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January 13, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Each year, the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions is one of the best high school tournaments in the country. Well supported, well run and always stocked with good teams, the 2012 Bass Pro tipped off Thursday night on the campus of Missouri State. San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln's Robinson twins Tyree and Tyrell and Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King's tandem of Omar Calhoun and Isaiah Lewis were among the event's top performers.
Twins sticking together
However, the 6-foot-4 shooting guards still can't answer the question of whether or not they will play football or basketball on the next level. Nor do they know which school they want to attend.
Thursday night, the San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln duo led their team to a three-point win over Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest while combining for 37 points and 13 rebounds.
The game featured an interesting matchup as Tyrell -- a wide receiver, defensive end, linebacker -- and Tyree -- wide receiver/defensive back -- took on the nation's top football player in the class of 2012, Dorial Green-Beckham.
Coming off an appearance in last week's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Green-Beckham looked in football shape but was still impressive in going for 16 points and 11 rebounds while climbing the ladder to make some high level plays with his athleticism.
"It was fun," said Tyrell. "I was talking to him out there on the court. You can see just by his game why he's the No. 1 receiver in the country."
Over the years, people observing the Robinson twins have tended to come up with the opinion that Tyrell projects as a better football player and that Tyree projects as the basketball player.
"I have been a two-sport athlete since I was young," said Tyrell. "People just seem to think that I'm better at football and that he's better at basketball.
"Right now we don't know what we are going to do whether it's football or basketball."
In the 2012 Rivals150 Tyree holds a slight edge checking in at No. 69 nationally while Tyrell lands at the No. 110 spot.
"My brother is a better shooter from outside than me," said Tyrell. "I'm more of a physical and get-to-the-rim-and-create kind of player. When we are out there we just feed off of one another and make things happen.
This summer, the Robinson's will hit the Nike EYBL with the Oakland Soldiers again and for now they are just taking their time with things.
"We are just taking our decision real slow and aren't in a hurry," said Tyree. "We are just trying to enjoy high school right now. We'll probably look at doing something around our senior year, maybe after the summer."
Teammates lift Parker
From the beginning of its game with Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita's, Miller Grove (Ga.) High overwhelmed their opponents from The Windy City with size, athleticism and experience.
After picking up a couple of quick fouls, Miller Grove's most celebrated player Tony Parker wasn't really needed.
"My teammates picked it up and I really didn't have to do too much out there," said Parker after scoring nine points, grabbing eight boards and blocking three shots during 20 minutes of action in a lopsided win. "Games like this can really save my legs. My teammates really pick me up."
When he was on the floor, Parker showed off his great hands and looked to get his teammates involved more. Georgia-bound Brandon Morris and combo forward Tony Evans thrived with Parker being more selective and looking to reward his teammates.
"Kentucky just offered so I'm sure I'll go down and take a look at them," said Parker. "Every school is about even. They've been watching me and they are all playing my recruitment strong."
So far, Parker says that the recruitment process hasn't gotten to him and he feels like he's establishing good bonds with all the coaches that are recruiting him even if they are all saying pretty much the same things.
"You get used to it," said Parker. "All of the coaches have to say nearly the same thing, but they try to say it in a different tone.
"They get lonely and like to have somebody to talk to."
According to Parker, he will take his last official visit (Duke, UCLA, Memphis and Ohio State have already gotten visits) sometime during the spring but he's not on any timetable for a decision.
The one thing that he stressed he's doing is looking to see if what the coaches are telling him about how they play and develop their big men matches up with what he sees on TV and knows about each coach/program historically.
Calhoun, Lewis take battle of guards
In terms of backcourt firepower, the game between Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King and Little Rock (Ark.) Sylvan Hills had the most to offer. Middle Village featured 2012 four-star Connecticut bound wingOmar Calhoun and 2013 four-star combo guard Isaiah Lewis taking on Sylvan Hills' five-star Kentucky-bound Archie Goodwin.
As it turned out, it wasn't meant to be Goodwin (18 points, five rebounds on a tough night from the field) or Sylvan Hills' night as CTK rolled to a 71-45 win while Lewis and Calhoun combined for 41 points in just 34 minutes of playing time.
After picking up early fouls, the 6-foot-4 Calhoun didn't score until midway through the second quarter but was highly productive in the minutes he did play. As usual he hit on jumpers and played strong scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 10 minutes of action.
Ranked No. 52 nationally in the class of 2013, Lewis is a combo-guard with length, quickness and a knack for scoring from the mid-range. Playing an efficient and under control game after some early turnovers with an assistant from Kansas looking on, Lewis finished with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds while making 8-of-12 from the field.
According to Lewis' coach Joe Artibello, his junior guard is a natural scorer who has really worked on playing the point and is now turning the corner. Recently, Lewis had been talking about committing and Artibello said that he felt his player had been looking to speed up the recruiting process before deciding that he needed to take a step back and take his time.
It's pretty clear that Dorial Green-Beckham is in football shape right now. The 6-foot-6 senior just returned from the all-star football circuit but is a valuable piece of the Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest basketball team. A physical combo forward, Green-Beckham has the athleticism to turn possessions around and is a tough competitor. Had basketball been his primary focus over the past few years, he most likely would have earned a high major scholarship in hoops.
L.J. Rose doesn't currently match the athletic profile of most of the guys he'll be joining next year at Baylor. But his change of pace will be much appreciated in the Bears backcourt. A selfless floor general who makes the play that needs to be made without forcing the issue, Rose's care with the ball and playmaking for others will help the Bears. He's still slender, but his 6-foot-3 frame should allow for him to bulk up relatively quickly.
Brandon Morris is going to have to get stronger before he makes his way to Georgia. But the skinny 6-foot-8 combo forward absolutely has SEC level quickness and athleticism. In particular he's good as a driver from the high post or working away along the baseline for slams and put-backs thanks to his quick leaping.
Morris' Miller Grove (Ga.) teammate Tony Evans is another high flyer. The 6-foot-6 senior is a combo forward who uses his athleticism to make plays on the glass. Nicholss State, Savannah State, Georgia State, College of Charleston, Appalachian State and William & Mary are among those showing interest.
Now that we've gotten a few looks at him during his freshman season, it's pretty clear that St. Rita's guard Charles Matthews is a legitimate high major prospect. Of course there's still a long time to go for Matthews, but the 6-foot-4 combo guard has outstanding vision, handles well, hits the glass and finds ways to get buckets. He scored 16 of his team high 19 in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds.