Sunday, June 30, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Day Six Report

Tyree Chambers-Brooklyn, NY

Because I did not get out to see much basketball on Friday (I was busy coaching my 7th grade team) I did not develop a day five report.  However, I will tell you that my 7th graders took their first loss of the tournament to the Inland Force in the third round. Also, Murphy AC lost to Team United 71-70 in the second round consolation bracket. The Ohio Hoopsters defeated Tennessee United Bball 48-52 to advance in the second round consolation bracket. The King James Shooting Stars went down to Wisconsin Playground Warriors 65-67. Excel defeated the Memphis Tiger 60-33 to stay alive in the Classic bracket. In D-II, Dayton Metro advanced to the Elite 8 with a 49-45 win over St. Louis Gateway, and the Shining Stars joined Metro in the Elite 8 with a 65-46 victory over PR Stars Blue. Truth Basketball got another win the Classic bracket on Friday when they took down NE Blizzard 49-76.    

Ok, now to Saturday’s action. The Ohio Hoopsters exited the tournament after a 57-52 loss to Team Takeover in the second game of the second round loser’s bracket.  SMAC U suffered the same fate in their first game of the third round consolation bracket, when they lost to the Metro Sixers 78-62. Excel has made the best of a bad situation which found them in the same pool as 2 top 10 teams. Despite their bad draw, they are still rolling in the Classic bracket.  Early Saturday they smacked 916 Select 57-39 to advance to the Classic Final Four.  Later on Saturday, they squeaked by the MA Shooting Stars 50-49 in overtime to claim a spot in the Classic championship game on Sunday. According the Coach Greg Allocco, “Dane Goodwin has led the way with this run we’ve had. Isaiah Spellman has been a consistent scorer inside. Braden Norris has stepped up with key perimeter shooting and little Matt Allocco has played very very well.”

In D-II action, the Shining Stars defeated Inland Force 47-37 in game one of the day, but was not as fortunate in game two when Michigan’s Judge’s Court got them 49-45 to spoil their chances at a D-II national championship. The Stars will play the NC Swarm on Sunday for 3rd or 4th place. Dayton Metro lost their first game of the day against the Slam & Jam Hoyas 45-51, but bounced back in game two with a 49-45 win over the Indiana Blizzard. Metro will face Eastsiders Hoops on Sunday in the 5th/6th place game. Buckeye Prep got 2 more wins on Saturday. In the morning game, Buckeye Prep took down PR Stars Blue 71-57, and in the afternoon game, Prep got by Team Texas 62-53. Cameron Carlisle was the leading scorer in game one with 22 points, and Seth Goodson was the high man in the second game with a team-high 13 points.  Buckeye Prep will match-up against St. Louis Gateway in the 9th/11th place game on Sunday. In D-II, at least 3 Ohio teams will place.

Late on Saturday night I got the chance to catch the second half of the first D-I semi final game between Team Izod and We All Can Go (WACG).  At the half, the score was 31-22 in favor of Team Izod.  It should be noted the WACG was playing without their best player, Marvin Bagley who was sidelined with a broken hand. Team Izod maintained a comfort lead for most of the 3rd quarter but WACG made a run late in the third to cut the lead to 7 points (31-37). Team Izod answered with a run to extend the lead 33-46, and went into the 4th quarter up 46-35. WACG struggled to score early in the 4th, but their fortunes changed later when the 3-ball started falling. WACG got as close as 49-51 with 1:59 left in the game as WACG got a little momentum.  However, Team Zzod was able to hold on the get the win as well as a spot in the national championship game on Sunday. Izod’s Tryee Chambers was the leading scorer with a team-high 15 points.

The second D-I semi-final was nowhere close to be as competitive as the first game, as Georgia United jumped all over the NC Running Rebels from the opening tip. Georgia’s pressure totally took the Rebels out of their game as they feasted off of turnovers and layups. By the end of the first quarter United was up 21-10, and by the time I left at half time the game was already out of hand at 37-18. Georgia United would punch their ticket to the championship game with their 67-46 win. Georgia was led in scoring by James Lewis’ 14 points, followed by Myles Belyeu’s 13 and Corderius Hastings’ 13 points.

Friday, June 28, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Day Four Report

Luther Moahamead-Newark, NJ

Day four of the 7th Grade AAU Nationals saw the ranks of the undefeated dwindle for Ohio-based teams. By the end of the day, only SMAU in DI and Buckeye Prep and Dayton Metro in D-II were still perfect and still competing for national championships. I began the day watching Team Izod take on Oklahoma’s Team Flight in the opening round of bracket play. As soon as I walked into the gym it was clear that Team Izod was huge and had a significant size advantage at every position over Team Flight. Both guards are over 6’0 and there were multiple post players 6’4 and up for Izod. However, despite their length, substantial size advantage, and the fact they led just about the entire game, Team Flight’s diminutive point guard, the smallest kid on the court, kept his team in the game with constant attacks at the cup, drop-offs and treys.  In fact, with only a few seconds left in the game, down only 2 points, Team Flight had a chance at the tie or the win but could not convert, and Team Izod was able to hold on to the 56-54 win and advance to play Team Texas Celtics. Luther Mahamead (6’3 SG Newark, NJ) was the leading scorer for Izod with a team-high 18 points. Jahran Qunerly (6’1 PG) added 10 points and Tyreek Chambers finished with 9. Team Flight was led by Mason Harrell (5’1 PG Midwest City, OK) who dropped a game-high 22 points).  I know there are many of my colleagues who refuse to get excited by small guards, but Harrell put on a show with a special display of ball handling, aggressiveness, fearlessness, vision and the ability to hit the big shot when it’s needed. Of course the Team Izod roster is full of potential D-I prospects with Mahamead, Qunerly and Nazreon Reid (6’5 C), but Herrell was exciting to watch!

