Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NYBL's Deron Williams Elite Wins NOLO Super 60

Deron Williams Elite-NOLO Super 60 Champs

When Coach Josh Woodson’s Deron Williams Elite squad arrives here in Columbus this weekend for the NYBL finals, they will arrive with a lot of confidence as the team just went undefeated on their way to the championship of the NOLO Super 60, one of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments in the country. To win the title, D-Will had to take down the Arkansas Warriors and SELA Warriors in pool play; followed by the Arkansas Hawks (+20), Jacksonville Magic, I-10 Celtics (by 13) and the Memphis War Eagles (50-44) in bracket play.

The leading scorers for Woodson’s team were Reese Maxey, DeVion Harmon and Chris Harris Jr. It should be noted that all three players have logged in standout performances during the last 2 sessions of the NYBL and should all have good odds of making the NYBL All-Star Game in September. Defensively, Marcus McLanahan, Terry Woods and Andrew Pitts reportedly got it done for D-Will. According to coach Woodson, “it was a great team effort in New Orleans and hopefully we can carry the momentum to Columbus for session 3!” Congrats to Coach Woodson, his players, parents and fans for representing the NYBL so well!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Game Day: "Running on Empty"

Several months ago at my Buckeye Prep Invitational tournament I was approached by Dr. Kenneth Ransom regarding him putting together a series of articles directed at young athletes and their sports-related health. I thought it was an excellent idea, and we agreed that if he wrote the stories I would publish them on my website. Well, below is the first article in what will become a series of articles designed to educate parents, coaches and players about their health as it relates to basketball and other sports. I hope you find the information helpful!

Game Day: “Running on Empty”

The importance of pre-game nutritional preparation, adequate fluid and electrolyte maintenance during the game and proper post game recovery has recently been emphasized by Gatorade. Attention to these concepts will not only enhance performance on game day but supports the overall health and development of the players. Good nutritional support and hydration becomes even more challenging during tournaments when the boys can play multiple games at variable times, for several days in a row.

When possible the athlete should start the day with a full meal loaded with carbohydrates and proteins. However a full meal requires over two hours for digestion so should not be consumed inside of two hours before vigorous physical activity. When game time is within two hours, the player can top off his carbohydrate stores with a snack. Cereal bars, yogurt and fruit, small turkey or peanut butter sandwiches will work well. He also should start drinking fluids two hours before the game to get pre-hydrated. Sports drinks that contain carbohydrates and electrolytes are preferable. The player should drink 16 to 24 oz. prior to the game. Stay away from high caffeine content energy drinks. Caffeine is a diuretic and will eventually lead to further dehydration.

During the game, the athlete needs to continue to consume sports drinks, about 8 oz. for every 15 minutes of playing time. A player loses important electrolytes, especially sodium and also needs a continuous energy supply from carbohydrates during intense exercise. Plain water alone does not replace these important products. Muscle function is particularly susceptible to dehydration.

After the game, not only does carbohydrate energy stores need replenished but protein loses from muscle damage need to be replaced. Protein bars, small sandwiches, vegies and fruit are good. Cheese pizzas, hot dogs and chips are not good; they have little nutritional value and do not digest efficiently. Likewise, soft drinks are also not very good because they a mostly sugar as are candy bars. Sugar does not metabolize efficiently and can make the player sluggish. For something sweet, long distance runners like chocolate milk. Water is also a good fluid to drink post game for rehydration of body cells.

When there are multiple games to play, nutrition and fluid consumption is dictated by the schedule. If there is at least three to four hours between games, the athlete can eat a full, healthy meal with protein and carbohydrates. When there is two hours or less between games, there is only time for a good snack with water or a sports drink. Be sure to include a protein source in the post-game snack to facilitate muscle recovery from the previous game. Remember that the player will need to also drink about 16 to 24 oz. in order to pre-hydrate for the next game. Drink another 8 oz. of a sports drink pre- game to get “carb’d-up” and pre-hydrated. Remember to continue to drink 8 oz. of sports drinks for every 15 minutes of play to stay hydrated during the game.

This sequence can go on multiple times during the day at a tournament. If the boys don’t remain hydrated and nourished, their performance will diminish as the day goes on. The players need to be at their best and ready to play that last game of the day for the championship and not “Running on Empty.”

By Dr. Kenneth Ransom

Field Set for Summer Showdown

The field is now set for the first ever Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown! Scheduled to run in conjunction with the NYBL Finals this weekend at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus, the Summer Showdown has attracted the best 7th grade teams in the state for one final showdown before the end of the season. The tournament format is a little unique, as each of the 4 pools are super pools, meaning all 4 teams in each pool will advance to single elimination bracket play beginning Saturday night.

The field will include all but 2 of Buckeye Prep’s top 10 ranked teams, but will also host teams from Michigan and South Carolina for a different flavor. Both of the recent Ohio AAU District champions will hook up Saturday afternoon for ultimate bragging rights. If you’re in town and want to see some of Ohio’s and the country’s best young talent, you might want to make your way over to the USA Sports Academy to catch some of the action!

