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.
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A trio of St. Anthony transfers made their season debuts on Monday on ESPNU.
And they did it in impressive fashion.
Devon Collier, Derrick Williams and Ashton Pankey combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds to lift St. Anthony, No. 26 in the RivalsHigh 100, to a 58-50 victory over Memphis-bound wing Xavier Henry and Oklahoma City (Ok.) Putnam City at the Hoophall Classic.
“We played well. We brought a lot of energy to the team,” said the 6-foot-8 Collier, a junior who transferred from All Hallows in New York and had to sit out the state-mandated 30 days. “I was eager to play. I ready for this.”
Collier led St. Anthony with 19 points and 10 rebounds and was named MVP of the game. He said he holds offers from St. John’s and Villanova and has interest from Virginia, Fordham, Syracuse, Providence and Seton Hall.
Williams, a 6-7, 235-pound forward, added 10 points and five rebounds. And the 6-8 Pankey tallied nine points and five boards.
Villanova-bound guard Dominic Cheek scored just six points on 2-of-5 shooting. He added seven rebounds. DeMarcus Owens dished out eight assists for the Friars (12-2).
Defending national champion St. Anthony, coming off a loss Saturday night to Plainfield in the Dan Finn Classic, outrebounded Putnam City 43-26.
“It’s the beginning of a new 13-game season with the team that’s much better than the last team,” St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said in reference to the addition of the transfers. “I think we’re very proud that the other team prior to this was 11-2. Devon Collier, as a 6-8 junior, is a pretty versatile player and has a chance to be a pretty good player.
“Derrick Williams is going to be a dominant force around the basket. And Ashton in only 16 minutes got 9 points and 6 rebounds. They’re going to really contribute. It’s just us trying to figure out how to blend what we have into that.”
With Memphis head coach John Calipari and assistant Josh Pastner looking on, Henryscored 24 points on 5-of-19 shooting and was named the Most Outstanding Player.
“He’s got a pure, pure stroke,” Hurley said. “He’s physically strong. He can make his shot.”
“I had an off game,” Henry said. “My shot was off. I had my team to back me up so we stayed in it.”
After shooting 1-of-7 in the first half for just four points, he went 4-of-12 for 20 in the second.
“I just tried to keep my mind focused and just come out to whatever defense they were in, run our sets,” he said. “Sometimes they did a box-and-one, sometimes they stayed in a zone. They were just trying to stick with me and we just tried to work through it.”
The 6-6 Henry has been in and out of the lineup this year after suffering facial injuries in a car accident and then battling a deep bruise in his foot. Asked if he was 100 percent said, “Not yet, but I’m getting there. Every game I’m taking it one by one and trying to get back in shape and do all the regular things that I usually do.”
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.