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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Very Brief News About California Guys
At Gibbons Memorial Day TOC--(May 28, 2002)

The news about what happened this past weekend at some of the tournaments has been slow to leak out west. None of the traditional sources of information, including Bob Gibbons' own "All Star Report" website had much news about any of the SoCal players who attended the Gibbons Tournamnent in North Carolina.  We've looked just about everywhere, and while there isn't much right now, it will surely be posted soon from guys like Clark Francis at HoopScoop or Dave Telep, both of whom spent their weekends at this tournament (Clark was also at the Nike Memorial Day Tournament, which was also attended by California Team Select).    There were plenty of reports from the Gibbons TOC about some of the big east coast names and some of the midwest players as well, but not much cyber-ink was used writing about players from the West....see what happens when we stay home for a weekend?   Dinos Trigonis, whose own Belmont Shore team attended the Gibbons TOC and apparently scored quite an upset win over the Michigan Hurricanes, sent us a small report from one of the local newspapers which had some good info about his team as well as other SoCal guys playing with SCA....nothing about Rockfish, but we imagine we'll hear some news about how the fish fared shortly.   Here's the report which Dinos sent us from the Durham, NC Herald-Sun newspaper...we've highlighted those parts pertaining to the California guys....If you want the original article, it's here at this link.  The rest of the article will be of interest to a lot of people who follow recruiting, but if you're looking for news about the California guys and how their teams did, you'll just have to be a bit more patient. 

Tucker steals TOC spotlight
May 26, 2002

CHAPEL HILL — Notes and observations from the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions:

* Saturday night’s much-heralded matchup between Raymond Felton and JamesOn Curry fizzled — largely because Curry, coming off a game with his 16-and-under team, played fewer than five minutes for the North Carolina Gaters 17-and-under team.  No matter, Anthony "P.J." Tucker, a 6-5, 230-pound forward from Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School stole the show from the two heralded guards, pouring in 30 points and dominating South Carolina’s Major Wingate down low to lead the Gaters to a 79-63 victory over Felton’s Beach Ball Select team.   "I’m just trying to get a little more recognition and move up in the rankings," Tucker said.  The relatively unheralded forward said he has scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington, but he’s hoping
to also get offers from North Carolina and Clemson.  Curry, the 6-1 sophomore guard from Mebane, already has an offer from the Tar Heels. He hinted that he would be accepting that offer soon.  "I can’t leave the area," he said. "I’ve got to have Momma’s cooking."  The sweet-shooting wing guard said he could announce his college choice as soon as he returns from the Nike camp in July.   "I want to see where I am after Nike," Curry said. "Then I’ve got to come back and talk to my family and coach about it."

* While the Felton-Curry matchup fizzled, an earlier matchup between Felton’s Beach Ball Select team and Team Texas Elite turned out to be the game of the tournament, recapturing some of the magic generated exactly one year ago when the UNC-bound Felton and Duke-bound J.J. Redick dueled in the Smith Center.  Felton had 45 points in that 2001 game to lead his team to victory. This time he scored 22, but threw in a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.  However, Felton was, if not quite matched, at least neutralized to some degree by sophomore guard Jason Horton of Cedar Hill, Texas. The 6-2 playmaker — the younger brother of Michigan-bound McDonald’s All-American Daniel Horton — scored 20 points and quarterbacked his team to the overtime victory.  UNC is one of four schools the young point guard already is focused on, along with Michigan, Arizona and Texas. Horton said he’d love to play with his brother, but he wouldn’t be afraid to compete with another talented young point guard, such as UNC’s Felton or T.J. Ford of Texas.

* Maryland has long recruited North Carolina well. The Terps lured All-Americans John Lucas from Durham and Buck Williams from Rocky Mount in the ’70s and won the national championship with Whiteville’s Chris Wilcox playing a key role. The pipeline could continue if Gary Williams offers Kinston guard Jeremy Ingram a scholarship. The athletic 6-3 wing guard said Saturday that if the Terps offer, he’d have trouble saying no.  "I really like Maryland," he said. "They’ve been down to visit and they told me they’d be following my progress this summer."   Ingram said he already has offers from Wake Forest, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Virginia Tech. 

* UNC coach Matt Doherty might have to wait awhile to get the big man he wants in this class.  Brian Butch, a 7-0 center from Appleton, Wis., vows that he’ll wait until fall to make his choice from among the eight schools he still is considering. And 6-9, 230-pound Brooklyn center Chris Taft said he’s still far from making a choice. "I ain’t looking at anybody right now," he said. "There are just too many to choose from."  Taft reeled off a long list of prospective schools, including at least one — Duke — that isn’t recruiting him. He claimed to have offers from Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Kansas, Syracuse and Maryland, but said that UNC still is waiting for
his transcript before making an offer.

* Duke didn’t have many targets among the juniors at this year’s TOC.  The Blue Devils have reportedly cooled on Michigan wing Olu Famituni and Illinois forward Brian Randle. They have dropped entirely from contention for high flying  Mississippi wing Travis Outlaw. Neither of the juniors Duke still is pursuing — Ndubi Ebi of Houston or Luol Deng of New Jersey — participated in the TOC.  However, the Blue Devils appear to have considerable interest in several sophomores at the TOC, especially DeMarcus Nelson a 6-3 guard from Vallejo, Calif., whose 29 points led Belmont Shore to a stunning upset of the powerful Michigan Hurricanes, and Shawn Livingston, a slender 6-6 point guard from Peoria, Ill. 

* One of the more interesting — and impressive — big men at the TOC was 6-10, 265-pound Hassan Fofana, an African native playing at Holy Name School in Worchester, Mass. — the same school that sent Englishman Neil Fingleton to UNC (briefly).  Fofana is an amazing athlete with strength, quickness and leaping ability. Of course, he still is a raw player — he fouled out in little more than 10 minutes of actual playing time against Brian Butch on Saturday, although while he was in the game, he had a lot of success against the 7-footer down low.  The native of Guiana is getting strong interest from Maryland and Wake Forest of the ACC, Ohio State and Purdue from the Big Ten, regional schools such as Boston College, Rhode Island and Massachusetts and, for some strange reason, Loyola of Chicago.
"Right now, I’m not thinking about that," he said. "I have no idea where I’ll go."

QUICK TAKES —Kentucky-bound Bobby Perry played so well when the North Carolina Red Storm visited the Smith Center on Saturday that the Hillside forward left many observers wondering why he drew so little interest from local schools. ... Southern High big man Anthony King will make an official visit to Clemson. He also has offers from Virginia Tech, East Carolina and Western Kentucky, but he said he’s hoping for an offer from Wake Forest.....Winston-Salem swingman Reyshawn Terry said he’ll wait until the end of summer to make his college choice. He’s looking at UNC, N.C. State, Tennessee and Connecticut. It’s not clear which of those schools made him an offer — at one point Terry said he had an offer from UNC, but later he said the Tar Heels, "need for me to work a little on my game." ... Mustafa Shakur, a 6-3 guard from Wynnewood, Pa., demonstrated to doubters during the TOC that he is a true point guard. He has a long list of potential schools, but said that Arizona, Villanova, Syracuse and N.C. State have been recruiting him the hardest. ... Los Angeles point guard Marcus Williams confirmed that he’ll transfer to Oak ill Academy in Virginia for his senior season. He likes a trio of ACC schools, including Georgia Tech, Maryland and North Carolina. However, he doesn’t plan to make his college choice until next spring.


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