On my way to the Peach Jam, I headed south to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina get a look at the action at Big Shots' Myrtle Beach Atlantic Slam Tournament. With the NCAA only allowing for 20 days in the month of July to evaluate potential prospects, tournament organizers are forced to sandwich in events into the short open periods in order to take advantage at the limited open periods. Like other live events, their were hoards of college coaches in the stands watching the action.
All-Ohio sent it's U-17 Red and U-16 Black teams to Myrtle Beach to get one last run in before heading north to the Peach Jam which is scheduled to start on Monday. In terms of the format, in the U-17 division, the two-day event was actually divided into two 16-team tournaments and exhibition games. As it has done in the past, the tournament attracted a number of quality teams in 3 grade divisions including: All-Ohio Red, Team Loaded, Southern Kings, South Carolina Ravens, Baltimore Elite, Louisiana Select, Team Phenom, Georgia Stars and Nike Team Florida.
All-Ohio Red is participating in the exhibition portion of the event and is slated to play only 3 games. On day one, playing without Elijah Macon and with a still hobbled Stevie Taylor, Benji Burke's squad began the day with a tough loss against Carolina Elite. All-Ohio was plagued by poor shooting and soft defense and was simply out played in every aspect of the game. In the second game of the day, All-Ohio came out with more energy and jumped all over DC Assault Blue to claim a lopsided 60-38 victory. Nate Anderson sparked All-Ohio with a summer best 18 points after hitting dagger treys at key points in the game. When Anderson's man refused to come out and defend him he stuck multiple treys from the top of the key. Anderson was supported by Trey Burke (12 points), and Stevie Taylor and Brandon Neel (9 points).
Tony Lavender's All-Ohio Black team notched a big opening round game against Paul Gripper's U-17 Team Phenom. From what I could tell, because they were playing a U-16 team, Gripper started with his reserves until about the 4 minute mark before going down 15-8 by half time. Although Team Phenom eventually went with their starters early in the 1st half, All-Ohio Black already established the momentum and went on to win 39-31. The leading scorers in the game were Kalid King (14 points) and Tyler White (11 points). In game two, All-Ohio Black was downed by a talented Baltimore Elite 62-49. Bmore was led in scoring by Daquan Cook who finished with a team-high 17 points. Tyler White continued to shoot well and led Black in scoring with a game-high 18 points, followed by Nicholas Archer who added 12 points. In other action, I caught Team Phenom's earlier game where they held off a determined Team Georgia Elite (2010) to claim a 78-72 victory. Although Gripper's squad held a comfortable lead the entire game, Lindsey Davis' young team cut the lead late in the game but still came up a little short. 6'6 Jabril Trawick had a monster game and finished with a game-high 30 points, followed by Devon Coleman who finished with 17 points of his own. Willie Clayton led Team Georgia with 26 points and Keenan Palmore contributed 12 markers. The highly regarded and clearly more talented Team Loaded destroyed Team Georgia Elite Maynard in a an earlier game. Team Loaded is a well put together squad with great guard play and impressive post play. The gym was packed with college coaches, most of whom were there to watch Tyler Lewis, one of the top 2012 prospects in the country. Lewis did not disappoint, as he finished with 16 points and found open team mates for open shots the entire game.