Gibbons TOC: Day 3 Rundown

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Derrick Favors rocked the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in a big way. The nation's top prospect put on a show as the Celtics stopped Team Breakdown in the final.

Over the years the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions has been the stage for most of the top post players to showcase their game. Dwight Howard, Greg Oden and Kevin Love collected championships here.

Add Derrick Favors' name to the list.

The Atlanta Celtics defeated Team Breakdown 72-62 behind 20 points from Favors. Without the benefit of official stats we'll have to guess, but it was nearly unanimous that Favors recorded a triple-double. His defensive presence put fear into the Breakdown drivers.

Offensively the arsenal was on display. Jump hooks, acrobatic finishes in traffic and above the rim, it was all there. Even more impressive was the fact that he did much of the damage in only the second half. After getting tagged with two personal fouls in the first half, he took a seat. After halftime, the beast was unleashed.

Scout.com's top prospect in the Class of 2009 was his best in the biggest game of the weekend and there was no answer for his greatness. It was a man amongst boys scenario.

Credit Breakdown for its resilience once the playoffs began. Since Saturday night the team rallied. Against the Celtics, it led early but with Favors playing one another level it was too much of a hole to dig out from. Kenny Boynton finished with 29 points for Breakdown. We didn't see the game but apparently his matchup with Dominic Cheek – held at a different location – in the semis was a classic.

Indy Elite Edges D-One

You wait all spring to see games like this. D-One Sports against Indiana Elite in the quarterfinals and the talent on the court was silly.

D-One behind the scintillating court vision of John Wall and the off the charts play of Ryan Kelly in the first half toed the line with arguably the best team on the circuit. Kelly's jumper and first half shot blocking ability had Mason Plumlee on the ropes early.

"I was knocked out," Plumlee would joke after the game. However, like the Top 20 player he is, Plumlee had a response. He put Elite on his back and attacked. At 6-foot-10 to be able to make the moves and finish with either hand is serous business. He took Kelly from the wing and went baseline for one of the event's top plays.

Wall and Kelly excelled all weekend long. The best place to watch Wall on this day was under the hoop where you could gain a true appreciation for his vision and blossoming passing game. In terms of point guard play, he's creating noticeable separation between himself and the field each weekend on the circuit. Plus, he took the next step and helped his team advance further in the playoffs.

Kelly's ability to block shots, drill mid-range step back jumpers and compete was a big story of the weekend. It's conceivable that three players from the state of North Carolina could be all-americans and each played to their reputations and beyond Sunday morning in a classic.

Plumlee and Kelly finished with 22 each; Wall had 19.

Derrick Favors, C, Atl. Celtics – It was an interesting morning for Favors. His first game was one of his best efforts this spring. His second contest was one he'd like to forget. Against Indy Elite, in a moment that should never have happened, Favors elbowed D.J. Byrd in the face as the two ran down the floor. The reckless decision stunned the crowd and floored Byrd. For a split second, a frustrated Favors lost his cool and put Byrd in jeopardy.

Favors was ejected from the game and buried his head in a nearby tunnel. After the contest he made a classy gesture and sought out Byrd. The incident was out of character but nonetheless happened and its up to Favors to walk the straight and narrow from now on.

"I just lost my head for a second," Favors told the News and Observer. "That's not the real me. I went over and apologized. That will never happen again."

Tyler Thornton, PG, D.C. Assault – Josh Hairston was named MVP of the 16-and-under event and deservedly so but it was Thornton who closed out Triple Threat in the title game. Thornton's high school coach is always bragging on his point guard's ability rise in winning situation. In the championship game he had a hoop, assist and coaxed Triple Threat into a turnover all in the game's final 30 seconds. Hairston scored 13 in the finale to go with 12 from Thornton and 13 from Eric Atkins.


Grant Emerges
Jerian Grant, SG, Triple Threat – The last Grant to come through high school basketball followed in dad's footsteps and was a post player. This time around, the family cranked out a wing and he's a good one. Grant hung 21 on Assault in the finals. A strong athlete, he was on of the top wing performers in his division.

Travis McKie, F, Boo Williams 16 – He did just about everything that was asked of him for the weekend. He played in the post and on the perimeter. Named MVP of the 16-and-under select division, McKie hung 35 points on the Baltimore Stars in his last game.

Noah Cottrill, PG, OVC 16 – The WVU commitment isn't the biggest, fastest or strongest but he's ultra competitive and it drives him. OVC eventually lost in the semis but not before he went on an 8-0 run late by himself. The competitors are around on Sunday and Cottrill's presence was felt.

It was a solid overall weekend for Terrance Shannon of the Atlanta Celtics. His energy was a big help during the championship run. Ditto for Andre Malone who did a nice job creating offense. … Donald Williams scored 15 in the 17-and-under select championship. The New Orleans Jazz standout was named MVP. …

D.J. Byrd is a key glue guy for Indy Elite. He'll made big shots and isn't afraid to be physical on the perimeter. Good teams have players like this. … All day long Favors out leaped talented, tall players for rebounds. Even against the best competition he can rise above and those subtle differences add up. … Many of the finishes John Wall came up with Sunday morning were mind boggling. … 8th grader Tony Parker dropped 32 in the semis of a 15-and-under game. … Stevie Taylor rained 3s and Chane Behanan was MVP as OBC won the 15-and-under division. …

Kyrie Irving has Memphis chasing him hard. Rutgers, Seton Hall, Texas A&M and St. Joe's have shown preliminary interest in the 2010 point. … D.J. Cooper has an offer from Loyola. He'll visit UTEP in June. Valparaiso, Dayton and Bradley are mixing it up. …

Virginia Tech has been all over 2010 wing Jerian Grant. …


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