The Florida JUCO Shootout, held on January 3 and 4 at a pair of Sunshine State JUCOs, was a good opportunity to catch a large number of players in a short time frame.
On January 3, JUCO Junction spent the day watching a trio of games at Santa Fe C.C. in Gainesville. The following day, we switched over to Central Florida C.C. in Ocala, for a quadruple header.
With the site now up and running, we thought it would be good to review all 14 games played at both sites during the event.
Over the next several days, JUCO Junction will share our thoughts about some of the top players (both frosh and sophs) at the event, as well as provide key recruiting updates of players.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2003
@ Santa Fe C.C. in Gainesville
Okaloosa-Walton 98 Palm Beach 88
Okaloosa-Walton took control of the game with an 18-4 spurt to open the second half. Palm Beach fell behind double digits early in the first half, but clawed back to trail by six at the half. The 18-4 surge gave the Raiders a 67-47 lead. Forward Mike Phillips (South Alabama) and the Taylor twins (Ronell and Donell, UAB) were instrumental in the surge. The trio combined to score 71 of O-W's 98 points, shooting a robust 58 percent from the field. N.C. State transfer Michael Bell, a 6-9 combo forward, led Palm Beach in defeat with 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Daytona Beach 80 Tallahassee 63
Ironman combo guard Bradley Mosley played all 40 minutes, scoring 23 points and dishing out four assists to lead Daytona Beach to an easy victory over Tallahassee. Mosley hit a three pointer and midrange jumper during an early second half surge as the Falcons built a 60-42 lead. Wade Dunston, a 6-3 freshman swingman, chipped in 12 points for Daytona while potential laden 6-9 freshman forward Solomon Jones contributed 11 points. Richmond transfer Michael Stringer connected on five of 12 three point attempts on the way to 21 points for Tallahassee.
Gulf Coast 64 Santa Fe 55
Scoring point guard Reprobatus Bibbs hung 25 points on Santa Fe to lead Gulf Coast to victory. Bibbs, who signed with UAB out of high school, used his quickness to dart through the Saint defense and work his way to the free throw line. He converted 12 of 14 from the charity stripe, grabbbed eight rebounds and also dished out three assists. Sophomore forward John Spivey collected 12 points and seven rebounds, while freshman swingman Richard Lusane chipped in 11 points. Impressive freshman swingman Brian Greene led Santa Fe with 19 points. He's an athlete who makes things happen around the basket. Freshman shooting guard Matt Cenatus had an off night for the Saints, tallying five points on two of 16 shooting. Northeastern transfer Lunzaya Nlandu, a beefy 6-6 forward, ripped down 13 points for the Saints.
@ Central Florida C.C. in Ocala
St. John River 74 Brevard 67
Clarence Ferguson connected on four three pointers on the way to 24 points, helping St. John River upend Brevard. Ferguson, a 6-2 sophomore guard, scored 16 of his 24 in the first half as the Vikings built a 38-30 half-time advantage. Forward Sheldon Edwards scored all 11 of his points in the second half to help St. John River wrap up the win. Chucker deluxe Darryl Dorsey, a 6-1 sophomore guard from Baltimore, Md., tossed in 30 points in a losing effort.
Seminole 57 Chipola 53
Chipola may have regained the services of star sophomore guard Nick Williams (Cincinnati), but the Indians struggled to mount an offensive attack in losing to Seminole. Soph swingman Lynn Bright led the Raiders with 15 points, and Florida State transfer J.D. Bracy scored 11 for Seminole. Brandon Freeman, a 6-3 shooting guard headed to Arkansas Little Rock next fall, paced Chipola with 17 points. He and Utah State bound Michael Wilds (10 points) were the only two Indians to hit for double figures.
Broward 70 Pensacola 53
Louisville signee Nate Daniels pumped in 20 points as Broward coasted to the win over Pandhandle Conference member Pensacola. Daniels connected on four three-pointers in the win. Rugged 6-4 sophomore forward Kevin Benn paced the Pirates with 21 points, but shot just four of eight from the charity stripe.
Joliet 86 Central Florida 70
Joliet jolted the host Patriots, thanks to a tremendous 43 point outburst from 5-7 sophomore guard Gordon Morgan. Incredibly, Morgan scored 42 of his 43 in the second half. He connected on nine three pointers, and carried the Wolves on his back. Freshman qualifier Anthony Paez, a 6-6 combo/small forward, scored 17 points for CFCC, while 6-7 power forward Patrick Hilliman netted 19 for the Patriots in defeat. Joliet trailed 41-23 at the half, but rode Morgan's second half explosion to the victory.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 2003
@ Central Florida C.C. in Ocala
Seminole 74 Pensacola 58
Shooting/combo guard J.D. Bracy pumped in 30 points to lead Seminole to the double digit victory over Pensacola. The Florida State transfer scored from all areas on the court, connecting on four three pointers and converting eight of 10 attempts from the foul line. Forward Kevin Benn paced the Pirates with 12 points, as PJC dropped its second game in as many days.
