Pumps Win Best of Summer

The Pump N Run Team from Los Angeles wins the Best of Summer tourney -- defeating Cleveland 17-Unders and the Big Time Champion Atlanta Celtics to do it, led by Jordan Farmar and Bryce Taylor...

In the big semi-final matchup at the Pump Best of Summer Tournament in Los Angeles Thursday, the Pump N Run All-Stars, led by Jordan Farmar (UCLA) and Bryce Taylor (Oregon) faced perhaps the most talented AAU team in the country, The Atlanta Celtics.

The Celtics have three potential NBA lottery picks in Dwight Howard (regarded as the #1 prospect in the land), Josh Smith (A top ten player, committed to Indiana) and Randolph Morris (regarded as one of the top three or four center prospects in the country). In addition, the Celtics have at least five other D-1 prospects on its squad.

The Celtics had won the Las Vegas Big Time the week before, pretty handily in fact.

The Pumps, though, had beaten the Celtics to win the championship of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions during Memorial Day. So, the Celtics, even if they were fatigued from a tiring month of basketball, would have some motivation.

But that motivation never materialized.

The Pumps showed more heart and toughness in beating the Celtics 85-69. The game was fairly close until halfway through the second half when the Celtics essentially threw in the towel. For a hungry, tough-minded team like the Pumps, it offered them an opportunity to go for the jugular. Farmar was very impressive, running the team with efficiency (which is unusual for an AAU team), finishing with 22 points and seven assists. Taylor had another usual game, knocking down his outside jumper with consistency, totalling a game-high 28 points. Jared Dudley also had 19.

"We just didn't give up," Farmar said after the game. "We were really up for the game and knew we could beat them because we had before."

The Pumps then went on to overrun Cleveland 17-Unders in the final, 78-50. The game was tied at 31 at halftime but the Pumps, in their usual scoring-in-bunches style, came out in the second half and scored the first 20 points. Farmar again played tremendously, scoring 16 points, getting nine rebounds and giving out eight assists. Taylor scored 21.

The Pump team proved it was certainly one of the best AAU teams on the circuit this spring and summer, winning both the Tournament of Champions during Memorial Day and the Best of Summer, while also reaching the quarter-finals at the Big Time (despite missing key post player Lorenzo Mata). Farmar's play greatly influenced the team's success, with his ability to get his teammates easy scoring opportunities, and being able to score himself. Taylor is probably the best catch-and-shoot guy in the country, with his outside jumper almost seemingly automatic. Farmar and Taylor were easily the best backcourt of the summer. Dudley, who was a senior last season but intends to go to prep school, proved that he can get it done even against much superior athletes.

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