Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nike EYBL Session Three LA: Day Two

Day two of of the Nike EYBL featured more of the same; great competition, big wins and tough losses. Other than some of the elite teams at the top of each division, including the St. Louis Eagles and the New Jersey Playaz, any team could win or get beat by anybody. The morning session began with another big game for the Drew Gooden/Oakland Soldiers, as they squared off against Boo Williams on center court. This game went down to the wire. Standing at the free throw line with 5.3 seconds left and a 52-52 tie, Oakland's Josiah Turner sunk 2 free throws to put his team up by 2 points. Although most in the capacity crowd thought Turner had sealed the win, Boo Williams' Brian Darden had different plans, as he drove the length of the court and got off a trey with time running out to snatch victory from a stunned Soldiers squad. Final score, 55-54 Boo Williams. The leading scorers for Boo Williams were James McAdoo who finished with 12 points and Simuel Fraizer who added 10 points. The high man for Oakland was Jabari Brown who finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by Brandon Ashley who contributed 10 points and Nick Johnson who added 7 points. Kyle Wiltjer grabbed 9 rebounds in the contest.

Although All-Ohio Red got out of the gates quickly against a Marquis Teague-led Spiece team, they found themselves trailing at half time 31-28. In the second half, Red played uninspired ball before going down by double-digits. That's when Kentucky-bound Teague went to work spreading the court and breaking down the defense. Although Teague only scored 12 points, he controlled the game, got in the paint at will and/or dished the rock to open teammates. That teammate was most often Nic Moore, who was hot from the three point line and made his defender pay for offering help side defense on Teague. By the time the horn sounded, Spiece and claimed a 72-58 victory. Oh yea, 6'11 Aaron Hammons inflicted the most damage, as he was unstoppable in the low post. Hammons did nothing flashy, but he gave Red buckets! Hammons led Spiece with 20 points and 10 boards and Moore chipped in 16 points. For All-Ohio Red, Stevie Taylor was the high man with a team-high 17 points, followed by Elijah Macon and Tommie McCune (11 points), Brandon Neel (9 points), and Trey Burke and George Fant (6 points). After the loss, All-Ohio stood at 2-1 for the weekend and 7-5 overall for a second place tie.

King James and Team Texas Elite, both of whom were sitting at 2-0 after Saturday action, faced off in the early game. King James was able to maintain their half time lead (33-20) into the second half to finish with a comfortable 60-47 win. The leading scorers for King James were Marcus Crider with 13 points, followed by Jakarr Sampson, Darious Carter and Shonn Miller, all with 9 points. The leading scorer for Team Texas was Thomas Gipson (15 points) and Jordan Wiilams (8 points).

The St Louis Eagles continued their winning streak at 12-0 with a 69-50 win over the Birmingham Storm. Brad Beal dropped a game-high 24 points, followed by 14 points from Roosevelt Jones and 12 points from Ben McLemore. Jalen Houston was the high man for the Storm with 13 points, while Alex Carr chipped in 10 points. The Mac Irvin Fire pulled out a close one against Team Florida (56-53). Wayne Blackshear went for 20 points while Mychael Henry added 14 points. 6'7 Chris Bryant and Will Cummings added 13 points apiece for Team Florida.

Later in the day, All-Ohio Red matched up with Each One Teach One, and although Austin Rivers was out with an injury, Trevor Lacy more than had his back. Lacy was virtually unguardable for much of the first half until a box and one slowed him down. However, by the second half, the damage had already been done, as Each One Teach One cruised to a 65-44 victory. Lacy led all scorers with 23 points. For All-Ohio, Stevie Taylor was the high man with 12 points, followed by Elijah Macon with 9 points, Nate Anderson with 8 points and Trey Burke with 6 points. King James notched a 64-57 win against Team Arizona later in the day. With Carlton Brundidge out with a concussion, The Family went down to Spiece (43-37) in their final game of league play (they played 3 games on Saturday). Marquis Teague was up to his old tricks as he orchestrated the action. Nic Moore paced Spiece with 17 points, followed by Teague with 12 points and 3 assists. For the family, Dominique Pointer led with 13 points, while Albert Lomomba and Desmond Barnes added 9 and 6 points, respectively. Get ready for the highlight videos of D-One's Quincy Miller, as I counted 6 video camaras trained on his every move in the Arkansas game. It's understandable why Miller has attracted so much attention (even John Wall was checking him out), he is simply dominating this spring. To see more event pictures, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Also, check out the article featuring several All-Ohio Red players.

Nike EYBL Session Three LA: Day One

From the spirited play going down in southern California on Saturday, it was easy to tell how bad teams wanted to win, and claim a spot in the season ending tournament at the Peach Jam in July. With one last chance to qualify for the league championship, players and coaches were much more serious about winning. Session #3 of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) tipped of at the Hanger Athletic Exchange (HAX) in Hawthorne, California and once again, the play was stellar. To qualify for the Peach Jam, a must attend for Nike-sponsored programs, teams must finish in the top 24 of at least fifth in their respective divisions. With only a handful of "at large bids," conference records are most important.

All-Ohio Red, coming off a tournament win at the All-Ohio Super Sixteen last weekend in Columbus, got off to a good start against a Carlton Brundidge-led The Family squad in the opening round of games. However, despite have a double-digit lead for most of the game, The Family came roaring back to make it a close contest. Trey Burke's three pointer with 3 seconds left in the game sealed the margin of victory, as All-Ohio held on the claim a 65-63 win. Burke paced All-Ohio with 19 points, followed by Elijah Macon with 14 points, Stevie Taylor with 11 points, George Fant with 7 points and Brandon Neel and Tommie McCune, both of whom added 6 points. For the Family, Michigan commit Carlton Brundidge led with 21 points, followed by Amir Williams and Desmond Barnes who both finished with 11 points.

Unlike last weekend when they rolled into Columbus without their starting back court and key player, the King James Shooting Stars had a full roster in LA. However, in their opening game of the weekend, King James fell to Seattle Rotary 63-59. Seattle was paced by super prospect Tony Wroten and Gonzaga pledge Gary Bell Jr., both of whom finished with 18 points. Anrio Adams added 12 points. King James was led by Zach Price and Jakarr Sampson who both finished with 15 points, and Marcus Crider who contributed 10 points. Although King James took the "L," the coaching staff has to be pleased with the play of 6'9 Zach Price, who appears to be getting better offensively every time out.