Jabari Perkins, Ty Wiley & Cory Baker

Next up was a matchup between the Lamont Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters and Motivator1 from Florida to see who would face SMAC U in the second round at 6:20pm later Thursday night. The Hoopsters raced out to an early lead on hot shooting of Ty Wiley who drained a couple of treys early.  The Hoopsters’ pressure was too much for the team from Florida as they coughed up the rock and gave up easy buckets.  By half time the score was 36-17 and Ty Wiley and Corey Baker already had 13 and 9 points, respectively. At that point in the game it appeared the Hoopsters would get the easy win and be able to rest there key players for the second game of the night; however, the Motivator1 players apparently did not get the memo, as they continued to fight and scrap their way back into the game, causing the Hoopsters to expend a lot of energy to ward them off.  By midway through the third quarter Motivater1 had cut the lead to 27-39, and it was down only 12 points (30-42) with 33 seconds left in the quarter. It didn’t help that Hoopsters were rushing and taking bad shots, then throw in technical foul shots then things really started getting interesting. Despite Motivater1’s run, Jabri Perkins got hot for the Hoopsters and they were able to withstand the surge and hang on to get the 67-52 win. Cory Baker led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Ty Wiley with 15 and Jabari Perkins with 13 points.

Later that night the Hoopsters matched up with in-state foe SMAC U in second round action. The Hoopster’s may have been Buckeye Prep’s #1 ranked team in the state, but SMAC U proved to be the better team Thursday night with a 67-56 win. The Hoopsters are now relegated to the second round loser’s bracket where they will play Tennessee United Basketball at 6:20pn on Friday night.

Raekwon Drake-Huntsville Alamabama

Right after the Hoopster’s game, King James and Chicago Select squared off. This game was a low scoring affair as both teams sat back in 2-3 zones, refusing to allow each other’s guards dribble penetration. Although King James got on the board first, Chicago went on a 10-2 run to take a 10-4 lead with 2:47 left in the opening quarter. There was not much more scoring in the first quarter, but Chicago’s Raekwon Drake excited the crowd with a dunk which resulted from a laser pass from guard Xavier Castaneda. By the end of the first quarter the score was only 12-10, and only 18-15 to close the first half. King James opened the second half with a Jordan Coovert layup and free throw to tie the game at 18. The game remained close throughout the 3rd quarter and Chicago started the final period up 27-28. Although King James put up a good fight, Chicago Select simply made a few more positive plays and would go on to win 44-40.  Raekwon Drake (6’3 C Huntsville, AL) was the leading scorer for Chicago with 12 points followed by Xavier Castaneda and Malik Onyealy both with 10 points. Jordan Coovert paced King James with 12 points, while Michael Bothwell added 11; Grayson Green finished with 8 and Yael Hill had 7 points.

The Shining Stars punched their ticket to the D-II Sweet 16 on Thursday after defeating Massachusetts Elite 77-55. The Shining Stars jumped all over Mass Elite and never let them back in the game. From what I saw, the Stars were much quicker and much more talented. With their win, the Shining Stars will face PR Stars to get to Elite 8 and a sure top 8 finish. Jackson See was the leading scorer with 16 points, followed by Jack Cravaack with 12 and Isaiah Payton 10 and Cory Davis with 9 points.

Garrett Tipton-Teays Valley

Ed Lyshe’s Buckeye Prep squad notched their 4th win of the tournament and a berth in the Sweet 16 with a 65-52 win over the Tennessee Legends on Thursday night. Although the Legends had a lot of size in the post, Buckeye Prep never trailed in the game. Once again, Prep enjoyed balanced scoring, as 4 players scored in double digits. Teays Valley’s Garret Tipton continues to have a great tournament as evidenced by his game-high 22 points. Teon and Therron Jennings added 11 points each and Chase Rankin finished with 10 markers. Buckeye Prep will play for a chance to get into the Elite 8 and a guaranteed top 8th national finish when they face off against the Inland Force Friday night at 6:20pm.

Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro Team is still on a roll down here in Memphis with another win on Thursday. This time Metro got by Connecticut’s Stamford Peace 68-60 to go 4-0. TK Robinson had another big game, finishing with 21 points, followed John Alessandro who had 17.

Kevin Jackson’s Murphy AC squad suffered their first loss on Thursday at the hands of the Southern Stampede (71-75). Murphy AC was up by 10 points at 1 point but “fell apart,” said Jackson.  Murphy AC will now try to make a run in the second round loser’s bracket for a chance to finish 10th or 13th. First up for them will be South Carolina’s Team United at 3:40pm on Friday. Unfortunately, Ryan Glaze’ Team Toledo team took their 4th straight loss on Thursday to close out their tournament run. At the end of the day, turnovers were their demise!

