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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Updated: April 1, 11:40 PM ET
NHSI teams pack star power

ESPNRISE.com

Get to know the eight boys' basketball teams selected to play in the inaugural ESPN RISE National High School Invitational in Bethesda, Md., on April 3-5. For more information on the event, click here. Check out the bracket and TV information.

No. 1 seed Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
1 Doron Lamb 6-4/185 Guard Junior
2 Austin Alecxih 6-5/190 Guard Senior
3 Marco Porcher 6-3/170 Guard Col 5
4 Jordan Gallagher 6-4/175 Guard Senior
5 Glenn Bryant 6-7/185 Forward Senior
20 Chasen Campbell 6-8/245 Forward Senior
21 Pe'Shon Howard 6-2/200 Guard Junior
23 Bryon Allen 6-3/215 Guard Junior
24 Kevin Kegarise 6-2/155 Guard Senior
31 Keith Gallon 6-9/320 Forward Senior
33 Lamont Jones 6-0/190 Guard Senior
42 Baye Moussa Keita 6-11/205 Center Junior
44 Chris Brown 6-10/240 Center Senior

Head coach: Steve Smith

KEY PLAYERS

Keith "Tiny" Gallon
Gallon, an Oklahoma recruit and McDonald's All-American, has led the Warriors with 16.3 points and 10 rebounds per game. At 320 pounds, Gallon is deceptively fast up and down the court and nimble around the basket.

Doron Lamb
The Warriors run their offense through Lamb, who averaged 20 points per game during the last month of the season -- five up from his season average. Lamb, who also averages five assists, has a talented mid-range game.

Lamont "Mo Mo" Jones
Jones' coming-out party came at the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, when he scored 40 points in a double-overtime championship win over Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.). The Virginia Tech recruit averages 13.5 points and 5.5 assists per game.

ROAD TO NHSI
The Warriors have managed to go undefeated while facing one of the toughest schedules during coach Steve Smith's tenure. Oak Hill has beaten eight nationally ranked teams, including Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) and St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.). In addition to Gallon and Jones, the Warriors feature three other Division I commits: Syracuse-bound junior Baye Moussa Keita, West Virginia-bound senior Bryon Allen and UNC-Asheville-bound senior Austin Alecxih.

THE 411
• Notable alumns include Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (Class of 2002), Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (Class of 2004), Golden State Warriors forward Stephen Jackson (Class of 1996), Dallas Mavericks swingman Jerry Stackhouse (Class of 1993) and NBA prospect Brandon Jennings (Class of 2008), who bypassed college to play overseas.

• Since 1978, more than 140 Warriors have gone on to play Division I basketball.

• Although the Warriors travel across the country competing in tournaments, they are all business during road trips and follow the motto, "Get in, get a win and get out."

No. 2 seed Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
3 Issiah Grayson 5-11/160 Guard Junior
5 Cory Joseph 6-3/180 Guard Junior
11 Avery Bradley 6-3/175 Guard Senior
12 Tristan Thompson 6-9/215 Forward Junior
15 Godwin Okonji 6-9/220 Forward Junior
21 Carlos Lopez 6-11/210 Center Senior
23 Victor Rudd 6-8/205 Forward Senior
24 Rasham Suarez 6-2/180 Guard Sophomore
32 D.J. Richardson 6-3/180 Guard Senior

Head coach: Michael Peck

KEY PLAYERS
Avery Bradley
A McDonald's All-American, Bradley is the nation's No. 7 player in the ESPNU 100. The Texas recruit has come up big in every major tournament this season, earning three tourney MVP honors while averaging 19 points per game overall.

Tristan Thompson
Thompson transferred from St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) midway through the season to team up with fellow Texas recruit Avery Bradley. Thompson scored 17 in his first game with Findlay Prep, a win over Impact Basketball Academy (Las Vegas).

Cory Joseph
Joseph has already garnered offers from schools like Memphis and Kansas. The junior averages 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. During the past six games, he's made 16 of 26 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

ROAD TO NHSI
Founded in 2006, Findlay Prep has quickly established itself as a basketball powerhouse that attracts stars from across the globe and dominates tournaments around the nation. The Pilots biggest win this season came against nationally ranked Rice (New York, N.Y.) in the championship of the Rock Holiday Classic. Playing a national schedule, the Pilots have gone 30-0.

THE 411
• The Pilots' roster includes players from the U.S., Canada, Nigeria and Puerto Rico.

• Coach Michael Peck came to Findlay Prep from UNLV, where he spent three years working under legendary coaches Charlie Spoonhour and Lon Kruger as the men's basketball video coordinator.

• Findlay Prep is a privately funded basketball academy, which makes its home at The Henderson International School.

