Glendale Junior College (14-11) and Pima Junior College (13-17) are preparing for the playoffs next week, but first they would face with one another on Friday evening on the campus of Glendale in a shootout, as Glendale Junior College would pour in a ridiculous 108 points in a 108-86 home victory over the Aztecs - a game in which almost every Glendale player contributed a great deal in front of a Pima dominated crowd.
Both teams would go off in the first half, as Glendale would lead at the half, 48 to 47 in a high-scoring affair. In the second half, Glendale would pour it on - posting 100 points by the 4 minute mark in the game.
Here are some of my player evaluations from the top performers from the game, led by 6-foot-5 sophomore wing Ronald March who finished with a game-high 29 points and 4 rebounds, 6-foot-9 sophomore post Jordan Didier who would contribute 22 points and 4 rebounds in the win and high-scoring Pima 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Shakir Smith who would finish with a team-high 23 points in the loss.
Ronald March is the conference's finest offensive talent, capable of putting up big scoring numbers on any given night and also being capable of scoring in a variety of ways. March currently ranks as the conference's #2 overall scorer - averaging an impressive 25.8 points per/game. A division-I transfer from Houston Baptist, March is a big-time offensive weapon that is capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. His ability to make plays for himself off the dribble and also create scoring opportunities for others, when he is inclined to do so, is a rare quality to have for a player his size. March is a very skilled offensive weapon that makes the game look very easy as a result of his ability to shoot the basketball with nice range. His shot selection can be questionable at times, but, for the most part, he takes shots within the offensive flow. He does need to move more without the basketball to become a complete offensive player. March is a very good ball handler and is a capable passer. He is also a very good defender when he focuses on it. More focus in this area will allow him to reach his maximum potential as a player. March is currently hearing from numerous high-major division-I college programs, but his lack of performance academically could become his demise. He will still have a lot of work to do in the classroom to qualify academically this spring . . .
Pima JC 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Shakir Smith is another tremendous offensive talent in the ACCAC. Smith currently leads the conference in scoring - averaging a ridiculous 27.7 points per/game on the season and leading the nation in scoring. A division-I transfer from the University of Wyoming, Smith has taken the ACCAC this season by storm - posting tremendous scoring numbers for his Pima program and helping lead the Aztecs to the playoffs this season. Smith is a good shooter of the basketball and has some range on his shot, while also possessing excellent quickness off the dribble and a nice handle of the basketball. While Smith is a superior offensive talent, his shot selection remains very questionable as he is a volume shooter that does not shy away from taking any shot, regardless of the defense guarding him. I would like to see him make players around him better, while looking to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He does have the ability to do so, but Pima has required him to score at a high rate this season. Smith is currently being recruited heavily by numerous high-major division-I programs, and he should land at a very nice college program this spring . . .
Glendale JC 6-foot-9 sophomore post Jordan Didier has really came on as of late and now has developed into a serious post prospect that should garner loads of attention this spring, especially in a 2014 class that lacks true size around the country. Also a division-I transfer from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Didier has really played well as of late, raising his scoring and rebounding output considerably over the past month. As a result, Didier has been as responsible for the resurgence of Glendale this season as anyone on the team. Didier is a stretch-four prospect that can score inside and out and has really improved his ability to make shots consistently from the perimeter, out to three-point distance. Didier also has solid low post moves and footwork and has developed a nice jump hook for himself. He also runs the floor very well and has a nice overall feel for the game. Didier has developed this season into one of the better post prospects in the conference, and he should receive mid-major attention this spring . . .
Pima JC 6-foot-5 freshman forward Murphy Gershman is having a terrific freshman season in the ACCAC - ranking among the top individual scorers in the conference, and also leading the conference in rebounding with an impressive 10.9 rebounds per/game. Gershman is a very productive and efficient prospect that gets a lot done. While being a tweener of sorts, Gershman's left-handed shooting prowess makes him difficult to defend for opposing players. He has a nice shooting stroke that allows him to score from the perimeter, and he is able to put the basketball on the floor and get to the basket where he is a good finisher. Gershman has solidified himself this season as one of the conference's top returning prospects for next season - providing head coach Brian Peabody with excellent prospects for next season . . .
6-foot-1 freshman point guard Andres Marquez is a nice point guard prospect for Pima and head coach Brian Peabody. A native of Nogales, Marquez has really come on this season - adjusting nicely to the college game and leading the Aztec team when he has the ball in his hands. Marquez is a quality floor general that is a strong ball handler and passer with good quickness off the dribble. He has a nice overall feel for the game and makes the right play on the floor. Marquez is a good shooter of the basketball, and is also an effective penetrator and finisher at the basket over bigger defenders. Marquez also will return next season and has gained valuable experience as a quality freshman producer for Pima . . .
Sophomore guards Alex Johnson and Michael Barry have both come up big for Glendale JC head coach Damin Lopez this season. In the absence of dismissed sophomore guards Anthony Hendrix and Enoch Rhemadji, Johnson and Barry have come up big for the Gauchos. Johnson has taken over the full-time point guard responsibilities, while Barry is the team's top shooting prospect and has played both guard positions for the team this season.
Johnson is a shifty point guard prospect that is a good mid-range shooter and is a good penetrator and finisher in the lane. A nice division-II prospect. Barry has been a major surprise for Damin Lopez the past two seasons, as he has been among Glendale's top performers both seasons, and is as good a shooter of the basketball as there is in the conference. Barry is at his best when shooting the basketball from a catch and shoot position on the floor, but he is also capable of scoring off the dribble. A good ball handler and passer. Barry also is a very good D-II prospect for any program looking for immediate shooting.