My travels brought me to one of my favorite places to watch games and some of my favorite people at the Hoop Seen sponsored Best of the South tournament at the luxurious Sewanee Sports Academy.
Solid event as always with some serious Tennessee flavor amongst the cavalcade of talented programs representing at this great event.
TEAM COREY BREWER/WACG 17U
Making noise two weeks in a row, Team Corey Brewer brought the college coaches out in droves and several offers were extended. TCB began pool play with two solid wins, 75-60 over the Louisiana Rockets and 75-36 over the Georgia Stars Truth.
One of the best games of the day saw TCB rally from a late deficit behind an off balance three from Grayson Murphy (Independence) to push the game into overtime before falling 72-68 to a very talented Mike South Beach squad. John Carter (Summit) led the scoring in this contest with 21 and let the coaches in attendance know this was going to be his weekend to shine. Caleb Hollander (Home School) added 14 while Murphy finished with 12.
Carter again led the scoring charge with 16 as TCB busted Team Manimal 91-60 in the opening round of championship bracket action. Balanced scoring was the mantra in this one with Elon Smallwood (Ravenwood) adding 12, Hollander managing 11 while Murphy and Imani Starling (Ensworth) finished with 10 each.
E1T1 was the anticipated opponent but rumors of the TCB dominance caused them a no-show so advancement to the final eight was painless.
Hollander had his best game of the tournament finishing with 20 markers but TCB fell late and couldn't make it back 73-70 to a powerful Florida Elite squad. Murphy finished with 15 while Smallwood added 10.
Hollander made his mark and fielded some new offers updating his list which includes Marshall, High Point, Wright State, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts and Lipscomb.
Murphy has a burgeoning list as well including Wofford, Winthrop, Wright State, Campbell, Lipscomb, Belmont, Furman, Austin Peay, Troy and many others.
Carter garnered his first offer this weekend from Navy.
TENNESSEE BOBCATS 17U
Key. Tyreke Key (Clay County).
Offers are pouring in from the likes of Murray State, Furman, Evansville, Tennessee-Martin and Tennessee Tech to name a few as Key continues to be the talk of the summer for the Tennessee Bobcats.
The Bobcats got off to a rousing start at Best of the South finishing pool play at 2-0 with wins over Classic City Thunder (75-32) and Team Blueprint (86-75).
Key was magical as bracket play got underway dropping 37 points as the Bobcats conquered the Tampa Titans 88-57. Seth Battle (Sweetwater) added 17 in the win.
Next destination, the final eight unfortunately it also spelled a date with the Atlanta All-Stars. The Georgia crew would prove to be too much as they concluded the Bobcats run at BOTS with a 78-57 victory. Battle led the scoring with 19 followed by Cooper Robb (Kentucky) with 14.
TENNESSEE FURY 17U
Fresh off an outstanding run in Spartanburg the Fury got off to a slow start against one of the better teams in the event D3 M.O.A.M. falling to the Florida crew 72-62. The Fury bounced back in their second pool game dusting off the FCI Warriors 66-55 behind sterling play from Connor Arnold (Grace Christian), Luke Smith (Knoxville Catholic) and Nick Rogers (Farragut).
A second place pool finish put the Fury in the 2nd place bracket where they met one of the many outstanding Georgia teams in the event Team EAT. Despite 18 each from Arnold and Josh Releford (David Crockett), the Fury fell 71-63.
TENNESSEE TRAVELERS 17U
Similar finish for the Travelers as they fell in their pool play opener 54-44 to the FCI Warriors but bounced back against LA4 Team Black to the tune of 84-72 behind 23 from Shaquan Gibson (Oak Ridge). Tajoin Jones (Oak Ridge) added 15 while E.J. Bush (Oak Ridge) finished with 14.
In the 2nd place bracket opener, Jones dropped 20 but it would prove to be too little as the Florida Elite got past a pesky Travelers squad 73-70 ending their BOTS run. Bush added 14 while Gibson netted 13 in the loss. Kurry Cody (Cosby) finished with 10 for the Travelers.
Jones put on another shooting clinic in Atlanta and for his efforts received his first D1 offer from Navy.
CHATTANOOGA ELITE NAVY 17U
The boys from Chattanooga finished 1-1 in pool play action advancing to the 2nd place bracket where they opened with a 71-69 victory over God's Property before falling to the Classic City Thunder 69-43 in the following round.
Keyshaun Bradley (Hixson) was the squads leading scorer with a solid tournament. Others who shown out for the Elite included Jordan House (CSAS), Kevin McCauley (Ooltewah) and Kenny Bulloch (Tyner Academy).
TEAM HUDSON 16U
From the 901, Team Hudson had a solid showing at Best of the South finishing 2-1 in pool play and advancing to the championship bracket where they fell in overtime 73-72 to the North Georgia Elite.
Cameron Jones (Whitehaven), Katlin White (Memphis Central) and Christyle Garner (White Station), all members of the Class of 2018, played well for Team Hudson throughout the duration of the weekend.