For those who were expecting a defensive battle in the 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 game, you, not surprisingly, didn’t get it.
But on the concrete in Venice Beach, Calif., Saturday, there was scoring and lots of it, as 24 of the best high school players in the nation gathered for the seventh annual contest.
The Raymond Lewis Squad, coached by Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, defeated the Marques Johnson Squad, coached by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, 164-138.
Three players led the way for Raymond Lewis in the victory: Julius Randle, who had 27 points on 13-of-14 shooting, Aaron Gordon, who had 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added seven rebounds, and Aaron Harrison, who had 25 points.
All three won MVP honors, along with Marques Johnson’s Justise Winslow, who had 21 points.
The most impressive overall weekend, though, was Randle’s, after he won the Slam Dunk Contest on Friday night by beating sophomore Jamar Ergas, then came back in the All-Star Game and went for a game-high 27 points.
Randle, a 6-9 Texas native, is a top-3 player in the country who is being courted by elite programs across the country, including UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Baylor, NC State, and others.
In the absence of Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins, who was selected for but unable to attend the event, Randle shined.
He and Wiggins famously battled at the 2012 Nike Peach Jam, where Wiggins got the best of him in a head-to-head matchup and perhaps cemented himself as the best player in the country.