Saturday, July 31, 2010

AAU Nationals: Day Four

Most people would agree that the AAU Nationals is a week long grind that takes players, coaches and fans on an emotional roller coaster. For several Ohio-based teams, the day was filed with highs and lows and thrills and disapointment. For All-Ohio Red, a slow start against a young but talented Houston Hoops squad doused any chance of a repeat of last year's national title run. On the strength of great guard play, Houston Hoops jumped out on All-Ohio and never relinquished the lead to advance to the 4th round with a 66-56 victory. J-Michael Reese led Houston with a game high 23 points, followed by LJ Rose who finished with 11 points. Trey Burke and George Fant led All-Ohio with 19 and 17 points, respectively. In the first game of the 3rd round consolation bracket, All-Ohio Red faced instate foe, Friends 4 Life. Word had it that the Friends' players and coaching staff "had been waiting for this match up all year." Well they got it, along with a 67-43 loss and an exit from the tournament. Stevie Taylor sparked All-Ohio with an early barrage of buckets on his way to a game-high 23 points. In support, George Fant added 12 points while Trey Burke finished with 11 and Nate Anderson contributed 9 points. All-Ohio will face the Florida Rams in a 3:00 on Saturday. Friends 4 Life was relagated to the 3rd round consolation bracket after a 54-48 loss to North Carolina's CP3 eariler in the day. All-Ohio Swag's turnament run ended on Friday with a 51-65 loss to the Illinois Heat.

The West Virginia Wildcats dropped a 60-57 decision against HCYP Elite on Friday. The Wildcats' Chase Fischer got a clean look at a trey to send the game in to over time, but failed to convert as time expired. The Buckeye Ballers are still alive in the second round consolation bracket with wins over the Charlotte Royals and the Hudson Hornets. The Ballers will face the Middlesex Magic on Saturday. Kenny Kaminski has been been playing great ball for the Ballers and is nearing a decision on is college choice. Word on the streets says he will choose Michigan State. Stay tuned. To see pictures of the event see the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page

Friday, July 30, 2010

AAU Nationals: Day Three

Day three at the AAU Nationals began on a bright note for several Ohio-based teams. In their only game of the day, All-Ohio Red advanced to the 3rd round with a convincing 62-36 win over Maryland Finest in the night cap. With balancing scoring, Red held off a hard charging and upset-minded Maryland squad. George Fant and Ryan Burrell led the way for All-Ohio with 13 points apiece, followed by Nate Anderson and Trey Burke (8 points), and Stevie Taylor (7 points). For Maryland, the high scorer was Javon Moore who finished with 13 points. All-Ohio's third round opponent will be a very talented Houston Hoops with a possible forth round match up against a star studded CP3 from North Carolina. Friends 4 Life is enjoying a nice tournament run after finishing 1st in pool play and advancing to the third round with a 70-53 win over the Atlanta All-Stars last night. Friends 4 Life could face North Carolina's C P3 in the third round.

The King James Shooting Stars dropped a tough one in the first game in bracket play against the West Virginia Wildcats. After Westervile South's Treavon Jackson knocked down a trey to put the Wildcats up by 1 points, King James had a shot with time running out to get off a shot to take the lead. However, a drive into the paint and turnover led to a 43-42 loss. Tyquan Goard led the Wildcats with 10 points, while Wake Forest-bound Chase Fischer added 9 points. King James was paced by Jakarr Sampson who finished with 10 points, followed by Niles Evans (9) and Darius Carter (8). The Queen City Prophets finished their tournament run with a 46-44 loss to the MS Ambassadors in the first round consolation bracket. MAC Ohio lost to the Cincy Royals Wulf 69-67 in the second game of the Classic Division.

