West Coast Recap 1: Playaz Thrive in Desert

New England Recruiting Report | Sunday, August 1st, 2010

West Coast Recap 1: Playaz Thrive in Desert

While the New England Recruiting Report was in Orlando covering the action at the AAU Super Showcase and Nationals, a few programs from our region took the trip out west to finish off the month. 

After playing in the Adidas Super 64, both the New England Playaz and Mass Rivals stayed left of the Mississippi.  The Playaz made the trip to Arizona for the Desert Duel while the Rivals went to Los Angeles for the Double Pump Best of the Summer Classic. 

Both teams showed well at their respective tournaments, earning more recognition for their various players in the process.  

Playing in yet another loaded field, the Playaz advanced to their third tournament final of the month at the Dessert Duel.  They were without Alex Murphy in the final after the star swingman battled a nagging knee injury throughout bracket play, and still took the New York Panthers to an extraordinary four overtimes before ultimately falling 60-59. 

The Playaz run to the finals began with a 61-27 win over MAC Irvin in the opening round of bracket play.  They then scored a 66-64 win over Seattle Rotary Select in the Round of 16, knocked off Team Loaded from Virginia in the quarters by a 59-57 mark, and blasted another Seattle program, Friends of Hoop, 60-40 in the semifinals.  The field also included the likes of the New Jersey Playaz, D.C. Assault, Team Philly, Dallas Mustangs, Compton Magic, Illinois Wolves, Team Texas, and several other high level programs ranging from coast to coast. 

Markus Kennedy and Naadir Tharpe both earned recognition from the national media for their stellar play.  Scout.com has been a big admirer of Thorpe throughout the spring and the summer and Evan Daniels continued to praise the point guard’s development noting the consistency of his jumper and his improved leadership skills from the point guard position. 

Kennedy drew praise from Rivals National Recruiting Director Jerry Meyer, who gave kudos to Kennedy’s total body of work over the month of July while noting how his improved conditioning has helped to make him so effective inside the paint. 

Also reportedly standing out for the Playaz was the young interior duo of Kaleb Tarczewski and Evan Cummins as Tarczewski continued to show signs of his tremendous potential while Cummins put the finishing touches on what has been a very successful month of action. 

South Kent bound swingman Maurice Harkless was the standout for the Panthers as Daniels’ promoted him as the tournament’s unofficial MVP after being the team’s “go-to guy down the stretch.”