Terps' recruits stand out

Garrison scores 16, Gilchrist 15 in feature

Capital Classic

April 12, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Nik Caner-Medley of the U.S. All-Stars was between foul shots during last night's preliminary game of the Jordan Brand Capital Classic when Capital All-Stars' guard Chris McCray signaled for him to "throw it off the glass and I'll stick it."

"I told him, `not yet,' " said Caner-Medley. "You're still on the wrong team."

The two players were among four University of Maryland signees who participated in the 29th annual Capital Classic at MCI Center.

And despite the fact that the defending NCAA champions graduate three key players -- there is speculation that a fourth will enter the upcoming NBA draft -- Maryland's future looks bright.

"When we first met, all four of us, we clicked right away," said Caner-Medley, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Deerfield High in Portland, Maine. "A lot of people are saying that Maryland's lost too many people to win basketball games, but if you said that to any one of us, we'd all look at you and say, `No way.' "

Indeed, it seems the rich just got richer.

The game's format was changed for the first time, with last night's main event being a National Red versus White game featuring recruits considered the nation's best overall.

The preliminary game featured the second-tier players and the Capital All-Stars versus the U.S. All-Stars. The U.S. All-Stars won, 119-97.

Maryland-bound 6-9 center Travis Garrison of DeMatha had 16 points and eight rebounds to help the White Team crush the Red Team, 167-121. Also playing for the White Team was Terps signee John Gilchrist, a 6-2 guard from Salem High in Virginia Beach who scored 15 points and had five each in rebounds and assists.

Gilchrist dazzled the crowd with his fourth-period wizardry. Dribbling the ball around his back several times, off his knees on one occasion and once passing over the shoulder to himself.

Playing for the Red Team was the night's leading scorer with 27 points, Oak Hill's 6-7 Carmelo Anthony, formerly of Towson Catholic and The Sun's 2000-2001 All Metro Player of the Year. The Syracuse-bound Anthony scored 12 of the Red Team's first 15 points in the final period and had four rebounds.

"Those were playground moves. That's where I learned to play and I brought them back out because my coaches and teammates asked me to give the fans a show," said Gilchrist.

"We have a great opportunity in playing in this game," Gilchrist said about his future teammates, "and we all came out and did our thing. We're going to do our thing to continue Maryland's winning tradition."

Playing for the U.S. All-Stars, Caner-Medley went 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line en route to scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds -- three offensive and three defensive.

"I'm kind of representing Maine, because no one's really come out of Maine and made a name for themselves," said Caner-Medley, who displayed excellent overall skills -- highlighted by his athleticism and above-the-rim leaping ability.

A slender 6-4 player from Fairmont Heights who is the heir apparent to fill the shoes of Juan Dixon, McCray displayed a nice shooting touch, good court vision and an ability to create off the dribble. McCray finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. He also smoothly nailed a first-period three-pointer.

Also playing for the Capital All-Stars was River Hill's 6-10 All-Metro center Kevin Steenberge, and the Richmond-bound senior showed why he averaged 7.5 blocks for the Howard County champions.

Steenberge pleased the crowd by rejecting a dunk attempt by Notre Dame-bound Rick Cornett of Illinois' Homewood Christian Academy. When Cornett tried to put the ball back up, Steenberge stuffed him again.

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