Club Ohio lost their opening round game to Carolina Elite 35-47. Demetrius Pruitt led with 14 points and Major Thomas and Jalen Billups added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Demarcus Harrison led Carolina with 14 points and Fred Mattison contributed 11 points. All-Ohio Swag put up a good fight, but ultimately ran out of gas, as Chicago's Old Gold claimed the 63-54 victory last night. Derrick Marks dropped a game-high 18 points and Rayshaun McGrew added 14 points for Old Gold. Swag was led by Dominique McDonald's 15 points. Mike Bean added 8 points and James Young scored 7 markers. All-Ohio White is still alive in the consolation bracket after a 74-53 win over Southwest Florida Select and 52-50 victory over Berks Bball Club. Ann Arbor, Michigan's Luther Page has emerged as the "go to" guy for Ed Lyshe's squad the last couple of games. I caught a great game between the Long Island Lighting and MBA Hoops. The game featured a battle between 2 elite guards in Deville Smith and Kareem Canty. Long Island got the 69-63 win. Western Kentucky pledge Derrick Gordan dropped a game-high 21 points, while Kareem Canty added 17 and Kamari Murphy contributed 12. MBA was led by Deville Smith and Rodney Hood who both scored 16 points and LaQuinton Ross added 15 points.
Other News and Notes:
All-Ohio Red's U-16 team has reached the championship game of the U-16 Nationals after a 87-63 win over BWSL. During the course of their run, All-Ohio has been enjoying balanced scoring and attacking offense. The Cincinnati Knights exited the tournament after a tough 1 point loss tonight. The Knights were one game away from the medal game.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AAU Nationals: Day One & Two

The U-17 AAU Nationals tipped off on Tuesday at the ESPN Wild World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida, and 204 division one teams from across the country set off on a mission to claim a national title. Fifteen Ohio-based teams are here in Orlando including: All-Ohio Red, White & Swag, King James, Queen City Prophets, Team CBIZ, Cincinnati Royals, Buckeye Ballers, Club Ohio, MAC Ohio, Ohio Crossover and Shining Stars.

On opening day, All-Ohio Red got off to a positive start with a 79-64 win over the Tifton Eagles. Although Red continued with their sluggish ways, their superior talent proved to be the difference. George Fant and Trey Burke led the charge for All-Ohio with 24 points each. In support, Stevie Taylor finished with 16 points and Elijah Macon added 10 points. On the second day of action, All-Ohio Red defeated an under-manned South Florida Sharks. Stevie Taylor led All-Ohio with a team-high 17 points, while Trey Burke added 16 points, Ryan Burrell finished with 14 points, Elijah Macon contributed 12 points and George Fant had 11 points. Drew Joyce's King James Shooting Stars stumbled out of the blocks with a 51-48 loss to 4th seeded Team Power out of Georgia. Although Jakarr Sampson went off for 20+ points, King James let a close get away. Game 2 of the day was a much different story for King James, as they took their anger out on an unsuspecting Metro Boston, leading to a 80-37 mercy rule. Nyles Evans had a breakout game as he led the Shooting Stars with 23 points. Davonte Beard added 17 points.

Ed Lyshe's All-Ohio White squad had a nightmarish start and was sitting at 0-2 at the end of the day. White lost the opening game to the Wave Basketball Club then virtually gave away their second game away to the District All-Stars. Late game missed free throws and a turnover with 15 seconds left resulted in the 56-54 loss. Toledo's Chester McFadden paced White with 11 points while Chauncy Orr added 8 points. Although All-Ohio White bounced back on day two with a 2-point win against Phoenix South Busby, it was not enough to avoid the Classic bracket. All-Ohio Red took care of business in the afternoon game to claim a a 72-56 win over Connecticut Select. Red led wire-to-wire in this one, and was led by Trey Burke's 20 points. Nate Anderson was hot from the perimeter as he knocked down four treys on the way to a 12 point effort. Stevie Taylor finished with 12 points. Jeronve Harris and Roljan Brown led Connecticut with 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Queen City Prophets finished 2-1 in pool play after a tough loss to the Bama Boys in the afternoon session. The King James Shooting Stars had another big win Wednesday afternoon with a 28 point win over the Derrick Smith All-Stars. Nyles Evans continued his hot shooting by hitting 6 treys and finishing with 20+ points.

