About halfway through the second half of Tuesday's McDonald's Summer League contest between Union Savings Bank and Ohio Dominican, Scoonie Penn barely crossed half court when he lobbed a lame duck pass up towards his team's basket. Sylvester Mayes, all of 6-foot, came soaring across the baseline and rose into the air and tomahawked a one-handed slam down on the alley-oop pass from Penn.
It was the changing of the guard, or so hopes Ohio State, from one former Ohio State guard to a fresh new transfer -- this one from the junior college ranks.
Much like Penn did in his two seasons at Ohio State, Mayes provided a healthy assortment of shooting, fancy passing, quick dribble penetration, and hounding defense in an impressive debut before curious Ohio State fans. The transfer from Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., listed at 6-2, scored 18 points officially leading Union Savings Bank to an 81-62 victory.
As Mayes spent most of the first half bringing up the ball, he also hit four of his first five 3-pointers, quickly showing he can light up a scoreboard in a hurry. On the night, he was tallied for three rebounds, three assists, a pair of steals, and a blocked shot to go along with the 18 points.
In the second half, however, a late-arriving Penn took the reigns of point guard leaving Mayes to his better-suited position off the ball as a shooting guard. Penn and Mayes often hooked up in the second half, including the infamous lob dunk that Mayes was whistled for a technical foul due to the court rule that you cannot dunk the ball.
While Ohio State hopes the first-team junior college All-American, who scored 21 points a game this season, will combine with Buckeye Corner's Ronald Lewis (a Bowling Green transfer) to give the Buckeyes a scoring influx, Mayes wasn't the only player making a debut on Union Savings Bank.
Brayden Bell, a 6-9 freshman from Brighton High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, also made his debut Tuesday evening. Bell scored 12 points, and more impressively, added 10 rebounds and three blocks while teaming up with Terence Dials in the frontcourt.
Brayden Bell made his Columbus debut
Although Bell is clearly not the impact player Mayes is, he did show pretty good versatility and strength and can clearly step outside and hit the three when need be. Bell will need to condition himself better for the next level and play aggressively at all times, although the talent does appear to be there.
Joining the two newcomers last night on Union Savings were Dials, who scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds to go with four blocks, and also a much quicker Je'Kel Foster, who scored a game-high 27 points.
Foster was 6-of-11 from 3-point range against Ohio Dominican. The most impressive thing was not that he was hitting his shots, but that he was showing very good range well beyond the 3-point line, and also, he was clearly in a lot better shape both with and without the ball. He looks like he can beat people off the dribble this year more so than last season.
Lewis, the other transfer who will be eligible for the Buckeyes this season, led Buckeye Corner to a 74-64 win over Donato's. Lewis scored 21 points with three 3-pointers. He also scored six points from the foul line, which is something that Ohio State sorely lacked last season -- a player who can get fouled. J.J. Sullinger added 13 points for Buckeye Corner.
Andrews Insurance defeated Chorpenning Goods 98-77 on Tuesday. Matt Terwilliger followed up his 18-point effort from the first night with another 12 points. Matt Sylvester was not in uniform Tuesday for Andrews Insurance.
As everyone realizes, summer league performances should be taken with a major grain of salt. But the early reports on Mayes from teammates who have played with him, as well as Penn, a former Ohio State guard, are that Mayes is a big time player who will score quite a bit for Ohio State this season. Expect he and Lewis to combine for an extra 20 to 30 points a game this season.
Thursday will be the next chance for folks to see the newest Buckeyes in action along with other current team members. Action begins at 6:45 at Thomas Worthington High School.
Union Savings Bank will feature Mayes, Bell, Dials, and Foster, along with Penn in the first game of the night against HER King.
Meanwhile, Buckeye Corner (Lewis, Sullinger, and former guard Brent Darby) will play Cordray (George Reese) at 7:45. Also at 7:45, Terwilliger, Sylvester, and Brandon Fuss-Cheatam will lead Andrews Insurance against Prudential.
Then, in the final game of the evening at 9:00 PM, Butler and Harris will lead Columbus Christian Center against College Bound.
Stay with Bucknuts for occasional reports throughout the summer.
Matt Terwilliger contests a shot