Derrick Gordon, SG, LI Lightning: The Hilltoppers added a wing that should be an all-conference style player in the Sun Belt. Gordon’s game has improved each season and as the squad’s primary perimeter weapon he delivered the goods from mid-range and polished off drives. A strong weekend culminated when he hoisted both the championship and MVP trophies.
Kareem Canty, PG, LI Lightning: Easily could have shared the MVP honors with Gordon. Canty’s going to turn himself into a mid-major priority (at least) if he can replicate this effort. On a day when teams looked gassed, this kid never had to dip into his reserve energy tanks. He pushed the tempo, took and made good shots and set the tone. He got a lot done inside the arc with his jumper and never settled. Finding guys who play with this energy and toughness is no easy task. He needs to be seen in July.
Jermaine Sanders, SG, New Heights: He’s the main offensive threat for his club. Sanders is a guy wired up to score and he trusts his jumper. The next step is improving his ball handling and tightening up his selection.
Ryan Arcidiancono, PG, PA Playaz: One viewing wasn’t enough so we took in the encore on Sunday. The fact that “Arch” had an outmanned team playing on something is something that shouldn’t be minimized. He’s gone from not being on our board to putting himself in the conversation as one of the top PGs in 2012. The size, smarts, slick handle, winning background and high-major perimeter game were impressive each time out. Playing with stitches above his eye only added to the toughness quotient. Could he be a young Steve Blake?
Hanner Perea, PF, Ind. Elite 16s: From close range and at the rim, he’s one of the best we’ve seen. Parea’s a big athlete who gets off the ground quickly and utilizing explosion and leaping ability to make himself a force at the rim. It’s a very short list of guys who can impact in the lane the way he does.
D'vantes Smith-Rivera, G, Ind. Elite 16s: The MVP of the select division earned his hardware with a diverse showing. He’s improved his body and is now a strong combo guard. Yes, he can score but we didn’t quite understand how smart and strong his game is. From contested drives to taking advantage of matchups by posting up, DSR found ways to utilize his strength.
Alex Murphy, SF, NE Playaz: He’s made strides each season and this one is no different. Murphy doesn’t mind contact in the lane and he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there and mix it up. His skill set and smarts are assets. If he gets more explosive in the lane he’ll make another jump.
William Goodwin, PF, ATL Celtics: He’s going to be a good one and after beating CP3 in the title game, he walked out of the Smith Center with the MVP hardware. Goodwin is a triple threat post player. He’s excellent at catching just off the block or in the mid-post and attacking. Alongside wing Jordan Adams, this duo is going to win a lot of events. Adams was cast as the point man for the Celtics and his offensive diversity was on display.
Kennedy Meeks, C, Team United: For a guy who played sparingly on an outstanding high school team as a freshman, Meeks is making up for lost time. Since the Carolina Challenge, he’s hit the ground running and on Sunday had a big crowd to host another coming of age party. Meeks is nimble, has soft mitts and is putting himself in position to be Charlotte’s top post player since Jason Parker earlier in the decade. If he stays hungry, continues to develop his scoring skills and remains grounded (he’s got a super attitude), then we’re talking about a national level true center prospect.
Kuran Iverson, SF, LI Lightning: During the 17s championship run he was moved up from the 15s and played spot minutes. Just to see his size and overall skill level when matched up with the older guys merely confirmed our thoughts from the day before. In one set he came off a screen and smoked a 3-pointer. Enough said. Looks the part and plays the role of big-timer.
Cezar Guerrero was a force for Belmont Shore all weekend and finished as one of the event’s leading scorers. The next step for Guerrero is ramping up his ball value and by that we mean taking better care of the ball. With Belmont, he’s asked to be scorer and distributor so he’s got the rock in his hands a lot. … Sanderius Thornwell was the MVP of the 15s for Team United. He’s an excellent wing athlete. …
N.C.'s talent was on display during one set of games where Team United was playing in the 15s championship, Anton Gill and Co. had Garner Road in the 15s Select and the Charlotte Nets and Jarvis Haywood were in the 16s select title game. ...
Canty hears from George Mason, Arizona, St. Peters, Massachusetts and Iowa State. … Jermaine Sanders said Villanova is on him the hardest. Providence. St. John’s, Miami, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Marquette are showing interest. …
J.P. Tokoto will stick in town to visit both North Carolina (second visit) and Duke (first visit) on Monday. …