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May 28, 2008

TOC top 2010 performers

MORE: TOC: Sunday action | TOC: Saturday action | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions was loaded with talent from the class of 2010. The depth was so good in fact, that the list of top performers begs for two different listing of players.

Rivals.com's Justin Young breaks down the best of the best from the class of 2010 over the weekend from the 16 and under division.

Tournament of Champions Top 2010 Performers
D.C. Assault 16 and under team
The Assault won the 16 and under title in a great rivalry game against D.C.-area foe Triple Threat playing as a unit. That's why the team gets the nod as the top overall performer from last weekend's event.

There isn't one true go-to star although there are a number of players that could very well be the main attraction if that was the way the team was designed. It isn't, however. Balance is the key.

The guard play is the foundation for this club. Balance, smarts, quickness and big-shot ability are the strength of the backcourt. Each player brings something different to the team.

Point guard Eric Atkins scored what proved to be the game-winner in the championship game with a strong drive to the hole for the score. He's been steady all spring long and has helped propel his squad to the championship Sundays at every event the Assault has played in.

Tyler Thornton's approach to the game and overall understanding of his position is fantastic. It is so good in fact, it wouldn't be a big surprise that his career path post-playing days would be in the coaching ranks. That's the kind of player he is.

Both Atkins and Thornton are sure-fire high-major kids. The trio of Cedrick Lindsay, Ben Hazel and Dontae Thomas combined for 30 points a game. Lindsay is the team's deep threat while Hazel and Thomas shined as slashers.

Big man Joshua Hairston is as polished of a power forward as you'll find in the 2010 class. The 6-foot-7 forward can go inside and out with the best of them. He was strong all weekend and made plays when he needed to. It's easy to see why nearly all of the big-time programs in the Big East and ACC are spending as much time as they can recruiting him.

Keep an eye out for forward Maxie Esho, too. He's been quietly impressive all spring and it wouldn't be a shocker if he also inked with a high-major school at the end of the day.

Tristan Thompson, PF/SF, Grassroots Canada
TOC stats: 19 points per game (17th in the 16U division)

The wiry combo forward just continues to get better and better. After playing a key role off the bench at St. Benedict's, the top team in the nation, Thompson is playing amongst his peers and looking good in the process.

The long-armed lefty is every bit 6 feet 8 and versatile enough to play both forward spots. Despite his thin frame, Thompson doesn't mind getting into the paint for boards in and out of his area. He can also step out and knock down the 12- to 17-foot shot with regularity.

One coach that lined up on the opposite sideline asked rhetorically after one game, "How do you defend him?" Good question. A lot of people will be asking that about the future Texas Longhorn over the next couple of years.

Noah Cottrill, PG, Ohio Basketball Club
TOC stats: 26.4 points per game (5th in the 16U division)

The swagger that he plays with is fun to watch. He's good and he knows it. But it is not like the future West Virginia guard is playing with a negative sort of arrogance either. He just plays like he knows he is better than nearly everyone else on the floor.

That competitiveness and confidence shined through when he led his Ohio Basketball Club to the Dean E. Smith Center on championship Sunday. Cottrill hit 14 three-pointers and went to the foul line 41 times in five games. His offensive game was in full effect in North Carolina.

His passing ability wasn't on reserve either. He can still whip the passes into the post like he's throwing heat from the pitcher's mound.

Victor Olidipo, SG, Triple Threat
TOC stats: 17.3 points per game (30th in the 16U division)

This 6-foot-4 athlete was one of the nice surprises from the 16 and under division. The DeMatha Catholic product simply produced, won and competed in both games that we saw of him on Sunday.

Athletically, he was one of the best in the 16U division. From a slasher's standpoint, Olidipo loved to attack the rim with confidence and courage. His level of athleticism can break the spirits of good defenders.

From a recruiting standpoint, there are probably a number of mid-major programs cursing the computer screens right now because Olidipo played himself onto the high-major radar in North Carolina. He was one of the better wing guard performers of the tournament.

Travis McKie, PF/SF, Boo Williams
TOC stats: 30.2 points per game (2nd in the 16U division)

Scoring the basketball won't be a problem at this level for the 6-foot-6 forward. The 15-year-old can score in a variety of ways. McKie scored twice as many points as the next top scorer for Boo Williams. He was a man on a mission in Carolina.

Is he a wing or is he a power player? That will be a great debate for the next couple of years but what isn't in debate is McKie's overall production. He does his best work on the low blocks with a variety of moves in the paint but he also showed that he could step out and knock down the long ball as well as in the midrange.

McKie is a charismatic and energetic player that has fun with the game. Teams didn't have too much fun trying to stop his scoring barrage and that's why he's on the list of top performers from the weekend.

MORE: TOC: Sunday action | TOC: Saturday action | Rivals.com Hoops Tour



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