Other News and Notes

All-Ohio Red's U-16 squad is getting busy here in Orlando at the U-16 nationals. After finishing second at the Super Showcase last week, Red is currently 6-0 and headed to the Elite Eight after a convincing win over CP3 on Wednesday. Later in the day, All-Ohio Red faced off against the South Florida Panthers and punched their ticket to the quarter-finals with a 50-64 win. The Cincinnati Knights stubbed their toe this afternoon with a 50-64 loss to the Southern Kings in the 3rd round. All-Ohio Purple is still alive after a 12 point victory against Hoops Dreamz in the first round consolation bracket.

Monday, July 26, 2010

AAU Super Showcase: Day Two

Day two at the AAU Super Showcase provided another day of very competitive play. For All-Ohio Red's U-17 squad, the day began with a convincing 60-45 win over a talent-filled Team Final. From the opening tip, All-Ohio jumped all over Team Final and never really looked back. All-Ohio enjoyed balanced scoring, as Trey Burke led Red with 12 points, Brandon Neel finished with 10 points, Stevie Taylor and Nate Anderson added 9 points and George Fant finished with 7 points. For Team Final, playing without Michael Gilchrist, Villinova-bound Tyrone Johnson dropped a game-high 21 points while Rakeem Christmas added 10 points. Another key to victory was the fact the Syracuse pledge Treavor Cooney was held scoreless. Game two for All-Ohio ended in a different outcome, as Benji Burke's squad got off to a very sluggish start and appeared out of sync for most of the game. After the Long Island Lighting went to a full court zone press in the second half, costly turnovers sealed All-Ohio's fate, as they exited the tournament with a 64-54 loss. Trey Burke had a breakout performance with a 28 point effort, while George Fant added 12 markers. Kareem Canty was virtually unstoppable, as he dropped a team-high 20 points on Red. Canty was supported by Kamari Murphy (13 points), Eric Gordan (11 points) and Sequan Richards (10 points). All-Ohio will get a day of rest before tipping it up again at the U-17 AAU Nationals. Unfortunately, the other Ohio-based teams participating in the tournament did not fare much better on the second of action. In the opening round of bracket play, Ozie Davis' Queen City Prophets ran into a buzz saw, as New York's Rich Soil dominated play and went on to claim a 92-49 victory. QCP was led in scoring by Jalen Ragland's 16 points, followed by Aaron Thomas' 12 points. It should be noted that Thomas was enjoying a big time tournament up until the last game. Rich Soil was paced by Kevin Mays and Chevaghn Lewis, both of whom finished with 16 points. Ed Lyshe's U-17 All-Ohio White team went down in flames, as Progeny got the 69-55 win. Chauncy Orr led White with 16 points, followed by Chester McFadden and Damarkio Lyshe who finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. For Progeny, the leading scorers were Nyree Robinson (24 points) and Anthony Williams (14 points). All-Ohio U-16 Black squad finished the tournament 6-2 and as the Bronze Division champions. All-Ohio Black downed the Charlotte Storm 69-66 to claim the title. Leading the way for Black were Nick Archer, Blake Yates and Kalid King. Ohio Swag was down 44-26 to Panthers Elite before I left at half-time. As noted in an earlier story, All-Ohio Red U-16 squad finished second to the Baltimore Elite/Mt. Royal. To see more pictures of the event visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

U-16 All-Ohio Red Places Second

Quintin Rogers' U-16 All-Ohio Red made a great run at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida this past week, but came up a little short in the showcase championship game on Sunday. In the title game, All-Ohio Red let a late game lead evaporate as they went down 58-57 to Baltimore Elite to finish as runner-ups. Isiah Miles played spectacular for Baltimore and was the biggest factor in the win. Jalen Robinson and Leroy Alexander paced All-Ohio with 14 and 12 points, respectively. All-Ohio will remain in Orlando for the U-16 AAU Nationals.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

