Dwayne Curtis, C/PF, WW Renegades: At close to 250 pounds, he's a man inside. Marcus White's backup at Whitney Young is ready to be the man. He played a key role during a number of important stretches in the semis and final.
Mark Daniels, SG, NJ Celtics: Without a true star, the Celtics nearly earned the right to play for the title. Daniels did his part in the quarters when he caught fire late in the game vs. Fort SOOY. The 5-11 shooter hit on 3 straight long balls to shore it up for his club.
Nick Grant, SG-PG, Fairfax Stars: While he appeared to run out of gas in the final (and he wasn't the only one), Grant was big all weekend. He has sneaky athleticism and loads of toughness. His range inside the line is sound. Nice weekend performance.
Anthony Harris, CG, WW Renegades: Another Whitney Young product who was a vital part of the title. He made four 3s in the semifinal win for a total of 22 points.
Ricky Lucas, SF, Fairfax Stars: After a subpar spring and summer last year, Lucas has things rolling this time around. For two straight weekends he's put his team in contention for titles. He's got a nice medium-range game and skilled enough to get points off drives.
Steve Papageorge, SG, Fairfax Stars: The book on him reads: potential low-major player is a dangerous long-range threat. Not only did Steve drain clutch 3s in each game we watched, he was instrumental down the stretch in the championship when Fairfax was trying to make on final run. Gutsy shooter.
Danilo Pinnock, SG, WW Renegades: Georgia product will prep next season at a place to be determined. Meanwhile, he used athleticism and long range shooting to gun down opponents in Sunday's finals.
Mustafa Shakur, PG, Hunting Park: The best point guard in the tournament saw his team fall behind early to Fairfax. He did just about all he could to rally them but in the end came up short. However, Shakur was nothing if not fantastic all weekend long. Teammate David Bell (undecided and missing a test score) was also terrific.
Big Man Battle: Steve Danley of the Bethesda Magic has his work cut out for him on Sunday. In one playoff game he was pitted against fellow high quality mid-major big men Brian Sisti and Kanimba Diarra of the Minuteman Press. Danley, always a force as a rebounder and defender, fought hard. Sisti, the best offensive player of the bunch and Diara, another rebounder/rejector took turns battling Danley. The Minutemen won, but it was impressive watching three players of the same level trying to whip each other.
16-and-under Top Performers
Shane Clarke, F, Philly MJC: Clarke is bouncy and athletic and that's a good combination in a young kid. He's probably 6-7 and tough to predict position wise, but he's a prospect worth looking out for in the future.
Taurean Green, PG, Hoopsters (2004): The Florida kids were led by the 6-0 Green. He has a sweet stroke to deep range and a frame that should fill out nicely. High-major prospect.
Wayne Marshall, C, Positive Image (2003): From what we saw, he was the biggest body in this age bracket and he's grown since we last saw him. Just a youngsters, Marshall has the tools to be a presence inside but is still a developing high-major post player.
Dwight Brewington, SG-SF, Metro Boston (2003): We know Brewington can be a big-time scorer but he wasn't on Sunday largely due to a defensive role he undertook. Metro Boston isn't a very big team and really lacks a post player of size. Often times, Brewington found himself guarding Wayne Marshall and twice rejected his shots.
Brian Sisti: Hofstra (offered), William & Mary, Boston University, Davidson.
Wayne Marshall: Temple, LaSalle (assistant coach Roland Houston attended same H.S.), Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Louisville, Villanova, Wake Forest.
Nick Grant: Wake Forest, American, Pepperdine, Rhode Island, Wagner.
Ricky Lucas: UConn, Tennessee, Memphis, NC State, Louisville, Rutgers.