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
scout.com, 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
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
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
All-Ohio Red will now take on DC Assault in the quarters at 10am
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.
Super Showcase Events Underway
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