Right out of the gate, session three featured a turf war with a Drew Gooden Oakland Soldier versus California Supreme match-up on the #1 court. As if the game was not already hyped up enough, rumor had it that there was some trash talk preceding this game, as Cal. Supreme was declared "soft" by the Soldiers' Jabari Brown. From the size of the crowd surrounding the court, the trash talk must have been common knowledge. The Soldiers landed early shots, as took took a 43-29 lead into half-time. However, things tighten up in the second half as the two teams went at each other with both trading body blows and head shots while claiming their own share of highlight plays. At the end of the bout, the Soldiers was the top California team still standing, with a 74-72 victory. Jabari Bwron was his spectacular self, as he led all scorers with a game-high 24 points. In support, Nick Johnson finished with 15 points, followed by Josiah Turner (14 points) and Kile Wiltjer (7 points). 6'10 Kevin Johnson was the leading scorer for California Supreme with a team-high 18 points, followed by Ryan Anderson's 12 points and Jahil Carson's 11 points.

In the afternoon session, All-Ohio Red got off to another fast start, as they jumped all over Team Texas. Despite their early success, All-Ohio let down their guard, and allowed Team Texas to close the gap and make a game of it. In the end, All-Ohio was a little too tough for Texas, as they went on to win 81-77. Despite a slow start, Stevie Taylor got hot and went on to lead All-Ohio in scoring with 19 points, followed by Trey Burke (18 points), Elijah Macon (16 points), Tommie McCune (12 points), George Fant (8 points) and Brandon Neel (7 points). In the first 2 games of the day, the post play of Elijah Macon has been impressive. The 6'9 Macon has been very active around the cup and is making some big time plays. Michigan's Tommie McCune made a few "next level" plays of his own against Team Texas Elite. Team Texas Elite was paced by Shi Fields who dropped a team-high 19 points, followed by Kyan Anderson (17 points), Thomas Gipson (14 points) Jamal Branch (7 points) and Zach Price (8 points). I was most impressed with Gipson, who was a load down low and seemed to finish everything he touched. By days end, All-Ohio Red was sitting at 7-4, and in good position to qualify for the Peach Jam. Tomorrow, Red will face two of the top guards in the class, in Marquis Teague (Spiece) and Austin Rivers (Each 1 Teach 1).

Later in the day, King James continued their skid, with a 53-46 loss to the South Carolina Ravens. 6'7 Jerell Adams was the big dog for the Ravens as he finished with a game-high 19 points. Zach Price was still impressive and finished with a team-high 12 points. Jakarr Sampson added 10 points while Darious Carter contributed 7 points. Like King James, The Family finished 0-2 on the day, with a 61-59 loss to Team Takeover. The Family appeared to be leading for most of the game, but could not hold on to the lead. In fact, down 2 points with about 3 seconds left, Carlton Brundidge had a uncontested lay-up to tie the game, but could not convert. Brundidge finished with 13 points, followed by Desmond Barnes and Dominique Pointer who both finished with 12 points. Duke-bound Michael Gbinije led all scorers with 20 points, while 6'9 Mikael Hopkins added 15 points and 6'5 John Schoof finished with 12 points.

The Oakland Soldiers finished the day 2-0, with a 70-63 win over the Alabama Challenge. Nick Johnson finished with a game-high 16 points, followed by Josiah Turner (15 points), Brandon Ashley (14 points) and Jabari Brown (8 points). Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper paced the Challenge with 15 points apiece, while Craig Sword contributed 10 points. The New Jersey Playaz remained unbeaten with 2 more wins on Saturday, the last one against the Arkansas Wings by a score of 73-65. The Southern Kings continue to struggle with two more losses on Saturday. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All-Ohio Super Sixteen-Final Day

The final day of the All-Ohio Super Sixteen produced a few surprises and at least one significant upset. In the U-17 division, All-Ohio Red easily got by the D-Rose All-Stars 57-41 to advance to the semi-finals, where they would face Ed Lyshe's All-Ohio White squad. Against D-Rose, the leading scorers for Red were Trey Burke (14 points), Stevie Taylor (13 points), Elijah Macon (13 points), George Fant (10 points) and Brandon Neel (7 points). In their second game of the day, All-Ohio Red got off to a fast start and never really looked back, as they defeated All-Ohio White 69-49 to advance the the U-17 championship game. In the U-17 championship game, All-Ohio Red again got out of the gate quickly over a talented Eric Gordon-Fast Break team and never trailed in the contest. Red went on to defeat Eric Gordon 56-42 to claim their first tournament win of the season. Eric Gordon advanced to the championship game after getting by the King James Shooting Stars 38-28. All-Ohio Red was led in scoring by Trey Burke who finished with 14 points, followed by Stevie Taylor with 12 points, George Fant with 8 points and Elijah Macon who contributed 7 points. The tournament MVP was Trey Burke, and the All-Tournament Team consisted of Stevie Taylor, George Fant, Elijah Macon, Dominque Blackmon and Ryan Taylor.
U-16 Division
Orlando Berry's All-Ohio Purple squad continued their dominance in Columbus tournaments, as they defeated All-Ohio Gold 52-46 in the semi-finals, before dispatching Ferrari 63-52 in the championship game to claim the title. What was most impressive about the win was the fact that Purple was playing without their main stud Adolphus Washington who was out with a wrist injury. In the championship game, the leading scorers for All-Ohio were Josh Lemons who finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by Orlando Berry Jr. with 10 points and Dwayne Stanford who added 10 points. For Ferrari, the high man was Derrick Randolph who dropped a game-high 19 points and 5'11 Reggie Norris (Simeon HS) who finished with 15 points. I have to give props Derrick Randolph who was arguably the top performer for Ferrari in the games I watched. The 5'7 floor general from Whitney Young HS in Chicago was spectacular all weekend and was consistently the toughest and hardest working player on the court. Randolph is super quick and aggressive and can really score the ball. How Randolph failed to make the All-Tournament team was a big question among several observers. The tournament MVP was Tommie Kreyenhagen, and the All-Tournament Team consisted of Orlando Berry Jr., Josh Lemons, Jalean Lowe, Kevin Grayson and Curtis Jones.
U-15 Division
The U-15 division gave us the biggest upset of the tournament, as Randy Clarkson's All-Ohio Varsity White squad upset (54-51) a loaded All-Ohio Red in the championship game to grab the U-15 title. In case you wondered, All-Ohio Red had all of their top guys in the house (Loving, Hayes & Tucker), but a grittier All-Ohio Varsity White, made up of some players who did not make the Red team, continued their stealer play and pulled off the shocker of the tournament. To get to the championship game, All-Ohio Varsity knocked off Jason Benton's Playmakerz who had made a nice run in the tournament up until that point by beating some quality teams. It was reported that both Jaylen Benton and Donovan Wilson logged in good weekends for the Playmakerz. All-Ohio Red defeated TNBA Elite West in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game. The MVP was Reynoldsburg's Wendell Davis and the All-Tournament Team consisted of Jack Gibbs, Aaron Jackson, Randal Clarkson Jr., Marc Loving and Nigel Hayes.
U-14 Division
The 8th grade championship game pitted All-Ohio Red versus the New York's Westchester Hawks. Although I had to leave before the game ended, I know that All-Ohio Red overcame a first half deficit to get by a very talented Westchester Hawks team 55-52 to claim the U-14 championship. The tournament MVP was William Green, and the All-Tournament Team consisted of Austin Taylor, Jhustice Cornley, Airus Moore, Yhanni Bartley and Isiah Whitehead. To get the championship game, the Westchester Hawks knocked of the King James Shooting Stars 54-47 in a very spirited contest. In the game, Isiah Whiteside dominated with 27 points and Yhanni Bartley finished with 16 points. Standouts for King James were Robbie Bennard (11 points), Rel Woodridge (8 points) and Victor Dorsey (7 points). All-Ohio red defeated the West Virgina Wildcats 61-52 to advance to the championship game.
U-13 Division
As reported earlier, Buckeye Prep defeated Ohio Varsity 38-37 in the championship game to claim the U-13 title. The tournament MVP was Kevin "Sticks" Fisher, and the All-Tournament Team consisted of Isaac Anderson, Jalen Lewis, Chris Cook, Tyrone Cherry and Loyd Chatman. I want to take this opportunity to make special mention of a couple of players I watched on Sunday. Keep an eye out Jalen Lewis, who continues to develop as a quality point guard. I was also very impressed with Ohio Varsity's Tyrone Cherry, who has several tools and a chance to be special should he continue to work on his game. I saw some good things with Loyd Chatman's game as well. He appeared to skilled with the rock and poised for his age. Also, Kevin Fisher continues to get better every time I see him. Mansfield's Trey Avery is another young player to watch. To see more pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. To check out the ESPN article on the event click on the highlighted link.

