Monday, May 16, 2016

Inaugural Elite 60 Midwest Challenge Produces Impressive Talent

The Buckeye Prep Elite 60 Showcase pitted top players from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Chicago, and various other surrounding areas to compete for Midwest bragging rights, respect, and to impact the local and national ranking board.  The standard in the Midwest unlike many other areas where events of this nature are held; is the innate nature of the players to play the game the right way – you may not see the flashy handles as ball skills are looked at differently in the part of the country.  What you will see is passing, cutting, and some of the most consistent and best shooting than in any other part of the country.  The players are naturally unselfish and the game even in an All-Star environment looked organic.  Nevertheless the stars still shined as they always do in a Rob Taylor ran event and the Buckeye Prep Showcase has been getting it done for decades.  If you consider yourself a top seasoned national player and haven’t ever stepped foot in a Buckeye Prep event than you are not who you say you are.  These players below are such and caught our attention with their performance this weekend.  

J.Pugh                  C.Mayfield                    I.Kennedy           G.Huffman

Isaiah Kennedy is a skilled scoring guard who is very talented with the ball in his hands. He's a very good shooter with range well beyond the arc and the ability to make shots in bunches with the ball in his hands.  We rarely saw a shot go array as a matter of fact we rarely saw the ball touch the rim; as he swished every shot we saw him take from all three levels.  Bigtime talent, floor general, and is improving by large strides in recent month – had a phenomenal showing.

Grant  Huffman is a big combo-guard with long arms, a smooth floor game and clear upside. He handles the ball well to both sides and has definite playmaking instincts and is especially good in the open floor or off a ball-screen. He uses his size well in the backcourt, both to see and pass over opposing defenders (especially against pressure) as well as to score over smaller defenders with pull-ups and floaters.

Chris Mayfield tough wing who can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. Has long limbs and versatile offensive repertoire with lots of untapped potential. Can make the three, has some quickness and playmaking ability off the bounce, efficient going through the lane with long strides, willing to use his body to shield off defenders and has full gamut of pull-ups, runners and floaters in his arsenal in the mid-range area.  Could actually gain value from being more selfish due to extremely high efficiency level on the offensive; has the ability to take over game for stretches without question.

Jack Pugh is long-armed combo forward who is looking more and more comfortable on the perimeter. His ball skills are quite good as is his IQ.  Showed ability to snatch a rebound, lead the break, and his savvy is exhibited through his decision making – next level vision and passer.   He plays with a lot of moxie and the way he affects the game at both ends equals winner in our mind works the glass effectively, especially on the offensive end. He can knock down the 3-point shot and his release is smooth.  Does what he does so well that he looked like one of the most ready and compete players at the event.

Justus Salaam lead guard keeps his handle low and tight when he attacks defenders and his burst is deceptive. He can knock in jump shots as well and create plays for his teammates. He has the ability to create space with the dribble and the allusiveness to maneuver his way to the rim for the finish.

Marcus Johnson                                Von Cameron Davis

Freak athlete who not only jumps he glides - tremendous upside and potential; has the ability and tools to be special clearly one of the top prospects at the event and in the state. Marcus Johnson has a terrific pull-up game with a smooth shooting stroke. He can slash his way to the rim for the finish or nail the mid-range pull-up jump shot. He handles the ball well in transition and he generally makes good decisions. Must develop a non-stop motor and play the game in attack mode the entire time to realize his potential.  Defensively, he is an excellent weak-side defender as demonstrated by his shot blocking ability.  Make this a name to watch and track.

Von Cameron Davis future wing with long arms and a frame that is far from filling out. He runs effortlessly in transition and can finish plays in transition over the rim. Has very impressive feet that  allow him to make quick moves in the paint area as well as when he is facing up his opponent. He gets most of his scoring opportunities in the paint area  right now where he shows explosive bounce and quickness, but can put the ball on the floor and pull up and shoot over his defender – plays within himself but a blind man can see he is was one of the top prospects long term in the gym. He has nice timing as a rebounder getting numerous tip-in opportunities. Defensively, due to his length and timing he has the potential to be a high-level shot blocker as well as a potent rebounder in and out of his area.

