Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oriakhi, Trice on Video

Went to the Greater Hartford Pro-Am Wednesday night looking forward to see an Alex Oriakhi-Ryan Gomes showdown in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap. So was Oriakhi.

"When I heard we were playing him, I said, 'Great,'" Oriakhi, the 6-foot-9, muscle-bound incoming UConn freshman said before the game.

Unfortunately, Gomes didn't show up. Apparently, he had to head back to Minnesota a couple of days earlier to tend to a situation at his home, and that may have kept him from showing up at the Sport & Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford on Wednesday.

Despite playing against lesser competition (although another Waterbury and Wilby High product, Marcus James -- a 6-5 forward out at Seward Junior College in Kansas -- is a nice player), Oriakhi was very impressive. Here's some video evidence.

Oriakhi (No. 34) catching an interior pass while being fronted by New Haven native Kaseem Johnson, and throwing down a two-handed slam. Oriakhi finished with 13 points (11 in the first half) in what turned out to be a blowout victory for his Top Dog Entertainment team:

Here's Oriakhi grabbing an offensive rebound and slaming it home. (Pay no heed to the announcer, who says the original shot is being taken by Oriakhi. In fact, it was taken by fellow incoming UConn freshman Jamaal Trice (No. 8). More on him later ... ):

Here's some nice teamwork between Trice and Oriakhi, something UConn fans hope to see plenty of over the next few years. Trice hits Oriakhi with the pass, the big man misses the layup but grabs his own rebound and puts it in:

Here's some footage of Trice, who's nice. First, he has the ball stripped as he tries to slash in for a layup. Later, however, we see him cruise in for a sweet finger roll. At the very end, Trice hits a slashing teammate for a layup.

Finally, here's why some college coaches fret their players competing in summer leagues. (No worries, UConn Nation ... Trice is fine):

***Perhaps the most impressive player of the night was Hartford's Danny Lawhorn, a former Hartford Public star who'll be playing for South Kent School this year. Lawhorn doled out a GHPA record 21 assists Wednesday night, topping the prior mark of 20 set by Jared Jordan. With about five minutes left, Lawhorn asked one of the league's organizers, Avon "Chewy" Avent, what the assists record was. Lawhorn had 17 at the time, so he made sure he doled out four more dimes -- the latter in the waning seconds -- to notch the mark.

Lawhorn apparently committed to Boston College, then de-committed, saying he didn't feel comfortable with the players the Eagles have coming in. He says UCLA, USC, Providence, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure and Arizona State are all recruiting him. Although Lawhorn also lists UConn as a suitor, it doesn't appear he's being actively recruited by the school.

Lawhorn is from Harlem but moved to Hartford a couple of years ago. His father is Gary Saunders, who played at both Georgia Tech and Seton Hall.

***Finally, for those wondering where Jamal Coombs-McDaniel is: he's currently taking online courses at home in Boston but should be ready to enroll at UConn in September.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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