Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Murphy AC to Represent Ohio in Inaugural NYBL

Murphy AC-Ready to Play!

Kevin Jackson’s 6th grade Murphy AC squad will be one of 2 teams to represent the Buckeye state in the inaugural season of the NYBL. Along with All-Ohio Red, Jackson’s squad is set to compete against the top teams in the nation. Although Murphy AC has not really been tested at the national level, Jackson feels confident that his northern Ohio based squad can run with the big dogs like Team Izod/Sports U, Memphis War Eagles, Carolina Preps, South Carolina Hornets, Texas BU All-Stars, Worldwide, ETU Select Metrolina Havoc, Maryland’s Finest, West Virginia Xplosion ,Deron Williams Elite, New Heights and many others.

Jackson, his players and their parents are all very excited about the opportunity to participate in the league as one of only a handful teams that were “handpicked from around the region.” “We are excited to give our kids this platform [NYBL] to see what it takes to succeed at the highest level.  There is nothing else like this [the league]. The buzz is out here in our area and I have kids knocking down my door [wanting to join the team]," stated Jackson.

So far, Jackson’s squad is 8-1 in winter league play, and the 9 games he’s played so far this winter represent the only experience his kids have had to play together. Despite the lack of experience, Jackson does not lack confidence. “With this group we will probably finish in the final four [of the NYBL],” stated Jackson. When asked how he plans to accomplish such a feat against arguably the top teams in the country Jackson added, “We are going to outwork everybody.  We will be disciplined, in shape and we are going to get up in you. Not many teams will be able to stand the pressure the whole game,” Jackson continued.

Shamaar Morrow-Could be Key

Although Jackson’s roster is full of players who are not yet recognized at the national level, he is confident that his team will more than compete. “Sometimes it’s good not to have a superstar because it’s easier to get the kids to buy into the team concept,” said Jackson. Jackson may be counting on his players embracing the team concept, but he admits that his team’s success will rest on the shoulders of a couple of key players. At the point, Jackson’s son, Tevin Jackson, will be counted on to lead the team.  Other key players include Shamaar Morrow (possibly the top 5th grader in the state), Josiah Hitchens (newly acquired) and Alfonzo Hale.  Jackson was also real excited about Jaret Griffith, who he describes as one of the best shooters and most fundamental players he has seen in a long time.  The rest of the Murphy AC roster includes: Darius Moss Jr., Alex Feeling, Alonzo Gaffney, Devon Grant, Anthony Bird and Devon Hightower.

After talking to several of the coaches in the league, I can assure you there is little respect for Murphy AC heading into league play.  However, like Jackson, I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing.  I don’t know how good this team will be, but I can assure you this, if Jackson can get half as much effort out of this squad as he did with that 7th grade group, I think some guys in the league are going to be in some trouble when the ball is tipped in Bethesda, MD come March 15th.  Make sure you follow the action in the NYBL; it’s sure to be exciting!

NYBL Webpage

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ETU Select Captures MLK Crown

ETU Select 6th Man MLK Tourney Champs

Based on Buckeye Prep's involvement with the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL), our readers should expect an increase in national coverage. Hopefully, are readers will enjoy the added coverage in addition to the traditional regional coverage you have come to expect. As always, we invite your input. To this end, below is a recap of the 6th Man MLK Tournament of Champions at University of Maryland, submitted by contributing writer who attended the event.  Enjoy.

ETU Select won the championship of the 6th Man MLK Tournament of Champions at University of Maryland.  After taking a tough loss by 6 points in one of their pool play games to a good Baltimore’s Finest team they rebounded to win three on Sunday to bring home the crown.  They won the quarterfinal 63-26 with Terrance Williams leading the way with 25 points and 6 rebounds.  Tyrese Jenkins chipped in with 10 points and 7 boards.  