Matt Allocco
Matt Allocco is a deceptively quick attacking point guard who is fearless. He excels in the open court where he is a crafty scorer, excellent passer who showed great court vision. Allocco has a tight handle, can hit the rhythm 3 and has a floater that is money in the bank all the while displaying great touch and body control. He applies constant pressure on both ends of the floor and has active hands when defending the ball. 

Collin Crothers stands 6’7, has good size on the parental side and is an old school highly skilled 5-man that can score inside and out. He uses his strong wide base and lower body to create space and he can spin both ways with the drop step to convert with either hand; was very impressed with touch around the basket. Rebounds at a very high rate.  He has decent length with fairly long arms and his hands are soft, he is physical and seems to enjoy the contact – bigtime shot blocker with excellent timing getting the ball once its released he doesn’t pick up fouls. He isn't blessed with quickness or great bounce, but he more than makes up for it with savvy and skill.

Jahquez Williams

Bigtime prospect out of Indiana, Jahquez Williams has a terrific frame with super long arms and prototype length for the two guard position. He has impressive ball skills, projects well , and puts constant pressure on the defense when he has the pill in his hands – he is creative in his movements but there are purposeful, his finishes are explosive and he is a talent that you can expect to hear from as he develops. Like what he does in the open court and is ability to locate open teammates due to his vision. Defensively, he slides his feet well and he has the long arms to make him a lock-down defender at the next level; if handled correctly has a chance to be a high major prospect before its said and done.

Jeremy Baker is a scoring guard prospect who possesses a very interesting upside. Broad shouldered, strong and athletic Baker is a terrific two-way player who impacts the game in multiple ways. In transition he can slash his way to the rim for the score or pull-up was solid within 12-15 feet. In the half-court set he has a solid 1st step to get to the basket and the explosion to finish over defenders. Defensively, he has the length, active hands, and lateral quickness to be a lock-down defender at the next level. Not to mention he has a non-stop motor that allow him to make plays consistently at both ends.  The development of his range will be essential to take his game where he wants it to go; but the passion with which he competes leave little doubt that he can achieve success at the highest level.

Jack Townsend
Jack Townsend is a scoring point guard who can facilitate as well--especially off penetration. One of the best pure shooters in the class and country he has a prolific shooting touch, quick release, confidence, and range out to 25-feet and his mid-range pull-up is also deadly. In addition to his shooting ability, he'll also elevate in traffic for rebounds and he has an uncanny ability to find open teammates while penetrating the paint area.  Can operate as a shooting specialist, a primary scorer, or a court spacing zone busting floor general with equal effectiveness.  

Devonta Blanton l has a strong solid frame with good length and athleticism for his size. He can break down the defense, carry defenders on his hip, and make plays in the paint area. He attacks the rim well, has a solid crossover and burst off the dribble as well. In addition, he can work off the block in the  half court set knowing when to pick his spots for scoring.  When his motor is turned all the way up he has active hands and can impact on defense as well.

Tyler Brelsford has a slight frame, but he has very long arms and plays much bigger than 5’10. He is a cerebral floor general but has the potential for stretches to take on the role of scoring point guard.  A confident seasoned PG with a slick handle and a quick release on his jump shot that extends well beyond the stripe. He can get his own shot off the dribble and he possesses a nice runner in the lane. We saw him  dropped off more than a few nice assists as well which frankly is the strength of his game running the team leading transition and making the players around him better. 


Zeb Jackson is tough, competitive lead guard that is more athletic and stronger than he appears. He finishes well on the break for his size with either hand and does a great job attacking through contact where he draws fouls. His calling card is that of a knock down shooter off the catch or dribble with range to the arc. He hits step back jumpers as well and has some very nice footwork. He handles pressure and makes good decisions. He can get teammates the ball as he attacks and he can slow down and run the halfcourt offense once his strength and size catch up with elite level skillset you will see the development of a high major player.



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