N.C. State, Duke commits clash in tourney game

May 24, 2009 

Josh Hairston, a 6-foot-9 D.C. Assault forward from Spotsylvania, Va., said Duke’s coaching staff has him penciled in for a role similar to Kyle Singler’s with the current program.

That would mean Hairston could play any of the frontcourt positions at Duke but could be used primarily as a power forward. He said that role fits his skills.

“If I have a bigger guy on me, I’m going to take him off the dribble to the basket,” Hairston said. “If I have a smaller guy on me, I’m going to post him up.”

Hairston and D.C. Assault teammate and fellow Duke commit Tyler Thornton lost unexpectedly in overtime to the Southern California All-Stars on Saturday evening at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

Hairston scored 24 points and Thornton added five in the game. The Assault still advanced to the 16-team championship bracket Saturday night in the 17-and-under division, but were eliminated by the Atlanta Celtics and N.C. State commitment Ryan Harrow.

A 6-foot-1, 150-pound wisp of a point guard, Harrow spun between defenders and darted one-handed, no-look passes to teammates en route to a 26-point performance. Guard Jordan McRae, a Tennessee commitment, added 25 points for the Celtics, who will meet the New York Panthers in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. today at the Smith Center.

・Other teams in the quarterfinals include the New Jersey Roadrunners, CP3 All-Stars and Grassroots Canada.

The Roadrunners are led by guard Kyrie Irving, whose 40-point performance Saturday morning in a game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium included a 10-for-11 effort from the foul line. Irving is the second-leading scorer in the tournament and has Duke on his list of 10 schools of interest.

North Carolina wing commitment Reggie Bullock of Kinston has guided CP3 with a steady hand. He scored 16 in a playoff defeat of the Nashville Celtics late Saturday night.

Tristan Thompson, who’s committed to Texas and regarded as a top-five prospect in the Class of 2010, is the headliner for Grassroots Canada.

・The prospect who’s come out of nowhere to take the Tournament of Champions by storm is 6-1 guard Chris Jones of the Memphis Stallions.

His team is in the consolation bracket because of a narrow loss to Harrow and the Atlanta Celtics, but it was no fault of Jones, who’s in the Class of 2010.

As word spread of Jones’ eight 3-pointers against the Celtics, observers left the main arena and flocked to the practice gym at the Smith Center where the game was being played. Jones scored 50 points in another game and totaled 131 points over three games Saturday.

He is averaging a tournament-high (by far) 40 points per game but isn’t listed in the top 100 in his class by scout.com or rivals.com. Suffice to say, that will change.

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