For many teams, the upcoming Coast 2 Coast President’s Day Palooza will represent their first tournament of year. From what we see from the committed team list, the event should be very competitive, as several nationally ranked teams are set to participate in each division. In advance of the tournament, we will take a quick look at several divisions and give our predictions in terms of favorites.
Starting with the youngest divisions, as of yesterday, the 1st grade division only had 3 teams (D5 Bulliez, T3eam Tooki3 and Yung Bulls), and although none of these teams are currently ranked by Coast 2 Coast, all three are part of solid brands, which suggests they should be competitive. If we had to guess, the D5 Bulliez are probably the favorite to win it all.
Currently, the second grade division will field 7 teams, 2 of which are currently nationally ranked (i.e., #2 Phenoms Elite & #17 Star Power). It should be noted the T3am Tooki3 received votes in the rankings. Although Star Power should be good, that Phenoms Hoops team has already established themselves as elite, and should take the title in this division.
The 3rd grade division has 8 teams registered, but will be headlined by 3 nationally ranked teams (i.e., #1 BNU, #7 Buckeye Prep Hoopsters & #9 Hoosier Phenoms). It should be noted that T3am Tooki3 received votes and Carolina Elite will be rolling into town with highly ranked Trey Clemens on the roster. We understand that Carolina Elite has some size and athleticism and a few sleepers like Andrew Small II, Kaison Hall and Aiden Wright, all of whom probably deserve more national recognition. We expect this team to make some noise next weekend; they could make a run to the championship game and will probably be nationally ranked after the next update! What we do know; BNU was already loaded that last time we saw them with Aydin Garth, Chase Williams, CJ Downing and David Perry, but they have gone out secured even more fire power with TU Jennings and Erian Love, and may even get Jace Vanderbuilt to boot! Wow!
The Buckeye Prep Hoopsters has enough talent to make a late Sunday run with the likes of David Johnson III, Jordan Taylor and Tony Jones Jr. as the team’s primary weapons. They are not an all-star team, but they play great man-to-man defense, they move the ball well and they play a nice brand of team-oriented basketball. Obviously, the Phenoms will be without the services of Garth, Williams, Jennings and Downing, but they still have some horses in Camden Day and Tristian Graham, and from what we are hearing, the Phenoms are “loading up,” and looking to pick up some additional players. The Phenoms are always scrappy and represent a tough out. Talk about scrappy, T3am Tookie has a pair of scrappy guards in Preston Hamby, Elijah Mathieu who fit that description, and will put up a legitimate fight. At the end of the day, with all of the talent BNU has assembled for the weekend, they have to be the clear favorite to win it all, with Buckeye Prep, Hoosier Phenoms and Carolina Elite rounding out the final four depending on seeding and formatting.
The fourth grade division appears to be the most competitive with 7 out of 11 teams being nationally ranked (i.e., #6 Yung Bullz, #8 BNU, #16 Texas Dynasty Swish, #17 Tre Mann Elite, #20 Flint Flames, #21 901 Bulls & #25 Young Pro Global). With Indiana’s David Ice patrolling the paint and Terry Holt III and Ayden Petty getting it done on the perimeter, BNU should be the favorite in this division.
Although The 5th grade division will host 17 teams, the only nationally ranked team is #2 Young Pro Global. With that being said, expect Team Loaded, The Family, Flint Flames and B Maze Elite to all be more than competitive.
The 6th grade division will field 27 teams (the most of any division), 6 of which are nationally ranked (i.e., #2 Liv On Blue Chips, #4 BNU, #3 Young Pro Global, #7 Pivot Life J’Hawks, #12 New Jersey Scholars & #16 George Hill All Indy), with 2 other teams receiving votes (i.e., 94 Feet & R.E.A.C.H. Legends). This division is going to be an absolute slug fest among the top 4 to 5 teams. Of course BNU’s roster is stacked with guys like Dallas Stewart, William Peagler Jr., Jayden Davis, Andrew Woeste and Colton Clevenger. Of course Young Pro Global has an all star cast as well with guys like Deloni Pughsley (OH), Cayman Washington (LA), Carter Green (OH), and Caden Mullins (FL). Liv on Blue Chips will counter with Chris Martinez (TX) and David Matta (TX), and they will try and make it 2 wins in a row against Young Pro Global. Our picks for the final 4 are Young Prep Global, BNU, Liv On Blue Chips and George Hill All Indy.
With 24 teams registered, only 1 of which is ranked (#10 FreeBandz WAO), the 7th grade division still has a chance to be tough. With storied brands such as Bates Fundamental, George Hill All Indy, The Family, Flint Flames, New Jersey Scholars and R.E.A.C.H. Legends, you can expect some outstanding play. Keep in mind, some of these teams may not be currently ranked by Coast 2 Coast, but they should be, and will be after this weekend!
Twenty five teams have registered for the 8th grade division, only 1 of which (#25 New Jersey Scholars) is nationally ranked. With that being said, expect teams like Bates Fundamental, George Hill All Indy, The Family National, All-Ohio Red Sumner, Bradley Beal Elite, B Maze Elite, Tre Mann Elite to make a serious run at the crown.
Keep in mind, we are 2 weeks out from the tournament, and there is still time for teams to enter or drop out of the event. Even as currently constructed, this event will be very competitive and will represent a great early season test! Finally, please keep an eye our for our post event reports where we will document the results and highlight the standout performances.