Cactus Classic: Day 3 Rundown

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tommy Mason-Griffin captained the Houston Hoops as it outlasted Compton Magic for the championship in Tucson.

Tommy Mason-Griffin proved to be the heart and soul of the Houston Hoops team as it rode the point guard to the championship. The Hoops defeated Compton Magic 70-67.

Mason-Griffin scored 14 points, handed out 6 assists and toughed out 6 rebounds in an MVP effort. Backcourt mate Jamal Fenton scored 18 for the winners including big free throws down the stretch.

Compton didn't go down easy. Roberto Nelson got his team within a point as he smoked an off balance 3-pointer with 17.7 seconds. Nelson's hot touch led to a game-high 29 points. Joe Burton had 18 and 6 for the Magic.

Roberto Nelson, SG, Compton Magic – For a guy who didn't play a lick this past season, by Sunday afternoon the rust was off his game and big numbers ensued. Nelson dropped 29 in the title game and 35 earlier in the day. On balance, fading away, he's pretty tough behind the line. College coaches didn't see him during the high school season so AAU's his audition So far, so good on the court.

Abdul Gaddy, PG, NW Panthers – The Cactus Classic can heat up a point guard in a hurry. Last season Kemba Walker left as the rage and this time around Gaddy got the buzz as he went deep into the playoffs. With Brandon Jennings blazing the trail and Gaddy following, Tucson may be Point Guard U. once again. Gaddy has the look of a Top 10 prospect in this class.

Joe Burton, C, Compton Magic – Until Nelson caught fire, Burton bore the brunt of the load. He's not pretty but he's efficient. There's a lack of bigs in Pac-10 country so he's going to get looked at hard through the summer. Here's to hoping he ignores the name on the jersey and finds himself a place where he can max out what could be a strong college career. BTW, Burton tried every chance he could to toss the West Coast big man outlet pass Kevin Love style.

A year ago Hollis Thompson was outstanding at this event, This time around, adversity struck and he couldn't purchase a hoop. There's too much talent for him to not right the ship. Toss this one aside, and regroup. … Xavier Thames hit some jumpers in the title game and is right on the mid-to-high fence. His size should push him over the top. …

Jordan Hamilton (18.3 ppg) had 23 and 7 in a setback to Gaddy and Avery Bradley. Bradley matched Hamilton with 30 and 11 in that game. … Kudos to Belmont's Thurman Woods for his overall play at the event. The forward scored 25 in his final game and did a tremendous job with his mid-range stroke. …

Scoring Leaders 1) Avery Bradley (24.7) 2) Roberto Nelson (24.8) 3) Keith Appling (24.0) 4) John Wall (21.3) 5) Peyton Siva (20.6)

Ricardo Ratliffe said Rutgers, Virginia Tech and LaSalle were his most vigorous pursuers. …


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