AAU Super Showcase: Day One

The last leg of the July evaluation period began with the AAU Super Showcase in Olando, Florida on Saturday. The 4-day event attracted a number of quality teams in both the U16 and U-17 divisions, including several Ohio-based teams. In opening day action, the U-17 All-Ohio Red started strong and notched an impressive win over a Jabari Hinds-led Westchester Hawks. The game was actually a rematch from and earlier game in Pittsburgh this year where the Hawks dominated Red. Not this time, as All-Ohio led most of the way before claiming a 63-51 victory. Although still suffering from a stress fracture in his right leg, Stevie Taylor dominated the game with a game-high 28 points. Right behind him in scoring was Trey Burke who finished with 10 points and an excellent defensive performance, and Geroge Fant who added 7 points. Jabari Hinds paced Westchester with 16 points while Chris Martin added 11 points.

In game two, All-Ohio raced to a lead against the Richmond Squires before going on to win 69-51. George Fant looked impressive on his way to a 16-point effort. Trey Burke backed him up with 10 points and Elijah Macon chimed in with 8 points of his own. All-Ohio Red will match up with Team Final on Sunday to determine who enters bracket play as #1 in pool play. Ed Lyshe's All-Ohio White squad put in work on Saturday on their way to a 2-0 start. Walnut Ridge's Dwayne Bazemore's post play has been the difference so far. Later on in the day, Westchester apparently recovered from their opening loss by defeating a very talented Team Final (with out Michael Gilchrist) 75-64. Matthew Townsend led Westchester 19 points followed by Jabari Hinds' 15 points. Team Final's Treavor Cooney hit 4 treys and scored 21 points in a loosing effort. The U-16 Super Showcase is close to rapping up with the championship game slated for 4:00 Sunday. Quintin Rogers' All-Ohio Red squad will be their after defeating BABC in the first semi-final game last night 47-42. Jake Kretzer led Red with 10 points while BABC's Georges Niang led his team with 16 points. To reach the final four, All-Red had to avenge and earlier loss from the Ohio State AAU Tournament, where they were dominated by All-Ohio Purple. This time around, Red came out on top and punched their ticket to the final four with a 77-68 win. All-Ohio will face Baltimore Elite in the championship game. To see pictures of the event visit the Buckeye Prep Racebook Fan Page.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nike EYBL Finals: Day Two

Day two proved to be another competitive day for the 24 teams participating in the Nike EYBL Finals in North Augusta, Georgia. With the arrival of several elite players who were participating with Team USA, came even more standout performances and competitive team play. The new arrivals included Michael Gilchrist, Marquise Teague and Bradley Beal.

The second day of Peach Jam action proved to be another tough day for All-Ohio Red, as they dropped a close game to Athletes First in session number one. Despite leading for most of the game, untimely turnovers allowed Athletes First back in the game. After a pair of missed free throws, the game was knotted at 52 with 16 seconds remaining. Red played solid defense for about 14 seconds, but a missed shot and put back at the buzzer resulted in a 50-52 loss and an 0-3 record. All-Ohio was led in scoring by Trey Burke's game-high 19 points, George Fants' 11 points and Stevie Taylor's 9 points. Athletes Firsts' Ryan Stangler's was the leading scorer with 18 points, followed by Josh Richardson who finished with 11 points.

