Rumble in the Bronx Friday Recap
The Rumble in the Bronx annually draws some of the top travel teams from around the country and this year is no different as clubs are represented from New York to California and many points in between.
Day One Notable Performances
Joe OShea, Expressions Elite – Expressions earned a hard fought win over a very talented Sports Univeristy team featuring a number of talented players from the New York and New Jersey area. O’Shea was a stabilizing and efficient presence all game long as he served as a secondary ball-handler, moved well without the ball to pick up easy buckets at the rim, and made a series of nice passes.
Rod Odom, New York Panthers – A week after suiting up with the New York Gauchos, Odom was sporting a new jersey this weekend. It seemed to be a pretty good fit as he showed off his enormous potential in a big win over the Rhode Island Breakers. Odom not only showed his patented skill set from the perimeter, but also was very smooth finishing plays in the open floor and pretty aggressive on the glass. He even went to the rim a little bit showing a long first step and pretty good vision off the bounce.
Majok Majok, Connecticut Basketball Club – CBC opened with a hard fought win over Waco Basketball from Texas and Majok was the difference in the game. The big man went for 22 points and put the ball in the bucket in a number of ways. He was kicking and reposting from the low block to establish position, going hard to the offensive glass, and earning a few three-point plays the old fashioned way finishing through the foul.
Evan Kelly & Jason Pierre, Connecticut Elite – CT Elite had an extremely challenging open round game facing off against one of the favorites to take the tournament title, Cal Supreme. Elite went blow for blow with them for the first 16 minutes as they only trailed by 5 heading into halftime. Kelly and Pierre paced the first half effort with 13 and 8 points respectively, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the west coast powerhouse pulled away in the second half.
Jordan Laguerre, Mass Rivals - The Rivals were essentially playing 5 on 7 on Friday night as they were subject to a little home town cooking from the local officials. Nevertheless, they still managed to prevail as Laguerre led all scorers with 27 points. He was stroking the three-ball and also breaking his defender down off the dribble, but what was most impressive was how bouncy he was finishing plays at the rim.
Mike Rivera, YABC - Kyrie Irving and the New Jersey Roadrunners were having their way with YABC in the first half, but Rivera led a second half charge that cut what was once a 20 point deficit down to 4. Rivera knocked down five three-pointers in the second half (six for the game) and finished with a team high 22 points.
Keegan Hyland & Indiana Faithful, MBR - Hyland's jumper wasn't falling in the first half and yet he was still finding ways to score. In the second he was able to get going from behind the arc as well and that was due to his point guard as Faithful did a terrific job of getting his scorer shots. Ultimately, it was the most complete performance we've seen from Faithful as he not only passed well but also created off the catch with some crafty footwork as well as when using a ballscreen.
Jakarri McCallop, Connecticut Select - He was a beat on the inside as he was seeking out contact and powering his way through it, both when scoring from the low block and also when going the glass. McCallop has looked good for a number of consecutive weekends now as he's proving what he's capable of when he's motivated.
Ryan Romich, Expressions Elite – Romich doesn’t get as many touches or shots as some other members of the team but he does a number of things to help his club win. He was very active both defensively and on the glass tonight as he got his hands on a number of balls, blocked a couple of shots, and rebounded consistently inside. He even showed the ability to push the ball up the floor himself, leading the break after pulling down the defensive rebound.
Jaymie Spears, Mass Rivals - Smotrycz and Desrosiers are the top 100 players, Laguerre and Brown are the talented wing players with big names, but Spears is often the glue to hold this team together. That was never more true than tonight. Spears finished with 13 points but 4 of them forced overtime as he stole an inbounds pass under his own basket and laid the ball in with under a minute to play and then crossed his man up before driving to the rim and laying it in to tie the game 30 seconds later. Even prior to that, he was playing a great floor game with excellent decisions, good court vision, and pinpoint passing.
Play of the Day Nominees
Tyler Olander, Expressions Elite – Olander scored a tip-in dunk off a free-throw as he slipped by the interior defender attempting to block him out, caught the rebound off the rim with one hand, and threw it back through in one motion.
Danny Lawhorn, New York Panthers – With a loose ball about 10 feet away from him, and only about 4 feet away from the opposition, Lawhorn turned on the jets, got to the ball just before the other guy, and in one fluid motion wrapped the ball behind his back while alluding what looked to be inevitable contact. He then streaked to the rim to the crowd’s delight.
Odom, Panthers – Odom came up with an offensive put-back of his own as he fully extended with his right arm to grab a rebound that was coming off the rim directly above the other team’s post player. He ripped the ball away, made a power dribble, and then threw down a thunderous two handed dunk.
Tough to Be the Away Team
CT Elite drew Cal Supreme in the opening round, Middlesex Magic got Team Final, the Breakers ran into the Panthers, and YABC had the New Jersey Roadrunners…Ouch!