CHICAGO, June 6 – Coaches love players who play their best when it counts most. For the second straight evening at the 2002 NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Lonny Baxter of the NCAA champion Maryland Terrapins dominated play in the second half, and for the second consecutive night, that domination led to a win for his team.
Baxter, a bulky forward out to prove he can continue to outwork and outperform more athletic opponents at the next level the way he did in the college ranks, exploded for 20 of his game-high 30 points in the second half and overtime, leading Team 6 to a 112-106 victory over Team 3 (Box Score) in the most compelling of three matchups on the middle day of play at Moody Bible Institute.
Team 3 huddles up to discuss strategy.
Baxter, whose size and athletic ability have been questioned for years as sleeker and more explosive athletes garnered more notice, helped his team erase a 13-point second half deficit, scored on a putback to send the game into overtime, and scored five of his team’s last seven points in OT to preserve the victory.
In addition to Baxter’s heroics, the game featured a bravura performance by Cincinnati guard Steve Logan, who fought off a nagging back injury to contribute 16 points and a game-high 11 assists (with only two turnovers) in a losing cause for Team 3. Logan showed some dynamic dealing on the fastbreak, with several slick passes over and under the arms of defenders finding his teammates for transition baskets. Most impressive, much of Logan’s work came against well-regarded Lynn Greer of Temple, who compiled 11 points and five assists for victorious Team 6.
Team 3 had taken a 54-46 halftime lead behind fine perimeter shooting from UCLA’s Matt Barnes (13 points), Iowa’s Luke Recker (16 points) and Baxter’s Maryland teammate Byron Mouton (14 points). But after Recker’s layup gave Team 3 a 63-50 lead three minutes into the second half, Baxter and Miami’s John Salmons (13 points) went to work, erasing that deficit by scoring five points apiece in a 20-6 run that put Team 6 ahead 70-69, with 11:42 remaining. After that, neither team was able to build more than a four-point lead, and Baxter’s putback of his own miss sent the game into an extra session.
In the overtime, George Williams of Houston put Team 6 ahead for good with a short jumper that gave his team a 105-104 edge with 1:31 remaining. Baxter hit three of four free throws and added a layup to secure the win.
Baxter made 10-of-19 field goal attempts and 10-of-11 free throws. He also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Lubos Barton of Valparaiso nailed seven of nine shots and scored 16 points for the victors.
TEAM ONE 82, TEAM FOUR 80: (Box Score) Ohio State’s Brian Brown scored nine of his team-high 13 points in the second half as Team 1 withstood a pair of second-half rallies by Team 4 in holding on for the victory. Team 1 barely survived 13 second-half points by Hawaii’s Predrag Savovic, who tallied a game-high 17 points in defeat. Savovic nailed a three-point basket with 2.3 seconds left to draw his team within 82-80, but Team 1 was able to run out the clock and survive.
While Brown and Savovic operated on the perimeter, several muscular forwards made a big impact on the game. Florida’s Udonis Haslem registered 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the winners, while Utah’s Chris Burgess snared a game-high 10 rebounds and added nine points for Team 4. Darius Songaila of Wake Forest (eight points, nine rebounds) scored six quick points as part of an 11-2 run that brought Team 4 within 67-66 with 5:45 remaining in the game, but they could draw no closer.
Marlon Parmer of New Mexico had an effective outing, notching 11 points and a game-high six assists for Team 4 and displaying a few point guard instincts. Seven-foot Jason Jennings of Arkansas State (11 points) showed some agility and also made his presence felt with a couple of rim-rattling dunks on the fastbreak for Team 1. Marcus Taylor of Michigan State tallied 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers for Team 4.
TEAM TWO 96, TEAM FIVE 86: (Box Score) Tito Maddox of Fresno State provided the speed and Corsley Edwards of Central Connecticut State supplied the power as the two shared team-high scoring honors with 17 points in Team 2’s win. Maddox, who did not play this past season after being declared ineligible by Fresno State, flashed the form that helped him average 13.5 points and 8.0 assists (fourth in the nation) a year ago. Edwards, a physically imposing 280-pounder, carved out space down low for high percentage shots, then made seven of his eight free throw attempts to top off an efficient performance.
Maddox scored two baskets and Edwards one during a crucial 8-0 run early in the second half that gave Team 2 some breathing room at 62-50 with 15:32 remaining. While much time remained after the mini-burst, Team 5 never got closer than eight points after it occurred. Ryan Humphrey of Notre Dame, who played through a scary injury that required four stitches in the back of his scalp on Wednesday, toughed it out and contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in the win. Chris Christoffersen of Oregon, not known as an offensive factor, added 13 points and missed just one shot in the game.
Team 5, which struggled to 40.5% shooting, got 11 points, four rebounds and four assists from Arkansas’ Jannero Pargo, while Florida’s Teddy Dupay tallied 12 points. Uche Okafor of Missouri posted 10 points and eight rebounds for Team 5.
INJURY REPORT: Lenny Cooke of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan (N.J.), Israel Sheinfeld of Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel) and Peter Fehse of SV Halle in Germany all were held out of action for the second straight day. Fehse, who reported to camp with a severe right ankle sprain, will not play in the rest of the camp, while Cooke (left great toe sprain) and Sheinfeld (right mid-foot sprain) are listed as day-to-day.
Fred Jones of Oregon played 22 minutes and scored eight points despite a right shoulder rotator cuff strain that was expected to keep him on the sidelines Thursday. Chris Massie of Memphis tallied seven points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes while playing through a lower back contusion suffered Wednesday. Both players are questionable for Friday’s final day of games.