The buzz

The junkies may come to see the Brad Wanamakers of the local basketball scene, but it's for the Nick Daggetts that the Albert C. Donofrio Classic is designed.

For 47 years the Donofrio - a single-elimination tournament held at the Fellowship House of Conshohocken - has been host to the best AAU teams in the tristate area. And for years the Donofrio has been a hot spot for college coaches on the recruiting trail.

Only recently, though, has the Donofrio made an alteration, allowing only Division II and III coaches into the gym.

The idea is that most of the top seniors (e.g. the Pittsburgh-bound Wanamaker) have already found future homes, while the second-tier prospects (e.g. Daggett) could use the added exposure.

Daggett, a 6-foot-1 guard, endured a season of playing in Wanamaker's shadow at Roman Catholic. And while he fills the same role for Positive Image I, Daggett figures his defensive tenacity casts its own silhouette at the Donofrio.

"Because these games are like street ball, I think a guy like me stands out," Daggett said. "Defense and hustling - that's what coaches are looking for."

To date, East Stroudsburg, Shippensburg and IUP - among others - have expressed interest. Daggett admits he has to get his academic profile in order before thinking about college.

He plans on taking the ACT test today.

Donofrio observations

While the earlier rounds of the Donofrio are better left to the talent scouts, the latter stages heated up, starting with the quarterfinals.

Thursday night's doubleheader featured a couple of close games relatively well-played. In the first game, Positive Image I came back to beat Team Philly in overtime, 108-107, when Imhotep Charter's Kashief Edwards made the second of two free throws with no time left on the clock.

The 6-4 Wanamaker had 32 points and was in his usual warrior mode. The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania player of the year simply never quits.

Team Philly is stocked and has one of the better unsigned players in Simon Gratz's Josh Martin (Brian Wanamaker, Brad's fraternal twin and teammate, is another).

Toledo and Wright State lead for Martin's services, while Central Connecticut State is close to signing Wanamaker.

The second game offered an opportunity to view several worthy players who may have drifted under the radar this past season.

Just Clean It scraped past Don-Len, 86-84, as Archbishop Ryan's Andrew Rogers scored on a nifty layup with 1.9 seconds remaining. Only 5-8 (maybe), Rogers is the sort of point guard coaches salivate over. He's a junior.

Malvern Prep senior Joe Hoban, a 6-0 guard, is a plugger of the same ilk. He's still unsigned, but warrants Division I consideration.

While it doesn't carry a flat-out stud, Just Clean It could give Team Final - a squad of studs - fits in the second semifinal on Monday at 8:30 p.m. Team Final is Tyreke Evans' outfit. The top-ranked junior, who plays for the American Christian School, has plenty of sidemen, including Southern's Ramone Moore.

The other semifinal, at 7 p.m., pits Positive Image I against the Hunting Park Warriors, paced by Prep Charter's Marcus and Markieff Morris.

The championship game will be Tuesday night at 7:30.

Coaches vs. Cancer

The ninth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Underclass All-Star games will take place on April 24 at the Fellowship House.

At 7 p.m., it will be the Catholic League against the Public League. At 8:25 p.m., it will be suburban schools against private schools.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane

at 215-854-4745 or