Unfortunately, All-Ohio Red continued their slide in game two of the day, as they fell to 0-4 after a 61-52 loss to Louisiana Select. Red found themselves in an early hole and could not hit enough shots to climb out. Trey Burke led all scorers with 18 points, followed by George Fant (14 points) and Stevie Taylor (7 points). Louisiana Select was paced by Zaveral Jackson who finished with 12 points, and Jalen West and Ricardo Gathers who both added 11 points. In their only game of the day, All-Ohio Black let a 31-23 half time lead slip away, as the Georgia Stars took the lead midway through the second half to claim a 67-56 win. Kalid King continued to play well as he led Black in scoring with a game-high 25 points. The Stars' Josh Blossimgame was the high man with 19 points followed by Chris Bolden who finished with 16 points.

With Michael Gilchrist in the building, Team Final started the day on a positive note, as they defeated Chicago's Mean Streets 60-64. Gilchrist announced his presence with an impressive 26 points and 9 rebounds. Both Anthony Davis and Phil Greene paced Mean Streets with 14 points. Mac Irvin got an early 59-49 win over the Metro Hawks. Wayne Blackshear and Keifer Sykes led with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sidiki Johnson and Jose Rodriguez scored 12 points for Metro. Boo Williams jumped all over BABC and went on to win 71-48. James McAdoo led with 13 points and Jordan Burgess added 10 points. Michael Carter-Williams had another big game, as he finished with a game-high 24 points. The Family got another win after defeating Albany Rocks 67-44. Dominique Pointer led all scorers with 24 points. Carlton Brundidge added 11 points and LaDonte Hinton contributed 10 points. Derek Millinghaus paced Albany with 18 points.

Jabari Brown had another monster game as he dropped a game-high 32 points to lead his Oakland Soldiers squad to a 84-67 victory over Wisconsin Playground Elite. Nick Johnson added 15 points while Josiah Turner contributed 13 points. Melvin Cook led Playground with 13 points and Cimeon Bowers scored 12 points. Marquise Teague made a significant impact upon his arrival, as he led Spiece to a 79-58 win over California Supreme with a 25 point, 6 assist effort. Nic Moore finished with 16 points and Antonio Williams contributed 10 points. Ryan Anderson led California with 17 points and Kevin Johnson added 15 points. Team Takeover notched another win, as they downed the Alabama Challenge 74-61. Duke pledge Michael Gbinije went for 19 points followed by James Robinson (17 points) and Mikael Hopkins (12 points). Ricky Tarrant and Levi Randolph both scored 16 points. To see pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Also, check out's coverage of the event including player interviews and highlight videos.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nike EYBL Finals: Day One

