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InsideHoops [High School Basketball]

RoundBall Classic




| April 9, 2006

Oden, Buckeye class victorious at 42nd Roundball Classic

CHICAGO - Yes, Greg Oden is that good and yes, Ohio State deserves to be named preseason No. 1, with all due respect to the rest of the college basketball world.

That much was proven at the 42nd Roundball Classic as Oden and the West All-Stars won, 118-102. The game marked the first time that all four high school players forming Ohio State's five-man recruiting class played together. All were in the starting lineup.

Oden and Daequan Cook each received well-deserved MVP honors for the West. The 7-foot Oden was the only player to notch a double-double with 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. He was 10-of-12 from the floor, making his first seven shots as the East had no answer for him.

"It's an awesome game," Oden said. "These players are awesome. I love being out here with the best talent in the United States. They all get out here and they work hard, that's what I like."

Cook wasn't as spectacular as his McDonald's game performance, but still tallied 18 points. The 6-5 swingman was impressive all weekend in practice, living up to his billing as a lethal force on the wing.

Cook did not originally realize that tournament organizer Sonny Vaccaro would put the four players of the Buckeyes "Thad Five" recruiting class together, but he sure wasn't disappointed when the found out.

"I didn't really expect us to play a lot together," Cook said. "They probably thought it was bogus or set up for us to play together."

The set-up included Cook and Oden's AAU coach Mike Conley Sr., who guided the boys for one last time as coach of the West. His son, point guard Michael Conley Jr., was steady as ever with seven points and 13 assists - many to his AAU teammates.

The group also included Cleveland's David Lighty, who did not play on Conley's Spiece Indy Heat team and was injured this past summer. The only Buckeye recruit not there was JUCO transfer Othello Hunter, obviously not eligible for the game.

The only non-Buckeye among the West starters was 6-9 Lance Thomas, who is still deciding between Florida, Duke and Rutgers. If Oden had his way, Thomas would add another school on his list.

"He fit in well," Oden said. "We gotta try to persuade him to come to Ohio State."

It all had the feel of something other than the typical high school All-Star game, an event more of a precursor of things to come.

"It's not so much of a last game or a last high school game," Conley Jr. said. "We're not thinking of it like that. I mean, it's like a beginiing. This was our first time playing with David and he did good tonight and we're looking for more games like that."

Oden, whose nine fourth quarter points sealed the win, simply is far superior to all of his high school peers. His presence alone in the lane denies penetration and he is as powerful as any big man in recent memory when he catches the ball within 4 feet of the hoop. It usually results in a resounding dunk.

Always hesitant about answering questions of his pro future, the two-time national high school player of the year certainly enjoyed one aspect of his first game at the United Center.

"It's a lot of fun just being here," said Oden, who has already been contacted by Jerry Colangelo to play for the United States national team. "We got to look at the (Michael Jordan) statue before we came in. I kind of stayed there for a minute just reading all the accomplishments because there's so many of them."

Lighty got a chance to showcase his all-around game, which features effort on both ends of the floor. The Cleveland native bagged a pair of 3-pointers en route to 14 points and Thomas added 13.

The West reserves featured strong performances by Chicago's Patrick Beverley and Michigan State-bound Tom Herzog. Beverly - who became a national name during a stellar senior season at Marshall High School - had 13 points and six assists. He's deciding between Arkansas and Michigan.

Herzog is a 7-footer from Linden, Michigan who will get to battle Oden next season in the Big Ten. He blocked seven shots and grabbed five rebounds.

The two MVPs for the East were North Carolina-bound Alex Stepheson from Los Angeles and Louisville-bound Derrick Caracter of Fanwood, N.J. Stepheson went head-to-head with Oden on several occasions - even blocking his shot once! - to score 15 points.

Caracter scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half after turning in a nauseating performance before halftime in which he forced ill-advised jumpers and lived on the perimeter. Once considered one of the AAU circuit's truly gifted talents, Caracter tends to drift in games rather than make his presence felt.

Louisville-bound Earl Clark also had a strong second half with 10 of his 15 points for the undermanned East, who were undermined by rough efforts from Durrell Arthur (3-for-12), Will Walker (4-for-13) and Brian Carlwell (three rebounds in 21 minutes).

But make no mistake about it. The day was a coronation for the vaunted Ohio State group, one already drawing comparisons to Michigan's Fab Five.

The Buckeyes are hoping to do what the Wolverines did not - win a national title. For now, the hype might soon surpass what Chris Webber and co. received.

"I mean, you are hearing about it now," said Cook about the expectations. "Everybody's been saying it. The only thing you can do is compete and feed off that, and just go in and work hard and play our game."