All-Ohio Red is headed back to Columbus after dropping their first game in the Classic bracket to Diamonds in Rough 66-74. Team Excel is still alive in the Classic bracket with a 49-60 win over the Lauderhill Lions early Friday.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Day Three Report

On Wednesday, teams finished up pool play at the 7th Grade AAU Nationals in Memphis. For some teams, Wednesday’s games solidified spots in the championship bracket, while for other teams their worst fears of a trip to the Classic bracket were realized.

King James finished 2-1 in pool play with a 63-52 win over the Atlanta Celtics. SMAC U went undefeated in pool play after a 67-58 win over an Atlanta Celtics B team. King James will square off against Chicago Select tomorrow at 2:20pm in the opening round of bracket play. Murphy AC is perfect in pool play after a 67-62 win over OC Vision. Murphy AC will matchup with Southern Stampede on Thursday in their first bracket game at 5:00pm. Because the Hoopsters ended up in a 3-team pool, they were idle on Wednesday.  However, their first bracket game will match them against Motivator1 on Thursday, then a possible date with SMAC U later Thursday night if they get past their 1st opponent.

All-Ohio Red finally got a win (67-63 over the NJ Cmex Bulls), but a 1-2 pool record almost always earns a team a trip to the dreaded Classic bracket. Like All-Ohio, Team Excel finally had some success on Wednesday with a 63-22 victory over the San Antonio Legends, but as I’ve said before, a 1-2 record only buys you a one way ticket to the Classic bracket.

TK Robinson-Dayton

In D-II action, Dayton Metro finished 3-0 in pool play after a 10 point victory (58-48) over the LA Evangel Eagles. Metro was down by 14 points in the first half but fought back to get the win. TK Robinson was the high man with 21 points, followed by John Alessandro with 18 points. Next up for Metro is a second round game with either Memphis Prep or Stamford Force. The Shining Stars suffered their first loss of the tournament at the hands of St Louis Gateway by a score of 51-47. The Stars were down 16-2 early, but cut the lead to 10 by halftime. By the third quarter the Stars had taken a 6 point lead; however, they relinquished that lead in the forth and would go on to lose the game. Jack Cravaack led the Stars with 14 points, followed by Javon Hicks with 10 and Tate Goodyear with 9 points.

Cameron Carlisle Paced Buckeye Prep

Buckeye Prep will enter championship bracket play on Thursday packing a 3-0 pool play record after a tough 66-53 win over the hometown Memphis Prep. Although Prep has won their first 2 games by an average of about 30 points, a young Memphis (had several 6th graders on the team) squad played fearless and tough and pushed Buckeye Prep the entire game. Buckeye Prep enjoyed balanced scoring from 4 players who all scored in double figures. Cameron Carlisle scored a team-high 14 points, followed by Teon Jennings with 13 and Garrett Tipton and Therron Jennings both with 12 points. He may not have put up big numbers, but Gahanna’s Chase Rankin provided solid guard play. Buckeye Prep will open bracket play against the Tennessee Legends at 6:20pm tomorrow.

Team Toledo dropped another game, this time to the Garner Road Bulldogs 46-29. Of course their 0-3 record means a trip to the Classic bracket. Joining them in the Classic is Truth Basketball with a 1-2 record and a Wednesday loss to MI Eastside Hoops 47-41.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Day Two Report

JJ Ried Dropped 28 Points on the Hoopsters

The start of day two of the 7th Grade AAU Nationals was rough for Ohio-based teams as 5 teams took losses by 4:00pm in the afternoon. The first loss of the day was rung up by the Ohio Hoopsters in their matchup with the Spice Kentucky Gators. I got there after the tip, but from what I heard, Spiece jumped out on the Hoopsters by 18 points. However, Ty Wiley got hot, knocked down a couple of treys to help the Hoopsters cut into the lead. He didn’t do it alone as Thomas Hickman came off the bench to add a spark to the Hoopsters, comeback. That comeback was short-lived, however, as the halftime score inched back to 46-32, and was 32-48 early in the 3rd quarter. By the time the clock ran to zeros, the Gators had claimed the 75-55 win. It was clear early that Spiece was bigger and stronger at just about every position. Also, the Gators did a great job of spreading the court, marinating good spacing and creating driving lanes. Big JJ Reed (6’3 PF/C Louisville) was a horse, is a great looking prospect, and is arguably the top player in Kentucky’s class of 2018. He led all scorers with a game-high 28 points. Jabari Perkins paced the Hoopsters with 15 points, while Ty Wiley notched 14 and Juan Elmore finished with 10 points.

Juwan Moody, Jerrel Kelly & Kaili Faulk All Played Well

Early Tuesday morning All-Ohio Red found themselves in a dogfight with the Florence Cougars from South Carolina. Despite getting off to a slow start, which included missing 13 uncontested layups; All-Ohio erased an early double digit lead to make this a close game. By the third quarter, the score was 38-40. All-Ohio would take a 46-42 lead with 5:20 left in the game, but late turnovers and a Juwan Moody jumper put the Cougars ahead 48-46 late, and they would later go on to win it 56-50. The Cougars were led in scoring by Juwan Moody (5’8 PG Conway, SC) and Jerrel Kelly (6’3 C Sumpter, SC) both of whom finished with 11 points, followed by Kaili Faulk (5’6/SG Marion, SC) who added 10 points. I really liked Moody who is a strong guard with a solid handle and the ability to get to and finish at the cup. Jamil Goliday led All-Ohio Red with 16 points.

