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July 28, 2007
Showcase ends, Nationals begin
Tyreke Evans, Lance Goulbourne, and the rest of Team Final that came away as champions with a dominating win over the Georgia Blazers.
Team Final takes home the hardware
The stage was set for a great finish to the Super Showcase. Team Final came in with a star in Evans, and the Blazers were riding high after a convincing win over the Westchester Hawks. However it was just not to be for the Blazers on Friday. Their guards were never able to get it going, and Team Final proved to be just too athletic.
Team Final goes as Evans goes, and on Friday he was going good. Not only was he scoring, he finished with 22 points, but he was setting teammates up for buckets, and overall just controlling the flow of the game.
The main man that Evans was passing the ball to was Goulbourne. The high riser had his own personal dunk fest in the second half of the game. Goulbourne finished with 16 points, and most of them came on dunks.
Not only did Goulbourne's dunks put points on the board, but they seemed to energize his teammates and at the same time took the life right out of the Georgia Blazers. Once Goulbourne got going, there was really nothing that the Blazers could do to get back into the game.
The Blazers had a definite size advantage on Team Final with Xavier Gibson, and because of that, Team Final decided to employ a zone defense. With that zone, the Blazers needed Andre Young to step up and make shots.
Young was great on Thursday night, but on Friday he not only struggled, he struggled mightily. The diminutive guard was only able to score eight points, and just couldn't find the range from deep. He even air balled a pair of threes, and was just out of sorts on the floor.
From the start of the fourth quarter it was clear that Team Final would come away victorious. When the game finally ended the score was 68-52 in favor of the Philadelphia based team.
AAU Nationals has some notable efforts
There are not too many intriguing matchups during pool play of the AAU nationals. Many of the games end up extremely one sided with blowouts galore. However there is still plenty of talent on the court, and several players had some solid performances on Friday.
Josh Benson: The Dayton pledge looked much improved over last summer. While his team fell to Garner Road, Benson was a force down low. He was scoring off of spin moves, facing the basket, and by running the floor extremely well. He however did miss a ton of free throws which might have put his team in a position to win the game. Overall he scored 17 points, and played very well in front of future head coach Brian Gregory.
Chris Singleton: It was weird seeing Singleton in a Nike Team Florida jersey, but that was the site on Friday. Singleton took the red-eye flight from Vegas to Orlando and participated in Nike Team Florida's games. When on the court Singleton was a stud. He finished with 18 points, all in the first half, and rebounded the basketball very well. A great athlete, Singleton showed off his skills going to the rim, but when defenders played off of him he nailed a perimeter jumper. Overall it was a good start to nationals for Singleton.
Michael Morrison: One player who seemed to benefit from Singleton's presence was Morrison. The long armed power forward was able to get single covered, and he went to work inside. He used his length and athleticism to finish dunks over defenders. He didn't show much touch from outside of five feet, but he was productive. Morrison finished with 12 points and nearly that many rebounds.
Chris Prescott: Prescott recently committed to St. Joe's, but he didn't seem content with his situation on Friday. The explosive guard was able to score 14 points and get to the rim at will. He showed off a very quick first step and good court vision. Prescott was the biggest factor in helping his team to a first game win.
David Gibbs: Joining Prescott in the Connecticut Basketball Club backcourt is Gibbs. At 6-foot-4 Gibbs can handle the ball and really get into the lane. Once in the lane he showed off an ability to elevate and finish or pass to a defender. He finished with only eight points, but also played strong defense and did the little things down the stretch.
Ferrakohn Hall: YOMCA was involved in a barn burner against the Georgia Ballers. The game went into double overtime before YOMCA eventually pulled through. Overall it wasn't a great game for Hall. He had his moments where he looked like a big time player, but for the most part he was frustrated on the court and didn't produce very much.
Morrison mentioned that he is hearing from Butler, Tulsa, Missouri, Appalachian State, South Florida, Lehigh, High Point, Nevada, Tennessee Tech, Iowa, and SMU. Of those schools only Missouri hasn't extended a full ride.
Hall is wide open, but he said some of the schools coming after him the hardest included Georgia Tech, Illinois, Florida, Florida State, Miami (FL), Tennessee, Ohio State, and Connecticut.
Cincinnati guard Lonnie Hayes noted a top five of West Virginia, Bowling Green, Clemson, Miami (FL), and Kansas State, with West Virginia being the leader.
Odds & Ends
It was obvious that not many coaches knew Singleton was going to be playing for Nike Team Florida. Some of the top schools on his list didn't have representatives at his game, and were shocked to hear the news.
Due to a scorebook snafu, the D-1 Greyhounds were able to shoot two technical foul shots the first time that a player would enter the game for the first time from the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County. Not that the Greyhounds needed it in a 103-65 win, but they did get about 10 free points because of the mix up.
During the final set of games on Friday four games were decided by at least 25 points. The Greyhounds, Boo Williams, Alabama Challenge, and Rising Stars Gold 16's were all on the main floor of The Milk House, and all made sure that there would be no suspense as midnight approached.