Super Showcase Events Underway

Since what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas we'll turn our attention to Orlando, Florida - home of Mickey Mouse and the site of the AAU Super Showcase events.

The class of the 16U pool is definitely without question All Ohio Red. Eric Bossi told me I’d be impressed by their high-flying attack and he couldn’t be more right. This is a sound basketball team that feasts on opponents with aggressive defense and a high octane offense that can attack you in so many ways.

Tuesday, All Ohio Red began pool play with a drubbing of the GT Stars, 83-27. This was a complete mismatch. The Stars could not match the height of the talented Ohio team or the energy on the defensive end. There was very little half court offense needed in this one with Red finishing in eye-popping style in transition. Every break was either keyed by a high-rising block or a steal off a tough trap, and the play was finished with an emphatic dunk on the other end more often than not. Get this…it was 41-2 at halftime.

Jared Sullinger is the nation’s best 2009 center according to, and he has not disappointed. This game was mostly played in transition taking the Ohio State commit out of the flow. There were few rebounds available on offense and few post up opportunities equaling a 12-point effort.

6-8 Adriean Payne’s frame is lanky but he is long and athletic. Payne (6 points) is a solid force on the defensive end and blocked several shots leading to easy baskets for his teammates. On the glass, when he does secure a rebound his next look is always up the floor. I was impressed with his ability to move his feet and how active his hands were on the defensive end. Payne’s offensive game is lacking polish but he oozes potential and has quite a list of high majors vying for his services. You have to wonder what will happen when Payne develops a couple of go-to moves and learns exactly what he wants to be on the offensive end.

6-5 Jordan Sibert can really throw it down. 6-1 Aaron Craft will knock down a three and really runs the show. This kid is all hustle all the time. Love how hard he plays and he definitely leads the team in floor burns. Juwan State is a strong guard who can take you off the bounce or hit you with a pull up J. J.D. Weatherspoon certainly has turned heads with his play the first couple of days.

This is a well-balanced machine and it’s hard to imagine them finding a worthy opponent in this age group.

On Wednesday, after arriving at the Milkhouse with a 2-0 record (game two was won by forfeit), it was the Carolina Hoyas who attempted to slow down a freight train named All Ohio. The Hoyas came out in a zone looking for a way to slow down the game and make it a half court contest. All-Ohio responded by knocking down threes. Craft had a few and even Sullinger stepped out and hit a couple showing his coach-to-be Thad Matta that the Buckeyes really have something special to look forward to. Sullinger was dominant in the post in this one and on the offensive glass, again the opposition had no one to challenge the talented big man as he went off for a game-high 25 points.

Sullinger’s front court partner Adreian Payne was active on the glass at this one and seemed quicker off his feet than any player on the court. Payne reached double-figures in this one with 10 points.

In the first quarter the play of the first eight minutes belonged to Juwan Staten who offered up and unbelievable stop-and-go beating his defender for a layup. Wow.

In the second quarter it was Craft’s hustle producing the play of the quarter. After diving for a loose ball with a loud floor burn skid, he somehow found Weatherspoon for a jam. All-Ohio only led this one 62-38 at the half.

In the second half, the Hoyas actually put together a decent run to cut the lead to 13, but again Ohio answered. Craft again came up with a steal and found Weatherspoon (19 points) for a dunk and only an end-of-the-quarter heave could get the Hoyas within 22 (84-62).

The fourth quarter produced THE plays of the game though hilited by a Weatherspoon 360 jam, and an absolute ankle-breaker of a crossover by Demarius Jefferson (24 points). Final score? 108-88.

In the late afternoon matchup it was time for All-Ohio Red to tackle bracket play in the Gold Division. Nike Team Florida provided a sterner test, well, at least for a little while. At the end of the first Team Florida had Ohio down 7 (15-8). Holding that offense to 8 points proves the defensive effort on the court was outstanding. On the offensive end Florida attacked and did not back down. Florida has some high flyers of its own to talk about and it equaled a 1-point lead at the half (26-25).  

But in the third quarter a sleeping giant awoke. A 26-8 run keyed by Sullinger, put Ohio back on top, 52-33 after 24 minutes of play. Sullinger notched 11 of his game-high 28 in the all-important quarter and really took control. Craft put up 10, while Staten ended up with 14. For Nike Team Florida, only Okaro White ended up in double figures (13 points).

All-Ohio Red will now take on DC Assault in the quarters at 10am Thursday morning.

17U Showcase begins Thursday….Quite a few high-profile KU targets will take the court on Thursday in Orlando including Xavier Henry, Daniel Orton, Harrison Barnes, and Rodney Williams.

Another year another Jordan…Michael Jordan’s youngest son Marcus will be in action tomorrow for the Rising Stars and MJ himself will be in attendance. Having a Jordan on the court always draws attention. Top Stories