All-TOC: JR Smith, Telfair, Lofton, Nolan Smith
The Triangle former between Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC was the only place to be over the Memorial Day weekend, especially if you wanted to see all the top University of Louisville recruiting prospects in action. More than a dozen of UofL's top recruiting targets were in North Carolina this weekend for the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions and many turned in outstanding performances over the holiday weekend .
Several of UofL's prospects were named to the All-Tournament of Champions Team for their efforts and superb play at the tournament. JR Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Chris Lofton, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Josh Wright and Nolan Smith were each named to the TOC All Tournament Team. Fortunately, we saw each in action at least once, missing only Josh Wright and the Long Island Panthers.
Here's a recap of each players outstanding performance over the weekend at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions:
JR Smith was most impressive the entire weekend, leading the Tournament of Champions in scoring with 155 points in five tourney games for an average of 31.0 ppg. Smith scored 28 Friday night against Middlesex (MA) in a game we attended at Cameron Indoor Stadium, draining threes, flushing dunks and getting to the free throw line. JR led the Playaz to the semifinals of the Select Bracket playoff scoring 30 against the Magnolia Stars in the quarterfinals and 25 in a semifinal loss to the New Orleans Jazz. Smith is athletic, can score in a variety of ways and is one of the nation's best players.
Sebastian Telfair led the Juice Allstars to the Pool 6 title. He scored 24 points against the Tennessee Travelers Friday night and led the charge Saturday night in a game we saw at the Dean E. Smith Center against the talented North Carolina Gaters. Telfair had 17 points, and dished out 5 assists to defeat the JamesOn Curry led Gaters. He drained 4 threes against the Gaters and impressed with his on court leadership, ability to knock down three off the bounce and superb passing ability. Juice lost to the talented Atlanta Celtics Sunday morning in the quarterfinals of the National Bracket.
Chris Lofton finished as one of the Tournament of Champions leading scorers, averaging 21.7 ppg during three pool play contests. Lofton nailed 6 threes against Ron Steele and the Alabama Challenge Friday night at the Wilson Rec. Center in a game we saw. Lofton finished with a team high 24 points and pulled down several rebounds against the Challenge.
Glen Davis clearly demonstrated that he's among the top post players in the country, leading Louisiana Sports Academy to the Pool 6 title. Davis opened pool play Friday night by scoring 28 points against the Long Island Panthers, then impressed us Saturday afternoon by dropping 17 and 9 against the Hoopsters at the Dean E. Smith Center. Davis is nimble for his size, has great hands and is unstoppable on the block.
Josh Wright proved he's one of the better scoring guards in the nation at the Tournament of Champions. Wright was the third leading scorer over the weekend, scoring 150 points in six games, an average of 25 ppg. Wright had 25 points Friday night against Louisiana Sports Academy, then scored 24, 22, and 21 in leading the Panthers to the Championship of the Select Bracket, defeating the New Orleans Jazz.
Nolan Smith, the son of former Cardinal great Derek Smith, impressed us Saturday morning with his great looking stroke, ability to create his own shot and solid all around skills. Smith averaged 16 ppg in three pool play games and had 19 points, and 9 boards in the game we saw against the North Carolina Heat.
Special thanks to my wife, Andrea, for all her help this weekend. She's responsible for all the great video and photographs from the Tournament of Champions. I'd also like to thank Michael McCammon, who I kept up late at night working on shot charts and photos. Thanks to both, without your help our coverage from the TOC wouldn't have been the success it was!