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May 31, 2010

Champions crowned at TOC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions came to a close on Sunday, and during the process the second breakout star of the summer was completely uncovered. First Anthony Davis came out of nowhere from Chicago, and now it is Ryan Arcidiancono from the greater Philadelphia area who has emerged in a huge way.

Arch is on the mark

Coming into the weekend Ryan Arcidiancono wasn't exactly a household name even in the most loyal recruiting circles. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania native hadn't been seen much on a national level, but now he is primed to become one of the absolutely premier players in the 2012 class.

The first thing that stands out about Arcidiancono is size for the position. At 6-foot-4 he is bigger than most of the players guarding him, and he is able to use that to his advantage. Arcidiancono showed an ability to get into the lane and finish over interior players using a floater combined with his good size. Then on the perimeter Arcidiancono has a super quick release and with his height his pull-up jumper is nearly impossible to defend.

Against Indiana Elite, the Pennsylvania Playaz were overmatched in the paint, but Arcidiancono was single handedly keeping his team in the game. Arcidiancono went for a total of 32 points and did it in super impressive fashion. He hit pull-up 25 footers, scored close to the rim off the bounce, and then hit in the mid-range. Beyond the scoring Arcidiancono is a solid defender who uses his athleticism and long arms to keep offensive players in front of him.

On top of that, Arcidiancono is a complete player on the offensive end. He looks to set up teammates and has excellent court vision. Right now his team's best chance to win against high level competition is if Arcidiancono is scoring, and he knows this, but when it is time to get the others involved he does an excellent job of it.

Overall there isn't much at all not to like of his game. He was firing on all cylinders all weekend long, and though his Playaz team lost to Indiana Elite, Arcidiancono simply proved that he belonged in the discussion as one of the best floor generals in the 2012 class.

Champions Crowned

At the beginning of the tournament not many people would have picked the Long Island Lightning to come home with the 17-and under championship, but that is exactly what happened. The Lightning did it with good talent, but more than anything it was toughness, intensity, and teamwork that got it done for them.

Led by point guard Kareem Canty and scoring guard Derrick Gordon, the Lightning flat out got things done. Canty is a combo guard who has good court vision and can really score off the dribble. Gordon, who was the MVP, is just an excellent player. He has a strong frame and is capable of shooting it from the outside as well as getting to the rim. He played very well all weekend long, and Gordon had over 20 points to lead the way in the championship.

Along with those two in the backcourt, the Lightning got big production from Kuran Iverson and Kamari Murphy. Iverson is just flat out special. The 6-foot-8 forward can shoot it from deep, handled the ball like a guard, and is a very good athlete. The upside on him is absolutely through the roof, and he showed it on the way to the title. Murphy is an excellent athlete who is active. He hit from the mid-range and was a factor blocking shots and rebounding. Overall it was an excellent performance from Murphy giving the Lightning some inside-outside balance.

In the 16-and under division it was the Atlanta Celtics that came away victorious. The Celtics were without Jordan Price, but Jordan Adams and Shaquille Goodwin did damage all weekend long. Adams is stuck in-between positions right now at the shooting guard and small forward, but he can really score. He paced the Celtics with his ability to put the ball in the hoop using his basketball IQ and general crafty play. Goodwin is just an active and athletic power forward who is a beast. The Celtics always seem to a have a player in that mold, and Goodwin is a taller version of former Celtic standout Terrance Shannon. Goodwin can really rebound, and just knows how to finish with explosion and strength. Those two were the main reasons why the Celtics nipped CP3 in the 16-and under finals.

At the 15-and under level it was Team United out of Charlotte that came away with the win, and there were two big reasons why. True center Kennedy Meeks and guard Sanderius Thornwell were both enormous in the win. Meeks is just a great looking prospect long term. Right now he is about 6-foot-8 and he needs to get into better shape, but at about 250-pounds, Meeks has the tools. He showed the ability to shoot out to three point range, has catcher's mitts for hands, rebounds out of his area, and plays hard every possession. Thornwell is an athletic wing who can really handle the ball. His overall skill level needs work, but as evidenced by his MVP performance his combination of size and athleticism isn't seen often at the 15-and under level.

