Posted On: 11/21/18 11:00 PM
The Centralia Holiday Thanksgiving Tournament continued on Wednesday night. Opening game of the night was Desmet out of St. Louis against Jersey. Desmet won by the final of 66-49. We give our 5 Takeaways: Desmet vs Jersey.
Kent Williams Returns to Southern Illinois
Former SIU Saluki and Mt. Vernon Ram Kent Williams is an absolute legend to high school basketball fans in southern Illinois. One of the best scorers of his era and had an exciting style of play. He brought his team to his old rivals house in Centralia. For those of you who don’t know Centralia and Mt. Vernon are heated rivals. When Williams was there Mt. Vernon and Centralia had some of their best teams. Those games were wars. It is cool to see him bring his team from St. Louis back to the 618!
Sekou Gassama Shows High-Major Talent in Limited Minutes
The best prospect in this game was Sekou Gassama. The Desmet 6’10” 2021 prospect was one of the top prospects at the prestigious Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp in the fall. In this contest he showed high-major flashes in limited minutes because of foul trouble. He has a chance to be an impact defender with the way he moves laterally being able to switch in ball screens as well as swat shots. Very good free throw shooting touch out of the big fella. He is a sound mid-range shooter. Also hit a turnaround jumper in the paint as well as catching a bounce pass in traffic for a dunk. Should be on the high-major radar. Finished with 12 points.
Desmet Has Strong Guard Play
The St. Louis squad was pushed by their guard play. Evan Asleson is a 6’1” senior combo guard that can flat out shoot the rock. He drilled quite a few triples. Moves well without the ball. Can also push in transition. Finished with 22 points. Jeremiah Walker and Collin Goodwin also provided a boost in the backcourt. Goodwin is a solid shooter that had 10 points. Walker is a 6’2” sophomore that knocked down mid-range jumpers and had a nice and-1 on a sweeping drive.
Desmet’s Long Term Potential
This squad should be good this year, but long term they have a chance to be special. It starts with Gassama. Then add in his running mate Yaya Keita who is a 6’9” physical post that is out with an injury. Has could be a mid-major plus/high-major player in his own right. Sophomore Thomas Redmond went for 5 points and showed room for development. We mentioned Jeremiah Walker above who is a sophomore. Another interesting long term prospect is 6’4” small forward Brennan Lovette. Rangy 2022 wing that should continue to grow.
Tucker Shalley and Kurt Hall Lead Way for Jersey
For Jersey their best prospect was Tucker Shalley. The 6’4” 2020 wing has a skilled game. Handles the ball well at his size. Was able to get his team into their offensive sets when playing on the ball. Off the ball he looked to score. Slick ball handler. Made sound decisions with the rock. Went for 13 points. Their other go to player was 2019 point guard Kurt Hall. This thick bodied point guard can shoot it from three off the catch. Also can drive it on occasion. He had 11 points.