Terrance Williams-Tournament MVP

The starting backcourt of Tyler Brelsford and Jahmir Young produced 8 points 4 boards 5 assists 4 steals and 9 points 3 rebounds 4 dimes 3 steals respectively. Hunter Dickinson also contributed with 4 points and 6 boards.  The semifinal was a closer game but Select pulled away to win 49-34.  Tyrese Jenkins led the way with 15 points and 6 rebounds.  Tyler Brelsford had 13 points that included three trey balls that broke the game wide open for Select.  Jahmir Young led the team with 5 assists and Terrance Williams chipped in with 8 markers and 8 boards.  Hunter Dickinson had 5 blocks.  

In the final ETU Select beat the 6th Man Warriors who are led by the multi-dimensional wing forward Levar Allen by a score of 54-48.  Terrance Williams had a breakout game and took home tournament MVP honors by tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Jahmir Young stepped up big with 19 points, 4 boards and 3 assists.  We would like to congratulate NYBL team ETU Select for their tournament championship.

Full Results

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Birth Claims MLK Title

New Birth Warriors-6th Grade Champions

On Monday, Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors defeated Dayton Salvation Army 59-31 to claim the championship of the Dayton Airmen MLK tourney. Although the Warriors had been the team that routinely sprinted out to an early lead, Salvation Army flipped the script as they raced to an early 11-0 lead. At that point, Jaidon Lipscomb got on another role and led the Warriors to a win on the strength of a 30 point explosion. Behind Lipscomb in scoring was Jordan Mitchell with 20 points, while Jerome Francis II contributed 15 assists and 12 rebounds.

For the record, New Birth soundly defeated Team Dayton 71-18 in the semi-finals. The leading scores were Jordan Mitchell (22), Jaidon Lipscomb (20) and Jerome Francis II (13) and JoJo Fulcher (11). According to Coach Bradley, MVP co-honors go to Jordan Mitchell who averaged 21.7 points per game and Jaiden Lipscomb who averaged 22.5 points per game. Congratulations to Coach Bradley and the New Birth Warriors.

Finally, the Dayton Airmen defeated the Dakota Swish to calm the 5th grade crown, while Mary Queen of Peace got by Imagine School for the 7th grade title. Congratulations to Coach Powell and his staff for another quality event this year!

MLK Holiday Classic-Final Day

Lakota Pride-7th grade Champions

On Monday I had the opportunity to check out the final day action at Kelly Peeks’ MLK Holiday Classic at the Sports Plus facility in Cincinnati, and although the AAU season is still several week away, there was still some good talent in the gym. The tournament hosted about 77 boys and girls teams in grades 2nd-8th.  For the record, the 7th and 8th grade teams were from Kentucky, where kids can play in games outside of middle school ball.

By the time I arrived in the gym, the 6th & 7th grade teams were into the semi-final rounds. Right out of the gate I caught the first 7th grade semi-final game between Kentucky’s Tri-State Warriors and the Lexington Hustle (6th grade). Despite their serious height disadvantage, the Hustle’s superior guard play leveled the playing field, as the Hustle would eventually secure a 45-43 overtime victory. The star of the game was Frankfort’s Diablo Stewart who dropped a game-high 23 points.  Stewart is a crafty little guard who can score in bunches.  He has a creative handle, solid dribble moves and he does a good job of finding open teammates. The man in middle for the Hustle was Nigel Frimpong (5’8 PF) who, though undersized compared to the Warrior’s front line, was strong and athletic enough to still be effective in the paint.

Joey Edmonds-5'1 PG Wyoming

The 7th grade championship game featured a match up between the Lakota Pride and the Lexington Hustle, as well as a battle between the top 2 point guards in the gym. Before I talk about the PG battle, it’s important to note that the Pride would go on to claim a 54-42 victory and the title.  Now with that out of the way, I already told you about Diablo Stewart whom I was very impressed with, but Wyoming’s Joey Edmonds is really special. As most of Buckeye Prep’s regular followers know, I have written positively about Edmonds on several prior occasions.  Let me just say this; the kid is even better than I had recalled. Not only is Edmonds is highly skilled and has a high basketball IQ, he has a mature game beyond his years. As you watch him race up and down the court at break neck speed, you soon come to realize you’re watching a special talent. Edmonds can shoot the three ball, he has a nice floater, and his ball handling skills allow him to get to the rack with regularity. But that’s not all, the kid really knows how to run a team and he does a great job of distributing the rock.  His work of ball screens is amazing for a kid his age. The match up between Stewart and Edmonds was good one, and the two battled each other for most of the game, but at the end of the day, Edmonds’s team won, and he led all scorers with 21 points.

