T.O.C.: Day One Rundown

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Between Kyrie Irving, C.J. Leslie and R.J. Slawson, Friday night at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions was quite entertaining. Irving and Leslie each found the winner's circle in strong efforts.

Kyrie Irving, PG, NJ Roadrunners: He dominated the game we watched and finished with 21 points. In a mistake-free effort, Irving finished at the rim acrobatically, showed a sizzling handle and actually played defense in an AAU game. Count us impressed. This is a difference maker in the backcourt and recruiting battle that could ensue for his services is worth the time and effort. His supporting cast is not very strong but his affinity for passing was infectious.

C.J. Leslie, PF, Carolina Cobras: Some of the athletic plays he makes are just silly. Take the blocked shot he caught with both hands at the rim. The first half of his game Friday night was as elite an effort as we've seen him have. He's communicating and demonstrating leadership abilities in his final go round on the circuit. Few play above the rim as much as he does.


Leslie Still Ascending
R.J. Slawson, PF, Team TMP: We wish the Class of 2010 yielded a few more guys who have his attributes. He's 6-feet-8 and in the game we saw dunked what he could. He's bouncy around the rim and scored 32 points. We're positive he's a skill guy otherwise they wouldn't run as many plays for his to shoot 3s (which he made a few). Looks like a high-major prospect to us.

Bruce Ellington, PG, Team TMP: The best way to describe this football quarterback is to picture Andre Cornelius' game in Erving Walker's body. His speed is a problem for defenders and trust us, he's very fast. He'll drive, stop on a dime and then find another gear. Sees the court very well and is a good passer. The only knock we had on him tonight were a few careless turnovers. Football or hoops? He's got a decision to make.

Deville Smith, PG, MBA Hoops: He may have waited a half to long to drop the hammer. He's got a touch of Tyrese Rice in his game. Like how he's fearless in the lane and gives rebounding a try.

LaQuinton Ross, SF, MBA: Effortless game in a 6-foot-8 frame. He's a smooth player with Top 5 potential in his class.

Kyrie Irving, who had 10 media members in front of him after his game, said he wants to major in journalism. …

Noah Cottrill will wear you out off the catch if you don't turn him into a driver. Let him crank shots behind the arc off the catch and he's money. … Freshman J.P. Tokoto doesn't get much P.T. but you can see the talent and at 6-5 he's a natural small forward. … Tashawn Mabry played well for the Cobras. He had his hands on a ton of balls and proved to be an excellent helpside shot blocker. Teammate Reggie Price also got buckets for the Cobras. …

Kyrie Irving said he's "nowhere close to making a decision." He'll cut it to five in the fall. The list is 10 now: Indiana, Duke, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Seton Hall, Maryland, Marquette, Georgia Tech and Florida. … Rodney Hood, a sophomore, lists Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Florida, Alabama and Baylor. … LaQuinton Ross said Baylor is on him the hardest. "I see them almost as much as the in-state schools," Ross said. Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Florida, Syracuse and Texas were named. …

Tashawn Mabry said Miami has offered and hears from Clemson, Wake Forest, VCU, LSU, Maryland, N.C. State and Mercer. … R.J. Slawson owns offers from College of Charleston, UNC-Greensboro and VCU. Temple, Clemson, South Carolina and St. Joe's are on him. … Bruce Ellington has football offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Maryland and Kentucky. South Carolina is on him for hoops. …


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