D.C. Assault's gold teams won the 17U and 16U divisions.
The Assault 17s beat the D.C. Blue Devils 54-44 in the championship game that was stopped with 11:59 left in the second half. After several technical fouls on D.C. Blue Devils--warranted or not--the referees walked off the court and refused to return, claiming the game had gotten out of hand.
The Assault 16s beat the D.C. Blue Devils 72-64 in the 16U championship game. The New Jersey Playaz won the 15U division and the D.C. Blue Devils won the 14U division.
Mouptaou Tarou, C, D.C. Blue Devils – Tarou, an African import who came to the states in January and has yet to play high school ball, had a sensational weekend. In three games plus the shortened 17U championship game Sunday, Tarou had 54 points (23 of 28 from the field and 8 of 13 from the free throw line), 25 rebounds and seven blocks. His opponents on the day included Isaiah Armwood and Wally Judge, so he wasn't just feasting on weak competition.
A relative unknown before the AAU circuit, the 6-foot-10 former soccer player emerged at the Boo Williams Invitational in early April and Blue Devils coach Vaughn Jones' phone hasn't stopped ringing with inquiries from college coaches. Tarou is a ready-made center with an excellent frame. He has a handful of effective post moves and has great footwork from his soccer days. His midrange jump shot is improving and he is still learning the nuances of the game, but he is certainly one of the top big men in 2009.
Josten Thomas, F, D.C. Blue Devils – Thomas' play was one of the main reasons the Blue Devils advanced to the championship game. The 6-foot-5 forward showed good range—knocking down several 3-pointers—and also an improving inside game. Jones reports that he outplayed top-10 prospect Karron Johnson at a recent tournament. He transferred from National Christian Academy to Progressive Christian Academy this year.
Wally Judge, F, D.C. Assault – On more than one occasion this weekend, play had to be stopped to adjust the basket after a Judge dunk misaligned it. There is no question that the Kansas State commit is one of the most athletic forwards in the class, and he is very difficult to stop down low. His tip in as time expired against the Cuttino Mobley Philly Pride sent D.C. Assault to the championship game.
Rodney McGruder, SG, D.C. Assault – Not to be outdone by Judge, the fellow Kansas State commit had his fair share of basket-twisting dunks. One of the highlights of Sunday didn't come in a game, but on a side court where the two engaged in a dunk contest. McGruder possesses top-flight athleticism and his outside game has really come along this past season at Archbishop Carroll and on the AAU circuit.
Isaiah Armwood, F, WPC Elite – Nearly completely recovered from an MCL injury in January that kept him out for the second half of his high school season, and an ankle injury at the Pittsburgh JamFest in mid April, Armwood put on a show this weekend. His ever-improving outside jump shot found the bottom of the net several times, and he showed off a nice array of post moves, including an unstoppable hook shot. He was also the recipient of several alley oops. His game is similar to that of Syracuse star and fellow Baltimore native Donte Green.
Terrell Vinson, F, WPC Elite – Vinson, who was once more of an inside player, has expanded his range the last couple years and it's the reason why he's one of the nation's top forwards. This weekend he was hitting midrange and 3-point jump shots with regularity, and scored just about every time near the basket. His chemistry with Armwood, whom he plays with at Montrose Christian as well, led to several highlight-reel plays.
Markel Starks, PG, D.C. Blue Devils – Starks played with the 17s this weekend and he more than belonged. He was oftentimes the quickest player on the floor, and his ball handling and ability to get to the rim was impressive. He has good size at 6 foot 1, 165 pounds, which helped him finish around the basket. His best game came against WPC Elite in the semifinals, where he had 21 points and didn't miss from inside the 3-point line.
Daryl Traynham, PG, D.C. Assault – The diminutive point guard also played at the 17U level, and for good reason. Like Starks, he's the quickest player on the floor, and his ability to create propels Assault. He's an instinctual player who has a great feel for the game, which is especially evident when he's forced to contort his body to score down low. And more times than not, he's able to either draw contact or finish. His outside shot is streaky and still developing. He's very much in the mold of former D.C. Assault player and Hampton freshman Jordan Brooks.
Derrell Edwards, G, Team Melo – Edwards, whose 15 points per game led Dunbar to the Maryland 1A state semifinals this past year, could emerge on the scene this summer as a mid-to-high-major recruit. He has a reliable midrange and outside game as well as a solid 6-foot-2 frame.