Joliet (IL) 96 St. John River 93
Gordon Morgan was "held" to 29 points as Joliet held off a late St. John River rally to emerge with its second win in as many days. A day earlier, Morgan hit for 43 points in a win over host Central Florida C.C. On Saturday, he knocked down seven three pointers as Joliet built a healthy 16 point lead early in the second half. The Vikings rode the hot hand of sophomore shooting guard Clarence Ferguson (31 points) to knot the game at 75 midway through the second half. The Wolves responded with a 13-5 run to push the lead back to eight at 88-80, but St. John River hung around and got as close as two in the final minutes. Ferguson and Morgan were two of the better scorers at the Florida JUCO Shootout, but neither may be a Division I eligible recruit, according to their respective coaches.
Broward 70 Chipola 59
Nationally ranked Chipola took it on the chin for a second straight day in losing to Broward. The Indians simply couldn't get their offense untracked, falling behind 48-28 with just 10 minutes to play in the game. To its credit, Chipola slapped a furious 31-15 rally on Broward, pulling to within 63-59 on a JueMichael Young bucket with under three minutes to play. The Seahawks slammed the door shut, ending the game on a 7-0 run to win by 11. Nate Daniels was terrific once again for Broward, netting 23 points on the evening. Scrappy forwards Joe Marino (15 points) and Adrian Uter (13 points) also made significant contributions for the Seahawks. Freshman point guard Walker Russell led Chipola with 13 points and Brandon Freeman heated up late to finish with 12 points.
Brevard 64 Central Florida 61
Forward Stacey Pearson-Taylor scored 24 points and chucker deluxe Darryl Dorsey pitched in 20 points as Brevard handed host Central Florida its second loss in as many days at the Florida JUCO Shootout. Brevard trailed for much of the first half, but used a strong second half start to grab a 46-36 lead with 10:28 remaining. Central Florida clawed to within 62-61 on a basket by forward Patrick Hilliman. Dorsey helped slam the door shut on CFCC by canning a pair of free throws with five seconds left to account for the final margin. Anthony Paez, the Patriots' impressive 6-6 freshman qualifier, registered 25 points and hauled down seven rebounds in defeat. Hilliman added 12 points and seven rebounds for Central Florida.
@ Santa Fe C.C. in Gainesville
Daytona Beach 96 Gulf Coast 60
Georgetown signee Reda Rhalimi erupted for 21 points and 13 rebounds as Daytona Beach routed Gulf Coast on the second day of the Florida JUCO Shootout. Rhalimi shot nine of 13 from the floor. Sophomore combo guard Bradley Mosley continued his fine play for the Falcons, hitting a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line on the way to 19 points. He also dished out nine assists. Daytona shot 56 percent from the floor, while Panama City based Gulf Coast literally couldn't throw it into the ocean (28 percent shooting). Freshman Richard Lusane led the Commodores with 12 points in defeat.
Palm Beach 73 Tallahassee 70
Palm Beach built an 11 point half-time lead, and held on for a three point victory to gain a split at the Florida JUCO Shootout. Both Palm Beach and TCC were coming off Friday losses at the inaugural event. Michael Bell was once again rock solid for the Panthers, collecting 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the victors. Freshman guard Marcus Bright connected on six of 12 three pointers on the way to 20 points. Forwards Justin Thomas (17 points, eight rebounds) and Sredrick Powe (12 points) led the Eagles, and Palm Beach kept diminutive 5-8 gunner Michael Stringer in check. Stringer hit just two of eight three pointers and finished with 14 points, just a day after scoring 21 points against Daytona Beach.
Okaloosa-Walton 69 Santa Fe 64
Top ranked Okaloosa-Walton C.C. survived a major scare from host Santa Fe, escaping with a five point win to remain undefeated. Ronell and Donell Taylor scored 17 points apiece. With O-W trailing 62-56, forward Michael Phillips (held to just seven points) hit a pair of free throws to kick start a 9-0 Raider run. A three point play by scrappy forward Derek Thomas (11 points) gave the Raiders a 63-62 lead, and a Ronell Taylor basket capped the run with a bucket as O-W assumed a 65-62 lead with 1:24 remaining. Brian Greene, Santa Fe's very athletic freshman swingman, led the Saints with 15 points in defeat. Matt Cenatus chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds for Santa Fe.