No. 3 seed Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
1 Dominic Milburn 6-3/195 Guard Senior
4 Georges Hetherington 5-6/120 Guard Senior
5 Micah Fraction 5-10/160 Guard Senior
10 Jordan Roach 5-10/160 Guard Sophomore
11 Douglas Browman 5-10/170 Guard Senior
12 Tyler Hubbard 5-10/145 Guard Sophomore
15 Giovanni Arrindell 5-10/160 Guard Junior
21 Mouphtaou Yarou 6-10/250 Center Senior
23 Justin Anderson 6-5/185 Guard Freshman
24 Terrance Ross 6-5/180 Guard Junior
32 Dadrian Collins 6-6/195 Forward Senior
34 Isaiah Armwood 6-8/195 Forward Senior
44 T. Jordan Omogbehin 7-1/260 Center Sophomore

Head coach: Stu Vetter

KEY PLAYERS
Mouphtaou Yarou
Yarou came to the United States from the West African Republic of Benin in January 2008. In his only full season with Montrose, Yarou has averaged (TK). Rated the nation's No. 27 recruit in the ESPNU 100, Yarou has signed with Villanova.

Isaiah Armwood
Armwood, a Villanova recruit who's rated the nation's No. 36 recruit in the ESPNU 100, is an explosive leaper with an improve midrange jumper. He averaged (TK) per game this season.

Terrance Ross
Ross was named Oregon's Class 5A Player of the Year as a sophomore before transferring to Montrose for his junior season. Ross, the nation's No. 41 recruit in the ESPNU Super 60, averaged (TK).

ROAD TO NHSI
Montrose Christian started the 2008-09 season ranked No. 19 in the preseason ESPN RISE FAB 50. Since then, the Mustangs climbed 10 spots to No. 9 by going 19-1 with their only loss coming to national-power Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in double overtime of the Iolani Classic championship. Montrose Christian's signature win came against nationally ranked Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.).

THE 411
• Notable alumns include Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Kevin Durant (Class of 2006) and Denver Nuggets swingman Linas Kleiza (Class of 2003).

• Vetter is in his 33rd year coaching overall. Since he took over Montrose in 1999, the Mustangs have been one of the nation's top programs. Vetter is a two-time USA Today National Coach of the Year.

• Isaiah Armwood is president of his senior class. Armwood says he initially ran for office for fun, but when everyone started voting for him he decided to take it seriously.

No. 4 seed St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
00 John Paul Kambola 6-10/235 Center Junior
1 Andris Misters 6-4/165 Guard Sophomore
4 Tavon Sledge 5-9/155 Guard Sophomore
11 Tamir Jackson 6-3/180 Guard Senior
14 Xavier Munford 6-2/160 Guard Junior
15 Lamar Patterson 6-5/220 Forward Senior
22 Aaron Brown 6-4/180 Guard Junior
24 Myck Kabongo 6-1/155 Guard Sophomore
30 Gilvydas Biruta 6-8/225 Forward Junior
32 Mike Poole 6-6/195 Forward Junior
55 Blaise Mbargorba 7-0/215 Center Sophomore

Head coach: Dan Hurley

KEY PLAYERS
Tamir Jackson
Jackson, a Rice recruit, has been the Gray Bees' go-to scorer. A hardnosed defender who also has a deadly shot from the corner, Jackson averaged 13 points, four rebounds and four assists per game.

Lamar Patterson
In his lone year at St. Benedict's, Patterson has filled the rebounding void left by the departure of Samardo Samuels, who's now at Louisville. Patterson, a Pittsburgh recruit, averages nine points, eight rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

Myck Kabongo
As a freshman last year, Kabongo played the role of a distributor. But this season he's turned into scorer. Kabongo, a Canada native who has already committed to Texas, averages 10.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.

ROAD TO NHSI
St. Benedict's started the season by winning its first 19 games. The season's highlight came when the Gray Bees captured the Nike Invitational in Puerto Rico. Later in the season, St. Benedict's has made news when star forward Tristan Thompson transferred to Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) midseason. Still, the Gray Bees' small-ball lineup is one of the quickest in the country.

THE 411
• Notable alumns include Denver Nugget guard J.R. Smith (Class of 2004) and University of Louisville forward Samardo Samuels (Class of 2008)

• Head coach Dan Hurley is all business on road trips. In fact, when the Gray Bees arrived in Benton, Ky., for December's Marshall County Hoop Fest at 9:30 a.m., they went right to practice at 11 a.m.

• St. Benedict's is more than 130 years old and its motto, which is inscribed on the walls of the school buildings, reads: "Whatever hurts my brother, hurts me."