Sherif Kenny Paced DC Assault

The King James Shooting Stars faced off against DC Assault on Tuesday.  As most people know, DC Assault has always been one of the top teams in this class. The game was close until the last 3 minutes in the second quarter until DC’s Sherif Kenney (6’2 PF) scored 11 straight points to stretch the lead. At one point it looked like DC Assault was going to run away with the game but their scoring went cold and King James mounted a furious comeback and cut the lead to within 3 points with about a minute left in the game. Although missed free throws and rushed shots kept King James in the game late, DC Assault held on to preserve the 56-52 victory. Sherif Kenny led all scorers with 20 points. King James was led in scoring by Grayson Green and Mike Bothwell, both of whom finished with 14 points.

Team Excel had another tough day and are now 0-2 in pool play after a 15 point loss to Florida Family Purple. The game was as close as 7 points with about 3 minutes left when Florida started to pull away. Although Excel has always relied on perimeter shooting, they only converted one of 15 treys the entry game. At this point, Excel may have to make a run in the Classic bracket to leave Memphis with any success..

Jaret Pallotta Sparked Run

SMAC U got Ohio back in the winning column with a 60-51 win over the MA Shooting Stars late on Tuesday. This game was nip and tuck the entire way until a 14-0 run was mounted by SMAC U in the 4th quarter which broke the game open.  The run was sparked by Jaret Pallotta and a barrage of treys that helped SMAC seize momentum late in the contest. Sincere Carry is back with SMAC and he definitely had a positive impact running the point. Pallotta finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by Cooper Crawford with 11 and Carry with 9 points. Paul Durkee paced the Shooting Stars with 17 points followed by Devondre Edmonds with 13 points. The SMAC win puts them at 2-0 after an opening round win yesterday against Team United, the South Carolina AAU state champs and a nationally ranked team.

Seth Goodson-Gahanna

Buckeye Prep had another big game late on Tuesday.  This time they raced out to another huge lead against the Memphis Sonics and never took their foot off the gas. By the time the horn sounded, Buckeye Prep had cruised to an easy 67-33 win.  As was the case in game one, Prep use suffocating defense to cause turnovers and convert easy transition buckets. Also, Prep’s bigs did a great job on the glass creating extra possessions.  Buckeye Prep enjoyed balanced scoring as 4 players finished with double digit scores. Gahanna’s Seth Goodson led all scorers with 14 points, followed by Garrett Tipton with 12 and Chase Rankin and Cameron Carlisle both with 10 points.

The Shining Stars got another easy win on Tuesday as they absolutely destroyed the Memphis eagles 71-38. Jack Cravaack had a big game with 18 points, followed by Isaiah Payton with 13, Jackson See with 12, Javon Hicks 11 and Tate Goodyear with 7 points.  Chuck Painters Dayton Metro squad got another win yesterday with a 52-43 victory over the Randallstown Runnin Rebals. Andrew Ashhurst was the high man with 15 points, followed by TK Robinson who added 10 points.

Team Toledo’s 37 turnovers led to a 53-51 loss to Sele Warriors Elite.  With that loss, Toledo is 0-2 in pool play and likely headed to the Classic bracket. Murphy AC is still rolling as they rode balanced scoring all the way to a 71-51 win over Game Speed on Tuesday. According to Coach Jackson, several players all scored about 9-10 points in the win.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Day One Report

Anthony Johnson, Jerry Higgens & Tyree Harris

Ohio teams flexed their muscles on the opening day of the AAU Nationals in Memphis on Monday finishing 8-3 heading into day two. I caught the tail end of the Murphy AC vs N.O. Elite game, and by the time I got there, Murphy was already up 39-57 with 58 seconds left in the first half. By the end of the 3rd quarter, Murphy had extended the lead to 61-42, and closed the game out with a 72-52 win. From what I could tell, both teams were mirror images of each other, both athletic, liked to bring pressure and both teams liked to get up and down the court; the problem for the Louisiana AAU State champs, Kevin Jackson’s squad was simply better at those things than they were. Murphy AC was led in scoring by Tyree Harris who had a game-high 17 points, followed by Anthony Johnson with 15 and Jerry Higgins who finished with 13 points.  Although they did not put up big numbers, Coryon Rice and Dwayne Cohill had big games defensively, caused a lot of turnovers which led to easy buckets. For N.O. Elite, Devonta Jason (6’1 WF New Orleans) was the leading scorer. It should be noted that Murphy AC was seeded 4th in the pool and N.O. Elite was seeded 1st. I watched the other 2 teams in the pool play and I think it’s safe to say that Murphy will the pool and face a second place finisher in the first round of bracket play on Thursday.

The Ohio Hoopsters had a tough one on Monday against a tough Alabama Bravehearts squad. The Bravehearts jumped out in front of the Hoopsters and grabbed an early lead which they kept for almost the entire game. According to Coach Lamonte Tillman, the Hoopsters shot “horribly,” going for about 0-12 from the 3-point line. Although they were down going into the 4th quarter, the Hoopsters went with a smaller lineup, turned up the pressure and started forcing turnovers. From there, they got some easy buckets, got the lead, and held on the get a 6 point win (61-55). David Madison and Juan Elmore played well down the stretch to help bring home the win.  It does not get any easier for the Hoopsters, as they have to face the Spice Ky Gators at 10:20am Tuesday Morning.

