Michael Gilchrist is the big name and he certainly had his moments, but Dion Waiters, Markus Kennedy, Trevor Cooney, Darius Quarles and Tyrek Duren all played big roles in taking the tournament crown.
In the 16's division the Playaz knocked off D.C. Assault to take home their second title in as many weekends, despite playing the whole event without one of their best players, Kyle Anderson.
Desmond Hubert came alive on Sunday, as did Derrick Randall, Myles Mack and Myles Davis. Although it's still early in the AAU season, they've established themselves as one of, if not the, best 16's squad in the country.
Darius Quarles, SF/PF, Team Final – He wasn't present for Team Final's run to the championship game at Boo Williams last weekend, but he certainly was a factor in their title run this weekend. A 6-foot-6, possibly 6-foot-7, versatile forward, Quarles was effective on both ends of the floor. Strength is a long-term concern, but he's a guy that is turning up his game at just the right time. Quarles has wide shoulders, a pair of long arms and an improving jump shot that seemed to find the bottom of the net a lot in Pittsburgh. St. Joseph reeled in a good one, as this guy's game appears to be on the up tick.
Dion Waiters, SG, Team Final – Scoring isn't an issue for this 6-foot-2 Syracuse commit. For the second consecutive weekend, Waiters battled defenders for buckets and made scoring look easy. When his jumper is falling, he's especially tough to handle, because he's more than capable of attacking off the bounce, and he uses his size, strength and explosiveness to score once in the paint. He scored 17 points in the title game.
Isaiah Epps, PG, Playaz – The 6-foot lead guard looked like a different player than we saw in Virginia last week. Playing on his future home court, Epps, a product of Plainfield (N.J.) High, had it going from deep and proved to be a consistent long range shooter throughout the event. He's got good speed, handles the ball well and set his teammates up. After a disappointing finish at Boo Williams last weekend, Epps willed his team to victories and led them a title game appearance.
Michael Gilchrist, SF, Team Final – For the second consecutive week, Gilchrist and Team Final wound up in the championship game, this time coming home with a championship trophy. Despite not playing up to his own expectations, the Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick product certainly impressed us. Offensively, he's equipped to score, and on the opposite end he wisely uses his length as a weapon and has turned into a productive rebounder.
Trevor Cooney, SG, Team Final – Defenders better close out quickly on this 6-foot-4 two guard. Cooney is very effective against zone defenses and has range that extends well beyond the three-point line. But he's not just a catch and shoot guy either, as he comes off screens ready to shoot and is capable of putting it on the deck for a few dribbles and pulling up. Cooney went for 17 in the championship game.
Michael Chandler, C, Spiece Indy Fast Break – If the 6-foot-10 big man had any naysayers in Pittsburgh, due to his lack of playing time during his sophomore season, he shut them up quickly. In the 16's quarterfinals against Ohio Bball Club, Chandler went for nearly 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks. The Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North standout ran the floor looking to score, showed a right jump hook on the block and was a defensive presence.
P.J. Boutte, PG, Spiece Indy Fast Break – Matched up with Stevie Taylor, Boutte proved to be a pesky defender and seemed to make the Fast Break team go. He recorded some timely steals in this one and found Chandler inside for buckets. He's quick, loves to get out in transition and hit a handful of three-pointers in the quarterfinals.
Chane Behanon, PF, Ohio Bball Club – Up against another undersized four man in Ryan Taylor, Behanon put together one of the best efforts we've ever seen from him. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder was aggressive inside, snatched rebounds in and out of his area and ran the floor looking to score buckets. Behanon, a Cincinnati commit, also showed off a spot-up jumper from 18-feet.
Stevie Taylor, PG, Ohio Bball Club – One thing we noticed about Taylor this weekend was how efficient he is. He rarely takes bad shots and is extremely consistent from the field. During the morning game against Indy Fast Break he buried pull-up three pointers, tossed in floaters in the lane and handled the ball with care.
Desmond Hubert, C, Playaz – For the second weekend in a row the Playaz found themselves in the championship, and Hubert was a big part of their run. The 6-foot-8 big man used his length to swat shots and he monitored the paint looking for rebounds and offensive put backs opportunities. Once his frame fills out and he gains upper body strength, Hubert's game will take off.
Myles Mack & Myles Davis, The Playaz – These two appear to be the on court leaders of this dominant squad. Mack, a 5-foot-9 lead guard, is elusive, smart and equipped with a deadly jumper, while Davis, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, is more of the designated shooter on the squad. Davis can put it on the floor some, but his calling card is his long-range jumper.
Jermaine Sanders, SF, New Heights – His playing time was spotty the entire weekend, but on Sunday the 6-foot-5 southpaw showed off a high major game. A 2011 prospect at New York (N.Y.) Rice, Sanders is a strong, tough wing with above average athleticism and a knock down jumper from behind the arc.
Amile Jefferson, SF, Team Philly – We made a trip to see Spiece Indy Stars to check out Ron Patterson for the first time, and we stumbled upon a very talented wing from Philadelphia (Pa.) Friends School. Jefferson stands 6-foot-5 and has a long, lean frame. On the offensive side of things he showed a decent looking jumper, but also an ability to take guys off the bounce and finish in the paint. He was active defensively and used his length to swat shots and snag rebounds. Jefferson has the look of a future high major wing.
Ron Patterson, SG, Spiece Indy Stars – Despite being slightly overshadowed by Jefferson's performance, Patterson put forth a pretty solid effort and came away with a win against Team Philly in the quarterfinals. At 6-foot-2, possibly 6-foot-3, Patterson has a strong build that he uses on his way to the rim. Most freshmen aren't nearly as strong or as athletic as him, so attacking the rim is his strength. The Indianapolis (Ind.) Broad Ripple standout has the use of both hands, and actually preferred attacking the left side. He didn't show off his jumper until late in the game, when he buried a pull-up 15-footer and a pull-up three.
Jehvon Clarke proved to be a talented scorer for the Ohio Bball Club 16's squad. The 6-foot-1 guard has a quick cross over and is able to create separation to get his shot off. Spencer Barks, a 6-foot-8 big man on the DC Assault 16's, was solid all weekend. The 2011 prospect finished well around the basket. Cameron Ayers has a strength and it's his long-range jumper. It's clear that Devon Collier's knees are bothering him. The 6-foot-8 power forward had his moments this weekend and did show a nice mid-range jumper, but it was obvious that he was in pain. We didn't watch his game, but we glanced at Patrick Ingram's court and it's clear he's going to be a player. The 2011 prospect is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard on Eric Gordon All-Star's 15's. Jeremy Hollowell, of Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central, is a 6-foot-6 wing with a great long-range stroke. Derrick Randall had another solid weekend. He's more athletic than his teammate, Hubert, and stays active throughout the game. Markus Kennedy was solid inside for Team Final. He's got soft hands and uses his body to shield defenders. Quinn Cook didn't have his best day on Sunday, but D.C. Assault needed some buckets during a run in the semi-finals he went and got them. He's a point guard, but a guy that can really score it.