While there was plenty of suspense in the 16's division, the 17's were dominated by Indiana Elite. Mason Plumlee led the way for Indy Elite, but D.J. Byrd, Jordan Hulls, Bobby Capobianco and many others had solid weekends for Elite. They beat a scrappy Juice All-Stars team in the championship.
It'll be interesting to see how Indy Elite does the rest of the summer as they seem to have talent at every position, plus they play extremely well together. Not to mention Ray McCallum barely played this weekend due to an injury, so they should only get better.
Drew McGhee, C, CBIZ – We spotted McGhee while checking out Kyle Rowley, of Full Package Athletics, in a morning game. The 6-foot-10 big man has a slender frame, but runs the floor and knows how to score around the paint. Although we just saw a half, he managed to knock down a handful of hooks and he scored easily over Rowley. The next step is to hit the weight room and get stronger, but he's at the very least a solid mid-major plus prospect.
Jordan Hulls, PG, Indiana Elite – With Ray McCallum out because of an injury, Hulls stepped in and ran the point guard spot with efficiency and even a dash of flash. The 6-foot lead man shot the ball extremely well, created for teammates and showed off a crafty game. Although we didn't get the official stats for his first game of the day, he must have gone for at least 24 points.
Indiana Elite Bigs – The Indy Elite squad will be tough for any AAU team to handle this summer, primarily because of their size inside. Mason Plumlee and Bobby Capobianco started off the games and each brings a different style to the table. The recent Indiana commit impressed us with his touch and ability to shoot the ball, while Plumlee made moves to the rim and showed off an impressive skill set.
Then Elite can bring in a top 50 prospect in Stephan Van Treese and Eureka (Ill.) High standout Jordan Prosser. Van Treese didn't have his best weekend, but he still played an athletic style of ball and recorded put backs and dunks in the lane. Prosser on the other hand, scored on the block off of hooks and turn around jumpers.
Juwan Staten, PG, All-Ohio Red 16's – Dayton did a great job landing this talented point guard early on. The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder put together a heck of a day and saved his best performance for the championship game. Despite taking a loss, he attacked the rim, drained pull-up jumpers and even showed off a nice floater in the lane.
Adreian Payne, C, All-Ohio Red 16's – We've heard a lot about this 6-foot-10 big man in recent weeks, but didn't get to lay eyes on him until Sunday morning. By the end of the day we'd seen parts of three different All-Ohio games and he impressed us each time out.
The Dayton (Ohio) Jefferson standout certainly lacks bulk and strength, but he's extremely long, active on both ends and has a nice touch out to 18-feet. There isn't much depth at the center position in the 2010 class and Payne is certainly among the best at that position.
Jared Sullinger, PF, All-Ohio Red 16's – If Payne wasn't enough for opponents of All-Ohio Red to handle, they also have Sullinger, who checks in at 6-foot-7, 225-pounds. A talented scorer on the block, Sullinger also managed to get a bunch of put backs and knocked down jumpers as deep as 22-feet. Because of his wide frame and strong legs, Sullinger is an animal on the glass, especially on the offensive end.
Tyler Thornton, PG, DC Assault – The match up between him and Joseph was probably the best of the three-day event. Joseph had it going early on, but Thornton kept coming back, by attacking the rim and finishing strong. Then in overtime, Thornton recorded a weak side block, picked up the ball and hit a runner from 26-feet as the buzzer sounded to put Assault in the championship game.
Max Esho, PF, DC Assault – Although Hairston and Thornton both hit game winners, Esho probably had the most productive day out of the three. The 6-foot-7 forward was active, rebounded well on both ends and finished around the rim on a number of occasions. To go with his ability to score in the paint he's also a capable of shooter from 18-feet.
Willis Nicholson, PG, Team Philly – Talented point guards continue to pop up in the 2010 class. While watching another court, Nicholson's quickness and overall speed in the open court caught our attention. Although he's just 5-foot-9, and that could keep him from playing at the highest level, he's tough for defenders to handle because of his strong handle and impressive court vision. He also showed an ability to knock down deep jumpers as he hit a handful of threes in the game we took in.
Cory Joseph, PG, Grassroots Canada – Maybe the best player we saw all day was this 6-foot-3 Ajax (Ont.) Pickering standout. The brother of future Gopher, Devoe Joseph, took over parts of Grassroots semi-final game against DC Assault. His feel and overall knowledge of the game was impressive, but it was his jump shot and ability to get where he wanted on the court that really stood out. Although this was our first glance at the combo guard we walked away thinking he was an elite player in the class of 2010.
Quinn Cook, PG, DC Assault 15's – Out of the gate OBC jumped on the Assault 15's squad and the semi-final game was never in question, however, Cook, a standout at Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha, never stopped playing. The 6-foot lead man attacked the rim and gave OBC defenders fits because of his quickness and strong handle. This is certainly one to watch as he apparently started some games at DeMatha this past year.
Colt Ryan can really shoot it for Indiana Elite. He was efficient from deep all weekend and deserves credit for hitting timely three-pointers. Jordan Sibert, of All-Ohio Red 16's, is a guy to keep an eye on as he's really coming along as a prospect. Tom Droney, who plays with Bball Stars of American, is a 6-foot-5 point guard. He's got a good feel and can shoot it, which makes him a guy to watch. Omari Lawrence is a relentless attacker. He's also capable of making adjustments at the rim.
Among the biggest crowds on Sunday was for Drew McGhee, of North Ridgeville (Ohio) High. Nearly the entire MAC conference was in the building to check him out, including head coaches from Toledo (Gene Cross) and Akron (Keith Dambrot).
Coaches are already jockeying for position with Chane Bahanan and Quinn Cook. In the OBC/DC Assault semi-final game their were coaches present from Cincinnati, Ohio State, Kentucky, Xavier, Tennessee, Georgetown, Kansas State and Connecticut.