Banks Dazzles At TOC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – After winning just one tournament this spring – the 17-and-under New Jersey AAUs – the ultra-talented Tim Thomas Playaz Gold squad finally put it all together this weekend at the Tournament of Champions. And Sean Banks had a lot to do with it.

The 6-7 SF from Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic was terrific throughout the annual Memorial Day event here in North Carolina's Triangle. He had 28 points in his team's semifinal win over the New Orleans Jazz and ended up averaging 16.2 for the tourney overall.

On Sunday morning, after the Playaz' victory over the Jazz, Banks started his school list with Maryland, Pittsburgh and N.C. State. "Those are my top three," Banks said, also mentioning Rutgers, Seton Hall, West Virginia, Texas and St. John's.

In particular, Maryland and Pitt seem to be in the lead at this point – and Banks said he was going to visit the Terps' College Park campus sometime in June. His decision could come as early as ABCD – but certainly before the beginning of his senior season.

Banks averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds this past winter for the 25-7 team at Bergen Catholic. He came on especially strong in the second half of the season – and that trend of improvement has continued throughout the spring.

Witness the MVP award he collected Sunday afternoon at the Smith Center after the Playaz' blowout title game win over the SoCal All-Stars.

"I want to have guard skills, so I'm working on my jumper, my range and my defense on smaller, quicker guys," Banks said. "And strength: I have to get that down pat. Then I'll be right up there."

Michael Kruse writes for Basketball America and

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