Midwest Future Stars Showdown-Final Day Action

All-Ohio Red-7th Grade Champions

The final day of the Midwest Future Stars Showdown featured a long awaited matchup between All-Ohio’s 7th grade squad and Buckeye Prep. A Jimmy Weirick trey got All-Ohio the early 3-0 lead, but a Teon Jennings layup and free throw tied the game at 3-3. All-Ohio would later go on a 6-0 run to go up 11-6, but another Jennings layup trimmed the lead to 8-11 at the 11:29 mark. Buckeye Prep would later pull ahead 15-14 with 10:05 left in the half, but another 3 ball by Weirick put All-Ohio back in front 17-15 (9:39). Another All-Ohio run extended the lead to 25-19 at 6:12, but with about 4:46 left, Prep had cut the lead to 1 point (24-25). By halftime, All-Ohio was up 37-32. Two free throws to start the second half extended the All-Ohio lead to 41-46. About midway through the second period All-Ohio began to open a sizable lead and would go on to win the game by a comfortable 72-45 margin. At the end of the day, All-Ohio was bigger in the post, had more depth off the bench, while Buckeye Prep simply turned the ball over way too often to even have a chance at winning the game. Jimmy Weirick was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points, followed by Jamil Goliday (16) and Houston King (13). Teon Jennings was the high man for Buckeye Prep, followed by Seth Goodson and Garrett Tipton, both of whom finished with 10 points.

All-Tournament Team

The only other game I watched on Sunday was the 7th grade championship game between All-Ohio Red and Detroit Showtime.  This was a great game, complete with a big come back and overtime drama. Speaking of a comeback, early in the game, All-Ohio was down 12-2 with 11:10 left in the half. However, an 11-0 run cut the lead to 13-12 by the 8:55 mark. All-Ohio took their first lead (20-17) with about 6 minutes left in the period, and then each team took turns sharing the lead until about the 3:10 mark when the game was knotted at 25.  From there, Detroit spurted and took a 35-26 lead into the break. Detroit scored first to start the second period, but an All-Ohio run cut the lead to 35-42 at 13:29. By the 7:03 mark, All-Ohio was only down 46-51. For the rest of the game, All-Ohio would make mini runs to cut into the lead, and would lead 55-54 with 4:26 left. By the end of regulation the game was tied at 60-60. All-Ohio got out of the gates quickly with an 8-2 spurt in OT.  Although Detroit battled back, that early run was the difference in the contest, as All-Ohio went on to claim the championship 76-68.  Toledo’s Houston King led all scorers with 15 points, followed by Juan Elmore (14) and Jimmy Weirick (13). Keon Epps (6’2 C Det) and Brandon Green (5’11 WF Det) paced Detroit with 12 points apiece. The tournament MVP was Jimmy Weirick, and the All-Tournament Team included: Houston King, Jamil Goliday, Deshaun Daniels, Mark Watts and Brandon Green

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Midwest Future Stars Showdown & Shootout-Saturday Action

Brandon Green-5'11 WF Detroit

On Saturday, I spent some time at Jerry Watson’s Memorial Day tournament in Columbus,  Although the field was way down this year (only about 56 teams) there were a handful of compelling match-ups worth watching in the 7th grade division. Early in the morning, All-Ohio’s 7th grade team played a split version of its 6th grade team (the other half of the team had to fill in for a 6th grade team that was a no show). In that game, the 7th graders raced to an early 7-0 lead for which they never really relinquished. The 6th graders would chip away at the lead the entire game, and actually get to within 42-43 with 8:08 left in the game, but big brother would eventually get it done 66-58. Pickerington’s Jimmy Weirick led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Jamil Goliday with12 points. Greg Tribble paced the 6th graders with 12 points, followed by Gerard Reynolds with 10 and Jordan Mitchell with 8 points. It should be noted that Ohio Hoopster’s Juan Elmore is running with All-Ohio this weekend.

Ed Lyshe’s 7th grade Buckeye Prep squad matched up with Detroit Showtime in the morning and got out to a 4-0 lead. The game was locked up at 6-6 by the 14-01 mark, but Detroit took their first lead (11-10) with 11:28 left in the half. By halftime Buckeye Prep was down 34-35. Prep opened the second half with a score to take the lead (36-35), but Detroit would respond in a big way and open up a 38-48 lead by the 12:27 mark.  Buckeye Prep would eventually cut the lead to 51-54, but Detroit would hold on for the win. Individual scores were not kept, but Detroit’s Brandon Green (5’11 WF) was the top guy for his squad.

