The 6th Grade Division of the Tip Off Classic gave us a look at the future. Here’s Part 1 at the top performers.
Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic 6th Grade Top Performers Part 1
Jalen Maldonado Forward (Ivy Lions) – Jalen is a combo forward that is overpowering at the 6th grade division. He has the size and athleticism to make him a match up problem for opposing defenses. He is at his best attacking the rim either in the half court or transition. Maldonado gets his fair share of rebound put backs and he can also rebound it and lead the break. He averaged 19 points over the 3 games we watched.
Josh Powell Forward (Ivy Lions) – Powell is the other combo forward for the Ivy Lions. Like Maldonado he also poses matchup problems for the other team. He has good size and strength and feels most comfortable doing his work around the basket. He has a soft touch from the free throw line and we also saw him rebound the ball and lead the break. Josh averaged 19 points over the three games we watched.
Alex Mazzella Guard (Ivy Lions) – Mazzella is a throw back point guard that knows how to run his team. He has a very high IQ and understands how to keep his teammates happy. He spreads the ball around as he navigates the defense with his high-level dribbling ability but don’t leave him open as he can knock down the long range 3 ball.
Dylan Minglo Guard (Ivy Lions) – Minglo is a long guard that is Ivy’s best perimeter scorer. He can score from all three levels and he came up big with 15 points in the championship. He has range out to the 3-point line as we saw him knock down two 3 pointers on his way to 16 points in another game we watched.
Brooklyn Jelinsky Guard (Ivy Lions) – Brooklyn is considered Ivy’s best three-point sniper. In today’s game it is important to space the floor to create driving lanes and that is his job. This allows Powell and Maldonado more space to go to work. He knocked down six three pointers over two of the games we watched. He understands his role and does it well.
Jordan Skyers Guard (Young Bucks) – Skyers was the most complete player in the 6th Grade division and must be in the conversation as one of the top players in the country. He is a stat stuffer that is a 5-category contributor with points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. With his size, athleticism and skill he is virtually unguardable at this stage in his development. He carried his team to the championship.
Daquan Bryant Guard (Young Bucks) – Bryant is the tough pint-sized point guard that runs his team like a seasoned veteran. His ball handling helps him beat full court pressure and set up his team in the half court offense. When asking him what he thinks his best part of his game was he said getting his teammates involved.
Jett Schwartz Forward (Young Bucks) – This forward does most of the dirty work for his team in the paint. He scores around the basket and rebounds the ball. He is consistent game in and game out, so you know what you are going to get from him which is always important for a coach. We like his demeanor and approach to the game at this level.