Illinois Captures National Championship
Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and lifted the Illinois Warriors past Boo Williams for the AAU National Championship. What can you say about a kid who simply put his team on his back and carried them past the defending champions? It was his day, his team and his time to shine.
The Warriors received a huge lift from PF Rick Cornett who scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, 6 of them offensive. Cornett was a brilliant 7-8 from the free throw line as well.
Boo Williams tried to keep it close, but a cold shooting day from ace J.J. Redick was not expected. The Duke-bound sharpshooter was 3-10 from field including an uncharacteristic 1-5 from downtown. His lone 3 came at the end of the first half as he caught a length of the floor pass and drained a shot falling out of bounds on the baseline.
The story in Orlando was Iguodala. He brings so many different things to the table. He's a gifted passer; tough rebounder and can handle the ball as well. All summer long, his jumpshot was questioned but it was there in the semis and the final game. Offense isn't the reason why he's being recruited at the highest level. He's getting the attention because he brings so many intangibles to the table. He has a knack for making plays and really gets after it defensively.
John Gilchrist, PG, Boo Williams Without old reliable, Boo wouldn't have made it to the title game. Though he struggled to get much to fall in the championship, a battered and bruised Gilchrist fought hard.
Jeremy Hunt, CG, Memphis YOMCA He was the gun for Memphis in the semis and did enough to get his team the win, but Iguodala single-handedly did them in what with what might have been the biggest shot of the summer. Not to worry Memphis fans, you've got yourselves a good one.
Shannon Brown, SG, Illinois Warriors You'll be hearing plenty about him in the next few months. He's a gifted scorer and the best junior scorer in Illinois. There will be a battle amongst Big Ten schools for his services and he'll be recruited at the national level. He struggled in the title game but his 17 in the semis aided the Warriors.
Two To Watch: 2004
DJ White, PF, Memphis YOMCA He has star potential down the road. He's athletic and long and can score in the paint.
Marquis Cooke, PG, Boo Williams Right now, his AAU career rivals that of Gilchrist. A reserve as a youngster, but contributor nonetheless. He's bigger than Gilchrist and there's every reason to think he'll be equally as good down the road if not better. Next year, he'll be the centerpiece of a very young Boo Williams team. Teammate Darian Townes is going to be a star as well and he's already committed to the Hoyas.
Derrick Byars drilled a number of important shots for Memphis down the stretch in games against Athletes First and the Illinois Warriors. He missed the Showcase due to illness, but he played well as the AAU's wound down. … Memphis PG Clyde Wade did not score in the semis after tossing in 30 the night before.