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Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions

June 2, 2003 Columns No Comments



Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions Recap

by Phil Kasiecki


Part I: Class of 2004 | Part II: Class of 2005/2006/2007

For those involved in high school basketball, Memorial Day weekend may as well be prime time as two major AAU tournaments take place. While some players gathered in Bloomington, Indiana for the Nike Memorial Day Classic, our travels took us to the Triangle area in North Carolina for the 10th annual Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. Every year, recruiting expert Bob Gibbons and his staff do a masterful job of running this tournament.

For many players, they get the treat of playing in famous arenas like the Dean Smith Center (North Carolina) and Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke), as well as Reynolds Coliseum (North Carolina State) and other gyms on those campuses and local high schools.

In addition to basketball, there was big news on Saturday during the early afternoon break between games. One of the top players in the class of 2004, Mike Williams (6’8″ SF-PF, Camden (AL) Wilcox Central HS), announced that he will attend Texas, completing a terrific early class for the Longhorns. Rick Barnes has wasted little time taking advantage of the benefits of a Final Four run, as he now has five commitments from players in the class. Williams is one of three who could very well be playing in late March at the McDonald’s All-American game, along with Daniel Gibson (6’3″ PG-SG, Houston (TX) Jones HS) and LaMarcus Aldridge (6’11” C, Seagoville (TX) High).

In the 15-and-under championship, the Playaz Basketball Club took an early second half lead as both they and Boo Williams went ice cold. But Boo Williams picked it up and took over the game, answering any small charge the Playaz came up with in a 61-46 win. The very talented Boo Williams team was led by Marvell Powell (6’5″ Fr. SF, Hampton (VA) Warwick HS) with 16 points, while Vernon Macklin (6’8″ Fr. PF-C, Portsmouth (VA) Norcom HS) added 10 en route to being the Most Outstanding Player.

In the 16-and-under championship, the Illinois Wolves got two late free throws from All-Tournament selection Bobby Frasur (6’3″ So. SG, Blue Island (IL) Brother Rice HS), then got the ball back on a deliberate miss that did not hit the rim to hang on for a 66-64 win in overtime over the Georgia Stars. Most Outstanding Player Bryan Mullins (6’1″ So. PG, Downers Grove (IL) High) led the balanced attack for the winners with 13 points, while Frasur added 12 and Sean Odfic (6’3″ So. SG, Skokie (IL) Niles West HS) had 10. All-Tournament selection Louis Williams (6’3″ So. SG, Snellville (GA) South Gwinnett HS) led the Georgia Stars with a game-high 23 points, while high school teammate and fellow All-Tournament selection Michael Mercer added (6’3″ So. SG, Snellville (GA) South Gwinnett HS) 11 points, including the short jumper in the final seconds of regulation that led to overtime.

In the 17-and-under Select championship, the Long Island Panthers took the place of the Southern California All-Stars, as they had lost in the semifinals but the All-Stars had an early flight to make. In the game, the New Orleans Jazz led for most of the game, but could never put the Panthers away. The Panthers then made a late charge, ending the game with the last 11 points in a 60-51 victory behind 29 points from All-Tournament selection Josh Wright (6’0″ Jr. PG, Utica (NY) Thomas Proctor HS).

In the 17-and-under National championship, California Pump ‘N Run rode its perimeter unit to a lead for most of the game, including by double digits for portions of the second half, in a 94-86 win over the Atlanta Celtics. The Celtics, who once won three straight titles at TOC, looked to be the favorite with their big front line, but the penetrating of Most Outstanding Player Jordan Farmar (6’2″ Jr. PG, Woodland Hills (CA) Taft HS), the shooting of Bryce Taylor (6’4″ Jr. SG, Encino (CA) Harvard-Westlake HS) and the all-around play of Jared Dudley (6’6″ Jr. SF, San Diego (CA) Horizon HS) gave them fits throughout the game.

Here is a look at some of the notable performers at the tournament, starting with the class of 2004. The classes of 2005, 2006 and 2007 will be included separately.

Class of 2004

Aaron Afflalo (6’3″ SG, Compton (CA) Centennial HS) This solidly-built guard is an athletic scoring wing who had a good showing this weekend. He made some shots in addition to getting to the basket, and was an all-tournament selection. High-major prospect has committed to UCLA.

