2019 Las Vegas National Tourney All-Tournament Team

UH’s Luke Hanlon and Hall-of-Famer Izzy Elkaffas select their 2019 Las Vegas All-Tournament team.

UH’s Luke Hanlon and Hall-of-Famer Izzy Elkaffas select their 2019 Las Vegas All-Tournament team.

It’s time to reveal the 2019 Las Vegas All-National Tournament Team. This year, UH Hall-of-Famer Izzy Elkaffas and I are doing a combined team. You’ll see the reasoning behind our selections for each player. We ended up agreeing on four players, so you can decide which team you like better.

I need to use this prologue to explain that I do not select my teams the way the NBA does. Positions mean nothing to me. My goal is to always select the five best players in the tournament; it’s that simple. Izzy went with a more traditional approach and went with a team that would make sense on the floor together.


Tevin Kelly – X Over

Hanlon: There’s no other place to start than with the Tournament MVP. The race for Tournament MVP came down to Kelly and his teammate Travis Gabbidon, and the decision didn’t have a wrong answer (much like Giannis vs. Harden in the NBA this season). Kelly ultimately got the nod due to the shot heard around UH nation (which has gone viral), which will go down as the most iconic shot in UH history.

Kelly did so much more than make one game-winner, however. He was consistently amazing throughout the tournament, averaging 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists while shooting 54% from the field and 41% from deep.

2019 champion X Over’s Kelly and Gabbidon both landed on the All-Tourney team

2019 champion X Over’s Kelly and Gabbidon both landed on the All-Tourney team

He controlled the X Over offense, and the stats show that, but his energy and tenacity were immense as well. That shows up in the stat sheet with a five-steal game against San Antonio Nation in the quarterfinals and a 10-rebound (four of them offensive) performance in the semifinals against Ball So Hard.

Simply put: there was nothing Kelly couldn’t do in this tournament.

Elkaffas: Viewed as an All-Tournament snub in 2018, Kelly earned his Tournament MVP, and his All-Tournament Team in 2019.

Kelly did it on both ends of the court and displayed serious amounts of grit, a word used often over the weekend between Luke and I over the livestream. TK put up 21/7/6 on an impressive 54% shooting from the floor.

As mentioned above in regard to grit, TK’s motor didn’t stop. He was found relentlessly crashing boards, switching onto bigs, and consistently rotating defensively despite playing all 132 possible minutes on Sunday. I’ve witnessed a lot of impressive performances in the National Tournament over the last eight years, but TK’s Sunday performance was reminiscent of a young Tiger Woods’ Sunday dominance – it was pure brilliance.

Kelly hit the greatest shot in Ultimate Hoops history, against the greatest franchise in Ultimate Hoops history, capping off the greatest game in Ultimate Hoops history. A dynasty was slayed, and a new king was crowned.

Tevin Kelly, your throne awaits you.


Travis Gabbidon – X Over

Hanlon: Gabbidon had a rough start to the tournament, shooting 8-27 and averaging 9.0 points in the two Friday games for X Over. Once the significance of the games increased, so did Gabbidon’s production.

In X Over’s last four games, he shot for a split of 46/40/83 and averaged 29 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. This includes a 36-point performance against San Antonio Nation in the quarterfinals and a 27/9/6 performance against Never Off Work in the championship game (where he also made all 12 free throws he attempted).

Gabbidon was the second-best player in the tournament, and the best player was one of his teammates. That’s why X Over were able to pull off the previously impossible task of beating Ball So Hard.

Elkaffas: He may have not won the MVP of the tournament, but Gabbidon was without a doubt the most important player for X Over. The best offensive big man this tournament has ever seen.

At 6’9” and about 260, Gabbidon could score on all three levels, and his jumper was better than most guards in the tournament. His size and ability to stretch the floor was the main reason Ball So Hard’s historic run came to an end.

The one thing Ball So Hard didn’t have was Gabbidon. Zach Andrews and Dwight Pederson are physical specimens that protect the rim at an elite level, but neither could hold a candle to TG’s all-around offensive arsenal. If he wanted to take you off the dribble, he could. If he wanted to pick-and-pop, he could. If he wanted to pick-and-roll, he could. If he wanted to post up, he could. He could, and he did – all of it.

In 2020, X Over may not be everyone’s team to beat, but Gabbidon will be everyone’s man to stop. Spoiler: it ain’t happening.


Isaiah Lopez – Never Off Work

Hanlon: If you just looked at Lopez’s stats, you would think he’s on the border line for an All-Tournament Team. He averaged 15.5/6.3/6.3 with a shooting split of 46/38/87. Those are excellent numbers in a tournament with this much talent.

Never Off Work’s Lopez

Never Off Work’s Lopez

The numbers aren’t good enough though to emphasize the impact Lopez had on Never Off Work. If you saw any of their games, you understand that he was a lock to make this team. He was the gasoline that fueled the Never Off Work offense. Anytime his teammates were in doubt with what to do on offense, they got the ball to Lopez and good things happened.

