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February 12, 2006
Top five showdown in Memphis
Memphis, Tenn.-In a highly anticipated match up between top five prospects Thaddeus Young and Brandan Wright, Wright led Brentwood Academy into Memphis' Mid-South Coliseum and came away with a 78-67 win over Mitchell High School.
Brandan Wright- 19 points on 9 of 14 from the field and 1 of 2 from the line, 8 rebounds (1 offensive), 2 blocks, 3 steals, 4 assists and 2 turnovers
Wright anchored the middle, around the top of the key, against the Mitchell half court trap. Besides the many nice feeds that he made out of the middle, Wright was constantly available as a pressure release for the Brentwood Academy guards. Down the stretch of the game when Mitchell was forced to go man-to-man, Wright took over the point guard positions.
Early in the game Wright got his points of midrange jumpers. As the game wore on, he scored more around the basket.
Still a defensive presence on the court, as always, Wright did not rack up the usual gaudy number of blocked shots. Playing more on the perimeter offensively, Wright was not as active as usual on the boards either.
Wright has improved his stock this high school season more than any other highly ranked prospect. He is playing with more strength and aggression on the offensive end. He is also controling games with his ball handling and passing, and he is using his right hand with much more authority.
Thaddeus Young on Brandan Wright: "He's a great player, very versatile. I didn't know he could push the ball like that. Over the years he has really gotten better."
Thaddeus Young- 31 points on 14 of 26 from the field, 1 of 3 from the arc and 2 of 3 from the line, 12 rebounds (7 offensive), 1 block, 3 steals, 0 assists and 2 turnovers
Guarded by Wright's younger brother Brian Wright in Brentwood Academy's man-to-man defense, Young hawked the ball like a true scorer. His seven offensive rebounds are evidence of his hunger to score. With his team behind the entire game, Young had to force the issue offensively and was effective in doing so.
Along with scoring on a handful of put backs, Wright made several sweeping left hand shots in the paint jumping off one foot. He also spun right on one drive and finished a 5-footer off the glass with his right hand. With Brandan Wright waiting for him around the basket, Young finished his moves with aggressive confidence. When Young did miss his first shot attempt in the lane, he was effective at retrieving his misses.
Young handled the ball well and drove it with authority, but all his effort was geared to getting his shot, leaving him without any assists. Whereas Wright played much more as a set up guy for his teammates as his team maintained a double digit lead throughout the game.
Young had a dynamic performance that resembled his strong play on the AAU circuit last spring and early summer. He is driving and shooting the ball with confidence and using his right hand effectively. Also impressive was how he tracked down balls off the glass.
Brandan Wright on Thaddeus Young: "He's a great player. He shoots the ball really well for a big guy. His three ball has gotten better since I saw him last, and he's good in the midrange also."
Joshua Bone- The sharp shooting guard took advantage of the porous Mitchell defense and the quick ball movement of Brentwood Academy's offense and knocked down 6 of 7 three-point shots. Bone finished with 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field.
Brian Wright- The younger brother of Brandan Wright continues to elevate his game. Wright is establishing himself as a solid mid-major prospect as a combo forward. Wright took advantage of Mitchell's defensive focus on Brandan Wright and the double teaming of the ball on the perimeter to knock down midrange jumpers and to attack the basket. He finished with 16 points.
Brandon Brown- Finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds.
Brandon Powell- Scored 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting from the field. Powell, a Florida signee, has a lot of room for improvement in his ball handling skills, shot selection and overall feel for the game. Powell does have the ability to be a tough defender and rebounder from the shooting guard position.
There was no head to head match up between the highly ranked players. Rarely were they ever matched up with each other. Young was the more aggressive scorer and rebounder, largely due to the desperation of being down by a large margin throughout the game. Wright was the better passer and was the stabilizer and anchor of Brentwood Academy's attack against Mitchell's pressure. Both players played very solid and effective games with Wright being the ultimate winner with Brentwood Academy coming out of Memphis with a win.