July Live Period: Part 2
Texas teams dominate the second wave of July tournaments
In the last two weeks, Five-Star has traveled to three time zones, four states and six hard-fought tournaments as the July Live Period came to a thrilling conclusion. In the end, Texas took home half of the championships, highlighted by Texas D1 Ambassadors’ shocking upset over No. 25 Houston Hoops at Las Vegas Live.
Here’s a look back at the best teams, players and performances of the second half of the July Live Period.
Super Showcase: Orlando, F.L.
With some of the best teams in the country on hand, the big question surrounding this tournament was if anyone had what it took to take down Nerlens Noel and No. 1 BABC. After an early hiccup against the Ohio Shooting Stars, the team from Massachusetts looked unbeatable, dismantling No. 6 Georgia Stars along the way. But in the championship game, the Harrison twins (Andrew and Aaron) and the No. 8 Houston Defenders shocked Orlando in front of a national T.V. audience, upsetting BABC, 55-45.
Alex Mitola (Hoop Heaven Elite): It took 44 minutes, but Mitola dropped 29 points on No. 2 Memphis YOMCA to lift his unranked squad to a stunning triple-overtime quarterfinal victory. The 5-11 guard has committed to Dartmouth, and it looks like the Ivy League will have its hands full defending his deadly jumper.
Georges Niang (BABC): By now we are all familiar with the talented BABC roster, and Niang showed us why. He was a consistent presence in Orlando, leading his team with 18-point, 29-point and 30-point performances. He also poured on a team-high 18 in their championship game loss.
Houston Defenders: You have to give credit to the team that won the whole thing. The Defenders took care of business in pool play, taking down No. 23 Nike Baltimore Elite, Wisconsin Playground Elite and Fairfax Stars. After two wins against over-matched competition in tournament play, the Defenders beat No. 5 Team Takeover and BABC, the two most recent teams to hold the nation’s top ranking.
CIA Bounce (16U):
No. 2 CIA Bounce beat No. 5 Garner Road, 66-55 in a clash of 16U titans in the championship game. 2014 SF Andrew Wiggins scored a team-high 28 points in the title game and left the crowd in awe with some rim-rattling dunks.
Adidas Super 64: Las Vegas, N.V.
The best 17U and 16U Adidas teams from across the country met up in Las Vegas for the biggest Adidas tournament of the summer. The tournament provided plenty of surprises, as some top teams tumbled in our Five-Star Top 25 rankings, while others came out of nowhere to assert themselves among the nation’s elite. 16U No. 3 Eric Gordon All-Stars and 17U No. 4 Dream Vision were dominant, but in the end it was a pair of unranked teams who won the 17U and 16U crowns.
Marcus Smart, Texas Assault: Smart followed up his 30-point effort in the semifinals by guiding his Texas Assault squad to the 17U championship, turning in a performance for the ages in the final game as he recorded 29 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals.
Conor Frankamp, KC Pump N’ Run (16U): Frankamp not only left Vegas with a championship, he brought home MVP honors as well. Even better, Frankamp confirmed his basketball future by committing to Kansas at the end of the week.
Texas Assault (17U): The previously unranked Texas Assault exploded onto the scene as it claimed the 17U title over Dream Vision in the championship game, 93-78.
KC Pump N’ Run: This Kansas crew. another unranked team at the time, knocked off the Eric Gordon All-Stars 58-49. Fueled by MVP Frankamp, KC Pump N’ Run played their best ball when it mattered most to earn a high ranking in our Top 25.
Fab 48: Las Vegas, N.V.
Vegas was a busy city for basketball in July, and the Fab 48 served as another opportunity for some elite teams to gain national exposure. The 17U bracket was headlined by the No. 3 Oakland Soldiers, No. 10 Playaz Basketball Club (N.J.), and Terry Porter Elite, but it was the No. 21 KC 76ers that took home the 'chip. For the 16Us, No. 14 Mac Irvin Fire was the favorite to win the event, but No. 10 Sports U Team IZOD spoiled this expectation by winning the event.
NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam: Milwaukee, W.I.
Several notable teams came into the tournament, but it was the then-unranked SYF Players that took home the ‘chip. The Players slipped by Dream Vision, 72-67 in the title game, behind 25 points from Mitch McGary, and have since climbed to No. 12 in the Top 25.
Dream Vision’s Shabazz Muhammad and Texas Pro’s Isaiah Austin both played well as their teams failed to realize their championship aspirations. Muhammad posted an astounding 42-and-11 double-double in the title game, while Austin scored 31 points to lead his team past Team Loaded in the quarterfinals.
Las Vegas Live: Las Vegas, N.V.
A total of 325 teams (ages 10U-17U, boys and girls) convened for a chance to win it all in Hal Pastner’s latest national tournament. Prime time players like Rasheed Sulaimon, J’Mychal Reese and L.J. Rose were on the scene. For the 17U’s, the Texas D1 Ambassadors upset Houston Hoops. In the 16U bracket, No. 25 Fluer de Lis defeated California Supreme in the championship game, winning the title and cracking our Top 25 for the first time all season.
End of Summer Classic: Reading, P.A.
The best teams on the east coast flocked to Reading this past weekend to try and finish the summer on a high note. When the final buzzer sounded late Sunday night, the New Jersey Playaz emerged with a 68-67, triple-overtime championship game win over No. 18 New Heights.
There’s no doubt that the Playaz’ Kyle Anderson, MVP of the event, was the player most coaches were watching. Zag’s Blog reported Billy Donovan (Florida), John Thompson III (Georgetown) and Kevin Willard (Seton Hall) were among the head coaches watching the Five-Star rated guard.