As always, the Bob Gibbons Tournament Of Champions had a special atmosphere with some great battles and prospects who boosted their stock. There are a ton of different ways to review the action from last weekend at SSA, but here I’ll just give some of my extended thoughts on 9 different guys that I watched at the event. 5 are from 2022, 4 are from 2023.
6’8” PF Brennen Lorient (Team Florida)
Lorient’s contributions during Team Florida’s championship run had people labeling him as the best interior defender of the event, and I think it would be hard to disagree with that. He’s long, a quick leaper who’s light on his feet, and has good timing as a shot-blocker. It didn’t matter who was challenging him at the rim, Lorient was aggressive in his pursuit of contesting shots. His ability to move his feet also results in him being a defensive presence on the perimeter when guarding ball-screens. Offensively, he finished lobs with authority time & time again along with showing some flashes of touch on his right-hand jump hook in the paint. He runs the floor and positions himself well in the dunker spot to create those easy opportunities without needing the ball constantly in the post to get his points. There hasn’t been an offer posted for Lorient since January but there were a variety of inquires about him following the weekend and I expect for him to be tracked more closely the rest of the summer.
6’8” PF Tony Carpio (Atlanta Allstars)
Coming into the event with a recent offer from Navy, Carpio looked ready to add more during his first 2 games on the weekend, and did just that after playing Southeast Elite with an offer from Motevallo coming in. He’s a paint warrior who bangs inside and fights hard for positioning on the block and when working around for rebounds. By embracing physical play he was able to finish consistently, convert on 2nd efforts, and draw fouls. He also operates on the perimeter some within the Allstars defense and while he’s still getting used to doing so, he has some moments handling the ball, making decisions, and shooting from 3 that are encouraging. I thought he looked improved using his left hand around the basket as well. Carpio’s motor and rugged style is generating a lot of buzz among college coaches and he should keep ascending during June and July.
6’6” F Isaiah Williams (Upward Stars Columbia)
Continuing on with another active forward, Williams had a good showing to start things off on Friday night in an Upward Columbia win. Whether it be flying in for dunks, swatting away shots, or snagging traffic rebounds, Williams makes full use of his explosive leaping ability when he’s out there. Not long after the game started he had already came out of nowhere to save an easy basket and almost finish a putback dunk within the teeth of the defense. Now we see guys every weekend who have those wow moments athletically, but as I pointed out before, Williams makes sure to stay engaged and not waste those gifts. He can cover a lot of ground when filling lanes in transition and gets up with power & quickness off of 2 feet. I think with how well he moves, he can guard the 1-4 in high school, and he showed that switching ability throughout the game. Williams is one I’ll need to get eyes on again soon.
6’3” G Kedar Bodie (Atlanta Lightning)
This year’s Atlanta Lightning team is filled with nice prospects from the Augusta area and Bodie is one of them who has continued to grow on me since watching him against Pace during the high school season. A strong 6’3″, Bodie has a body that absorbs contact well and helps him as a driver & on-ball defender. He utilizes that physicality a bunch, and it was particularly evident against the Atlanta Timberwolves. Bodie’s ball-handling ability is good enough to create driving seams, but how he can bump guys off, keep going, and then finish through hits is how a lot of his points came during the weekend. On defense, he can frustrate opponents by using his body without fouling and staying square to shut off penetration. He did shoot confidently in the games I saw, but that is an area where if he keeps progressing, his recruitment will benefit greatly. I’ve liked his aggressive approach throughout the spring.
6’0” PG Jacari Lane (Alabama Fusion)
If you were looking for under-the-radar prospect who took full advantage of the stage at Gibbons, Lane was your guy. His size might limit him at times, but Lane is tough and has a good understanding of how to negate his height disadvantage. He does a good job of playing off of 2 feet in traffic and is patient with the ball in his hands, not going into taller defenders wildly. His combination of speed & quickness allowed him to get past guys consistently and he can capitalize on openings before shot-blockers recover. He has a good package of crafty layups, will hit in-between shots, and has improved as an outside shooter. Fusion got all the way to the championship, highlighted by a win over Team Thad, thanks in large part to his determination and attacking mentality throughout the weekend.
6’5” W Carl Cherenfant (Team Florida 17U)
While watching Cherenfant against Game Elite in the semifinals, he quickly caught my attention. I hadn’t seen him before, checked for his name, and then saw he was a 2023 prospect playing up, making his production even more impressive. He got things done in all 3 games on championship Sunday, using his length & athletic ability on both ends of the floor. At 6’5” with a legitimate handle, Cherenfant was able to get where he wanted pretty often but even when he couldn’t, he proved he could connect on some difficult shots off the dribble. Defensively, he’s intense and can cause a lot of problems with his long arms & quick feet. Cherenfant fit right in with some high-level 2022 prospects and wasn’t shy in inserting himself into either game with Game Elite or TSF. He’s one of those rising juniors whose recruitment should explode in the summer months.
6’4” SG TJ Hurley (Team Florida)
A complete unknown from Canada coming into the event, Hurley was right up there with Cherenfant in terms of taking the tournament by storm and making a name for himself. Also part of the Team Florida program but playing with the 16U group, Hurley went for 35 against Team Carroll, had a really good game against Game Elite to start Sunday morning, and then had a signature performance in a comeback win while facing a top 16U team regionally in the Georgia Stars. After going down 15+ in the 2nd half, Hurley took things into his own hands with a great display of shooting and overall skill on his way to around 25 2nd half points. He has textbook form on his jumper with range that extends well beyond the college line and good size at 6’4”. I really liked his ability off the dribble as well. Even against some good defenders, he never got sped up, using his body well and showing a smooth, savvy game with the ball in his hands. Some coaches have already taken notice and when more eyes get laid on him, he’ll become a popular name in 2023. Hurley will be included in the next episode of the Relentless Rundown on SuvTV.
6’5” W Paul Djobet (Georgia Stars)
Similar to Hurley, Djobet is another guy who people weren’t familiar with previously but is now quickly gaining a lot of attention. I liked what he did at LakePoint two weekends ago and he did not disappoint at Bob Gibbons either. A French product who’s at Solid Rock, Djobet can be inserted into a multitude of spots on the court and still make an impact. You can’t really label him with a specific position; he’s shown the ability to handle and create his own offense, but Djobet is also really good as a cutter, offensive rebounder, and running in transition for easy ones. There have been numerous occasions where he connects on pull-up 3’s that I didn’t expect. I want to know what his wingspan is because his arms seem freakishly long and he is constantly forcing turnovers on the ball with those and active hands. His role on this Stars team has to be appreciated as a do-it-all, high-motor piece.
6’3” SG Eddrin Bronson (Judah Nation)
Bronson has also taken on the challenge of playing at the 17U level this travel season. He led them in scoring Friday night in a quality win over the Atlanta Allstars, and it has not been uncommon to see him putting up double-digit scoring outputs on a talented Judah Nation team. Bronson is a good shooter who goes straight up & down on his jumper, elevates well, and is capable from pretty far out. He has a strong frame that allows him to make things happen off the dribble while staying under control and he shoots well from 8-15 feet too. His offensive abilities and confidence are impressive, but Bronson really brings it on defense too. He’s active & brings a commitment to getting stops, and has the physical abilities to do so. I like how he seems to play with a chip on his shoulder as a young prospect on an up-and-coming independent team. Their coach, Akii Dean, has done a good job of putting together a team that comes to compete against anyone, and that will continue to make them talked about.