PENNINGTON, NJ - The second annual Mary Kline Classic left fans wanting more on Saturday as the cancer research all-star event was loaded with 50 future college basketball players. The one characteristic that differed from this event as opposed to others was the true meaning behind the event. High school players of all ages were selected not only for their talent, but their character and desire to play for a greater cause; that being cancer research. As the event raised $20,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society, a number of talented players stood out at this year's event.
Jermaine Lawrence - the 2013 6-foot-9 combo forward out of Pope John XXIII in New Jersey took home MVP honors for the Blue Underclassmen team as his 27 points led the squad to a 143-122 over the Red Underclassmen. Lawrence has drawn comparisons to current NBA star Kevin Durant, and for all the right reasons. The junior swingman can shoot, attack, rebound and is one of the best finishers in the class of 2013; if not the country. Last week, Lawrence added scholarship offers from Florida and Kansas, to go along with ones he already had from Cincinnati, St. John's, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, UConn, Temple, Fordham, Hofstra, Villanova, Seton Hall, Miami and Louisville. College coaches from all over the country are beginning to take notice of his breakout spring with the New Rens AAU group out of New York. UNLV and Baylor, among others, have recently reached out. Look for Lawrence to continue to heat up heading into a pivotal summer.
Jaren Sina - the 2013 6-foot-1 point guard from Gill St. Bernard's in New Jersey made it known why he is one of the premier floor generals in the country. With electrifying speed and the ability to make amazing passes, as well as score in transition, Sina played with a purpose and a goal. He finished with a double-double at 10 points and 14 assists. Sina is hearing from the likes of Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Virginia, Michigan and many others. Jamie Dixon's squad offered Sina earlier in the week after watching him play with Team Final out of Pennsylvania for two weekends. He is wide open at the moment, but the former Alabama commit is looking for big time academics wherever he chooses.
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Tyler Roberson - a 2013 combo forward from Roselle Catholic in New Jersey finished with 19 points and 4 rebounds, but showed more heart and passion on the court than ever before. Roberson finished inside with floaters, layups and dunks around the rim as his point guards, Sina and Temple-bound Josh Brown, accounted for much of Roberson's success by setting him up down low. An aggressive force on the boards, Roberson proved why he is one of the premier forwards in the junior class. Syracuse, Villanova, Cincinnati, South Carolina, Rutgers and many others like the talented rising senior, but Roberson has yet to make any serious decisions about his recruitment or where he will visit. His New Jersey Roadrunners teammate, and point guard, Hakim Saintil, may attempt to do a package deal to college with him. Cincinnati is interested as they have offered the duo.
Tyler Ennis - The 2013 6-foot-3 Canadian point guard from St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey had 24 points and several assists for the Blue Underclassmen team, while his high school teammate and 2015 point guard - Isaiah Briscoe - went for 17 points. Both were extremely impressive and worked very well together on the court; just as they have all year. Ennis used his variety of speeds to change the pace of the game and shot the ball very well from long range. He also showed a strong ability to slash and finish at the hole. Briscoe's ability and size as a freshman is a uncanny of current NBA guard Randy Foye because of the way he runs the point and scores the ball, along with his strength and girth. Syracuse is recruiting both guards extremely hard as Jim Boeheim wants both on board. Along with that, UCLA and LSU offered Ennis last week, while Briscoe has looks from Arizona, DePaul, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Rutgers, UConn and more.
Among the other talent in the underclassmen game; Rondae Jefferson, Benjamin Bentil, Ja'Quan Newton and Abdul-Malik Abu played outstanding in the charity event.
In the senior game, mid-major talents led the way in a field that included players heading to the Big East, Big 12 and ACC. Wagner bound Eric Fanning of Perkiomen School in Pennsylvania was awarded MVP for his scoring outburst as he dropped 30 points. Yale bound Justin Sears of Plainfield in New Jersey had 22 points as the undersized power forward showed off his athleticism and ability to play hard and grab "garbage points." Both players are anticipated to make an immense impact in the NEC and Ivy League.
Among the other top performers in the Mary Kline Classic Senior game - the future Temple duo of Quenton DeCosey and Daniel Dingle, Villanova duo of Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu, and Iowa State duo of Nkereuwem Okoro and Georges Niang looked very impressive playing together for the first time. Each of these seniors is ready to make an instant impact at the next level beginning this winter.