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May 31, 2006

Top performers at the TOC

It comes as no surprise that two of the top performers at the Tournament of Champions came from the SoCal All-Stars, as that team that dominated the field at the event. Recruiting analyst Justin Young was there for all the action and takes a look at the top five.

Here are the top performers at the TOC that Young saw with a breakdown of each.

Brandon Jennings, Los Angeles Dominguez
Position: Point guard
Height: 6-foot-0
AAU Team: SoCal All-Stars
Just a rising junior, the southpaw floor general plays like a prospect that is in the homestretch of his prep career. He mixes speed with athleticism and pin point passing. At times, the soon to be five-star prospect just toyed with the opposition as he knifed through nearly every defense that came at him.

He has an amazing sense of where he is, his teammates are and where defenses are going to be. Jennings makes precision decisions with the ball. Dropping seven assists a game was par for the course and he averaged 18.2 points a game.

His teammate Kevin Love may have been the official MVP of the Tournament of Champions but our pick for the best player in the event was Jennings. He was the steady force for SCA all weekend long in every aspect of the game.
Click here for video of Jennings in action

Kevin Love, Lake Oswego (Ore.)
Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-9
AAU Team: SoCal All-Stars
His legend status grows every time the Pacific Northwestern steps onto the hardwood. Winning events like the Tournament of Champions twice, the Kingwood Classic twice and a state championship all in a shade over a year's time certainly helps build the excitement. Love was named tournament MVP after winning the TOC.

Playing in front of a strong pro-North Carolina crowd, the Tar Heel target was nothing short of spectacular. Often times the beneficiary of brilliant passes from Jennings, Love knew what to do with the ball around the basket. The big man averaged 18.3 points, showing off his skills inside, outside and even on the bench as a leader.

Basketball hasn't seen a passer like Love in some time. His up the floor vision is uncanny and usually translates into four assists to transition buckets a game. The big fella can hit a man 50 feet down the floor in perfect motion or finding a slashing teammate in the half court. Point guards and quarterbacks don't have the vision that Love possesses.
Click here for video of Love in action

Eric Gordon, Indianapolis North Central
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-3
AAU Team: Indiana Elite
As the number one shooting guard in the country, it should come as no surprise to the things Gordon does. The future Illinois guard had one of the most impressive single game performances in the tournament, dropping 49 points on the Atlanta Celtics. Over five games, Gordon poured in 29.4 points a game and led the event in scoring.

The numbers tell the story of what Gordon can do. The Indiana native can score on every spot on the floor. He showed off all of the facets of his game at the TOC. Gordon rained threes, put it on the floor and got to the foul line with ease.

Perhaps the most impressive Gordon showed over the weekend was his attention to rebounding. He worked the glass and gave his teammates more opportunities in the offense. His attention to the little things was a key reason to Indiana Elite's run deep into the playoffs.
Click here for video of Gordon in action

Al-Farouq Aminu, Norcross (Ga.)
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-8
AAU Team: Georgia Stars
Missing the varsity season must have done something to his mental state because the 6-foot-8 rising junior has used the spring session as proving ground on the AAU circuit. Playing on the 16 and under circuit this year, the Tournament of Champions was his national coming out party.

Aminu is a do-everything forward that plays hard from tip to the final buzzer. He can go inside, outside and from the foul line. Athletically, Aminu runs like a guard but still pushes people around down low. His engine just ran out of gas in the championship game.

He averaged 19.2 points a game and led all prospects in the 16 and under division in field goals made. For a player that just turned 15-years-old, it is scary to think about what lies ahead for him.

Demetri McCamey, Chicago (Ill.) St. Joseph's
Position: Point guard
Height: 6-foot-3
AAU Team: Illinois Wolves
Make no mistake about it, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect is a point guard. He certainly proved that over the weekend at the Tournament of Champions. The class of 2007 guard powered through defenses and collapsed teams around him, allowing the numerous shooters to spot up and knock down the open jumpers.

McCamey is incredibly unselfish and loves to share the rock. He can manage a team in a half court, showing off his patience for the right moment but he can also get out and run the break.

Physically, he looks like a middle linebacker running the offense. Players at this level aren't brave enough to step in front of him to try and stop McCamey from getting into the lane on offense. Once his perimeter game is refined, watch out.

TOC Stats:

Eric Gordon Indiana Elite 39 14 27 35 77.10% 147 5 29.4 1
Kevin Love Southern California 41 3 18 25 72.00% 109 6 18.2 35
Brandon Jennings Southern California 36 7 16 18 88.90% 109 6 18.2 35
Demetri McCamey Illinois Wolves 19 0 11 13 84.60% 49 3 16.3 53
Al-Farouq Aminu Georgia Stars 42 2 25 39 64.10% 115 6 19.2 24



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