Buckeye Prep Takes 7th Grade Championship

Sean Taylor's 7th Grade Buckeye Prep team held off a determined Ohio Varsity squad to claim a 38-37 win and the championship of the All-Ohio Super Sixteen tournament. Although Ohio Varsity jumped to an early lead, Taylor adjusted with a full court zone press that lead to some turnovers and buckets which allowed them to trim the margin. At halftime, Varsity was up 22-21. The final outcome of the game was decided when Kevin "Sticks" Fisher stepped to the free throw line with 9 seconds left with the score knotted at 37-37. After sinking 1 of 2 freebies, Fischer put Buckeye Prep ahead for good. Buckeye Prep was led by Kevin Fisher, Jason Lewis and Trey Avery. The main guys for Ohio Varsity were Tyrone Cherry, a 5'9 guard from Groveport, Loyd Chapman, a 5'3 PG from Reynoldsburg and Tony Anderson, a 5'11 c from Berry Middle School. The MVP of the tournament was Kevin Fisher, and the All-Tournament team consisted of Jalen Lewis, Isaac Anderson, Chris Cook, Tyrone Cherry and Loyd Chapman.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

All-Ohio Super Sixteen-Saturday

Jerry Watson's All-Ohio Super Sixteen tourney tipped off today at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus, Ohio, and although the tournament could not be billed as an elite national-level event, Watson managed get a few elite programs in each of the five divisions (7th-11th) to make their way to Columbus. In addition to All-Ohio Red, some of the big time programs in the event included New York's Westchester Hawks, Chicago's D-Rose All-Stars, Indiana's Eric Gordan Elite-Fastbreak, Ferrari, King James Shooting Stars, Spiece Gym Rats and CBIZ. In total, 67 teams participated in this year's event. Oh yea, if exposure was your thing, several scouting services were seen checking out the action. I saw Brian Snow (Rivals), Chris Johnson (Hoop Scoop & Ohio High), John Stovall (ESPN & Prep Spotlight), Kurt Stubbs II (Ohio High School Hoops), Chaz Wolf (High Major Scoop) and Ty Kish (City League Hoops) in the house. Several D-II and NAIA coaches were also scouting players today.

The freshman division kicked off the afternoon start with a matchup between All-Ohio Red and CBIZ. By the time the final horn sounded, Red's talent was simply too much for CBIZ, as Quintin Roger's squad started the day with a 58-44 win. Standout performers included Marc Loving, Nigel Hayes and Cha Cha Tucker. The King James Shooting Stars got out of the gate quickly with a 48-26 victory over Team Toledo. Leading the way for King James were Maurice O'Field (11 points) and Tony Farmer (9 points). Randy Clarkson's Ohio Varsity team notched and impressive 61-41 win over the Westchester Hawks. Ohio Varsity was led in scoring by Jack Gibbs (16 points) and Wendell Davis (12 points). Ferrari started the day with a 63-44 win over CBIZ on the strength of Derrick Randolph's 13 points and Jermaine Morgan's 12 points. Dylan Kauffman led CBIZ with 18 points.

In U-17 action, All-Ohio Red shook off another slow start to pull out a 57-56 win over the Buckeye Ballers. Red needed a last second three ball from Trey Burke to avoid the upset. The Buckeye Ballers rolled into town with 2012 stud Kenny Kaminski, who was on a mission to prove he was the top player in the class in Ohio. Kaminski's play was impressive and will surly help his case. King James defeated the Spiece Gym Rats despite the fact they were playing with only 7 players and without their starting back court and top player in Jakarr Sampson. Leading the way for King James were James Price who finished with 16 points, Marcus Crider who added 14 points, Brock Ammons with 12 points and Darious Carter who kicked in 10 markers. Eric Gordan got by NPBC by a score of 68-46. All-Ohio White defeated Ohio Elite 52-41. All-Ohio was led by DaMarkeo Lyshe (12 points) and Chauncy Orr (10 points).