Garrett Tipton-Played Big for Prep

Later in the afternoon Buckeye Prep hooked up with Demarco Bradley’s full All-Ohio Red 6th grade squad in pool play. Prep got out to a quick 2-0 start, and then 6, before All-Ohio trimmed the lead to 5-6 at the 12:07 mark. With 5:33 left in the half, Buckeye Prep was up 17-9 and cruising. An All-Ohio run late in the first half cut the lead to 14-17 with 4:40 left. All-Ohio took their first lead of the game (23-21) at the 1:50 mark, and would take a 24-23 lead into the half. A Seth Goodson layup to start the half gave Buckeye Prep the lead, but a Jordan Mitchell trey gave the lead back to All-Ohio (27-25). After an All-Ohio run, Prep answered, and a Garrett Tipton layup tied the game at 29 with 11 minutes left. Buckeye Prep took a 31-29 lead at 10:25 and from there, they never really looked back. The difference in this game was Prep’s ability to not only handle the press, but to actually get easy buckets off of it. Garrett Tipton had a big game, scoring a game-high 22 points.

Detroit Showtime and All-Ohio’s 7th grade squad got it on in game 2 of the day, and despite the standout performance of Juan Elmore, All-Ohio went down 69-62.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Buckeye Prep Team Rankings Updated

Needless to say, the 2 Ohio AAU District Qualifiers really shook up the 6th and 7th grade team rankings last weekend. Right out of the gate on Friday night in Cincinnati, the state’s #1 ranked 7th grade team (Queen City Prophets) went down in defeat to the Ohio Hoopsters in a major upset.  Then early the next morning the upstart Ohio Unity knocked off the Shining Stars who were poised for a big jump in the rankings after a couple of good showing the previous weeks. The upsets weren’t limited to southern Ohio, as the Great Lakes District Qualifier threw a couple of curve balls as well, as the favorites, SMAC U and Murphy AC both took a back seat to King James on Sunday. I don’t think any team was as impressive as the central Ohio-based Team Excel who ran the gauntlet of quality teams all weekend to claim the gold medal.  Because of their efforts, we now have a new #1 team state!

The next chance for teams to make a statement will come next week in Columbus as most of the state’s top 7th grade squads will be participating in the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown. This event will be in conjunction with the NYBL Finals (same facility) so you know the gym will be electric!

There really was not much drama in the 6th grade division, as All-Ohio Red ran through the field in Cincinnati as expected. Murphy AC was the last team standing in the North in division I. Dayton Elite won the D-II title in Buckeye Valley in a thrilling win over Ohio Hoopster Elite. The team that made the biggest jump in the rankings was southern Ohio’s Riverside Flyers.  We don’t get to see much of them, but this is a well constructed team that knows how to play basketball.

In the 8th grade division, Ohio Unity pulled a big upset last weekend by taking down #2 ranked All-Ohio Red in Jerry Watson’s Super Sixteen tournament in Columbus last weekend. With that loss, as well as their loss of Logan Hill to injury, All-Ohio takes a big drop to #6, and Ohio Unity makes a power move upward. King James has continued to win as has OBC and Next level. With the 8th grade AAU state qualifiers tipping off next week, look for some additional movement in the rankings next week.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ohio AAU State Tournament-Sunday Recap

Buckeye Prep & Family-Ohio AAU D-II Champs

I spent Sunday in Buckeye Valley checking out the AAU D-II action. In terms of the 7th grade division, I have to admit, other than my Buckeye Prep Team, all of the other ranked teams were in Cincinnati fighting for D-I bids. Since Ed Lyshe’s team wants to go to the D-II Nationals they chose to play up north. Heading into Sunday play Prep was already 3-0. Game one of the day involved a semi-final match-up with Ohio Legacy. Without much resistance, Buckeye Prep dispatched Legacy 46-25. Gahanna’s Seth Goodson led with a game-high 17 points, while Cameron Carlisle added 10 points.

A couple of hours later, Buckeye Prep hooked up with Ohio Hoopsters Warriors in the gold medal game. Although Prep had soundly defeated the Hoopsters earlier in the year, revenge was obviously on the Hoopsters’ mind, as they raced out to an early 12-0 lead before Prep knew what hit them. Over the course of the first half, Buckeye Prep got more comfortable with the 2-3 zone and began to chip away at the Hoopsters’ sizable lead. Because I was back on the bench helping coach this game (it sure felt good to be back on the bench), I forgot some of the details of the game, but once Prep got a little momentum back, they erased most of the deficit by halftime, and would eventually take the lead for good in the third quarter. I would say the game was contested until about midway into the 4th quarter; that’s about when Buckeye Prep seized control and the end was in sight. Buckeye Prep later went on to win their second championship in as many weeks with a 46-33 victory. Grandville Heights’ Eli Hall had the best game of the season, finishing with a game-high 14 points. Hall finished at a high rate in the low post and played with a lot of energy the entire game. Seth Goodson backed him up with 11 markers.

