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Home arrow Team News arrow News arrow Gym Rats Midnight Madness
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Gym Rats Midnight Madness
Wednesday, 04 October 2006

By Brian Crownover      
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Although it’s a relatively small event, the Gym Rats Midnight Madness traditionally boasts some big names from both a local and national perspective.  This year’s event in Atlantic City was no exception as players came from as far away as California.  Here are some of the players that stood out.

Preliminary Games

Chauncey Gilliam - LEAP Academy, NJ (2007 6-5)
The fast paced style of an all-star game certainly favors an athletic guard who plays above the rim like Chauncey.  He had a few high flying dunks throughout the evening.  Although very good in transition, Chauncey also showed off his half court skills including knocking down a few jumpers out to three point range as well as driving to the hoop.  The lefty does tend to favor his left hand with the dribble too much.  He is a very solid player though and a good athlete as well.

Anthony Taylor – Pleasantville, NJ (2010 5-10)
I wasn’t even watching the game he was participating in all that closely, but Anthony really stood out.  The youngster is very quick with the ball in his hands and can score in a variety of ways.  The slashing guard hit a number of tough shots including some nice floaters in the lane.  He has a very good crossover move and a solid jump shot as well.

Underclassman All American Game

Derrick Favors - South Atlanta, GA (2009 6-9)
Derrick was the best post player in the entire event.  He played very well in the Underclassman game and I was disappointed he sat out the Senior game.  Derrick is long and athletic.  He is very active inside.  He is good at catching on the interior and beating his man with his quickness.  Favors was a monster on the glass as well.  He added in a few blocked shots too.  This young player is already a dominant low post player and still has several years to improve.

Ramone Moore – Southern, PA (2007 6-5)
Ramone was certainly not one of the big name players in this game.  Nevertheless, he was quite impressive.  He can just flat out score.  He was very active on the offensive end.  Ramone attacked the basket again and again and drew a ton of fouls.  This lanky guard is very smooth with the ball in his hands.  He has nice crossover move and can drive with either hand.  Ramone ran the floor well and knocked down some perimeter shots as well.  He made his presence felt among the big name players in this game.

BJ Mullens - Central Winchester, OH (2008 7-0)
BJ played in both the Underclassman and Senior games.  He struggled to put the ball in the hoop in the former and didn’t get many touches in the latter.  That said, his skills were still quite evident and impressive.  This seven footer moves very well for his size (solid frame too) and is a better leaper than you’d expect.  He displayed some solid ball handling, particularly for a big man.  He played mostly on the perimeter and struggled to find his shot, although his stroke looked good.  I would like to see him play more with his back to the basket than he did during this event.  BJ certainly isn’t your typical seven footer.  Ohio State should be set for the future with BJ giving them a verbal commitment.

Dexter Strickland - St. Patrick's, NJ (2009 6-3)
Dexter is an excellent all around guard.  The do everything Strickland is a good athlete who runs the floor well.  He is explosive off the dribble and can knock down the perimeter jump shot as well.  Dexter also does an excellent job of distributing the ball and getting his teammates involved.  Although he struggled defensively in the Senior game against Tyreke Evans, he did hold his own offensively.  Dexter is a very good young player and should have a huge impact this season on a loaded St. Pat’s squad.

Senior All American Game

Tyreke Evans - American Christian, PA (2008 6-4)
I tried all summer to catch up with Tyreke and see what all the fuss was about.  I finally got to see him in action in August and was somewhat disappointed.  At the time he was coming off of an ankle injury and clearly not at 100% percent.  Whether he’s back to full strength or not yet I can’t tell, but he sure was outstanding at this event.  Tyreke can flat out score.  He has a super quick handle and very long strides.  If you should happen to stop his first dribbling move you better be ready for more because he will continue to attack until he gets by you.  Not only can he get by with an array of dribbling moves, he also has a nasty pull up jumper.  With his height and quickness that shot is virtually impossible to defend.  He can nail it from anywhere on the court as well, including behind the arc.  Although he’s mainly a scorer, Tyreke is a very capable passer as well.  While he did dominate the game, his style took most of his teammates out of the action for the most part.  He started with the ball in his hands on almost every position and he tries to break down the defender with dribbling on nearly every occasion.  His team rarely ran a true offensive set.  Since many of the players have never been his teammate, most of them just wound up standing around and watching him do his thing.  Jeff Robinson (his AAU teammate) was one of the few people that knew how to play with Tyreke and was able to position himself for some easy baskets courtesy of Evans’ passes.  One on one, Evans is nearly impossible to stop and it’s easy to see why he’s one of the most highly regarded players in the country.

Yancey Gates - Withrow, OH (2008 6-8)
This well built forward is very athletic and active.  He runs the floor well and gets to the bucket.  He finished with several dunks on the evening.  Yancey can knock down shots from the perimeter.  He is very effective shooting off the dribble.  Although he can hit from the outside, the form on his jumper could use some improvement.  Yancey is a big time player who should be a solid pickup for any major program.

Senario Hillman - Wilkinson County, GA (2007 6-2)  
This Alabama signee was quite impressive.  Although he isn’t all that big, he can really elevate.  He had a number of spectacular plays above the rim.

Marcus Morris - Prep Charter, PA (2007 6-8)
Marcus was his usual solid self in this contest.  Although he is not a super athlete like some of his counterparts, Marcus is very skilled and knows how to put the ball in the basket.  In the first half, the talented wing struggled to knock down the open jumper.  He stepped his game up in all areas in the second half and finished as his team’s MVP.  Marcus was instrumental in slowing down Evans on the defensive end as well.  Not as flashy as most of the players in this game, Marcus just gets the job done.

Jeff Robinson - St. Patrick's, NJ (2007 6-5)
Jeff continues to impress me more and more each time I see him.  He’s a high flyer and standout athlete and that’s the first thing to catch your attention.  His game is so much more developed than that though.  I’m really impressed how often he hits shots with a high degree of difficulty.  While he’s not a sharpshooter, he does knock down the three pointer quite frequently.  Jeff also did his usual thing as well with some spectacular acrobatic dunks.  He was also able to take advantage of understanding how to play with Evans (both play on the same AAU team).  Jeff is a super athlete and perfect fit for the Memphis style.

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 October 2006 )
 
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