New England Teams Shine at Real Deal
The Real Deal in the Rock is one of the most prestigious grassroots tournaments of the spring, attracting top programs from coast to coast and sweeping up all the talent in the south. This year’s tournament had a distinctive New England feel as both the New England Playaz and Connecticut Basketball Club advanced to the tournament’s semifinals.
It was in the Final Four that the two local programs found themselves matched-up for the second time in as many weeks after facing each other in the semifinals at last weekend’s Northeast Hoops Festival. This weekend brought a different result though as the Playaz scored a double-digit win over CBC to advance to the final.
The Playaz ultimately fell to Memphis YOMCA in a controversial final, with a questionable intentional foul against the Playaz giving the hometown favorites a chance to make a buzzer beating jumper to claim the title.
Despite the disappointing conclusion, there is no denying it was nothing short of a tremendous weekend for New England as their only two teams in the field advanced all the way to the semifinals.
Tops among them was Kris Dunn who drew praise from ESPN’s Dave Telep, Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, and Rivals’ Eric Bossi. “This 6-foot-3 junior is definitely worth another look. An off the bounce scorer with quickness, wiggle and some shooting ability, he catches and looks to attack,” Bossi wrote. “While he gets a little loose at times, he can handle the ball pretty well and looks to have good instincts as a passer.”
Dunn’s biggest praise may have come in the semifinals when Telep tweeted, “Tarczewski vs. Drummond being upstaged by the emergence of CBC point guard Kris Dunn.”
Telep also had high praise for Playaz point guard Tyler Strange calling the Notre Dame Prep product a “SoCon/Big South Special” and “Boston tough” while Alex Murphy continued to be a focal point for all of the national media.
The power forwards for both squads, Timajh Parker-Rivera and Evan Cummins, also played well while Playaz swingman John Papale broke out early in the weekend with 16 three-pointers through the team’s first three games.
Both squads plowed through pool play, with CBC’s 71-59 Friday night loss to Shabazz Muhammad and Dream Vision being the sole exception. The Playaz dropped New Mexico Force 76-36, Delta Dawgs 76-26, and Arkansas Heat 66-32. CBC rebounded from their early loss to dispose of Christian Comp 76-20 and then Team Pine Bluff 85-35.
Both teams advanced to the championship bracket with CBC scoring wins over the Clutch Players, Illinois T-Wolves, Team Nike Florida and the Georgia Stars to advance to the semifinals while the Playaz getting a bye in the first round followed by wins over Kansas City Keys, Dallas Heroes, and then the CP3 All-Stars in the quarterfinals.