Through collaboration with Travis Durham and Triple T Recruiting, the Buckeye Prep Report will periodically host basketball related content on this website. This collaboration is consistent with Buckeye Prep’s mission of providing maximum exposure to young basketball players who are pursuing their dreams of playing basketball at the next level. By hosting content developed exclusively by Triple T Recruiting for this website, a broader audience will get the benefit of Triple T Recruiting’s insight and evaluations. Below is the first installment in what we hope will be a long and productive partnership. Enjoy the coverage!
DAY 1 RECAP GATOR ROMP
In day 1 of the Gator Romp in the Swamp today in Louisville, KY some of the best programs and best prospects in the 8th Grade class of 2018 were in full display. This event in its 3rd year has been a great draw for many ranked teams and this year would be no exception.
In pool play today we did see a very big upset with a VERY game Team Penny squad from Memphis, TN defeating the defending National Champion GA United team 77-72 in a fast paced shootout. Team Penny was led by great play from slashing scoring guard Taylor Brown with 18 pts and he was so solid and steady on both ends. Team Penny also got very solid play from Montez Allen and Sharp Shooter Alex Lomax.
GA United looked a little sluggish but there is no doubt that with the stellar play from the man childlike efforts of 6’3 Malik McClain and Guard Manderius Dickerson this group is special for a reason. They would rebound with a very good win in the Showcase game against Eddie Wilkens Elite. In that game Again McClain and Dickerson were again as solid as they come. Dickerson had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Dickerson only scored 6 points but had 5 assists that proved to be very important down the stretch in route to the 50-46 victory. Corderius Hastings had 10 pts in both pool games and is a very nice player in the open floor. GA United will be very hungry to come out tomorrow and regain their dominance in bracket play.
Eddie Wilkens ELW group from Atlanta play as hard as any team I have seen and they can absolutely get on a roll from outside with great 3 point shooting throughout pool play behind multiple shooters in Wilkens, Frye, Boykins, and Hagans the ELW group always has an opportunity to win every game they play. I can see with their effort and 3 point shooting ability why they are considered by most to be the #2 team from the State of Georgia.
Team Ramey brought their Black team to the event as opposed to the Elite team but they did get Elite level performances in Pool play from both Darius Dorsey as well as Jared Phillips. Both players had multiple double digit performances and both have great ability to score the ball in multiple ways but especially in transition which is a trademark from the Team Ramey Basketball organization which always makes them a capable group.
Buckeye Prep gave a really good performance in a pool play loss to Team Penny 48-43 but were very disciplined and solid on both ends just falling a little short in the end. I was very impressed with their ability to control the tempo against Team Penny and that was because of the solid play from Seth Goodson who shot the ball well scoring 11 points as well as Cameron Carlisle who had 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Shining Stars from Ohio were impressive in their undersized perimeter shooting style which allowed them to compete with the best teams in the Country in this event. Behind great shooting Isaiah Payton, Ryan Ready, and Christian Kelly which all had games of double digit scoring as well as 3 or more threes in each this group never seemed to be out of the game. Also I must say even though some of the stats may not show it I was very impressed with the body and athletic strength of forward Javon Hicks. He plays much bigger than his height and in many instances was the toughest player on the floor at both ends.
Lexington Future from Kentucky has some of the most impressive prospects not talked about coming into this event. In evaluation I can tell you there are not ANY better players or bodies than Trevon Faulkner who at 6’2 has a wing span of about 6’6 and his lefty lightning quick style is almost impossible to stop in transition. I was also very impressed with the hands, feet, and motor of 6’5 big man Tre King who had back to back double double performances in pool play and also blocks many shots with his agility and ability to get off the floor. Cobe Penny was also another very strong athlete that was the best defender on the floor for the Lexington Future in all games I witnessed and he was usually locked on the other team’s best player while still having 2 games of double digit scoring showing his ability on both ends.
The Kentucky Gators were probably the most impressive team in their performances today defeating Team Ramey Black by 20, Ohio Hoopsters by 30, and beating a Team Penny game which beat the #1 team in the nation earlier in the day by a final of 68-47 in the showcase game of the event. The Gators were led throughout the day by the strong play of BIG Bayley Rice who at 6’8 and 250 lbs had 41 points and 31 rebounds in 3 games and was the best Big Man on the floor owning the paint on both ends. Also Anthony Wales and Trey Hill both had double digits in all 3 games with Ahmad Price had 17 points and 6 assists in the showcase game. Andrew Taylor who may be one of the top shooters in this class hit a total of 8 threes in the 3 games today shooting over 45% on the season. This Kentucky Gators squad has won 2 events in a row and after 3-0 this weekend to start are playing RED HOT so tomorrow will be big to keep their momentum going!
