Looking back/Looking ahead at The Pizza Hut Invitational Tournament

Just a couple of quick points as we move on, on this Monday…..

Northern Guilford’s Jonathan Frye was probably the only current Division I prospect in the tournament field and he has already signed with a Mid-major in Appalachian State.

Some of the Greensboro Day School big men may be headed in that direction, but they are not there yet…..

There may be one or two NEG players that the DI schools will be looking at, with one kid that got my attention in Paris Scales, that had the triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 steals versus Northwest Guilford on day one. The Benjamin kid at NEG has also caught some college recruiters attention and many of these kids are still underclassmen….Sophomores

Frankie Eaves at Page will get his looks eventually and so will Jackson Kent and Demone Harrison and for at least two of those kids it may end up being DIII. Coach Tom Palumbo, from Guilford was at the games and that is not a bad place to be playing these days.

From Grimsley, Krechaun Williams may get looks later and who knows about the Sweeney brothers and how far they might go, but right now no DI….

Like I was saying, it’s Frye to Appalachian and that’s on to the Mid-major and that is it, for right now…..

Looking ahead, the big question is, are you ready for Dudley to return to the tournament and under the current format, who leaves if Dudley comes back?????

Some fans are calling for the addition of Oak Ridge to the tournament and that would not work as a long-term plan, but what are your thoughts on the short-term? It would bring in more college recruiters, but Oak Ridge could not enter a tournament such as this and even think about bringing their girls team…..

The return of Dudley I can see, but the addition of Oak Ridge, I don’t see this happening……

Again if Dudley returns, then who drops out?????

If you are a coach or AD that had your team in the field in 2009/2010, are you willing to walk away so Dudley can return?????


  1. Does NWG have anyone that can play ball at the next level? They seem to have a lot of young players (sophomores) that get the majority of the playing time.

  2. I thought Dudley walked from this tourney? Am I wrong? If they walked why should some other school drop out so they can get back in? The financial windfall for schools playing in this event is great. Who would a school want to drop out to let a team back in that walked?

  3. NWG has a roster full of mainly DIII players and you might see guys like Adam Coble and Keaton Haack move up to the DI low to Mid-major range and Clary has possibilities if he gets bigger/stronger and I see Pawlowski as a football player in college and he should be a good if he keeps developing…

    All of those kids are listed as sophomores and they are still growning and developing….

    The kids we are talking about should get on the radar at the Elons and High Points….Good schools and good opportunities…The Nick Barbour kid from GW Danville is at HPU and doing well and Jarius Simms(HPC/HPCA/North Forsyth) is there at HPU too and doing OK….

    Kevin you bring up a good point, but for the tournament as a whole, Dudley will sell tickets and put bodies in the seats…Dudley in the finals and you would have yourself a sellout on most any occasion…….

    Everyone wants a piece of Dudley and Greensboro Day and the tournament organizers know that too and the reason everyone wants a piece of the Panthers and Bengals is because they will pack the house……..

    You never can tell, one of the teams in this year’s field may have an interest in going out of town to Florida or to another city for a Holiday tourney…..

  4. i feel that carter gourley is deserving of some looks, at least d2. He might not not score the most points but he is the piece that keeps grimsley together, and he has a a great outside shot-he lit us up. I also think williams has the potential to be a d1 player but both of these kids are thin

  5. I think you could see Carter Gourley at the DIII level with a Guilford, Greensboro College, Hampden-Sydney, NC Wesleyan or Methodist type team….

    He is big part of the success that Grimsley is having again this year……

  6. Talking about GDS players at the college level. I think the Dorsett kid has an offer or two from D-2 schools. The other two senior guards are getting some D-3 looks. All five underclassmen are getting looks from D-1 schools. Mid major and below. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  7. Vebber at NWG has to get his 3pt shot down. He takes way too many without making any. He tooks shots he never should have taken at the PHI over the weekend. He may make them in practice but his % in a game is way low. After he misses, he lets his frustations get the better of him and then he fouls/

  8. b fan, think you may have to direct that comment about game % to the whole team. When you go 1 for 15 as a team looks like they all need to get the 3 shot down. If you know what he does in practice then you must be there. Finger pointing is not good for the moral. And foul in frustration after a missed shot??? Of all the NW kids that fouled out this weekend I don’t think they mentioned Vebber’s name. In fact, once the stats come out don’t think he had more than 2 or 3 fouls a game from what I remember.

  9. Pizza Hut droppesd Smith out of tournament before last season. They also dropped W. Guilford the same year. Just so happened that few weeks later Dudley ask to be left out that year for a chance to go to Puerto Rico. PHI agreed and reinvited Smith. This year Dudley was not invited to participate if I remember the N&R article correctly, it stated that PHI will be inviting the 8 teams that participated in the tournament the previous year. So PHI is more to blame in Dudley not playing this year than Dudley is. What criteria did they use to drop W. Guilford and Smith or in the past SE Guilford or E. Guilford? Use that same criteria to drop one team to allow Dudley back in. This years tournament had the worst attendence of any year I have ever seen.

    I think Pizza Hut Little 4 needs Dudley more than Dudley needs the Little 4, so I think PHI should swqllow it’s pride a little and invite Dudley back. They pulled the power card and didn’t invite Dudley this year but it smacked them in the face. Greensboro needs Dudley in the Little 4.

  10. Agree about Dudley!! I want to see the best legitimate schools in the county in the tourney. That means no ORMA. If I had a guess, I would say Smith will go. They bring nothing as far as attendance. They do bring a good girls team and an improving boys team. Maybe they could drop a boys team and GDS girls if they dont improve. Bring best eight girls teams and best eight boys teams. All in all though, nothing like the anticipation of a GDS-Dudley game. And since both teams are too dang stubborn to play in the regular season its the one opportunity we have as a community to see the two best programs in the city play.

  11. I would not like to see any team dropped. I would like to see Dudley in this tournment but not if it means dropping one of the current teams. This tournament is big for the players, coaches and the fans. I believe that parents and school boosters would volunteer to help bring in more fans. I would volunteer to help with internet marketing. Because this tournment is what keeps these basketball programs going.

  12. this PHI tournament needs to find a way to allow all of Guilford Co to participate if they can meet specific requirements such as ticket sales, etc.. this would also mean allowing the High Point teams into the tournament. they could develop a formula partially based on a teams finish in the PHI tournament in the previous year, team record in the previous year, playoff record from the previous year and any other pieces of information available. at the end of the day, no one will question who should or should not be in the tournament because everyone would have a shot. they could simply follow a format similar to the ACC or Big East basketball touraments.

    we basically have about 15 or 16 schools that would be considered.

    #1 – automatically qualify if you have won the tournament within the past 2 years.
    #2 – automatically qualify if you made it to the finals within the past year.
    #3 – make the tournament a 4 day tournament with the first day being a qualifying round for the final 4 or so teams to qualify or lowest seeded teams based on the formula. this part of the tournament could even be played prior to getting to the coliseum and played at the home gym of the higher seed.

    these are just a few suggestions but it would create some lead excitement going into the normal 3 day tournament and create a much more competitive field from day one. this way there would be no girls team getting beat by 50 points and we would get match ups that people want such as Dudley, GDS, OMRA or Northern which all play in different conferences today. this would also being in the college scouts and give all of the kids more opportunity which is why Dudley has been going to other places to play for the exposure.

  13. NWG has no players stepping up as leaders on the floor, you would expect leadership from the seniors but I see a sophomore out there directing everyone. Seems the players don’t know where they should be when a play is called by the coach. There is no go- to -guy on the team. If Vebber/Clary & Lucas could find there range from 3 point land during the same game , watch out. It will happen and hopfully starting with the upcoming confernce games this week. HPC tonight SW tomorrow and Ragsdale on Friday. This week will tell if they are a CONTENDERS or PRETENDERS. Stay tuned.

  14. let’s be real ORMA was in ATL playing online live they are well above the little four. it would be nice but i dont think ORMA will except if ask .That is like UNC playing at the college of charleston last night WHY??????? THEY WANT GET ANY BETTER, AND IF YOU LOSE THE WORLD CRUMBLES ON YOU. I watch them online with over 1000 viewers watching the game google hoopsinoverdrive to watch. no disrepect to the other schools but they are on aother level with bigger goals….national exposure i like that for this area. The little four is turning into the GDS inventational and who want to watch boring GDS play???? Good luck on making it better next year they should have a play in game where ORMA play another school on they level or something.

  15. Who are some of the better known DII’s around our area?????

    Would that be your Winston-Salem States, NC Centrals, Lenior Rhynes, Catawbas, Wingates, Carson-Newmans, even Queens down in Charlotte where Bart Lundy used to be?????

    Many of the DII’s used to be NAIA schools and I guess now they are DII’s…..

    Are the DII’s actually that much of a higher level of play than the DIII’s and do they offer money in terms of full rides???

