Knapke Chooses the Rockets

30 Jul
Luke Knapke

Luke Knapke

Now that the July evaluation period has come and passed for college coaches, it is time to move on to extending new scholarship offers and starting to secure commitments for the class of 2015. With several regional schools battling against each other for some of Ohio’s top prospects, the competition tends to get pretty intense. While another rising senior from the Buckeye State made a pledge to a mid-major school on Tuesday, the recruiting scene across the state has been frantic. Here are some of the latest headlines in the recruiting world…..

Luke Knapke – ’15 Marion Local PF/C: The 6’10 post out of Northwest Ohio chose the Toledo Rockets on Tuesday night, becoming the third Ohio prospect from the 2015 class to choose an in-state MAC School. Toledo head coach Todd Kowalczyk was the first D1 coach to offer Knapke over a year ago, and that early offer paid major dividends for the Rockets, when the skilled post from Marion Local committed to him this week. Knapke turned down offers from Akron, Wright State, Miami (OH), Kent State, Ball State and Northern Kentucky to choose Toledo; the closest of all the MAC schools to his home. Because he plays at an Ohio Division IV high school, and with a non-shoe company sponsored AAU team, Knapke isn’t really a well-known names to casual observers of the recruiting scene, however, the 6’10 post has a lot of upside and is a guy who mid-major coaches were really battling to sign in the 2015 class.

Grant Zawadski – ’15 Troy Christian PG: Another rising senior who has made a commitment, Zawadski spurned the advances of some of the region’s top D2 programs, choosing to commit to Indiana Wesleyan on Sunday. A well-known NAIA program, Indiana Wesleyan’s proximity to Troy will allow Zawadski to play close to his family and likely earn early playing time. In other Zawadski related news, the Troy Christian guard will also be working this fall to recover from a torn meniscus which will likely keep him out about three months. The point guard suffered this injury in the second of the three evaluation periods, almost two weeks ago.

Matt Moyer – ’16 Gahanna Lincoln PF: After securing several high major offers during the evaluation period, the rising junior from the Columbus area added another pair of high major scholarship opportunities this week. Both Illinois and Tennessee offered the athletic power forward, after both schools spent time watching him play with the VCC Ohio Warriors in Louisville last week.

Ibi Watson – ’16 Pickerington Central SG/SF: Watson added another mid-major scholarship offer to his list on Tuesday when Toledo made the call to the rising junior. Moving from Athens to the Columbus area for his junior season, expect Watson’s name to become bigger and bigger in Ohio recruiting circles, as the long wing combines a polished skill-set with a lot of athletic potential.

Xavier Simpson – ’16 Lima Senior PG: Simpson picked up his second high major offer on Tuesday, this one coming from Northwestern head coach Chris Collins. Joining Xavier, Toledo and Kent State on Simpson’s offer sheet, Northwestern is officially the first Big Ten school to offer a scholarship to Ohio’s top point guard from the 2016 class.

Willie Jackson – ’16 Cleveland Garfield Heights SF: After impressing Coach Larry Brown with his athleticism and effort in Louisville with the King James 16u team, the Cleveland area rising junior picked up an offer from the SMU Mustangs this week. Joining Iowa State as another high major who has made an offer to Jackson, college coaches appear to be very excited about Jackson’s athletic potential as a versatile combo forward.

Jason Carter – ’16 Johnstown Monroe SF/PF: One of the most talked about prospects in the region throughout the entire month of July, Carter earned the first of what we are assuming will be many mid-major offers when Ohio University officially extended a scholarship offer his way on Wednesday. With size, athleticism a skill-set and great potential, Carter is the ideal stretch forward in the MAC, and will likely be recruited heavily by all the in-state mid-majors.

Houston Smith – ’16 Columbus Africentric SF: After his supporting play helped All-Ohio Red’s 16u team advance to the finals in Louisville and the semifinals at the Nike Peach Jam, Smith was rewarded this week with his first D1 offer, from Bethune-Cookman. The Daytona Beach (FL) school has been well known for recruiting the Buckeye State, often being the first school to offer a prospect a scholarship. An athletic forward with good upside, Smith still has to continue to develop his skill-set, but he has a lot of potential in Ohio’s loaded 2016 class.