Connor Atchley (6’10” C, Seabrook (TX) Clear Lake HS) Big man has good physical tools, with his overall size and long arms, and he’s mobile in the post, but his skills have some catching up to do. He didn’t get many touches this weekend, but he could be a nice contributor at the college level. This high-major minus prospect is part of the terrific early class at Texas, where he committed last month.

Bilal Benn (6’4″ SG-SF, Philadelphia (PA) Cardinal Dougherty HS) Another nice weekend for this wing, who has shown a nice scoring ability within the team concept. He’s not quite a go-to player, but he knows how to score from mid-range and long range as well as some forays to the basket, and he comes to play every game. Mid-major plus/high-major minus prospect.

Andre Blatche (6’9″ PF, Syracuse (NY) Hemninger HS) This mobile post player scored well on the post and in transition, as he’s active and runs the floor well. He uses his long arms well and keeps the ball up high inside, and will only get better with added strength. High-major minus prospect.

Roy Bright (6’6″ SF, Durham (NC) Mt. Zion Christian Academy) Very athletic scoring wing exploded on the first night for 33 points. He’s more of a scorer than a shooter, though his stroke looks okay, and he finishes the fast break very well. High-major prospect.

Rashon Clark (6’6″ SF, Far Rockaway (NY) Bridgton Academy) This active athlete had a nice weekend, looking more aggressive than usual. He rebounded like he usually does and made a couple of highlight-film dunks, and also made some nice hustle plays. He’s never been a huge offensive threat, but that might be changing if the mid-range jumpers he hit this weekend are any indication. High-major minus/mid-major plus prospect.

Rich Cunningham (5’10” PG, Philadelphia (PA) St. John Neumann HS) Quick point guard was able to drive to the basket often, scoring on some occasions and passing on the move other times. This good floor leader is a mid-major plus prospect.

JamesOn Curry (6’3″ SG, Burlington (NC) Eastern Alamance HS) Though he is generally listed as a combo guard, he showed that he is clearly just a shooting guard, though a very good one. He is very quick and can get to the basket, and knocked down some long range jumpers, but he has too much of a scorer’s mentality to be a point guard. He also looked a little selfish at times with his decisions, just further demonstrating that. Nonetheless, he’s a high-major/big-time prospect who committed to North Carolina. And no, that’s not a typo.

Glen Davis (6’8″ PF, Baton Rouge (LA) LSU Lab HS) “Big Baby” was one of the main attractions for those who came, and he didn’t disappoint. He has a huge frame, but he’s very athletic and has amazing body control for a guy his size, as he made several baseline reverse layups to show it off. He runs the floor well, has good hands and post moves, and seems to really enjoy the game and play with a lot of energy. When he boxes out, he owns the glass. Big-time prospect.

Jared Dudley (6’6″ SF, San Diego (CA) Horizon HS) This well-built forward, who is actually a senior planning to attend prep school next year, was a consistent force for the championship-winning Pump ‘N Run (California) team this weekend. He’s a good (not great) athlete who simply played the game and didn’t do any one thing exceedingly well. We saw him move well without the ball and score from it, create a couple of jumpers, knock down three-pointers, and mix it up inside while getting some rebounds. He goes up strong to finish and did everything in the flow of the game. Good high-major prospect.

Jordan Farmar (6’2″ PG, Woodland Hills (CA) Taft HS) The Most Outstanding Player in the 17-and-under has had an excellent spring. He’s a quick and evasive penetrator who finishes well, and he also shot the ball more this weekend and made a good number of his three-pointers. He makes good decisions with the ball and is an excellent student, and this high-major prospect will only get better once his body matures. He committed to UCLA just before this came out.

Shane Foster (6’7″ SF-PF, Kenner (LA) Bonndel HS) While star teammates Tasmin Mitchell and Lamar Roberson were the headline players on his team, this thin athlete quietly led his team in scoring and tied for 10th in that category. He scored in transition and on some mid-range jumpers, running the floor very well, and with added strength, this high-major minus prospect will be a nice college player.