The second round of games in the junior division saw All-Ohio Red defeat the Spiece Gym Rats 74-39. Trey Burke led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Stevie Taylor with 17 points, George Fant with 13 points and Brandon Neel with 9 points. All-Ohio White claimed a big win over King James 47-41. Chester McFadden was the high man with 16 points, followed by Dwayne Basemore with 10 points and Chauncy Orr with 9 points. White was aided by a late game technical foul on a King James' assistant coach. A home town grudge match broke out between the Running Rebels and Hidden Gems, with the Rebels earning the 50-45 victory. Nate Spears led the Rebels with 13 points, followed by Cameron Harris who contributed 12 points. For Hidden Gems, Chris Hamilton finished with a team-high 11 points and Trey Ware and Marquise Taylor who both added 8 points.

Later in the day, the U-15 Ohio Varsity defeated TNBA West 63-54. Jack Gibbs paced Varsity with 16 points, followed by Aaron Jackson's 14 points and Randy Clarkson's 13 points. At half time, Columbus Nitro was giving King James all they could handle, as they took a 25-24 lead into the locker room. Bloom Carroll's Issac McGlone was seen puting in work, as he had double digits at half time. All-Ohio Red crushed the Spiece Gym Rats 61-29, and were led in scoring by Marc Loving (13 points) and Nigel Hayes (10 points). The U-15 Ferrari squeaked by the Ohio Shooting Stars 64-58.

In the night cap, the U-17 All-Ohio Red finished the day 3-0, with a 83-51 win over the Columbus Storm. Stevie Taylor got on track and led All-Ohio with a team-high 21 points. George Fant and Elijah Macon both added 13 points, followed by Nate Anderson with 9 points and Trey Burke with 8 points. Both Macon and Fant played above the rim all night and treated the fans to some rim rattling dunks. The D-Rose All-Stars survived a scare from TNBA to claim a 66-58 win and locking up first place in pool play. De De Delany dropped an impressive 26 points to lead D-Rose, followed by Julian Lewis who finished with 13 points. For TNBA, Matt Solven finished with a team-high 15 points. Ed Lyshe's All-Ohio White squad dropped a tough one against the Spiece Gym Rats by a score of 57-54. Both Brandon Muncie and Evan Blackman led Spiece in scoring with 11 points apiece. Chauncy Orr and Isiah Boddie led All-Ohio with 11 points, followed by Kyle Schrimil's 8 points.

Other News & Notes:

The Westchester Hawks (17s) arrived in Columbus shorthanded, as they were without the services of their dynamic back court of Jabari Hinds and Chris Martin. Word has it the Orlando Berry's U-16 All-Ohio Purple squad scared the D-I Greyhounds out of the tournament, resulting in a forfeit in their first game. Purple went on to finish 3-0 on the day and reported strong guard play from Orlando Berry Jr., Josh Lemons, Tommie Krehagen and Jalen Lowe. Indiana Elite's Chris Harrison-Docks was running with All-Ohio Red's U-16 squad this weekend. In the middle school division, Sean Taylor's Buckeye Prep squad mowed through the field to finish 3-0. Jason Lewis and Kevin "Sticks" Fisher were standouts for Buckeye Prep. To see pictures of the event visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ulis Represents Ohio in Elite Camp

While I was in Houston, Texas for the second session of Nike's new EYBL this past weekend, I discovered that John Lucas was holding his annual John Lucas International Middle School Combine at Bellaire High School. Having heard great things about this elite camp in the past, I took some time to run by the event to get a feel for what was going down. This is the third year for the Lucas camp and once again, only the top 7th & 8th graders were selected to participate. Although the camp was made up of mostly Texas kids, because of the reputation of the event, elite level kids from as far as Washington D.C. and the Bahamas made their way to the Houston suburb.

Although most of the players in attendance were much too young to appreciate the mark John Lucas made on the NBA, it was evident that Lucas' no nonsense style got their attention during the 2-day event. In terms of the format, roughly 60 kids were divided into six teams of 10 players each. The camp tipped off on Saturday afternoon with a welcome, followed by stretching and skills and drills stations. The eight skill stations were intense and focused on skill development, and were as much a part of the overall rankings and evaluation as were the 5 games each kid played. After an inspirational presentation by super scout Van Coleman, the kids were given a demonstration of the camp offense each team would be running, and later that afternoon the first series of games began.

Make no mistake, invitations to this event were not handed out to just anybody. With the help of local scout Jim Hicks, founder of RCS Sports in Houston, the top 30 Houston-area kids were identified and selected through Camp Right Way, a qualification camp of sorts. In addition to selecting the top local kids, nominations were sought on a national level for truly elite kids from across the company. There are a couple of unique features to this camp, including the fact the John Lucas himself gave each and every player in attendance a personal and verbal evaluation of their game at the conclusion of the event. Unlike some elite camps, Lucas purposely did not want to know who the "top kids" were in advance of the camp; rather, he wanted the player's game to determine who the eventual top kids really were. Also, this camp was not as much about exposure as it was honing basketball skills and increasing basketball IQs. Also, unlike most camps of it's kind, there was no all-star at the conclusion of the camp.

Despite the camp's focus on development, attention was being paid to the players who stood out and separated themselves during the event. Although I had to get back to the Nike event, I did inquire from the scouts and other observers who the top performers were. From what I heard, Lima's Tyler Ulis, arguably Ohio's top 8th grader, represented the Buckeye State well. According to Clay Dade, founder of the Jr. All-American Camp, Ulis' advanced game was on full display, as he showed an impressive skill package, poise beyond his years, and a high basketball IQ. Below is a list of standout players according to Jim Hicks and Clay Dade.

Top Players: (Top 10 in Bold)

6'0 Costa Anderson-Atlanta, GA
5'8 Nicholas Bennett-Houston, TX
5'9 James Blackman-Ft. Wayne, IN
6'5 Joe Burton Porter, TX
6'3 Jonathan Carson-Milwaukee, WI
6'4 Jordan Cornish-Slidell, LA
6'7 Jackson Davis-Lexington, KY

6'2 Trey Dilworth-Pllugerville, TX
5'8 Brandon Etienne-Houston, TX
6'3 Austin Grandstaff-Rowlett, TX
6'8 Dakari Johnson-Lexington, KY
6'5 Kejuan Johnson-Atlanta, GA (7th Grade)
6'6 Jalen Lindsey-Franklin, TN
5'6 Jerron Love- Bronx, NY
6'2 Kelly Oubre-Houston, TX
5'4 Jay Prince-Houston, TX
6'2 Christian Sanders-Houston, TX
6'5 Marvin Saunders-Bahamas
5'9 Johnnie Schuler, Jr-Washington, DC
6'6 Melvin Swift-Houston, TX
5'11 Alonzo Trier-Rowlett, TX
6'5 JC Washington-Houston, TX
5'7 Jarred West-New Orleans, LA
6'3 Justice Winslow-Houston, TX
5'4 Tyler Ulis-Lima, Ohio

