NCAA

Basketball recruiting: George Mason's midnight prospect madness

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Basketball recruiting: George Mason's midnight prospect madness

Like most schools, George Mason's Midnight Madness event is not simply about ginning up excitement for the upcoming season. Showing off the program to potential recruits is most definitely another component and one the Patriots focused on Friday night at the Patriot Center.

At least seven prospects attended the festivities on the Fairfax campus, a source familiar with the proceedings told CSNwashington.com.

Members of the 2014 class included guards Evan Taylor (Paul VI), John Crosby (Baltimore Polytechnic), 6-foot-4 Omari George (Baltimore/City College High), and New Jersey products Abdul Lewis and Ishmael Sanogo.

Middleburg Academy (Va.) small forward Delonte Jones and teammate Brandon Alston , a 6-foot-4 guard from Vienna, represented the 2015 class.

Definitively linking players to a specific program two and three years away is largely unwise, but Patriots coach Paul Hewitt continues his aggressive pursuit of talent in and outside the DMV. Recent commitments include incoming freshman guard and All-Met Player of the Year Patrick Holloway (Paul VI) and Jalen Jenkins, a 6-foot-6 power forward from the Bronx (NY).

The 6-foot-3 Taylor, who is reportedly also considering West Virginia and Wake Forest, is described by ESPN's college basketball recruiting site as "a skilled and smart point guard with excellent size and length. His passing and ability to make open shots allows him to positively affect the game."

Taylor ranks 24th at his position among members of the 2014 class per ESPN, five slots ahead of the 6-foot-2 Crosby.

Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Drexel are other schools in the hunt for George, according to Rivals.com.

The 6-foot-7 Lewis and Sanogo, a 6-foot-5 combo forward, both played last season for East Side (N.J.).

Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

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Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

Kyle Guy scored 29 points and hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes Friday, leading Virginia to a 76-67 victory against VCU.

Ty Jerome also hit from long range in the closing minutes and Virginia (3-0) saw its lead trimmed to three at 63-60 with five minutes left. Neither team scored for the next two minutes before Guy came off a screen right in front of the Cavaliers' and doubled their lead.

Issac Vann made it 66-62 with a driving basket for VCU (2-1), but Guy hit a pair of free throws and Jerome followed with a 3-pointer.

RELATED: DMV COLLEGE BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS

Jerome added 13 points and seven assists for Virginia.

Vann led VCU with 19 points, Johnny Williams had 14 and Khris Lane 12.

THE BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers had little trouble with VCU's pressure, turning the ball over just five times and outscoring the Rams 12-5 off turnovers. They also outscored the Rams 18-0 on fast break points, but they were beaten on the backboards 36-26.

VCU: The Rams averaged 94.5 points in their first two games, but are still working to integrate what first-year coach Mike Rhoades wants them to do on offense and defense. Johnny Williams can be a force driving to the basket, and transfer Vann gives them another quality 3-point shooter.

UP NEXT

Virginia is at home on Sunday against Monmouth.

VCU faces Marquette in the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

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Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

NEW YORK -- Character was the theme espoused by Saint Louis coach Travis Ford and Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams.

Ford praised his team's ethos, as opposed to Williams, who wondered about his squad's makeup.

"What haunts me is our character was revealed in how we played," Williams said after Saint Louis topped Virginia Tech, 77-71, in the opening round of the 2K Classic on Thursday night.

"This was the first time I was caught off-guard," Williams said.

Javon Bess scored 22 points and Jordan Goodwin added 19 for Saint Louis (3-0).

"All week in practice we worked on getting back in transition," Goodwin said. "Make sure we help each other out. We take pride in our defense. Sometimes the offense might not go but every night we guard we're going to be there every play."

Despite getting a career-high 26 points from Ahmed Hill, Virginia Tech fell to 2-1. Justin Bibbs scored 15 in his first game of the season after sitting out the first two games for disciplinary reasons. Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 10 before fouling out.

"They were tougher than us from start to finish," Williams said. "I didn't think we were ever in the fight. I don't think we were ever in the mix."

The eighth all-time matchup between the Atlantic 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference programs was taut as St. Louis' 61-49 advantage with 7:57 left was the largest lead for either team.

On the strength of an 11-3 run, though, Virginia Tech cut the deficit to 64-60. Four points is as close as the Hokies would get.

Davell Rovy's baseline layup pushed the lead back to 66-60. Bess made seven free throws and Goodwin three in the final minute to help seal the win.

"It was good to see," Ford said. "We've had some really poor performances from the free-throw line in some games -- exhibition games and different things; we've had some other games where we've shot them a little bit better -- it was good to see because I think that's when you're tested.

"I've seen that from Javon. I've seen that from Jordan and different guys. When it's on the line, they seem to rise to the occasion."

Benefiting an early-season game, there were areas in which Williams and Ford to work on with their teams. For the Hokies, free-throw shooting was a significant issue as they made only 23 of 36 (63.9 percent).

Saint Louis made just 4 of 18 from the arc.

"I thought they overwhelmed us," Williams said.