Baxter’s Blitz

High school basketball: Major talents start strongly

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comDecember 6, 2012 

THE 64TH EDITION of the North-South All-Star football game will take place in Myrtle Beach this week.

Dozens of the state’s top senior football players are practicing for the game that will settle bragging rights between the Upstate and Lower State.

You can listen to the game live at scvarsity.com.

BASKETBALL

For whatever reason, the Palmetto State has not been the hotbed of Division I prospects, though the ones we do produce are outstanding.

Among this season’s major Division I commitments, I’ll be keeping an eye on Irmo’s Justin McKie, who has committed to South Carolina. Last season, McKie had an injury that led to a slow start and he played behind all-star Jordan Roper.

But this season, the 6-foot-3, 175-pound shooting guard has been vital for the Yellow Jackets. He scored 20 points against White Knoll on Tuesday night.

Cardinal Newman’s Austin Ajukwa (6-5, 180), who has committed to Clemson, will attempt to lead his team to the SCISA state title as the Association’s top player.

Keenan’s Marcus Stroman (6-1, 165), another South Carolina commit, is one of the state’s top juniors and gives the Raiders a legit shot in the 2A state title race.

A couple of “youngsters” to keep an eye on:

Hammond freshman Seventh Woods led the team in points, rebounds, and assists last year as an eighth grader. The 6-2 guard has captured the eyes of recruiters on the circuit with his participation in USA Basketball.

Spring Valley sophomore Perry Dozier Jr., known as PJ, is a 6-3 guard for the Vikings and has moved into much more than a role player in their scheme.

Eau Claire’s Tariq Simmons is an an eighth grader shining on the court for the Shamrocks. He was one of the top players in every summer evaluation event he participated in this past year.

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