We took our 1st grade Buckeye Prep Hoopsters squad over to Indianapolis, over the weekend to participate in the IYBU Run N Slam Tournament where had the opportunity to both play and watch some very good 1st and 2nd grade teams. The best matchup we watched all weekend featured the #1 ranked 2031 Hoosier Phenoms against the #15 ranked J Anthony Elite (rankings according to Coast2Coast Preps) in the 2nd grade championship game.  Although J Anthony Elite would jump out to an early lead on the strength of Josh Anthony’s (4’11″/WF/2031/Louisville, KY) strong drives to the cup, the Phenoms’ late arriving head coach would later institute what appeared to be a zone defense, which limited Anthonys ability to get all the way to the cup with as much frequency.  Consequently, the Phenoms would eventually claw their way back into the game.  The game would remain close, but in the end, the #1 ranked team in the country would go on to defend their home court, get the 37-29 win, and claim the title.

We were super impressed with Josh Anthony’s length, athleticism, and ability to get paint touches and score off the bounce (finished with 16 points).  He’s not just a slasher, but Anthony can also shoot the rock off the bounce. He’s also versatile, can defend multiple positions and he appears to understand the game. Bottom line, this kid has a chance to be special with continued growth and development. We will get an even closer look at Anthony at our August 21st Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase! Although the Hoosier Phenoms are blessed with great size in the post with David Ice (5’6″/C/2031/Indianapolis, IN) and Amos Littles (5’3″/PF/2031/Indianapolis, IN), this team is powered by their floor general, Kru Cole (4’3″/PG/2031/Carmel, IN).  Cole is a true PG who is equally capable of play making or scoring. He can knock down the trey off the bounce or in catch and shoot situations, or he can probe the defense for cracks and opportuintities to find open teammates.  He’s also tough and gritty, can defend, and will not be sped up by defenders.  Cole also plays with good poise, pace and a feel for the game.  From what we’ve seen in this age group, Cole is the best all around lead guard we’ve seen! We will get another look at both of these teams in November when they take the court at the Buckeye Prep Thanksgiving Shootout along with several other nationally ranked 1st and 2nd grade teams!

In terms of the 1st grade division, the Hoosier Phenoms would later claim another title for the program, with a 28-15 victory over the Buckeye Prep Hoopsters.  The Phenoms’ trek to the championship game went though the Buckeye Prep Hoopsters (23-7) and Hawk Elite twice (29-3 & a forfeit).  Buckeye Prep lost to the 2nd grade All Area Basketball in overtime (20-18) and Hoosier Phenoms (23-7), but defeated Hawk Elite (11-6) and M Teague (16-15) to reach the title game.

Christian O’Neal

Tristian Graham

Jordan Taylor

Devion Gary

Jace Owens

Jamel Madison

Kru Cole

Josh Anthony

Amos Littles

Camden Day

David Ice

Peyton Gibbs

Adrain Hall

Name Hgt/Pos Class City Evaluation Notes
Christian O’Neal 4’4″/CG 2031 Muncey, IN Good size, athletic, goes strong to the basket, can score
Tristian Graham 4’4″/CG 2032 Indianapolis, IN Standout performer
Jordan Taylor 4’4″/PG 2032 Gahanna, OH Solid ball skills, good on ball defender
Devion Gary 4’2″/PG 2032 Indianapolis, IN Standout performer
Jamel Madison 5’8″/PG 2025 Detroit, MI Standout performer, went for 19 points, 7 assists & 6 rebounds in a single game
Jace Owens 4’5″/WF 2032 Columbus, OH Standout performer, knocked down a couple of clutch shots in a pair of games
Josh Anthony 4’11″/WF 2031 Louisville, KY Long, athletic, skilled, aggressive to the cup, finishes through contact, can hit the pull up jumper off the bounce, prospect
Kru Cole 4’3″/PG 2031 Carmel, IN Highly skilled PG with excellent court vision & passing skills. 3-level scorer, changes speed & direction well, plays with good pace, feel for the game
Camden Day 4’1″/PG 2032 Indianapolis, IN Highly skilled PG, shoots it well, understands the game, plays with confidence, consistent standout performer
David Ice 5’6″/PF 2031 Indianapolis, IN Good size, rebounds, solid ball skills for size, athletic, passes well for a big
Peyton Gibbs 4’5″/WF 2032 Columbus, OH Good size, can shoot it, blocks shots, strong with the ball
Amos Littles 5’3″/C 2031 Indianapolis, IN Great size, rim protecter, finishes well close to bucket, developing skill set
Adrain Hall 4’0″/PG 2031 Louisville, KY Quick PG who can knock down the 3-ball

J Anthony Elite-2nd Grade Runner-ups

Buckeye Prep Hoopsters-1st Grade Runner-ups