O.J. Mayo, the nation's most talked about high school basketball star, has a life that is anything but normal. 10 days ago he was in Houston with the Miami Tropics. If you're reading this column, chances are you know Mayo in anything but a D-I Greyhounds uniform is a newsmaker.
The day after the Kingwood Classic ended, Mayo made headlines again when he was suspended for the year from North College Hill for an alleged altercation with a student. THEN, Mayo's rumored transfer to Oak Hill was nixed and by that time of the week, Mayo was bound for Akron and his much anticipated debut at the inaugural King James Classic.
By Sunday, Mayo's life returned to normalcy – or at least as normal as it gets this time of the year. In a televised game on Fox Sports regional network, Mayo did what he's been known to do: he won another championship.
The nation's most celebrated junior dropped 26 points on Triple Threat as the Greyhounds won the championship 86-65. Mayo dropped 8 assists to go with a 9-for-16 performance from the field and that was the end of the story.
In the contest, Mayo looked completely comfortable in his starring role. He sizzled passes on the break, finished strong at the rim and the swagger was back in his game. For 32 minutes Mayo's life was simple. Basketball was his release and he delivered the goods.
Alex Tyus helped Mayo en route to the title. The 6-foot-8 power forward dunked his way to 20 points and 10 rebounds. Triple Threat was led by the trio of Jeff Jones (26 points), an energized Jeffrey Allen (17 points, 7-11 FGs) and Chris Braswell who turned in a strong 3-day performance.
Jeffrey Allen, PF, Triple Threat – The added bulk has turned him into the incredible hulk! For 3 straight days Allen played like a beast in Akron. Give the guy credit for cranking his game up a few levels. The only negative is that Hokie fans will have to wait another season as he's bound for Hargrave Military where he'll polish up his academics.
Jeff Jones (right), SG, Triple Threat – His quarterfinal masterpiece against Assault was a key to setting up the Sunday run. In the contest Jones scored 25 points on 7-of-14 from the field and went 10-for-11 from the line. By the time the title game rolled around fatigue had set in and he shot just 6-fot-18 but replicated the free throw performance going 11-for-12 from the stripe. As Triple Threat best scoring threat, he delivered the goods this weekend.
Johnny Flynn, PG, GC Ballers – Taking a page out of the Paul Harris book, Flynn led a team less talented than the other semifinalists deep into the tournament on Sunday. He went for 20+ in his last game, set up guys in his crew and took Triple Threat to triple overtime before coming up short.
Austin Freeman, SG, Assault – Jones and Co. put the cuffs on him for a half and then he nearly erased a big deficit before coming up 30 seconds short of a major league comeback. He had 20 and 12 and after the break got to the rack whenever he needed to while finishing with an extra burst of athleticism and creativity.
Chris Braswell, PF, Triple Threat – The foot speed in the post was all he needed to put in work this weekend. His spins from the post were too decisive and quick to corral and for the most part, Braswell put buckets on guys each time out. The young man raised his own bar this weekend and it'll be up to him to build on this body of work.
If you were at the tournament and wondered why O.J. Mayo, Bill Walker and Keenan Ellis each missed games the answer is simple: Ohio has a rule which says only two kids from the same high school can compete in each game at the same time. The trio rotated games this weekend with each sitting out games to comply with the regulation. …
AAU basketball is generally not big man friendly unless your name is Kevin Love and you can do it all. Anthony McClain, a blossoming 7-footer with Assault had 2 touches and 2 buckets Sunday morning. The turnaround jumper on the baseline was all the college scouts needed to see. … First there was Kordell Stewart and now there's Adrian Bowie. AAU basketball's version of "Slash" is a junk yard dog type who plays in attack mode and gets to the rim. …
Penn State's Ed DeChellis staked out the morning game to see Adrian Bowie. … Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings kept track of Triple Threat's Shane Walker throughout the morning. ... It's interesting to see assistants from Charlotte and Kansas State staked out behind the D.C. Assault bench monitoring Mike Beasley. …
Assistants from Georgetown and Villanova tracked Braswell through the semifinals. … Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and a Hoyas assistant were front and center for McClain. … DePaul's Jerry Wainright trailed Demetri McCamey the entire tournament. … Bob Huggins was in the house eyeballing Beasley, Bill Walker and O.J. Mayo. …