According to James Ulis, Tyler's father, "the event was an excellent training and development type camp. The camp was well run and the staff was very knowledgeable." Ulis was most impressed with the fact that, "the kids were held accountable, team play was emphasized, and the camp was very competitive." As a final note, Ulis was glad he took his son to the event and would definitely recommend the camp to other parents. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Finally, see the comment section of this story for additional information.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nike EYBL Session Two: Day Two

Day two proved to be another day of very competitive play. All-Ohio Red got back on track with a 83-77 win over a fiesty Carolina Ravens in the morning session. Trey Burke was on his game and finished with a game-high 22 points. Stevie Taylor finished with 20 points, followed by Tommie McCune with 13 points, Nate Anderson with 10 points and Brandon Neel who added 9 points. Ohio's second representative, the King James Shooting Stars, notched their first win of the day with 52-50 squeaker against Team Takeover. The main man for King James was 6'7 Marcus Carter who dropped a team-high 10 points, followed by Jakarr Sampson (9 points) and Marcus Crider (8 points). The leading scorers for Takeover were Mikael Hopkins and James Robinson, both of whom finished with 11 points. Duke bound Michael Gbinije added 10 points.

The Family stubbed their toe in the morning session with a 60-67 loss to the Arizona Stars. Arizona was paced by Judd Welfinger and Tyler Russel's 12 points. Carlton Brundage led The Family with 13 points, followed by Dominigue Pointer with 12 points. The Arkansas Wings held on to beat the Charlotte Royals 70-65. Although the Royals had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line down 65-68 with 3 free throws, they failed to convert the freebies. The leading scorers for Arkansas were Darian Griswald with 21 points and Aaron Ross with 13 points. The top guy for Charlotte was Chad Frazier with 21 points and Keith Bedford with 18 points. Boo Williams knocked off the Jackson Tigers, and a Marcus Teague-led Spiece defeated Seattle Rotary by 1 point.

In the late session, the battle for Ohio jumped off between All-Ohio Red and the King James Shooting Stars. The difference in the highly contested game was 6'8 Jakarr Sampson (team-high 18 points) and the front court of 6'7 Darius Carter and 6'7 Marcus Crider. Although All-Ohio's guards, Trey Burke and Stevie Taylor, combined for 42 points, versus Ricky Johnson and Nyles Evans' 8 points, Red had no answer for Sampson and the length of King James' posts and wings. Trey Burke led All-Ohio with 25 points, followed by Stevie Taylor with 17 points. At the end of the game, All-Ohio was sitting at 1-2 for the weekend and 5-3 overall. Click on the link to see footage of the game.

The New Jersey Playaz, who actually had a full squad, got by BABC 58-54. New Jersey was led in scoring by 6'9 Desmond Hubert who finished with 10 points, followed by Kyle Anderson (9 points) and Vaughn Gray (7 points). Michael Carter-Williams dropped a game-high 17 points, while 6'6 Andrew Chrabascz added 8 points. Houston Hoops defeated Portland's ICP 61-56. Everett Pleasant was the big dog for Houston with 21 points, followed by 6'8 TaShan Thomas who contributed 12 points. Portland was led by 6'9 Austin Kuemper's 16 points and 6'1 6'1 Miles Gatewood's 13 points.Team Florida notched a win over the Georgia Stars 73-41 on the strength of Scottie Wilbikin's 18 points. Also for Florida, Will Cummings finished with 12 points followed by Chris Bryant who added 11 points. Alonzo Nelson led Georgia with 10 points and Tony Parker offered 6 points.

The Drew Gooden Soldiers beat the Birmingham Storm 76-71. Jabari Brown was again the high man for the Soldiers as he finished with a game-high 21 points. Nick Johnson had 15 points, followed by Kiwi Gardner's 14 points, Kyle Wiltjer's 11 points and Josiah Turner's 6 points. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nike EYBL Session Two: Day One Report

The second session of the inaugural Nike EYBL tipped off in Houston, Texas tonight and the competitive play that was evident in Hampton was on display. Right out of the gate a ridiculously talented MAC Irvin Fire hooked up with D-One Sports out of North Carolina and left no doubt who was the most talented team. Very early it was clear the the Fire's guards where going to have their way. Although D-One had a pair of high major prospects with 6'10 Quincy Miller and 6'4 Qudduss Bello, the much publicized tandem was simply no match for MAC Irvin and the bench full of elite players. The Fire's rosters is laced with as at least 5 players in the Rivals Top 150, including Mike Shaw, Sam Thompson, Wayne Blackshear, Andre Henley and George Marshall. Oh but that's not it, Already this spring Mycheal Henry has emerged as one of the most productive players on the squad while Jamie Crockett, a recent Depaul comit, has already opened some eyes this spring. Tonight, the Fire easily defeated D-I 55-71 to open the weekend 1-0. The leading scorers for MAC Irvin were Mychael Henry (17 points) and Jamie Crockett (12 points). Quincy Miller dropped a game-high 20 points while Bello finished with 13 points.

All-Ohio Red started the weekend slow, as they lost to Seattle Rotary 77-66. Although they led at times in the game, All-Ohio was eventually done in by a slow start, un-timely mistakes, too many turnovers, foul trouble and an outstanding performance by Tony Wroten. All-Ohio was still in the hunt late, but with out post play from Tommie McCune and Geaoge Fant, both of who fouled out of the contest, Seattle pulled ahead to claim the win. Wroten was on his game as he led all scorers with 29 points, including at least five treys. Gonzaga pledge Gary Bell, Jr contributed 8 points. For All-Ohio Red, Stevie Taylor stepped up his play in the second half and eventually finished with a team-high 20 points, while Trey Burke and George Fant both added 19 points. There is no time for All-Ohio to ponder what might have been, as they must face off against Austin Rivers and Each 1 Teach 1 at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon, followed by instate rival King James Shooting Stars at 6:30pm.

