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April 29, 2013

DC Capital Classic

US Stars Edge the Capital Stars 126-120 in the 40th DC Capital Classic

The 40th edition of the Capital Classic All Star game held at TC Williams High School left me not Remembering the Titans but reminiscing about what a great event this used to be (a kid named Mike Jordan played in this game once). I remember in high school being turned away at the 19,035 seat Capital Centre because it was sold out. Last night's game was played in front of several hundred spectators at a beautiful, but still a high school, gym. Unfortunately this game will not have large arenas begging for its return

This Capital Classic featured a mix of Nova signees (Josh Hart/Kris Jenkins), current recruiting targets (Lennard Freeman) and some recruiting misses (Stanford Robinson/Kameron Williams (US MVP), etc.) as well as the "Crimestopper" Aquille Carr (Local MVP). The game included a good mix of players from the Philly area in BJ Johnson and Brandon Austin. Rysheed Jordan was a no-show for the event.

Some thoughts on the game. I think Stan Robinson was a big miss for Villanova. I had not seen him for about 2 years and all I can say is his game has improved tremendously. He and Phil Booth have very similar games and builds although I think Stan is more athletic and has a little more pizzazz in his game

I was looking forward to seeing the Philly duo of BJ Johnson and Brandon Austin and they did not disappoint. Brandon Austin ran the point for the US team. It was fun watching him and Aquille trying to guard each other. Brandon is beyond thin but he has a tremendous skill set and should thrive in the Big East with Providence. All Nova Nation fans will know his name well over the next 4 years. B.J. Johnson and CJ Fair are extremely similar in their build and their game. In fact, I like BJ a little better than CJ at the same stage. He will struggle to find minutes as a frosh especially with Fair returning but his arrow is pointing up after that.

Mike Young of St Benedicts again looked good. He is not a spectacular player but should have a very good career at Pitt. A legit 6-9 forward as he had a good couple inches on guys like Freeman and Jenkins.

On to the Villanova signees and recruits. Kris Jenkins finished with 10 points and Josh Hart with 9 according to my calculations. Nothing new to report on either. Jenkins has the skill set, it's always going to be the measurable on him, height, conditioning, vertical jump. Kris did look somewhat trimmer than I saw him in March. Hopefully that wasn't a by product of being on the court with BJ Anya and Ishmail Wainright. Hart was a guy diving on the floor in a game where most looked afraid to even bend for a loose ball

Lennard Freeman, was a late addition to the squad and probably played the least of all players on the US Team. He finished with 7 and badly missed the one jumper he took. Lennard was probably the only player setting picks in the game. He even caught Pitt signee Mike Young in the chops on one play. Freeman was mixing it up. He would be a nice piece at Villanova.

The later stages of the 4th quarter featured an entertaining back and forth between Aquille Carr and Kam Williams. Aquille finished with a game high 29 points and double figure assist. Kam Williams was the US Stars MVP and hit 3 big dagger 3 pointers in the last 2 minutes to seal the victory.

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