Related - April 9, 2006: 2006 Roundball Classic practice report


Sonny Vaccaro’s Roundball Classic Presented by Rbk and the S. Carter Collection today announced the complete roster for its 42nd annual high-school All-Star basketball game. America’s original high school All-Star Classic will tip-off for the fifth consecutive year. The location is Chicago’s United Center. The Date is Sunday, April 9th at 3:00 p.m. This year’s Roundball Classic will be televised nationally on CSTV.

The Roundball Classic, America’s Original High School basketball game features the top high school seniors in the country including Greg Oden (Indianapolis, IN), Derrick Caracter (Fanwood, NJ), Paul Harris (Niagara Falls, NY) and Daequan Cook (Dayton, OH) competing against each other as high school athletes for one last time before they head to their respective colleges and universities. In addition, premier local talents, including Chicago-area standouts Brian Carlwell (Maywood, IL), Patrick Beverley (Chicago, IL) and William Walker (Bolingbrook, IL), will make up the 20-man roster representing 10 states. Danny Hurley of St. Benedict’s Prep and Mike Conley Sr. of Spiece Indy Heat have been selected to coach the East and West teams respectively.

Founded by Sonny Vaccaro, the Roundball Classic has featured a number of basketball greats during its 42-year history. Among the list of current NBA stars, who have appeared in the Roundball Classic as high school seniors are LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. The game has also generated more than $4 million for charitable programs. All net proceeds from this year’s game will be donated to local Chicago charities including Chicago Sun-Times Trust.



Player                    Pos.  Ht.      Wt.   Hometown           High School               College

Darrell Arthur          F       6’9”     220   Dallas, TX                 South Oak Cliff High      Undecided

Derrick Caracter    F       6’9”     280   Fanwood, NJ            Notre Dame Prep (MA)  Louisville

Brian Carlwell         C       6’11”   265   Maywood, IL             Proviso East High          Illinois

Earl Clark               PG    6’9”     200   Rahway, NJ              Rahway High                  Louisville

Paul Harris             G       6’4”     225   Niagara Falls, NY     Notre Dame Prep (MA)  Syracuse

Eugene Harvey       PG    6’0”     165   Brooklyn, NY             St. Benedict’s Prep        Undecided

Curtis Kelly             F       6’10”   190   New York, NY           Rice High                       UConn

Alex Stepheson      C       6’10”   230   Los Angeles, CA      Harvard-Westlake High  North Carolina

Perry Stevenson    F       6’10”   197   Lafayette, LA            Northside High               Kentucky

William Walker       G       6’2”     180   Bolingbrook, IL          Bolingbrook High            DePaul


Player                    Pos.  Ht.      Wt.   Hometown               High School                  College

Patrick Beverley     G       6’2”     175   Chicago, IL               Marshall High                 Undecided

Michael Conley II    PG    6’1”     175   Indianapolis, IN         Lawrence North High     Ohio State

Daequan Cook       G       6’5”     210   Dayton, OH              Dunbar High                   Ohio State

Bryan Davis            F       6’9”     225   Grand Prairie, TX     Grand Prairie High         Texas A&M

Tom Herzog           C       7’0”     225   Linden, MI                 Flint Powers Catholic     Michigan State

Damion James       F       6’8”     227   Nacogdoches, TX    Nacogdoches High        Oklahoma

David Lighty            F       6’5”     215   Cleveland, OH          Villa Angela-St. Joseph  Ohio State

Greg Oden             C       7’0”     250   Indianapolis, IN         Lawrence North High     Ohio State

Scottie Reynolds    PG    6’0”     185   Herndon, VA             Herndon High                 Oklahoma

Lance Thomas       F       6’8”     210   Scotch Plains, NJ     St. Benedict’s Prep        Undecided



Dallas, TX rising star, Darrell Arthur (South Oak Cliff High) is a 2-time All-City and All-District player and a 2-time Dallas Morning News Player of the Week. Arthur has been named an ABCD Camp All-Star and has played in the First Team Lone-Star Invitational, Holiday Hoops and Coca-Cola Classic Tournaments. The 6’9” forward has posted averages of 18 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

Fanwood, NJ native, Derrick Caracter (Notre Dame Prep) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star, 2005 ABCD Camp All-Star Game MVP and 2004 ABCD Camp Player of the Week. The 6’9” forward averages 20 points per game with an average of 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Maywood, IL All-Star Brian Carlwell (Proviso East High) is a 2-time All-State and All-Area player and also the Charles East Tournament MVP. Named to the All-Tournament Team Proviso West Holiday Tournament, the 6’11” center averages 18.4 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Rahway, NJ standout, Earl Clark (Rahway High) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star, a 2-time All-County player and a Jump Ball Tournament MVP. The 6’9” point guard has posted averages of 25 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists per game and has scored over 1,000 points in his high school career. #1 Rated Prep School Player, Paul Harris (Notre Dame Prep) of Niagara Falls, NY is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star and a 2-time Western New York Player of the Year. The 6’4” guard was also named 2005 ABCD Camp All-Star Game MVP, BET Classic MVP, Prep School Classic MVP and NYC Boys Club Tournament MVP. Harris averages 20 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists per game.