Team Excel ran into a buzz saw on Monday against a very athletic Team Ramey, losing 66-44. Excel shot poorly, had too many turnovers and simply did not play well. Next up for Excel is Florida Family Purple who was already a tough team before picking up another 2-3 top players from another Florida-area team before Nationals.  This will be another tough battle for Excel. All-Ohio Red lost to Basketball U 13 Black 61-57. According to Coach Jeff Blackwell, All-Ohio was up by about 6 points 2 minutes into the second half when Jimmy Wierwick received his 4th (personal) and 5th (technical) fouls and was relegated to the bench for the rest of the game. From there, after converting a series of free throws, Basketball U was up 1, and would eventually go on to get the win. “Rusty” is how Coach Blackwell described his team’s performance.

The Shining Stars jumped all over the Virginia Havoc on Monday and had them down 22-1 by the end of the first quarter. With 5:42 left in the second quarter, the Shining Stars had extended the lead to 32-2, and at the half, the Stars were already up 45-6. By the time it was all over, the Stars were 1-0 with a gaudy 75-21 opening day win. Jackson See was the leading scorer with 14 points, followed by Jack Cravaack with 12, Cory Davis with 11 Johnny Miller with 8, Thomas Arrington with 9, Javon Hicks with 7, Tate Goodyear with 6 and Isaiah Payton with 5 points. Next up for the Shining Stars are the Memphis Eagles at 6:30pm on Tuesday.

Buckeye Prep got out of the gates quickly and found themselves up on the Georgia Hawks 12-0. Early in the game Prep’s pressure caused the Hawks problems, which led to turnovers and easy transition buckets. By half time, Buckeye Prep was up by 17 points and never really looked back from there. For the first time this season, Buckeye Prep dominated the boards as Teon and Therron Jennings grabbed a ton of rebounds, many of which were offensive and led to put backs and points. Not only did Prep play great defense, they move the basketball well and found open guys for easy scores.  Teays Valley’s Garrett Tipton, celebrated his birthday with a game-high 18 points, followed by Seth Goodson with 13, Cameron Carlisle with 12, Therron Jennings with 8 and Teon Jennings with 7 points.  Buckeye Prep will meet the Memphis Sonics on Tuesday at 5:00pm. Julian Larieu 5’4 PG Dacula, GA_ had a big game for the Hawks scoring a team-high 17 points, most of which game from beyond the 3 point line. Oh yea, the final score was 67-32.

Dayton Metro defeated Randallstown R. Rebels 52-43, while Truth Basketball got by Pure Basketball 68-45. Stay tune for more AAU Nationals coverage on Tuesday.

Monday, June 24, 2013

7th Grade AAU Nationals Tips Off Today

The first round of AAU Nationals get under way today in Memphis, Tennessee, as 11 Ohio- based teams compete for either D-I and D-II nationals championships. The Ohio Hoopsters, Team Excel, Murphy AC, King James Shooting Stars, SMACU, All-Ohio Red are all competing for D-I title, while Shining Stars, Dayton Metro, Buckeye Prep, Truth Basketball and Team Toledo will battle for the D-II crown.

The Ohio Hoopsters, the hottest team in the state, and Buckeye Prep’s newest #1 ranked team in the state after their win at our Summer Showdown a few weeks ago, will have a tough test right out of the gate, as they will face off against the Spiece Ky Gators, one of the top 7th grade teams in the country at 2:20pm. The #4 seeded Team Excel has been playing some great basketball as of late and will open their national championship bid at 10:20am against the #1 seeded Team Ramey Basketball. From what I understand, Team Ramey is a very good team.

Kevin Jackson’s Murphy AC Squad is seeded 4th in their pool and will play the first seeded N.O Elite Navy at 10:20am. Jackson rolled into Memphis with an upgraded roster, including the addition of Anthony Johnson, formally of SMAC U, and the return of Tyree Harris who came back over from King James.  Gene Ready’s SMAC team upgraded as well, as Sincere Carry is back on the team, having left King James and returned home if you will. SMAC U will tip it up against the #1 seeded Team United at 11:40am.

With the loss of 2 key players right before the nationals, one of which was their starting PG; the King James Shooting Stars may have a long week ahead of them! Unfortunately for King James, they have to play DC Assault, the overall #1 seed in the entire tournament on Monday at 2:20pm. That could be a tough one folks! Leading up to the nationals All-Ohio Red had been playing some great basketball and they may be peaking at just the right time. They will face Basketball U 13 Black at 10:20am on Monday.

On the D-II side; the Shining Stars are playing as a Kentucky team, are seeded 2nd in their pool, and will face the Virginia Havoc at 3:40 on Monday. Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro team is in Memphis without his newly acquired guards from the Dayton Nets, DeShan Parker and Darious Quisenberry, neither of whom made the trip. Seeded #1 in their pool, Metro will play the Randallstown R. Rebels at 3:30pm. Ed Lyshe’s Buckeye Prep squad is also seeded #1 in their pool, and will start their campaign at at2:20pm against the Georgia Hawks.  Team Toledo is seeded first in their pool and will play Mass Elite at 5:00pm on Monday. Truth Basketball Club, seeded second, faces Pure Basketball at 5:00pm

Although there are a lot of Ohio teams here in Memphis, I will do my best to provide daily coverage of as many teams as possible, so continue to check back for pictures and reports.  Good luck to all the teams as they seek to bring home a national championship and to represent the great state of Ohio!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NYBL Session III Top Performers Announced

Jeremiah Francis-Session III MVP

Now that the NYBL Finals are in the books, one of the last remaining pieces of business is the release of the Session III Top Performers List. Headlining the list as the Session MVP is Ohio Select’s Jeremiah Francis.  Over the course of 6 games in Columbus, Francis scored a total of 75 points for an average of 12.5 points per game, including a game-high 27 points against the South Caroline Hornets. Not only did Francis put up big numbers, he grabbed a ton of rebounds for a point guard. Although Francis’ stats clearly support this honor, his clutch performances in several big games easily tips the scale in his favor.

