High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Gonzaga College High School

Ballers dish on moves they love the most

February, 14, 2012
Rodney Purvis didn’t hesitate at all when asked what he loved most about Valentine’s Day.

“It’s my birthday,” said Purvis, a senior shooting guard at Upper Room Christian Academy. “So those two combined are always fun.”

It wasn’t as easy for Purvis when he had to name what basketball move he loved the most.

“That’s tough,” Purvis said.

Makes sense with the wide array of dazzling juke moves in his offensive arsenal.

Nerlens Noel
Lori Young/ESPNHSNerlens Noel said his under-the-legs crossover move allows him to dunk on defenders easier.
Here’s what Purvis and other elite players settled on as the one move they love to burn the defense with.

Kris Jenkins
Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), 2013, PF
College: Undecided
The move that I love the most is…
“The one-dribble pull-up. I love that move because the shot always feels so good when it leaves my hands after I do that. That is the move that typically works for me.”

L.J. Rose
Westbury Christian (Houston), 2012, PG
College: Baylor
The move that I love the most is…
“Either the spin move or the hesitation move because it keeps the defender on his heels and it keeps him guessing.”

Rasheed Sulaimon
Strake Jesuit (Houston), 2012, SG
College: Duke
The move that I love the most is…
“The hesitation pull-up jump shot. I picked it up from watching Tracy McGrady. I love this move because, basically, it’s never failed me. You can create space between you and your defender or rise over them and shoot. Another reason is because it’s got so many counters so you really can’t guard it. But I’ll stop talking now because I can’t be giving out all my counters.”

Rodney Purvis
Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), 2012, SG
College: N.C. State
The move that I love the most is…
“The basic right to left crossover because it allows me to get enough space to pull-up. I may have to use that one on Valentine’s Day.”

Nerlens Noel
Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.), 2012, C
College: Undecided
The move that I love the most is…
“My under-the-legs crossover because it creates a lot of space to get to the rim so I can put someone in a body bag with a dunk.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

DeMatha routs Gonzaga in rematch

February, 10, 2012

When pressed about the keys to DeMatha Catholic’s (Hyattsville, Md.) rematch with Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.), Stags point guard James Robinson offered one reason why he thought DeMatha would avenge its early-season loss to the Eagles.

“We’ve just got a lot of talent,” Robinson said. “Too many weapons."

Too many indeed.

Jerami Grant and BeeJay Anya dominated the paint, combining for 33 points, while Jairus Lyles was stellar in the backcourt with 15 points to help the Stags, ranked No. 29 in the POWERADE FAB 50, leave little doubt about who runs the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference with a 76-47 win over No. 14 Gonzaga Friday night at DeMatha in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN2.

The win avenged a two-point loss to the Eagles on Jan. 21.

Nate Britt led Gonzaga with 21 points.

Fueled by a raucous crowd, the Stags stormed out of the gate early with a 9-2 run. But Gonzaga responded and Britt capped off a late first-quarter 8-0 run with a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, 13-12.

Lyles reignited the Stags’ transition game midway through the second quarter, throwing down a hard breakaway slam and following that up with an easy layup to give the Stags a 28-21 lead.

When the Eagles answered with a 6-2 run, Lyles heaved a halfcourt buzzer-beater to give DeMatha a 33-27 lead at the half.

The Stags kept the momentum rolling, opening the third quarter with a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 40-27. Then with 4:33 left in the third quarter, Robinson got ejected when he picked up his second technical foul after hitting Gonzaga guard Charles Glover in the back with the ball. Robinson’s first tech came in the first half after swatting Eagles’ guard Tavon Blackmon’s shot out of bounds and mouthing off about it.

It helped the Stags that the Eagles scored their first points of the second half – when Anya goaltended Britt’s layup – at the 1:59 mark of the third quarter.

The Stags did an exceptional job down the stretch of exposing mismatches to continue the rout. The Stags also held Kris Jenkins, the Eagles’ leading scorer, to just three points in the second half and 12 total.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Jenkins' size doesn't stop his dominance

February, 10, 2012

It’s not that Kris Jenkins is wearing the proverbial chip on his shoulder or chalking naysayers up as haters. It’s just that after consistently dominating everyone he’s matched up against, Jenkins truly doesn’t get people who can’t get over the fact he really doesn’t have a set position.

“People always say I’m too small to play in the paint or I’m too slow to play on the perimeter,” said Jenkins, a junior combo forward at Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.). “Honestly, now I’m to the point where I don’t really care. It’s more like, ‘I don’t really understand that, but OK.’ I just have to make a believer out of people with how I play.”

Next lesson starts Friday (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2) when Jenkins leads the Purple Eagles, ranked No. 14 in the POWERADE FAB 50, against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), ranked No. 29.

“I use it as motivation when people doubt me,” Jenkins said. “It’s crazy because they look at my size [6-foot-5, 250 pounds] and base it off that.”

Kris Jenkins
Courtesy of Steve Turner/GonzagaGonzaga (Washington, D.C.) junior forward Kris Jenkins stepped up for the Eagles when junior guard Nate Britt was out with an injury.
Still, even the most spirited skeptics have to admit that the 20 points and eight rebounds per game Jenkins is posting -- while sharing shots with the No. 2 point guard in the ESPNU 60, junior Nate Britt -- is quite a feat in the brutal WCAC.

“No doubt,” said Britt, the Eagles’ floor general who is committed to North Carolina. “Kris gives it to whoever we play against.”

Oftentimes that means players with a substantial height advantage. But Britt contends the taller players bear the greater disadvantage when they face Jenkins.


“Kris has some of the best footwork of any player I’ve ever seen in any sport,” Britt said. “It allows him to get past pretty much anyone. And he’s just got a great feel for the game, so he can hurt you in so many ways. His size doesn’t hold him back at all.”

In fact, Jenkins’ size is the thing that indirectly makes him so effective, according to Dave Telep, ESPN senior national recruiting analyst.

“The questions about his size and his ability just fuels his competitive edge and it makes him go harder,” Telep said. “It’s like a built-in motivator that’s never going to go away. If Kris woke up tomorrow and he was 6-foot-9, I don’t know if he’d be as good a player.”

DeMatha point guard James Robinson doesn’t even want to think about a giant-sized Jenkins. The undersized version gave the Stags all sorts of problems on Jan. 21, when Jenkins scored 27 points to help Gonzaga escape with a 76-74 win.

“We don’t really read too much into how tall Kris is. He can play,” said Robinson, a senior who has signed with Pittsburgh. “He’s tough because he can step out and hit the 3 or use his body in the lane. He goes hard.”

That motor has some of the country’s top colleges -- Clemson, Georgetown, Ohio State, Louisville, Villanova, Rutgers, La Salle, George Mason, George Washington, Xavier and Miami -- in hot pursuit.

“At the end of the day, the people who matter know what I’m capable of,” Jenkins said. “My mindset is to prove to everyone that I’m just a basketball player. I’m the guy who does whatever he has to for his team to win. The doubters? I just take the high road and smile at them.”

And that makes him feel even taller.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.