Rivals.com was parked in the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina on Friday night for the start of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. Chase Budinger, Wayne Ellington, and Julian Vaughn were among the big time performers in the first set of games at the TOC. Check here for highlights from the Smith Center and scores and stats from the other gyms.
Dean E. Smith Center results
Southern Cal All-Stars 76 Alabama Challenge 55 6-foot-7 rising senior forward Chase Budinger was a dominating force for Southern Cal, scoring 34 points on a variety of baseline drives, perimeter shots, and transition dunks, in leading them to a 76-55 win over the Alabama Challenge. 6-foot-7 rising junior forward Taylor King added 15 points in the victory, going 2-3 from beyond the arc. For Alabama, 6-foot-7 PF Roland Fitch had 17 points and 6-foot-4 2G Jamar Sanders added 16 in the loss.
New Orleans Jazz 63 Connecticut Basketball Club 52 Future St. John's PG Doug Wiggins won the battle, but the New Orleans Jazz won the game, as they turned a tight contest at the half into an easy victory down the the stretch on Friday night. Wiggins had 18 points and got to the basket at will against the Jazz' star PG D.J. Augustin, who finished with a quiet 5 points. However 6-foot-5 G/F Dinero Thomas was on fire from the perimeter in the 2nd half, and that proved to be the difference in the game. Thomas finished with 18 points to lead New Orleans. 6-foot-4 rising junior 2G Lacedarrius Duan added 12 points, and 6-foot-3 Lamar Falley[d/b] had 10 in the win. 6-foot-7 PF Matt Hill had 16 points in the loss for Connecticut.
Playaz 76 Inner Strength 42 Future North Carolina Tar Heel [db]Wayne Ellington scored 18 points to lead a balanced Playaz attack in their 76-42 blowout win over Inner Strength (GA). 6-foot-5 G/F Gerald Henderson, a recent Duke recruit, added 16 points, 6-foot-6 rising junior Corey Stokes had 12, and 6-foot-9 PG/F Earl Clark chipped in 11 in the win. 6-foot-7 rising senior PF Jonathan Belt had 13 points to lead Inner Strength.
DC Assault 67 Grassroots Canada 47 DC Assault's young and talented group were simply too much for an equally young, but less deep, less talented Grasroots Canada squad. 6-foot-5 rising junior guard Austin Freeman led tthe way for Assault, scoring 19 points in a 67-47 win. Promising rising junior big man Julian Vaughn added 18 points, and 6-foot-8 rising junior Jamar Samuels had 10 in the win. Superb 6-foot rising freshman PG Junior Cadougan had 19 points to lead Grassroots and 6-foot-7 rising sophomore forward Olu Asholu added 8 in the loss.
Team Angels 70 D-One Sports 62 6-foot-8 Joseph Watkins and 6-foot-7 Jeremy Williams each scored 17 points to lead Team Angels from Tennessee/Arkansas to a 70-62 win over D-One Sports from North Carolina. Impressive 6-foot-7 rising junior forward Ravern Johnson added 13 points for the Angels. 6-foot-7 forward Marshall Moses scored 19 points for D-One to lead all scorers. 6-foot PG Tyree Graham had 12 points,and 6-foot-6 rising senior Eric Wallace had a quiet 8 points in the loss.
NY Panthers 88 Richmond Metro 26 Another future Tar Heel, 6-foot-5 G/F Danny Green scored 18 points to lead the NY Panthers to a blowout win of epic proportions over Richmond Metro, 88-26. Rising freshman 2G Lance Stephenson added 14 points and a slimmed down Derrick Caracter had 10 in the win.
Spiece Indy Heat 80 Middlesex Magic 42 7-foot center Greg Oden, the nation's #1 prospect, had 14 points in limited minutes. Rising junior guard Eric Gordon added 12 and Daequan Cook had 11 points.. Rising senior PG Mike Conley had 7 points.
D-1 Greyhounds 84 NY Ravens 32 6-foot rising senior PG Deonte Vaughn from Harmony HS in Cincinnati scored 23 points to lead the D-1 Greyhounds to a dominating 84-42 win over the NY Ravens. 6-foot-2 rising senior guard Heath White added 16, and rising juniors, Bill Walker and O.J. Mayo, had 14 and 10 points respectively in the win. 6-foot-4 guard Herb Tanner had 9 points for the Ravens in a loss.
Other 17u Scores
Southeast Elite 107 - Tyler Smith 24, Demetrius Jemison 15, Xavier Keeling 13 NY Elite 94
H-Squad 90 - Danny Williams 22, Davon Jefferson 22, Sekotoure Henry 20 L.I. Lightning 69 - Corey Fisher 16, Tyrone Nash 13, Terrell Holloway 11
NE Playaz 67 Team Breakdown 63
NC Gaters 60 Wisconsin PG Warriors 46
Philly MJC 74 - Reggie Redding 17, Tyrone Lewis 14, Dan Geriot 15, Arkansas Hawks 63 - Soloman Bozeman 19
Chase Budinger doesn't pass the basketball "look test" with his poofy blond curls. However, as several Alabama Challenge players learned tonight, if you give him a sliver of daylight he'll explode past you and dunk the ball with authority. Budinger has had an outstanding spring, and just keeps getting better as an overall basketball player. He told us that he's taking an official visit to UCLA in early June, then following up with a trip to Arizona the next weekend. He said that USC would get an unofficial visit as well, but it hasn't yet been scheduled. Those are his final three schools.
D.J. Augustin is down to Texas, Wake Fores, and LSU. He has a June visit scheduled with Texas, and is in the process of setting up a trip with Wake. He's looking at an end of summer decision.
Dinero Thomas told us that Illinois, Georgia Tech, Texas, Florida, Purdue, Providence, St. Joseph's, and Kentucky are recruiting him, but waiting to see how he does on the SAT. He stated that his dream school is Syracuse.
Derrick Caracter has slimmed down from 300-plus pounds down to a svelte 275. He said that he's trying to get down to 265, but the chiseled new look Caracter already appears to be in the best shape of his life. He said that he has a final four list of Villanova, Memphis, Louisville, and Virginia.
Corey Stokes lists Connecticut, Villanova, Rutgers, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Duke. He will take an unofficial visit to Rutgers in two weeks, and is in the process of setting up a visit to Seton Hall. He said that his two favorites are Connecticut and North Carolina.
Luis Guzman has offers from Florida State, DePaul, Villanova, Seton Hall, and St. Joseph's. Clemson is also very interested. He'll take his visits in the fall.