Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ohio AAU State Tournament Recap

Esa Ahmed-6'7 PF/C Shaker Heights

Although I was not present (injured my knee bowling with my sons on Friday), my sources of information informed me that I missed some great games at the Ohio AAU State Tournament in Cincinnati this past weekend!  The event hosted approximately 81 teams from 8th - 11th grades. Let's start with one of the best games of the tournament. The semi-final match up between U-15 All-Ohio Red and the King James Shooting Stars (formally Cincinnati Knights) was a longtime coming, featured some of Ohio's top 9th graders (Ohio's Top 30 Players), and was a straight slug fest. Not only was the action on the court heated, I understand the tension carried over off the court as passions ran a little hot (as did the facility) with the standing room only crowd that gathered at Landmark HS in Cincinnati. According to the people I spoke with, the game was nip and tuck throughout the contest, with neither team being able to mount more than a 4-5 point lead throughout the game.

One of the featured match-ups of the game pitted 2 of Ohio's top post players in Cleveland's Esa Ahmed, and Cincinnati's Nate Fowler. Although the debate over who the top guy is in the state has been raging for years, the argument may have been settled on Sunday, as it has been reported that Ahmed had a monster game and proved difficult to guard. Although Fowler is the bigger of the 2 players, Ahmed is quicker and more agile, and can use his perimeter advantage to drive around bigger defenders. On Sunday, those offenders were Fowler and Tony Anderson (formally ran with All-Ohio). Ahmed may have logged in the bigger performance in terms of scoring, but Huber Heights' D'Mitrik Trice inflicted much of the damage as well with his clutch shooting and timely buckets. Although Trice has not been the featured guard on that loaded squad so far this season, it sounds like his play over the weekend represented a breakout of sorts.

Amos "AJ" Harris-PG Dayton

By the time the final horn had sounded, All-Ohio had grabbed bragging rights (I understand there was a lot of that) with a 69-54 win. Make no mistake, because of the number elite players in this game, and the fact that both teams are Ohio's best, this game was the most important game of the year in any division. Unfortunately, we may only get to see the match-up i time per year! The standout performers for Red were Esa Ahmed, D'Mitrik Trice and VJ King. My sources also tell me that AJ Harris did nothing to be dethroned as the top PG in the class as his play was at a high level. In addition, it has been reported the Luke Kennard may have been the leading scoring, despite an off shooting night (by his high standards), and MaCieo Teague is reported to have logged in a solid performance as well. According to Coach Q, Newark's Jordan Dardis deserves to be mentioned among the top PGs in the state, based in part on his size (6'1) and his "complete game." To be honest, Dardis has never really been on our radar, but from most accounts, he can go.

Because of questionable scheduling, the best game of the tournament for the 9th graders was the aforementioned semi-final game. Consequently, in the Championship game of the division, All-Ohio Red easily defeated All-Ohio Black to claim the gold medal with a 68-43 victory. Although Black reportedly played Red close early in the first quarter, Red eventually flexed their muscle, took control of the game and eventually got the W. On their way to the final game, All-Ohio knocked off the Ohio Hoopsters (+35), Ohio Crossover (102-32), Dayton Metro (71-30), Cincinnati Lakers (76-43), King James and All-Ohio Black.

Cincinnati Lakers-2012 Ohio AAU Champions

In the 8th grade division, we may have a brand new #1 ranked team in the state, as Charles Riggens' Cincinnati Lakers avenged an earlier loss to Team Lima in the championship game of the King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron several weeks ago and are now back-to-back state champs. This time around, employing a 2-3 zone for most of the game to neutralize Team Lima's athletic advantage, the Lakers jumped to, and sustained a double digit lead until the clock showed zeros. According to Riggens, the guard play of Jeremy Larkin and Rodrick Caldwell, coupled with solid post play of his bigs; Jake Houserman and Andrew Homer, was the difference in the game. The Lakers' win was even more remarkable considering they were without the services of his son, Ashon (cramps) and John Bubenhofer (concussion). For the record, cramps also took it's toll on team Lima, as Jalen Thomas did not play and Tree Cobbs struggled with the issues.

On their trek to the championship, the Lakers defeated Hidden Gems, All-Ohio Red, Cincinnati Royals, Nova Village, Cincinnati Bulldogs and Team Lima. It should be noted, Coach Riggens was really complimentary of the Bulldogs' and the play of Tommie "TC" Wells and Hunter Lampley. We are not surprised at his assessment, as both players have excelled at our elite showcases in the past. For team Lima, Xavier Simpson deserves special mention for the way he ran his team. Team Lima's path to the championship game included wins over Ohio Varsity (80-20), All-Ohio Purple (79-39), Ohio Warriors (56-38), Dayton Heat (16 +) and All-Ohio Elite (52-44).

