ORLANDO, FLA. – Ohio High School Hoops/JJ Huddle made the trip south to cover the AAU Super Showcase and AAU 16 and 17-and-under National Tournaments.
Our coverage will be a two-part series starting today with our recap of the AAU Super Showcase, which featured some of the best U14-U17 teams throughout the country.
AAU’s big boys were out in full force for the U17 Super Showcase. Thirty-six of the best AAU teams in the country joined up to play in the Super Showcase Gold Pool. Four of the 36 were Ohio teams including one Indiana outfit featuring one of Ohio’s best 2011 guards in Travis Trice Jr.
The top two teams in each of the gold pools moved on for Gold Bracket tournament play.
All of the other units competed in the Silver Pool, which included nine Ohio teams and one West Virginia.
U17 Gold Pool:
All-Ohio Red, King James Shooting Stars, Queen City Prophets, and SYF Players were four of the 36 teams, which all included Ohio prospects.
Red won its pool (3-0) with wins over the Westchester Hawks, Richmond Squires, and Team Final.
The QCP also advanced to gold bracket play finishing second (2-1) in its pool with victories over the Georgia Blazers and Baltimore Elite. Its only loss was a 77-70 setback to a talented NY Gauchos team featuring Omar Calhoun and Kadeem Jack.
The SYF Players, which Trice of Huber Heights Wayne (OH) plays for, won its pool (3-0) knocking off the Georgia Stars, Tennessee Travelers, and Rising Stars.
King James endured a tough Super Showcase finishing (1-2) with its only victory coming over Boo Williams. The Shooting Stars were blown out by the CP3 All-Stars and suffered a one-point defeat to the pool winner, Gold Coast.
U17 Gold Bracket:
Gold bracket play was not kind to the Ohio boys as none of the trio of qualifiers won a contest in tourney play.
Though, All-Ohio Red stormed through pool play its stay in the gold bracket last just one game. Red fell to the Long Island Lightning, 64-54 in the opening round.
The Queen City Prophets didn’t last long either being handed a 92-49 beat down from Team Next, NYC.
The Prophets bowed out, but not before Aaron Thomas (6’4/2011) of Cincinnati Aiken stole the show in a pool play game with a 40-point performance missing a just a single shot. Thomas’ stock continues to soar with Clemson, Purdue, Iowa, and Duquesne all showing serious interest.
The SYF Players were also knocked out in round one with the Westchester Hawks doing the deed, 66-52. The Hawks are led by one of the best unsigned guards in the country, Jabari Hinds.
U17 Championship Game:
The title game, which aired live on ESPNU Tuesday night, featured Each 1 Teach 1 (FL) and the St. Louis Eagles in a battle of two of the top players in the country in Austin Rivers and Bradley Beal.
It was quite a week for Rivers who led his team to the championship game after wins over the Arkansas Wings, Westchester Hawks, and the Georgia Blazers in the semis. The Blazers features Ohio State commit Shannon Scott.
More impressive, Rivers and his Each 1 Teach 1 teammates squared off against Team Takeover on Monday night directly after beating the Blazers in a hard-fought game. The E1T1/Team Takeover game aired live on ESPNU courtesy of ESPN Rise. Rivers and company scored a dramatic comeback win after falling way behind in the first half thanks to a sluggish start.
Fast forward to Tuesday night where E1T1 met the ultra-talented Eagles in front of jam packed Milk House on the campus of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. Duke’s Chris Collins, Nate James, Jay Williams, and Grant Hill were on hand to watch Blue Devil recruit Austin Rivers along with Billy Donovan (Florida), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Brad Stevens (Butler), and Kurtis Townsend (Kansas).
Rivers and backcourt mate Trevor Lacey proved to be too much for the Eagles on this night handing the St. Louis-based squad a 78-60 defeat. Rivers dropped 24 markers while Lacey added 22.
The game was also a breakout of sorts for power forward Adam Jones (6’7/2010) and E1T1 also benefitted from the inside play of Steve Moundu-Missi (6’6/2011). Guard Brett Comer (6’3/2011) was also very good making winning plays.
Beal (Florida) didn’t have one of his better games, and the whole Eagles team appeared a bit tired. However, Ben McLemore didn’t disappoint for the Eagles. McLemore showed good range and the ability to shoot the pull up off the dribble. Furthermore, he served up the play of the night on ESPN’s Top 10. McLemore drove baseline and punched out a nasty one-handed jam over Lance Stokes bringing the crowd to its feet.
U17 Silver Pool:
All-Ohio White was the only Ohio team to finish unbeaten (3-0) in pool play. In doing so, obviously, they won its pool. Shining Star Sports- Kentucky also scored a (3-0) finish to pool play. SSS- KY has a few Ohio players participating for its team.
All-Ohio Swag (2-1) and Shining Star Sports- Blue (2-1) also won their respective pools, but did lose a contest. Swag fell to the Hudson River Hornets and Blue lost to the GT Stars.
A quartet of very good teams finished second in their pools dropping them to the Bronze Bracket. Club Ohio, Friends 4 Life, West Virginia Wildcats Select 17U, and Shining Star Sports- Black all ended pool play (2-1).