Final Day Recap
The 2014 Gator Romp in the Swamp event was a HUGE success and showcased many of the best of the best in regards to both programs and prospects in the class of 2018. The teams that participated were Kentucky Gators 2018, Team Penny, Lexington Future, Southern Stampede, GA United, Team Ramey Black, Eddie Wilkins Elite, ELW(DC), Ohio Legacy, Shining Stars, Buckeye Prep, and the Ohio Hoopsters. With 5 of the 12 teams being ranked and carrying high profile players this event drew a good crowd and much perspective in the way of contenders and recruiting of the top player’s potential.
On Sunday the final 4 saw #1 ranked GA United versus #5 ranked Kentucky Gators in an epic battle that could not be decided in regulation as the Kentucky Gators who led by 3 at the half and then led by 5 with just a few minutes left could not hold off the unbelievable guard tandem of Derius Hastings and Travis Anderson II. These 2 by themselves make this GA United team tough to beat because they compete on every possession and play with a level of confidence that I have not seen any other perimeter duo in the country play with. Derius was like a rock in the last couple of minutes getting back to back buckets on isolation plays called for him and after starting 0-6 through the 1st 3 quarters of the game Anderson caught absolute FIRE down the stretch hitting four 3 pointers in the last 4 minutes including the game tying 3 with just under a minute to play. After Gators guard Kobe Stanton scored with about 30 seconds remaining PG Hastings made a great play and decision to dish for the tying bucket which eventually sent the game into overtime in which behind great play from Bayley Rice and Anthony Wales which scored 5 points each in OT the KY Gators pulled off the upset 57-56.
This was the 1st time the last 2 seasons the Gators have beaten the GA United program which has seemed to have the Kentucky boy’s number but behind physical toughness and effort they pulled out the big win. In victory the Gators were led by 6’8 Bayley Rice who tallied 11 Points and 13 rebounds in recording his 4th double-double of the event. Wings Andrew Taylor and Ahmad Price both added nice performances scoring 12 and 10 respectively and PG Anthony Wales continues to move up the ranked solidifying him as a top 10 PG in this class with 8 points and 7 assists. Wales averaged almost 9 points and 6 assists a game for the event and had only 4 turnovers throughout the 5 games played. GA United who as I confirmed before have 2 of the best perimeter player prospects in the country were led by those 2 superstars with Derius Hastings scoring 10 points while dishing out 5 dimes, and Travis Anderson II led all scorers in the game with 21 points including 4 three pointers. He has a picture perfect stroke and also is lightning quick and tough as nails on the defensive end as well.
In the other Semifinal Team Penny defeated a very tough Ohio Hoopsters team by 10. The Hoopsters made a great comeback from 21 points down to take the lead by 1 but Team Penny proved too tough coming back behind for victory behind solid guard play and defensive pressure to make it to the Championship game to take on the Gators.
The final started slow with both Team Penny and KY Gators teams playing back to back games but soon picked up in the 2nd half. After leading by only 2 at the half the Gators scored only 15 in the 1st half but came back with 33 in the 2nd behind yet another balanced attack led by Big Bayley Rice again with a double-double tallying 11 Points and 11 Rebounds, Anthony Wales also had 11 points and also dished out 5 assists, and Kobe Stanton and Ahmad Price also logged double figures with 10 each. Team Penny got 14 points from the steady hand of Alex Lomax and just struggled from the field down the stretch which was a compliment to the Gators half-court defense.
All in all this event gave us a small sample of the high level talent and competition we can expect from the Southeast Region throughout the summer and into Orlando for the Nationals in July, Thanks to all the teams and Coaches for your participation and availability for updates and information. Best of luck to everyone with the rest of the season.
2014 Gator Romp Top Prospects
The following players are listed in no particular order and are based only on the opportunity for evaluation in the games in which we viewed which were not every game and every team multiple times. I also added an honorable mention list based on statistics only and not recruit ability or prospective potential.
Allen Hatchett (TEAM PENNY)- 6’3 Forward
Hatchett is a physical specimen and is as tough and athletic as they come. He has the ability to get to the bucket at will and is a very instinctive rebounder especially on the offensive end. As Hatchett continues to improve his perimeter game and handle he can prove to be a very nice prospect in the next couple of years
Tae’lyr Gatlin (TEAM PENNY)- 6’3 Wing
Tae’lyr has great bounce and changes speed and direction in a way that is so quick that he is tough to keep in front. His ability to finish at the rim and over defenders makes him an explosive offensive threat. As like so many that come from the Memphis area Gatlin is as tough an athlete as you will see in this class.
Trevon Faulkner (LEXINGTON FUTURE)- 6’2 Wing
Faulkner was impressive throughout the entire event as the smooth as silk lefty twisted, and turned his way to the rim in virtually every game and virtually ANY time he wanted. Trevon had games of 16, 19, and 22 points in the event and looks as if he has about a 6’7 wingspan which makes him an Elite level prospect from the state of Kentucky right now. IMO he is a top 100 player nationally.
