Team Melo forward Trevis Buckhanon Jr. getting high-major interest

(Handout photo courtesy…)
May 24, 2012|By Matt Bracken | The Baltimore Sun

As a freshman at Kenwood, Trevis Buckhanon Jr.was targeted regularly by opponents looking to embarrass the gangly big man.

The son of a former Douglass star and Baltimore City hoops champion, the younger Buckhanon had been raised to play football, and only recently gave up the gridiron to focus on basketball – which he started playing in seventh grade. So despite Buckhanon’s 6-foot-4 stature, freshman year on Kenwood’s JV squad was a challenge.

“They came at me,” Buckhanon said. “It was kind of like I felt as though I was growing into a basketball-type person. I had a basketball body. That’s what my freshman year was. It was physical.”

Some of the challenges Buckhanon encountered as a freshman faded by the time his sophomore year on the varsity got under way. And in the early parts of his spring AAU campaign with Team Melo, Buckhanon – now a 6-foot-6 ½, 190-pound power forward – has looked the part of a future high-major recruit.

“I’m just amazed at how much better he’s gotten in just this little bit of time,” said Team Melo coach Derrick ‘Baseline’ Oliver. “The month of June, we’re really going to work extremely hard. In June, it’s going to help his game a great deal. … Once he gets stronger, the game will become much easier for him.”

Buckhanon switched from Under Armour B’more Finest last summer to Team Melo this spring, and has quickly flourished with his new program. Oliver said Buckhanon is “one of our go-to guys,” averaging around nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the 16-and-under squad.

“It’s going pretty well,” Buckhanon said. “[The coaches have asked me] mostly to be a ... real dangerous threat inside. Right now, and as I’m moving forward, it’s kind of like pushing outwards to where I also play the guys on … the outside as well as inside. And probably my role is to be a defensive rebounder that the team really needs when it comes down to it.”

Oliver said he was “really happy” that Buckhanon Sr. gave the Team Melo staff the chance to coach his son. While Buckhanon Jr. can still benefit from “more skill work,” Oliver couldn’t be more pleased with his progress.

“Defensively and offensively, he runs the floor very well,” Oliver said. “[He’s a] great free throw shooter. We worked on numerous post moves, but two of them that he uses a lot that he’s really gotten down pat are really making an impact to his game. Shot blocking, rebounding, he just turned his whole game around from last year.”

Buckhanon is still waiting on his first scholarship offer, but Washington, UAB, South Florida, Ohio, UNC-Greensboro, Florida Gulf Coast, Kansas State, Oregon, Seton Hall, Providence, Georgetown and George Washington are some of the programs that have expressed interest in him.

“I really didn’t think [recruiting would start so early]. I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Buckhanon said. “I just saw myself growing. I just didn’t see it happening so soon. … It’s a big feeling. But you know you’ve got to try to be humble about it, just keep moving forward and just try to be the best you can be.”

Oliver is looking forward to working with Buckhanon for the rest of the spring and summer.  There’s plenty of work to be done, but early returns on Buckhanon’s long-term potential have been nothing but positive.

“Oh man, I think he’s going to be a good player, a good post player,” Oliver said. “He could grow to be at least 6-8, 6-9. At the next level, he’s going to be great, man.”

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