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December 8, 2008
DTLR Hoops Festival: Sunday part I
UPPER MARLBORO, MD -- The action stepped up quite a bit on Sunday at the DTLR National High School Hoops Festival at Wise High School. In fact, it leap frogged the action on Saturday as DeMatha operated with precision and the nation's top sophomore lived up to his billing.
DEMATHA COOKS, ROSS SIZZLES
The last game of the eight-game event closed the weekend off with two of the best performances of the weekend.
DeMatha looked like the best team of the bunch and LaQuinton Ross put together a dazzling display of offensive firepower.
DeMatha leaned on the play of sophomore guard Quinn Cook. The 6-footer missed the summer due to a knee injury but played with great efficiency and poise in the prime time game.
"I had to get my swagger back," Cook said after the game. "It feels good to be back."
He certainly played like someone that was ready to be back on the floor. Cook scored a team-high 26 points on 11 of 12 shooting from the floor. He also handed out six assists and grabbed five rebounds.
"The thing with this team is that Naji can go for 30. Josh can go for 30. Vic can go for 30. Jerian can go for 30. Anyone can go for 30 for us," Cook said.
In this game, it was Cook that turned up the heat in nearly every facet. It is easy to see why he's become such a popular recruit amongst college coaches.
Cook said he has heard from a host of schools early in the recruiting process. Duke, Villanova, Georgetown, Kansas State, Texas, Maryland, Tennessee, Syracuse, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Kentucky and Florida have all shown an interest in him so far.
As Cook was shining for the Stags, Ross played the most dominating offensive game of any player in the event this weekend.
The nation's top sophomore scored 39 points for Murrah (Miss.) and shot 10 of 15 from the floor and 14 of 15 from the foul line. Ross also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Ross made it look easy as he hit five three-pointers, some of them from a foot or two behind the line. His made baskets barely ripped the nets, too. Ross is as versatile as they come. At 6-foot-8 and blessed with the ability to get to the rim with two long steps as well as make the pass to a teammate on the wing.
Ross played with aggression and scored tough baskets as well as dominated from the foul line. His success amongst his peers has been well documented here on Rivals.com. It doesn't appear that his efforts are slowing down any time soon. Despite the loss, Ross shined like one of the nation's top overall players.
DeMatha junior guard Victor Oladipo didn't miss a shot from the floor, thanks in large part to the precision passing of Cook.
Oladipo, an athletic Rivals150 junior, scored 18 points (8-8 FG) and did so as DeMatha's sixth man.
Jerian Grant, also a Rivals150 prospect, scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and collected four steals in the win.
Tennessee bound guard Josh Selby, a five-star prospect, was quiet in the victory. He scored seven points while Texas A&M bound guard Naji Hibbert also scored seven points in the win.
DeMatha big man Mikael Hopkins is a good-looking prospect to watch down the road. The 6-foot-8 post has the body and raw ability that will have him on the recruiting list of high-major programs.
More from the DTLR National High School Hoops Festival on Monday.