The underclassmen divisions of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions is always filled with top level talent. This year’s 16U division is no different. There were a number of studs that rose above the rest. Our staff begins our breakdown of the top 16U players from the 2017 tournament.
DJ Burns, C, Georgia Stars, 2019: As the tournament wore on, Burns just got better and better. The big man went to work in the paint and punished the opposing interior players with his skill in the post. Burns was one of the top overall big men in the entire tournament. The South Carolina native had success all the way to the championship game. He continues to make strides in his development. It was the best I’ve seen him play. - Justin Young
Mikey Dukes, PG, Upward Stars Southeast, 2019: Dukes packs a lot of strength and explosion into his well-built frame and his burst of quickness was difficult for teams to compete with all weekend as he was able to get to the rim whenever he wanted to and make some impressive and creative finishes around the rim. He was everything and more for Upward: he played with and without the ball, he defended hard, he scored, he made plays for others. He was the prototype for the hard-playing style that their team is about. - Carter Wilson
KyKy Tandy, Louisville Magic, SG, 2019: Tandy put on a show with his takeover ability this weekend. He was red-hot on Friday night to open Gibbons with a 33-point outburst; 23 coming in the second half. Tandy makes it look easy with an effortless stroke from beyond the arc and a quick burst to the bucket. After seeing a few baskets drop, its “game on” for the wired to score combo guard. - Kyle Sandy
Brenden Tucker, SG, Game Elite Black, 2019: A quick first step and scoring touch best defines Brenden Tucker’s offensive game. The Archer guard can score with the best of them and is elusive in the open floor. Tucker manned the point guard position this weekend and did a fine job of getting others involved while still hunting his own shot. Consistent effort on defense and communication will take his game to the next level. - Kyle Sandy
Marcus Watson, SG/SF, Georgia Stars, 2019: Marcus Watson was a man amongst boys at times with the Georgia Stars. The 6-foot-6 state champion from Buford is now with the Stars after starting off with 17U A.O.T. Watson makes good things happen when the ball is in his hands. He can score from all three levels and brings the boom when attacking the rim. As diverse as his scoring ability is, Watson doesn’t force many shots. He likes to share the ball and get his hoops in the flow of the offense. - Kyle Sandy