Semifinal #1 – 76 Mt. Royal/Team Melo vs. All Ohio Red 57
One of the most impressive feats of last year’s Super Showcase was how easily Mt. Royal/Team Melo navigated its way to a 16U title. Melo was by far the most polished team in the younger division. But when the Maryland-based team transitioned to the 17U bracket they looked like a tired bunch and were bounced early. Back with a vengeance in 2006, Melo is ripping through the 17U bracket in 2006.
It’s always interesting when you don’t get to see guys play for a full year. The amount of growth (in height and frame), and maturity is so noticeable.
For Mt. Royal/Team Mello it all starts with Towson Catholic star Donte Greene, who’s Syracuse-bound by the way, and looks even more polished. He’s 6-8 with an ultra quick move off the dribble, and at the other end of the court he’s still quite a formidable presence inside. Greene scored 14 points rather easily in this one to help his team advanced to the finals.
The other player with “future star” written all over him is the second part of the deadly duo from Towson Catholic, Malcolm Delaney. Delaney is 6-2 and can play the one or the two – though it seems he’s more effective and comfortable at the off-guard spot. Delaney is sporting a new hairdo and an even smoother stroke from long distance. Malcolm torched All Ohio Red for 23 points and made them pay for not finding the sharpshooter on defense. I thought Malcolm’s shot selection was excellent in this one, and last year I thought he settled a bit too much for the outside shot.
Delaney and Greene garner most of the attention but there’s not a single player you can ignore on this well-coached team. 2008 prospect Sean Mosley is simply solid. He doesn’t do a thing to hurt you and he’ll do whatever it takes to win. That means defense, rebounding and maybe some scoring. He’s listed as a shooting guard but doesn’t have outstanding range. Mosley is just a winner and plays bigger than his 6-5 roster height. Several schools are still in the mix but Sean is considering joining his buddy Donte at Syracuse. Mosley had a game-high 24 in this one and as always, got the job done on both ends of the court. He’s a tough kid who will make a solid contribution at the highest level.
All Ohio Red was definitely overmatched in this one but Nate Miles did net 18 points including three bombs from long distance. Miles has a nice stroke on his jumper from long range. Slim big man Keenan Ellis chipped in 17 points including 12 in the first half. But other than one emphatic dunk in the 3rd quarter, Ellis was fairly quiet in the 2nd half. Joshue Eichelberger was the only other Ohio Red player in double-figures (11 points)
Semifinal #2 – 68 SYF Playerz vs. 62 Charlotte Royals
SYF Playerz is another familiar name at the Super Showcase and really handled the Charlotte Royals for most of this one.
The Playerz are led by future Purdue Boilermaker E’twaun Moore who had 10 in this one. The East Chicago guard who made his decision less than two weeks ago, continued to impress. The entire Purdue coaching staff was in attendance to pledge their support and they’d be the first to tell you Moore’s scoring total will never tell you the entire story about what he contributes to the success of his team. Moore has a nose for the ball and seems to always be in the right place at the right time. He’s quicker to the ball than most players and plays under control at all times. When you watch the 6-3 guard run up and down the court you get the impression he could run forever if you asked him to. Moore could teach a lot of younger aspiring point guards a lesson about how to always keep the head up while dribbling.
Lefty Scott Martin, who’s also headed to Purdue, was the game’s second-leading scorer with 17. Martin is not a player who possesses athleticism or will jump out of the gym but he does use his body well and has a nice stroke from the free throw line.
6-2 Greg Hill performed well enough to draw some attention in this one. He has a strong upper body, attacked the hoop, and showed adequate court vision. Hill, like the majority of his teammates is also a strong defender who’s very active at that end of the floor. The odd thing about his game is his shot – he possesses quite a unique follow through but you can’t argue with the result. Out of his 16 points on the night, nine of them came from three-point.
In a losing effort J.T. Thompson was the star for the Charlotte Royals. Thompson plays bigger than his 6-5 frame and likes to mix it up near the rim. Thompson had the crowd oohing and ahhing on a couple of fakes and moves to the hole. He rebounds well and has terrific vision.
Skip Prosser was in the house watching Dorenzo Hudson who scored 10 in this semifinal contest. Hudson has a sweet pull up and I love his jumper.
*** Nationals begin tomorrow with plenty of KU prospects in action. It will be a full day in Orlando for Coach Self. Phog.net will have a full report. ***