CBC u15 Finishes 3rd at Nationals
The 15 and under national championships of AAU basketball took place in Cincinnati, Ohio from July 11th – 16th. New England was represented with four teams as the Connecticut Basketball Club, Exclusive Playahs, MB Nation, and Team Magic all made the trip. Of those, CBC was the only one to win their pool and advance into the gold bracket.
CBC plowed through the first rounds of bracket play with convincing wins over the Memphis Hawgs, Lexington Ice, and then the hometown favorites Cincinnati Royals to advance to the quarterfinals. With a variety of high major coaches looking on (including assistants from North Carolina, UConn, and Georgetown to name a few) CBC defeated the Queen City Prophets in the Elite 8 and advanced to the tournament’s semi-finals. Although they would fall to another local group in All Ohio Red, CBC still managed to turn in an excellent week of work as they finish the 2008 AAU season as the #3 fifteen and under team in the country.
The week also served as a break out performance for rising sophomore Andre Drummond. While the big man still has plenty of work to do, his ability to control the game at the defensive end of the floor is simply uncanny for a player his age. That in addition to his size, length, athleticism, and agility has made him the target of numerous high major programs including UConn, Florida, Georgetown, West Virginia, Providence, and UMass.
Also shining was the backcourt of Anthony Jernigan and Brandyn Benson. Jernigan, a player who has already received plenty of early attention, thanks to his ability to break people down off the dribble and make plays for himself and others, continued to go to work in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Benson brought a calming influence to the team as he distributed the ball, made good decisions, and knocked down open shots.
A Hillhouse (New Haven, CT) tandem also did a lot of damage. Rising junior Tavon Allen is already one of the top prospects in his the class of 2010, but when compared to players his own age in the class of 2011, it becomes obvious how high his upside truly is. Fred Wilson did his best work when running the floor and finishing plays, but his ball-handling skills and creativity are such that he can also serve as a playmaker from time to time.
Steve Santavenere, Rohan Brown, and Kevin Rivers also played well during the tournament. Santavenere is a super quick point guard who can push the ball hard down the floor and put immediate pressure on the defense. Brown is a throwback post-player who does his damage battling under the boards and inside the paint. Rivers also did most of his damage around the basket, although he projects as a small forward down the road.
While these 8 young players have certainly done themselves proud this summer, their work is really just beginning. While virtually all of them have the potential to play at the division I level, they haven’t earned anything yet. But if they can use this latest experience as motivation to get back in the gym and continue to work on their games, then the future could be very bright.