Posted On: 12/27/17 7:20 AM
As I do every Holiday season, I will be traveling across the state of Virginia to check out some of the best holiday tournaments in different areas of the state over the next week. I started at the Scope Holiday Tournament in Norfolk, VA, featuring four games with eight teams, most of them coming from the 757 area. There wasn’t a shortage of talent at the event, so here’s 12 guys who stood out on the first day. Stay tuned for more standouts and stories from across the state over the holiday tournaments!
Rowell was lights out for Norview and was a big reason they were able to gain an early lead against Kellam and never looked back. Rowell came out of the gates hot, scoring 16 of his team high 22 points in the first half. He got hot and continued to look for his shot, and even his heat checks were going in as he finished 6-for-7 from deep. He wasn’t just a shooter however, as he provided great leadership, and he pitched in two steals and two blocks on the defensive end.
Although he’s just a freshman, Darden plays with a maturity well beyond his years. A long and wiry 6’3” guard, he’s a stat sheet stuffer that does a little bit of everything for his team. He attacks downhill with the ball in his hands. Moves well without the ball and has a good feel on both ends of the court. He finished with an impressive 12 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and two steals. The most impressive days are still to come with Darden, who is oozing potential and upside moving forward.
Hines has had a good start to the season, and he showed flashes while scoring 11 points and grabbing three rebounds with two steals in their win over Kellam. The 6’2” guard is a stocky, true two guard with great fundamentals. He plays with pace, sets his feet quickly, uses his body well to finish around the rim and he can work out of the triple threat well. With continued improvement Hahn could be a lethal 3 and D guy to keep an eye on.
An underrated name out of the 757 who should see a lot of D2 and D3 recruitment over the next two years, Talbert’s IQ and production level are really good. A three level scorer that can play on and off the ball, the 6’2” Talbert scored 12 of his team high 16 points in the second half. He’s a versatile scorer that’s a sneaky athlete, has range off the bounce and consistently takes what the defense gives him. He plays with a ton of energy on both ends of the floor, and is the perfect leader for a young group.
Maury had no problem with Ocean Lakes from tip to buzzer, and it was started by Phillips who came out aggressive on both ends of the floor. The 6’1” point guard was a menace on the ball and jumping passing lanes defensively, and he got to the cup and used his strong frame to finish at the basket at will. He finished with 32 points, while shooting 16-for-19 from the field (I’m pretty sure all but one were layups). However, he did things to help his team in other ways, pitching in 7 steals, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for a well rounded game.
Edmonds is going to be the unsung hero for this Maury group if they make a run in the postseason, because he does so many different things for them. Edmonds finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds, but also had 6 assists, three blocks and two steals. He has to play multiple positions because at 6’4” he’s one of the tallest players on Maury, but that allows him to cause mismatches with his guard skill set.
Price, who’s usually the fifth guy on Maury, was a big time scorer and playmaker as he finished with 18 points on the game shooting 7-for-12 from the field. The 5’11” guard made shots from all three levels, including making two threes, and he pitched in four rebounds and three steals, being a key part of the Commodores’ press. Having a glue guy that can be a scoring option is good for Maury, who doesn’t have a shortage of guys who can fill it up this year.
Brown has a lot of things that you love to see in a lead guard, including toughness and leadership. An athletic and crafty 5’9” guard, Brown made plays on both ends of the floor, and was a rock making plays for himself and others. He knocked down two threes in the game, got in the lane at will, pushed and found others in transition and showed the ability to finish through traffic with his strength and athleticism. He finished with 15 points, 7 assists and three steals in their win over Granby.
The perfect stretch four man, Wise can stretch the defense and he sees the floor well for a big man. He has a soft touch from deep, and from the free throw line where he went 5-for-6 on the game and helped clinch it with some free throws late. He did a lot of things to help his team, making shots from all over the floor, making good decisions and hitting the glass on both ends of the floor. He finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in their win.
The hustle man and glue guy, the 6’3” forward was a force inside when he got the ball and he ran the floor and finished like a wing. He was extremely active on both ends of the floor, always seemed to be around the ball and finished with consistency around the rim. He was the most consistent player on the floor, finishing with 16 points while shooting 7-for-9 from the field. His consistency was big time for them as a catch-and-finish post guy.
Moore’s hot shooting kept Granby in the game in the second half, as the sniper guard came off the bench and lit it up for 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from deep. He showed a quick release, effortless range and his confidence shooting it late was big as he hit three of his four deep balls in the second. He’s going to be a big spark off the bench for Granby moving forward this season.
Gibson, who finished with 24 points in a win over Cape Henry last Saturday, came out on fire hitting his first three shots in the first half. He slowed down due to fatigue, as he barely came out of the game, the 6’3” guard did a lot playing on and and off the ball, and made plays for others as he finished with 8 assists to go along with 11 points. His length also caused problems defensively, and if he continues to improve his upside is there to be really good.