BECKLEY, W.Va. - Fans at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center doubled their pleasure Saturday evening. They not only glimpsed the future of WVU basketball, they got to see a pretty entertaining game, too.
Devin Williams, one of four West Virginia University recruits playing on the Little General team, scored two crucial baskets in overtime as his team rallied for a 98-92 victory over Crossroads Chevy in the national game of the 24th Scott Brown Memorial Classic.
The 6-foot-8 Williams, from Montverde Academy (Fla.), was selected as the MVP for his 24-point, 15-rebound effort in a game that featured 11 Division I players.
It was one of his first games in the state of West Virginia, and it allowed him to meet some of his new Mountaineer teammates, as Elijah Macon (Wolfeboro, N.H.), Brandon Watkins (Grady, Ga.) and Nathan Adrian (Morgantown) also competed on the victorious Little General team.
"I feel good,'' Williams said. "It's something I was looking forward to. I can't wait to get down here. These next couple of months, I just want to finish up school strong and come in here. We're just now meeting each other for the first time - I'm meeting Brandon and Adrian and [Donte'] Grantham, so it was pretty fun.''
Martinsburg's Grantham, the state player of the year in West Virginia and the only uncommitted Division I prospect in the game, had nine points and six rebounds. He has been offered scholarships by several D-1 schools, including WVU, and said the weekend experience in Beckley, practicing and playing with WVU's recruits, could sway his college choice.
"Yeah, it affects my decision,'' Grantham said. "I can see myself being with them. I think we're kind of like the same people. You can't trade this [experience] away. It was nice knowing them, and hopefully we can see each other again.''
Grantham expects to make his decision in a few days.
All the WVU talent contributed to the victory, as Macon turned in a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Watkins finished with 10 points and six boards and Adrian turned in 13 points and five rebounds.
The skinny, 6-9 Adrian certainly looked a lot more in his element than he did during the recent Class AAA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center, as Morgantown was erased by South Charleston in the first round.
"I knew I could do all that,'' Adrian said, "but tonight I learned I could play some D.''
Moses Kingsley, a 6-9 center out of Huntington Prep who's headed to Arkansas, paced the Crossroads squad with 22 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. He was one of three Huntington Prep stars to make the trip.
Crossroads led by 10 points with just under 10 minutes left in the game, but Little General caught up at 85-all on a vicious follow slam dunk by Williams with 38 seconds left in regulation.
In the OT, Williams took a pair of feeds from SC point guard Ra'Shaud Kincaid for goals and Little General hit seven of 10 free throws to build a cushion.