Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pair of 2020 Standouts Reclassify to 2021

Jack Pugh & Andy Baba Headed to the Class of 2021
Two of Ohio’s top 8th graders will both be repeating the 8th grade when the 2016/2017 school year begins in in the fall.  Jack Pugh (6’3/WF/Plain City) and Andy Barba (6’2/SG/Chagrin Falls) are both top 10 players in the state in the class of 2020, so a move to the class of 2021 could continue to boost their already sizable stock going forward.  Pugh, after returning from an early season injury this year has been lighting it up for the Mid-Ohio Pumas this spring.  However, from what we understand, Pugh will be attending middle school in San Diego, California next year, will be training with Steve Wade’s elite San Diego Select team in the winter and will return to the Pumas next summer before returning to Ohio to begin his freshman year in high school.  Barba is currently playing with the Ohio Basketball Club (OBC) and will either remain in Ohio and attend Kenston Middle School, or head down to Florida and attend IMG Academy.  In the summer, depending on his size and strength, Barba will either continue to play with his father’s 2020 OBC team next season, or play up at the U-16 level. 

Pugh is arguably the #1 ranked player in Ohio right now and would surely reclaim the top spot in 2021 if he remained in the state.  However, with Barba, already ranked in the top 10 in the state, he could vie for the top spot with the likes of Seth Wilson, Noah Peoples, Meechie Johnson, Jaden Hameed, Raymell Arnold and Omar Abuhamdeh just to name a few.  In any respect, we can expect both players to make a significant impact on the class in elite spring and summer events and at the middle school level next year.  Also, rumor has it the Jalen Dials and Javon Patton, both in the class of 2020 will be reclassifying as well.  Next season is already shaping up to be exciting.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ohio Varsity Captures D-II AAU State Qualifier

Ohio Varsity-2022 D-II AAU Champions
With their 3-0 run and double digit win over Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors in the championship game, Ohio Varsity’s 2022 squad captured the AAU D-II State Championship in Cincinnati last weekend.  Standouts for Ohio Varsity included: Javan Simmons (5’8/C/Gahanna), Josh Harlan (5’4/SG/Pickerington), Jerry Saunders (5’8/SG/Pickerington), Eljae Deas (4’10/PG/Gahanna) and JaVajion Jordan (5’4/SG/Columbus).  Congratulations to Ohio Varsity’s players, coaches and parents.

Rebels Continue to Rack up Tournament Championships

Rebels Basketball-Coaster Classic Champions
The 2020 Rebels, one of the state’s most successful teams this season, has notched another tournament championship. This time, the Rebels rode a 5-0 record to the title of the Coaster Classic in Sandusky, Ohio. To claim the title, the Rebels had to take down OBC Black, SMAC-Austin, TNBA West (47-16), Lorain Basketball Club (65-33) and the Lake Erie Thunder (61-39).  Garvin Clarke, John Hugley and Dakota Cochran all took turns leading the Rebels in scoring. In addition, last weekend in Boston, the Rebels finished in third place in AAU’s new TBL League.  Congratulations to Coach Justin Ferguson, his players and parents for all of their success this season.  You can catch the Rebels in action at the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown June 17th-18th,where they can attempt to secure yet another title against some of the best teams in the state.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Time Running out for Summer Showdown

More Buckeye Prep Elite 60 Coverage

Buckeye Prep Report led by Rob Taylor put together a great one day event called the Elite 60 Midwest Challenge where players from different areas of the Midwest were put on teams representing their state.  Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and 3 Teams from Ohio squared off and played 4 games each in a showcase environment.  The talent level was high, the event was well organized and it seems that it was a success in its inaugural year.  The following are the 10 players that caught our eye during the event.

Grant Huffman 6’2 Combo Guard (Ohio) – Huffman is a high IQ guard that can play on or off the ball.  He always seems to make the right play and he has a great demeanor.  He rebounds really well for his position and understands how to move without the ball.  Grant can score from all three levels but looks most comfortable attacking the basket.