Other News and Notes:

Team Florida defeated Fiends of Hoop 64-50. The high man for Team Florida was Rashon Rembert with 18 points followed by Will Cummings' 11 points. For FOH, Brett Kingma finished with a team-high 10 points.-The Arkansas Wings had no answer for the Gaucho's guards and their full-court pressure, as they dropped their opener 88-77. The Alabama Challenge defeated Houston Hoops by double digits. I'm not sure of the outcome, but I noticed that the New Jersey Playaz rolled into town with a short bench. I only counted 5-6 players in uniform during warm ups. Of course New Jersey brought Mile Mack, Myles Davis and Kyle Anderson Jr., but if they only had 6 players it could be a long weekend. Despite the fact that a lot of writers made the easy drive and attended the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington, IN., there were several big time scouts in the building including, Dave Telep, Jerry Meyer, Van Coleman, Reggie Rankin and Vince Baldwin were seen pacing the sidelines. The NBA was represented as JR Smith was checking out the action. Look for another update sometime late Saturday night. To see pictures of the event visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nike EYBL Resumes in Houston

This weekend in Houston, Texas, the second session of the Nike EYBL tips off with much anticipation. All I can say, if the second edition of league play is anything like the first session in Hampton, Virgina, look for some very competitive play and exciting story lines to emerge. Two Ohio teams, All-Ohio Red (4-1 after session 1) and the King James Shooting Stars, will be making the trip to the Lone Star State. Although King James will head to Houston with their initial roster in tact, All-Ohio will make the trip with some new faces. Returning for All-Ohio are Trey Burke, Stevie Taylor, Cheatum Norrils, Nate Anderson and Bowling Green, Kentucky's George Fant. However, new to the squad are Cincinnati's Brandon Neel, Saginaw, Michigan's Tommie McCune and Columbus' Kyle Shriml. 6'3 Neel is one of the top wings in the state and will try and fill the void left by Treavon Jackson's departure, while 6'7 WF McCune is a scoring swing man who is expected to contribute scoring from the perimeter. All-Ohio will be without Elijah Macon who will not make the trip for the second consecutive weekend, and of course, as noted in a previous article, Treavon Jackson has moved on to the West Virgina Wildcats. Despite the roster change, All-Ohio Red head coach Benji Burke has high expectations for his team this weekend. "Our goal is to go 3-1 this weekend and finish 7-2 in league play and atop our division," said Burke. Burke continued, "I think we can go deep, we have several top 150 guys and I don't think we will miss a beat. The biggest challenge will be consistency," added Burke. All-Ohio Red will have to get off to a fast start to reach it's goal, as right out of the shoot they face off against a Tony Wroten-led Seattle Rotary squad with multiple high major prospects. Wroten is a consensus top 10 player nationally and is off to a great start this season despite the fact he is still recovering from a serious knee injury. In addition to Seattle, All-Ohio will battle against the King James Shooting Stars, the South Carolina Ravens, and Team Takeover. King James has some ground to make up this weekend after finishing the opening weekend a disappointing 1-4. With highly rated players such as Louisville bound James Price, Jakarr Sampson, Marcus Crider, Tony Farmer (2013) and Ricky Johnson, the expectations are high for the northern Ohio-based team to rebound. In addition to All-Ohio Red, King James will play Team Takeover on Friday night, Michigan's The Family (which they lost to in the semi-finals of the King James Classic a couple of weeks ago), and a tough Marques Teague-led Spiece Gym Rats on Sunday. By all accounts, the new Nike League is the real deal. According to All-Ohio Director Jerry Watson, "the new league is the greatest thing to happen to summer basketball in a long time." In terms of the merits of the league, Watson feels that because "the league requires preparation and scouting other teams in your division, as well as a shot clock and the college three point line, kids are better prepared for the college game." Drew Joyce, director of the Shooting Stars, will be attend this weekend for the first time, but is already a fan of the league based on what he has heard so far. In his opinion, "the idea (the league) is right," and although "they will tweak somethings after the season," the league is already meeting expectations. To see the current league standing and schedule, click on the link. Also, visit the site this weekend as I try to report whats happening in Houston.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Buckeye Prep Wins AAU Super Regional

On Sunday, Gary Scott's 8th grade Buckeye Prep squad went undefeated on their way to the championship of the Columbus AAU Super Regional tournament. With the first place finish, Buckeye Prep claimed a bid to the U-14 AAU Nationals in Orlando in July. In addition, the West Virginia Wildcats punched their ticket to the nationals with their 69-61 win over XBA-Team One. Wake Forest-bound Chase Fischer dropped a team-high 21 points in the championship game.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Columbus, Ohio AAU Super Regional: Saturday Action

With the ultimate goal of qualifying for the AAU Nationals, about a dozen 8th-11th grade travel teams made their way to north central Ohio to participate in the Columbus AAU Super Regional tournament. The 2-day event was held at Olentangy Orange High School and featured a handful of quality teams.

The top team in the tournament was easily the U-17 West Virgina Wildcats who were led by Wake Forrest pledge Chase Fischer. Judging by the 4-team 11th grade division, the Wildcats should have little problem punching their ticket to the AAU Nationals in Orlando in late July. The one game I watched them play against COBA Knights was a total mismatch, as at halftime the wildcats were already ahead 42-22, and surly continued the the dunkfest that ended the 2nd quarter. When I left, Fischer had already notched 14 points in two quarters of action and seemed well on his way to another big game. Also playing well for West Virginia were Pittsburgh's Chris Hester and Sugarcreek, Ohio's Paul Honigford. Hester is receiving D-I interest from several low to mid-major programs including Bucknell, while Honigford is fielding interest from several MAC programs. Also of interest was the fact that the Wildcats were playing with out their newest acquisition, Westerville South's Treavon Jackson, who recently decided to leave All-Ohio Red and join the Wildcats.

In the 8th grade division, the top team appears to be the Gary Scott's Buckeye Prep squad. In their opening game against the Cincinnati Royals, Buckeye Prep held off a late charge to claim the 62-55 win. Leading scorers in the contest were Darryl Long who finished with 16 points, followed by Ronnie Williams with 14 points and Alex Stewart who contributed 10 points. The high man for the Royals was Cody Nieson who scored a team-high 16 points followed by Grant Benzinger who added 11 points. Scott's squad was playing with two new additions to the team with Youngstown's Craig Randell and Gahanna's Jimmer Ryan. Because two teams in their pool were no shows, Buckeye Prep needed only one win to finish as the top seed heading into Sunday.

