NGC Sunday stars

8 Aug

Archie Goodwin had the National Hoops Report vote for MVP of the Nike Global Challenge.

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

The United States Midwest team took home the gold medal in a spirited game against the Canadians. Who stood out on the final day of the Nike Global Challenge? Here’s my top 10 from Sunday.

1. Archie Goodwin (2012) – What a day, what a weekend. When the USA Midwest team needed a punch, Goodwin put on the gloves. He found ways to score and he beat a very good Canada team by himself down the final minutes of the best game of the Nike Global Challenge. Tremendous effort by the young man. I watched Ricky Ledo all weekend and if he’s still the top SG in the country by the pundits in the next set of rankings and Goodwin is behind him, I’ll be shocked. Goodwin is the best shooting guard I’ve seen in the class of 2012. What a player.

2. Aaron Gordon (2013) – It was an up and down event for the entertaining forward from California. On Sunday, he had it all rolling. Outside of his Blake Griffin athleticism, the 6-foot-7 forward showed off his perimeter touch by hitting five three-pointers. He scored a tournament high 30 points and grabbed a team high seven rebounds in a loss. His antics were outstanding but they also came at the expense of self-service at times. When he channels it all together, Gordon will be the special player that the basketball world thinks he is. Big time talent.

3. Anthony Bennett (2012) – I’m not sure there is anyone from the Nike Global Challenge field that actually wanted to play against the 6-foot-8 manchild. He’s a hard-playing, physical forward that can, and will, abuse you in the low blocks. On Sunday, he showed off his face up game, too. Bennett hit four three-pointers in the championship game and every one was needed or came at the right time. Scary to think what kind of player he can become in time.

4. Andrew Wiggins (2014) – It was a wonderful weekend of basketball for the 6-foot-7 small forward. He has the total package of skill and an attitude that will warrant big leaps of improvement. He was aggressive in his attacking the basket enough to foul out Jabari Parker in what was to be the best individual match-up of the tournament. Wiggins finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

5. Braxton Ogbueze (2012) – The more you watched him, the more you liked him. Ogbueze hit some important three-pointers for his East squad and proved to be the separating factor in a win on Sunday over the West. According to his coaches, Ogbueze was inquisitive, coachable and a good communicator on a team that had some big personalities.

6. Rasheed Sulaimon (2012) – The Duke bound guard took it upon himself to make shots for his West team when they needed a run. He hit back-to-back three-pointers in the faces of defenders and played with great swagger and confidence. Players like Sulaimon shine in Duke’s system and he played like a guy that was ready to suit up in Cameron Indoor like, well, today.

7. Jarnell Stokes (2012) – You can’t really appreciate his value in the post until you see him in action. For starters, he’s huge. Julius Peppers huge. On top of that, he likes being the tough guy. He is great on the glass. He’s wide in the shoulders and wide in the trunk. That’s bad news for defenders or guys behind him on a box out. Stokes was one of the top rebounders at the event and made some great offensive moves on Sunday to cement home the weekend he had here.

8. Cameron Biedscheid (2012) – Every year there is a freshman in college that was ranked outside of the top 40/50 range that averages double figures, starts more than 60 percent of his team’s games and emerges as a guy that the media labels as a “surprise”. Biedscheid could be that guy if he remains in that 40/50 area. He’s a good shooter, knows how to score, he’s long and knows how to play. Notre Dame picked a player that can shine in their system.

9. Brice Johnson (2012) – Another great day of work from the 6-foot-9 big man. He got most of his work done on dunks but those dunks often came on offensive rebounds, too. Johnson had a good weekend of work here in Portland. His confidence is rising. He’s still quite raw, no doubt, but there is plenty to like if he can continue to build on the great three weeks that he is riding.

10. Sim Bhullar (2012) – There is a difference of being big and being big and good. Being big is standing in the paint with your arms to the sky, fumbling passes and not grabbing rebounds when you are supposed to. Being big and good means catching the entry passes, grabbing offensive rebounds off the rim and using the iron as your friend. Bhullar does the latter. He has good hands, a nice understanding of how to score and he had another great day on the glass.

More: NGC Saturday stars

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