AAU Ends in Louisville

27 Jul
Frankie Hughes

Frankie Hughes

The 2014 AAU season concluded over the last five days, with many of the top teams from Ohio, Kentucky and other states heading to Louisville for the AAU National Championships and the AAU Super Showcase. Hundreds of college coaches were on hand for their third and final session of the summer, where they have near unlimited opportunities to evaluate some of the nation’s top young prospects. Triple Double Prospects was able to watch programs like All-Ohio, Ohio Varsity, Queen City Prophets, KY Hoop Dreams and the Kentucky Travelers impress college coaches, while the following players stood out in our eyes….

  • Elijah Pughsley – ’15 Lima Senior PG: When we look back at the players who had huge July’s, Pughsley’s name would have to belong near the top of the list. The former Cincinnati Hughes product, who will be back home in Lima next year, was electric for the Queen City Prophets, shooting the lights out from deep over the course of five days. Pughsley is not only one of the premiere shooters in the class of 2015 in Ohio, he’s also one of the state’s better competitors, and showed that in making big shot after big shot from deep for QCP. A hard-working all-around player, who can play either guard spot, Pughsley has already earned D1 offers from Western Carolina and Tennessee State, with more schools increasing their interest in him based on his performance in Louisville.
  • Katwan Singleton – ’15 Defiance SF: Another Northwest Ohio native, Singleton was just as effective as his friend Pughsley, scoring in a variety of ways during multiple viewings, as he led his King James Runnin’ Rebels team deep into the Nationals. A skilled wing player at 6’5, Singleton is capable of driving strong to either hand to finish, can shoot it from deep and is crafty as a pull-up shooter off of the dribble. College coaches would still like to see him to focus on being aggressive a little more often, but he’s a very intriguing offensive talent who is continuing to improve. While Singleton does not have a D1 offer yet, he was tracked very closely by several programs, and could be receiving some new phone calls very soon.
  • Alonzo Campbell – ’15 Gahanna Lincoln C: One of the state’s most quickly improving players, Campbell is a 6’10 center from the All-Ohio White team who might be the top “sleeper prospect” in Ohio in the 2015 class. Yes, he’s still very raw for a rising senior, but Campbell is a solid athlete with great length who can influence shots around the rim, moves his feet well enough to guard power forwards, runs the floor well and is getting better offensively. Also a strong academic prospect, Campbell is beginning to gather D1 interest at a high rate, and his recruitment is set to spike as he rejoins a talented frontline at Gahanna Lincoln next season.
  • James Bolden – ’15 Covington Holmes PG: One of the best high school players in the Bluegrass State, “Beetle” will be one of the favorites for the Mr. Basketball Award in Kentucky next season thanks to his offensive ability and great speed. A commit for Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers, Bolden was very efficient for the Kentucky Travelers with TDP watching, as the scoring point guard was able to make jumpers, set up teammates and generally speed up the pace of play. He’s definitely one of the thinner guards that will play at the high major level, but Bolden has a good mind for the game, is capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor and has elite speed to play in transition; making him an ideal fit for coaches who like smaller and speedy guards.