Other notable performances

One player who just continues to improve is Frank Kaminsky. The Illinois Wolves center is growing into his body and gets better every time out on the floor. He is now showing range beyond the three point line, and his rebounding continues to improve. As he gets stronger he will continue to gain notoriety. There is no doubt he will have his pick of high-major schools before it is all said and done.

Though he struggled in an afternoon loss to the Long Island Lightning, Tracy Abrams was excellent in a morning win for the Illinois Wolves. Abrams had it working in a variety of ways. He was hitting shots from the outside, and used his strength to really give Tyler Lewis problems when going to the rim. On top of that Abrams is a definite competitor who is more than willing to defend.

During an absolute dismantling of the Atlanta Celtics, Jordan Tebbutt was a monster for Pump 'N Run Elite. The small forward from Oregon was too big for the Celtic guards and too quick for the forwards. He is a physical specimen who scores inside and out, and Tebbutt had over 20 making the Celtics look very bad in the process.

Helping out Tebbutt was athletic wing Amir Garrett. Garrett is a small forward who isn't the most skilled, but he is very long, is a good athlete, and plays every possession like it is his last. He made play after play for Pump 'N Run. He hit the glass, gave energy, and just set the tone for Pump 'N Run as they cruised to a 30 point win.

Class of 2013 small forward Deonte Burton is no doubt an athletic freak. He is a terror when in transition where he can use his strength and explosive athleticism, but in a championship loss to Long Island Lightning some of the flaws were exposed. He isn't much of a threat outside of 15 feet, and at 6-foot-5 that is an issue. Still Burton can get buckets because of how athletic he is, and he does play hard, but the skill set on the outside is going to have to come along.

Power forward Darnell Harris has some tools to work with. He is 6-foot-7 and can really shoot the ball from deep. Harris hit several threes and overall was a solid looking prospect, but he isn't a good rebounder for his position and isn't an above the rim guy. Still his ability to pick and pop makes him a matchup problem for defenses.

In Indiana Elite's game against the Pennsylvania Playaz, Arcidiancono opened up the most eyes, but don't discount what D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera did for the winning team. Smith-Rivera battled foul trouble in the first half, but scored 16 in the second half and seemingly was able to score at will. His strength and feel for the game are uncanny, and that allows him to finish in ways around the rim that not many guards can. Also Smith-Rivera's deep jumper is looking much improved.

In a big win for the Memphis Magic Select, Andre Hollins had it working. The shooting guard has a lightning quick release on his sweet three point jumper, but he is more than just a shooter. Hollins can score it some off the bounce and is a very intense defender. On top of that he is a solid passer and someone who simply knows his role. Overall in the win Hollins was clearly one of the best players on the floor.

The state of North Carolina is loaded with a lot of young talent, and Anton Gill is one of the best around. He is a smooth shooting guard who right now is excellent going to the rim. Gill is capable of finishing with either hand off the drive, and is a solid shooter from deep. As a 2013 prospect he definitely impressed.

School Lists

Ryan Arcidiancono has offers from St. Joe's, Rutgers, and Rice. He is also hearing from Wake Forest, Penn State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Temple.

Shaquille Goodwin says he has interest from Miami, Florida State, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Along with being a good player, Andre Hollins is an excellent student. His school lists consisting of offers from Stanford, Harvard, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Penn, and Memphis speaks to that commitment in the classroom.

Early on Kennedy Meeks has heard from South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, and Florida State.

Sanderius Thornwell mentioned Ohio State, South Carolina, Clemson, East Carolina, Arkansas, and Charlotte.

Frank Kaminsky has offers from DePaul, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and Northwestern. He is also hearing from Xavier, Indiana, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio, Southern Illinois, Cal, and Oregon State.


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