Diablo Stewart-5'0 PG Frankfort, KY

In the 6th grade championship game, Team Get Ryte rode the hot shooting hand of Rylan Woods all the way to a 51-to 25 win over the Shining Stars. Woods was smoking hot as he knocked down 5 triples on his way to a game-high 19 points. Although the game was close at the half, Team Get Ryte would later stretch the lead midway through the second half. Michael Spencer, a 5’4 PG from Union, Kentucky was a standout out for the Shining Stars.

Jack Pugh-5'6 PF Plain City

The 5th grade championship was claimed by the Ohio Pumas who soundly defeated the Bombers by the score of 52-32. Plain City’s Jack Pugh (5’6 PF) was the top guy with the Pumas, while Jack Soyer (4th grader from Pickerington) logged in a solid performance as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Warriors Dominate Day One of MLK Tourney

Jordan Mitchell-6'4 WF Gahanna

As expected, Scott Bradley’s 6th grade New Birth Warriors squad totally dominated the competition at the Dayton Airmen MLK tournament in Dayton yesterday. In their opening game against an over matched Centerville Hustle, the Warriors held their opponent scoreless until the 1:05 mark in the first half. Using a combination of full and half court traps, the Warrior feasted off turnovers and easy fast break buckets. New Birth entered the locker room with a 31-3 halftime lead.

The start of the second period mirrored the first half, as the Warriors continued to rack up transition points. By the time the horn sounded to end the game, New Birth had claimed an easy 66-16 victory.  The story of the game was the complete game logged in by Gahanna’s Jordan Mitchell.  There is a reason why many youth basketball fans rank Mitchell as one of the top players in his class; the kid can ball. Mitchell continues to impress this writer with his versatility and almost complete game. 

Yesterday, Mitchell demonstrated his ability to excel on both ends of the court, as he consistently stepped into passing lanes for easy layups, and blocked a boatload of shots near the bucket. Not only can he impact a game on defense alone, he can be a scoring machine as well. Mitchell scores at a high rate near the cup, but it’s clear that he continues to improve his perimeter shot. Not only can he get buckets of his own, Mitchell is an excellent passer who makes players around him better. By the end of most games, Mitchell’s stat line is nothing less than impressive.  With his length and skill set, Mitchell is real problem for most teams. Mitchell led all scorers with 25 points, followed by Jaidon Lipscomb with 20 and Jerome Francis II with 10.

I would like to report that their second game against the Dayton Airmen was more competitive, but that would not be accurate. Although the Warriors did not jump to as big a lead on the Airmen as they did with the Hustle, the half time score was still a lopsided 41-8. New Birth would go onto to collect a gaudy 69-23 win.  Much like the first game, turnovers and run outs were the story of the game. Jordan Mitchell again led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Jaidon Lipscomb with another 20 points and Jerome Francis II with 16 points. New Birth will back in action on Monday.

Jaidon Lipscomb-Averaged 20 pts Yesterday

Although Jordan Mitchell is clearly the man on the team, Jaidon Lipscomb is not far behind him.  Lipscome may not match Mitchell’s stats, but in terms of scoring, he is a force to be reckoned with as well.  In addition to his ability to shoot the cover off the ball, he just seems to have a nose for the ball and is always in the right position to score. When you add Francis’ size at the point and the team’s unselfish play and willingness to share the rock, it becomes painfully clear that this team will be unchallenged for the rest of the season.

