Last Tuesday night Minnesota Gopher Coach Tubby Smith showed up for the DeLaSalle versus Benilde-St. Margaret's contest that had several of Minnesota's top younger prospects competing. The Red Knights were victorious 81-68 behind 34 points from junior Sanjay Lumpkin.
When it comes to future standouts the Islanders versus Red Knights contest was overflowing. In the 2012 class the 6-foot-5 185 pound Lumpkin holds offers from Drake, Holy Cross, and Indiana State, teammate Isaiah Zierden grabbed a Creighton offer after his summer of play, 6-foot-8 forward Kyle Washington, also a Red Knight, is one of the fastest rising 2012 prospects in the Midwest, and Will Dunn is a high IQ player who produces in several ways.
The Islanders feature 2013 standout Riley Dearring, who at 6-foot-4 runs point for the Islanders, and 2014 talent Reid Travis was has "great potential" written all over him.
Add in senior standouts like Bretson McNeal (who had a couple D1 offers last summer) and Harvard signed Jonah Travis of DeLaSalle, and future Air Force football player Myles Barnes of Benilde-St. Margaret's and you had quite a display of talent.
"After a fast start the game was pretty much back and forth until the middle of the second half," said Red Knights Coach John Moore. "We were able to build on our lead because of the three point shooting (four of four in second half) and our defense really clamped down on their offense. We also rebounded well and had 12 offensive boards. We took care of the ball and we went eight of 13 from the three."
Lumpkin came into the game with a career high point total of 21 scored twice this season (against Columbia Heights and Totino-Grace). He shattered that mark with his new high of 34 points.
Sanjay was the person headlining the news but what won the game for the Red Knights was an all around group contribution.
"We had an incredible team effort," said Moore. "Although Sanjay Lumpkin had 34 and Isaiah Zierden had 18, Will Dunn only had four points, but he had seven assists and three steals.
"Kyle Washington had four blocks, but altered a dozen other shots and had six rebounds (plus six points). Danon Briggs had three assists is his brief 12 minutes of play, but on defense he was able to negate some of their speed.
"Evan Battle had 11 points with six of them off of offensive rebounds. Myles Barnes had six rebounds, three steals and three assists in only 15 minutes because of foul trouble. Down the stretch Isaiah Zierden went eight of ten from the free throw line and Isaiah Gray had three steals."
Benilde-St. Margaret's was ranked 3rd in the Minnesota Preps class AAA poll but will certainly move up when the rankings are reshuffled in an hour.
DeLaSalle, who was ranked number two, was led by the 26 points from Jonah Travis and the ten points from Lamonte Hall. Melvin Collins scored nine points while Dearring and McNeal had six.