Las Vegas Fab 48 Preview
Ranked teams head to Vegas
The summer is coming down to its final weeks, and teams are making one last push for a Summer National Championship. In the 17U bracket, the No. 3 Oakland Soldiers will try to make its case for the top spot by starting in Pool A. Their best competition will come from Pool B, which holds No. 6 Playaz Basketball Club and No. 16 Terry Porter Elite.
Players to Watch:
- Amile Jefferson: The Five-Star rated 6-7 180 lbs forward is looking to lead his squad Philly’s Finest to a title at the Fab 48. Jefferson is long, athletic, and can really score the ball. Look for him to give some of the top teams a lot of trouble down the stretch.
- Jabari Parker: The Five-Star rated 6-7 210 lbs forward is the key player on a very good Mac Irvin Fire squad. He is their main scorer as well as a big time leader, not to mention he is a class of 2013 player. If Mac Irvin Fire want to compete for the title, they will need big time production from Jabari Parker.
- Tyler Lewis: Five-Star player blogger, North Carolina State-commit and the next in line of storied Oak Hill Academy PG's, Lewis is the quintessential floor leader in addition to being fun to watch.
- Kyle Anderson: No one really knows what position the 6-8 220-pound star is, but one thing is for sure, he is a star. He did it all at the Peach Jam including being a leader in points, rebounds, and assists. The First Team All-EYBL performer for the Playaz makes them one of the favorites to take home the title.
- Jahlil Okafor: It’s very simple- if you love basketball, watch this kid play. “Kid” probably isn’t the right word to describe this 6-10, 260-pound behemoth, but at the end of the day he’s still one of the younger guys in the tournament. Not only does Okafor have a size advantage over most players in the 16U division, he possesses a skill set way beyond his years. He has an incredibly soft touch around the basket, moves well for a man his size, and is an incredibly poised young man. Be sure to watch Okafor play, he never disappoints.
Top 5 Head-to-Head Player Matchups:
- Tyree Robinson (Oakland Soldiers) vs. Isaiah Whitehead (Juice All-Stars): Sat 7/23, 11:45 AM
- Brandon Ashley/Aaron Gordon (Oakland Soldiers) vs. Grant Jarrett (Belmont Shore): Sat 7/23, 6:00 PM
- Kyle Anderson (NJ Playaz) vs. Amile Jefferson (Philly's Finest): Sat 7/23, 4:45 PM
- Deonte Burton (Terry Porter Elite) vs. Ishmail Wainwright (KC 76ers): Sat 7/23, 8:30 PM
- Jabari Parker (Mac Irvin Fire) vs. Kuran Iverson (L.I. Lightning): Sat 7/23, 2:15 PM
Teams to Watch:
- Oakland Soldiers (17U): Our number three team in the nation is in Vegas looking to take home the Fab 48 title. The Soldiers are coming off a strong Peach Jam performance in which they made a run deep into the playoffs, only losing to the champions, BABC. The Five-Star rated trio of Brandon Ashley, Tyree Robinson, and Aaron Gordon will be tough to stop at the Fab 48.
- Mac Irvin Fire (17U): Our number eight team in our most recent Five Star Top 25 rankings will be a team to watch during the Fab 48. After a strong showing at Peach Jam in which they knocked off two top-15 squads. They will be strong competitors to take home the title.
- Terry Porter Elite (17U): Our number 16 team is coming off a loss in the playoffs in the Summer Jam. On the back of forward Deonte Burton they look to claim the title in Vegas at the Fab 48.
- Juice All-Stars (17U): On the back of their star guard Isaiah Whitehead, they look to make some noise against the nation's top competition. Look for them to be a big time sleeper in this tournament.
- New Jersey Playaz: The new number six ranked team in the country is one of the favorites going into the Fab 48. On the back of star player Kyle Anderson, they will be a tough team to beat.
- Mac Irvin Fire (16U): The Mac Irvin Fire, currently ranked 10th in our Top 25, are looking to make a big push in Vegas. The Fire are a high caliber team, with a solid mix of size, athleticism, and skill at all positions. With their beastly big man and Five-Star Basketball Blogger Jahlil Okafor down low, there is no question that they are heavily favored to take home the title in Vegas.
- Seattle Rotary (16U): Currently ranked 20th in our Top 25, The Seattle Rotary are an up-and-coming force on the summer circuit. Without a doubt, the Rotary are poised to make a deep run at the Fab 48 and I expect that somewhere down the line they will face the aforementioned Mac Irvin Fire in what will be possibly the most exciting matchup of the entire tournament.
The 17U and 16U tournaments will follow the same format. The fields of 48 teams each will be broken into 12 four-team pools, with each team playing one game against the other three teams in its pool. Those games will be played on Friday and Saturday.
Four of the 12 pools will contain the top 16 teams in the tournament, determined by the Fab 48. All 16 of those teams will move on to the 32-team single-elimination tournament on Sunday and Monday. The 16U championship will be played Monday evening at 5:15 with the 17U championship game later that night at 7:45. Both will be played at Bishop Gorman High School.