A couple of other 6th grade standouts included Kendall Moore (SG Dayton) and Willieon Yates (PG Springboro). Also, I watched a couple of 5th grade games yesterday and the following kids caught my eye: Logan Moore (PG Dayton), Anthony Smith (PG Dayton), Keshan Hugely (PF Dayton), Keon’te Hugely (PF Dayton). 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ohio Players Nominated for McDonalds All-Amarican Game

Recently, the McDonald's All-American Game Committee released their initial list of nominees, and 13 Ohio players made the initial cut. Although there are a few more cuts before the final teams are selected, it's still a great honor to receive a nomination.  Congratulations to the players below for receiving a nomination to this prestigious game!

Ohio Nominees (BPR Elite Showcase alumni in bold)

Jalen Camper-Beavercreek HS
Mark Donnal-Wayne HS
Marc Loving-St Johns HS
Billy Lucien-North Olmstead HS
Kevin Marsh-Dublin Coffman HS
Luke Schoettinger-Little Miami HS
Mike Wells-Hayes HS
Carlos White-Cleveland Central Catholic HS
LeMarcus White-Carver HS
Devin Williams-Withrow HS
Ellis Williams-South HS
Mark Williams-Cleveland Benedictine HS
Patrick Wrencher-Cincinnati Moeller HS

Full Nominee List

Monday, January 7, 2013

National Youth Basketball League Loaded with Talent

The inaugural season of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) will feature 24 of the nation’s most elite sixth grade teams. Modeled after Nike’s very successful Elite Youth Basketball League, the NYBL seeks to enhance the level professionalism and structure in youth basketball, while also fostering more competitive and team-oriented play. Each of the 24 teams will be competing in 3 sessions which are spread out though out the eastern part of the country starting in mid-March, and culminating in the NYBL finals during the last weekend in May.

In terms of the talent level, 7 of the top 8 finishers in last year’s 5th grade AAU Nationals will be participating in the NYBL. If that wasn’t enough, according to AAU’s “Power Rankings,” 16 of the top 25 teams in the country will be participating in the league. The league is also proud of the fact that of the 24 teams in the league, 12 different states will be represented.

Carolina Preps-Placed 3rd at AAU Nationals Last year

The following teams have joined the league: SC Hornets (2nd); Carolina Preps (3rd); Memphis War Eagles (4th); Team Takeover (5th); Reach Higher Kings (6th), Southern Stampede/Worldwide (7th), Metrolina Havoc (8th), All-Ohio Red; ETU Select; Team Izod/Sports U; Arkansas Solderz; Maryland’s Finest; WV Xplosion; Atlanta Celtics Black; E.O.T.O.; 6th Man Warriors; CJ Hawks; New York Gauchos; New Heights; Team Penny; Enplay Elite; Derby State Racers; Murphy AC; and the Southern Kings. Moreover, because All-Ohio Red and All-Ohio Purple have now combined, All-Ohio Red is widely considered the top team in the country.

Jordan Mitchell-#1 Ranked 6th Grader in the Country

In addition to the many elite teams that have committed to the NYBL, at least 38 nationally ranked players will be lacing em up when the league tips off in mid-March. Below is a list of the nationally ranked players in the league: Jordan Mitchell (All-Ohio Red); Kobe Langley (Carolina Preps); Wendell Moore (Carolina Preps); Antavion Collums (Memphis War Eagles); Myles Pierce (Metrolina Havoc); Jerome Francis II (All-Ohio Red); Chandler Lawson (Team Penny); Tyler Brelsford (ETU Select); Chris Hinton (Southern Stampede); Jalmir Young (ETU Select); Khalif Battle (CJ Hawks); Joseph Cooper (Memphis War Eagles); Anthony “AJ” Hoggard (Team Izod/Sports U); Chris’Sean Stringer (All-Ohio Red); Tyrese Jenkins (ETU Select); Kenneth Womack (Maryland’s Finest); Jalen Gaffney (Team Izod/Sports U); Keyshawn Langley (Carolina Preps); Juwan Gary (SC Hornets); Kyle Sturtevant (Southern Stampede); Decorie Jefferies (Memphis War Eagles); Jordan McCay (Team Izod/Sports U); Naseem Khaalid (SC Hornets); Travon Ford (Southern Stampede); Chris Payne (All-Ohio Red); Justice Ellison (Team Takeover); Michael Green (Carolina Preps); Jay Heath (Team Takeover); Terrance Williams (ETU Select); Airion Simmons (Arkansas Soldierz); Kerry Martin (WV Xplosion); Charise Hunter (Reach Higher Kings); Jaidon Lipscomb (All-Ohio Red); Bryan Antoine (CJ Hawks); Charles Creek (Maryland’s Finest); Thomas Bruner-Boyebi (SC Hornets); Kevin Cross (Arkansas Soldierz); and Deonte Hamilett (WV Xplosion).

