Playaz Reach Semi’s at Adidas Invitational
For the third consecutive year all Adidas sponsored grassroots programs began the live period at the Adidas Invitational, previously known as the It Takes 5ive Classic.
The New England Playaz have had good success at this event in the past, and this year was no different as they ran to the tournament's semi-finals defeating the likes of D-One Sports, Florida Elite, and D.C. Assault before falling to New Heights in the semi-finals.
Alex Murphy had yet his latest coming out party as he played to rave reviews while drawing attention from some of the most notable college basketball coaches in the country as Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kansas head coach Bill Self were front and center for the Playaz first game.
While Murphy drew consistent praise from both scout.com and rivals throughout the three days of the tournament, the highest praise came from Playaz head coach John Carroll.
"Alex was outrageous," Carroll said. "He did some things that even surprised me."
Murphy's running mate at St. Mark's Kaleb Tarczewski drew high marks as well, catching similar praise from the national media, especially on the opening day of the tournament when the Playaz knocked off D-One Sports in their Super Pool.
"No one improved their stock more on day one of the Adidas Invitational than this 7-foot center," wrote scout.com's Evan Daniels. "His development over the last year has been fun to watch and the light is starting to come on."
While Murphy and Tarczewski caught the majority of the media blitz, Naadir Tharpe had another impressive performance as well, and was at his best on Thursday morning when he reportedly took over the game against D.C. Assault.
Equally effective on the final day of action was Markus Kennedy, who Carroll described as "unstoppable" on Thursday.
Other contributors included Joe Bramanti who played solid before going down with an ankle injury, Max Hooper who went 7-8 from behind the three-point line in the win over the Florida Rams, and Tyler Strange who stepped up defensively after Bramanti went down.
Many of the Playaz will be in action on Friday at the New England elite 75 Showcase. They will return to the court as a team on Saturday for the First Eight Tournament in Springfield and on Tuesday will face off against Expressions Elite in a highly anticipated match-up at the Super 16 Showcase.