    BTW….The NWG kids will be fine sometime down the road….They just have to find a groove again and learn to finish games….Their loss to WS Carver is a prime example of not being able to finish, with all of their in-bounds passes that went to Yellow Jackets instead of Vikings…..

    NWG has a very good shot to pick up some key conference wins against the likes of High Point Central, Ragsdale, Glenn, East Forsyth and I’m not yet sure about WS Parkland……

    Does it just sound better to be recruited by a DII school as opposed to a DIII college?????

    DIII’s have ways to get you the money if yor are willing to do the paperwork…..

    Who are the DII’s that get your attention in our area/state/region?????

  16. Andy

    There are basically four D-2 conferences in the state. CIAA, CVAC, SAC 8, and the Peach Belt. All of which have some extremely good teams. Of those leagues however, the Peach Belt over the past decade has proven to be the most consistent with providing teams in the national picture. It is an extremely athletic and competitive league. In the early part of the 2000’s Kennesaw State won a national championship and was a runner up in another. That league lost 3 schools that moved to D-1. In more recent years Augusta State has been a national power out of that conference. UNC-Pembroke is the only NC school in that league. The CIAA has not been far behind with the likes of Bowie St and Va. Union. And Barton won a national championship not too many years ago on what was one of the greatest comebacks in tournament play. Anthony Atkinson actually won an espy for his last second shot. The SAC 8 and CVAC have the highest percentage of schools that are in NC. I won’t list them all, but as a former D-2 coach in the Peach Belt I can assure you D2 is a very high level of basketball.

    D-2 is allowed 10 full scholarships. The schools have the right to divide that however they like. You can give 10 full scholarships or some full and some partial. One thing to note however is that some conferences limit the number of scholarships schools can give. For example, in the SAC 8 those schools are only allowed 7.5 scholarships. Therefore they have to use pell money, academic scholarships and grants in a lot of cases to provide the full scholarship.

    D-3 schools are not allowed scholarships. However there are ways to get loans and grants to help provide financial assistance. To me D-3 is the most unfair level in recruiting. Everything is up to the institution and how they wish to divide financial aid. SOme schools set aside an allotment of funds just for student athletes. Others do not. A lot of times more money is available at some D-3 schools than others.

    That is kind of a brief synopsis of how the D2 and D3 scholarship deals work. I think kids and more so parents at times get caught up in D1, D2, or D3 way too much. There are good and bad programs at all levels. Kids just need to look at the schools and decide where they can have the best experience. If you are playing college basketball, you have to be a good player.

  17. Very good and useful information and thank-you Jeff….

    I remember Barton College back when they were the Atlantic Christian College in the old NAIA Carolinas Conference with Guilford, Elon, High Point, Catawba and the likes….

  18. Jeff is correct. Lots of opportunity at D3 level. Some great educations out there at D3 level, especially if you look up in the mid-atlantic, northeast and midwest. Grades become very important at D3 level.

  19. Good grades could get you an entirely free ride or close to it at the D3 level. Also, financial need is important.

  20. Thanks Andy, for the vote of confidence in NWG. You are spot on about them needing to get their groove and have the ability to finish games. They do have the potential to do well in conference play. Maybe NWG’s posting could learn a thing or two from you and surely b fan could. I think pointing out an individual player is just wrong. Every time a “team” goes on the floor it is a ‘team’ effort. Throwing a single player under the bus does nothing and from the box scores Vebber had 17 not sure why he is being singled out. Every good shooter has a bad game from time to time.

  21. Being a senior effects the way things work for Kyle Vebber and since he is tall he gets seen always on the court and he likes to shoot outside and that puts him in the spotlight, make or miss too…

    Don’t you all think that the three point shot has become bigger than the dunk in at least HS basketball right now.

    The dunk draws the fan reaction, but the three-pont shot seems to be a much bigger part of the game….

  22. I know that sometimes the MVP and even all tournament teams are picked before the final game is over. I’m just wondering if the PHI all-tournament team was picked before the tournament even started? The Greensboro Sports Council lost a lot of credibility with their recent all tournament choices—Is there no shame???? I guess if they wear state championship rings, they’ll put their kids on all-tournament.
    LOL and LMAO at what people do!

  23. Andy,

    Frank Eaves and Jackson Kent are only sophomores and Harrison is a Junior.

    They will all get their looks here in the next year or 2. Page’s whole team is very young, only 1 Senior on the starting line up, Jon Spain, and he didn’t even start in the little 4.

    Can’t really say only DIII at the moment. Way to early.

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