No. 5 seed St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
1 Ronald Williams 5-8/150 Guard Sophomore
3 Wayne Sparrow 6-2/165 Guard/Forward Junior
5 Dante Holmes 6-2/165 Guard/Forward Junior
10 Karrell Goines 5-10/165 Guard Sophomore
12 Edwin Amos 6-0/165 Guard Sophomore
13 Shaquir Brown 6-4/175 Guard/Forward Freshman
15 Gregory Lewis 6-9/200 Forward/Center Sophomore
20 Trawn Rogers 6-7/175 Forward/Center Senior
22 Scott Brooks 6-7/200 Forward/Center Senior
23 Bernie Vaughn 6-0/165 Guard/Forward Sophomore
24 Jason Jones 6-0/165 Guard Junior
32 Terrell Vinson 6-7/200 Guard/Forward Senior
34 Carlos Corbin 5-8/165 Guard Junior
44 Joshua Forney 6-8/230 Forward/Center Freshman

Head coach: Mark Karcher

KEY PLAYERS
Terrell Vinson
Vinson is the Panthers' most dominant player. Vinson, who averages 25 points and 11 rebounds per game, thrives off isolation and has confidence to take over a game. The All-Conference first team selection signed with Loyola Marymount.

Wayne Sparrow
Sparrow is a superb pure shooter who has made nearly 50 percent of his 3-point attempts. Sparrow, who's averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, was an All-Conference second team selection. He has committed to Richmond.

Dante Holmes
Holmes, who's been on varsity since his freshman year, is a smart player with a nifty mix of moves and ball fakes. The All-Conference second team selection averages 13 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

ROAD TO NHSI
St. Frances started the season ranked No. 1 in the Baltimore Catholic League and ended on top, winning not only the league title but also the conference championship. The Panthers' turning point came during a 63-54 loss to local foe Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.) in mid-January. Karcher says his team showed a lot of heart and started to play better together after the loss.

THE 411
• Coach Karcher likes to maintain a family-like environment with the team, cracking jokes with the players and hosting them at his house to watch game film. • Karcher, who's just 30 years old and in his first season as a head coach, is a former Temple swingman who has participated in several NBA training camps. • Established in 1828. St. Frances Academy is an independent Catholic high school.

No. 6 seed Friends' Central (Wynnewood, Pa.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
0 Michael Murray 5-8/120 Guard Senior
1 Daniel Abelson 5-7/145 Guard Senior
3 Mike Loewenstein 5-9/155 Guard Sophomore
5 H.J. Gaskins 5-8/140 Guard Junior
15 Devin Coleman 6-2/180 Guard Sophomore
20 Mark Margulies 6-2/190 Guard Junior
23 Malique Killing 5-9/135 Guard Sophomore
25 Justin Pinder 5-10/190 Forward Sophomore
31 Travis Robinson 6-4/185 Guard Junior
33 Brandon Laing 6-3/185 Forward Senior
42 Jordan Grossman 6-4/200 Guard Senior
50 Amile Jefferson 6-5/175 Forward Freshman
54 Peter Chawaga 6-7/200 Center Senior
55 Dominic Morris 6-7/240 Forward Junior

Head coach: Jason Polykoff

KEY PLAYERS
Dominic Morris
Morris earned team MVP honors this season. The agile 240-pounder has soft hands, can bang inside and can shoot from the outside. Morris, who's averaging 12 points and eight rebounds per game, is being recruited by Siena, Providence and Penn State.

Devin Coleman
Coleman averages a game-high 13.3 points per game to go with 4.2 rebounds. He scored 18 in an upset win over nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) to earn MVP honors of December's Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic.

Travis Robinson
In his first year with Friends' Central after transferring from Penn Charter (Philadelphia, Penn.), Robinson is the team's version of Shawn Marion. Robinson is a stat-filler who averages 12.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

ROAD TO NHSI
Coming off an overtime loss in the Friends Schools League championship, the Phoenix needed four games in five days to take home the Pennsylvania Independent Schools title. Coach Jason Polykoff says his team was the most focused and intense they had been all season during that run. And it paid off. In the final game of the tournament, Friends' Central rallied to beat Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) in overtime, 60-58.

THE 411
• Notable alumni include Memphis Grizzlies forward Hakim Warrick (Class of 2001) and former University of Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur (Class of 2003).

• The Phoenix's motto is "Family," which is printed on the back of the team T-shirts. Coach Polykoff describes his players as a "bunch of jokesters" off the court and says senior Peter Chawaga is hilarious at standup routines.

• The end of Friends' Central's come-from-behind overtime win in the PIS tournament title game can be watched on YouTube by typing in "Friends Central" in the search box.