Gavin Baker-Worthington

Fortunately for me, several of the state’s top 6th grade teams were participating in the D-II AAU State qualifier so I got the chance to see some teams and some kids I had not seen or had seen very little of up to this point. In fact, I got my first look at Ohio Hoopsters Elite in their game against Ohio Rising Stars. I only saw half of the game, but as I had heard, the Hoopsters are a quality team with a solid post player in Gavin Baker and good guard play in Treohn Martin and AJ Bennett. I’ve written about the Rising Stars in the past and spotlighted their top players (i.e., Andre Gordon, CaVante Scott and Ratez Roberts). When I got there, the Hoopsters were already up 23-11 midway through the 3rd quarter. By the start of the 4th, the Hoopsters were leading 27-15. I didn’t catch the final score, but the Hoopsters got the easy win. Gavin Baker was the leading scorer for the Hoopsters with 10 points, while Andre Gordon paced the Rising Stars with 13 markers.

The 6th grade championship game pitted the #3 ranked Dayton Elite against the #5 ranked Ohio Hoopsters Elite. This game was close from the opening tip. Dayton Elite would get on the board first from the charity strip, but the Hoopsters answered with a jumper (2-2). Dayton would take the first real lead at 6-2 with 2:11 left in the opening quarter on a Gavin Baker jumper, and would go on to take control of the quarter and lead 11-4 to start the second period. Dayton Elite opened the second period with a layup to cut the lead to 6-11, and then a layup capped a 4-0 run (8-11). The Hoopsters stopped the run with a score at the 5:17 mark (8-13), and with 39 tics left in the half, Dayton was only down to 14-17. The halftime score was 19-14 in favor of the Hoopsters. Gavin Baker finished with 8 halftime points. Dayton opened the third period with a bucket to trim the lead to 3 points (16-19). About that time Treohn Martin heated up from the perimeter and kept the Hoopsters in front throughout the 3rd quarter. However, Jaren Smith drained a trey at the buzzer to put Dayton up 30-29 entering the final period. Dayton started the 4th quarter the way then ended the 3rd; bucket. However, Martin answered with a trifecter to put his team back in front. Dayton responded to tie the game at 34. The game continued to seesaw for the rest of the quarter and was tied at 39 with 40 seconds left. A 4-0 run late by Dayton gave them the championship by a final score of 43-39. Kendall Mathis (5’9 PF Clayton) was the leading scorer for Dayton with a game-high 16 points, while Treohn Martin paced the Hoopsters with 16 points. Great game!

Dayton Elite-Ohio AAU D-II Champs

In D-I action in Cincinnati, Team Excel (7th grade) ran the table on Sunday to capture the gold medal. To get there, they had to get by the Shining Stars (57-54) in the semi-final game. This game came down to a last second trey by Excel. In 6th grade action, All-Ohio Red defeated the Riverside Flyers (85-29) in the championship game to collect the gold. Up north, King James’s 7th graders captured the Lake Erie Qualifier crown. In doing so, they had to take down Murphy AC in the championship game (64-58). Murphy had to get past SMAC U in the semi-finals (50-60). Don’t even ask me what I’m going to do with the 7th grade team rankings! At this point, any of the top 5-6 teams can beat anybody on any given day. Things may become a little clearer as just about all of the top- 7th grade teams will reconvene in Columbus on May 31st for my Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown. This will be the last time this season these teams will get a chance to face each other before the final rankings are released.

Murphy AC’s 6th graders won their division of the Lake Erie Qualifier with a 40+ win over the Future Rookies. In the semi-finals, Murphy knocked out Truth Basketball by about 23 points. A shout out goes to Coach Malcolm Walters and King James’ 5th grade team for getting it done against OBC on Sunday. They only won by 2 points, but that was enough to get the win. Back to back steals by Huffman with 17 seconds left was the difference in this one! King James was led by Ketaan Keewee Wyatt and Grant Huffman. In the 4th grade division, the Cincinnati Royals defeated Purple Select 34-16 in the D-I championship game and All-Ohio Black downed Dayton Show 43-29 to get the D-II bid.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ohio AAU State Tournament Saturday Recap


I began my day early on Saturday in Cincinnati at the D-I AAU State Tournament. Right out of the box I walked in on the All-Ohio versus OBC 7th grade game in progress, and All-Ohio was already up 24-7. OBC would add 2 points to their total before the end of the first half. I wish I could say the game got more competitive from there, but that was not the case as All-Ohio was up 43-18 at the end of the 3rd, and eventually won it 59-27. Reynoldsburg’s Jamil Goliday (5’11 WF) was big for All-Ohio, finishing with a game-high 19 points. Later in the day All-Ohio matched up with the Cincinnati Vikings, and Toledo’s Houston King went on a personal 7-0 run to start the game.  Although King was the early catalyst, All-Ohio as a team held the Viking scoreless in the 1st quarter (25-0). The score was not much better by half time, as All-Ohio was still comfortably ahead 40-18. The margin was a little closer by the end of the 3rd quarter (56-37), and the Vikings actually almost made a game of it late, but All-Ohio would go on to win 64-55. Pickerington’s DeShaun Daniels played well and led all scorers with 19 points.

