Nike TOC: Joe Smith Division

The Joe Smith Invitational Division of the Nike Tournament of Champions at a glance
(*- Records and rankings are noted as of Dec. 13, 2011, for all games played through Dec. 12.)


Location: Bolingbrook, Ill.
FAB 50 Rank*: 6
First Opponent: Cicero-North Syracuse
Current Record*: 3-0
2010-11 Record: 29-2
Coach: Tony Smith
Impact Player: F Morgan Tuck, senior

Synopsis: Bolingbrook is one of the favorites yet again this year. The Red Raiders have depth and bring pressure defense to overwhelm ill-prepared opponents. On the offensive end, Morgan Tuck is unstoppable at the high school level if left one-on-one on the blocks. The team comes in with two wins over ranked opponents already and should be ready to make a statement.


Location: Buford, Ga.
FAB 50 Rank*: 12
First Opponent: Mater Dei
Current Record*: 4-0
2010-11 Record: 30-3
Coach: Gene Durden
Impact Player: W Kaela Davis, junior

Synopsis: The Lady Wolves may have one of the most explosive guards in the country in Kaela Davis, but this team's strength is its size and depth. This team can play four players 6-2 and taller together if it wants. Davis and Greater Atlanta Christian transfer Kristina Nelson, a 6-4 junior post, have established great chemistry early with both going for 20-plus on multiple occasions.

Christ the King

Location: Middle Village, N.Y.
FAB 50 Rank*: Not Ranked
First Opponent: St. Mary's Catholic
Current Record*: 0-2
2010-11 Record: 21-9
Coach: Bob Mackey
Impact Player: W Sierra Calhoun, sophomore

Synopsis: The Royals are having a rough start to their season, opening with two losses without senior leader Rayne Connell, who is recovering from surgery on her back. But this program is no stranger to the Nike TOC. The team also has a star player to rely on, Sierra Calhoun, a swing player who is No. 11 in the ESPNU HoopGurlz Terrific 25. If Connell recovers in time to play, expect a completely different team.

Cicero-North Syracuse

Location: Cicero, N.Y.
FAB 50 Rank*: 24
First Opponent: Bolingbrook
Current Record*: 1-0
2010-11 Record: 22-3
Coach: Eric Smith
Impact Player: F Breanna Stewart, senior

Synopsis: After coming up just short of the New York state title last season, the Northstars are looking to make the next step in Breanna Stewart's senior season. The Connecticut-bound forward is the top-ranked player in the 2012 class, and having the best player on the court means you always have a chance.

Dr. Phillips

Location: Orlando, Fla.
First Opponent: St. Mary's
FAB 50 Rank*: 22
Current Record*: 7-0
2010-11 Record: 31-2
Coach: Anthony Jones
Impact Player: G Taryn Griffey, sophomore

Synopsis: The Lady Panthers have a potent perimeter attack. Junior Sydnei McCaskill and sophomore Taryn Griffey can really get out and run, with either one able to fill a wing or run the point. The duo can also look to junior wing Hannah Schaible for offense and a change-of-pace style in the halfcourt.

Incarnate Word

Location: St. Louis, Mo.
FAB 50 Rank*: 35
First Opponent: Riverdale Baptist
Current Record*: 3-1
2010-11 Record: 26-4
Coach: Dan Rolfes
Impact Player: P Taylor Manuel, senior

Synopsis: When Purdue-bound Taylor Manuel is doing her thing, this team is tough to beat because it has the weapons on the perimeter to complement her interior presence. Nakiah Bell is stepping her game up from her freshman season a year ago, averaging 12.5 points per game early and has senior Cierra Young in the backcourt with her.


Location: Irving, Texas
FAB 50 Rank*: 8
First Opponent: Windward
Current Record*: 16-0
2010-11 Record: 35-2
Coach: Susie Oelschlegel
Impact Player: PG Alexis Jones, senior

Synopsis:The Cardinals finally bring a Texas powerhouse to the TOC. The team features Duke signee Alexis Jones, a scoring point guard who can control a game by herself with her physical gifts. Also an advantage for MacArthur, the Lone Star State starts earlier than most states and the team is already in mid-season form.

Marion County

Location: Lebanon, Ky.
FAB 50 Rank*: 29
First Opponent: St. John's College
Current Record*: 5-0
2010-11 Record: 19-6
Coach: Trent Milby
Impact Player: PG Makayla Epps, junior

Synopsis:The Knights have a terrific backcourt with Louisville-bound junior point guard Makayla Epps and senior Dayton signee Bre Elder off the ball. Marion County also has Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, who has signed with Louisville, at forward and she can run in transition or use her length in the paint. The Knights may very well be the sleepers of the bracket.

