AAU Nationals, Day Four
Memphis YOMCA survived a grueling semi-final game against Sports Academy and then defeated a tough Martin Bros. Select team 62-56 to win the AAU National Championship. Memphis received a combined 37 points from stars Shawne Williams and Corey Brewer.
Williams scored 21 in the title game and was awarded the MVP. He was stellar throughout the event, as was Brewer whose defensive wizardry left many shaking their heads wondering how he can be so dominant as a perimeter defender.
Martin Bros. actually led this one at the half. Hank Huddleston's team played close ball games all week long and each member of its core group of players stepped up at different moments in the event. In the final two days, it was the scoring of Jimmy Binnie that stood out. He led them in both playoff games on Wednesday and pumped in 16 in the title game.
The win caps a fine 2003 run by Memphis. They finished second at the prestigious Kingwood Classic in April, losing to the NY Gauchos (winners of three major titles this year). Meanwhile, Martin Bros. also enjoyed plenty of success. They won the Nike Memorial Day Classic, another of the spring's major titles.
CHAMPIONSHIP LINESCORE: Memphis 62, Martin Bros 56
MEMPHIS-- Williams 21, Brewer 16, Holmes 11, Allen 6, Hampton 2.
MARTIN BROS-- Binnie 16, Meacham 14, Thompson 10, Wilson 5, Lillis 5, Camenzen 2.
Shawne Williams, SF, Memphis: Though being MVP of the AAU National championship hasn't locked a guys in the past as McDonald's All-Americans (see Andre Igoudala and Hollis Price), Williams shouldn't have to worry much. He turned in a fine summer and no Top 25 list will be complete without him. His dazzling athleticism and improved jumpshot makes him an elite level player beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Corey Brewer, SF, Memphis: The top defensive high school player in the country entered the summer hoping to lock up a spot in the Burger Game. He was one of the best players at Nike Camp and then became a loaner to YOMCA for this event. The result was a 40-point outing in one game and a major championship for his team. Like Williams, Brewer has earned his way into the Top 25 and should be a strong contender for the game.
Jimmy Binnie, SF, Martin Bros.: He was the scoring leader and made big plays for his team in the final two days. Two key first half threes were big in the championship game.
Alex Thompson, PF, Martin Bros.: The Iowa-bound big man is a guy who grows on you. He's not a banger by trade inside, but he does have a terrific face-up touch that must be defended on the perimeter.
Rob Kurz, PF, Philly MJC: He had a tough defensive assignment against the St. Louis Eagles on the final day when he was charged with the task of slowing down Hansbrough and getting in the way of Kalen Grimes. He was MJC's only big guy and the Eagles were able to capitalize on that. However, on the offensive end, he looked much more comfortable and was able to get himself some skilled points.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF, St. Louis Eagles: After a long summer on the road and having seen him in three different events, he's earned a nickname.
News & Notes
*Southern Illinois is still chasing Matt Shaw and coach Matt Painter was there on Thursday.
* The Illinois Wolves (16s) finished the year an impressive 44-5.
*MJC guard Kyle Lowry can get numbers in a hurry. On one play, he rose up for a jumper, got fouled and was not only athletic enough but strong enough to shoot on the way down hit the jumper and then make the free throw. Sounds simple but it showed why he's so talented.