Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Playing without North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland, St. Patrick of Elizabeth beat Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, 77-69, in the quarterfinals of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., according to Dylan Butler’s blog on fiveborosports.com.
Michael Gilchrist , a 6-7 sophomore who should be the next great star out of Kevin Boyle’s program, tallied a game-high 30 points to go with 14 rebounds. He was 10-of 15 from the field and 10-of-10 from the line.
Derrick Gordon tallied 27 points and four steals in St. Pat’s season opener. George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett added nine points, seven rebounds and two assists
Strickland had to sit one game for a minor disciplinary penalty imposed by the school. Fellow guard Kyrie Irving must sit the state-mandated 30 days after transferring from Montclair Kimberley.
“They’re winning by 25 or 30 right now without Kyrie and Dexter,” Boyletold me before the tournament. “They can be a special group if they can blend all those guys together. There’s no egos involved. It’s a team that can be legitimately as good as anybody in the country and I think we’ll just be better the following year.”
John Wall, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals, tallied 21 points on 8-of-19 shooting for Word of God (4-3). He also made seven turnovers.
6-7 N.C. State commit C.J. Leslie added 20 points and eight rebounds.
St. Patrick, No. 4 in the USA Today and PrepNation.com polls, will face Winter Park (Fla.) in the semifinals Monday at 9:30 p.m.
Winter Park (9-1) earlier beat Westchester (Calif.), 60-54, behind 30 points from Florida-bound sophomore Austin Rivers, son ofCeltics coach Doc Rivers. Rivers tallied 18 in the fourth quarter. Westchester is No. 10 in the USA Today Super 25.
ESPNU will televise the first- and third-place games on Tuesday, meaning you can watch St. Pat’s in one of those games if you have the channel.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams is due to attend the tournament Monday and Tuesday. His entire recruiting class, ranked No. 1 in most circles, is playing in the tournament: Strickland, Leslie McDonald, 6-11 John Henson and 6-9 twins David and Travis Wear.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.