The Inaugural season of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) culminates at the Peach Jam this week and Nike's top twenty four U-17 teams have made their way to North Augusta, South Carolina in search of the prestigious championship. Of course there are sixteen U-16 teams, but the week is all about the EYBL finals. All-Ohio, who arrived in North Augusta with a depleted roster and injures, struggled in day one finishing 0-2. First up in the morning session for Red was a rubber match with the St. Louis Eagles, who All-Ohio the had split (1-1) with earlier this season. As was the case in their last meeting at the Boo Williams Invitational, the Eagles got the 79-65 win. All-Ohio was right there to start the second half, but the Eagles went on a quick 12-0 run and Red could never recover. Of note was the fact that St. Louis was without the services of Bradley Beal who was still playing with Team USA. Ben McLemore had a stellar game for the Eagles and dropped a game-high 24 points. Right behind him in scoring was Roosevelt Jones who added 20 points and Shaquille Boga who contributed 14 points. For All-Ohio, Brandon Neel had a breakout game and finished with a team-high 18 points. Trey Burke and Stevie Taylor added 16 and 15 points, respectively. In the second session of the day All-Ohio faced off against a loaded Mac Irving Fire, and although the game was close the entire way, the Chicago-based team held on to claim a 5 point victory. As if All Ohio's bench was not short enough, Nate Anderson sustained a serious ankle injury mid-way through the second half. George Fant led All-Ohio with 17 points followed by Trey Burke's 15 markers. Mac Irvin was led by Jerome Brown's 13 points, Sam Thompson's 10 points and George Marshall's 11 points. Tony Lavender's U-16 All-Ohio Black team lost a close 69-62 game to the Arkansas Wings in their opening game. The wings were led by national top 25 Archie Goodwin (29 points) and Jalen Jackson (23 points). All-Ohio Black's Tyler White, Kalid King and Jakil Cornley all scored 13 points in the loosing effort. One of the best games of the day was the double over time thriller between the New Jersey Playaz and Team Final. Each team drained a last second trey to extend play. In regulation, Treavor Cooney was the hero as he banked in a 3 ball with time running out. In the first OT, Myles Mack drove the length of the court and got off a trey to send the game to a second over time. In their first game of the day, New Jersey easily handled California Supreme 80-49. Kyle Anderson was the high man with a game-high 17 points, followed by Myles Mack (16 points) and Myles Davis (12 points). California's Kevin Johnson led with 12 points. In other action, Austin Rivers had a big game for Each one Teach One and led his team to a 85-64 win over Albany Rocks. Rivers dropped a game-high 29 points. Trevor Lacey supported his efforts with 18 points and 4 assists. Derek Millinghaus led Albany with 17 points and 4 assists. BABC's Michael Carter Williams had the game of the day with a 44 point outburst the propelled his team to a 68-60 win over the Georgia Stars. Jaqawn Raymond led the Stars with 17 points. The Oakland Soldiers opened the day with a 83-66 win over the Alabama Challenge. Jabari Brown continued his dominance with a game-high 23 points. In support, Josiah Turner added 17 points and Nick Johnson contributed 15 points. For Alabama, Levi Randolph led with 18 points. Despite a big game from Ricardo Gathers (23 points), the Metro Hawks outlasted Louisiana Select Select 72-49. Sidiki Johnson scored a team high 19 points for Metro followed by 15 points for Jose Rodriguez. In their second game of the day, the Metro Hawks upset the St. Louis Eagles. Team Takeover got out to a good start with a 71-55 win over Wisconsin Playground Elite. Duke-bound Michael Gbinije dropped a game-high 23 points. Wisconsin's Cimeon Bowers scored a team-high 13 points. Boo Williams got by The Family 67-62 on the strength of Simuel's Frazier's 17 points and 4 assists. Carlton Brundidge led The Family with 18 points and Amir Williams added 12 points. Playing without Marquise Teague who was still with Team USA, Spiece Indy Heat defeated Team Final 85-68. Nic Moore had a huge game with 26 points and 5 assists. Raphael Davis did his part with 19 points and 7 assists. Team Final was led by Deon Jones (15 points), Trevor Cooney (13 points) and Rakeem Christmas (12 points). Howard Pulley's Joe Coleman dropped a game-high 32 points to lead the Panthers over the New York Gauchos. Zack Lofton contributed 20 points. The Gauchos were led in scoring by Omar Calhoun who finished with 22 points and PJ Torres who added 20 points. Anthony Davis led Mean Streets to an opening game 55-34 victory over Team Florida with 18 points. Will Cummings paced Team Florida with 15 points. To see pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Big Shots Myrtle Beach Slam 2: Day Two

All-Ohio Red started day two of the event strong, as they held off a hot shooting Carolina Raptors squad to claim a 74-65 win . All-Ohio was led in scoring by Stevie Taylor who found his stroke to the tune of 21 points. Nate Anderson continued his stellar play on the second day and finished with about 15 points. Trey Burke and George Fant both added 15 points apiece. All-Ohio Black started the day against one of the top 2013 teams in the country with the Houston Defenders, and by the time the clock showed zeros, the Defenders were on top 66-52. To see pictures of the event visit the Buckeye Prep facebook Fan Page.

Big Shots Myrtle Beach Slam 2: Day One

On my way to the Peach Jam, I headed south to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina get a look at the action at Big Shots' Myrtle Beach Atlantic Slam Tournament. With the NCAA only allowing for 20 days in the month of July to evaluate potential prospects, tournament organizers are forced to sandwich in events into the short open periods in order to take advantage at the limited open periods. Like other live events, their were hoards of college coaches in the stands watching the action.

