Sunday started out in disappointing fashion for the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston as they laid an egg in their bracket game, losing 50-40 to the California Future. After closing the gap to a 2 point game, texas D1 coiuld not finish around the rim missing countless layups. Going 0-7 from the free throw line when it was a two point game with 4 minutes left sealed their fate. Nobody reached double figures, with Houston Yates 2012 F Maurice Letcher-Ellis leading the team with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 blocks.
The good news is that I was freed up to watch the championship bracket play of the this top class event. Along the way, several of the favorites tumbled. In addition to the Texas D1 Ambassadors, Belmont Shore (CA) didn’t even make bracket play and the highly touted Compton Magic lost the championship game. The top performers that I observed over the weekend in no particular order were:
2012 Alex Caruso Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston (TX)
Caruso stubbed his toe in his last bracket game but continues to grow his national pub with his all around play. At almost 6’6″ he can run the 1, 2 or 3.
2012 Gabe York Compton Magic (CA)
Smooth, scoring machine. York is a big time player who can get to the rim at will, and when there rise above it. He’s got deep range and will be a high major star/pro down the road.
2013 Cullen Neal Danny Granger Hurricanes (NM)
The son of New Mexico Coach Craig “Noodles” Neal is on his way to a national rep. Just a baby, but he understands the game, competes hard, can shoot it from anywhere on the floor and makes team mates better.
2013 Jeremiah April Compton Magic
The young big (6’10”) has his coming out party and oozes potential at the highest level.
2012 Jimmy Elder-Chapman San Diego Warriors (CA)
An unfortunate concussion in the semi final landed Chapman in the hospital, missing his San Diego Warriors overtime win over Compton Magic 48-46. That’s the only thing which stopped the 6’7″ Chapman all weekend as he scored inside and out.
Big props to his team mates who came into the event unheralded. They suffered another injury in addition to Chapman’s and played the championship game with no subs and not a single player over 6 foot to down the huge Compton squad.