Joining Francis with 1st Team honors are: North Carolina’s Chaz Gwyn; Deron Williams Elite’s Tyrese Maxey; Southern Stampede’s Christopher Hinton; and South Carolina’s Juwan Gary. 2nd Team recipients include: Trent Brown (Arizona Monsoon); Scottie Lewis (Garden City All-Stars; Danario Edgar II (Future Phenoms); Gerard Reynolds (Ohio Select); and Tyler Brelsford (ETU Select).

Next up will be the release of the list of players selected to participate the NYBL All-Star game which will be held in conjunction with the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase currently scheduled for September 21st and 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The initial list will be emailed to coaches, and it will be their responsibility to communicate with the parents to confirm participation. After that, the confirmed list will be published. Below is a link to the complete list of the session III top performers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Micah Lancaster Camp Comes to Ohio

I’m always asked about recommending quality basketball camps in Ohio. Well, Micah Lancaster, one of the top basketball trainers in the country, in conjunction with Evan Turner and the Buckeye Prep Report, will be holding a week-long camp in Columbus the week of June 17th-20th at the USA Sports Academy for grades 4th-12th. This is a high intensity skills camp designed to get kids better! Although the entry fee is ordinarily $300.00, the Buckeye Prep Report has negotiated a special rate of $250.00 (the promo code is BUCKEYEPREP). For more camp details see the information below.











This is no ordinary NBA “Autograph” camp. This camp will be the same intense training Evan Turner and other NBA players receive from NBA Skills Coach Micah Lancaster. Better yet, players will be able to witness Evan Turner’s work ethic through his own live training!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Burn-Out” to “Drop-Out

Below is the second article in a series of articles written by Dr. Kenneth Ransom, all designed to provide our readers with valuable information about the health of their children. Look for future articles about other health-related topics.

“Burn-Out” to “Drop-Out”

The 2012-2013 basketball season is coming to an end, the tournaments are over except for AAU Nationals. But not to worry, summer leagues have already started. “Suit up son! We need to get started on the 2013-2014 season.” Many athletes will begin to focus on one sport by the time they reach adolescence, especially in a sport like basketball that requires year around participation to stay competitive. These kids are at risk for burn out.

Burn out has been referred to as “overtraining syndrome” when the player becomes fatigued from too rigorous a schedule and not enough rest. Even though physical exhaustion and overuse injuries may contribute to burn-out; it is the underlying psychological devaluation of the sport and reduced sense of accomplishment that can ultimately make a player drop out. Signs to watch for include 1) less enthusiasm for the sport often associated with complaining about the time and energy to participate, 2) increase in physical complaints of injury or illness and 3) a noticeable reduction in performance during practice and games. There are things that can be done to combat burn-out and hopefully prevent the player from eventually dropping out of the sport.

People in general and young athletes in particular have three basic psychological needs to maintain a mental state of well-being. They must feel competent that they are able to do a good job. It is also important that they feel some autonomy to make choices, and enjoy a sense of self-directedness. And lastly, relatedness or identity, as a perception of connectedness with others such as parents, friends and coaches. Conversely, the thwarting of these needs can lead to a sense of ill-being and disenchantment with the sport, possibly resulting in the player dropping out.

COMPETENCE: The player needs to feel confident about his ability to play the sport. Competence is more than just physical traits and skill level. General health with good nutrition along with adequate amounts of rest will enhance the player’s performance and general sense of well-being. Injuries from overtraining or inadequate warm-up prior to playing can also impair performance. Good performance leads to more confidence that in turn results in continued improved performance and ultimately an enhanced feeling of competence in the sport.

AUTONOMY: Even though coaches and dads usually know what’s necessary to become a great player, the player needs to feel that he has some say in what goes on in his life. This is particularly true for adolescent boys that are transitioning into manhood. A young player can feel entrapped when he has no control. This can lead to resentment and eventually disenchantment with the sport. It is better to educate and convince the player of the value of their sports activity rather than simply dictating to them. They must develop their own self-motivation and inspiration in order to become great.

RELATEDNESS: It is critical that a young athlete feels that other important people in his life have a positive perception of him as a basketball player. This is an important part of his identity. Are his parents supportive? Are the coaches positive? Does he like his teammates and do they like him? Do his friends give him value as an athlete? These perceptions are especially important to adolescents.