All-Ohio sent it's U-17 Red and U-16 Black teams to Myrtle Beach to get one last run in before heading north to the Peach Jam which is scheduled to start on Monday. In terms of the format, in the U-17 division, the two-day event was actually divided into two 16-team tournaments and exhibition games. As it has done in the past, the tournament attracted a number of quality teams in 3 grade divisions including: All-Ohio Red, Team Loaded, Southern Kings, South Carolina Ravens, Baltimore Elite, Louisiana Select, Team Phenom, Georgia Stars and Nike Team Florida.

All-Ohio Red is participating in the exhibition portion of the event and is slated to play only 3 games. On day one, playing without Elijah Macon and with a still hobbled Stevie Taylor, Benji Burke's squad began the day with a tough loss against Carolina Elite. All-Ohio was plagued by poor shooting and soft defense and was simply out played in every aspect of the game. In the second game of the day, All-Ohio came out with more energy and jumped all over DC Assault Blue to claim a lopsided 60-38 victory. Nate Anderson sparked All-Ohio with a summer best 18 points after hitting dagger treys at key points in the game. When Anderson's man refused to come out and defend him he stuck multiple treys from the top of the key. Anderson was supported by Trey Burke (12 points), and Stevie Taylor and Brandon Neel (9 points).

Tony Lavender's All-Ohio Black team notched a big opening round game against Paul Gripper's U-17 Team Phenom. From what I could tell, because they were playing a U-16 team, Gripper started with his reserves until about the 4 minute mark before going down 15-8 by half time. Although Team Phenom eventually went with their starters early in the 1st half, All-Ohio Black already established the momentum and went on to win 39-31. The leading scorers in the game were Kalid King (14 points) and Tyler White (11 points). In game two, All-Ohio Black was downed by a talented Baltimore Elite 62-49. Bmore was led in scoring by Daquan Cook who finished with a team-high 17 points. Tyler White continued to shoot well and led Black in scoring with a game-high 18 points, followed by Nicholas Archer who added 12 points. In other action, I caught Team Phenom's earlier game where they held off a determined Team Georgia Elite (2010) to claim a 78-72 victory. Although Gripper's squad held a comfortable lead the entire game, Lindsey Davis' young team cut the lead late in the game but still came up a little short. 6'6 Jabril Trawick had a monster game and finished with a game-high 30 points, followed by Devon Coleman who finished with 17 points of his own. Willie Clayton led Team Georgia with 26 points and Keenan Palmore contributed 12 markers. The highly regarded and clearly more talented Team Loaded destroyed Team Georgia Elite Maynard in a an earlier game. Team Loaded is a well put together squad with great guard play and impressive post play. The gym was packed with college coaches, most of whom were there to watch Tyler Lewis, one of the top 2012 prospects in the country. Lewis did not disappoint, as he finished with 16 points and found open team mates for open shots the entire game.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All-Ohio Red Wins Inagural Buckeye Hoopfest