The game of the day on the 10th grade division featured the Cincy Bulls versus the Cincinnati Royals. Despite jumping out to a double digit lead, the Bulls struggled with Cincinnati's pressure package, but held on to to win 69-64. The top guys for the Bulls were Fred Candy (16 points) and Brian Porter (13 points). To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ohio Sports Plus 7th Annual May Classic

On the weekend of May 7-9th, Ohio Sports Plus will me hosting their 7th Annual May Classic at Dennison University in Granville, Ohio. The grade/age divisions include: boys grades 5th-11th and girls U-10 thru U-16. The cost is $215 per team and for more information, visit their website at

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bill Hensley Spiece Run-n-Slam: Final Day

Before I start talking basketball, allow me to reflect on the last several years. Although I was more than ready to head home after a marathon of a tournament, I have to admit, I stayed a at Spiece a little longer than I had expected (my all-Ohio Red team lost Saturday night) just to stay in the moment and enjoy, maybe for the last time, the spectacle that is Spiece basketball. I have been traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana since my sons were in the 4th grade, so the prospect that this might be my last trip caused me to try and enjoy the experience a little more. As I have said before, there is no better place to attend a basketball tournament then Spiece Fieldhouse.

Ok, enough of the melancholy, Indiana Elite 1 claimed the U-17 championship of the 2010 Bill Hensley Run-n-Slam tournament after first defeating Chicago's Mean Streets 76-56 in the first of two semi-final games. Although the game was close early, Elite's superior post play eventually exerted itself and by the time the horn sounded Indiana had secured yet another blowout victory. Leading scorers in the game were Kevin Ferrell (16 points), Austin Etherington (14 points), Spencer Turner (12 points) and Ge'lawn Guyn (10 points). For Mean Streets, despite limited play, Xavier pledge Dee Davis finished with 10 points. In the second U-17 semi-final game, the St. Louis Gameface took a Tony Wroten-led Seattle Rotary squad into double overtime before claiming a 81-75 victory. St. Louis benefited from the spectacular play of BJ Young to punch their ticket to the championship game. Young's big time performance (42 points), served notice to the many scouts in attendance that he needs to be ranked nationally! I have been watching this kid for years and his performance in the semi-finals confirmed my belief that he is a big time baller.

Before loosing to Martin Brothers in the championship game, the U-16 Ohio Basketball Club notched some impressive wins. In their quarter-final game against a loaded Indiana Elite, OBC dug out a hard fought 63-60 win. In that game, Westerville South's Isiah Rogers seized control of the game with clutch shots, great point guard play, including the game-winning trey to seal the victory. After the game, several scouts were overheard asking about Rogers while marveling over his standout performance. Needless to say, Roger's stock just got a gigantic boost! In their semi-final match up with Wisconsin Playground, OBC cruised to a 62-52 win. It should be noted that Playground was without the services of their top gun, JP Tokoto who only played a few minutes in the first quarter. OBC would fall short in the championship game 65-68. Isiah "Zeek" Rogers led OBC in scoring with 14 points, while Lorenzo Cugini added 11 markers and Shaheed Davis contributed 10 points. There were several other Ohio-based teams who made a little noise in Fort Wayne. Nobody wants to struggle in pool play and end up in the silver bracket; however, if you trip and fall in pool play, you have to get up and make the best of things. That's exactly what King James Shooting Stars did, as they finished strong and claimed the u-17 Silver division championship with a convincing win over the Eric Gordan All-Stars. A Tony Lavender-coached All-Ohio Black (u-16) squad beat CBIZ in the quarter-finals 83-71, before giving up a 35-30 halftime lead to the Martin Brothers and dropping a 61-56 semi-final game. Quintin Rogers is at it again, winning championships that is, as his All-Ohio Red group defeated Spiece Select to claim the U-15 title. All-Ohio White, AKA Ohio Varsity, represented Columbus, Ohio this weekend with a great run to the semi-final game where they allowed Spiece Select to slip by with a 3 point win. On their way to the final four, All-Ohio knocked off some pretty impressive teams, including the MAC Irvin Fire, Eric Gordon All-Stars, R.E.A.C.H. Legends and the Rising Suns out of Chicago. With players like, Jack Gibbs III, Ronnie Stokes Jr., Arron Jackson, Randall Clarkson, Jr, and Adam McCall, it's no wonder why they made a deep run in the tournament. Congrats to Todd Hensley and the entire Gym Rats family for putting together another great event. To see more pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bill Hensley Spiece Run-n-Slam:Day Two

Day two of the Bill Hensley Spiece Run-n-Slam Tourney began bright and early Saturday morning and quickly gave us our first real upset of the tournament. The honor goes to The Family, who, despite Carlton Brundage's game-high 26 points, went down at the hands of Team Nashville 60-71. All-Ohio Red's 17s picked up where they left off last night with a convincing 67-47 win over instate rival CBIZ. Although smoking hot last night, Blake Justice could not duplicate that success, as he finished with a team-high 10 points. Trey Burke led All-Ohio Red with 21 points, followed by Stevie Taylor and Dominique McDonald, both with 13 points. All-Ohio Force hooked up with Seattle Rotary this morning and ended up on the wrong end of a 65-45 loss. Anrio Adams was big man on campus for Rotary with a game-high 30 points, followed closely by Salim Gloyd (22 points) and Gary Bell, Jr. (16 points). The Mac Irvin Fire began the day with a 65-54 win over MBA Select. Wayne Blackshear led all scorers with 18 points while Mychal Henry added 17 points. Indiana Elite 1 has to be one of the deepest U-17 teams in Fort Wayne, as they can come off the bench with quality players. Before I left the gym, Indiana was up on St. Louis Gateway and appeared to be in control of the contest. The big guns for Elite 1 are Jeremiah Davis, Vinnie Zollo, Kevin Ferrel, Cody Zeller, Marshall Plumlee and Austin Etherington. Coming off the bench are Gelawn Gwen

Afternoon & Evening Action:

As they did last week, All-Ohio Red 17s finished in a three way tie in pool play, after dropping a hart breaker in the 3rd pool play game to Playground Elite by 1 point. Red had to overcome a double digit deficit to get back in the game and actually went up by 3 points with less than 3 minutes. Leading by 1 point with about 15 seconds left, Playground scored on a baseline drive to take a 1 point lead. The ball was outletted to Stevie Taylor who drove the length of the court and got a clean look at a floater off the glass, however, the shot came off hard and All-Ohio would finish 2nd in their pool. In the 1st game out of pool play, All-Ohio Red matched up with a scrappy TP Elite out of Chicago. This back and forth game ended with All-Ohio up 75-63. The leading scorers for Red were Stevie Taylor (24 points), Anton Grady (14 points) and Trey Burke (12 points). Grady's 14 points were his high for the tournament and could not have come at a better time. Red also received solid contributions from Brandon Neal who hit a couple of timely treys. All-Ohio will now face Indiana Elite 1, with their stable of high-major D-I talent.

