The MPSSAA state tourney for public schools is a three day affair held at the Xfinity Center on the campus of the University of Maryland from March 8th-10th'starting with the 3A and 4A semi's on day 1. These are some of the standouts from day 1 action starting with the 3A semi's.

Ugo Obasi 6'4' '18 Milford Mill Academy ' Virginia FB commit ' While football may be in this young mans future he proved over 2 games here that he's a pretty fair hooper too. In their 68-59 win over Gov. Thomas Johnson HS he showed off his athleticism with 20pts 3 treys 8reb and 2asts with an assortment of nifty moves or catch and shoot three's. he has' quick and explosive jump to the basket that he's by the defender before there's any contact. He gets up and down the floor with quick even strides like he's running a pass pattern and he can cut on a dime as well. His jumper is solid as he has good footwork and balance when he squares up with a good look at the basket. His handle is only ok in the open court but his strength is finding open space and using his athletic gifts to inflict damage to his opponents. Defensively he's strong enough to guard bigger players and more than hold his own.

Eric Turner 6'5' '18 Milford Mill Academy ' Tennessee Chattanooga commit ' Looking at Turner you'd think that like his teammate Ugo Obasi that maybe he plays football too. Well I don't know if he does but he has a college ready body for hoops and he put it on full display in this semi final tilt. He matched Obasi with 20pts while adding 7reb but his value was clearly evident in the attention he received whenever he ventured into the painted area as he often drew 2 bodies opening up driving lanes for his teammates to exploit. He was tough to stop down low but also showed he could step out and hit shots from distance nailing 2 treys in the contest. From a defensive standpoint he managed 2stls and used his strength to keep opponents from establishing any post presence when his man would set up on the block. A lot to like about this young man as he plays hard and takes no prisoners.

Demetrius Mims 6'6' '18 Baltimore Polytechnic Institute ' Long Beach St. commit ' In 3A semi #2 Poly used a big first half to build a 38-19 lead over Stephen Decatur HS enroute to a 63-46 win and Mims was a major component in the victory. Running the point at 6'6' is a plus as he sees the floor quite well and directs traffic like a true floor general. When the game ended Mims stat line was 30pts 2 treys 11reb 2asts and 2blks and he hit 6-7 from the line. This was one of those games where Mims picked up the slack of his teammates who all seemed a little off in their shooting but they just kept plugging cause it's survive and advance time. I've seen this youngster a lot over the last three seasons both in school ball but on the circuit as well and I can't recall him putting up such a huge scoring number before but I'm sure his future coach is glad to know that he's capable of helping out in a pinch. While he may not dazzle people with his athleticism I like that he plays the game at a measured pace always looking to make the right play and not the spectacular one and the majority of his baskets came on solid plays and good fundamental shots. Defensively he sparked a stretch in the first half where he got 1 steal and forced 3 others as Poly stretched a 6 point lead to 14 in like'1:10'and then settled in to keep the troops on track to advance to'Saturday's'3p matchup with Milford Mill which should be lots of fun.

Xavier Gravette 6'4' '18 Perry Hall HS ' Gravette also excels in FB and that may be where he winds up but on this night he stepped up when inserted into the game. His timely shooting helped the Gators out when suddenly shots weren't dropping and he finished with 19pts 3 treys 6reb 2asts while shooting 8-10 from the field, 3-4 from the arc and most of his shots came at opportune times. Gravette showed a nice form on his shot as literally every shot he took looked like it was going in and he didn't force a shot that wasn't there as he proved to be an adept passer as well. Perry Hall pulled away in the second half and Gravette was in the middle of the action as Perry Hall pulled away on the way to an 85-62 win over Bladensburg HS in a 4A semi. With a decent handle to go with his solid stroke Gravette turned into the ideal 6th'man as the Gators moved into the state title game'on Saturday. Whichever sport he chooses this young man should do well given his athletic build and solid frame.

Jao Ibuka 6'1' '21 Gaithersburg HS ' I heard about this Freshmen when I walked into the building so as 4A semi #1 started I settled into my viewing area to get my first glimpse of this youngster and I must say despite his Trojans getting beat by 23 points by Perry Hall Ibuka was pretty impressive in his own right. He displayed a workable handle with some speed and ability to get to spots on the floor to maximize his efficiency to set up his teammates or to drive the ball to the hoop for a nifty layup or the kickout to an open shooter. He also showed nice athleticism with some quick jumping prowess to snare boards as he corralled 9 for the game. He didn't look to pull up for open jumpers from the arc instead settling on midrange shots or layups but as a FR he should be able to stretch his range out to the arc as he matures his skillset. He led the team with 18pts hitting 9-14 from the field or 9-11 from inside the arc where he seemed to find his comfort zone. He added 2asts and threw at least 3 other passes that I would label as scoring passes that weren't converted which happens at times. The one concern I saw was his penchant for trying to make the next to impossible pass as 3 of his 4 turnovers were off poor decisions dishing the rock. These can be corrected as he is still just a Frosh and with continued growth, maturity and hard work I would expect to see improvement across the board moving forward.

Daniel Oladapo 6'7' '18 Bladensburg HS ' I don't know how Oladapo plays when I'm not around but I do know that he puts up big numbers whenever I watch this young man play so I am perplexed that he doesn't have more college interest besides Radford, Towson, Canisius and UNC-Greensboro pursuing him. Of course that could be good news to those programs as they try to woo him to sign with their institutions. In this contest he played well throughout the first 3 qtrs then went to another gear offensively as he scored 15 of his game high 27pts in the 4th. He also rustled up 11reb 2asts and 2blks in a rather dominate performance as the Mustangs got past Old Mill HS 69-53 setting up a championship Matchup with defending state champ Perry Hall'Saturday'at 8p. Oladapo works extremely hard down low on both ends of the floor especially at the offensive end where he shot 14-19 from the stripe because of his ability to create on the block and draw fouls. While his shot looks a bit funky at times he still shoots a decent percentage hitting 6-11 from the field in this one. He rebounds at a high level also as he is willing to check his man and make sure to get his body on his opponent to set his position and he seldom leaves his feet early waiting to see the ball coming off the rim before deciding on a course to the ball. He possesses good body control on the defensive end as well rarely committing a foul because he was out of position. I will be interested to see if his recruitment picks up any steam or he decides that the place for him is one of his current suitors so stay tuned.

This wraps up the'Thursday'semi's.