After 3 days of action, All-Ohio Red 17s was the last team standing in the Inaugural Buckeye Hoopfest at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. In the championship game, All-Ohio defeated a very talented West Virgina Wildcats squad 71-68. All though All-Ohio led for most of the contest, the Wildcats made a late-game run to close the gap. All-Ohio was led in scoring by Stevie Taylor who finished with 5 treys and a game-high 17 points. Trey Burke followed with 16 points and Elijah Macon and Brandon Neel added 13 and 12 points, respectively. The Wildcats were paced by Anthony Monoco's 15 points, followed by Treavon Jackson (12 points), Kalif Wright (10 points) and Wake Forrest-bound Chase Fischer (9 points). In the semi-final game, All-Ohio Red was taken to the wire by a hot shooting Buckeye Ballers squad and needed a buzzer beater from Trey Burke to advance to the Championship game. As a side note, Burke's stellar play all weekend was enough for Cincinnati's Mick Cronin to pull the trigger and drop a scholarship offer. In the opening game of the day, All-Ohio got by a BJ Young-led St. Louis Gameface 68-57. Although Young went for a game-high 25 points, All-Ohio's balanced scoring was the difference. Trey Burke was the big man on campus with a team-high 24 points, followed by George Fant who added 14 points and Stevie Taylor contributed 12 points. Nate Anderson had a nice game as well and finished with 11 points. West Virginia outlasted Friends 4 Life to reach the championship game. In the other two division, 4-Deep claimed the championship with a victory over Team CBIZ and Team Toledo beat the West Virgina Wildcats 74-68 to claim the U-15 crown. All in all, the first year event was solid and set the table for next year. To see pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Buckeye Hoopfest: Early Look

The July evaluation period began on Tuesday and for the first time I can remember, Columbus, Ohio hosted a "live" event where D-I college coaches could be in attendance. Over the course of the 3-day event, college coaches from across the country can be found at Ohio Dominican University for this first-year event. Because this is the first year for the Buckeye Hoopfest, and the event had to compete with more established events like the Adidas Invitational and the LeBron James Skills Academy, the overall numbers were low (about 34 teams in 3 divisions). With that said, there were a few very talented teams as well as several high major players participating in the tournament. Oh yea, there were a number of college coaches in the house, including Mick Cronin (Cincinnati), Tom Crean (Indiana), Buzz Peterson (Marquette) and Richmond's Chris Mooney.In the 20-team U-17 division, the top teams appeared to be All-Ohio Red, St. Louis Gameface, West Virgina Wildcats, Team CBIZ, and YAACCE (Canada). The U-16 division (8 teams) boasted top teams such as 4-Deep (really All-Ohio Red), Team CBIZ, Team Toledo and Drill 4 Skills (PA), and in the 6-team U-15 division, the West Virgina Wildcats were the top team. During the first 2 days of the event, the top teams rolled. All-Ohio Red kicked off the tournament with a 65-56 win over Drills 4 Skills. In that game, Trey Burke was the high man with a game-high 21 points. Elijah Macon and George Fant added 14 and 12 points, respectively. For Drills 4 Skills, Michael Lambert scored a team-high 13 points and Matt Polo finished with 12 points. All-Ohio, playing without Stevie Taylor who is out with a calf injury, got by XBA 67-41. The St. Louis Gameface, led by supper hot BJ Young, began Friday with a 58-47 win over Ohio's Friends 4 Life. Gameface won their second game but was tripped up in game 3 by Columbus' Hidden Gems to finish 2nd in their pool. The West Virgina Wildcats finished 3-0 in pool play with wins over All-Ohio Swag (76-53), Team CBIZ (79-68) and a 63-56 nail bitter against Team CBIZ. Playing well for the Wildcats were Chase Fischer and Treavon Jackson. YAACCE finished pool play 3-0 with wins over All-Ohio Force, College Bound and the Columbus Storm. The Buckeye Ballers won their pool with victories over Humongous Columbus Force, MAC Ohio and the 2012 West Virgina Wildcats. One of the best games of Saturday involved Hidden Gems versus an Anton Grady-led Friends 4 Life. Although the scrapper Hidden Gems squad got a quick start, Friends 4 Life fought their way back to tie the game at 27 by halftime, then pulled away late to claim a hard fought 69-62 win. Jazzell Garrett paced Friends with 16 points and Anton Grady finished with 12 points. Gahanna's Trey Warr led Hidden Gems with 21 points. In the U-16 division, Victor Dandridge's 4 Deep squad cruised through pool play with wins over Team CBIZ, Team Toledo and the Dayton C-Hawks. For the final results, visit the tournament website at