  • Aric Holman – ’15 Owensboro PF: A very intriguing prospect out of Western Kentucky, Holman is a big 6’9 forward with great athleticism and upside. Having attracted offers from Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Texas Tech, VCU, Auburn and others, Holman is a guy who college coaches are proving they’re willing to invest in. Playing with KY Hoop Dreams this past week, Holman showed serious potential as a face-up forward who is as comfortable playing on the wing as he is finishing around the rim. He’s a great floor-runner in transition, and if Holman can become a “high-motor” guy at the next level, he should be a very effective college player.
  • Frankie Hughes – ’16 Cleveland Garfield Heights SG: No 2016 wing player had a better July among Ohio kids than Hughes. The All-Ohio Red guard proved that he’s a great prospect at the next level as a big guard who can really pass the ball, is a smooth shooter from deep and is athletic enough to make some plays in transition. Hughes is still battling to become a more consistently effective player, but his talent level is extremely intriguing as a skilled guard at 6’4, maybe even a little taller. Kent State, Akron, Cleveland State and even Dayton have already extended offers Hughes’ way, look for this pattern to continue into the fall.
  • Matt Moyer – ’16 Gahanna Lincoln PF: Offers have been coming in at a steady rate all month for the VCC Warriors forward, that continued in a major way in Louisville, as Florida, Vanderbilt and Northwestern joined the list of high majors to have sent an offer Moyer’s way. As well as his recruitment is going, Moyer is no so coincidentally matching that momentum on the court, as he was very impressive as a finisher and traffic rebounder for the VCC Warriors in a close loss to King James. At 6’8 Moyer can do some different things offensively to stretch the defense, but it his athleticism and upside as an above the rim finisher that really excites coaches. Heading into the high school season, if Moyer can continue his strong play he might just contend for being one of the top 2016’s in the Midwest.
  • Nick Ward – ’16 Gahanna Lincoln C: Like his high school teammates, Campbell and Moyer, the rising junior, Ward, from All-Ohio Red was highly impressive in Louisville. A physical 6’8 post who is able to bully defenders to score around the rim with lefty hooks, Ward was one of the better interior scorers that we saw all week. His conditioning is still something that the big fella is working to improve, but Ward has the ability to be dominant with his strength, and has a very aggressive mentality which college coaches love. The junior center already has offers from Michigan State, Missouri, Kansas State, Dayton and Iowa State, Ward has seen his recruitment blow up in the last sixty days, something that should continue heading into next winter.
  • Xavier Simpson – ’16 Lima Senior PG: While his King James Shooting Stars team did not end the summer the way they wanted to, losing to a very talented Baltimore Elite team in the semifinals (a team who would go on to defeat All-Ohio Red in the finals), Simpson was still highly efficient for his 16u team in several TDP viewings. The 5’10 point guard is the epitome of a floor general, is a dynamic defender on the perimeter and is apt as finishing his drives with soft-touch floaters. While only Xavier, Cleveland State and Toledo have offered Simpson so far, just about every mid or high major coach that TDP talked to was extremely interested in Simpson, as there’s always a premium in recruiting put on smart and tough point guards.

