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SPRINGFIELD — Here the staff of SWMOBasketball selects its all-tournament team for this year’s Blue & Gold tournament.
The all-tournament team is not official and is not affiliated with the tournament and was selected by the SWMOBasketball staff.
21 — Charlie O’Reilly, 6’1, G, 2019, Catholic (pictured)
O’Reilly has taken his game to new heights this season armed with a well-rounded offensive game that has him attacking the basket, slashing and cutting away from the ball as well as creating offense with it in his hands. He still has the smooth perimeter shooting stroke that he has become known for, but has taken his game to new heights in other areas. O’Reilly stepped up with Branham out of the line-up in the championship game and led the Irish with 24 points in a win over Ozark.
3 — Jake Branham, 6’2, G, 2019, Catholic
Branham put together a big tournament before going down with injury that forced him to miss the championship game. He is a smooth guard who handles the ball, plays with poise and pace and can create offense for himself and others. Branham also shows a smooth outside shooting stroke, capable of knocking down perimeter shots, getting to the basket and scoring as well as running a team.
23 — Dylan Caruso, 6’9, F, 2019, Mansfield
An athletic center who can grab a defensive rebound and pass it out, then catch it on the other side and slam it home. He has terrific quickness in the paint and the energy to play at a high level throughout the game. Caruso can push defenders out of a play as he backs his way to the basket and finish above the rim. He’s also good at protecting the rim on defense and causing trouble on the block, as he blocked six shots in games against Republic and Stockton and five against Marshfield.
3 — Paxton DeLaurent, 6’4, G/F, 2020, Camdenton
The new face for Camdenton is a familiar one, but one who is used to the spotlight after a big season at QB on the football field. DeLaurent is continuing his upward trend as a ball handler, passer and scorer. He has a fine basketball frame and great height at 6’4, and the athleticism to move in and out of the paint with the ball. He has a nice shot from distance and his height and length allows him to get his shot off with little to no trouble. He’s not going to get blocked from outside.
40 — AJ Elliot, 6’5, F, 2020, Ozark
A powerful center with a high basketball IQ. Elliot has a way of scoring and getting to the free throw line in a way that is all his own. He has good size for the position and he understands his role as a forward. He’s a team leader who leads by example and can be vocal when he sees something out of place. Elliot is also a good defender. He is physical on the block and likes to post up and score in the paint where he shows a soft shooting touch.
10 — Drew McMillen, 5’9, G, 2021, Republic
Don’t be fooled by his 5’9 height or his slender frame, McMillen has emerged as one of the area’s most reliable outside shooters and helped provide the Tigers some much needed offensive punch throughout the tournament. While he is mostly known for his outside shooting, McMillen handles the ball well and brings good poise to the floor as well as the ability to knock down free throws.
0 — Aminu Mohammed, 6’4, F, 2021, Greenwood
He’s possibly one of the most talented players to ever play in SWMO and a lot of that promise was on display throughout the Blue & Gold tournament making the host team a must see event. Mohammed has good size, length and athleticism but he is also a basketball player who can do a little bit of everything at a high level whether it’s handle the ball, pass and make plays for others, step out and shoot the 3, or dominate the glass. It’s easy to forget Mohammed is just a sophomore, and when you take his age into consideration, it’s easy to see why he is considered one of the nation’s top players in his class.
22 — Broc Smith, 6’4, G, 2019, Republic
A Drury recruit, Smith is among the area’s top senior players who shows the ability to do a little bit of everything at a high level and his impact on a game goes far beyond the simple box score. He has good size and athleticism, rebounds the ball at a high level, defends multiple positions and can knock down outside shots on a consistent basis.