Tre King (LEXINGTON FUTURE)- 6’5 Forward
Tre King is another Kentucky kid that was super impressive as his 6’5 frame and great leaping ability make him almost impossible to keep off the backboard in which he averaged double figures in that category over the event. Tre also has nice touch around the bucket and loves to block shots which while that gets him in a bit of foul trouble it also makes it tough on his opponents as he does such a nice job protecting the rim.
Derius Hastings (GA UNITED)- 6’0 PG
Hastings came into the event known as 1 of the top 5 Point Guards in the country and he did nothing but confirm that against elite competition in Louisville this weekend. Derius is a great competitor and makes the right decision almost every time he touches the ball. He is about as efficient a player on the offensive end as you will see at this stage. The better his outside shooting gets could take him to the best of the best prospects as his position nationally in the next few years.
Travis Anderson II (GA UNITED)-6’0 SG
Anderson has simply a picture perfect jump shot with GREAT range and a quick release which doesn’t require much space. He has the ability to also beat you with his midrange game as well which not many in this class even use very much. Anderson is a great mixture of toughness, quickness, and athleticism which when mixed with the fact that he is one of the Elite shooters in the class of 2018 make his potential off the charts.
Darius Dorsey (TEAM RAMEY BLACK)- 6’0 Wing
Dorsey is a great open floor scorer who plays with a high motor and has the ability even against the best defensive teams in the country to score at a high level. This was evident as Dorsey led all scorers in a game against the #5 team in the country with 18 Pts. The more he grows the higher his ceiling becomes.
Seth Goodson (BUCKEYE PREP)- Forward
Seth is a good mixture of IQ, Toughness, and skill and he has the ability to score in many ways showing the ability to stretch out and score from the perimeter and also in beating teams on the offensive boards as he seems to have a great nose for the ball. Seems like a glue guy for this Buckeye Prep squad
Isaiah Payton (SHINING STARS)- Guard
Payton has quick feet and a quick release from outside and hit MANY shots from many spots on the floor. I was impressed with his ability to hit shots over bigger defenders and also while on the move. Payton also has quickness to defend and harass ball handlers the length of the floor.
Ryan Reidy (SHINING STARS)- Guard
Ryan has a super sweet stroke from outside and understands how to play the game on both ends. Reidy had multiple games this weekend in which he hit 2 or 3 from deep and also was good from the line. I like his ability to hit big shots at big times when his team needed it the most.
Mykel Tubbs (SOUTHERN STAMPEDE)- 6’0 Wing
Tubbs is as good as it gets in the open floor and finishes in exciting fashion with both hands. Tubbs has great bounce and super quick with his 1st step. Tubbs had double digits in 3 of 4 games this weekend and has the ability to be a super athlete that will be hard to stop in the future.
Shamarie McLeod (SOUTHERN STAMPEDE)- 6’4 Forward
McLeod is a good big strong player with the ability to use his strength to bully his way to the rim over and through defenders. Also has good hands and good feet which make him dangerous on both ends and he is a rock for the Stampede team in the paint.
Bayley Rice (KY GATORS)- 6’8 Center
Big Bayley Rice continues to prove himself as one of the most dominant Big Men in the country on both ends. Rice averaged a double-double for the weekend and had games with 14+ rebounds along with 4+ blocks which show he can impose his will with his 250 lb frame. Rice impressed all the coaches and viewers this weekend with his light feet and good hands. Rice may be the most underrated prospect in this class.
Ahmad Price (KY GATORS)- 6’2 Wing
Price seems to make every big play at every big moment for this Gators team. Price is a strong athlete and may be a top 10 scorer at his position in the country. Price also had games this weekend with 5 or more steals and assists in the same game to show how well he plays on both ends and he is truly a stat sheet stuffer.
Trey Hill III (KY GATORS)- 6’3 Wing
Hill along with his 6’3 athletic frame has a 6’8 wingspan which allows him to be 1 of the premier slashers in the country. Hill has a dynamic open floor game and had a huge dunk in this event that had everyone in awe of his potential. With PG handle, Super athleticism, and possibly the best 1st step in the nation Hill is a super prospect.
Anthony Wales (KY GATORS)- 5’10 PG
Wales is simply a true PG at heart and it shows. His ability to always handle pressure and make good decisions without making turnovers continues to impress. He has played step for step the top rated PG prospects in this class and in many cases outplaying them on both ends. He is an elite level defender and an 80% FT Shooter which allows this Gators teams to close out a ton of games down the stretch.
TOP PERFORMERS HONERABLE MENTION
ANDREW TAYLOR- KY GATORS
KOBE STANTON- KY GATORS
ALEX LOMAX- TEAM PENNY
TAYLOR BROWN-TEAM PENNY
MALIK McCLAIN- GA UNITED
JARED PHILLIPS- TEAM RAMEY BLACK
AMARI KELLY- SOUTHERN STAMPEDE
CHRISTIAN KELLY- SHINING STARS
JAVON HICKS- SHINING STARS
CAMERON CARLISLE- BUCKEYE PREP
COBE PENNY- LEXINGTON FUTURE