The New Jersey stars of 2006 bested their counterparts from the Greater Philadelphia area 82-75 in the first game of the Eddie Griffin Challenge.
The sophomores opened up play in the three-game challenge series and appeared to set the tone for New Jersey as five players scored in double-figures, led by 7-0 center Brian Zoubek. The 240-pounder demonstrated great hands and feel around the basket; he’s agile and his footwork isn’t bad for his age. Here’s a young man who should rank as one of the elite players in his class, even though he didn’t have the biggest reputation amongst guys on his team.
That honor fell to Derrick Caracter (seated right). The Scotch-Plains sophomore scored 11 points – including a 3-pointer – but this wasn’t his greatest outing. Regardless, the skill package is there. He’s kind of a young Al Jefferson with more perimeter game.
Casiem Drummond, (seated left) a 6-9 big man out of Bloomfield Tech scored 10 points in the win and did some dirty work of his own with a variety of post moves and short face-ups. The Williams Brothers – Jerrell and Terrell – have a bright future. The pair of 6-7 forwards are high-major prospects and each has a jumper in his arsenal. Lance Thomas, another talented 6-7 small forward, also added 13.
While Zoubek took home MVP honors for the winners, Wayne Ellington was the go-to-guy for the Philly crew. He scored a game-high 19 points and his versatility was evident early. At 6-3, he played a variety of positions and just has a nice overall feel for the game. His outstanding play kept Philly in this until the end.
Aside from Ellington, the two best prospects on the 2006 Philly team were Gerald Henderson (right) and Darren Govens. Henderson, the son of an NBA guard, had a rough afternoon from the perimeter but did a nice job of attacking the basket.
Govens, a PG out of Chester, is a potential high-major guy. He’s got a nice handle and is a very good assist man.
GAME NOTES -- Zoubek’s father played a little football at Princeton. The big man’s “dream school”? That would be the Duke Blue Devils. … Caracter was a late arrival and started slow but was a good player down the stretch. … Jawan Carter was slated to play with the New Jersey team but the standout has transferred from St. Benedicts to Wilmington (DE) Tatnall. He’s originally from the First State. …