Ginyard, Boo win Southern Inv.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA--Marcus Ginyard, 2005 UNC commitment displayed his skills as point guard in directing his Boo Williams team to the Southern Invitational Championship.

The primary questions about Marcus Ginyard's abilities on the basketball court have centered upon his deference to others and his perceived inability to take over a game. On Sunday at the Southern Invitational, those questions were largely answered.

In consecutive games against the powerful Hunting Park Warriors and the Playaz, Ginyard demonstrated a penchant for attacking the basket that has simply not been evident in previous contests. Time and again he beat his man and went straight to the rim, often in traffic, and drew contact to the tune of 21 foul shots between the two games. Ginyard also took 21 shots from the floor in the two games, making six in the semi-final for 22 points and five in the final for 16 points, but these were not fade-away jump shots. They were dunk attempts, layups, and mid-range jumpers on the move in the lane.

The level of aggressiveness displayed by Ginyard on Sunday is a welcome sight to observers and was by design according to his coach, Boo Williams.

"The emphasis on going to the basket, on focusing on his offense, is something we've been stressing to Marcus since he came to our team," said the AAU legend. "Marcus just did today what he can do, and as he goes so will go our team."

Ginyard agreed with his coach's assessment, and added another reason why he was so adamant about getting into the lane on Sunday.

"It was definitely a conscious decision, especially against the caliber of teams that we were playing today," Ginyard told Inside Carolina. "This was some of the best competition we've faced since I came to this team, some of the best I've seen in a long while. We didn't have our legs under us, myself included, and I don't think I made a jump shot all day. When that is the case, what else can you do but go right at them, try to get to the line?"

In addition to his 22 points in the semi-final, Ginyard added four assists, five rebounds, and three steals against only two turnovers. He also went 10-12 at the free throw line. In the final, a low-scoring affair that hinged upon Boo Williams' ability to maintain possession for the vast majority of the last three minutes, Ginyard tallied a double-double. In addition to his 16 points on 5-11 shooting, Ginyard tacked on 10 rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal with three turnovers.

Ginyard's lone miss at the free throw line in the final came at a crucial juncture down the stretch, but his ability to maintain possession as the primary ballhandler and his knack for finding teammate Eric Hayes (who hit four critical foul shots late) more than made up for the miss.

Ginyard suffered what he termed a "little" sprain of his left wrist in addition to a gash on his chin that required two stitches after the game but wasn't willing to cite them as reasons for the miss.

"There isn't much to say about that--I just missed it. The wrist is nothing and didn't have anything to do with it. I'm just glad I have a team that can perform like that at the end of games and a teammate like Hayes over there [pointing to him] that can knock down those big ones at the line," Ginyard said.

Ginyard's new coach emphasized the importance of the newest addition to his team after winning the Southern Invitational title for the fourth time in five years.

"Marcus is such a great kid, and I'm thrilled to have him as part of this team," Boo Williams, who has won multiple AAU national titles and coached all-stars such as Allen Iverson and Alonzo Mourning in addition to Tar Heels Ronald Curry and Jason Capel said. "It is such an important thing to have someone like him in place as a role model for our young guys like Scotty [Reynolds], Eric [Hayes], and Stefan [Welsh]. When you add in the fact that he is the caliber of player that he is, it is just such a positive." The improvement in Ginyard's offensive game since Inside Carolina covered his Bishop O'Connell team at the Beach Ball Classic is striking, and UNC fans' fears of a JamesOn Curry-esque fall in the rankings along with the move to point guard appear at this stage to be groundless. If he continues to improve at this rate, the change will likely be in the opposite direction.

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