Jared Gaither (6’8″ PF, Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt HS) Post player has a big body and has reportedly had a good spring. He looks to have lost some weight, and had another nice showing this weekend as a role player. Mid-major plus/high-major minus prospect.

David Gomez (6’8″ SF-PF, Baton Rouge (LA) Episcopal HS) This athletic combo forward had a quietly good showing beneath the shadow of teammate Glen Davis. He scored several driving baskets and showed a mid-range jump shot, in addition to some work alongside Davis in the low post. High-major minus prospect.

Jason Horton (6’1″ PG, Cedar Hill (TX) High) The appearance here of this quick point guard was a surprise. He’s a pass-first floor leader who loves to penetrate and dish, generally not looking to score and shooting jumpers even less often. He doesn’t shoot as well as his brother, but he knows how to run a team and plays defense as well. High-major prospect.

Dwight Howard (6’10” PF, Atlanta (GA) Southwest Atlanta Christian HS) One of the elite prospects in the class, this well-built post player has all the tools to be a star. He has good size and strength in the post and the athleticism to change shots, as well as a mature body, good footwork and a good power game overall. He puts the ball to the floor inside, leaving him prone to turnovers, but he does most things well. Big-time prospect has the makings of a star.

Marcel Jones (6’6″ SG-SF, Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HS) This very athletic wing didn’t have a great game on Saturday, but bounced back on Sunday and had a solid tournament overall. He previously made his mark as a shooter, and he still shoots it very well from long range, but he continued to show an ability to score off the dribble to go with his good size. Good high-major prospect.

Lorenzo Mata (6’8″ PF, South Gate (CA) High) One of the real pleasant surprises of the weekend, he was an important cog in his team’s run to the 17-and-under title. He showed some good scoring moves, blocked a lot of shots, and battled inside all weekend as he got better over the course of the tournament. He was one of the hardest-working players in the tournament, and it showed with his overall play. He will need to get stronger, but he showed this weekend that he means business and is a high-major minus/mid-major plus sleeper prospect.

James Mays (6’8″ SF-PF, Garner (NC) High) This nice athlete is a classic tweener who has added strength recently, but his position is not clear. He loves to crash the offensive glass and will get his share of put-backs, and he has some quick moves, but he generally plays away from the basket and thinks he’s a small forward. The trouble there is that he handles the ball poorly and is very turnover-prone when he drives. High-major prospect.

Dave McClure (6’6″ SF, Ridgefield (CT) Trinity Catholic HS) Hard-working forward looked good in his first significant action since he had mono. He was efficient around the basket at both ends, scoring and rebounding, and he hit a few jump shots from mid-range as well. High-major prospect is down to Duke and Notre Dame.

Glenn Miles (6’4″ PG-SG, Birmingham (AL) West End HS) Miles spent a lot of time bringing the ball up the floor for his team, and looks like he can handle it well. Whether he has the quickness to play the point full-time is a question mark. He started slowly, but came alive later, including shooting the ball, but he didn’t take a lot of shots this weekend. High-major prospect.

Randolph Morris (6’9″ PF-C, Fairburn (GA) Landmark Christian Academy) This athletic post player probably had the best weekend of any of the Atlanta Celtics’ vaunted front line, in that he looked significantly better than the last time we saw him. He stayed home on the post most of the time, where he looked stronger and especially more polished with his post moves. High-major prospect.

DeMarcus Nelson (6’3″ PG-SG, Sacramento (CA) Sheldon HS) This powerfully built combo guard uses his strength as much as quickness to drive, but at times he almost seems to settle for three-pointers. He’s a good shooter and shot it well this weekend, but at times it seems like he might do well to go to the basket a little more. In the blowout loss they sustained in pool play, he was about the lone bright spot for his team. Big-time prospect has committed to Duke.

Joakim Noah (6’9″ PF, New York (NY) Lawrenceville Prep) The son of former tennis star Yannick Noah had a good weekend, holding his own even against some stronger players on the post. He used his long arms well on the glass, rebounding and defending effectively, but he struggled on offense and certainly needs to get stronger. High-major minus/mid-major plus prospect.