Jack Pugh 6’3 Forward (Ohio) – Pugh is a hardnosed forward that plays bigger than his size.  He moves well without the ball and finishes around the basket at a high percentage.  Jack rebounded the ball very well and competes hard on defense.  He also works well from the midrange and has a great motor.

Jahquez Williams 6’3 Wing (Indiana) – We have never seen Williams before but he was a pleasant surprise and is one to watch out for in the future.  With nice length and a high motor he is a promising prospect.  He could guard multiple positions and had good quickness and athleticism.  Jahquez looks like he is just scratching the surface offensively but we saw him knock down a few jumpers and finish at the rim.

Jeremy Baker 6’1 Combo Guard (Indiana) – Baker is a strong body combo guard that is a scoring machine.  We like how he is able to take over a game when it is money time.  Jeremy plays to his strengths and always seems to be around the ball.  His jumper will keep you honest but his bread and butter is getting to the rim.  He also can give the opposing guard fits on the defensive end.

Jack Townsend 6’0 Combo Guard (Indiana) – Jack was probably the top 3pt shooter in the event.  He has a quick release and isn’t afraid to pull it from NBA range if you give him a little space.  His range allows great spacing for him and his teammates opening up driving lanes.  Townsend is a high IQ player that also can be a facilitator if asked to but he is at his best when he is looking to score.

Kevin Rice, Jr. 6’2 Combo Guard (Michigan) – This kid is wired to score.  Rice is sneaky athletic with a quick first step.  He has no wasted motion and has the knack to get into the seams of the defense and finish at the rim with either hand.  Kevin also has a nice jump shot with range to the 3pt line.

Tyler Brelsford 5’11 Point Guard (Maryland) – Tyler is a true floor general that understands how to get his teammates involved while still picking his spots to score the ball.  He had one of the best jump shots in the event both from the midrange and the 3pt line.  Brelsford also was getting in the paint finishing with his floater or kicking it out to an open shooter.

Marcus Johnson 6’4 Wing (Ohio) – Johnson is more of a prospect right now but he passes the look test and is super athletic.  He can guard multiple positions and if he puts his mind to it he can be a defensive stopper.  Marcus is playing above the rim and is at his best in transition but as he continues to develop his ball skills he will be one to keep an eye on.

Zeb Jackson 5’10 Point Guard (Ohio) – Jackson has great pace to his game and he is very patient while looking to attack or set up a teammate.  He has a really good pullup but is still crafty enough to get in the paint and make the right play.  The one thing that Zeb does well is that he always keeps his dribble and if he doesn’t have anything he will back the ball out and reset.

Collin Crothers 6’5 Forward (Illinois) – If you like a tough, strong big man that likes to do the dirty work then Crothers is your guy.  His comfort zone is the painted areas and he doesn’t stray far from there.  Collin rebounds the ball and finishes around the basket.  He also looks like he will set a mean screen and also blocks a fair amount of shots.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ohio Teams Excel at George Hill Tourney

Mid-Ohio Pumas-George Hill Invitational Champions (2020)
Coach Greg Allocco’s 2020 Mid-Ohio Pumas squad traveled to Indianapolis, IN this past weekend to participate in a loaded field at the George Hill Invitational and ended up running the table on the way the the 8th grade championship.  Let the truth be told, the Pumas faced little resistance as they mowed through some pretty tough teams.  While we were there, we caught some of their blowouts. In their wake were teams like Chicago’s Prodigy, the storied Mac Irvin Fire, Louisville Magic, and arguably the #1 team in the country, George Hill Rising Stars.  In the championship game, Matt Allocco drained 6 treys in the victory.  Other standouts for the Pumas included: Jack Pugh, Chris Mayfield and Cameron McCreay.  At some point, people are just going to have to accept the fact that the Pumas are for real, and list them among the best teams in the class of 2020!

