High School Basketball

High school basketball: Stars showcase talents

Terrance Ferguson of Prime Prep warms up in the Joe B. and Denny Showcase at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School gymnasium in Lexington, Ky., Friday, November 28, 2014. Photo by Austin Damisi
Terrance Ferguson of Prime Prep warms up in the Joe B. and Denny Showcase at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School gymnasium in Lexington, Ky., Friday, November 28, 2014. Photo by Austin Damisi Herald-Leader

Five-star basketball recruit Caleb Swanigan blamed himself for his first appearance in Lexington not going according to plan Friday.

The class of 2015 standout scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but he also committed eight turnovers for Homestead (Ind.) in a 49-36 loss to Curie (Ill.) on the opening day of the Joe B. and Denny Bluegrass Showcase.

UK coaches John Calipari and Kenny Payne entered the Paul Laurence Dunbar gym a few minutes before tipoff. Calipari offered Swanigan a scholarship earlier this year, and the 6-foot-9 post player from Fort Wayne knew he was in the building.

"What I did in the second half wouldn't work at Kentucky," Swanigan said. "Coach Cal would chew me out. They play as a team and they play together."

The Curie defense collapsed on Swanigan every time he got the ball near the paint. He drew several fouls and made a few nice passes out of trouble, but, more often, he lost the ball under pressure or forced bad shot attempts.

Swanigan was 3-for-11 from the floor and did not make a field goal in the second half.

"I told him that he doesn't need to do that," said Homestead Coach Chris Johnson. "He's a very good ballplayer. He's one of the top players in the nation. But you need teammates, and there was a lot of individual play tonight that was disappointing."

Curie outscored Homestead 32-11 in the second half, holding the team from Indiana to just one field goal over the final two quarters.

Homestead plays White Station (Tenn.) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Orangeville Prep (Canada) 72, Prime Prep (Texas) 58: Thon Maker put on a show for the Lexington crowd with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots in Orangeville's victory.

Maker — a 7-foot-1 prospect from the class of 2016 — showed off his range by making a three-pointer and put his athleticism on display with an acrobatic alley-oop finish in transition. He was also 13-for-18 from the free-throw line and committed just one turnover.

UNLV signee Jalen Poyser (16 points) and five-star junior guard Jamal Murray (12 points) joined Maker in double figures.

Maker's guardian, Edward Smith, mentioned UK as one of the schools that has been "aggressive" in Maker's recruitment during an interview with the Herald-Leader after the game.

Smith also said Maker is still considering reclassifying to 2015 so he can play college basketball next season. "We'll know by the middle of January," he said.

Sophomore Matur Maker — Thon's 6-9 brother — had five points, seven rebounds and four assists while playing most of the game on the perimeter.

Sunrise Christian (Kan.) 61, Prolific Prep (Calif.) 49: Five-star recruit Josh Jackson had 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals, but it wasn't enough for a Prolific Prep victory.

Jackson — a 6-8 shooting guard — is one of the top five players in the class of 2016 and was watched by Calipari, Payne, Louisville Coach Rick Pitino and all three of U of L's assistant coaches Friday night. He was 8-for-16 from the floor and made two of four three-point attempts.

Senior guard Dainan Swoope led Sunrise Christian with 18 points.

La Lumiere (Ind.) 80, Carlisle School (Va.) 65: Illinois signee Jalen Coleman-Lands scored 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the nation's No. 4 team to a victory in the showcase opener.

Australia native Isaac Humphries did not play for La Lumiere and is not expected to join the team until December. Humphries is considered one of the top 30 juniors in high school basketball.

Carlisle was led by senior forward Kaleb Johnson, who is being recruited by Auburn and scored 29 points in front of Tigers Coach Bruce Pearl.

Quality Education (N.C.) 79, Arlington Country Day (Fla.) 59: Fresno State signee Nate Grimes scored 19 points and was 9-for-11 from the field in Quality Ed's upset victory over ACD, which is ranked No. 9 nationally.

South Florida signee Tulio Da Silva was held to two points (0-for-1 on field goals) and two rebounds for ACD.

Note: Calipari and Payne stuck around to watch the game between Life Center (N.J.) and Huntington Prep (W.Va.), which featured UK targets Thomas Bryant and Miles Bridges for Huntington. Pitino and the Louisville coaching staff stayed to watch Life Center senior point guard Traci Carter.

The game did not end in time for this edition.

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