TOC 2017 First Impressions

TOC 2017 First Impressions
Charisma OsborneCharisma Osborne

MESA, Arizona – The opening day of the Nike Tournament of Champions wasted little time pitting elite players and teams against each other.  Just two games in to the day, here are some takeaways.


Centennial’s Pace Too Much

Windward brought plenty of talent to Arizona for its opening round matchup with Centennial but the Las Vegas based Bulldogs have too much depth and play too fast to dig out of a hole.  Windward got down early and Centennial’s depth was too much.

With Eboni Walker, Justice Ethridge and Melanie Isbell all returning to a championship caliber team with ample experience, Karen Weitz’ team will be a favorite here in the desert.


Osborne Certified Bucket Getter

This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Charisma Osborne can flat out score.  Even as the focal point of the team’s defense, she keeps her cool.  But if the defender relaxes for a second, she’s going to make a play.  She handles the contact in the lane as well as players with more size.  Her Windward squad just didn’t have enough to beat the Centennial machine.


Young Playing Old

Neenah Young is poised for big things in the Ivy League next year.  She’s a floor general, physical defender, engaged rebounder and long range shooter.  She’s a player who gives teammates confidence and her ability to control pace, see over the defense and find open teammates was all on display in the first round win over Rock Creek Christian Academy.  She will be an asset from Princeton.


Hemi's Hitters

UCLA signee Kiara Jefferson of West Campus High School (CA) showed her full array of skills today in a match-up versus Germantown Academy. She is a quick ball handler who finds open teammates consistently. She loves the midrange turnaround jumper as a go-to move. She is on the preseason Naismith Watch List.

TCU signee Yo’myris Morris of North Little Rock High School (AR) could have been the best back to the basket post player we saw today. She is a skilled post who can score with either hand and pivot off of both feet to score.

Class of 2018 Alexa Naessens of Germantown Academy (PA) is a skilled post player who can score with her back to the basket. The lefty scored consistently versus contact because of her touch and size. Although a traditional post player, she is mobile for her size and can produce with activity. She is signed to play at Colgate next season.


Chris Hansen is managing editor of and serves on the McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Trophy selection committees.  He was a co-founder of and the national director of scouting for ESPN HoopGurlz from 2005 until 2012 and is the director of the Check Me Out Showcase.  He can be reached at


Jonathan Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the National Scouting Report, is on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and owns, the go-to source for coaches for X’s and O’s.  He is the floor director of #TeamEBA camps, a site director for #TeamPSB tournaments and can be reached at

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