The top 4 finishers in the 8th grade divisions were the Lakers, Team Lima, Cincinnati Bulldogs and All-Ohio Elite. On another note, unfortunately, the fact that the King James Shooting Stars dropped out of the event on Thursday was a source of disappointment for many fans, as a lot of people wanted to see the individual and team match-ups that would have been created had they shown up. I also heard that several other players had good weekends, including Columbus' Seth Towns, Tyrus Battle, Ruben Flowers, Tree Cobbs, Derrick Daniels, Jerron Cumberland, Trey Smith, Wells, Lampley and Jalen Tate.

Finally, it has to be mentioned the Jerry Watson's All-Ohio Red teams pulled a clean sweep of the 3 high school divisions. The U-17 squad squeezed by a very talented Queen City Prophets team with an overtime victory in the semis, before taking down Martin Wolverines by about 10 points to claim the title. In the U-16 division, All-Ohio Red pulled out a close one against the Shining Stars to claim the gold.

The AAU State tournament was not the only show in town this past weekend, as there was a small interstate shootout between 3 of Ohio's top 6th grade teams and 3 of Kentucky's best squads right across the river at the Midwest Sports Complex in Florence. The 3 Ohio teams included All-Ohio Purple, Pickerington Wildcats and Dayton Metro, while Kentucky featured Lousiville's Spiece Gators (ranked #1), Kentucky Thunder (ranked #2) and the Shinning Stars (D-II AAU State Champs).

In terms of the format, each team played 3 games against the opposing state's teams. It looks like Ohio had the better day, as no team finished worse that 2-1, while 2 Kentucky teams left town 0-3. Kentucky's Spiece Gators got 2 wins against Pickerington and Dayton Metro. The final tally is as follows: AOP (3-0), Pickerington (2-1) Dayton Metro (2-1), Spiece Gators (2-1) Kentucky Thunder (0-3) and the Shinning Stars (0-3). It should be noted that the Thunder was without their best player. Standouts for All-Ohio were Kane Cooper and Jackson See. For Dayton Metro, Antwon Johnson and TK Robinson and Drew Ashurst were the top guys.  Pickerington's standouts include: Seth Goodsoon, Isaiah Speelman and Xavier Henderson.

46 comments:

  1. Some 6th graders to consider for your top 30 in the state. Some standouts I've seen over the winter/spring.

    Seth Goodson (Pickerington)
    Isaiah Speelman (Pickerington)
    Ty Wiley (Hoopsters)
    Juan Elmore (Hoopsters)
    Chase Rankin (Buckeye Prep)
    Dane Goodwin (Excel)
    Braden Norris (Excel)
    Matt Allocco (Excel)*5th grader who plays up
    Kane Cooper (AOP)
    Jordan Coovert (AOP)

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  2. Not surprised Esa dominated they're Bigs...he is by far the best 2015 recruit in this this state bar none. congrats AOR in sweeping all divisions

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    1. Him And Josh Williams

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    2. some top underrated recruit in Ohio for 2017

      Cameron Willis ( Xenia)
      Michel Carter (Dayton) flying chargers
      Nick Fickleson (Cincinnati Vikings)
      Amari Peak ( Dayton Charger)
      Quinton Woods( Family 2)
      Noah Wallace ( Cincinnati Lakers)
      Cain Williams ( Gym Rats)

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  3. I'll just say this, you keep the same names going in your blog, but some of the kids you mention were shut down by some 'less favored" kids. I highly suggest that you pay closer attention to the players who are playing well whether they are on the top teams or not. Then your bog will seem a little less biased. Not to say that these tops kids arent doin their thing, just saying the game has more kids in it than you or your reps seem to notice.

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  4. The other day, someone told me I cover too many kids, now I'm accused of covering only the top kids? I learned a long time ago that I can't please everybody! Nobody writes about more kids than we do! Go find another site that covers more kids than we do. People see what they want to see. The top kids tend to be consistent, therefore, they get more attention.

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  5. I personally feel that this site and aau basketball is getting so big in this state that you are understaffed, there are a lot of teams that put in a lot of hard work and coaches that put a lot into this aau stuff that sometimes they can feel slighted, I enjoy your blog I just feel you need more reps covering these major tourneys, for instance in your blog about the 9 th grade state, I don't recall you saying anything about one player from all Ohio black even though they were in the championship game but you were talking about the kids from king james...again just stating my opinion, keep up the good work!!!!

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  6. You make a valid point! I challenge you to find a person willing to leave their family for a weekend; sit in a gym all day; fight score keepers, coaches, players and parents for information; get home late and start writing stories all for free! Trust me, there are not many people "willing and able," to that year in and year out! I do my best, and will continue to do better!

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  7. And that's all we can ask you to do, but we appreciate everything you are doing

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  8. Rob - I would assume that the 14U Lakers will be your new #1. I believe it should then be Team Lima, AOE, Dayton Heat, and the Bulldogs. In fact, the Bulldogs and Dayton Heat could be flip-flopped.

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    1. Who have the Bulldogs beat?They were on the weak side of the bracket.They do have some good players but i have never seen them upset any teams.

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    2. I have already updated the rankings. See the link on the right side of the face page, halfway down.

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  9. No. Lima beat Lakers by 20+ in King James. Lakers beat Lima with Lima missing 2 starters.