Participating at an elite level in sport involves much pressure and stamina. The type of kid that can achieve this level of performance and dedication is preparing himself to succeed in whatever he chooses to do in life. It is very important that the sport experience remains a positive influence and that he not only develops his physical abilities but also matures psychologically as well. Some degree of “burn out” is probably inevitable but the key is to be aware of underlying causes and manifestations seen in the player then work on reducing those negative influences that can create disenchantment with the sport and possibly dropping out altogether.

by Dr. Kenneth Ransom

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ohio Hoopsters Take Summer Showdown Crown

Ohio Hoopsters-Summer Showdown Champions

Although small in numbers (15 teams), the inaugural Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown saw no shortage of talent, as the first year event drew most of top 7th grade teams in the state of Ohio. In fact, of Buckeye Prep’s top 20 ranked teams, 12 of them were in action at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus this weekend, including a very good Upstate Warriors team from South Carolina. Some teams say they want to play the best competition they can find, and some teams actually do it! For the teams in this event, they got what they were looking for, and then some.

As expected, there were some significant upsets as well as some surprise performances from teams and individual players. I guess I should start by congratulating Lamonte Tillman and his Ohio Hoopsters squad for being the last team standing on Sunday with their 39-35 win over Team Excel in the championship game. With their win on Sunday, the Hoopsters will ascend to the top of our rankings when we revise them in a couple of days. Although I did not get the opportunity to concentrate on the game, from what I saw, it was a very competitive contest that was up for grabs until the final seconds ran out on the game.

MVP & All-Tournamnt Team

Ty Wiley led the Hoopsters with 11 points, followed by Juan Elmore who added 8. Isaiah Speelman finished off a great weekend for Excel with a team-high 11 points. Tournament MVP honors went to Juan Elmore, and the All-Tournament Team included: Cory Baker, David Madison, Dane Goodwin and Isaiah Speelman.

The Queen City Prophets had a tough weekend, finishing 0-3 in pool play with losses to Team Excel, King James and Murphy AC, then getting bounced in the Elite 8 by the Hoopsters (47-36). Obviously, without Kane Cooper, arguably the top PG in the state, QCP is simply not the same team that had a strangle hold on the #1 ranking for most of the season. King James struggled as well with 2 losses in pool play to Team Excel and rival Murphy AC, then a crushing 59-51 loss in the Elite 8 to All-Ohio Red. The Shining Stars went 1-2 in pool play with losses to the Hoopsters and All-Ohio Red, and then were knocked out of the tournament by Team Excel in the Elite 8 (48-37).

Team Excel-Runner-Ups

I have to give props to Coach Jeff Blackwell and his All-Ohio team who had a very respectable showing this past weekend. They played everybody tough, made it to the Elite 8, and are clearly getting better from week to week. Buckeye Prep and Ohio Unity both finished 2-1 in pool play, but Unity advanced to the Elite 8 with a 55-42 win over Another Level, while Prep lost to the Shining Stars 51-32 in the Sweet 16.

Cleveland’s Another Level opened some eyes this weekend and impressed some folks with their overall talent (finished 2-1 in pool play), and Damon Stringer’s Mr. Basketball Academy got 2 pool play wins before King James got them in the first round of bracket play (60-33). All-in-all, it was a great weekend of basketball. In addition, the fact the event was in the same gym as the NYBL only enhanced the buzz and the big time feel of the event.

Bracket Play Results

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NYBL Finals-Results

Ohio Select-2013 NYBL Champions

The inaugural season of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) is almost in the books (except for the NYBL All-Star Game in September), and the feedback from the finals this past weekend in Columbus has been overwhelmingly positive! Of course it helps when you have some juicy upsets; and then the league’s 2 top teams hook up in the championship game for an epic rematch. The three month, 3 session NYBL concluded with the championship game Sunday afternoon with a rematch between the undefeated and #1 ranked North Carolina Preps and the #2 ranked Ohio Select.  As most of our readers will recall, North Carolina knocked Ohio Select from the ranks of the undefeated during the league’s second session in North Augusta, GA. in May. 

As expected, the game was close from the opening tip. Like a heavy weight prize fight, both teams took turns throwing head shots and trading body blows. During the game, both teams shared the lead at times, but by the half, Preps was up 31-25. By the end of the 3rd quarter, Ohio had erased the deficit and was up 40-35. For the most part, North Carolina appeared to control the game for more minutes and seemed to be on their way to the championship into the 4th quarter.  However, Ohio Select role players came up  with a couple of big shots, which coupled with a heavy dose of pressure late gave Ohio the late push they needed to get the 51-41 win and the first ever NYBL championship. Gerard Reynolds was big for Ohio and led all scorers with 12 points, followed by Jordan Mitchell with 11 and Jeremiah Francis with 9 points. Chaz Gwyn paced North Carolina with 15 points followed by Kobe Langley with 8. MVP honors went to Reynolds, and the All-Tournament Team included: Greg Tribble, Chris’Seon Stringer, Chaz Gwyn and Keyshawn Langley.

North Carolina Preps-Runner-ups

In the semi-finals, Ohio Select had to get by a hot Deron Williams Elite who was coming off a big win at the Nolo Super 60 the previous week, and whom many thought might have had a shot at the upset. Although Deron Williams was still fighting late in the game (the score was 49-42 with 3:32 left), Ohio Select proved to be too tough, and would go on to get the 54-45 victory and advance. Leading scorers in the game were Gerard Reynolds and Jeremiah Francis for Ohio Select with 11 points each, and Rese Maxey and Chris Harris Jr. for Deron Williams with 20 and 12 points, respectively. Ohio’s trek to the final game included wins over the S.C. Hornets (55-50) in the Elite 8 and a Sweet 16 win over the New York Gauchos/HOS (78-48). North Carolina Prep’s road to the championship included an easy 59-27 win over the Arizona Monsoon in the second semi-final game; a 74-37 victory over Future Phenoms in the Elite 8, and a 59-31 win against the Arkansas Soldierz in the Sweet 16.

