Nearly 4 months have passed since San Diego played host to a group of the top 2020 teams from around the country. The field of competition produced a number of dramatic finishes and culminated with the crowning of Thunderstruck Florida as the first ever Indihoops World Champion.
Here is a run down of the teams in the tournament and how they fared. Check indiwc.com for scores and recaps.
Thunderstruck left fans awe struck from the time they walked into the gym up until they left San Diego as champions. With a balance of size and speed, the Florida based group overwhelmed teams on the boards and forced opponents into long distance field goals. Tournament MVP Dudley Blackwell displayed Top 100 potential; add in the physical presence of 6'5 forward Gervon Dexter with a host of scrappy guards and you have one of the most dominant 2020 teams in the country.
The reigning champions averaged a 14 point margin against their opponents while scoring over 70 points per game and holding their opposition to 58 points per outing. If this team stays together, expect more hardware on the mantle.
43 Hoops left the west coast for Minnesota with well deserved respect from onlookers. After a 1-1 split in their first two games, the sharp shooting bunch bounced back and defeated their next opponents putting them in the championship against Thunderstruck. Standouts Nate Heise, Tony Dahl and David Ijadimbola accounted for 53% of the Team's offense and provided difficult match-ups for opposing teams. The team came the closest to upsetting the favorites after taking a slight 35-33 lead in the first half before Thunderstruck broke the game open in the second half with pressure defense.
This 2020 team is a solid post presence away from making some noise in the near future on the summer basketball scene.
SA Hardwork had the best backcourt in the tournament and that is saying a lot given the number of talented guards who were on display. Braelon Seals and Journee Phillips combined for 29 points per game carrying over half of their team's offense. The two will have plenty of time to continue their dynamic duo throughout the fall as they will attend Wagner High School in San Antonio, Texas. Throw in hard nosed slasher Derek Luna and this team was a joy to watch.
They finished 3-2 in the field with two tough losses, one to Friends of Hoop and the other to runner up 43 Hoops. They would avenge the loss against Friends of Hoop as well as take down a solid Hard Knox Utah team. Expect the Under Armour program to continue to turn heads for the next few years, under Coach Joe Cruz.
Friends of Hoop got off to a torrid start knocking off their first three opponents, including the eventual runner-ups in 43 Hoops. They fought as hard as they could against Thunderstruck in the semi-finals closing the gap to just 4 points in the second half before the champs went on a decisive 17-8 run and broke open the game. Peter Erickson and Tyler Patterson both showed signs of their potential to produce on the high school level.
Utah Hard Knox was one of the grittiest teams in the tournament. Their hard nosed brand of basketball was led by point guard Mason Falslev who showcased his ability to get down hill and finish consistently throughout the tournament. Falslev finished as the tournament's second leading scorer (17 ppg) and was complemented by the inside presence of Andre Mulibea who was a solid inside/out threat for Utah based group. The team would start and end the tournament with wins against Portland Basketball Club, while dropping their two middle games to Thunderstruck and SA Hardwork. Expect to hear from many of the players on this team in the Utah area for years to come.
Nike Portland Basketball Club had the talent to make some noise in the tournament. Most impressive was Marjon Beauchamp, a lanky forward with slashing ability. He dropped 17 points against Hard Knox and followed that performance with a 15 point outing against Coastal Elite. He led a team of scrappy guards, including Deray Semster and Laquandre Taylor. Although the squad finished with a 2-3 record, they were in striking distance against each opponent, never giving up a double digit loss.
Seattle Rotary was fun to watch, primarily because of the electric play of Maui Sze. The diminutive point guard seemed to drop threes from anywhere behind the arch on his way to a 16.6 point average. Sze had plenty of help from his backcourt mate J.J. Simanton; the two led their squad to a respectable 3-2 record with some hard fought wins against Basketball Means More and Coastal Elite.