On to the Finals

By Thursday evening, they were down to two at the 17U Super Showcase in Orlando. The semi finals featured two stories – Tyreke Evans and a really good Georgia Blazers team.

All the Kansas prospects are done in this one now that Greg Monroe’s Louisiana Select team is out but there were still two semifinal matchups to take in at the Milkhouse Thursday night.

Georgia Blazers vs. Westchester Hawks

The Hawks never got it going in this one and lost 88-77 to a superb Georgia Blazers team. The Blazers are led by two guards, both under six feet but both solid basketball players with a high basketball IQ, Andre Young and Deandre Johnson. It was Young who made all the noise early in the first quarter raining jump shots from three-point land, he couldn’t miss from the field and it led to an impressive 16-point quarter. As for his backcourt mate Deandre Johnson, he was the quieter of the two in this one but I’m just impressed at how well both of these guys run the show. Johnson finished with 9 points and really these guys just don’t turn it over much, and have a ton of energy.

Back to Young, who at 5-9 absolutely dominated this game from the perimeter finishing with 33 points, including five three-pointers. Young is one of those players that just wears down his opposition because he’s got it on go every second he’s in the game. He may be on the mid-major radar, but he outplayed every high-major recruit in this one.

For Westchester, the highlight of this one was the play of 6-9 Kevin Jones. The Mount Vernon High standout had plenty of success around the rim and finished with 27 points. He’s a wiry player with a world of potential. Watching his athletic ability it’s easy to see why he’s got some big name programs after him. Jones continues to primarily be a Big East target and UCONN, Pitt, St. John’s, Syracuse, and Louisville were among those in attendance.  

Team Final vs. Martin Brothers Select

Martin Brothers almost did it again. The gritty bunch from Iowa got pretty close to pulling off the upset against Tyreke Evans and his Team Final crew. But in the end it was just too much Tyreke. But Team Final left knowing they got all they could handle in a hard-fought 63-59 win.

This was my first time getting to see one of the best the class of 2008 has to offer. Evans has it all – size (6-5), incredible handle, and a sweet stroke that was “on” in this one. Evans actually spent a curious amount of time on the bench in this one, but when it was time to win this thing, Evans went to another gear.

Tyreke scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth when the game mattered most. Martin Brothers had no answers in the last quarter. You get the feeling the only one who can really stop this kid is himself. It was O.J. Mayo who came in last year to lead his D-1 Greyhounds as one of the top players in 2007, and this year it’s Evans staking his claim and showing why he’s one of the best in the class of ’08. Evans almost cost his team late with a couple of free throw misses but was bailed out by an offensive rebound.

It was Iowa commit Matt Gatens who at 6-5 has some size of his own and can stroke it from the outside. Gatens put up 18, and some of them were in the grill of Tyreke Evans. Gatens is aggressive and confident and gave Martin Brothers a chance to win this thing.

L.A. Pomlee again played solidly on the defensive end with several impressive blocks including one on a Tyreke Evans drive.

So the finals are set and it will be the 6-5 Tyreke Evans against the Georgia Blazers 5-9 dynamo Andre Young. Finals are slated for 2pm at the Milkhouse. Should be a good one.


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