Brooklyn, NY All-Star Eugene Harvey (St. Benedict’s Prep) is a 2-time All-State player and an ABCD Camp All-Star. Named Tournament MVP for the Kingdom of the Sun and Red Cross Rotary Classic, the 6’0” point guard has posted averages of 14.9 points per game with 10.9 assists.

New York, NY rising star Curtis Kelly (Rice High) is a 2005 Hall of Fame Game and Super 6 Showcase MVP. The 2004 ABCD Camp All-Star was also a 2-time All-City player. The 6’10” forward averages 26.6 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

Los Angeles, CA standout Alex Stepheson (Harvard-Westlake High) is a 2-Time NBA Camp Top 100 athlete and a First-Team All-State, Division, and League. The 6’10” center is a Division Player of the Year, League MVP and an ABCD Camp All-Star. The USA Jr. National Team member averages 20 points, 18 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He pulled down a game record of 32 rebounds and a state record of 461 rebounds in a single season.

Lafayette, LA All-Star Perry Stevenson (Northside High) is a 2005 Hall of Fame Game MVP and a 2005 Conference MVP. The 2-time All-State and 3-time All-District player is also a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star. The 6’10” forward has posted averages of 15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks and 4 assists per game.

Bolingbrook, IL standout William Walker (Bolingbrook High) is a 2-time All-State and 3-time All-Conference player who is also a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star. The 6’2” guard averages 30 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists per game.


Chicago, IL standout Patrick Beverley (Marshall High) is an All-City, All-Conference champion and was named Chicago Public League MVP. The 6’2” guard has posted averages of 35 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists per game.

Indianapolis, IN rising star Michael Conley II (Lawrence North High) is a 5-time AAU National Champion, 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star, 2-time State Champion ‘04-’05 and a 2-time Big Time Tournament champion. In addition, Conley has been named to the First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference. The ‘05-’06 Student of Character award recipient averages 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

Dayton, OH native Daequan Cook (Dunbar High) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star and 2-time Big Time Tournament champion. Cook was also named 2005 ABCD Camp All-Star Game MVP, 2-time First Team All-State, ’06 Division II Player of the Year and ‘05-’06 Southwest Ohio Player of the Year. The 6’5” guard averages 26 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists per game.

Grand Prairie, TX All-Star Bryan Davis (Grand Prairie High) is a 2-time All City and 2-time All-District player who was a named 2005 City Defensive Player of the Year. An ABCD Camp All-Star, the 6’9” forward has posted averages of 18.0 points, 15.4 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

Linden, MI standout Tom Herzog (Flint Powers Catholic) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star and a 2-time All-State player. An honor roll student, Herzog has posted averages of 21.8 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

Nacogdoches, TX native Damion James (Nacogdoches High) is a 2-time All-District, All-Region and All-State, as well as a 2-time District MVP and 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star. The 2005 ABCD Camp Player of the Week was also named ‘03-’04 District Offensive Player of the Year. The 6’8” forward has posted averages of 25.2 points, 15.1 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

Cleveland, OH rising star, David Lighty (Villa Angela-St. Joseph) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star and a 2-time All-State, All-District and League MVP. Named 2005 Plain Dealer Player of the Year, Lighty is a 3-year team captain. The 6’5” forward averages 21 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per game.

Indianapolis, IN All-Star Greg Oden (Lawrence North High) is a 4-year honor roll student and has led his team to the State Championships twice. The 7’0” center has been named 2005 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the year, 2005 USA Co-Player of the Year, 2-time Big Time Tournament Champion, 2005 Big Time MVP and 2-Time ABCD Camp Player of the Week. A 2-time All-Star at the ABCD Camp, Oden averages 27 points, 12 rebounds, 11 blocks and 2.5 assists per game.

Herndon, VA standout Scottie Reynolds (Herndon High) is the all-time leading scorer at Herndon High School and is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star, 2-time All-State First-Team and 2-time Region and District Player of the year. The 2005 NBA Players Association Championship Game MVP, Reynolds was named to First Team Washington Post. Reynolds averages 27.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

Scotch Plains, NJ native Lance Thomas (St. Benedict’s Prep) is a 2-time ABCD Camp All-Star and recipient of the ABCD Camp Wallace Prather Sportsmanship Award. A player on the First Team Good Council and in the Holiday Hoops, Red Cross Rotary and Hoop Group Tournaments, the 6’8” forward averages 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists per game. is the web's best basketball site. Read daily.

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