Live from Michael O'Brien at Madison Square Garden
Simeon All-American Derrick Rose and Madison Square Garden should have been a perfect match — the top-rated point guard in the country performing on the most prestigous basketball court in the world.
But things didn’t go according to script on Sunday. Simeon lost 53-51 to Rice, NY in the Nike Super Six Invitational and Rose found himself sitting courtside after the game, trying to figure out what exactly went wrong as a trainer untaped his often-injured ankles.
“I want the pressure from my teammates” Rose said. “I’m supposed to lead them to the victory.”
Rose was unhappy with one of his final shots, an off-balance, fading away five-footer that hit the bottom of the backboard. The shot could have given the Wolverines a three-point lead with 1:15 to play.
“When we went up one I think I shot a stupid shot,” Rose said. “That could be why we lost.”
Rose was trying to deflect the blame from his younger teammate, guard Keyon Smith, who missed a potential game-tying free throw with five seconds to play.
“[Smith] is going to get better,” Rose said. “He’s still young. Hopefully this experience will help his game.”
The Wolverines started out sluggish and trailed 15-6 after the first quarter, thanks to a four-minute scoring drought. The Raiders (11-2) drained six three-pointers against Simeon’s zone-defense in the first half.
“We didn’t attack the holes like we are supposed to,” Rose said. “We looked like two different teams from the first half to the second.”
A dunk by Rose with 1:10 to play in the third quarter cut the deficit to 35-32. The Wolverines (11-2) took the lead on a layup and free throw by Rose with 1:33 to play in the game.
Rice responded immediately. Lamont Jones drained a jumper and Durand Scott stole the ball from Smith and converted a layup to but the Raiders ahead by three.
Smith atoned with a fast break layup to cut the lead to one, but then missed the crucial free throw.
Tim Flowers had seven points and 14 rebounds. Kevin Johnson had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Rice, a Catholic high school from Harlem, was led by Chris Fouch (14 points) and Kemba Walker (14 points.)
“We have a lot of work to do,” Rose said. “They were really all guards and a very young team.”
Oddly, Simeon — the first Illinois high school team to play in New York City — didn’t feel like they were representing Chicago.
“Chicago is a rough place,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “Some people probably hoped we lost and that’s sad.”
Since losing to Farragut last weekend the Wolverines feel abandoned by Chicago fans — not a good thing with the top-ranked team in the country, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) coming to town on Thursday.
“Chicago doesn’t really support teams like New York does,” Rose said. “So we will have to deal with a lot of negative feeling in that game.”