Team Melo Wins 16U Title in Orlando

By late July the countless hours in the gym start to wear on everyone but Team Melo/Mt. Royal dug down deep and won two very physical games Saturday to claim the 16U title at the Orlando Super Showcase.


This morning's semifinal was not the best of performances from Malcolm Delaney and Donte Greene. Delaney was frustrated by the physical play of the St. Louis Eagles and Greene spent much of the game in foul trouble. But Team Melo is about more then the dynamic duo from Towson Catholic and was too much for the Eagles (62-47). Not a single team that could matchup with Coach Darrell Corbett's team in 3 days worth of action.


In the title game they faced a tough Illinois Warriors squad led by 27 points from Aaron Johnson but again, TEAM Melo showed up with their balanced attack.


Donte Greene formed an impenetrable wall on defense for most of the game with 8 blocks (unofficially). What's impressive about Donte is the amount of time he blocks his own player's shot, the blocks don't just come off of help or the weakside. The 6-9 center also showed me some very imposing moves with his back to the basket. Through most of the first 3 days Donte featured a preference for facing up but made some great post moves and a sweet jump hook. He finished with 12 points and went 8-8 from the line.


Guard Malcolm Delaney ended up with 14 points but struggled all day shooting the 3. In this one he went 1-5 but was 3-4 from the charity stripe and very active on the boards once again. I liked how he navigated away from the 3-point line. He had a runner and a jumper off a nice head fake and pull up. He's capable of it and more of this repertoire will make Delaney an even better player. Delaney did miss much of the 3rd quarter after banging knees with an Illinois player but returned and was effective down the stretch. 


In three days worth of games I also learned one of the reasons Delaney and Greene don't score more -- because their teammates are good! There's not a single guy on the floor you can ignore or play off of on this team. They may not all end up on major Division I college rosters but rest assured they'll make an impact wherever they choose to spend their college careers. They were hands down the best TEAM I saw in my first 3 days at Super Showcase. Here's a look at some other prospects from Team Melo.


Sean Mosley (2008) – The 6-5 guard from St. Francis High School is one tough customer. He's thick and strong and plays the game with tremendous fervor. He's a big-time effort guy with big-time skills – a combo you rarely see. He's going to make some Division I school really happy someday. Sean has already received interest from schools like Georgia and Georgia Tech, to name a couple. He's got excellent leaping ability and is actually deceptively quick, if that makes sense. He's got the entire package. We use this phrase a lot in this business, maybe too much, but he's got a huge upside. He also features a back-to-the-basket game and has a sweet J. Scary thing is he's only going to get better. I named him the silent assassin on this team -- Sean scored team-high 16 points in the final vs. the Illinois Warriors.


Jeremy Robinson (2007), Eric Barksdale (2007), Desmond Thomas (2007) – If you're aware of the type of mental and physical grind July is for these kids you'll really tip your hat to this trio because they never take a possession off.


I grouped these 3 together because they are similar types of players and equally effective. Though the Team Melo's triple threat is a bit undersized (Robinson is the tallest of the 3 at 5'8) they make up for it with heart, and are superior competitors. On the offensive end they pride themselves in making good decisions, and at the defensive end they're constantly in your grill wrecking havoc. What's really amazing is how many charges they rack up on defense – and after each they bounce right back up and are ready for more.


Two more words to describe this trio – sick handle! All 3 of them can handle the rock in traffic and rarely allow themselves to get trapped.


Offensively, if you give any of them space they will bury the 3 in your mug. They're excellent penetrators, able to carve up any defense and find open teammates or create contact. Considering their size this is very impressive.


Wayne Dorsey (2006) – The 6-7 forward looks and plays like Ron Artest, without the technicals and suspensions. He's got the same type of frame and is a tough rebounder in traffic. He's also a solid defender.


After a 78-66 victory tonight there is no rest for the weary – Team Melo will compete in the 17U Super Showcase starting tomorrow. Two more games for the 16U champs but that's what July is all about.

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