Friar Basketball

Live from the Brewster Invitational – Day 2

“How is he ranked in the 60’s? He’s better right now than Will Barton.”

   – Jonathon Givony, President/Director of Scouting, Draft Express on Gerard Coleman.

Apparently, Providence fans weren’t the only ones who caught wind of this quote.  After a 110-70 lashing of Tilton today, Brewster star Will Barton and Brewster Academy’s twitter pages were lighting up with Barton noting, “Just blew Tilton out had 34 tonight shut down gerard coleman, thanks for the motivation frm Jonathon Givony President/Director of Scouting Draft Express, for saying he was better then me.”

There was no denying that Barton was the best player in the gym today.  For as good as Coleman was on Friday night he was equally poor on Saturday (12 points).  He turned the ball over, forced bad shots, and ran into multiple defenders every time he drove to the paint.

This wasn’t Coleman’s day from the start.  Speaking of starting, he didn’t.  He entered the game with Tilton down 8-3 and within minutes it quickly ballooned to 15-3.  It was never a game.  Tilton was overwhelmed by Brewster’s talent and trailed 53-27 at halftime, much to the delight of the Brewster crowd.

Coleman didn’t see the floor until the 13 minute mark of the 2nd half and was pulled after two or three minutes.  His coach, Marcus O’neil, strode to the end of the bench and laid into him in a way that would have made Bobby Knight proud.

With four high-major wings, a star point guard, and 6’10, 270 lb Mo Walker dominating in the paint I sat there wondering how the same Notre Dame Prep team that lost to Tilton on Friday took this team to overtime.



Coleman: This is my fourth time catching him and it was by far his worst effort.  Between coming off of the bench (was something else going on there?), Barton out for blood, a collapsing defense, and trying to do to much to carry teammates that honestly weren’t up for the challenge, he wasn’t himself today and really struggled.  I watched the two teams in warmups and said to myself, “This almost looks unfair.”

A disappointing effort, but here’s hoping that he channels the disappointment and tweets and uses it as motivation.  No reason to panic, it was just one of those days.

Barton: Supremely talented and equally brash.  There isn’t anything he can’t do offensively and his size really affected Coleman today.  Little doubt about where he’ll be playing in a few years.  Well deserving of his national acclaim.

Naadir Tharpe: As an unabashed Shabazz Napier fan I came into this game interested to see how Tharpe compared.  They are completely different players.  Napier is a high volume scorer who is likely to go off for 40 on any given night, while Tharpe is as good a passer as you’ll see at the high school level.

Stronger than he looks, a better shooter than I anticipated, and a decent on-ball defender, my sense is his stock will only grow over the next year.  Tharpe seemed chummy with Coleman in the pregame.  The play of the game came when he spun around a defender in the open court and immediately threw a pass over his shoulder to an oncoming teammate.  The place lost it.

The complete package at point guard and cause for celebration if Providence can land him.  With so much talent on this roster his box scores won’t wow you, but this site now has a number 1 target and will follow his recruitment closely.  His recruitment already seems to be heating up with Indiana, Arizona State, Georgetown, Arizona, BC, and others now in the mix.

Ron Giplaye: In an overtime win over Maine Central, Giplaye bounced back from a subpar game on Friday night.  He went toe to toe with URI recruit Levan Shengalia, a wide 6’9, 263 lb center out of the Republic of Georgia.  The matchup got very testy as an aggravated Giplaye shoved him in the back at one point.  I wondered if a fight would break out initially and then I wondered how the refs completely missed it and didn’t T him up.  Shengelia got his revenge in the 2nd half with an (inadvertant) elbow to Giplaye’s temple.

Stats are unavailable at this point, but I counted 7 or 8 offensive rebounds and 5 or 6 times in which he hit the deck in this one.  He’s not quite the springy athlete I had him pegged as a year ago and at this point I’d imagine he would be below Bilal Dixon on the depth chart.

Shengelia was impressive.  While he doesn’t look the part, he makes up for a lack of athletic ability with guile and skills.  If his athletic ability is not his undoing he could be a nice piece for URI.  His size proved to be a handful for Giplaye who is every bit 230 pounds.

Mo Walker was a kid PC was mentioned with briefly.  He’s a monster.  Ray Hall size with more athleticism and skill.

Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) did little to make me wish he came to Providence, while CJ Fair (Syracuse) flashed great athletic ability on both ends of the court.

Weekend takeaways:

Coleman will be ready to step in and play from day 1.  He looked outmatched on Saturday, but I couldn’t help but wonder how Barton would have fared if you put Coleman on Brewster and him on Tilton.  After seeing this Tilton team in person I am even more impressed with the job Marcus O’neil has done there to keep them competitive with Class A teams and also with the responsibility Coleman has this year.  No disrespect to the rest of their roster, but they are competing with rosters full of D1 kids.

Giplaye has fan favorite potential for his willingness to mix it up and hit the deck.  He’s a good offensive rebounder and finishes well enough around the basket.  More explosion and a face up jumper would be a big boost, as the offensive game will need a good amount of work.  Certainly won’t back down from anyone.

Can’t say enough about Tharpe.  If Keno is going to land him I’d guess he better plan on doing it sooner rather than later.