While the game had plenty of solid wings and bigs, it was the guards that took over. Ohio Bball Club had Noah Cottrill, Ryan Harrow and Ge-Lawn Guyn, while All-Ohio Red countered with Juwan Staten and Aaron Craft.
In the end it was the All-Ohio bunch that got the win, as Staten turned it up down the stretch and was fouled with four seconds left. He calmly sank a pair of free throws to win.
Although he got the go ahead points, it certainly wasn't an easy match up. Cottrill and Harrow were extremely tough to contain off the dribble and they gave both All-Ohio guards all they could handle.
At one point Staten and Harrow were going at it, while Cottrill and Craft were doing the same. Overall it was a great showdown among high level guards and a match up that we'd pay to see take place again.
Juwan Staten, PG, All-Ohio Red – His performance against Ohio Bball Club, Saturday was easily the best effort we've ever seen from the Dayton commit. He opened up the game with a floater and a pull-up three-pointer before disappearing for much of the first half.
Then with All-Ohio down and needing buckets, the 5-foot-11 floor general attacked the rim aggressively and no one on OBC could stop him from getting to the cup. Finishing wasn't a problem for Staten either, as he used his strength to take contact. Staten was fouled with four seconds left on a drive. His free throws were the deciding factor.
Noah Cottrill, PG, Ohio Bball Club – For much of the game we thought Cottrill was the best guard on the floor. A perfect fit with Bob Huggins, Cottrill, a 6-foot-1 guard, is a tough kid that can get it done, whether he's playing on or off the ball. He's a consistent long-range shooter, makes high IQ plays and scores it at a good clip. Cottrill is tough to contain off the bounce and he's got a pretty developed mid-range game.
Mychal Parker, SF, Ohio Bball Club – For much of the game Parker, a product of Charlottesville (Va.) Miller School, was the best player on the floor. Aggressively he attacked any defender that All-Ohio through at him, and got in the lane seemingly at will. Around the rim he finished with ease and recorded a number of And 1 opportunities.
But we knew prior to this game that he could get to the rim and finish, where he's added consistency is from deep, as he knocked in a few deep jumpers. This is the kind of effort we will expect every time out from Parker, because if he can reciprocate this night in and night out he'll move up the charts quickly.
Terrence Jones, PF/SF, I-5 Elite – It's been since July since we've laid eyes on Jones, and it appears he may have grown some. Checking in at a legit 6-foot-8, 220-pounds, the long, rangy forward started off I-5 Elite's game against DC Assault by draining three straight three-pointers. As the game wore he began doing more damage around the basket, as he drove the lane for a jam and worked the baseline for drop off passes that would lead to dunks. During an afternoon game, he attacked the rim harder and tried to dunk everything in sight. A heck of a talent, we'd like to see him mix it up more inside, but long term he's a good-looking prospect with a high ceiling.
Darryl Traynham, PG, DC Assault – With Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton and Eric Atkins all unavailable this weekend the Assault squad needed someone to fill their void. Enter this 5-foot-7 Charlotte (N.C.) Vance product. A quick, tough lead guard, Traynham put forth his best effort to keep the D.C. boys in the game. He's extremely tough to stay in front of, is a pesky defender and can knock jumpers down consistently from mid-range.
Doron Lamb, SG, New York Gauchos – In a battle against QCAA, the game began to get a little chippy, as Lamb showed more emotion in the first 10 minutes than we've ever seen from the 6-foot-5 guard. The extra smack talk between the two squads certainly lit a fire under the Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill standout, as he came out firing from long range.
He began the game with three three-pointers. The he went to the mid-range where he knocked down a step-in 15-footer and a pull-up floater. Lamb isn't the type of guy that's going to overwhelm you with athleticism or strength, but what he lacks in those areas he makes up for with his skill set.
Jason Morris, SG, New York Gauchos – Heading into this event the dunk of the spring went to Marquis Teague for his one handed slam on Justin Anderson at Boo Williams. We didn't know if that dunk would be topped. Turns out we just needed to watch the 6-foot-5 Morris.
After catching a handful of oops, Morris set up a QCAA defender for the real thing. Attacking from the wing in transition, he rose up at a few steps from the block and hammered a one-handed dunk on a helpless defender. To go with his aerial assault, Morris also managed to splash in a pair of three-pointers.
Ben Brust, PG/SG, Rising Stars Gold – Fresh off a serious foot injury, Brust didn't look like he had much rust on his game. And he certainly wasn't afraid to mix it up as he scored a busted lip just a few minutes into their afternoon game. As their contest with God's Glory rolled on Brust, a 6-foot-2 guard, got better. Relentlessly the Mundelein (Ill.) High standout attacked the rim and he finished once he got there. Brust handled the ball well and has a certain toughness about him.
