Posted On: 12/1/17 10:55 PM
During a heavily anticipated Grind Session performance, this game was emblematic of the hyper-competitive environment associated with Grind Session. A matchup between a pair of programs rife with highly-touted prospects lived up to its lofty billing, with Tennessee Prep Academy storming back from a 16-point deficit but only falling short in Prolific Prep’s 78-71 victory Friday night.
Jordan Brown, a California native and five-star recruit with offers from Cal, Nevada, Gonzaga, St. John’s and myriad others, scored a game-best 30 points. In playing to his size and giving an efficient account of himself, Brown catalyzed the offense. Amadou Sow, a 6-foot-5 225-pound forward headed to UC-Santa Barbara, also authored efficiency.
Montana State commit Jared Martin was quiet throughout but clutch down the stretch, banging a pivotal 3-pointer and then knocking back four straight free throws to shut the door on TPA’s comeback bid. The active hands and confrontational defense of high octane guard Tyrese Patterson helped TPA whittle a 16 point lead down to one at one point, with Antavion Collum providing timely buckets.
Prolific Prep showed plenty of resolve in fending off TPA and registering a big non-conference win at Marshall County Hoopfest
MVP-Jordan Brown, Prolific Prep ’18
After hitting six straight free throws and four consecutive field goals, Jordan Brown got off to a hot start and never relinquished. He put his stamp on the game, scoring 30 points in under 30 minutes. Every time TPA reeled off a run, he got to the rim or posted up and was able to stymie them. He took advantage of a thinner TPA frontline and helped propel his team to the win with timely buckets down the stretch. The most acclaimed recruit on the floor, Brown seized the opportunity and led by example.
Play of The Game-Antavion Collum, TPA ’19
Despite being saddled with early foul trouble, Antavion Collum returned to spark TPA. No play was bigger than his heavily-contested NBA 3-pointer with 3:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. The shot not only ensured that this would be a ballgame, it whittled a 16 point lead down to one. When Collum picked up two first quarter fouls, role players and reserves such as Tyrese Patterson and Shawn Cornelius stepped up in his absence.
Best Offensive Performer-Jared Martin, Prolific Prep ’18
Good shooters are capable of sealing a game, regardless of how many shots they’ve hit or points they’ve scored prior to pressure-filled shots during crucial sequences.
This was clearly the case with Montana State commit and 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard Jared Martin. Despite going scoreless up until the fourth quarter, Martin bagged a timely 3-pointer and sank four consecutive free throws to stave off TPA’s furious rally. While he finished with just seven points, all seven were equally as critical for the Arizona native.
Best Defensive Performer- Tyrese Patterson, TPA
The son of legendary DePaul guard and Indiana Pacers draft pick Kenny Patterson, Tyrese Patterson supplied instant and sustainable energy off the bench. He scored a team-best 23 points and was constantly disruptive while pursuing 50-50 balls with a full head of steam. A glue guy and energizer, Patterson’s performance helped TPA survive while Collum was out with early foul trouble. The gritty guard plays with a tenacity and was a stopgap measure for TPA’s “hit squad” bench core.
Best Intangibles- Prolific Prep’s 1-3-1 defense
Prolific Prep knew that defeating TPA would entail limiting their guard play and the play from their wings. With the team led by Collum and 3-point threat Traizon Byrd (nine points, three treys), he of the high-arching and hard to guard shot, it was a sheer necessity. By keeping a guy at the top and limiting their wing play, this was the most methodical approach to minimizing TPA’s high-scoring back court.
Best Guy Off The Bench-Tyrese Patterson, TPA
In a game of this magnitude, against a national power of Prolific Prep’s type, fundamentally sound defensive and pressure all across the court was a major factor. By getting into the passing lanes and eliciting turnovers, Patterson (23 points, four assists) catalyzed Harold Rayford’s team off the bench. With his team submitting an irregular performance early, Rayford went down the bench to send a message to some of the starters who needed to pick it up.
Best Underclassman-Traizon Byrd, TPA
Grind Session announcer and former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Gary Trent described Byrd’s sky-high shot as “ceiling high.” It wasn’t a far-fetched description, as Byrd’s tear drop three-pointers are a rare breed in today’s game. Yet with Byrd’s ability to knockdown shots, as he showed tonight, it takes a lot of the pressure off go-to source (and quickly-rising 2019 recruit) Collum.
Best Under The Radar Performance- Amadou Sow, Prolific Prep
Physically tough and intimidating, Sow does a variety of things that do not appear on the stat sheet. In addition to manipulating, altering, and changing the trajectory of shots down low, his presence inside helps steer defenders away from Brown. In supplying interior toughness, Sow’s presence helped Pro Prep win the battle on the boards and capitalize on the clear advantage in the confines of the post.
Best Rebounder, Sekou Toure, Prolific Prep
Despite 7-foot-2 TPA Center Manny Unoffia showing glimpses with an early dunk, Toure and Prolific Prep overpowered the opponent in the post. Toure was an accurate depiction of a glue guy and multi-faceted threat, with 14 points, seven boards, four assists, and three steals. Toure picked up his game tremendously in the absence of 2020 point guard Nimari Burnett.
Best Aspect of the Environment-Grind Session Broadcasting
Almost all of both Prolific Prep and TPA’s players are from different cities. With the game being played in Benton, Ky., many fans had to watch the game via Tanager Sports’ live stream. With former NBA player Gary Trent providing the play-by-play and inquiring minds watching from all across the country, the livestream had some extra juice for those who typically don’t get the chance to be seen by friends and family.