The clash of the titans between Renardo Sidney and Jeremy Tyler last week may have only been a prequel or only a pittance of their true potential; a underdeveloped representation of their true talent at such an early age.
Renardo Sidney won the battle, thanks to his advantages in weight and experience, but Tyler made it interesting with his length and his insatiable scoring ability.
Here is what I took from their first head-to-head matchup in their respective and amazing High School careers.
School: Fairfax High School
When guarded by Tyler, Sidney exerted his abundance of basketball I.Q. and frustrated the 6'11 junior on a number of offensive sequences.
He managed to blow right past the junior on drives to the rim and displayed superb ball-handling on a fast-break opportunity, in which he ran the point and shifted gears in mid-stride all while executing a crossover en route to a slicing layup.
Coming out of the half, Sidney used his wits when defending Tyler and on two consecutive possessions. He allowed Tyler to catch the ball down low and forced held-balls by simply not leaving his feet and laying a massive paw on the ball as Jeremy grew overzealous and launched himself into the air.
In his most athletic display of the game, Sidney tight-walked the baseline and catapulted his body into the air converging on a alley-oop. It may sound ordinary, but taking into account the fact the pass was severely overthrown, even for the 6-foot-10 senior's measures, he still managed to guide the ball into the basket thanks to his majestic athleticism.
Sidney has yet to choose a university and has schools like Memphis, LSU, Mississippi State, Clemson, UCLA, USC, Arizona, and Arizona State among others salivating after each of his games.
The school that is able to land him will be undoubtedly be the most envied in the land.
School: San Diego High School
He was aggressive on offense and had a blatant justification as his team and the talent around him was simply unbearable.
At 6-11 and weighing 245 pounds, Tyler wisely used his length and plethora of post-moves to score the basketball. He ripped off a series of flamboyant dunks, invoking visions of Greg Oden as he pulled down the rim with each slam and each point he tallied.
Besides his rim-rattling dunks, he ran the floor exceptionally well and sent away a handful of shots and forced the older and more mature Renardo Sidney to play smart and efficient basketball instead of producing a languorous effort and dominating the game.
By the 5:30 mark in the second half, Tyler had 18 points and 6 rebounds while going 9-of-19 from the field, and with 3:30 remaining, he had 21 points and 10 rebounds.
He also attempted a few shots from behind the arc in an attempt to expand his range. He hoisted 15 shots at the half (making eight of them) and when he gets to the next level, he'll be surrounded with other 5-star recruits with ample talent, which will decrease his team's overall reliance on his scoring production.
This will prevent the opposition from sending double-teams down to the painted area. Thus Tyler will be able to develop his other aspects of the game, such as tuning his shooting mechanics and craftiness as a passer.
By the way, he verbally committed to Louisville and coach Rick Pitino.
He's only a junior, so the invaluable time he has before he embarks on his collegiate journey will prohibit him time to add more weight, preferably muscle and learn to space the floor.
When it becomes time for him to honor his commitment, he may reach 7 feet and he already is a fantastic leaper and skied for alley-oops, drawing remnants of a young Tyson Chandler at fellow SoCal basketball powerhouse Dominguez High School.