May 21, 2012

Nike Super 16 Recap - Ohio Boys Dominate

With all of Ohio's top AAU teams in the gym for the Nike Super 16 in Columbus a lot of rankings questioned were answered as the best at each position had a chance to square off at some point. With a multitude of Xavier targets in the gym these were the guys who stood out the most.

Nigel Hayes - All Ohio Red 17u -'s ND Kendrick broke the news earlier this week that the 6'7 forward will be focusing solely on basketball next year (giving up his gridiron success) in hopes of earning a high major scholarship. On his first weekend since that decision Hayes was the most dominant player on his AOR team, who lost in the championship. Hayes shot the ball great out to the three-point line, rebounded the ball athletically and with power like usual, and was great in transition as a finisher and even sometimes as a distributor. His versatility is almost unmatchable and despite not having great height for someone who will begin their college career at the power forward spot he is still able to be effective because of his athleticism.

Tony Farmer - All Ohio Red 17u - Got to see all of Farmer's games except for the championship loss and he was playing with a good amount of energy on both ends of the court. With him not in attendance the last time we scouted AOR it is tough to realize how big of a difference he makes on the court. His athleticism, power, and size are simply dominant on the wing; and he has continued to refine his handle to make himself a true small forward. He didn't shoot the ball great but well enough to make defenders come out on him; and he passed it extremely well once he got into the teeth of the defense.

Kevin Johnson - OBC 17u - Johnson put on a show on Saturday afternoon in a one point loss to the Ohio Phenoms as he poured in bucket after bucket, from deeper range that we had been previously accustomed to seeing from him. Capable of creating a shot whenever he wants Johnson relied more on his scoring ability then passing ability and finished with 25 points in the game. His first step quickness was too much for opponents and he is getting increasingly good off the jab-step before he puts it on the floor. The last step for Johnson might be the pick and roll, as he masters that he can become as good of a scoring point guard as there is in the Midwest, with a 6'2 frame and upper tier athleticism to complement it all.

Devin Williams - OBC 17u - Williams injured his hand in his teams' opening loss to Ohio Phenoms and never quite recovered as he struggled over the weekend. Trying to play the power game his lack of explosive lift showed against shotblocker Vitto Brown as he couldn't consistently get the ball over the big man. Out of the high post Williams was able to shoot the ball with good form but it didn't give him his usual results. His hand should be fully recovered for next weekend's event in Chicago.

Monte Morris - Michigan Mustangs 17u - Morris is on another level then just about any other highly touted guard when it comes to breaking guys down off the dribble. Sharing the guard spot with Derrick Walton he does a nice job of picking his spots and finding seams in the defense. The 6'1 combo guard can shoot the ball with great consistency out to the three-point line and makes winning plays down the stretch, as he scored several late buckets in a close quarterfinal win over the Ohio Phenoms on Sunday.

Martez Walker - R.E.A.C.H Legends 17u - The sparks did not fly much this weekend for Walker or his explosive Detroit RL team. The Xavier staff is monitoring Walker as a streaky scorer that can produce from long range off the bounce. Over the weekend Walker was OK in that area but didn't have as many efficient games as he would've liked.

Maverick Morgan - Martin's Wolverines 17u - Didn't get a chance to see a ton of Maverick this weekend, after making him the primary focus last weekend, but he was solid in the game we saw. Playing through foul trouble the 6'11 center was able to bury his man in the post and score it over him with his length against smaller competition.

Josh Davenport -OBC 17u - Davenport, a 6'4 wing, is not a priority recruit for Xavier but is someone with intriguing talent that they have their eye on. He's skilled at getting to the rim, long and athletic, but struggles to handle the ball against pressure or shoot the outside shot. This weekend in a game against the Ohio Phenoms it was Davenport, along with Kevin Johnson, that kept his team in the game until the final buzzer with his intensity and aggressiveness of the bounce. Davenport was able to score with ease around the rim and hit some tough turn-around floating jumpers in the lane over smaller defenders. His consistency is a question mark but when he's playing at the level that he did on Saturday afternoon there are few better then Davenport.

Vitto Brown - Ohio Phenoms 17u - Like Davenport, Xavier has an eye on this 6'8 power forward, but are not necessarily actively recruiting him. Brown currently lists Kansas State, Butler, Minnesota, and Illinois as his top four and has seen a significant buzz come his way in recruiting circles over the spring. Brown has great athleticism, is a natural shotblocker, and is very skilled with the basketball out of the high-post and anywhere inside of it. He's still adding strength but he's a competitor with size, athleticism, and intriguing upside that Mack and staff will monitor.

Jae'sean Tate - All Ohio Red 16u - At this point in his career he's still a 6'5 hybrid power forward but Tate has all world athletic ability, plays with passion, and is the toughest kid on the floor more often then not. All that, combined with an excellent face-up game from the mid-post make him a great prospect whose college level might be determined by how high he gets up on that measuring stick. Tate played his normal game over the weekend, and as always was up and down the floor with a better pace then any other player. At about 210 pounds there were no other 16u forwards that could contain him as he dominated the rebounding game inside.

Esa Ahmad - All Ohio Red 15u - The 6'6 forward was very impressive athletically in some blowout pool play wins on Saturday. For someone with his size at a young age Ahmad is bouncy around the rim and explodes up with good power. His skill level is unquestioned as he can play on the wing or in the post. Against smaller competition he spent most of his time down low on Saturday by scoring around the rim, blocking shots, and rebounding the ball.

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