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.