Username or Email Address
Posted On: 08/4/18 6:00 PM
In the 15U Grassroots Team Rankings, the difference between no. 1 NEO Tru Game and no. 2 Mid Ohio Pumas Elite was four points. The margin between the top two 2021 performers was even slimmer, which is why we have Co-Rising Sophomores of the Year in Seth Wilson and Jack Sawyer.
Wilson came on top in that championship matchup of the Super 16 as he drained a long-range 3-pointer from the top of the key as his defender mistakenly tried to switch. In the semifinal game prior, Sawyer pulled up for a mid-range jumper in transition to beat All Ohio Red in Whitehall’s auxiliary gym.
Both were unquestioned leaders of their teams. The 6’1” Wilson was a ball-dominant point guard that got to his spots with a package of ball-handling, quickness, and upper body strength. Meanwhile, the 6’5” Sawyer was money with his back to the basket whenever the Pumas were desperate for a basket. He got off the patented turnaround jumper almost regardless of the defensive look.
Based on the nationally renowned team success of both Tru Game and the Pumas, the rising sophomore award almost had to be given to a player on these teams. They earned it through tournament achievements and signature head-to-head wins.
Tru Game ended their July in the Elite Eight of the E15 finals. As mentioned, they also won the Super 16, knocking off the Pumas with late-game heroics from Seth Wilson. Other first place finishes include the Nashville Dru Joyce Classic and Solon Cage Classic.
Before jumping up to the 16U level and losing Sawyer to football, the Pumas highlight was a first place finish at the Run N Slam, where they knocked off three straight EYBL programs on Sunday to win it. They also took home the hardware at both adidas Gauntlet Silver events, the Bearcat Classic, and Mid Ohio Classic.
Going forward, we expect Wilson to be recruited at the MM/HM level. He’s already heard from teams like Northwestern. His 3-point shooting ability is a strong appeal for Wilson. He shoots it off the dribble at a mature level. Wilson will become a better passer going forward, but he already has a great feel in the pick-and-roll and can change speeds at a high level.
For Sawyer, he received a Stony Brook offer in July but will almost certainly opt for the football route at the college and potentially professional level. On the football side, Saywer is a 220 pound defensive end/tight end with offers from Ohio State, Michigan, and others. However, if he continues hooping, he’s definitely a future 1,000-point scorer at Pickerington North because of his post-up ability, which is predicated on raw strength and shooting touch.
Meechie Johnson, 6’0” G, Hard Work White 16U / Garfield Heights