Deron Williams Elite-3rd Place

I have to mention the Southern Stampede vs S.C. Hornets match-up early Sunday. This was one of the better games of the weekend and featured 2 of the league’s better teams. Because these 2 teams played in the league’s South division, this was the first time they got a chance to go head to head. Southern Stampede got the 47-45 win to advance to the 5th/6th place game where they later defeated Future Phenoms (61-57). Chris Hinton exploded for a game-high 18 points for Stampede, while Juwan Gary went for a team-high 16 points for the Hornets. It should be noted that later, Hinton dropped 33 points in the Future Phenom game to lead all scorers, and Tyron Henry led Phenoms with 20 points and Jarvis Johnson added 15.

The league’s order of finish is as follows: 1st-Ohio Select; 2nd-Carolina Preps; 3rd-Deron Williams Elite; 4th-Arizona Monsoon; 5th-Southern Stampede; 6th-Future Phenoms; 7th-S.C. Hornets; 8th-Team Rio Elite; 9th-Garden City All-Stars; 10th-6th Man Warriors; 11th-ETU Select; 12th-Gauchos/HOS; 13th-Carolina Chaos;-14th-Team Izod/Sports U; 15th-Arkansas Soldierz; 16th-Metro Flyers; 17th-New Heights; 18th-Upstate Warriors; 19th-MJ Mavericks; 20th-Murphy AC; 21st-Enplay Elite; 22nd-WV Xplosion; 23rd-Truth Basketball.

NYBL MVP & All-Tournament Team

As good as the inaugural season was for the NYBL, season two promises to be even better, as the league will expand to two, 32-team divisions (2019 & 2020) and will include a 4th session.  The 4th session is slated to be somewhere out west. Next up for the league will be the NYBL All-Star Game which will feature the league’s top 40 players in a “Top 20” and “Top 40” all-star game which will be held in conjunction with the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in Columbus, Ohio the weekend of September 21st and 22nd. The games will serve as another platform for the league as well as another excellent exposure opportunity for our players. The all-star selections will be published over the next several weeks. Thanks to all of the players, coaches, parents and fans that helped make the NYBL a great success this year!!

Final Order of Finish

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer Showdown-Day I Report

Buckeye Prep vs Ohio Unity

As expected, day one of the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown was complete with close games, overtime thrillers and upset victories.  The event’s first upset occurred in the opening game, as the number 10th ranked Buckeye Prep took on number 11th ranked Ohio Unity. The game was close early and by halftime, Buckeye Prep was up 25-20. Buckeye Prep scored first to start the second period on a Chase Rankin lay-up. Although Prep led throughout the second half, Ohio Unity continued to chip away at the lead, and about the 3 minute mark they went on a run that eventually tied the game at 32 with 1:30 left. A Seth Goodson jumper put Prep back in front 34-32 at the 1:04 mark, but 2 Ohio Unity free throws knotted the game at 34. With less than a minute left in the contest, Prep had the ball, failed to convert a baseline jumper, and Unity went down and scored to pull ahead 36-34. At that point, Prep had to commit fouls, and Ohio Unity hit their freebies and held on to get the 37-40 win.  Dylan Beaugard led Ohio Unity with 12 points, while Seth Goodson paced Buckeye Prep with 13 points.

Jeff Blackwell’s All-Ohio Red squad found themselves in a dog fight with Lamonte Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters early Friday night. From what I could tell, the Hoopsters led the entire game, and were up 31-21 at the half. At one point the Hoopsters were running away with it, but All-Ohio battled back and cut the lead to 53-58 with less than a minute left, but that’s as close as they would get as that was final score. Juan Elmore was the leading scorer for the Hoopsters with 15 points, followed by David Madison with 11. Jamil Goliday had a monster game in a losing effort with 24 points followed by Jimmy Weirick with 15 points.

Cleveland’s Another Level and the Lima Area Lakers found themselves in a brawl on Friday night.  I did not catch much of the game, but I know Lima mostly controlled the game, but Another Level came on late to close the gap. By the end of the game, Another Level was up by 1 point (43-42). KeShun Jones led Another Level with 14 points.

Gene Higgens-5'7 PG

The best game of the night pitted the #1 ranked team in the state, Team Excel against the #4 ranked Murphy AC. This was one of the best played games I’ve watched all season and was played at very high level. Neither team led by more than a few points the entire game. In fact, at the half, Team Excel was up 30-29. The second half was much like the first, a seesaw battle for the lead as both teams hit big shots to claim stake to the lead. With only 2:48 left in the game, the score was tied at 46-46, and with 50 tics remaining, it still knotted at 50. By the time the horn sounded, Murphy AC had unseated the newly crowned # 1 ranked team in Ohio 55-50. Murphy AC’s Gene Higgens went for a team-high 15 points, followed by Coryon Rice with 10.  Isaiah Speelman was the high man for Team Excel with 15 points followed by Dane Goodwin with 14.