DeShaun Daniels-Pickerington

The best game of the day featured a match-up between the Cincinnati-based Shining Stars and Central Ohio’s Team Excel.  This game was even more intriguing because Isaiah Spellman and Jack Cravaack, 2 of the state’s elite bigs had a chance to go head-to head for the first time. After the tip, Cravaack wasted no time going to work with a layup over Spellman to put the Stars up 2-0. After Isaiah Payton drained a trey, the Stars were up 5-0 and rolling. A Braden Norris 3-ball got Excel on the board and cut the lead to 3-5. Excel would grab a 9-7 lead at the 2:50 mark and extend the lead to 16-11 to close the 1st period. The Stars scored first to start the second (16-13) and would cut the lead to only 2 points midway through the second quarter. In response, Excel mounted a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 21-15. Every time the Stars tried to surge, Excel would answer with a bucket to quiet the momentum. The score would remain within a couple of points late in the second quarter until a Javon Hick’s heave at the buzzer knotted the game at 32 to close the half. Hicks (5’10 WF White Oaks) had a big half for the Stars with 9 points. Payton matched him with 9 points and Dane Goodwin had 10 at half for Excel. 
Speelman, Allacco & Goodwin

Excel started quickly to start the second half with a Spellman layup, but Payton responded with a layup of his own to tie the game at 34. The score seesawed for most of the 3rd, but the Stars seemed to play with the lead most of the period. By the end of the third quarter, the Stars were up 50-43. Dane Goodwin’s drive and lay-up started the final period and cut the lead to 45-50. About midway through the 4th quarter this game really got good as both teams hit big shots. Excel rode a big time performance from Matt Allacco to get back into this game and eventually escape with a 65-59 win. Goodwin was the high man with 16 points and Spellman was respectable with 15, but Allacco’s buckets were the biggest in this game. Payton was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, while Cravaack finished with 10. It’s important to note that Speelman outscored Cravaack 16-10 despite the fact he fouled out of the game in the 4th quarter. With that said, Cravaack contributed to that situation based on his activity in the paint and Speelman’s attempts to deny him the ball. To see the last 5 minutes of the game click on the highlighted link.
Team Excel laced em up again later in the day as they took on Ohio Unity. After watching Excel battle with the Shining Stars earlier, I didn't give Unity much chance at this one.  I was right! Excel jumped all over them and never allowed this to become a game. It was 19-11 at the end of the 1st quarter, but the lead ballooned to 31-16 at the half, and the final score ended up +30 (71-41).  Speelman was a grown man in the game and did just about anything he wanted to as evidenced by his 28 point outburst.

Although there were a couple of good games in Cincinnati on Saturday, there were also a number of dogs! The 7th grade Ohio Hoopsters blew out the Cincy Shock 53-31, and All-Ohio (7th) beat down Team Toledo 64-41. This one was real ugly early as the score was a lopsided 20-2 by the end of the first quarter.  It was not much better the second quarter and into the third; however, Ryan Glaze’s crew did not lie down, and actually put up a fight to almost make the game respectable late before running out of time.

Perkins, Wiley & Madison

I did get a second competitive game later on Saturday as Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro squad faced off with Lamonte Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters. Dayton Metro may have scored first, but the Hoopsters quickly erased that lead and were out in front 18-10 by the end of the 1st quarter. Just when the Hoopsters started applying pressure and Ty Wiley, Jabari Perkins and David Madison were all rolling and feeling good, Metro started quietly chipping away at the lead. Dayton’s DeShaun Parker hit a couple of big buckets and before your knew it, Metro had tied the game at 21with 4:40 left in the first half. A Ty Wiley layup put the Hoopsters up 23-21, but Metro retook a 26-24 lead with 2:30 left. Before halftime Metro was up 30-29. Parker and Wiley led Metro and the Hoopsters, respectively with 8 points each. Both teams were sloppy to start the second half, but Metro drew first blood at the free throw line. The game remained close throughout the 3rd period with the Hoopsters up 40-38 to start the 4th. The final period belonged to the Hoopsters as their depth and superior talent eventually wore Metro down, resulting in an easy 61-48 victory. Ty Wiley led all scorers with 19 points, while Parker had 13 and Madison finished with 9 points. John Allessando led Metro with 12 points and Parker added 10.

Dayton Metro met the Shining Stars in the afternoon and although this game has some early promise in terms of being competitive, a 16-2 run by the Stars ran the lead to 31-12 with 6:16 left in the half. The score was 37-23 at the brake, but I had very little interest after that, as the hand writing was pretty much already on the wall. Stars win.

Large, Holden & Wilson

I concentrated on the 7th grade division, but I noticed that Eddie Norrils’ 5th grade Team Toledo squad notched an easy 42-19 win over the Ohio Bull Dogs. Zeb Jackson controlled the game from the PG spot and finished with a game-high 11 points. DeMarco Bradley’s All-Ohio Red team is back at it again beating down defenseless teams. Tom Sunderman may as well just give him the medals and just save everybody the trouble. Obviously I’m just kidding! I think the Riverside Flyers would like a shot at the title. I saw them totally dismantle the BTC Trojans 74-17. The Flyers enjoyed balanced scoring from Tanner Wilson (5’10 C Ironton), Charlie Large (5’10 C Coal Grove) and Tanner Holden (5’10 WF/PF Wheelsburg), who scored 19, 18 and 14 points, respectively. This Flyers team is a good looking squad and should move up in our rankings soon.  I hope we get a chance to see them in Columbus in the near future. If I was a betting man, they will probably hook up with All-Ohio in the championship game on Sunday.  

