CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Most years, when the North-South All-Star Basketball Classic rolls around, the South squad is installed as the favorite.And why not? The South has captured 24 of the 30 games since the series resumed in 1983.But this year appears to be different, as the North squad will be toting the name players when the two sides meet at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14 at the South Charleston Community Center.The North figures to have three Division I recruits on its roster for the game, which is now sponsored by the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association.Nathan Adrian of Morgantown has already signed with West Virginia, Martinsburg's Donte' Grantham has several offers on the table from D-1 programs and Hedgesville's Chris Shields originally signed with Division I Longwood (Va.), but was given his release when the school changed coaches. However, following the hiring of Jayson Gee, the former University of Charleston coach, Longwood may re-recruit Shields.The only D-1 talent on the South roster is George Washington guard Luke Eddy, who's headed to Elon (N.C.).
"I think it's one of the better North squads coming down in a while,'' said GW coach Rick Greene, who will coach the South along with Buffalo's Chuck Elkins. "There's just the depth of it. They always bring good guys down, but the [roster] is deep with long, big guys."I think I'm being factual. I'm not ridiculing our South guys, but the North has the D-1 guys. We've got guards, though, and when you've got guards, you've got a chance.''The North roster features four Class AAA first-team all-staters to the South's three.Besides Adrian and Grantham, the North has Wes Mitchem of Parkersburg South and Travis Tomer of University. The South's trio of first-team all-staters is Eddy, Shady Spring's Chase Connor and Princeton's Ryan Meadows.Coaching the North will be Dave Rogers of Martinsburg, whose team captured the AAA championship in March, and Tom Yester of Morgantown.Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.