The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions Saturday is a long grind, and in order to make it to championship Sunday. It is one of the biggest days of the travel season and it is where moments are made and names are remembered. Here are a few notes from Gibbons Saturday:
MJ Walker Proves Himself
Atlanta Xpress and Jonesboro (GA) shooting guard MJ Walker came into Gibbons with a target on his chest as the best player in the 17U field. With that target comes a lot of oppositions gunning for him. How has he responded? Brilliantly. Walker has been an offensive force, knocking down jump shots from all over the floor. Today, he faced some good competition from the likes of Team South Carolina and the Louisville Magic, and he welcomed all takers who wanted their try at defending him. He will look to continue his success tomorrow in the semifinals and possibly the finals.
Grayson Murphy Shows Out
Team Corey Brewer (WACG) combo guard Grayson Murphy opened a lot of eyes in a game that drew one of the biggest crowds of the day between his WACG squad and Game Elite, who had been rolling over their competition all weekend up to that point. Murphy was phenomenal in the game, scoring the ball in a variety of ways and using a lot of creative finishes around the rim. He finished the game with 19 points and a number of assists. he was joined by his teammate John Carter, who scored 18, to help lift Team Corey Brewer (WACG) to an upset win over Game Elite.
Notes from the Notepad
- Kentucky guards really came to play. Louisville Magic guards Jaylen Sebree, David Sloan, Tony Jackson, Jaylon Hall, and Steven Fitzgerald along with Travelers guard Trevon Faulker all played very well in spots this weekend.
- PSB Select brought yet another good team to a HoopSeen event. They continually win games with team basketball, and the 17U bunch is no different, making it to the semifinals tomorrow.
- The improvement of Team Forrest big man Tyshaun Crawford is unbelievable. The seven-footer has turned himself into a very attractive prospect.
- Florida Flight has ruled the 15U bracket thus far. Their semifinal game against Team Charlotte will be a battle.
Other Top Performers
- Zion Williamson, Game Elite: The Spartanburg, SC wing has been dominant offensively all weekend long. He gets to the rim whenever he wants to and he is so explosive that he finishes or draws contact more often than not. I have not seen a player this week who has been able to contain him. For me, he could be a top five player nationally in the class of 2018.
- Wyatt Wilkes, CP25 Southeast Elite: Wilkes gave onlookers some fireworks in the clutch to help advance his team to the semifinals. Wilkes got two key buckets in the last minute, including a three that eventually won the game, and sealed the game with a blocked shot as time expired.
- Isaiah Kelly, Atlanta Xpress: Kelly has been a scoring machine all weekend as he has been difficult for teams to match up with as a hybrid type of forward. He has made a number of plays, including some very eye popping dunks that would be worthy of any YouTube mixtape out there.
- Rodgerick Brown, Team Thad: Count me as a fan. Brown is a 6-foot-6 wing that is a big time athlete and runs the floor as good as anyone else in the field. He plays with a ton of motor and is willing to go above and beyond to make plays for his team. Arkansas has offered already, but this is a name to remember.
- Sharone Wright, Karolina Khaos: Wright is a very good offensive guard with good size who can get to the rack and finish among the trees. He can play at multiple speeds and changes gears very well. He has the tools to become a very good player in 2018.
- Hunter Tyson, PSB Select: Tyson joined the HoopSeen radar at the Atlanta Jam back in April, but he continued to show what he has today. He led PSB to a huge comeback win over a very good Flight Select team. He also had the play of the day, putting a defender on a poster on a fast break throw down.
- Zep Jasper, Upward Stars: Upward Stars came out of the gates very slowly and lacking energy when play began in their quarterfinal against Florida Basketball Club. However, when Jasper came in, that all changed. He played extremely fast, getting out on breaks and scoring as well as finding teammates. He was also their defensive catalyst, pressuring the ball relentlessly.
- Steven Fitzgerald, Louisville Magic: Fitzgerald is a dead eye shooter, but he showed he can score in a variety of ways in a win this morning. Fitzgerald filled it up with 28 points in that game and showed off some sneaky good athleticism as well.