Posted On: 11/24/18 11:34 PM
We had three of the four games at the Abe’s Roundball Classic final day go to overtime. That included an EPIC championship game between East St. Louis and Curie. These are two of the best programs in the state from about as far apart geographically as you can get. One a Chicago CPS power. The other one of the best programs in the metro east every single season. Both teams are loaded with talent! That led to a high level game with the stars showing up! In the end Curie won 88-81 in overtime. We give you our Most Intriguing Prospects: Curie vs East St. Louis!
SG Dajuan Gordon (Curie – 2019)
Gordon is the state’s #3 senior and he showed up as the man for Curie on Saturday night. The long and lanky wing who is headed to Kansas State next year didn’t have his usual three point shot falling so he adjusted. Gordon attacked the rack with power over and over. We had never seen him that aggressive getting downhill. By doing that he was rewarded. With 27 free throw attempts. Yes 27 FREE THROWS! He went 19-27 from the stripe. I would say that constitutes for “living at the charity stripe.” Also converted a lot of those shots with acrobatic and-1s. Gordon got on the offensive glass as well for put backs. He sealed the win with an and-1 to give his team the win. He went for 35 points (8-16 FG) and 6 rebounds.
Best Offensive Performance
SF Terrence Hargrove (East St. Louis – 2019)
WOW! What a show this 6’6” St. Louis University commit put on. We have always said he needs to establish his inside game with the energy stuff he does best before trying to shoot. Scratch that! He opened up with two triples NOTHING BUT NET! Hargrove shot the ball great all night going 4-6 from beyond the arc. When he is doing that he is pretty much impossible to defend at the high school level. The reason is what he does best is use his elite athleticism and motor to physically impose his will on the opponent. Hargove hit turnaround jumpers in the paint, beat his man down the floor for quick scores on post ups, and then the dunks. Oh the dunks! He had a SportsCenter worthy poster jam followed by another steal and open court flush. Rebounded at an insane rate especially clearing the defensive glass. Complete game was shown by Hargrove. The senior was called on a very very questionable foul in overtime which essentially handed the game to Curie with him out. He had 33 points (13-17 FG) and 13 rebounds.
SG Ramean Hinton (Curie – 2020)
Hinton plays with an all-out motor! The #5 2020 prospect in the state is the definition of a hard-nosed guard. On top of that he has a lot of natural talent. Hinton had his jumper falling drilling a pair of threes along with getting loose for a dunk in the open floor. Physical body on this two guard. Gets after it on the defensive end. His intensity rubs off on his teammates. Finished with 10 points (3-6 FG).
PG Trevon Hamilton (Curie – 2019)
Hamilton is the most unsung senior of this group. He goes about his business running the show and letting everyone else get their shine. Hamilton is a compact guard that converted several layups and had a few nice dimes in the contest finishing with 8 points and 4 assists.
Best Breakout Performance
PF Richard Robinson (East St. Louis – 2019)
Robinson is a transfer from Cahokia that stands at about 6’6”. Broad shoulders and a strong body. He rebounded well in his area including getting on the offensive glass for three boards. Moves bodies with his strength. Strong hands inside allow him to catch passes in traffic. Finished well around the hoop. Also stretched the defense with his shooting as he connected on 2-2 from beyond the three point line. Boosted his stock with a strong night going for 15 points (6-9 FG), 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Best Bench Player
SG Travion Jones (East St. Louis – 2019)
Jones is a lefty two guard that came off the bench to play some key minutes for the Flyers. This senior hit a pull up three and seemed to always be around the ball. Went for 9 points.
PG Cornellious LeFlore (East St. Louis – 2019)
LeFlore is a pure shooter at the point guard position. Connected on 2-7 from three in the game for 7 points.
Best Impact Transfer
G Damari Nixon (Curie – 2019)
Nixon is a transfer from Fenwick that is a sleeper in the senior class. Lefty with some size as a combo guard. Played mostly off the ball in the title game. He is a sniper from three as well as pulling up from mid-range. Mixed in some slick drives including a sweet reverse layup. Nixon had 16 points.
PG Elijah Rice (East St. Louis – 2019)
Rice is the other transfer from Cahokia and the point guard also made a huge impact on his new team. This lead guard had some turnovers, but also made his fair share of plays. He did most of his damage scoring in the paint or with short jumpers. Excellent rebounding guard. Hargrove is the star, but this team will go as far as Rice takes them. Good outing for the senior with 13 points (5-8 FG), 5 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Best Under-the-Radar Performance
SG Justin Harmon (Curie – 2019)
There had been some buzz about Harmon after his play the first two days of the tournament. He struggled a bit during the summer when we saw him, but he is settling in nicely to his new role with Curie. The shooting guard did all of his damage in the paint. Crafty finishing and was efficient around the hoop. Converted several difficult layups. Quality rebounder on both ends of the floor. Went for 19 points and 7 rebounds.