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February 29, 2008Fellow Memphis five-star prospect Elliot Williams was unable to reach the DII-A state finals, but 2009 five-star prospect Leslie McDonald pushed Memphis Briarcrest Christian into the Tennessee DII-AA state finals with a strong performance Friday afternoon.
Always under control and never forcing the issue, McDonald put up 28 points on 11-17 shooting from the field, 1-2 shooting from the arc and 5-9 shooting from the line. He also grabbed eight rebounds and recorded one assist and one turnover in a 59-55 win over Memphis Evangelical Christian. In typical fashion, McDonald stroked shots from the midrange and also blew away the crowd with a strong baseline drive resulting in a rim rocking dunk lean in dunk over the help defender.
As for his recruitment, McDonald has eliminated Indiana and is now working with a school list of six- North Carolina, Duke, Memphis, Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgetown. There has been talk of an upcoming unofficial visit to Tobacco Road, but McDonald isn't certain if he can make that happen before the end of the season.
"I'm not sure if I'm going to get there for a game this year," he said. "I'm definitely going to visit North Carolina and Duke this summer and see their facilities. I also want to take unofficial visits to Ohio State and Georgetown. I'm going to take my time and make sure I choose the best school for me."
McDonald, who has already visited Memphis and Tennessee, would like to trim his school list after visiting each school and then take a few official visits in the fall before making a decision. Although he has no leader at this point, McDonald did speak about what he is looking for in a school.
"I'm looking for a good environment," he said. "I want to play where there is good school spirit and in an up tempo system that is also under control. A good relationship with the coach and the players is very important also."
The No. 17 ranked prospect in the 2009 class, McDonald is averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds per game for his talented and balanced team.
One of McDonald's talented teammates, 2009 prospect Johnny Williams had a strong game in the middle for Briarcrest Christian. Williams put up ten points on 3-6 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from the line. He also grabbed nine rebounds and had an assist and a turnover.
After the game Williams, who is averaging 16 points and ten rebounds per game, said he has offers from Tennessee, Baylor, Southern Illinois, Ole Miss and Mississippi State to go along with interest from Memphis and Miami.
Briarcrest Christian will face Memphis Christian Brothers in the finals on Saturday. Christian Brothers defeated Nashville Ensworth High School 82-70 behind a strong performance from 6-foot-6 junior wing Drew Barham who scored 20 points on 6-10 shooting from the field, 2-3 from the arc and 6-7 from the line.
Ensworth was paced by physical wing Gary Pope who scored 26 points on 11-18 shooting. Pope, a 2009 prospect, also led Ensworth in rebounding with eight. Athletic 2009 point guard Miles Asafo-Adjei chipped in 17 points for Ensworth and also dished out six assists to only two turnovers.