When trying to figure out just how many tickets could be sold for Sunday night’s game between top-ranked Paul VI Catholic and second-ranked Gonzaga, a tricky question had to be answered: How many seats needed to be saved for college coaches?
The answer? A lot.
Putting the game on a Sunday night, when few college teams play and almost no high school teams were in action, ensured a big-time turnout. Both teams feature top uncommitted juniors in Paul VI guard Stanford Robinson (whose recruiting blew up before the season) and Gonzaga forward Kris Jenkins (whose recruiting has blown up over the past month). And both have top underclassmen already on the radar, such as Paul VI freshman forward Marcus Derrickson and Gonzaga sophomore forward Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof.
Nearly every local college was represented: Georgetown Coach John Thompson III, George Mason Coach Paul Hewitt, Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, Virginia assistant Jason Williford, George Washington assistants Kevin Sutton and Pete Strickland, assistants from Navy, Towson, Mount St. Mary’s.
There were also head coaches from Clemson (Brad Brownell), Massachusetts (Derek Kellogg, with assistant Antwon Jackson) and Miami (Jim Larranaga). Not to mention assistants from Marquette and Villanova.
“It was ridiculous how many guys were here, I had to stop answering my phone,” Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner said. “It was crazy.”
The game lived up to expectations as Fairfield recruit Coleman Johnson led Paul VI to an 85-83 double-overtime victory.
Jenkins scored 28 points, while Robinson struggled with just nine points. Derrickson, who is a burly 6 feet 7, made a pair of three-pointers and finished with 13 points. Abdur-Ra’oof had six points and six rebounds; Turner expects scholarship offers will be coming his way shortly.
“Best game I’ve seen in a long time,” one college coach said as he left the gym.
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