Isaiah Epps, PG, Playaz – Epps, considered one of the top point guards in 2010, hurt his ankle about five minutes into his first game and played sparingly the rest of the tournament. In his brief healthy time, he showed a nice feel for the court and a silky left-handed jump shot.
Jayon James, F, Playaz – James is a wide 6 foot 5, making him very difficult to stop matched up against guards. He played some point guard, some shooting guard and some forward for Playaz this weekend, and looked equally impressive at each. When he drives to the basket, few want to get in his way, making for some easy finishes. His jump shot needs some work, but he is definitely one to watch in 2010.
Fuquan Edwin, F, Playaz – Edwin had a great weekend before he had to be carried off the court with an ankle injury late Sunday. He's a versatile player, but we were especially impressed with his jump shot and range. If he continues to grow, he has a chance to be a top 25-50 player in 2010.
Tyler Thornton, PG/SG, D.C. Assault – Thornton, one of the backcourt leaders for this past season's WCAC champion Gonzaga, was up there with the other top guards this weekend. On Assault, he plays some point guard and shooting guard, though we believe his future is at point guard. He's got great size and definitely looks to distribute before scoring. He will certainly be a high-major recruit, and if can develop a reliable shot, he'll be very sought after.
Eric Atkins, PG, D.C. Assault – Atkins and Thornton were quite the backcourt for the 16U champion Assault. Atkins is a natural point guard who's been a hot name in recruiting circles since his freshman year at Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore. Like Thornton, he's a pass-first guard, but he's the quicker of the two.
Max Esho, F, D.C. Assault – Right now Esho's at his best when down low, where he showed some nice post moves and used his long arms to get of shots over opponents. He's a lanky 6 foot 6 or 7 who is growing into his body. He's a good rebounder whose jump shot needs work, but he's a definite high-major recruit.
Josh Hairston, PF, D.C. Assault – Hairston, the highest-ranked played on Assault's loaded 16s, had another good weekend. He's physical down low and has an advanced post and midrange game. At 6 foot 8 with a solid build, he is an almost certain top 25-50 player.
Jordan Lantham, PF, Team Melo – Lantham is similar to both Esho and Hairston and has many of the same plusses they have. He's very athletic and showed a consistent midrange jump shot. His post-up game is still coming along, but will be one to watch as the summer goes on.
Quinn Cook, PG, D.C. Assault – Cook caught the ankle-injury bug that was going around. But on Saturday, he was healthy and showed great court vision and maturity in leading the Assault 15Us. We've scouted him numerous times at the Rock Summer League and at DeMatha, and he's a consistent, low-turnover true point guard. He can also attack the rim and finish, but his game is orchestrating the offense and finding open looks for his teammates.
Jordan Goodman, PF, D.C. Assault – We got our first look at the ‘The Next Big Thing' in the Assault program, and we came away impressed. In Assault's 58-47 win over Team Elite Virginia, he 15 points, three assists and three rebounds. At 6 foot 8, he has a big size advantage over the competition, but that didn't mean he was getting easy lay ups. He has an impressive inside-outside game and can score several different ways.
Chris Martin, G, D.C. Assault – Martin, the son of former NBA player Billy Martin, led St. John's College High School in scoring as a freshman while playing in the ultra-competitive WCAC. He played both point guard and shooting guard alongside Cook. He's not quite the prolific scorer that former St. John's guard and Georgetown freshman Chris Wright was, but he might end up being the better distributor of the two.
Isaiah Armwood has narrowed his list down to five schools: Villanova, Texas, Ohio State, Syracuse and North Carolina. He will visit those schools this summer and hopes to make a decision before his senior season.
Mouptaou Tarou is receiving interest from the SEC, ACC, Big East and many others.
Markel Starks is also getting interest from the ACC and Big East.
Maryland, Seton Hall and Rutgers are in heavy pursuit of Isaiah Epps.
Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Georgetown are after Chris Martin. He said he wants to go to Villanova.
Derrell Edwards said some Big East schools are on him, and that he would like to play for Syracuse.
Derrick Washington (D.C. Assault), a 2009 guard, picked up offers from Drexel and Loyola (Md.)
Cedrick Lindsay (2010, Gonzaga) was named the MVP of the 16U division.
D.C. Assault alums Michael Beasley, Austin Freeman, Nolan Smith and Chris Wright were in attendance on Saturday.
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