The Erie Burger King Classic has always attracted some of the best high school teams and players in the country to Gannon University's Hammermill Center.
However, there was murmuring around the crowd when local host Cathedral Prep took the floor for warmups against Jamesville-Dewitt. Dajuan Coleman literally stood head and shoulders over everyone with the exception of 6'9" teammate Tyler Cavanaugh, who is headed to Wake Forest.
Coleman did not have his best game, but still dominated. He posted a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds to go along with five blocks. Overall, Coleman came out not having much of an offensive impact as most of his team's scoring came from jump shots.
Coleman consistently tried to play down low and would often be fouled or have the ball swatted away as he held the ball low, which was at a more manageable level for the much smaller Cathedral Prep squad.
Coleman did not have a single foul in the first half but would finish the game with three as in the second half he became much more aggressive. Coleman went for more post shots and starting trying to hit jumpers.
His coach said "Sometimes Dajuan forgets that he can step back and make those shots ... He took a little bit to get going."
Coleman and his Red Rams faced off against Milton (GA) in the championship game of the tournament. Milton features Shaquille Johnson who is known as the best high school dunker in the country. Milton won their opening game against Niagara Falls (NY) 76-55.
Unfortunately for Coleman and his Rams, Milton proved far too much to handle as they defeated Jamesville-Dewitt 93-52.
Coleman was noticeably improved in this game as his stat line improved to 21 points and one block. Coleman was 7-for-11 shooting but the big man impressed all with his distance shooting in this one.
Coleman was 3-for-3 from behind the arc, even making a three from the NBA range.
Coleman still feels great about being a part of the Orange, and is "100 percent going there next year, so I'm going to be an Orangeman."
Even better, Coleman feels "really good" seeing the Orange top the polls and continue their dominance, however he is just as much a fan as the rest of us right now.
"I'm kind of nervous every time they play because everybody wants to get at 'em, but I'm really happy for them and can't wait to get out there next year."
Coleman's goal right now with Jamesville-Dewitt is another State Championship and says the goal next year will be a National Championship.
If he keeps playing like he has been, he has as good a shot as anyone to make these things happen.
Andrew Pregler is a Syracuse Featured Columnist for football and basketball. Follow @ACPregler on Twitter for more Orange sports updates. Special thanks to Ken Brown and Craig Smylie of Action News 24 Sports Erie for the access and footage.
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