Alex Rossi, SG, Rising Stars Gold – Every year there's a handful of great shooters. This 6-foot-5, 195-pound wing is capable of getting that tag. His stroke is pure to 23-feet, he's got a quick release and picture perfect form. To go with his impressive stroke from long range, Rossi has solid size for his position, can handle the ball some and isn't afraid to mix it up inside for rebounds. High majors are starting to take notice.
Lenzelle Smith, PG/SG, Rising Stars Gold – Over the years we've heard plenty of things about this 6-foot-3 combo guard, but this analyst had yet to lay eyes on him, until Saturday. A strong and stocky guard, Smith is sneaky quick and an above average athlete that uses his body well, especially in transition and appears to be a solid passer. The lefty used his quickness to get by defenders and into the lane, but also showed a capable jumper from long range.
Thinking long term with De Melo, and we think his name can be thrown in the conversation as one of the top bigs in the country. As good as he was on Saturday, he's still out of shape. Once he slims down and gets in playing shape, he'll be an even bigger load to handle inside.
Khyle Marshall, SF, Florida Rams – To go with De Melo in the paint, the Rams got a handful of impressive wings. Marshall, a strong, athletic 6-foot-7, 195-pounder, scored bucket after bucket in the first half against the King James. Strength and athleticism are two of his best attributes and he makes scoring around the basket look easy. Marshall is at his best when he's slashing to the rim, but he also made contributions from mid-range, where he knocked in a pair of floaters and a pull 15-footer.
Josh Langford, SF, Florida Rams – Playing next to Marshall on the wing for the Rams is this Louisville commit. A lefty with high-level athleticism, Langford is another guy that loves to slash to the rim. On Saturday he scored by attacking the rim, and he did it with aggression. Once in the air, Langford usually finishes because of his strength and athleticism. He'll need to brush up the long-range jumper, although he did knock in one three against King James, before he plays for Rick Pitino, but we love his intensity and completive drive.
Cameron Wright, SF, King James – Down by more than 15 points against the Rams, Wright led K.J. to a comeback win. A 6-foot-5 wing that loves to get out in transition, Wright adjusts well at the rim, handled contact in the air and shot it well on this day. Without him, King James would have been looking at a double-digit defeat.
Alex Guana, PF/C, Michigan Mustangs – Since our last look, Guana has picked up some weight and may now stand at 6-foot-9. On the block, Guana is pretty skilled and loves to face up defenders. Once facing the basket, he's got a great looking jump shot, but he's also capable of maneuvering towards the rim. Guana also has a great set of hands and runs the floor well.
Jelani Hewitt, PG/SG, Team Breakdown – Throughout Team Breakdown's win over the Michigan Mustangs, it was Hewitt that was the thorn in the Mustangs side. The 2010 prospect hit three-pointers, attacked the rim and found cutters for open shots. He's quick, but wild at times and did take a lot of shots, but it was clear he's a tough kid that loves to compete and win. He got after it in this one.
Anton Grady, SF, Friends – Already rated as one of the top sophomores in the state of Ohio, Grady, a product of Cleveland (Ohio) Central Catholic, proved why in Akron. Against a very talented Southern Kings team Grady hit a few three-pointers and displayed his athleticism by snagging rebounds and finishing around the rim. Grady is a legit 6-foot-7 and still transitioning to the wing full time, but he's a guy that will be able to do it and is tracking at the high major level.
Southern Kings Gold 16's – All of the big names on the Southern Kings squad contributed in this one. Early on it was Julian Royal dropping in a left jump hook and finishing in traffic. Then Shannon Scott tossed in floaters on three straight positions. Shortly after that the Parker boys did their damage. Dai-Jon hit a few three-pointers, while 2013 big man Tony Parker began to exert himself in the paint. This group is impressive and they play very well together.
J.D. Weatherspoon, a 6-foot-6 forward, who recently decommitted form Xavier, said Maryland, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Dayton and Missouri have all shown recent interest. Xavier is still in the mix.
I-5 Elite's 6-foot-10 center Jordan Railey has the look of a mid-level prospect. He'll need to add some strength to his frame, but he showed off a move or two in the paint. Shane Southwell, a 6-foot-7 forward for the Gauchos, can really pass the ball. He made a number of sweet passes in the half court offense and in transition. Jordan Threloff and Rayvonte Rice were both solid for Rising Stars Gold on Saturday. Threloff was active inside and showed nice touch around the rim, while Rice buried a trio of three-pointers and had a number of buckets in the paint. Michigan Mustangs guard Keith Appling can really score it. He's quick, has a nice stroke from deep and can fill it up from mid-range. Aaron Craft gets after it defensively. The kid is strong, quick and a pest of a defender. He's going to be a glue guy at Tennessee and their coaches will love him. Ge-Lawn Guyn, of Georgetown (Ky.) Scott County, came out hot against All-Ohio Red, scoring 10 of his teams first 20 points. Then the 6-foot-2 guard broke open some fresh stitches and he wasn't the same after. He's a tough, scrappy guard that will get after it. Adreian Payne always shows a move or two that leave you thinking about his long term potential. Today it was the spin to left hook.