Other Top Performers: Luke Kennard (’15 Franklin SG), Kyle Ahrens (’15 Versailles SF), Xeyrius Williams (’15 Huber Heights Wayne PF), Doriane Dawson (’15 Dayton Dunbar PG), Esa Ahmad (’15 Cleveland Shaker Heights PF), Rodney Culver (’15 Pickerington Central SG), Jalen Avery (’15 Cincinnati Shroder PG), Mike Parks (’15 Cleveland Richmond Heights C), Ahmad Wagner (’15 Huber Heights Wayne PF), Trey Landers (’16 Huber Heights Wayne SF), Terrence Landers (’16 Dayton Dunbar SG), Willie Jackson (’16 Cleveland Garfield Heights SF), Joseph Rowling (’16 New Albany SG)

Adidas All-In Recap

20 Jul
Seth Towns

Seth Towns

The second of the three NCAA live evaluation periods saw college coaches descend on Southwest Ohio, as close to one-hundred Division I & II coaches headed to Cincinnati for the Adidas All-In Classic. Teams from Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan and even Canada participated in the event, which was headlined by Ohio program Ohio Basketball Club, the event’s host. With Triple Double Prospects checking out all three days of the action, here are some of the prospects who stood out….

  • Jalen Avery – ’15 Cincinnati Shroder PG: The Ohio Cougars point guard continued his rapid ascension up recruiting boards over this past weekend, going head to head with some of the better guards at the event and getting the better of the matchup. Avery’s command of the offensive game off the pick and roll is as good as any prospect in Ohio, as he is able to pull-up for the jumper or dish it off to a teammate. Also a great passer and a passionate competitor, Avery is quickly becoming a favorite prospect of several mid-major coaches in the region. Toledo, Kent State, Wright State, Miami (OH), Western Illinois and others all tracked Avery and his Ohio Cougars team over the weekend.
  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 Cleveland VASJ PF: Bragg attracted the biggest college coaching names to Cincinnati this past weekend, as Ohio State, UCLA, Illinois, West Virginia and even Kansas head coach Bill Self all attended some of the Cleveland star’s games with Ohio Basketball Club. Bragg was particularly impressive with his effort on the defensive end, blocking shot after shot in transition. On the offensive end, Bragg was able to score around the rim and from deep, as he continues to try and show the basketball community that he has the makings of a wing skill-set.
  • Seth Towns – ’16 Columbus Northland SF/PF: Towns was one of the most impressive prospects at the event, regardless of class, as the 6’7 forward from the VCC Ohio Warriors was able to consistently score twenty-plus points. Towns shot the ball well from the perimeter, but also showed the ability to put it on the deck and create a tough shot, where is skilled at making shots over smaller opponents. As he gets more confidence and continues to add strength, Towns is one of the more intriguing prospects in Ohio’s loaded 2016 class, as his skill-set makes him the ideal stretch forward at the high-major level. After one of his games, Towns told TDP that Iowa, UCLA and Michigan are the three schools recruiting him the hardest right now. Of those three schools, all but UCLA have already offered Towns a scholarship.
  • Jason Carter – ’16 Johnstown SF/PF: One of Ohio’s most talented prospects who no one talks about, Carter is going to be a 2016 kid who absolutely blows up once he continues to get the right exposure. The 6’7 combo forward is a very capable shooter from deep, but is even better at using his athleticism to attack off the dribble or make plays in transition. A skilled player who is willing to get physical in the post, expect for mid-majors to make Carter one of their top priorities in the 2016 class as soon as they get a couple of viewings of this rising Central Ohio star.
  • Jarron Cumberland – ’16 Wilmington SG: After accumulating his first high-major offer last week, Cumberland’s confidence might have just been at an all-time high when he rejoined his Ohio Basketball Club 16u team for the All-In Classic. The rising junior from Wilmington shot the lights out from the perimeter all weekend long, as he was arguably the most deadly scorer in the entire event. Cumberland’s strength alone intimidates opponents, but it is his aggressive scoring mindset that makes him so tough for defenses to contain one-on-one. As more and more high majors realize that this 2016 wing has plenty of athleticism to play at the highest level, look for Cumberland’s recruitment to continue to ascend. 

Other Top Prospects: Devon Andrews (’15 Cleveland Lorain), Reece Dupler (’15 Lakewood), Anthony Carmon (’15 Cleveland East Tech), Lamont West (’15 Cincinnati Withrow), Thomas Bolte (’15 Chillicothe), Andrew Emerick (’16 Lakota East), Ashon Riggins (’16 Hamilton), Matt Moyer (’16 Gahanna Lincoln), Malik Harrison (’16 Columbus Walnut Ridge), Darrius Harper (’16 Dayton Springfield), Armond Perry (’16 Cleveland Bedford), Lamont Rhodes (’16 Cleveland PF), Bryce Butler (’16 Cincinnati Finneytown)

Notebook: Offers Going Out

17 Jul
Matt Moyer

Matt Moyer

With the talent in Ohio’s 2015 and 2016 classes coming under a national spotlight for both quantity and quality of prospects, college coaches flocked to gyms all over the country to check on young players from the Buckeye State in the first July evaluation period. Shortly after that period ended last Sunday evening, coaches then took to the phone lines, offering scholarships to some of the top available kids. Here’s a quick rundown of who offered who in the days between evaluation period. Admittedly, this isn’t a list of every Division I scholarship offer handed down to an Ohio kid, but please enjoy nonetheless…