Although I did not get a chance to see the game, everybody was talking about the big Friday night upset of the #1 ranked Queen City Prophets at the hands of the Ohio Hoopsters. Also, The Shining Stars was hit by the upset bug as well, as Ohio Unity clipped them early on Saturday morning in overtime. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NYBL Finals Schedule and Power 24 Team Rankings Released

It’s only fitting that the finals of NYBL’s inaugural season will feature as many compelling match ups as were found in either of the first 2 sessions. The seedings are complete and 8 teams will roll into Columbus, Ohio in 2 weeks packing #1 seeds.  Carolina Preps is the holder of the overall #1 seed with their stunning defeat of previously unbeaten Ohio Select. Ohio Select is still in great shape with the #2 overall seed, and could get a rematch with Preps in the championship game. Deron Williams Elite has consistently played at a high level and sports the league’s 3rd overall seed. Behind D-Will with #1 seeds are: Carolina Chaos, Southern Stampede, Arizona Monsoon, S.C. Hornets and Midwest’s Finest.

Just when you thought the league could not possibly get any more competitive, Midwest’s Finest and the Garden City All-Stars joined the league as replacements for Metrolina Havoc and the St. Louis Wildcats.  If you are wondering about Midwest’s Finest, they are better known as the G3 Hoosiers, the defending AAU National Champions. Both Indiana and the Garden City All-Stars were seeded based on their overall level of talent level, and both squads will pose serious challenges very early in bracket play. In fact, if the seedings hold, the NYBL Finals could feature a second round matchup between last year’s AAU National Champions and this year’s favorite to win it all. In addition, the two newcomers (Indiana and Garden City) could face off in the first round of bracket play.

After 2 games in pool play to decide which 16 teams will advance it to the championship bracket, the second round is really where the funs begins, as the eight #1 seeds would start squaring off  for a chance to advance and compete for a NYBL title. In addition to the second round collision between Carolina and Indiana, the other side of the bracket could feature a re-match between Ohio Select and SC Hornets.  As you recall, Ohio narrowly escaped their first encounter with the Hornets with a 3 point win.  I’m sure the Hornets are excited to get another shot at Ohio to avenge the stinging defeat; however, this time there is a lot more on the line, as the loser will be knocked out of the championship bracket and will not have a chance at the championship.

It’s my understanding that the Arizona Monsoon has been chomping at the bit to get it on with Deron Williams Elite.  Well, they just may get their shot in the second round of bracket play. This one should be  good, and will feature a battle of contrasting styles of play. The other quarter final matchup would give us our first major battle between divisional brothers when South Division leaders Carolina Chaos (9-1) and Southern Stampede (8-2) hookup early. I know everybody is still excited about the AAU Nationals, and you should be, but from where I sit, the NYBL Finals will be the most competitive event in the country, bar none! Write this down, the 2013 AAU National Champions will be playing in the NYBL Finals in Columbus on June 2nd! “Can’t wait!”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NYBL Session II Top Performers

Wendell Moore-Session II MVP

NYBL’s Session II represented another opportunity for players to display their talent while moving one step closer to be selected to the pristegiuos NYBL All-Star game in September.  Although there were players who demonstrated consistent play and made the list for a second time, there were a few new faces that emerged in session II.

Although Carolina Prep’s Wendell Moore is not new to the list, his consistent performance in North Augusta garnered him MYP honors.  By most accounts, Moore may be the top player in the class, but most certainly, his upside potential is unmistakably! Jeremiah Francis had an outstanding weekend in South Carolina, and by doing so, public opinion suggests that the top PG in the class resides in Pickerington, Ohio.  Juwan Gray also had a big weekend for the South Carolina Hornets and was clearly his team’s most productive player. Also, Deron Williams’ Tyrese Maxey put up big numbers in Session II. Finally, Garden City All-Stars’ Scottie Lewis burst onto the national scene with his stellar play in South Carolina. Lewis went from a virtual unknown to a top 50 player in the class. Below is a link to a complete list of the NYBL’s top performers.

