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Posted On: 03/23/18 2:50 PM
We highly advise everyone to tune into Spectrum tomorrow afternoon at 5PM for the Trotwood versus St. Vincent-St. Mary State Championship game. You don’t get Spectrum on your cable package? Find someone who has it and tell them you’re coming over.
Both teams are rolling at the right time, as Trotwood eliminated Meadowbrook in dominate fashion and STVM handled Lexington.
These two graduated the D-II Co-Players of the Year from 2017 yet remain the most talented teams in the division. Plenty of those prospects had monster showings today, which you can read about below.
Belyeu’s physical presence set the tone in Trotwood’s win over Meadowbrook. He applied his quickness to defending their primary ball-handler and top scorer, once again proving himself capable of locking down positions 1-4. The unsigned senior also facilitated in transition, skipping ahead with accurate passes to streaking wings. He recorded four assists.
Belyeu was efficient as a scorer, shooting 70 percent on his way to 18 points. He also went 4/4 from the free throw line. He finishes through contact and challenges forwards at the rim.
Walter’s combination of speed, toughness, and intelligence make him an elite on-ball defender. He’s able to belly up with opposing point guards for 94-feet and knows when to pounce for the steal. He can also slide over quickly on the back-end for charges, drawing two against Lexington. The unsigned senior totaled six points, two of which came on his reliable mid-range jumper.
He holds one offer from Daemen, an NAIA program.
Davis is a talented slasher. His first step, ability to elude helpside defenders, hang time, finishing skills … all elite. His athleticism jumps off the page, but his IQ is underrated — Davis reads the help defenders quickly and can contort his body to avoid them. When he needs to, his floater and pull-up shots are consistent.
Davis exploded for a couple highlight finishes on the break. He seamlessly never gets tired. Disruptive helpside defender.
We expect Davis to attract mid-major/high-major offers this summer. He’ll enter the top five of our 2019 Prospect Rankings next month. At the moment, Miami (OH), IUPUI, Cleveland State, and Toledo have offered.
The ever-improving versatile wing had his best performance we’ve seen to date, which is the exact same thing we said after a game in January. He’s went from raw to polished as a perimeter scoring threat, going 6/10 from the field and dropping in a game-high 15 points. He can rise above the defense when shooting off the dribble. Previously an interior scorer, he knows how to finish on the drive too.
McDay is poised for a recruitment spike entering his final grassroots season. Expect other LM/MM programs to join Buffalo on his offer sheet. Don’t forget that the long-armed junior can defend 1-4 extremely well.
Stephens, a D-I football prospect, woke up in the second half. A pair of clean rejections and baseline dunks kept Trotwood energized in a blow-out. He’s developed nicely as an athlete and now provides a physical punch at the basket defensively. The added element of a true post player helps Trotwood when the game slows down.
The sophomore prospect scored efficiently for Trotwood. Blanton went 8/11 from the field and fell just two points shy of 20. He’s filling his role nicely as a wing scorer, although we knows he’s capable of creating and playing defense against point guards from the summer. Going into his 16U season, we’re excited to see him shooting confidently from beyond the arch.
The sophomore big man changed the game with his size. He was one of many STVM players who took turns defending Stover and was one of the most effective. We also like his offensive abilities. Johnson has a soft touch near the rim, scoring 9 points on 4/4 shooting. Uses the pump fake to compensate for his lack of verticality.
The Power 5 football prospect used his sheer strength to barrel to the rim. Often operating on the baseline, Stover is able to blow past defenders as they bounce off of him. While he has the strength of center, Stover is rather skilled and can even shoot it from 3. It took a total team effort to slow him down, and he still went for 17 and 10.
Meadowbrook’s senior leader didn’t quite reach his season average of 23.7 points per game. However, the unsigned prospect impressed with his ambidextrous finishing ability and quickness. Singleton constantly moves away from the ball. Even though Trotwood’s defensive pressure was too much for him, he’s a quality D-III kid because of his three-level scoring ability.
It’s only right that we look back before previewing tomorrow’s game. The Irish and Rams have squared off twice in the past twelve months, STVM defeating them both times — once on Dec. 9 and most importantly in last season’s D-II State Semifinals. Nobody forgets the Jayvon Graves buzzer beater from a year ago, including Trotwood, a moment that Justin Stephens referred to as the “catalyst” for their run in 2018.
Okay, now to assess the current situation. At 5PM tomorrow, we’re getting the two deepest teams in D-II. Trotwood has a distinguished two-headed monster on the wing with Belyeu and Davis, both of which defend multiple positions. They’ll try to push the pace, get quick looks at the rim, and out-muscle STVM. Meanwhile, STVM is built to keep up because of head coach Dru Joyce’s quick substitutions and their proven backcourt.
It’s an absolute toss-up, although Trotwood was more dominate in the semifinal round. Just be ready to enjoy the show because it doesn’t get much better than this as far as high school basketball goes.