Orlando Update

NewEnglandRecruitingReport.com | Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Orlando Update

In order to advance to the championship bracket of the AAU Nationals, teams had to finish pool play in either 1st or 2nd place in their respective pools.  Seven teams from New England satisfied that requirement as BABC, CBC, MBR, and the Boston Warriors Elite all won their pools, while BABC South, CT Flame, and Metro Boston all finished 2nd.  Of those seven teams, only BABC and CBC lasted past the first round of the championship bracket (Metro Boston won their play-in game). 

CBC defeated the Alabama Fighting Terrors 70-56 in the opening round and then knocked off Team NLP 95-90 to advance to the round of 16 before falling in a hard fought battle to Philly Pride 69-66. 

BABC beat MBR 69-45 in the opening round, Birmingham Storm 66-62 in the second round, and Alabama Challenge 73-63 in the round of 16.  In the quarterfinals they were matched up with Boo Williams for the third time this month.  BABC had previously fallen in the Peach Jam final and again last Saturday when they squared off in a game set up specifically for the ESPN network.  But on Thursday, the third time was the charm as BABC held on for a 48-47 victory in what has been described as a defensive battle.  Jamal Coombs and Phil Pressey both scored 13 points to lead the team.  But it was Coombs’ all around floor game that had coaches and media analysts singing his praises.  In fact, the Rivals Network’s Justin Young said Coombs “was about as productive as a player as you can find in a rough and tough defensive battle”. 

Now, they advance to the semi-finals where they will face off against Team Breakdown, the Florida based organization featuring arguably the nation’s best backcourt in Kenny Boyton and Brandon Knight.  The game tipped off at 8:30pm tonight.  Should BABC advance to tomorrow’s final, they would face the winner of the SYF Players and NY Gauchos. 

Stay tuned to the New England Recruiting Report as we will update you on their progress. 

Players Making Names for Themselves

Shabazz Napier – The Metro Boston point guard is putting up numbers that are just ridiculous.  He hit ten three-pointers in a single game during the Super Showcase, scored 33 points against MBR on Wednesday, and then dropped 38 on Birmingham Storm.  As a consequence his recruitment is jumping off the charts.  Schools in the Big East, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, CAA, and Big 12 have all inquired about the rising senior…not bad for a kid who didn’t have a division I offer before coming to Orlando. 

Ike Azotam – While Napier has certainly been the story for Metro Boston, Azotam has been no slouch himself.  He was dominant at times during the Super Showcase and has continued to be equally effective this week.  With wide shoulders, very long arms, and incredibly huge hands, he is a physical specimen.  Combine that with his athleticism and a high motor and it has been enough to warrant interest from schools in the Atlantic 10, CAA, NEC, and MEAC. 

Keegan HylandThomas Knight was one of the biggest stories of the tournament on Wednesday, getting national media attention on scout.com, the rivals network, and espn.com.  But against BABC, it was Hyland who led the team.  With the stands full of college coaches, Hyland scored 25 points, including three three-pointers. 

Tucker Halpern – Halpern and his Expressions team returned to New England after the Super Showcase, but his play in that event is still getting national media attention.  He was one of only ten players from the entire field profiled yesterday by SLAM Magazine.  Aggrey Sam said Halpern was, “solid all-around, with his combination of shooting, athleticism, ball skills, touch around the basket and willingness to mix it up inside”.