Top Stars of Boo (Part I)

Covering both coasts and all places inbetween, the Boo Williams Invitational this past weekend boasted a collection of many of the best girls basketball prospects in the nation. Scout.com's experts were on hand to watch games and take notes. Here are our picks for the five best players of the weekend, with scouting notes and observations.

PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON


Maya Moore of the Georgia Metros gets a block against All-Ohio
HAMPTON, Va. - The Boo Williams Summer League squad was too much for everyone as they rolled in the championship game despite the Fairfax Stars' best effort to pull off the upset. BWSL advanced to the finals of its own NCAA viewing tournament, fending off a feisty and comparatively undersized Tennessee Flight Silver team. Fairfax made it to the finals by coming back against perhaps the surprise team of the tournament, the Cal Swish.

This has become the largest of the short, spring viewing weekend tournaments, drawing coaches – and, for the most part, head coaches – from every major college program in the country. Even Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, just days removed from shoulder surgery, was there, to support prize commit, Angie Bjorklund of the Spokane Stars, as well as check out the wildly talented field.

All five HoopGurlz.com First Team All-BWI selections come from the 2007 recruiting class and all are phenomenal talents who had very good weekends in the first post high school season NCAA-certified tournament. All five have solid arguments for top 10 ranking nationally.

We will post the second through fourth all-tournament teams in the coming days.


(CLICK ON NAMES FOR PROFILES)




Stephanie Gilbreath
Stephanie Gilbreath
6-0 guard, 2007
West Coast Elite


The Lowdown: Gilbreath can be impossible to guard. She's very quick and her handle is tight. She can stop and pop and, when she does, very few defenders can bother her shot. She elevates and finishes with a nice high release. Give her an open three and chances are it's going down. Gilbreath penetrates and finishes in traffic and in key moments you can see the killer instinct in her game. Despite her height, she stays low when handling the ball and explodes into the defender. Defensively, her length and quickness allow her to play just about anywhere on the court and in any defensive scheme. She roams the middle of the West Coast Elite zone press and shows great range and a willingness to anticipate and take risks needed to make that style of defense work. When she picks off a pass, she has the tools to start and finish the break herself.





Marah Strickland
Marah Strickland
5-10 guard, 2007
Boo Williams Summer League


The Lowdown: Strickland joins a stacked Boo Williams Summer League squad and is the most exciting player on the team. From a fan's perspective she is simply fun to watch. She's got handle and shake to play against top defensive players at the next level and she can stop on a dime and raise up with a deadly pull-up jumper. Her crossovers are not just show, they are low and quick and she explodes out of the change of direction with forward movement into the defender's hips. She also showed that her BWSL teammate Kimberly Rodgers is not the only one on the squad who can come off screen and drop the three. Her quickness also is a tool on the defensive end. She has great lateral quickness to stay in front of people and the aggressiveness to attack the ball handler. BWSL would probably have won the championship without her but with her they are at least 15 points better than just about everyone.






For complete brackets go to www.boowilliamsbball.com and check back at www.HoopGurlz.com for the rest of our All-Tournament Team selections.



Chris Hansen is the National Director of Scouting for Women's Basketball at HoopGurlz.com and Scout.com. Chris leads the panel that evaluates and ranks girl's basketball prospects nationally for HoopGurlz, Scout.com and Full Court Press (www.FullCourt.com). Chris has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He can be reached at chansen@scout.com.



Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girls basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002).


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