CIA Bounce 16’s Reach Final Four of Peach Jam, Plant Seed for 2014 Summer
NORTH AUGUSTA, SC–The CIA Bounce boys simply ran out of gas, or at least that’s what it looked like.
Following four gruelling days of intense competition at Peach Jam, the CIA Bounce 16’s group entered their semi-final bout with Eeach One Teach One [E1T1] on Saturday afternoon.
Although possessing necessary depth, the team exerted a great deal of energy throughout the week, and they just couldn’t get over the hump in a grind out game.
From the tip, it was sloppy as multiple players fumbled the basketball and missed easy shots they would normally make.
“We lost the final game because of several details; missed free throws, missed assignments and a couple of crucial turnovers,” explained Head Coach Tony McIntyre.
With this being said, the team found themselves only down by six at halftime, 28-22.
The second half was much of the same, however Bounce made a run that gave them a one-point lead momentarily, that was spearheaded by Montaque Gill-Caesar and Elijah Long.
Regardless, E1T1 answered with a few threes, that ultimately secured the victory.
Planting The Seed
CIA Bounce is no one-trick pony; they come with talent every year, and by the looks of it, nothing will change in that regard. Last year, the 17’s team featuring Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes made it all the way to the championship game against the Oakland Soldiers, and if not for a very questionable foul call on Wiggins, CIA Bounce would have claimed the Peach Jam title.
Wiggins and co. have moved on. This is a new crop, with no shortage of talent, or killer instinct. The 16’s benefitted from a valuable experience at Peach Jam this year, and will use it as a building block for a 2014 AAU season.
“So much to look forward to, so much to grow upon. We’re very proud of these guys and so excited for next year,” said McIntyre.
Lead by Montaque Gill-Caesar, Jamal Murray & Dillon Brooks the 16’s team represented well drawing interest from countless NCAA programs, that will shorty turn into offers.
Gill-Caesar was one of the leading scorers in the entire tournament averaging over 20 points per game. Murray, the youngest player on the team was outstanding on both ends and currently holds the #1 spot in the 2016 NPH National Player rankings, with Justin Jackson right on his tail.
Brooks was a key piece for CIA Bounce with his versatile scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. The 6’5 wing will have offers coming in this week.
But it doesn’t end there. Jalen Poyser has grown over the tournament, a big guard that played both perimeter positions and is making good progress. Andrew Anderson elevated his play and was an X-factor for this CIA Bounce squad, a great role player with an unmatched motor. Expect to see his stock rise.
As I mentioned in this previous post, Eli Long is the epitome of intangible characteristics. The youngster is a positive on the floor, he makes winning plays and does it consistently; draws charges, brings energy, communicates…he brings forth attributes that you cannot teach.
Ty Stewart-Nelson has that swagger in his step now. He knows he belongs and has truly been a pleasure to track. His stock has definitely risen.
Kimbal Mackenzie – leadership personified. On the court or on the bench, Mackenzie was vocal throughout each game and the entire tournament.
Get the picture? This team’s depth is what brought them to the semi-finals, and the addition of Chris Egi next summer will be monstrous. Egi was sidelined due to playing up with the 17’s this year.
The continued development of each player on this roster will be essential, as players on American teams will only get stronger. Several of the players on this roster have been selected to compete in the Nike Global Challenge game.
Thanks to everyone that has been rockin’ with me on this Peach Jam trip, it has been an absolute blast. In the process, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people with knowledge of the game at the highest of levels.
The game of basketball is quite simple, but complex at the same time. There is much to learn and my promise to you is to consistently extract knowledge from around the industry and translate it for you right here on NPH.
My next stop is Orlando where I’ll be tracking plenty of Canadian prospects. Stick around!
—T.S signing out
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