All-Ohio White finished pool play 2-1 to advance to bracket play and All-Ohio Force had to be satisfied with the silver bracket after a 1-2 finish in pool play. The U-16 All-Ohio Purple stumbled out of pool play with a 1-2 record. MAC Irvin won a close one this afternoon against the Michigan Hurricanes (58-54). Leading scorers for the Fire were Wayne Blackshear (17 points) and Mychael Henry (13 points). Cleveland state commit Charles Lee scored a game-high 20 points in a loosing effort. I have to say, the Hurricanes looked a lot like the Wisconsin Running Rebels, but heck, what do I know. Winston Grays U-16 OBC team finished first in their pool at 3-0. On tap later tonight is a backyard brawl between Mac Irvin Fire and Mean Streets. Because many of these players have played with and against each for years in the playgrounds in Chicago, this game promises to be a monster!

In the second round, OBC's U-17 squad took Seattle Rotary to two extra periods before dropping a close 89-82 decision. Of course it did not help that Cleveland was without the services of PJ Boutte, Chane Behanan, Jordan Manual and Ronald Ross. OBC's U-16 team fared better as they defeated Team NLP 69-62 in overtime. The leading scorers for Cleveland were Lorenzo Cugini (17), Isiah Rogers (14 points), Shaheed Davis (13 points) and Curtis Oakley (11 points). The game featured a great point guard match up between Rogers and NPL's Jamerous Smith. I really liked Smith's game as he aggressively attacked the cup on the way to a game-high 18 points. I plan to keep an eye on OBC's Shaheed Davis and Desmond Riddennor as both players could be long-term prospects.

In the second round of bracket play, All-Ohio Red jumped out to a surprising 1st half lead over Indiana Elite 1, but playing with a short bench the entire tournament, Red could not hold off a hot shooting Indiana squad. Elite was led by Jeremiah Davis (13 points) and Austin Etherington and Spencer Turner (both with 11 points). All-Ohio was led by Stevie Taylor (17 points), Trey Burke (15 points), Brandon Neal (14 points) and Anton Grady (7 points). Taylor and Burke went to work on the Indiana guards, mostly using a high screen to get to the cup or create. All-Ohio's U-15 team edged past the Rising Stars JG in overtime 71-67. All-Ohio was led by Jakeil Cornley who finished with a game-high 23 points. Indiana Elite's 15s took it to the Illinois Wolves (70-55) on the strength of D'Vauntes Smith Rivera's 31-point explosion. That team is absolutely loaded with guys like Chris Harrison-Docks (Michigan), Kenny Kaminski (Ohio), Cameron Harvey (Illinois) and Hanaa Perea. I caught the tail end of the Michigan Mustangs vs Wisconsin Playground Elite as Wisconsin pulled out a 78-71 victory. Standout out JP Tokoto finished with an impressive 29 points. Tokoto is a great looking prospect who may warrant a top 10 national ranking in the class of 2013. Keep an eye on this kid, he has special written all over him. To see more event pictures, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Bill Hensley Spiece Run-n-Slam:Day One

The annual Spiece Run-n-Slam Tournament has all ways been one of my favorite tournaments of the summer. Not because the tournament all ways seems to attract some of the top teams in the Midwest, but because the games are played in the state of the art Spiece Fieldhouse, my choice as the top basketball facility in the country. With 8 beautifully courts under one roof, and experience holding major tournaments, it's always a pleasure traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana to watch basketball games.

Friday night kicked off with a slate of games featuring several elite teams. In the U-17 division, All-Ohio Red got out of the gate quickly as they totally dismantled Spiece All-Indiana 84-69. Leading the charge for All-Ohio was Trey Burke who finished with a game-high 30 points, followed by Nate Spears' 12 points, Stevie Taylor's 11 points Anton Grady's 6 points. With several players unable to make the trip (George Fant, Elijah Macon, Cheatum Norrils and Treavon Jackson), All-Ohio was forced to pick up some players for the weekend to fill out their rosters. Joining Red this weekend are Anton Grady, Brandon Neal, Nate Spears and Dominque McDonald. Next up for All-Ohio Red is Team CBIZ at 8:00am and Playground Elite at 12:30.

Speaking of Team CBIZ, despite a heroic effort by Akron commit Blake Justice, who hit 9 treys on the way to a team-high 31 points, CBIZ went down in defeat to the Playground Warriors 88-82. For the Warriors, Simon Bowers was the high man with 19 points, followed by Kevin Mays and Nimrod Hilliard, both of whom added 17 points. I was really impressed with the play of Hilliard, as he controlled the game from the point and consistently beat his guy to score or distribute.

All-Ohio Force was in the game early against the Mac Irvin Fire, but the Fire's talent level of eventually caught up to the Force, as Mac Irvin got the 88-61 win. The Fire was paced by Wayne Blackshear, Mychael Henry and Andre Henley who all finished with 17 points. Mike Shaw added 10 points. Jake Forrest led All-Ohio with 15 points, while Ryan Burrell contributed 13 points, Austin Traylor went for 12 points and Marcus Copeland kicked in 9 points. Not sure where George Marshall and Sam Thompson were on day one.

The Family continued to roll as they smashed CMA Elite 71-37. Carlton Brundage was the man for The Family with 15 points, while Patrick Onwenu added 12 points. It's hard to tell Seattle's Tony Wroten is still working his way back from a knee injury, as he looked as good as ever while dropping dimes, hitting threes and finishing at the rim. Seattle Rotary easily got by MBA Select 77-57. In the contest, Wroten dropped a game-high 21 points, followed by Gonzaga pledge Gary Bell with 9 points.

Other News and Notes:

Team Philly was dominating Mac Ohio at halftime 46-27. Chris Lewis, Juanya Green and Ameen Tanksley appeared to be inflicting the most damage when I left. Trent Waybright seemed to be the guy trying to stop the bleeding for Mac Ohio. All-Ohio Purple got on the board tonight in the U-16 division with a 30+ point win over the Macomb County Cougars. Both the U-17 and U-16 OBC teams won tonight. The U-17 squad defeated Illinois Old School by about 5 points while the U-16 bunch won by about 14 points. Eric Troug and Isiah Rogers were the high men for the 16s. Many of the top scouting services are in Fort Wayne looking for standout players. I saw Dave Telep, Clark Francis, Van Coleman, Evan Daniels, Rodger Bohn and Brian Snow just to name a few. There are a lot of big names players MIA this weekend. I wonder how many proms trumped basketball this weekend? To see day one pictures, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.