TOC: Curry vs. Telfair

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – JamesOn Curry saved his best game for the best opponent. His Gaters lost to Sebastian Telfair's squad, but the future Tar Heel shined.

In AAU basketball, most highly touted matchups never come to fruition, but the anticipated battle of JamesOn Curry's NC Gaters and Sebastian Telfair's Juice All-Stars lived up to the hype.

Curry and Telfair went head to head on both ends of the court, which made for one of the best matchups of the weekend.

Curry put on his best AAU performance that we've seen, scoring 21 points (8-11 fg, 3-4 3pt, 2-3 ft), dishing out three assists and grabbing four steals.

"My confidence was level down - I was out of synch the first two games," Curry said of his struggles leading up to this game. "I had to come off the bench because I missed practice because of track. I couldn't start because of that and I was frustrated. I talked to Rashad [McCants] and he said he had the same problem last year at Carolina."

But Curry started tonight and his shots were falling, which helped keep the Gaters in the game, while he ran the point with minimal turnovers and played solid defense - especially in the open floor.

"I know everyone was coming to see this game and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of all these people," Curry said.

The much-balleyhooed Telfair, who has been on the national stage since his first year of high school, posted 22 points. The Coney Island (N.Y.) native is the best true point guard in the land, as evidenced by his court vision and exceptional quickness penetrating the defense. However, the usual knock on him is a weak jumpshot and suspect shot selection -- though none of that was evident on Saturday, which is why his team prevailed.

Curry showed no signs of being worn out from winning the gold medal in last week's state track championships.

"It got me in good shape," he said. "It's a good thing I'm running track because you've got to be in shape [to play for Roy Williams]."

Game analysis by Clint Jackson

Curry did a great job of finding his spots against Telfair's squad. He moved well without the ball and shot well from all over the court. His shooting ability kept the Juice All-Star's defense off balance, which opened up the middle for some baskets for the Gater's interior forwards.

Telfair continues to amaze us as one of the best passers and pure point guards on the high school level. He found his long range shot in this game and was the main force behind their comeback victory. Some of Telfair's amazing passes drew raves from those who sat courtside.

Midway through the second half, there was a brief moment of tension between the two stars as Curry tried to shake Telfair off the bounce. As Curry skipped past the New York City point guard, Telfair accidentally clocked Curry across the head with a right hand that knocked his signature headband down around his neck.

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