BABC was New England’s sole representative in the gold bracket at the 16u Super Showcase this weekend in Orlando. After dominating pool play BABC saw some familiar foes in bracket play en route to the semis. First up were the PA Playaz, featuring one of the top point guards in the country in Ryan Arcidianco. In a rematch of the Rumble in the Bronx finals, BABC won 55-46 while holding Arcidianco to only 11 points.
Egi Gjikondi was the standout in this one as Rivals’ Brian Snow noted in his recap, “Gjikondi did damage on the glass against an undersized Playaz squad, and that led to easy buckets for BABC in a win…he has good hands and is developing some post moves…the physicality he plays with makes him interesting for a team who lacks toughness in the paint.”
Next up was a 72-56 win over the Georgia Stars in the Round of 16. Nerlens Noel was the standout in this contest according to Snow. “Noel is simply loaded with potential,” Snow wrote.
In the quarterfinals BABC ran into a Riverside Hawks squad that they had already defeated earlier this month at the First Eight. The Hawks had some New England flavor of their own as Connecticut natives Terry Tarpey, Casey Woodring, and Aaron Spence all played important roles. BABC held only a four point lead at the half but broke the game open in the second to score a 77-54 win. Jaylen Brantley was the star for BABC, knocking down eight three-pointers for the game.
While BABC advanced to the finals, the win came at a price as both Noel and Brantley would go down with injuries and miss the Final Four match-up with All Ohio Red. With Noel reportedly out with a strained hip and Brantley suffering from dehydration, All Ohio still only scored a slim 47-42 win over a BABC team that was missing arguably their two most consistent contributors.
Elsewhere in the 16u Super Showcase the Boston Warriors, Connecticut Elite, and Rhode Island Hawks all advanced to the silver bracket. The Warriors scored an opening round win over the LA Bayou Flames before falling in the second round while Elite and the Hawks both dropped their opener in bracket play. In the bronze bracket, Metro Boston made a nice run to the quarterfinals before falling to Team Breakdown.
17u Super Showcase Begins
Saturday marked the beginning of the 17u Super Showcase at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The Connecticut Basketball Club was New England’s sole representative in the gold division, essentially 8 Super Pools featuring the top 32 seeded teams at the tournament who play each other in pool play before all moving on to the gold bracket.
CBC fell to Austin Rivers and his Each 1 Teach 1 squad in the opening game of the tournament but came back to knock off Houston Hoops later in the day. Andre Drummond and Tavon Allen earned recognition in the Rivals’ recap as Snow noted Drummond’s “super talent” along with his jump hook, blocked shots, and ability to run the floor. Meanwhile Allen saw praise for scoring the ball at the rim, finishing in traffic, and rebounding his position well.
Hotchkiss guard Derrick Wilson, running with his New York Gauchos squad in the gold pool, also drew praise: “Most importantly you want your point guard to be reliable late in the game,” Snow noted, “and time after time in a close game Wilson made a big play or scored a big bucket to help his team get the win.”
The remaining 136 teams in the Super Showcase were assigned to various silver pools, meaning they would need to win that pool in order to advance to the gold bracket. Connecticut Select and Expressions both appear poised to move on to that gold bracket, with winning their pools only a formality after opening 2-0.
The Boston Warriors are also 2-0 but they have a match-up with fellow unbeaten Shining Star Sports on Sunday morning to determine who will move on. MB Gold also has a chance to advance as all four teams in their pool hold a 1-1 record heading into Sunday’s action.
The Granite State Jayhawks, MB Nation, CMAC Hawks, and Metro Boston were also 1-1 in the opening day of competition.
Among the individual performances that we have gotten wind of are Connor Green’s 18 points in the Jayhawks win over Bama Boys 65-62 and Chris Braley’s 27 point, 12 rebound performance in MB Nation’s win over the Georgia Tornadoes.
The New England Recruiting Report’s next report from Orlando will come live from Disney’s Wide World of Sports as NERR will be making the trip south to watch firsthand as the 17u Super Showcase wraps up and the 16u and 17u AAU Nationals take place next week.