NYBL Session II Top Performers
Session I Top Performers Photos
West Coast Elite Session II Recap
NYBL Webpage

Monday, May 13, 2013

Buckeye Prep Takes AAU Super Regional

Buckeye Prep 7th Grader Claim Championship

Ed Lyshe’s 7th grade Buckeye Prep squad finished 5-0 on their way to capturing the AAU Super Regional in Cincinnati yesterday. In order claim the title, Buckeye Prep had to get by the SP Shooters (71-7), Cincy Shock (70-49), Cincy SP Shooters (98-10), Cincy Lakers (60-47) and the Lexington Future. In the championship game, Prep held off a hard charging Lexington Future to get the 56-52 win, and to qualify for the DI AAU Nationals in Memphis, TN. in July. In the final game, TheRon Jennings dropped an impressive 20 points, followed by Seth Goodson who added 16 and Cameron Carlisle who finished with a big 9 points. Goodson’s 16 point average was good enough for MVP honors, but Teon and TheRon Jennings both had breakout performance over the weekend. Although Lyshe’s team has been playing some good basketball this season, Sunday’s win marks their first championship. Next up for Buckeye Prep is the AAU State Qualifier next weekend, followed by Nike Memorial Tournament, then Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown the weekend of May 31st in Columbus. Congratulations to Coach Lyshe, his players, parents and fans!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Truth Basketball Claims Championship

Truth Basketball Captures All-American Crown

Truth Basketball’s 7th grade squad finished 7-0 last weekend to claim the championship of the All-American Cage Classic at Garfield Heights HS near Clevland. During the tournament, the Truth defeated ABC, Next Level Images, TNBA East, Mr. Basketball Academy, Murphy AC Blue, and Another Level in the championship game. Zach Elsawy was the MVP, as he dropped a gaudy 27 points in the
championship game. Congrats go out to the Truth Basketball!

Happy Mother’s Day Wishes

Because we know the contributions that mothers play in sports and in their son’s emotional development, the Buckeye Prep Report would like to wish all of the basketball moms out there a very happy Mother’s Day!  Although dads, when they are around, primarily handle the on court development, it’s the mothers who nurture their sons and comfort them through losses and through “post game instructions” from their fathers. It’s the mothers who are so passionate in the stands as they support their children during games. Also, big props to all of the official “team moms” who help the coaches run the team and whom insure that the kids visit educational-related sites when traveling out of town for tournaments. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Ohio Middle School Team Rankings Update

Now that the King James and the Bill Hensley Run & Slam Classic are in the books, it’s time to revise our middle school rankings.  In addition to tournament results, there have been some player movements with several of teams featured in our rankings. Let’s start with the 8th grade division. Despite loosing Tommy Schmock (to OBC) and Kelvin Calhoun II, King James has not lost a step. They recently made it all the way to the championship of the very competitive Spiece tournament. On their trek to the final game, King James knocked off OBC in the quarter-finals before going down to Spiece Indy Heat in the championship game. All-Ohio has not closed many deals, but they have been in several championship games and finished just short of the crown a couple of times. Most recently, they lost in the semi-finals of Bill Hensley to the eventual champions, and was smoked by the Indy Hoosiers in the championship game at King James. OBC had a final four run at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. As a result of the above tournaments, there hasn’t been a big shift in the 8th grade rankings, as Kings James remains at the top of the division for now.

Although they got hit pretty hard by Team Izod in the King James Classic, no Ohio team has been able to solve the Queen City Prophets puzzle this year; consequently, the Prophets are still our #1 ranked team in the 7th grade division. However, in the same tournament, SMAC U had a nice run until they were unseated in the final four by Chicago Select. To get to final four, SMAC U had to take down Murphy AC in a nail biter. With that win, SMAC U gets closer to the top spot at #2. Although King James got hot in their own tournament and won the silver division, they still have not beaten any of the teams ranked above them, so they cannot move up.  The Shining Stars has played well this year even with injuries and was poised for a jump, however, King James got them in the same tournament. In addition, since our initial rankings, the 7th grade division has also seen some player movements. Ty Wiley left the Ohio Basketball Club and has returned to the Ohio Hoopsters, and he took his partner in crime, Jabari Perkins with him. Antwaun Johnson parted ways with King James and is now running with the Lima-based Tier 1 Sports. David Fitzgerald left the Hoopsters and found greener pastures with King James.  Additionally, from what I hear, you can expect more roster changes as parents continue to find perfect situations. Good luck with that one!

All-Ohio continues to dominate the 6th grade division and there is almost zero chance they will unseated by another Ohio team. The next 3 teams are all about even, but SMAC Showtime gets the nod at #2. Dayton Elite is a very good team as is Murphy AC, the Ohio Hoopsters Elite and the Ohio Rising Stars.  Both the Hoopsters and the Rising Stars had impressive showings at the King James. I know we have probably under ranked the Hoopsters, but we have not seen them play, nor have they beaten any team ranked above them. Also, we have not seen any of the teams in the bottom half of our top 11. I hope we can get some of these teams together at the Buckeye Prep Sumer Showdown on May 31st-June 2nd.  I know the 7th grade division has every top team in the state other than King James and should be smoking hot in a couple of weeks.  This tournament will go a long way in determining the order of merit. As always, if you think your team deserves to be ranked higher, and you have information that might prove your case (you beat a team ranked higher than you, then please share that information with me via email ( and I will take it under consideration. No need to start a negative message board campaign, just get me the information.  It would also help if your team showed up and played the other top teams in the state!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

John Stovall’s High School AAU Team Rankings

Below are AAU team rankings developed by John Stovall. Let the debates begin!

