The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions took place this weekend in the Triad area of North Carolina. The new NCAA rule that does not allow tournaments to take place on college campuses did cause this event to lose a little bit of its luster, but still several players rose to the occasion.
2012 - Devonta Pollard (Porterville, MS/Kemper County)
The 22nd ranked player in the247 Top 100 showcased his ability around the rim most of the weekend. Blessed with fantastic athletic ability, Pollard can change the game on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor by finishing with a powerful slam or being a force in the lane and blocking shots. Playing with the talented Southern Phenom’s program, Pollard played more at the power forward position this weekend where he appears a little more suited right now.
2012 - Gavin Ware (Starkville, MS/Starkville)
Playing in the front court alongside Pollard, Ware was allowed to get one-on-one matchups on offense where he used his size very well. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound prospect establishes excellent low post position and has a quick first step to go with solid fundamentals that help create good looks at the basket. Defensively, Pollard clogs the lane and did a nice job of being active both blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.
2012 – Tyler Lewis (Lewisville, NC/Forsyth Country Day)
Lewis continues to impress with his high basketball I.Q. and ability to put the ball in the basket. Saturday afternoon he displayed one of the better individual performances the Tournament of Champions has ever seen. Against Gardner Road, Lewis scored 47 points - doing it in a variety of ways. Constantly he got into the lane and finished with an assortment of floaters, bank shots or lay ups while drawing contact and getting to the line. Lewis is currently rated as the 62nd best player in the247 Top 100.
2012 - T.J. Warren (Raleigh, NC/Word of God)
It is rare a player can score 41 points and be upstaged but that was what happened to Warren on Saturday afternoon in his battle with Tyler Lewis. Warren’s stock continues to rise with his ability to score from both inside and outside. Even though Warren still does his best work inside 15 feet, he shoots the ball well enough to be a threat from behind the three point line which causes mismatches for opposing defenses.
2013 - Isaiah Hicks (Oxford, NC/Body of Christ)
The 6-foot-8, 180-pound forward played with a high motor this past weekend causing problems at both ends of the floor for opposing teams. On Friday night, Hicks scored 22 points and followed that up with a 14 point performance Saturday afternoon. Hicks has improved his ability to knock down shots from 10 feet and is becoming a stronger presence around the rim. He is a player to keep an eye on this coming July when coaches can really get their eyes on prospects in a competition setting.