Tony Kynard’s 2022 Toledo Wildcats team ran their season record to an impressive 37-4 after a 6-0 run at the George Hill Invitational in Indianapolis, IN. this past weekend.  With lopsided wins over Wisconsin United (81-18), Indiana Gametime (56-30), Stag Elite (38-11) Missouri Pressure (56-36), Louisville Focus (52-36) and Indiana Rise (42-29), the Wildcats captured yet another tournament championship and solidified their place among the nation’s elite. Toledo was powered by the outstanding play of Michigan’s Emoni Bates and Genesis Kemp, both of whom logged in dominate performances.  Also playing well for the Wildcats were Dior Connor and Demarko Craig.  With yet another title under their belt, the Wildcats have to be the favorite to win Buckeye Prep’s Team of the Year!

In Ohio AAU action, with only six players suited up for the weekend, Malcolm Walters’ 2020 NEO Shooting Stars went 6-0 on their way to the D-I AAU State Championship.  In an epic battle with All-Ohio Black, down 8 points with a little more the 1 minute left, Walters’ squad pulled out a 2-poimt victory on the strength of defense, big shots and free throws.  Stepping up for the Shooting Stars were Darion Henry, Grant Huffman, Devontae Blanton and Isaiah Kennedy.

Another Level  2020-Shoot the Rock Spring Classic Champs
Ozell Dobbins’ Another Level (2020) team took home some hardware as Shoot the Rock Spring Classic Champions. Another Level was led in scoring by O’mhan Dobbins who averaged for 22 points and 7 assists on his way to MVP honors. Anthony Maxie dominated defensively, averaging 14 rebounds and 6 blocked shots per game over the weekend.  In addition, Conner Boclear (6’4/WF/Cleveland) emerged over the weekend, averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Eddie Norrills’ Team Toledo Flash are AAU State champs after taking down Chris Anthony’s Ohio Bulldogs 64-56. Toledo was powered by Dominique Cole (6’5/WF/Toledo), who went for 18 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game. Also coming up big for Toledo were Jonzell Norrills, who finished with 10 points and 7 assists, Caleb Smith (14 points), Dimtri Mitsopouls (8 points) and Jaedyn McKinstry (6 points).  The Bulldogs displayed a balanced attack, but were led in scoring by Dominq Penn (14 points), Von Cameron Davis (12 Points) and CJ Anthony (10 points).

Brian Farmer’s All-Ohio Red squad made the Gold Bracket in the All-Ohio Super 16 Tournament this past weekend before being knocked out of the event with losses to the NEO Shooting Stars and Murphy AC. Two weeks ago, All-Ohio finished in second place at the Eddie Guice Memorial Tournament here in Columbus. All-Ohio was upended in the championship game by VCC Nova Village by 3 points.  

EBA Hoops 2022 captured their 3rd championship of the spring with a 5-1 run o the title of the Varsity AC Mayhem tournament in Massillon last weekend. EBA’s trek to the crown went through  the Ohio Bluejays (52-51 loss), All Out Sports (65-13), Air Attack-McAfee (47-37), Air Attack-Vaughn (75-30), Ohio Storm (64-33) and Air Attack-McAfee (41-39).  Jalen Wenger was the leading scorer in each of the 6 games, averaging an eye-popping 29 points per game. Behind him in scoring were Chris Smith, Braylen Wenger and Jaiden Malone.  For the season, EBA Hoops is 24-8.

Toledo Wildcats 2023-George Hill Invitational Champions
Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors (2022) finished as runner-ups at the D-II AAU State Qualifier in Cincinnati over the weekend. New Birth finished 2-2, and went down to Ohio Varsity for the second time in tournament in the championship game.  Standouts for the Warriors were Isaiah Wilkins (5’7/WF/Columbus), Drey Carter (5’7/WF/Bell Fountain) and Dan Washington (5’3/SG/WF/Columbus).

Ohio Basketball Club’s 2021 team won the silver division bracket of the NYBL this past weekend. Also, a shout out goes to All-Ohio Red 2026 for representing the Buckeye State at the George Hill Invitational this past weekend and bringing the title back to Ohio.  Congratulations to all of the teams, coaches, players and parents for a job well done!