MAC Ohio had a tough go at it in pool play finishing just (1-2), and according to the tiebreaker it finished fourth sending it to the Iron Bracket along with Ohio Crossover Athletics (0-3).
U17 Silver Bracket:
Much like the Ohio boys in the Gold bracket the Buckeye boys didn’t last long in the Silver Bracket either. All four teams were dismissed in round one.
Shining Star Sports- Blue fell to the Jackson Lee Bulls (54-36), Shining Star Sports- KY to DC Assault Blue (73-60), All-Ohio White to Progency (69-55), and All-Ohio Swag fell to the Delaware Panthers (85-61).
U17 Bronze Bracket:
For whatever reason this is where our best teams in the Silver Pool fell.
Friends 4 Life got on a nice roll coming off its runner-up finish at the West Virginia Jam Fest to make the semis of the Bronze. Friends defeated Positive Image- White (68-47), Team Power 2011 (69-67), NJ Shoreshots Select (43-35) before falling to the Birmingham Ice (45-42) in the Final Four.
F4L got quality play from fast rising senior Tre’ Brown (6’5) of Warren Harding. Brown is a very intriguing prospect, which is starting to show an ability to knock down shots with consistency.
Other notables performers were Anton Grady (Cleveland Central Catholic), Marvin Owens (Marion Harding), Tyree Gaiter (Cleveland Heights/2012), and Collin Barth (Mentor.
Club Ohio- Thomas also made a nice run making the Elite Eight before Spiece All- Indiana knocked them out by a 79-67 count. Spiece was led by Purdue commit Donnie Hale.
Club Ohio beat Garner Road- Parrish (56-33) and Team Illinois Hawks (56-47) on its way to the Elite Eight.
Club Ohio is led by emerging star Semaj Christon (6’2/2011) of Cincinnati Winton Woods. Christon is starting to draw quite a bit of mid-major interest after being a virtual unknown before the spring.
Dennis Thomas (5’10/2011) of Winton Woods, Jared Bryant (6’8/2011) of Roger Bacon, and Jalen Billups (6’6/2011) of Shroder also played very well.
WV Wildcats Select lost to the Georgia Impact (77-69) in round one as did Shining Star Sports- Black to Garner Road- Parrish (48-36).
U17 Iron Bracket:
MAC Ohio defeated Crossover International before falling to Team DH Warriors (87-81) in the second round. Ohio Crossover Athletics dropped an opening round nod to the Awestars.
In the U16 division there was no gold pool, rather everyone was put in the same pool. The first place team moved on to Gold Bracket play, the second to Silver, third to Bronze, and fourth to Copper.
Nine teams consisting of a least one Ohio player took the courts in Orlando for the U16 Super Showcase with one still standing on the final day.
U16 Pool Play:
All-Ohio Red and All-Ohio Purple both finished pool play unbeaten. Red ran through GA Slam (87-57), Maryland Sure Shots (72-36), and Legacy Elite 2012. Purple did much of the same getting by Atlanta Xpress (62-49), Greenburgh Kings (90-27), and VA Assault (89-62).
The two moved on to Gold Bracket play.
Dayton Metro and the West Virginia Wildcats Select 2012 finished (2-1) in pool play sending them to the Silver station. Metro beat Gold Coast and Team Nelson and lost a two-point game to the Birmingham Storm (59-57). The Wildcats handled the Florida Prospects and ECE Delaware Panthers and lost to Ferrari out of Chicago (70-52).
Club Ohio, All-Ohio Gold, All-Ohio Black, and the Cincinnati Royals Blue all finished (1-2) sending the quartet to the Bronze Bracket.
Shining Star Sports- Moman was hurt by the tiebreaker and ended up in the Copper despite going (1-2) as well.
U16 Gold Bracket:
There is no doubt in the fact that All-Ohio Red’s U16 squad is peaking at the right time. Red struggled through much of the AAU season for whatever reason, but has now turned the corner.
Red opened up bracket play with Ferrari, which is a team they lost to at the All-Ohio Super 16 semis back in May. However, this time it would be Red moving on with a 72-61 victory.
AOR then got by its rival (All-Ohio Purple) by the count of 77-68 to reach the Final Four. In the semis, Red scored a hard-fought (47-42) triumph of BABC.
In the end, Baltimore Nike Elite edged out Red (58-57) for the championship. At any rate, it was quite a run for the boys in Red.
It was a total team effort led by Jordan Potts (Columbus Northland), Leroy Alexander (Toledo Springfield), Jake Kretzer (Waverly), Mark Minch (Lakota East), Jalen Robinson (Columbus Northland), Deontae Hawkins (Dayton Dunbar), Gary Akbar (Dayton Dunbar), Cameron Wilson (Dublin Jerome), and Myles Hamilton (Lakewood St. Edward’s).
Purple, as noted above, was knocked out by All-Ohio Red after defeating Carolina Elite (80-76) and Southern Kings Red (60-52). Purple was led by Adolphus Washington (6’6/2012) of Cincinnati Taft, Jalean Lowe (6’3/2012) of Cincinnati Taft, Dwayne Standford (6’5/2012) of Cincinnati Taft, and Josh Lemons (5’11/2011) of Cincinnati LaSalle.
