Like we said yesterday, two Maryland commitments and one major Terrapin target would be playing today at Coppin State in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational. The results? Firmly mixed.
First up was Haukur Palsson and his Montverde team against Justin Anderson's Montrose Christian. MC, which was ruined by the Terrence Ross saga, was a heavy underdog against the #1 seed, but showed up strong and nearly pulled out the win. They ended up losing by one on a last second shot by Montverde's PG. Palsson's squad will play again tomorrow at noon on ESPN2 and ESPN3(60).
Hawk really didn't play much. I haven't seen stats yet, but playing time wasn't plentiful, and he was uninvolved offensively. That's not to say he was bad, but to say he didn't look for his own shot is an understatement. He had some nice passes, but if this game was any indication, he's not a shooter, or a scorer, or a penetrator. I think we can write off the possibility that he'll be Maryland's outside threat, at least not for a few years. On the good side, he played decent when he saw the floor, and had a nice feel for the game, evidenced by a few solid assists. It wasn't enough to be impressive, but it was enough to keep from writing him off entirely. Still, if he can contribute before his junior year, I'll consider it gravy.
Anderson, probably the area's best 2012 recruit alongside Isaiah Miles, was up and down. He had a nice putback dunk (over Palsson, of course) but wasn't a giant factor at any point. He is oozing with potential, but needs some work. Luckily, he has time. Oh, and Josh Hairston, who's going to Duke, is pretty darn good. He'll be a matchup problem for Maryland next year, and for the future unless they land a really good faceup four in 2011.
Then it was everyone's favorite, Pe'Shon Howard, and his Oak Hill squad playing at 6 p.m. against Mountain State Academy. Howard was quiet for much of the first half, taking a back seat to the red-hot Doron Lamb, but was still effective when driving and dishing. It was in the second half that he started to expand offensively a little bit more, with a few really nice plays off the dribble. He certainly wasn't feeling it from deep, and missed a variety of deep jumpers, both open and with a hand in his face. In HS, that's not a big deal, but he'll need to either get better or stop taking those once he gets to CP. It's not a worry right now, but it could become one. He ended the day with a great statline (11 points, 9 assists), even though OHA lost by a couple of points.
All that said, you can't fully appreciate some of the things MVPe' does without watching him. Some of the things he can do are just wrong. In this case, one of those things was an offensive rebound off a missed FT followed by a no look 360 pass for the easy layup. That was followed up by a no look, between the legs pass on the break for another easy layup. He has Greivis Vasquez-level flash. I'm fairly confident he'll have at least one highlight pass a game in College Park. Frankly, those types of plays make me think he'll be starting before long. I don't think he'll be an impact player like Greivis Vasquez was in terms of points, but he'll have lots and lots of assists.
Did you watch? Have any other impressions? Let us know.