  • Jaevin Cumberland – ’15 Wilmington PG: After a huge weekend on the circuit, Cumberland earned an offer from Kent State. This offer from the Golden Flashes, makes a third school involved with Cumberland at the Division I level, as Army and Kennesaw State also are on the list.
  • Winthrop offered two Ohio rising seniors in MaCio Teague (Cincinnati Walnut Hills) and Khalil Iverson (Delaware Hayes). Teague is one of TDP’s top ranked wing guards in the class, while Iverson is an athletic combo forward.
  • Jalen Avery – ’15 Cincinnati Shroder PG: Avery added another MAC offer to his list, this time from Kent State. Another point guard the Golden Flashes have shown interest in, Avery also has an offer from Miami (OH), as well as strong interest from Wright State.
  • Elijah Pughsley – ’15 Lima Senior PG: The Queen City Prophets sharpshooter had some big games in Indianapolis, and earned his first Division I offer from Tennessee State on Monday.
  • Noah Bramlage – ’15 Ottawa Glandorf PF: Playing for All-Ohio Red minus Esa Ahmad, Bramlage stepped up into a primary scoring role, and was impressive enough that Ohio University became the latest school to offer Bramlage, who holds near twenty scholarship offers.
  • Esa Ahmad – ’15 Cleveland Shaker Heights PF: While playing at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas, Ahmad earned praise from many scouts for his scrappy play. Providence must’ve been one of the schools who was impressed by Ahmad’s play, as they offered a scholarship on Sunday night.
  • Mark Hughes – ’15 Youngstown Ursline PG: Hughes earned his second Division I offer, this time from Wright State, after helping lead DB Hoops to a deep run at the Adidas Invitational. Wright State joins conference foe Youngstown State as D1’s who have offered Hughes.
  • Doug Taylor – ’15 Columbus Northland PF/C: Taylor earned his third offer from a MAC school on Monday, this time from Bowling Green. The big man from Columbus is seeing his stock skyrocket, as he now holds offers from Miami (OH), Ohio University and BGSU.
  • Jarron Cumberland – ’16 Wilmington SG: Jaevin Cumberland’s younger cousin also secured a big offer on Monday when the Purdue Boilermakers called and extended a scholarship. This offer comes after Cumberland was named to the all-star team at the Adidas Unrivaled camp in Chicago.
  • Matt Moyer – ’16 Gahanna Lincoln PF: No Ohio prospect had his phone ring more than Moyer these last couple days. The Columbus area rising junior received new offers from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Kansas State and Penn State; giving him five new high-major offers to add to his ever growing sheet.
  • Seth Towns – ’16 Columbus Northland SF/PF: Towns earned yet another Big Ten offer after some strong play at the Reebok Breakout Camp in Philadelphia. This time it was the Iowa Hawkeyes who called to offer, giving Towns another offer from one of the league’s better programs.
  • VJ King – ’16 Fairfax Paul VI (VA) SG: The former Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s prospect announced that he will be transferring to the famed Paul VI in Virginia for his next two season, as Ohio is losing yet another elite 2016 prospect to out of state transfer. Also in King news, the talented small forward added an offer from UCLA to his impressive list of offers.
  • Nick Ward – ’16 Gahanna Lincoln PF/C: Like his high school teammate, Moyer, Ward also got some good news this week. In-state program Dayton offered the powerful post prospect, who has seen his stock skyrocket in the last few months. Ward now has multiple Division I offers both at the mid- and high-major levels.
  • Willie Jackson – ’16 Cleveland Garfield Heights SF: After a busy spring and summer playing with both All-Ohio Red and multiple age groups for King James, Jackson continues to attract the interest of some of the nation’s best. The rising junior from Cleveland received a scholarship offer from Iowa State on Wednesday; the most impressive offer to date for the athletic forward. 
  • Other 2016 prospects to receive mid-major offers in the last few days include Yavari Hall (Cleveland Warrensville Heights), Luke Vargo (Dublin Coffman), Micah Potter (Mentor) and Frankie Hughes (Cleveland Garfield Heights)

Adidas Invitational Recap

13 Jul
Micah Potter

Micah Potter

The NCAA’s live summer evaluation period began this past week, with the first of three sessions running from Wednesday evening through Sunday evening all around the country. One of the tournaments that attracted some of the Midwest’s top talent was the Adidas Invitational, an annual event hosted by the Indiana Elite AAU program in Indianapolis. Hundreds of college coaches made their way to North Central HS and other sites, as teams from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and other states battled it out for tournament wins, and scholarship offers. Triple Double Prospects was on hand from start to finish over the course of the five days, and we saw plenty of great performances from Ohio and Kentucky prospects. Here’s a look at some of the players who stood out….

