Last weekend was another successful one for Ohio high school boy's
basketball at the Pitt Jamfest. One squad was crowned champion, while
another was runner-up and three made the 17U Gold Tournament.
Several of the Buckeye State's top hoops talent was on display. See who did the best.
OBC 15U Claims Chamionship
It was a crowning day on Sunday for the Ohio Basketball Club's 15U Squad. Led by one of the hottest players on the AAU circuit in Chane Behanan, OBC claimed the championship over Boo Williams. The Cincinnati Aiken sophomore-to-be scored 31 points in the final.
Behanan, at 6-foot-7, is playing the four-spot right but look for him to eventually become a wing. He may be the most talented player in Ohio right now, and will right his ticket wherever he chooses.
The OBC defeated DC Assault in the semi-finals rather handidly. Both games were double digit victories. However, Quinn Cook out of Dematha played extremely well in this game for DC Assault.
Other players who had good weekends for OBC were Paul Honigford out of Garaway, Jehvon Clarke from Canton Timken and DeShaun Badger out of West Virginia.
All-Ohio Red 16U's come up short in title game
After completely dominating the weekend, All-Ohio Red came up a bit short in a bid for a championship on Sunday.
Adreian Payne (Dayton Jefferson) had an outstanding weekend for AOR. The post is long and athletic on the interior. He lacks a little bit of strength at this point, but is highly skilled. He runs the floor like a two or three. Payne alters a lot of shot in the paint. The Buckeyes need to get this kid to go along with DeShaun Thomas.
Jared Sullinger (Columbus Northland) was almost an impossible match up for just about everybody all weekend. Sullinger has a huge frame and is deceivingly athletic. He is highly skilled and takes bigger players out on the perimeter and knocks down shots from around 20 feet. He has great hands and is an excellent rebounder. Ohio State assistant Archie Miller was in attendance watching Sullinger on Sunday.
Juwan Staten (Dayton Thurgood Marshall) played extremely well in the championship game. He attacked the rim and scored at the tin. Dayton is receiving an outstanding talent.
Jordan Sibert (Cincinnati Princeton) was a kid that was very impressive. At 6-foot-4, Sibert has a ton of bounce and scores in traffic very well. He raised his stock quite a bit this weekend. The Princeton guard has heard from Ohio State. He also lists Miami (FL), West Virginia, Xavier, Bowling Green, Miami (OH). Sibert is a player on the rise to keep a close eye on.
Aaron Craft (Findlay Liberty-Benton) played his usual solid game. Craft is very consistent and rarely plays a bad game. He knows his limitations, and doesn’t ever try to exceed them. He has good handles and distributes the basketball well, shoots the ball above average, owns a strong body, and possesses a good knowledge of the game.
Kevin Grey (Reynoldsburg) had his moments as well. He is relentless on defense and scored most of his buckets in transition.
The best game of the day and maybe the tournament was in the 16U semi-finals featuring DC Assault and Grassroots Canada. Point guard Tyler Thornton (6'3) of DC Assault and point guard Cory Joseph of Grassroots was an outstanding match up. Thornton eventually hit a 30-foot runner that banked home as time expired to give Assault the victory.
In the championship game, it was Josh Hairston (6'7) who hit the game winning lay up as time expired to beat All-Ohio Red. Hairston didn't play real well on Saturday, but certainly brought his A-game on Sunday. He lists Ohio State and Georgetown as his top two choices.
Eric Atkins (6'1) also played very well for DC Assault along with rising star Max Esho (6'7).
Cory Joseph was one of the top five players seen all weekend. At 6-foot-3, the kid from Ajax Ontario Pickering, shot the jumper very well and went anywhere desired. Joseph has a great understanding of the game. His brother Devoe will be attending Minnesota.
Ohio 17U's are making progress
There weren't any extremely elite Ohio's teams like last year's D-1 Greyhounds, but three teams did make a great showing for their selves. All-Ohio Force made the round of 16 as did the Columbus Basketball Club. All-Ohio Red made the round of 32.
I was able to see the Columbus Basketball Club in the afternoon on Saturday against the Albany City Rocks (NY) and All-Ohio Force in the evening’s opening round tournament game against the talented Florida Rams.
The CBC played very well as a team with no real stars other than Michigan State verbal Garrick Sherman (Kenton). I was impressed with his game. He has above average skill in the paint and has a high basketball IQ. His feet are a little heavy and are an area he needs improvement.
Luke Kraus (Findlay) didn't shoot the ball as well as he usually does, but managed the game pretty well.
Mike Green (Dublin Coffman) also had a solid game along with Aaron Cross (Ada).
All-Ohio Force was impressive against a very talented and athletic Florida Rams team featuring Rakeem Buckles of Pace High School in Miami, Florida. Buckles has committed to Louisville.
AOF played too well as a team for the Rams. Bill Edwards (Middletown) didn't have one of his best games, but hit some timely shots and distributed the wall very well. The silky left-hander uses his body very well. He isn't extremely athletic, but his basketball IQ and strength allows him to do a lot of different things. According to people I spoke with yesterday, Edwards played an excellent game late Saturday night against Team Melo in a losing effort. Edwards was said to have knocked down a ton of shots.
