ESPN's Paul Biancardi checks in from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., site of this year's invite-only Super Showcase. Two games will be broadcast on ESPNU, including the championship on July 27 at 7 p.m., and one of the heavyweights in this year's tournament is the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.
Biancardi tabs the BABC, fresh of a championship at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam, as one of the "Five Favorites" headed into the event:
Fresh off of winning its first Peach Jam championship in 16 years, the BABC comes into the Super Showcase with a record of 77-2 on the season. This defensive-minded group led the regular season of the EYBL in scoring defense at 51 points per game -- with a shot clock! The squad is led by the nation's best shot-blocker in C Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Titlon School), who makes opponents think twice before attempting any shot, and the ones he does not block, he alters. Offensively, Noel is making progress as he scores with either hand inside and drives the ball from the high post effectively. Noel's partner in the frontcourt, PF Georges Niang (Methuen, Mass./The Tilton School), is fundamentally sound, productive and does a good job lifting taller defenders off the ground with a shot fake. PG Jaylen Brantley (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) is the unsung hero. He is the team's best 3-point shooter and leading scorer.
Biancardi also makes note of the Albany (N.Y.) City Rocks, led by several New Englanders:
Albany City Rocks (Albany, N.Y.)
Albany City Rocks has one of the most talented teams on the circuit and could easily make a run if they can get all that talent on the same page. The team has one of the best inside-out combinations with 6-10, 280-pound C DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./James Dewitt) in the post and a dynamic scorer in 6-6 SG Ricardo Ledo (Providence, R.I./Notre Dame Prep) on the perimeter. PF Zach Auguste (Marlborough, Mass./New Hampton School) has also developed into a multidimensional forward who can score and rebound effectively. Don't ever count this team out.