Mater Dei

Location: Santa Ana, Calif.
FAB 50 Rank*: 10
First Opponent: Buford
Current Record*: 5-0
2010-11 Record: 34-1
Coach: Kevin Kiernan
Impact Player: PG Jordan Adams, senior

Synopsis:The Monarchs are a defensive team under Kiernan and a guard-oriented squad. With Jordan Adams and Alexas Williamson in the lead, the team has been good, but the CIF recently reversed its ruling on transfer Nirra Fields, which gives Mater Dei three different yet talented options on the perimeter.

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Location: Olney, Md.
FAB 50 Rank*: 13
First Opponent: Wesleyan School
Current Record*: 4-0
2010-11 Record: 29-5
Coach: Tom Splaine
Impact Player: F Amanda Fioravanti, junior

Synopsis: The Falcons have a three-headed monster leading the charge with Virginia-bound senior guard Faith Randolph, and a pair of juniors, point guard Lindsey Spann and forward Amanda Fioravanti. With three legitimate offensive threats, this young team has the depth and talent to make some noise in the desert in the school's second trip to the TOC.

Riverdale Baptist

Location: Upper Marlboro, Md.
FAB 50 Rank*: 3
First Opponent: Incarnate Word
Current Record*: 6-0
2010-11 Record: 28-5
Coach: Diane Richardson
Impact Player: F Jennie Simms, senior

Synopsis: The Crusaders are arguably the deepest team in the field, and Jennie Simms is playing the best basketball of her young career, averaging 14.8 points and 12 boards per game. Jonquel Jones is another force in the paint, averaging a double-double and freshman DeJanae Boykin transferred in earlier this month from St. John's College, adding even more depth.

St. John's College

Location: Washington, D.C.
FAB 50 Rank*: 5
First Opponent: Marion County
Current Record*: 4-0
2010-11 Record: 33-2
Coach: Jonathan Scribner
Impact Player: G Mooriah Rowser, senior

Synopsis:St. John's has a balanced attack but also has a go-to option Mooriah Rowser, who has signed with Memphis. Also bringing the team scoring production are sophomore guard Chania Ray, senior guard Kazzidy Stewart and junior point guard Lindsay Allen, who is also a terrific table-setter.

St. Mary's

Location: Stockton, Calif.
FAB 50 Rank*: 7
First Opponent: Dr. Phillips
Current Record*: 0-0
2010-11 Record: 29-2
Coach: Tom Gonsalves
Impact Player: F Courtney Range, junior

Synopsis:The Rams are back yet again, and their pressing and long-range shooting style is sure to entertain any and all spectators. Courtney Range had a breakout sophomore season and is the perfect weapon for the St. Mary's fullcourt defense. With solid guard play from fellow juniors Unique Coleman and Omome Jemerigbe, the Rams will be a tough out.

St. Mary's Catholic

Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
FAB 50 Rank*: 2
First Opponent: Christ the King
Current Record*: 5-0
2010-11 Record: 26-2
Coach: Curtis Ekmark
Impact Player: G Courtney Ekmark, sophomore

Synopsis: With home court advantage and all of the key players from last season's state championship team back, expectations have never been higher for this group. The team has Harvard commit Shilpa Tummala and sophomore standout Courtney Ekmark to fill it up from the wings and a solid interior presence with Louisville signee Cortnee Walton, which should give the Knights a great shot at winning their first TOC crown.

Wesleyan School

Location: Norcross, Ga.
FAB 50 Rank*: 11
First Opponent: Our Lady of Good Counsel
Current Record*: 7-0
2010-11 Record: 31-2
Coach: Jan Azar
Impact Player: F Holli Wilkins, senior

Synopsis: Don't be fooled by the Wolves' classification of single-A, this team can play with the best big-school programs without issue. Wesleyan has just one double-digit scorer, Holli Wilkins, who is averaging 16.9 points per game, but this team is about depth and balance, making it one of the harder teams to prepare for.


Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
FAB 50 Rank*: Not Ranked
First Opponent: MacArthur
Current Record*: 4-1
2010-11 Record: 29-4
Coach: Steve Smith
Impact Player: P Imani Stafford, senior

Synopsis: With Imani Stafford, one of the top senior posts, getting back into playing shape, the Wildcats are becoming more dangerous with each day that passes. Helping the Texas-bound star is an electric sophomore point guard, Jordin Canada. Both players have international experience with USA Basketball national teams. This squad should be looking to use the TOC as a springboard into the FAB 50.

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Chris Hansen is the national director of prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at chris.hansen@espn.com.