Lopez’s energy, vision and speed made him a nightmare for opposing teams in transition. Never Off Work lost in the championship game, but it wasn’t due to a poor performance from Lopez. He finished with a team-high 23 points on 9-18 from the field, adding seven rebounds and six assists. 

Elkaffas: Out of everyone in this tournament, I left the most surprisingly impressed by Lopez. He looks more like a surfer than he does a hooper. His scoring numbers may not be eye-popping, but he was the engine that made Never Off Work run.

He scored (15.5 ppg), he facilitated (6.3 apg), he rebounded (6.3 rpg), he hustled (12.7 miles run per game), and he defended (2.3 takedowns per game). In a stacked guard tournament, Lopez is arguably the most well-rounded of the group.

Without Lopez, NOW goes 1-2 in pool play, and comes nowhere near the championship game. You can make a case for Demetrius Baugh on this list, and much like Christian Bower was just behind Jordan Vigil for the All-Tournament team, Baugh barely misses the cut in favor of Lopez. There are some players you respect their game and appreciate their talents. Then there are others that have just enough crazy in their eyes that you would go to war with.

I’d go to war with Lopez, and Never Off Work’s run to the title game proved that Lopez can win just about every battle with him at the helm.


Jordan Vigil – Private Lessons 

Hanlon: The 50/40/90 club is a mark that great scorers strive for, but only a few actually achieve it. Vigil shot for a 52/50/90 split in this tournament, shattering the 40 part of that club. He was the most efficient scorer in the tournament, and that hot shooting led to him averaging 25.2 points (fourth-most in the tournament) on 17.6 shots per game.

Private Lesson’s Jordan Vigil soared to our 2019 All-Tourney Team.

Private Lesson’s Jordan Vigil soared to our 2019 All-Tourney Team.

Private Lessons was a team that played its best when they worked the ball around to create open shots from the perimeter.

The second-best option was to get the ball to Vigil and let him cook. It didn’t seem to matter who was guarding him because no one was able to stop him.

Despite being listed at 5’10” he’s able to get good looks on his jumper because he gets so much lift that he can shoot over defenders.

That vertical was on full display on a few gym-shaking dunks as well. Getting on the All-Tournament Team is easier when you throw down dope dunks; I like dope dunks.

Elkaffas: Unfortunately, Vigil’s Private Lessons team lost in the semifinals to Never Off Work, and JV’s tank seemed to be running on empty as he logged an average of 40 mins per game over the weekend. Despite the poor performance, Vigil made my All-Tournament Team just ahead of teammate Christian Bower.

Much like his namesake, Vigil spent most of the tournament flushing down tantalizing dunk after tantalizing dunk despite his 5’10” frame. That’s just the appetizer, because the rest of tournament was some of the most impressive stuff you’ll see.

Vigil brought the goods on both ends of the floor, but his bread was buttered on the offensive end. He averaged 25 points per game and did it while joining the 50/50/90 club. The first 50/50/90 performance in tournament history. Simply put, Vigil didn’t miss, and he was unguardable all weekend.


Jordan Cannon – Villains

Hanlon: It’s always hard picking a player that didn’t make it to the semifinals, but Cannon was far from the reason the Villains were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Never Off Work.

Cannon was the only player to shoot above 50% from the field (8-14) in that loss, which led to a team-high 22 points, adding six rebounds and three assists. He was dominant throughout pool as well, which helped him average 23.3/6.5/6.5 over the course of four games.

Jordan Cannon

Jordan Cannon

Cannon shot for a split of 59/43/71. There are reports that the Villains will bring almost this identical roster to the NYC National Tournament in August.

If Cannon plays at the level he did in Vegas, the Villains could be early favorites.

Josh McCarver - Villains

Elkaffas: I decided to go with a true backcourt and frontcourt for my All-Tournament Team. I couldn’t decide between Cannon, Bower, Demetrius Baugh or Dermaine Crockrell, so I opted for a traditional All-Tournament Team.

Other players may be more deserving since the Villains lost in the quarterfinals, but McCarver was arguably the most impactful player on both ends.

Other players may be more deserving since the Villains lost in the quarterfinals, but McCarver was arguably the most impactful player on both ends.

Were there more impactful offensive players? Of course.

Josh McCarver of The Villains

Josh McCarver of The Villains

Were there more impactful defensive players? Perhaps.

But there wasn’t anyone that did it on both ends as well as McCarver.

McCarver would block a shot off the glass on one end, run the floor and throw down a tip dunk on the other. His motor was high, and his presence was felt, especially defensively.

He blocked over three shots per game and altered many more. He isn’t as polished as Travis Gabbion offensively, but JMC’s size and soft touch around the basket caused problems for teams all weekend.

The hometown Villains disappointed yet again, but Josh McCarver did not.