Memorial Day Madness
Top Punks compete in the Big Easy.
by Jamie Palmer / @deepsouthhoops
May 27-29, 2011
New Orleans, LA
Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions (TOC) is traditionally known as the main attraction in May, but this past Memorial Day weekend the TOC became known as the latest victim of the NCAA.
The NCAA recently adopted the proposal that prohibits “non-scholastic” events on Division-1 campuses; therefore making the TOC less appealing without the use of Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Dean Dome. So in result, grassroots scene became discombobulated and many big time travel programs aborted to other tournaments.
One of those big time travel programs, New Orleans Elite, decided to take advantage of TOC’s loss and hosted their own tournament down in the Big Easy.
Memorial Day Madness (seems like a fitting name for the situation) playing field was small; two divisions 17U (12 teams) and 15U (six teams), but featured some of the top travel programs in the south: Houston Defenders, Atlanta Celtics, Arkansas Hawks, Memphis Magic, Florida Assault, Urban DFW Elite, Texas Select, and New Orleans Elite.
All games were played at “The Barn” on the campus of Xavier University and the University of New Orleans Human Performance Center.
The host team New Orleans Elite took home the 17U crown with a 68-56 win over the once undefeated Houston Defenders.
The win over the Houston Defenders earned New Orleans Elite a spot in the latest Five-Star team rankings. The Elite currently sit at No. 22 and the loss dropped the Defenders three spots to No. 5.
The Arkansas Hawks took home the 15U crown with a 59-56 victory over Texas Select.
Here is a breakdown of the top performers at the first Memorial Day Madness:
Javan Felix, 2012 | 5’11, 190 lbs, Point Guard | New Orleans Elite | New Orleans, LA
The 5’11 stocky point-guard did a great job of running the show for his young NOLA Elite team. He had it rolling in the transition game where he found his teammates numerous times off a simple pass up the floor. In the half court he is developing range and a well disciplined shot selection behind the arc. His athleticism and quickness is not of an elite player but a high basketball IQ and competitive edge has him in the high major market. Felix scored 16 points and took home the MVP honor in the championship match-up against the Houston Defenders.
Shaquille Cleare, 2012 | 6’8, 275 lbs, Center | Houston Defenders | Houston, TX
Shaq’s presence in the post was definitely felt at the tournament. The Bahamian showed good hands along with the ability to pass well out of the high and low post areas. His big physique allows him to dominate around the basket; whether it’s rebounding or drop stepping at the rim. If Cleare makes conditioning a main priority, he will definitely be an instant impact freshman on the high level.
Adam Weary, 2012 | 6’1, 190 lbs, Shooting Guard | Memphis Magic | Memphis, TN
Weary’s scoring ability led his Memphis Magic team to the final four of the tourney. In the semi-final game against the eventual champion NOLA Elite, Weary was relentless getting in the lane, Scoring 21 points in his effort. He will be one to watch in July when his Memphis Magic team makes another run at the Super 64 title.
Jordan Adams, 2012 | 6’5, 210 lbs, Wing Forward | Atlanta Celtics | Lawrenceville, GA
Adams continues to prove he’s among the top shooters in the nation. The big wing burnt the nets up at “The Barn,” where he put on a Memorial Day shooting clinic. He worked well off the ball and seemed to shoot the ball best out of the corners. His game is in the triple-threat position where he uses his big frame to create space and shoot effectively off the bounce. Most evaluators are saying tone up the body, but I say keep what’s working for you and go with the Paul Pierce look.
Andrew Harrison, 2013 | 6’4, 200 lbs, Combo Guard | Houston Defenders | Houston, TX
Harrison, currently No. 5 on the Fresh 25 list, is a big physical point that carries a scorer’s mentality. He is very good at finding his teammates in transition, where he out runs most and passes with great accuracy. In the half court he is difficult to guard because of his size, strength and scoring ability. His perimeter shooting needs more consistency to get announced as a threat and the attitude needs to be checked at the door; shit got old after a couple games.
Rashawn Powell, 2013 | 5’11, 150 lbs, Point Guard | Florida Assault | Orlando, FL
Powell is a very exciting point man to watch. He is very quick with ball and finished with some Iverson (showing love for issue 150) like layups in transition. His quick first step and deep range on the three made him very difficult to guard on the perimeter. But like all small guards, strength is not on his side and will play a factor in what level he plays on next.
Jarrell Martin, 2013 | 6’7, 180 lbs, Wing Forward | New Orleans Elite | Baton Rouge, LA
The new kid on the block, has definitely made a good first impression this spring. His long frame and athletic ability has the makes of a top-tier prospect. Martin knows how to use his size to out rebound the opposition on both ends and tries to finish everything in the paint above the rim. His perimeter game is lacking off the bounce but he shoots well off the catch. All in all, the kid is one to watch going forward.
Jordan Mickey, 2013 | 6’7, 190 lbs, Power Forward | Urban DFW Elite | Richardson, TX
Jordan had a good showing over Memorial Day weekend. He displayed a wide variety of post and face up moves (Bernard King turnaround was very impressive), along with his ability to score off the bounce from top of the key. Defensively, he extends well to block shots and rebound above the rim. His motor runs high at times and age should bring the weight to fill out that big frame.