|Team Ohio-Elite 60 Midwest Challenge Champions|
Because of the event’s primary focus a champion was crowned. Coached by Rob Taylor Jr., Team Ohio finished a perfect 4-0 on their trek to the championship. As was the case with all of the teams, Team Ohio was absolutely loaded with talent. As an example, Team Ohio’s roster contained 4 of Buckeye Prep’s top 10 players in Jack Pugh, Chris Mayfield, Grant Huffman and Matt Allocco. Add to that top 20 Montorie Foster Jr., Evan Prater, Joey Holifield, Mark Wise, Fred Wilkes III and Jamal Walker, you have a very formidable squad. Finishing as runner-ups, Coach Ed Lyshe’s Team Scarlet finished 3-1 and also boasted a talent-filled roster,including top 10 Devonte Blanton, Marcus Johnson, Von Cameron Davis, Blake Lloyd, Sam Anderson, O’Mahn Dobbins, BJ Bradford, Ryan Delong and Michigan’s Vontray Nickerson. A Colin Crothers-led Team Illinois finished 3rd with a 2-2 record, followed by 2-2 Team Indiana, 1-3 Team Michigan and a 0-4 Team Buckeye.
|Jack Pugh, Matt Allocco, Devontae Blanton, Montorie Foster Jr. & Jeremy Baker|
The leading scorer at the event was Jack Pugh (6'4/WF/Plain City, OH) who scored 65 points in 4 games and averaged 16.25 points per game and a high of 23 points vs Team Buckeye. Pugh has recently been sidelined with an injury, but you could not tell it by his play. Pugh has continued to stretch out, and his length, skill and IQ allow him to score at will around the basket. Based on his play on Sunday, from a production perspective, Pugh is the top guy in the state in 2020. His Mid-Ohio Pumas teammate, Matt Allocco (5'10/PG, Hilliard, OH) has not done a lot of showcases or camps, but his team-oriented and highly skilled game translates well to this format. Allocco really understands all phases of the game and he is the consummate floor general. But don't be fooled, Allocco may be more than proficient at setting up teammates for easy shots, but he can go get his own when he needs to. Another Puma, Chris Mayfield (6'3/WF/Columbus, OH) had a big time performance on Sunday. Mayfield is a horse with explosive athleticism. Mayfield is best using his linebacker-type frame slashing to the basket, but he's more than capable of hitting the 3-ball or the mid-range jumper. Mayfield is also productive in transition and is a willing and capable passer.
|I. Kennedy, K. Rice Jr., J. Baker, Z. Jackson, O. Dobbins & S. Anderson|
A majority of the players at this event had already established themselves on the statewide and national stage, while a few had been flying under the radar to some extent. One such player was Marcus Johnson (6'2/WF/Columbus) who is super smooth with freakish athleticism. Johnson is more than explosive, as he can handle the rock, and he demonstrated the ability to hit the mid range shot. When his motor is in full gear, Johnson is often the best player on the floor. Finally, Johnson's upside is tremendous, and with continued growth and development, D-I college basketball is a probability. Some of the same things can be said about his Ohio Bulldogs teammate, Von Cameron Davis (6'2/PF/Columbus, OH). Davis is not a freak like Johnson, but he is athletic, has good size and is fluid around the bucket. Davis also has great footwork and finishes well around the rim. He runs the floor like a guard and although he's most productive in the paint, he can step away from basket and knock down the short jumper. Like Johnson, Davis has tons of upside potential.
|Johnson, Davis, Williams, Salaam, Crothers & Townsend|
Devontae Blanton (6'3/WF/Nordonia, OH) logged in an impressive performance on Sunday as evidenced by his all-star game and All-Tournament Team selection. Blanton has that rare combination of size and quickness. When he gets that big frame heading to the cup he's tough to stop. Although he makes his money in the paint, Blanton has great ball skills for his size and is more than equipped to knock down the open jumper. Blanton also has the ability to initiate the break and to deliver a pass on time and on target. Blanton's performance solidified his spot in the state's top 10. We also really liked Justus Salaam (5'9/SG/Farmington Hills, MI). He arrived in Columbus determined to "get his name out there" and that's exactly what he did. Salaam is a dynamic lead guard who can light up the score board. On Saturday, he put up gaudy numbers. Quick, athletic and always in attack mode best describes Salaam's game. He can hit the deep ball or hit the mid range shot. We also like Salaam's upside going forward. Zeb Jackson (5'8/PG/Toledo, OH) was on point this weekend. Aways a threat to get hot, Jackson is best known for his ability to hit deep treys. His elite handle and craftiness also allow him to get into then pant and score or dish. Jackson works well of the screen, and with continued growth and development, he could be a good one. We were also super impressed with O'Mahn Dobbins (5'5/PG/Cleveland, OH), who proved to be one of the best lead guards at the event. He's not the biggest kid on the floor, but his game is. His showcase coach loved the kid for his play-making ability, his ability to hit the long ball, the fact he made few mistakes and ran his team with precision. We knew he could play, but we have a lot more respect for Dobbin's game!
|CJ Anthony, M. Wise, E. Seeger, J. Norills, T. Brelsford & J. Younkin|
Although this event was only in it’s first year, the response was tremendous, which suggests the event will only grow in stature and prestige going forward. Next up is Buckeye Prep’s Summer Showdown Tournament of Champions, where once again the elite teams and players will gather to compete at the highest. This event is “invitation only,” for those teams ranked in our Power Rankings and/or tournament champions. Finally, our Fall Elite Showcase is scheduled for September 17th & 18th at Otterbein University. The event will attract up to 500 players and will feature the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-Stare Games as well as the ultra competitive Ohio vs Michigan Game for the class of 2020. Remember this, “iron sharpens iron.” If you want to be the best you have to play the best!
Buckeye Prep Elite 60 All-Stars
P2bball Article #2
P2bball Article #2