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May 20, 2013

DC Assault sweeps the Southern Jamfest


HAMPTON, Va. As it turns out, the good folks at the Hoop Group could have saved themselves a lot of time and effort when it came to running the Southern Jamfest. Had they wanted to, organizers could have just sent all of the tournament hardware to the headquarters of the DC Assault. The longtime grassroots power closed off an impressive weekend by winning championships in the 17, 16, 15 and 14 and under divisions on Sunday. Maryland bound Romelo Trimble was solid while Donte Grantham enjoyed a breakout weekend for the Assault.

Assault dominates at Southern Jamfest

Although travel plans kept Rivals.com from watching the DC Assault close out their sweep of the Southern Jamfest, more than enough time was spent in Hampton getting a feel for the always loaded program. Not surprisingly, there were plenty of guys that caught our attention.

Starting with the 17 and under group, things begin and end with the steady and reliable play of Maryland bound Romelo Trimble. In a word, Trimble was unflappable all weekend long as he directed his crew to a title. He can initiate and run your offense and has a great understanding for controlling the pace of the game. Need him to score? Slide him off the ball and he's very comfortable operating as a two guard. Trimble has the kind of mature and skill based game that should translate well to the college level and he easily played up to his No. 56 national ranking in the class of 2014 Rivals150.

Likely to join Trimble in the rankings when they are next updated is Donte Grantham. A native of West Virginia who was the state player of the year as a senior, Grantham has seen his stock rise quickly. During Saturday's coverage we called him a combo forward and he can certainly play as a stretch four-man. But, after watching him more, Grantham looks to be pretty natural on the wing and is a legitimate small forward prospect at nearly 6-foot-8. He can shoot threes from the corners, finishes at the rim and has smooth body control. A late bloomer to some, Grantham has been putting up numbers for a while and just needed exposure as he prepares to head off to prep school (Chatham (Va.) Hargrave looks to be his most likely destination at the moment).

"I feel like I've been putting in good work for a bit now," Grantham told Rivals.com. "Coaches are just starting to get to see me now. I'm a full qualifier, but I want to do my prep year."

The offers have started to roll in for Grantham who says that Maryland, Miami, West Virginia, Clemson, Penn State and Cincinnati are a few to offer him of late. Also showing interest are Virginia, Rutgers and Wake Forest.

On Sunday, the Assault also got some inspired play from 6-foot-6 combo forward Rashard Kelly during a win over regional rival Boo Williams. Although he gave up six or seven inches in height to Thon Maker, Kelly used his strength and ability to get lower than the talented 2016 big man and move him all over the place. The three-star knocked down some shots and played with a great level of energy.

On the 16 and under level, the Assault rode 6-foot-2 scoring guard Jon Davis all weekend. A jump shooter who is a crafty scorer and sneaky athlete off of the dribble, he is one of those guys that just finds ways to get buckets. Currently a three-star prospect, Davis says that he has offers from DePaul, Towson and Seton Hall. Others like Virginia Tech, Xavier, George Mason, George Washington and Delaware are tracking him closely. Also turning some heads for the Assault's 16's was 6-foot-7 power forward Alex Long. He's long, bouncy and can make a 15 foot jumper. His energy on the glass and in transition was key at many stretches in the weekend.

Finally, the Assault's 15 and under team pulled off a major comeback when they erased a 17 point second half deficit to take out a loaded Boo Williams 15U squad. It wasn't a surprise to hear that point guard Alani Moore came alive and scored all 18 of his points during the second half comeback. Earlier in the day, the 5-foot-9 Moore has impressed with his quickness, toughness and leadership. He's small right now, but he plays with the heart of a lion and is one of those kids that will put his team on his back and do whatever it takes to win. We'll look forward to seeing much more of him down the road.

Final notes from the Southern Jamfest

6-foot-3 combo guard Robert Johnson is currently sitting on the bubble of the 2014 Rivals150. A good scorer who can catch fire from deep, Johnson is capable of scoring a lot of points in a hurry. He can handle the ball a bit and has good quickness but is a bit inconsistent and can also live and die by his deep shooting just a little bit too much.

Four-star big man Quadri Moore deserves some recognition for hitting the gym. A kid who has always had some skill, Moore hasn't always been in the best of shape. That's not the case now. A 6-foot-9 center with soft hands who can hold his ground, Moore has shed any remaining baby fat and is in great condition. He's a grinder that can play physically versus being an above the rim guy but he can step out and hit a jumper from between 12 and 17 feet with regularity.

Princeton really looks to have gotten a good one in 6-foot-4 combo guard Amir Bell. The product of East Brunswick (N.J.) High looked very good playing with Team Jersey Elite. He can get into the lane and use his size and strength to finish, he is tough to knock off the ball and he's a big guard for an Ivy League program. The three-star prospect should make some noise early for the Tigers.

Edrice Adebayo gets most of the attention for the Boo Williams 15 and under team and rightfully so. He will be a five-star prospect when the class of 2016 gets their stars. But, he's just one part of a team that looks to be loaded with talent. They blew a 17 point lead to the DC Assault in the finals of the 15U championship, but earlier in the day they had several other players impress. Guard Kyonze Chavis is an athlete who can hit pull-up jumpers off the dribble, guard Adam Grant is a big time athlete who can finish with the best of them and 6-foot-2 guard Terrell Tolliver is an athlete who is turning heads as a quarterback on the football field as well. Also intriguing was 6-foot-5 small forward Chris Olina from Newport News (Va.) Woodside.

Sports U's 15 and under team got beat up pretty good by the Boo Williams team mentioned above. But, it was hard not to notice the play of their 6-foot-2 combo guard Trevon Duval. Duval showed great burst off the dribble, got to the rim in a hurry and will challenge bigger players at the rim. Imagine the surprise when finding out he's just finishing up his 8th grade year. He'll be one to watch throughout his high school career.



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