1. King James
2. All Ohio Red
3. OBC
4. Team Work
5. Warriors

1. King James (combo team)
2. All Ohio Red
3. OBC
4. All Ohio Black
5. Team Work

1. All Ohio Red
2. Northwest Ohio Basketball Club
3. Ohio Phenoms
4. OBC
5. Team Work/Ohio Varsity White


Kelvin Powell, Contributor

League could be the wave of the future as coaches; parents look for more competitive venues to further enhance development.

(North Augusta, SC) – While it may not be commonplace to discuss the futures of 12 year olds in the workplace, it’s not against the norm to discuss their presence on the hardwood-henceforth I will. The NYBL – National Youth Basketball League – featuring some of the best sixth grade teams (and players) in the country will serve as the platform.  The League, which features 24 teams from 15 states, has created excitement and buzz in another 15 states and Canada welcomed its Session II to North Augusta, SC.  Here I’ll take a look at the present and in some ways- the future.  In forecasting the future we hope all those mentioned below will continue to work, sacrifice, and most importantly have fun at a game they all seem to love at 12 years old. Let’s ALL make sure they love it for years to come.

Scottie Lewis / 6’0” / Small Forward / Garden City All-Stars Scottie was one of the most impressive individual players during Session II.  He combines excellent size and athleticism to an emerging inside/outside game. I project him long-term as a small forward or shooting guard. His length and quickness makes him a superior defender against multiple positions.  He shows good timing to both block and contest shots. Offensively, he elevates quicker than just about all players in his age-group (at least in the NYBL), and scores at the rim.  His jump shot has a high release and he can score from 15-17 feet with a nice pull-up jumper. Scottie is most effective in transition, where his speed is exception and his first step explosive.  Potentially among the best you will find.

Jeremiah Francis / 5’11” / Point Guard / All-Ohio Red – All-Ohio Red is one of the best collection of talent I’ve seen on any level. The Red (as I will referred to them as, because they are soooo hot), are led by the play of Francis.  Although I have him listed as a point guard, Jeremiah can play all 3 (PG, SG, SF) perimeter positions with relative ease. I like him as a point guard long-term because of his vision and passing skills. You add in his size 5’11” with broadening shoulders and you can see why many view Francis among the nation’s best. Jeremiah can also score the basketball from beyond the 3-point arc. He plays hard and is not afraid to hit the floor after loose balls; a player who makes everyone around him better.

Chris Hinton / 6’2” / Power Forward / Southern StampedePossessing the size of a player who can possibly contribute at a level two-three years his superior, Hinton is polished with his skill set as well.  A relentless rebounder, Chris displays a work ethic rarely seen as such a young age.  I love his ability to finish around the basket with both hands. During my observations, he executed several nice jump hooks in the lane with both hands. His footwork is good and his mobility for his size is exceptional.  This young phenom is going to be a force over time.

Anthony Hoggard / 5’6” / Point Guard / Team Izod/ Sports UI like to refer to those compact, big body, physical play-making point guards as “Bagley” types after former NBA journeyman John Bagley who starred at Boston College.  Hoggard is a “Bagley” type and a very good one too.  Because of his physical nature, he can complete plays against contact. Whether it’s making a basket on a drive or holding defenders off while making a slick pass to a teammate, he gets it done.  A disruptive defender with his quick hands and aggressive mind-set, AJ caused several opposing coaches to make adjustment to their primary ball-handler depending on who Hoggard was guarding. Because chances are if he’s guarding the ball, there going to be a steal occurring or at least of unease that causes most offenses to frizzle.  A strong ball handler with good leadership skills.

Nico Mannion / 5’4” / Combination Guard / Arizona MonsoonNico is a ultra competitive guard who actually hails from Utah, but has made the move to the Arizona based Monsoon for the increased competition level the Monsoon face, as well as, to unite with the arsenal that is the Monsoon. He is capable of playing either of the guard spots with an array of position specific skills and understanding. As an off-guard, Nico is a lights-out shooter, possessing a quick release and deep range.  He has the floater in his game when defenders look to close out on his jumper and he has deceptive quickness that leaves would-be defenders in the dust.  Mannion can slide to the point guard position as well; there he shows the knack for involving his teammates and making the right basketball play every time down. His composure and savvy play will make him a much-sought after prospect in time, not to mention he is the son of two former high level athletes who stand 6’ 2”(mom) and 6’7” (father). He’s a long –term hit!

Kelvin Powell is a national scout who has worked with such media outlets as ESPN and SLAM Magazine. Powell serves as director of scouting and player personnel for Elev8/Ganon Baker Basketball-one of the top basketball training academies in the country. He serves a Camp Director of the JRNSA Camp – a national level middle school basketball skills camp, whose attendants include E.J. Montgomery – the nation’s number one 2018 prospect. Powell is a member of the McDonald’s All-American Selection Committee and the Advisory Board of the NYBL He can be reached at - also follow him on twitter @kppros

Complete Standout List