Lamar Roberson (6’7″ SF, Baton Rouge (LA) Christian Life HS) Versatile athlete showed a lot of offensive skills en route to being his team’s second-leading scorer. He scored on the post and on the move, and also handled the ball well on the break and in the halfcourt. High-major prospect.

Cedric Simmons (6’10” PF-C, Supply (NC) West Brunswick HS) This athletic post player has good size and was aggressive when he got the ball, but stayed under control and made some good plays and a few highlight-film dunks. He didn’t get a lot of touches in the halfcourt, so we didn’t get to fully appreciate what he can do. High-major prospect committed to North Carolina State.

J.R. Smith (6’6″ SF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s) One of the elite athletes in the class, Smith was the top scorer at the tournament (31 points per game) and made many clutch baskets for his team. He shot the ball well from long range and played well at both ends of the floor, putting together perhaps his best spring performance. Big-time prospect.

Josh Smith (6’9″ SF, Powder Spring (GA) McEachern HS) Very athletic wing has great size for his position, but he seemed to settle for jump shots too much. He is capable of making deep three-pointers, but with his athleticism he can probably get to the basket more. This lefty has a smoothness to his game, and he’s great at finishing the fast break. Big-time prospect.

Goran Sutton (6’10” PF-C, Lansing (MI) Everett HS) One of the pleasant surprises, this mobile post player had a good showing. He stays home on the post and has good footwork, and should get better with added strength and if he learns not to put the ball to the floor inside. High-major minus prospect.

Bryce Taylor (6’4″ SG, Encino (CA) Harvard-Westlake HS) His sweet stroke was on display this weekend, at times getting hot from downtown. He’s also a nice leaper who showed some slashing ability and has good size, and contributes well within the team concept. High-major prospect.

Sebastian Telfair (6’0″ PG, Brooklyn (NY) Lincoln HS) Very quick point guard showcased his great passing, especially on the move since he drives and dishes as well as any point guard. He showed a variety of moves to get to the basket when he wanted to, and he also shot the ball well from long range, which has been his weakness. This elite prospect showed this weekend why he’s one of the top five players in the class.

Babacar Thiam (6’7″ SF, Washington (DC) Spingarn HS) This true senior looks to be improving each time out, especially with his game away from the basket. He still fades away on almost every jumper he takes, but he is shooting the ball better and he’s already athletic enough to play the wing. Mid-major plus/high-major minus prospect is looking to play prep ball next year.

Charles Thomas (6’7″ PF, Jackson (MS) Lanier HS) This tough inside player had a good showing. He wasn’t afraid to bang inside and is a good athlete, and also has good hands. He’ll get some high-major looks.

Enrico Tucker (6’0″ PG-SG, San Diego (CA) University HS) This quick guard may be an undersized shooting guard, as he has a scorer’s mentality and his shot selection can leave a little to be desired. Mainly a slasher, he’s not a great shooter by reputation, but made some from long range this weekend. He can be a good defender on the ball, but he can be foul-prone as well. Mid-major prospect.

Mark Tyndale (6’4″ SG-SF, Philadelphia (PA) Simon Gratz HS) This guard isn’t very quick, but he is very crafty when driving to the basket to finish plays. He has good size, but looks to be more of a scorer than a shooter. Mid-major prospect.

Curtis West (5’11” PG, Baton Rouge (LA) Redemptorist HS) Quick guard shot the ball very well from long range, generally taking good shots and quietly running the show. His playmaking skills aren’t outstanding, but they looked fine and his jump shot has to be respected, allowing him to get some chances to drive. Mid-major prospect.

Mike Williams (6’8″ PF, Camden (AL) Wilcox Central HS) This solidly built forward didn’t play his best at the offensive end, but he was all over the glass and played better later on. He seemed to be forcing some shots early, though he was getting fouled and not getting calls, normally looking to score on the post and mid-range, the latter of which is his game. Big-time prospect committed to Texas over the weekend.

Josh Wright (6’0″ Jr. PG, Utica (NY) Thomas Proctor HS) Very quick point guard had an excellent weekend, showing a good ability to get in the lane and do some damage. He was effective using both hands, scored on drives and hit teammates with passes, and he hit a few three-pointers. High-major prospect.

Part I: Class of 2004 | Part II: Class of 2005/2006/2007

     

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