georgia Tech also involved.


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