|Matt Allocco & Chris Mayfield|
Allocco is no stranger to success, as the scrappy and tenacious floor general has led his various travel teams to great success. This past summer, Allocco and Mayfield were both standouts for the Mid-Ohio Pumas, one of the most successful teams in the country. Allocco is most well-known for his elite skill set, basketball IQ and ability to lead any team he takes the helm for. In addition, Allocco is a bulldog and the consummate competitor, who often wills his team to victory. Not only can Allocco create his own shot, he excels and distributing the rock and making his teammates better.
Mayfield has elite athleticism, so when combined with a solid skill set and a natural feel for the game; he’s a problem for your typical middle school player. What’s most impressive about Mayfield’s game right now is his strength, physicality and his ability to play through contact. Mayfield may be able to score at will, but he is also an able and willing passer. In fact, Mayfield is an all-around player who impacts the game on several levels. With Mayfield’s current size, athleticism and developing skill set, he easily projects as a division I athlete going forward.
While we are talking about elite middle school players who dominate for both their middle school and travel teams, we would be remised if we did not mention Jack Pugh (6’2/W/PF/2020), one of the top 8th graders in the state and country. Along with Allocco and Mayfield, Pugh is a consensus top 5 player in his class in Ohio. Around the cup, Pugh is virtually unguardable. Too crafty for most post players, and too strong for most wings; Pugh is a problem in the paint. The best part of Pugh’s game right now is his ability to absorb contact and still finish at a high level. With continued development with his perimeter skills, Pugh’s upside is good as well.
Finally, it must me mentioned that the 2020 Pumas have another stud on that Jonathon Alder team in Jack Santa-Emma (5’6/PG/2020). This season, Santa Emma is playing solid ball and is a key piece to a very talented Jonathon Alder team. With a foundation of Allooco, Mayfield, Pugh and Santa-Emma, the Mid-Ohio Pumas should once again prove to be one of the top teams in the nation, with a legitimate chance of getting the nod as the #1 ranked 2020 team in the state when we release our Power Rankings if a few weeks. In addition, each of the above players is an early favorite to make the Buckeye Prep All-State Team, as well as grab a coveted invitation to the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-Star Game later this year. We hope to catch up with the Jaguars during their run through their post season tournament at the end of the month.