Rumble: Final Report

Jeff Goodman wraps up <i>Inside Carolina</i>'s coverage of the Rumble in the Bronx with a recap of the most-hyped game and some final notes on the weekend tournament.

BRONX, N.Y. -- The matchup Saturday pitted the nation's top sophomore, Sebastian Telfair, against one of the elite freshman in the nation – Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben.

Telfair, as usual, was up to the challenge – and the primary beneficiary early on was his Juice All-Stars teammate, Chris Taft.

The big man, who really didn't show much throughout the entire tournament, showed why he was one of the top big men in the Class of 2003 in a 10-minute span early in the game.

Taft slammed home Telfair's missed layup on the first possession of the game, and then had another dunk on the following play.

There was no doubt that Taft was much more aggressive in this game. Not only did he and Telfair take control of the game early, but Taft displayed a side of his game rarely seen: a fiery attitude.

The usually mild-mannered Xaverian High (N.Y.) product yelled after each of his dunks to begin the game and then gave Albany City Rocks senior Rashaun Freeman, who is headed to UMass this season, an earful after converting a three-point play.

"AND ONE," yelled Taft.

But Taft didn't just showcase his skills with dunks. He was also extremely active on the offensive glass in the first half and made the most of his opportunities around the basket, hitting a few nifty jumpers in the paint.

His best move of the tournament was probably when he put the ball on the floor and drove from the right side, taking the ball over Freeman for the bucket.

Taft finished with 17 points seven rebounds (four offensive) and three blocks, but then with the Juice All-Stars pounding the Rocks, he seemed to disappear.

That was definitely not the case with Telfair, who not only showed that he is arguably the top sophomore in the class – but also that Mayben is probably not the top freshman in the nation – as Clark Francis has already unfairly dubbed him.

Telfair was 8-for-14 from the field, for 21 points and four assists -- in the first half. He finished with 33 points (13-for-20), seven assists and only two turnovers. But this was as one-sided a matchup as seen in a while. Mayben wasn't aggressive against a zone and took just three shots the entire game – finishing with three points and one assist.

Notes: Eliiah "Karron" Clarke, who is being recruited by the likes of Cincinnati, UConn, Pittsburgh and others, did not score in the game against Albany City. … The Tallahassee Wildcats were loaded – and were still without Cornelius Ingram, who was at the University of Florida football camp. … Although Matt Doherty watched Eustis High (Fla.) 6-9, 260-pound Wesley Green in Houston, it doesn't appear that the staff was enamored with him. Green said UNC isn't active and that he is leaning towards attending either Wake Forest or FSU. He's huge and needs to improve his conditioning, but he's got good genes. His father, Kenny, was a former first-round draft pick in 1985. … Charlie Villanueva didn't play for the Long Island Panthers because of other commitments.

Biggest Surprise of the Camp: Tallahassee Wildcats forward Renaldo Balkman

Biggest Disappointment: Tim Thomas Playaz overall and, in particular, former UNC recruit Darryl Watkins

Most Underrated: Arlington Country Day (Fla.) point guard T.J. Bannister

Mr. Consistency: New York Ravens swingman Louis McCroskey


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