U16 Silver Bracket:
The WV Wildcats Select 2012 bunch made a nice run to the Elite Eight before Martin Bros. got the best of them, 56-49. The Wildcats defeated TGFB (65-50) and MD Sure Shots (56-49) before being bounced.
The Wildcats got quality play from Devon Scott (6’8/2012) of Columbus Northland, Ke’Chaun Lewis (6’4/2012) of Columbus Northland, and Zach Grossenbacher (6’7/2012) of Parkersburg.
Dayton Metro, after a solid showing in pool play, was outlasted by Florida Elite (57-54) in the opening round.
U16 Bronze Bracket:
All-Ohio Black suffered through some tough games in pool play, but bounced back nicely to capture the Bronze Bracket title. Black’s run included wins over Team Orlando (88-66), VA Assault (55-42), the Delaware Panthers (55-49), Team Breakdown (71-66), and finally the Charlotte Storm (69-66) in the title game.
Black has produced some quality wins over the course of the AAU season, and this run to the Bronze championship even furthered its ranking in terms of top Ohio U16 teams.
The teams consists of Nick Archer (Olentangy Liberty), Ryan Carter (Reynoldsburg), Jakyl Cornely (Columbus Northland), Grant Harris (Harvest Prep), Khalid King (Columbus Brookhaven), Allasane Kah (Walnut Ridge), R.J. Raglin (Reynoldsburg), Blake Yates (Lucasville Valley), Andre Yates (Trotwood-Madison), Tyler White (Lima Senior), Doug Richey (Harvest Prep), Carter Smith (Upper Arlington), and Taivion Thomas (Westerville North).
All-Ohio Gold, who is another solid squad, defeated Gold Coast (56-49) before dropping a one-point decision to Metro Boston 16S (59-58). Gold played very well against some quality competition in pool play suffering a four-point loss to Florida Elite and seven-point setback to an outstanding Team Takeover Canada unit.
Matt Rhodes (Westerville North), Matt Bingaya (Delaware Hayes), Matt Kurelic (Worthington Christian), Zach Parsons (Delaware Hayes), and Evan Bradds (Jamestown Greeneview/2013) led the way for Gold.
Club Ohio fell to Camp Darryl Basketball Academy (69-64) in round one as did the Cincinnati Royals- Blue to Team Breakdown.
U16 Copper Bracket:
Shining Star Sports- Moman knocked off Team Illinois Black (54-50) before falling to Team Nelson (51-48).
Team Toledo and the WV Wildcats Select 2013 were the only two teams in U15 Super Showcase featuring Ohio kids.
Team Toledo enjoyed a solid showing in pool play finishing unbeaten (3-0) with wins over Georgia Stars Blue 15U (77-54), DC Team Takeover DC (70-61), and the Bay City Ballers (62-60).
T-squared got by BABC (68-65) in the opening round of Gold Bracket action and then lost to the No. 1 team in the country the Texas Titans (69-54) in the round of eight. The Titans feature the consensus No. 1 player in the country in Julius Randle (6’8/2013).
For Team Toledo, Jackson Lamb (Temperance), Jordan Lauf (Napoleon), and a group of scrappy kids from Toledo lead the way.
The Wildcats made the Final Four of the Silver Bracket after finishing pool play with a (2-1) mark. The Wildcats lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in their final pool play game. In bracket action, the WV-based squad beat the Hoopsters, the New Jersey Pirates, and Rising Stars Gold before exiting at the hands of the Atlanta Knicks (70-51).
The Wildcats Select U15 team is led by Mark Winters (Magnolia, WV), Luke Eddy (George Washington, WV), Dustin Crouser (Nitro, WV), Trevon Reese (South Charleston), Jaylen Benton (Columbus Northland), and J.J. Smith (Columbus Westland).
Interesting to note, the Texas Titans lost to CP3 All-Stars (69-64) in the semis in a classic battle between Randle and CP3’s Rodney Purvis. The latter is one of the top point guards in the entire country for the Class of 2013. Both put on a clinic, but it was Purvis and the boys from North Carolina eventually taking the win. CP3 would go on to defeat the NY Gauchos in the title game.
One Ohio team took the floor in the U14 division, the Ohio Basketball Club. Arguably the best U14 team in Ohio, OBC made a good showing running through pool play unbeaten (3-0) with triumphs of Forest City Heat, RGIA Elite South, and Kingdom Athletes.
In the eight-team Gold Bracket, OBC defeated IBA Select 2014 (63-45) in the opening round before falling to a very good N KY Tar Heels Select (44-42) in the semis.
OBC is led by a trio of out-of-state kids in Jordan Green (Lexington, KY), Trey Grundy (Lexington, KY), and Bryan McIntosh (New Castle, IN) along with top Ohio prospects Tyler Ulis (Lima Shawnee), Jae’Sean Tate (Pickerington Central), Danny Hummer (Upper Arlingon), Angelo Cugini (Akron SVSM), Javon Bess (Pickerington Central), and DeShone Kizer (Toledo CC).