CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Vic Herbert might be sort of torn tonight as he coaches in the 24th Scott Brown Classic at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Herbert, the boys basketball coach at South Charleston, is honored to have been selected to coach the Little General All-Stars - that's the team with four West Virginia University signees and state player of the year Donte' Grantham of Martinsburg - in tonight's event.
But Herbert is a defensive coach at heart, and he may have to bite his tongue if the national game featuring 14 future Division I players turns into a freewheeling score-athon, as many all-star games do.
"It's going to be a lot of fun,'' Herbert said, "but you know how all-star games are - and I'm a defensive guy. I don't know how this is going to work.
"Here's what I'm going to tell them at practice: I'll give you 20 minutes [the first half] and the first five minutes of the second half, then the ones who guard on defense are going to play the rest of the game. Hopefully they understand that. I can't stand someone just going through the motions, on the offensive or defensive end. Some all-star games can get like that.''
Bob Bolen, the former coach at Mountain State University, did a superb job lining up talent for the Scott Brown Classic, which is actually two all-star games in one. The first game at 4 p.m. today pits Class AA standouts from West Virginia high schools against Class A stars (see rosters, Page 2B).
The game that's caused all the buzz, however, is the 6 p.m. national contest that's being billed as the third-best all-star game in the East, trailing only last week's McDonald's All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago and the Jordan Brand Classic today at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In the national game, four WVU recruits have been placed on one squad - the Little General All-Stars - along with Grantham, a non-committed 6-foot-7 forward from Class AAA state champion Martinsburg who's been offered scholarships by several Division I programs, including WVU.
The other squad - the Crossroads Chevy All-Stars - is stocked with three of the top players from Huntington Prep's powerhouse team, as well as three from Massanutten Military Academy (Va.), including former Hedgesville all-stater Q.J. Peterson. Huntington Prep's top talent, Gatorade national player of the year Andrew Wiggins, is competing at the Jordan Brand Classic.
The four new Mountaineers on the Little General squad are 6-9 Nathan Adrian, the all-stater from Morgantown; 6-10 Brandon Watkins of Grady, Ga., the nephew of former Greenbrier East and WVU standout Warren Baker; 6-9 Elijah Macon of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.); and 6-8 Devin Williams of Montverde Academy (Fla.).
"It's a neat thing. It's taken a lot of work, but I had a lot of time on my hands this year,'' said Bolen, whose job at Mountain State disappeared when the school closed last year. "People in southern West Virginia really enjoyed watching Mountain State and they haven't gotten to see production on the floor like that all year.