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    1. Lakers were missing best defender in the state at the final in King James against Lima. Both teams were without (2) key players in the state tournament. Lakers and Lima are both good.

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  10. Rob- something you probably didnt know since you did not make the tournament. VCC Warriors were beat by the Cincinnati Royals (Blue) who were a solid team. They deserve some recognition. Also, the Bulldogs came in 4th, but played close and even led the Lakers through the 3rd into the 4th. The Bulldogs only lost by 5 to AOE and led in the 4th Q too.

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  11. Agreed.....Heckuva shot by Blue to end an intense game. Cramps by Dozier seemed to effect Bulldogs at the end of both games.(No help inside for TC Wells)

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  12. did trevell beck switch teams?

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  13. The Cincinnati Royals bear V.C.C. and lost to the Bulldogs by 4 how come they aren't even a team Knocking at the door?

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you I greatly appreciate it for your time and effort you put into this stuff you must really enjoy basketball

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  15. There not in the running for the same reason the Dayton nets team isn't...no star players or player in the top 30...nets just won division 2 nationals, top 4 at the spiece memorial day tourney...lost by 1 to tnba at king James silver championship game...lost to the bulldogs by 1 without their pg quiseberry's or center, they have also beat nova village

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  16. That's not true. Tell me who in the top 10 has the Nets beat? Look at the U-13 divisions, there are a couple of teams with no stars represented because the team is getting it done. I understand a team that excels because of stars, and teams that excel because of good all around team play. at the end of the day, you have to win, stars on no stars!

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  17. Royals were up 10 at half agianst bulldogs but then there best player number 14 got sick and couldn't play anymore plus two big me fouled out.

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    1. Very true but that's part of the game

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    2. Not sure what your argument is-- that Royals lack depth? That their defense wore out and started fouling? That's like saying the refs were against you. Rob's right-- either way you have to win.

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    3. I was there and, the refs were most definately NOT against the Royals!

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  18. I would love to see him at my Sept 23rd elite showcase!

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  19. Rob - Carlik Jones from AOE is on the list of top players at 14Uand John Bubenhofer from the Lakers is not? That kid is one of the best pure shooters in the state.

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    Replies
    1. Bubenhofer is quick, but too small. He is not in Top 30 IMHO.

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  20. Dayton Nets parent/fan

    My son plays AAU so I've seen alot of teams this spring, I agree your team is solid and deserves considerstion. I was telling my brother the other day that if some of these teams combined they could have something real special. I've seen good players on the Heat;AOP;Metro. Obviously you cant combine all three but just a thought. I'm all for competition, but ask yourself do you want to compete locally or nationally like Sullinger,Payne;Craft;Siebler and Staten did. Look where it got them...

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  21. I'm referring to the All-Ohio Red team they played on. They won 4 National chamionships.

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  22. I think if the nets had a true center a 6-6,6-7 kid they would be special...they have outstanding forwards and guards and are truly a product of hard work

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  23. keith griffin is db hoops jackson best player and yall dont never put him on yall site and he is the best PG IN THE STATE

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  24. He is listed on this site. We have him ranked in the top 30, and he is listed as a top player in the team rankings. He will be featured more when we see him more.

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  25. NO NO,you heard wrong the Tillman kid from Cleveland is the best PG IN THE STATE.

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  26. Yea I saw him last week,he nice Rob.Rob is he in the top 30 or what.

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  27. Griffin is a true 2 for real.All he ever does is look to score,but don't get me wrong he's a great player.Tillman has great size for the 1 and all the intangibles.Rob when you see them put up their highlight tapes,asap!

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  28. Excuse me , I have watched a kid named Hershey Green play ; and he can flat out ball ! You don't have him on your radar at all ! He is going to the 9th I think , he is a 5'4 or 5'5 PG out of Columbus !

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  29. keith griffen is da best point guard in ohio hands down

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  30. 2016 BEST PG HAS TO BE X.SIMPSON FROM LIMA THEN BRANDON PETERS FROM CLEVELAND.. KEITH ISN'T A POINT GUARD HE SCORES THE ROCK TO WELL TO BE PASSING THE BALL KEITH GRIFFIN THE BEST 2 GUARD IN THE STATE!!!! BUT THE BEST OVERALL PLAYER HANDS DOWN IS TREVELL "NUNU" BECK

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  31. No way Brandon Peters is good but he is not better then keith griffen at the PG because Brandon Peters is a scorer to all i have to say is DB Hoops Jackson And Team Lima Black should go at it and dont also forget about Roderick Caldwell PG

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  32. This year yall should look out for Warrensville Heights Middle School Kiante Mathews This kid is something nice Look Out For Him and that Warrensville Middle School Team

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  33. What about Anthony Christian out of Akron he's a good player he plays multiple positions because of his length and ball handling skills

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  34. a very underrated guard to look out for is John Taphorn of the Cincinnati Royals. He will be at la salle this upcoming year and he and Jeremy Larkin will be something special for the Lancers!

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  35. I think Bowling Tournaments will be great
    Website. Which carey spots news and information.

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