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Posted On: 07/26/18 5:50 PM
What do you hope for when you hear that two of the best in anything are coming to compete against each other? Well you hope for something legendary, and if that’s not what we got Wednesday night right before 10PM at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas I’m not quite sure what to call it.
The Adidas Gauntlet Champion Compton Magic met up with the EYBL Peach Jam Champion Team Takeover in front of a packed house of fans and high major coaches to simply compete in the Fab 48 Tip-off Classic for nothing more than bragging rights. It played out like a heavyweight title bout as both teams kept throwing haymakers and both teams kept fighting.
It was back-and-forth all game, and I mean all game. They both came out aggressive, but Takeover was a little better early as they took a 37-34 lead into the half. However that didn’t last long, as the Magic continued to play to their strengths and grind it out with Takeover, two of the biggest teams in the country.
The Magic were up two with just under three minutes remaining, and things never truly separated after that. Takeover was able to tie it up at 69 and had a chance to win with six seconds left, but weren’t able to convert and the teams went to overtime, just as we had hoped.
In overtime, the Magic scored the first five points and never gave up their lead despite the best of efforts from the whole Takeover crew. Compton ended up holding on to defeat TTO 81-79 in the extra period, but it was seriously one of the best games I watched all summer.
Take a look at these highlights from Capitol Hoops of the game, and be sure to take a look at my in depth breakdown of some of the best performances of the game.
MVP: Evan Mobley | 6’11” C | Compton Magic
Mobley is firmly in the conversation for the best overall prospect in the 2020 class, and after that performance against other top big men in the country, it’s hard to argue that. At 6’11”, Mobley has terrific size and length to play in the post, and he’s also a high level athlete at that size which is ridiculous. He dominated with the ball in his hands showing his budding skill set, and the toughness and IQ that he plays with is something you can’t teach. We’ll have more on him here shortly, just know that the scary thing about Mobley is that he has a ton of room to continue to grow both physically and from a basketball standpoint. That’s just scary!
Play of the Game
It ended up not making the difference, but with the time and situation there was a sequence where 2019 Armando Bacot came up big not once, but twice in overtime. With less than a minute left and Takeover trailing by 4, Bacot corralled an offensive rebound and finished the and one after getting hammered, and he hit the free throw to bring the deficit to one. On the next play, the Magic break the press and have a 3-on-1, but Bacot came up with a huge block on what should have been an easy lay-up to put the game away.
Best Offensive Performer: Evan Mobley | 6’11” C | Compton Magic
So despite being one of the younger guys on the floor and playing against one of the best teams in the country, Mobley came in early to make an impact and didn’t slow up all game. He showed his ability to work off the ball, score in face up and back to the basket situations in the post and showed the midrange jumper. He did a little bit of everything, but they needed every bit of his 24 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist performance to hold of Takeover.
Best Defensive Performer: Onyeka Okongwu | 6’8” PF | Compton Magic
All the talk was about how the Mobley brothers would match up with the size of Takeover, but it was Okungwa that did much of the dirty work to help slow down the talented front court. He challenged shots throughout the game, he dominated the glass from the get-go and was also a big time offensive threat posting a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. The USC commit also had at least four blocks and affected many more shots with his motor and athleticism.
Best Intangibles: Isaiah Mobley | 6’9” WF | Compton Magic
The older brother of Evan and another USC commit with the Magic, Mobley didn’t put up crazy numbers, but they are impressive and he did so much that helped his team on the way to victory. At 6’9”, Isaiah is a legitimate wing that can dribble, shoot and pass and he is a walking mismatch because he can take out slower bigs and post up smaller wings, but he’s able to guard all of those positions as well. He played both on and off the basketball, and finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while being the leader of the group.
Best Guy off the Bench: Casey Morsell | 6’4” WG | Team Takeover
There was surprisingly little bench production considering these two teams, especially Takeover, are as deep as they come in AAU. Still, Morsell provided a spark on both ends when he was in the game. He hit a three early in the first half, he finished a few takes in transition and he defended on the ball and in the press well. It shows how wildly talented these two teams are when Morsell is a UVA commit for next year and he’s their sixth man.
Best Underclassman: Jeremy Roach | 6’0” PG | Team Takeover
While Mobley would likely win this, he was named MVP and Roach was phenomenal in a number of ways for Takeover throughout the game. A consensus top 20 player in the class, Roach was in attack mode all game and continuously put pressure on the Magic defense. He showed his athletic and creative abilities to finish in traffic over bigger players, he knocked down shots and was a dog defensively and helped his team on the glass throughout the game. He finished with a team high 20 points, and pitched in four rebounds and three steals.
Best Shooter: Jonathan Juzang | 6’5” WG | Compton Magic
The big men for the Magic were the talk of the game, but the difference maker was Juzang who made shots and stretched the floor, giving his bigs plenty of room to operate. A 6’5” wing who is a rising junior playing up, Juzang showed good form, great confidence and range and was consistent from deep. He finished with 20 points, going 4-for-6 from deep on the game.
Best Post Technician: Armando Bacot | 6’9’ PF | Team Takeover
After fellow big man Hunter Dickinson went down with an apparent leg injury, Bacot was forced to step up and battle all three of the bigs for the Magic, all while remaining a primary option for his team offensively. He did just that, showing the entire array of back to the basket moves, finishes with both hands, jump hooks, follow ups and the midrange game. He battled on the glass all night as well, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Best Aspect of the Environment: The ENTIRE Environment
There’s talk about changing the grassroots scene, and there was a lot of media that stood up during Peach Jam two weeks ago pleading that the NCAA doesn’t take that event. I wasn’t at Peach Jam, but this game made me feel that same way.
It was one of the best environments for any AAU basketball game that I’ve watched since I started doing this five years ago. It was standing room only for coaches and fans, there were double digit high major prospects on the floor at the same time, there was a buzz about the gym and you had the best two teams in the country meet together despite being different shoe company teams and already winning their respective championship just for good old fashion competition!
I want to thank everyone involved from the Compton Magic, Team Takeover and Fab 48 for putting this game on, because it didn’t just live up to the hype, it surpassed it by far.