Over the course of the next several months, the Buckeye Prep Report will be covering the teams and players participating in league. For the record, 2 of Ohio’s top 6th grade teams are in the league, including DeMarko Bradley’s All-Ohio Red team and Kevin Jackson’s Murphy AC squad. Also, of the 38 nationally ranked players in the league, the Buckeye State has five representatives. Look for future features and profiles as this exciting new event tips off in a couple of months.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Invitations Extended

The 2013 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase is currently scheduled for March 3rd. As was the case at the fall session, the "invitation only" showcase promises to deliver significant competition and a high degree of exposure. The following email and attached invitation were sent out today. For more information about the event, email Rob Taylor at: BuckeyePrep@yahoo.com.

Parents, Coaches, Players:
We are now a little over 60 days before my March 3rd Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.  Attached is an invitation for your son/player.  As was the case last September, the event will be loaded with talent, and will represent another opportunity for your son/player to compete against the best players from around Ohio, the Midwest and the nation. The fall showcase attracted over 350 very talented players, and the March event should draw close to 400 players.  As is the case with every Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, the exposure opportunities will be great, as there will be several scouting services, video guys and small college coaches in the house to document the action.
As I did for the September showcase, I will be maintaining a running list of the players who have committed to the event (right hand side of the website).  This list is not official, and will not hold your son/player a spot in the showcase.  Only a full payment of the $115.00 registration fee by the deadline will guarantee a spot. Also, for your convenience, I have placed a Pay Pal link in the upper right hand corner of the website if you would like to pay the fee online with a credit card. There will be a $3.00 surcharge for this method of payment. When using Pay Pal, please enter your son/player’s name, grade, height and position in the space provided, as this will assist me to match your payment with the registration forms. Also, please make sure you note the Pay Pal receipt number on the registration form, and then bring the receipt with you the morning of the event.  If you plan to attend the event, please email with your intentions, provide me with your son’s name, grade, height and position, then send in the registration forms and fee ASAP. Please do not send registration forms without the fee!
As the date of the showcase gets closer, I will be sending out emails and updating the website.  It is very important that you continue to follow the website (http://www.BbuckeyePrep.blogspot.com) for updates, as things may change. I know I don’t have email addresses for everybody, and some people don’t use the internet very often; therefore, please help me spread the message and share the information and updates with those parents who you know may not receive the information they need. 
For those of you who have not attend Buckeye Prep showcases in the past, below are a number of links to articles and videos from the last event. Please take the time to go through the material, as they offer some great insight into the events.  For those you who have participated in the showcases, you know that the competition is fierce; the right people are there watching; and the event is always well run.
Based on the level of participation in September, the positive feedback we received after the event, and the fact that football will not be an issue, this event will likely be SOLD OUT. Because of facility limitations, once all of the spots have been filled, I cannot add additional players. Spots will be filled on a “first come, first served basis.” If you have any questions or concerns, emailing me is the best option, but feel free to call me at 614-203-2929.  I hope to see you in March!
PS. I’m always looking for quality coaches.  If you enjoy working with kids; have a coaching background; can be objective; and are interested in coaching at the event, please email me. Coaches will receive a showcase T-shirt and free meals and drinks in our “coaches and media only” hospitality room. Please note, you cannot coach your son or player(s), and every attempt will be made to schedule around your son’s games.
Rob Taylor
Buckeye Prep Report
Committed player list and updates

Media & video from past events:

September 2012: