I got to attend the Archbishop Ryan vs. Archbishop Carroll Philadelphia Catholic League Quarterfinal playoff game this past Friday night and was able to see a lot more Derrick Jones (Carroll '15, being recruited by PSU). Much more impressed this time around with everything I saw. Once again, the team he was playing against did not have anyone who could match up one-on-one with him, but that didn't stop him from putting forth 100% effort every second he was on the court. Here's what I was able to take from the game:
-The kid has a motor that just doesn't stop. I didn't catch him walking back on offense or defense ONCE.
-His athleticism is truly something special for a sophomore. At the 6:00 mark in the third quarter, he threw down on an alley oop that brought the house down and really marked the end of any run Ryan was going to try and make to get back into the game.
-At the end of the third he got the ball at the top of the key and held for one. He proceeded to dribble out the clock until there was about six seconds left, at which point he attacked his defender, went to his left on a blow-by, and laid it in for an easy two at the buzzer. The poor kid defending him didn't stand a chance, but that didn't stop Jones from doing what he needed to do and doing it with confidence and poise.
-His biggest weakness on offense at this point is definitely his jumpshot, but that's not to say he's a terrible shooter. In fact, knocked down a three from the top of the key in the game; however, his stroke needs improvement to keep defenders honest at the next level.
-His blocking and rebounding skills are tremendous. He has great anticipation skills and is able to get off his feet in a flash. In one sequence he blocked a shot on one leap, came down, and was right back up to grab the defensive rebound after a failed putback attempt.
-Also noteworthy: Jones was named to the All-Catholic Second Team and the All-Defensive Team.
As for Brandon Austin, I thought you all might find the following to be as amusing as I did. Austin's Imhotep Charter team recently played Vaux High School in a battle of the top two players in the city - Austin and Rysheed Jordan. Jordan's Vaux High team blew out Imhotop Charter in a lopsided affair in which Jordan dropped 24 and Austin had 20 of his own. The noteworthy sequence took place with 10 seconds left. Jordan was bringing the ball up for Vaux, guarded by Austin, when he suddenly tossed Austin the ball at midcourt, told him to "go get some (expletive) points" and began celebrating. Skip to the 3:12 mark to see for yourself:
8Eye Presents: Rysheed Jordan vs. Brandon Austin (via Jaime Boyer)
Hopefully I'll be attending the Catholic League Semifinals at the Palestra this Wednesday night. If I'm able to go, I'll provide a review of all of the talent being recruited by PSU - Shep Garner (Roman '14), Ja'Quan Newton (Neumann-Goretti '14), Troy Harper (Neumann-Goretti '14), Traci Carter (Roman '15), Derrick Jones (Carroll '15).