His high school teammate Allen Roberts also played well. Roberts has good strength, shoots the perimeter shot well, and can score in traffic with his strong frame.
The surprise player to me to keep an eye on is Ryan Siggins (Kettering Alter). This kid just knows how to find ways to score and plays extremely hard. Siggins has a good chance to play mid-major.
On Saturday, I was able to catch a half of the D-1 Greyhounds. The hounds certainly aren't where they have been the last few years, but some kids stood out. Darren Goodson of Cincinnati Aiken (a high school teammate of Behanan) is probably the best player on this team. Goodson is about 6-foot-4 and has a strong body. He doesn't get enough shots in my opinion. Reggie Keely (Bedford) was strong inside at times. Just not a real talented Greyhounds team.
North Ridgeville’s Drew McGhee had a big weekend and really raised his stock. Most of the Mid American schools watched all of his games. The 6-foot-10 center is a little lean at this point, but is highly skilled. McGhee is playing for CBIZ and certainly a player to watch in the coming months.
Indiana Elite muscles its way to 17U Title…with some Ohio flavor
I was able to see Indian Elite play four times throughout the weekend, and it was a well oiled machine each time out. This is a very unselfish ball club that plays together like crafty veterans. Elite beat D-1 Sports in the quarterfinals, NY York Panters in the semi-finals, and a game Juice All-Stars out of New Jersey in the Finals (Lance Stephenson didn't play with Juice this weekend).
Scouts were out in full force each time Elite took the floor. On Saturday, Cris Collins, an assistant at Duke was there to watch their prized five-star recruit Mason Plumlee (Christ School). The kid from Arden, North Carolina didn't disappoint. Handling the basketball, shooting floaters, finishing strong off missed shots, and blocking attempts at the other end. Plumlee needs a little weight, but this kid will be a great player for Duke. Coach Krzyzewski was in attendance with Collins on Sunday to watch all three Elite games.
Plumee was the headliner, but this team was filled with stars and rising stars. Bobby Capobianco (Loveland) was making college coaches salivate. However, Capobianco recently just committed to Tom Crean and Indiana. The Loveland big man showed the entire package this weekend. He scored with authority on the block, shot the mid-range jumper, showed off a deep ball, and was ferocious on the glass. He has a college-ready body and with his shaved head and beard could pass for a 25-year old.
The biggest mover of the weekend was point guard Jordan Hull of Indiana Elite. With 2010 guard Ray McCallum playing sparingly due to injuries, Hull was able to showcase his talents. The 6-foot guard was tremendous making scouts from Michigan and Indiana move in their seats. Hull shot the three extremely well from 25-feet on in, distributed the basketball, and just seemed to have a knack to be around the ball. Hull is a very heady player, who any coach would feel confident in giving him the controls. Watch out for this kid.
Big man Jordan Prosser (6'8) impressed me. He is your prototypical Big 10 player. Prosser scored with the turn around baby hook and power moves. Look for Prosser to sign with Purdue soon especially now with Scott Martin transferring out of West Lafayette, which was shocking to me.
D.J. Byrd (6'5) is another kid flying onto the radar. Byrd has committed to Purdue and will be an impact player. He shot the spot-up three really well and is deceiving athletic. Byrd scored well in traffic showing off an array of moves with great hang time.
Steven VanTreese (Lawrence North/6'9) didn't have his best weekend, but finished well at times in the paint, rebounded well, and got some monster transition dunks. VanTreese listed quite a few schools of interest (Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, and UCLA).
The game of the tournament was supposed to be Indiana Elite and D-1 Sports out of North Carolina. However, Elite was just way too much for D-1 Sports. Five-star guard John Wall showed flashes of brilliance, but doesn't play very hard. More often than not he never made it past half court on offense. Elite was very physical with him and he seemed to back down. There is no doubt he is five-star talent with his great handles, ability to take players off the bounce, score in traffic, and drop dimes but his attitude needs some work. Memphis seems to be high on his list.
If Plumlee and Capobianco were the two best big men of the weekend, Ryan Kelly of D-1 would have to be right beneath them. Kelly shot the three very well, handled the ball like a guard, and has a very good motor.
JT Terrell (6'4) a 2010 guard was probably most impressive in the game against Elite. Terrell shot lights out and scored inside when it was open. He has offers from Miami (FL), Charlotte, Virginia, and Wake Forest already.
I was also able to witness Dominic Cheek out of New Jersey, who is considered by many a top 10 player in America. To me, Cheek has a lot of upside with his length and ability to shoot the basketball. However, he went away for periods of time and was pretty much non-existent. His teammate Tamir Jackson who has signed with UAB proved the Blazers are getting an excellent shooting guard.
Head Coaches on hand that I saw:
Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Billy Donavan (Florida), Jay Wright (Villanova), Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech), Frank Haith (Miami, FL), Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest), Brian Gregory (Dayton), Karl Hobbs (George Washington), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Jaime Dixon (Pitt), Bob Huggins (WVU), Todd Lickliter (Iowa), Matt Painter (Purdue), Ed DeChellis (Penn State), Jim Larranaga (George Mason), Anthony Grant (Virginia Commonwealth), Donnie Jones (Marshall), Brad Brownell (Wright State), Gene Cross (Toledo), Keith Dambrot (Akron), and Tim O'Shea (Ohio).