No. 7 seed Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
0 Jabs Newby 6-2/170 Guard Junior
1 Kofi Mensa 6-4/175 Guard Junior
2 Can Korkmaz 6-2/165 Guard Junior
4 Jai Chhabra 5-10/160 Guard Freshman
11 TyQuane Goard 6-6/165 Forward Sophomore
14 Noah Cottrill 6-3/190 Guard Junior
20 Najee Whitehead 6-3/190 Guard Freshman
22 Bryan Lowther 6-5/210 Guard Senior
23 Hamala Keita 6-6/215 Forward Junior
25 Justin Drummond 6-3/170 Guard Junior
30 Shaquille Thomas 6-7/165 Forward Junior
32 Jamal Newman 6-1/195 Guard Junior
33 Micah Pfalzgraff 6-10/240 Center Senior
42 Deniz Kilicli 6-9/250 Center Senior

Coach: Rob Fulford

KEY PLAYERS
Noah Cottrill
Cottrill has already established himself as one of the nation's top scorers. He averages 26 points and four assists per games. Cottrill, who has committed to West Virginia, is rated No. 59 in the ESPNU Super 60.

Shaquille Thomas
Thomas gives Mountain State a versatile weapon who can play both inside and out. He's rated No. 56 in the ESPNU Super 60 and is considering Kansas, Xavier, Syracuse, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida and Oklahoma State

Deniz Kilicli
Kilicli has experienced a meteoric rise on the U.S. prep scene since moving from Turkey last summer. Rated the nation's No. 28 recruit in the ESPNU 100, Kilicli signed with West Virginia. He averages 15 points and nine boards per game.

ROAD TO NHSI
Mountain State went through a difficult schedule, picking up victories over several elite teams such as Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.). Two of the Falcons' six losses came against ESPN RISE FAB 50 No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) while another was to No. 6 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.). A battle-tested squad with the inside-outside play of Deniz Kilicli, Noah Cottrill and Shaquille Thomas, Mountain State could surprise NHSI opponents. Coach Rob Fulford says to keep an eye on freshman Najee Whitehead.

THE 411
• This is Mountain State's fourth year as a varsity program and only second playing a travel schedule. The Falcons went 37-5 in their first season on the road last year.

• The Falcons' roster includes two players from Turkey, three from Canada and one from France.

• Shaquille Thomas' uncle is NBA veteran Tim Thomas.

No. 8 seed Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.)

The Roster
No. Name Ht/Wt Position Year
3 Junior Brett Alexander 5-8/145 Guard Col 5
4 Drew Williams 5-7/135 Guard Sophomore
10 Heath Runion 5-9/155 Guard Senior
11 Malcolm Reed 6-2/165 Forward Senior
12 Laquan Gilliard 6-3/175 Forward Senior
13 Logan Stump 5-8/140 Guard Sophomore
14 Jerome Deas 5-11/150 Guard Freshman
15 Ethan Gaskins 6-2/175 Forward Sophomore
20 Cameron Fisher 6-2/170 Forward Sophomore
21 Kevin Moore 6-3/165 Forward Junior
22 Damien Simmons 5-10/160 Guard Junior
23 Kenny Manigault 6-4/185 Guard Senior
24 Milton Jennings 6-9/215 Forward Senior
25 Bruce Haynes 6-3/185 Guard Junior
30 Ryan Bogdan 6-4/180 Guard Senior
33 Michael Pendley 6-4/185 Center Freshman
35 Justin Bishop 6-5/225 Center Senior

Coach: Pat Eidson

KEY PLAYERS
Milton Jennings
Jennings, a McDonald's All-American, earned his stripes this season by improving his ball-handling skills and perimeter shooting (41 3-pointers). The Clemson recruit averages 20.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

K.J. Manigault
Manigault is a triple-double threat every game. The All-State point guard has a 7-foot wingspan. The Wichita State recruit averages 14.1 points, 6.4 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game.

Ryan Bogdan
Bogdan's season scoring average of 11.9 points doesn't tell the whole story. In his last eight games, he's averaging 18 points. Bogdan, who has made 71 3-pointers on the season, is being recruited by Quinnipiac.

ROAD TO NHSI
Pinewood Prep opened its season with a tournament title at the Tabernacle Academy Thanksgiving Classic, defeating Georgia's defending AAAA champ, Columbia (Decatur, Ga.). Pinewood then advanced to the final round of its next two tournaments, the Chick Fil-A Classic and Roundball Classic. On a higher note, the team won its fourth straight state championship, knocking off Porter-Guad (Charleston, S.C.), 71-58.

THE 411
• Milton Jennings is the school's first McDonald's All-American.

• After playing St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), the Panthers stayed one extra day and toured New York City. The team visited Times Square, Wall Street, ground zero and the Empire State Building.

• Coach Pat Eidson's son, Chuck, played for South Carolina from 1999-2003. Chuck now plays professionally overseas for a team in Lithuania.