Saturday storylines from the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions
SUWANEE, GA — Saturday was a jam-packed day full of hoops, quality games and fun storylines. Here are the dozen storylines that jumped out to me.
- The best player I saw on Saturday was MJ Walker of the Atlanta Xpress. He’s a McDonald’s All-American level player in the loaded class of 2017 in my opinion and played like that for every second he was on the floor at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.
- The Team South Carolina-Atlanta Xpress game was one of the best, and craziest games, I’ve seen since the storied event has been here at Suwanee Sports Academy. Tied at 70, Nick Claxton was fouled with less than a second by the aforementioned Walker. Going to the line, the 6-foot-10 junior had a chance to seal the game by just hitting one free throw. First shot - missed. Second - missed. Third - missed. Overtime. The Xpress went on and won the game thanks to clutch buckets from class of 2019 guard Kyle Sturdivant. Wild game. Big plays. Huge stage.
- We saw WACG guard Grayson Murphy put his team on his back and threw haymaker hoops at Game Elite in an impressive and an emphatic win over a talented Game Elite team. The win and individual performance was one of the best of the entire event.
- Zion Williamson was the toughest guy in the entire tournament to guard. But we’ve established that.
- Wyatt Wilkes of CP25 Southeast Elite made some clutch plays down the stretch to help his team clinch a Final Four spot. Wilkes had a beautiful left-handed score in a one-on-one situation and then followed up with a step-back three-pointer.
- Class of 2018 combo guard Sharone Wright, Jr. played very well for Karolina Khoas in the 16U division. Big, quick, athletic and explosive, Wright played the part of a top 100 national prospect very well today.
- Georgia guys that got it done today in the scoring column: Isaiah Miller (ISBC), Tae Hardy (Smyrna Stars) and Khalil Cuffee (Atlanta Select).
- Love the athleticism of Jules Jasmin of the Wellington Wolves. He’s a “hit record” kind of player. Very exciting.
- Tyshaun Crawford of Team Forrest is a guy to keep tabs on. The 7-footer from Team Forrest has made important steps in his development. He’s moving from project to prospect right now.
- PSB Select Elite wins games at Suwanee Sports Academy. Every year and no matter the team, the program flat out wins games. This year is no different. The team is filled with scorers, shooters and facilitators. Love watching them play.
- Florida Flight Elite, Mooresville Magic, High Point Havoc and the Alabama Braveheart/Hustlers busted up some brackets on Sunday.
- There is something about the tournament style of the Gibbons that brings out the best in players. The win or go home style of play trumps the signal game menu that we’ve seen grow through the grassroots circuit like that pesky weed in the backyard. Saturdays are always filled with competitive games and you get to see who really has the gumption to compete. Nothing better than that.