John Wall Holiday Invitational: IMG Academy adjusts to life without star forward

RALEIGH, N.C. – Five days ago, No. 8 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) fell in a heartbreaker in the Chick-fil-A Classic championship to No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).

But perhaps even worse than losing was that it was the last game for Ascenders forward Silvio De Sousa, who reported to Kansas on Dec. 26 after completing his required coursework that allowed him to graduate early.

That’s 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.


“That’s a lot,” IMG coach Sean McAloon said.

The Ascenders adjusted well enough to pull out an 85-81 win over Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) Thursday at the John Wall Family Foundation Holiday Invitational.

Darius Days and Jahmius Ramsey scored 20 points apiece to lead five players in double figures for IMG.

Days said that while De Sousa’s presence on the stat sheet will obviously be missed, it’s his “overall leadership” that will be the toughest to replace.

“He was the leader on the team,” Days said. “But that’s a lot of rebounding and a lot of scoring too. We just have to buy in and adjust.”

The biggest adjustment will be adopting a new style 10 games into the season.

“Everything is more guard and perimeter oriented now,” said Josh Green, who posted 19 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win. “We play a lot of four-out, one-in or five-out sets now and that’s an adjustment, but I think we handled it well. Defensively, we’ll just have to crash to boards more, but I think we’ll be OK.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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