Eric Wallace rebounded from a sub-par performance on Friday night with a better individual performance on Saturday morning in the Tournament of Champions, but it still was not enough to lead his team to victory. Unofficially, he finished with 17 points (5-11 FG, 2-5 3pt, 5-6 FT), but his team fell 81-51.
With the loss, his D-One AAU team was all but eliminated from the playoffs, but Wallace was already thinking about the next game, with a clear goal in mind.
"Improving team chemistry," he said. "We came off of a good tournament last weekend, had six players play well, won some more games. We are trying to get back to playing like a team and playing as one. We are going to try to regroup."
The physical gifts are there -- the body, the strength, the quickness -- and he may yet continue to grow, but he still has room for maturation psychologically and emotionally.
"Eric's our guy, but that is not a role that he is 100 percent comfortable with," explained his AAU coach, Brian Clifton. "He is a very team-oriented player, and sometimes he defers to guys who should be deferring to him, in all honesty.
"It's a testament to what type of kid he is. He is going to try to do what he perceives to be the best for the other guys."
Wayne Ellington's weekend in the Triangle has been a breeze thus far. His Playaz team has coasted to three pool play wins and had little trouble dispatching its first playoff opponent late Saturday night.
Ellington began the day scoring 15 points in an easy win in Raleigh. Then it was off to Cameron Indoor, where he scored 18 points (6-10 fg) in a 78-65 victory over the Houston Swoosh. Ellington found his three-point range (3-5 3pt) and also made some terrific passes, recording three assists.
In the late game to begin the playoff bracket, Ellington had his best performance thus far this weekend. By halftime, he had accumulated 18 points, scoring on three-pointers, drives and mid-range shots. With the game in hand, he sat much of the second half and finished with 21 points (8-13 fg, 2-4 3pt, 3-3 ft) and 2 steals.
Ellington and The Playaz continue in the playoff bracket on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Smith Center.
Like Ellington, Green enjoyed three easy wins in a row in pool play. Neither of Saturday's games were as ridiculous as the 88-26 beating Green's NY Panthers put together on Friday night (in which Green had 15 points [5-9 fg, 1-2 3pt], 5 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl).
However, both pool play games on Saturday were routs and thus Green saw little action in the second half.
The Panthers managed to beat Houston Select by thirty points on Saturday morning, and Green totaled 12 points (5-10 fg, 1-3 3pt, 1-1 ft), four rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
In the Saturday evening game, against the Worldwide Renegades, Green had just six points in yet another rout.
Having not been tested through pool play, Green's minutes have been limited (especially since he's the lone senior on a 17-under team) and his stat production reflects it. But while on the court, he's shown his versatility to produce on the offensive end from inside and out, while blocking shots like a post player and passing like a guard.