  • Ray Spalding – ’15 Louisville Trinity PF: Spalding, a 6’9 power forward out of Louisville, was not only the top Ohio or Kentucky prospect who played in the Adidas Invitational, he might’ve been the top overall prospect at the event. The athletic and promising forward was sensational during stretches of play, leading his scrappy team, The Ville, to a semifinal appearance before falling to Indiana Elite. Spalding was once considered to be more about promise than production, but the Kentucky product showed that he might be the best of both worlds with his scoring, passing and versatility over the last five days. Also armed with great length and a non-stop motor, Spalding is a consensus top-100 prospect who is seeing his stock rise by the minute. Coaches from Indiana, Xavier and Louisville tracked him the closest over the weekend, with the head coach of each school watching The Ville multiple times.
  • Jaevin Cumberland – ’15 Wilmington PG: He’s not really a point guard, not really a shooting guard. But, Jaevin Cumberland does do two things. He makes shots, and he wins games. The Wilmington guard, who plays with the King James Runnin’ Rebels, was the most impressive 2015 prospect out of the Buckeye State throughout the tournament, racking up multiple games of twenty-plus points. A deadly long-range shooter who also has the strength to finish drives around the rim through contact, Cumberland was able to get his points from all three levels in the half-court, while showing a level of confidence that you don’t often see from young guards. He’s not the quickest guy, but Cumberland’s strength, shooting ability, toughness and basketball IQ make him a prospect who it is really looking like will end up getting multiple Division I scholarship offers by the end of the month.
  • DeMajeo Wiggins – ’15 Toledo Springfield C: We’ve mostly looked at Wiggins as a kid who will be good down the line, but is still very raw. That sure changed this past week, as the 6’8 post out of the Toledo area showed a whole new mentality in his games with Ohio Basketball Club. Wiggins rebounded at a high level, caught and finished around the rim and looked more fluid than he ever has running the floor, taking over inside for OBC while they were without star power forward Carlton Bragg. This level of play explained why some in-state mid-majors have offered Wiggins a scholarship, as he might be one of the top sleeper big men in the Buckeye State. Add in the fact that there is a strong chance that Wiggins, who is very young for his grade, ends up reclassifying to the class of 2016, and this kid is going to have a chance to be a very good player.
  • Lamont West – ’15 Cincinnati Withrow PF: West is a prospect known to have days where he struggles and days where he is great. Over the entire past week, he’s been great. The long and athletic 6’7 forward from the Queen City Prophets was highly impressive in Indianapolis, showing the ability to score in different ways, while also influencing the game with his physical tools. West still has to continue to hone his ball-skills, but he has the high ceiling and natural ability that college coaches love; part of the reason why so many Division I coaches tracked his every move throughout the week. Another potential prep school candidate, West is quietly becoming a Southwest Ohio prospect that a lot of coaches want to keep getting more looks at.
  • Yavari Hall – ’16 Warrensville Heights SG: With OBC 16u being without leading scorer Jarron Cumberland, who like Carlton Bragg was at Adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago, someone had to step up offensively for the team to win. That player, for OBC, was Hall. The athletic 6’3 wing showed off his vast potential to college coaches all week long; making long-range shots, finishing above the rim in transition and making plays off the bounce. Hall still has some deficiencies in his half-court game, but he’s one of Ohio’s most talented 2016 kids, and is starting to learn how to really play hard every game. Now with offers from Northern Kentucky, Miami (OH), Eastern Carolina and Kent State, coaches are really starting to understand what this kid is capable of.
  • Carlik Jones – ’16 Cincinnati Aiken PG: As vital as Hall was to OBC this past weekend, it was the play of their point guard, 6’0 Cincinnati lead guard Carlik Jones, that propelled the team to the finals, and especially in their semifinal win against Team Work. Jones was sensational for OBC in bracket play, using his changes of pace to get in the lane whenever he wanted off the pick and roll, and consistently making the right play to finish, whether that was a shot or an assist. Also a very capable on-ball defender, Jones bothered opposing guards in the full-court, and using his leadership skills he pushed his team forward against some very good competition not only from Team Work, but also from the Iowa Barnstormers. While Jones does not have an offer quite yet, expect several to potentially pop up in the next month for one of Ohio’s top rising-junior point guards.
  • Micah Potter – ’16 Mentor PF/C: Listing Potter last is somewhat like saving the best for last. That’s how good the class of 2016 big man out of the Cleveland area was over the last week. A powerfully built 6’9 post, with deceptive athleticism, Potter has transformed his game into a physical style of offensive play. Also a skilled guy capable of finishing around the rim, making the extra pass or knocking down the mid-range shot, Potter impressed in many different was for Team Work, leading his squad to a semifinal appearance along the way. Potter has an offer from Davidson already, as well as interest from Xavier, Purdue, West Virginia, Toledo, Akron, Miami (OH) and several others.

Other Standout Players: John Miller (’15 New Albany/KJ Running Rebels), Jalen Avery (’15 Cincinnati Shroder/Ohio Cougars), Cameron Reed (’15 Louisville Eastern/The Ville), Jax Levitch (’15 Louisville Trinity/The Ville), Alan Vest (’15 Dayton Chaminade Julienne/Shining Stars), Alex White (’15 Lakota East/Team Work), Jahmere Howze (’15 Warrensville Heights/TNBA), Dante McCoy (’15 Dayton Ponitz/Team One), David Dunnigan (’15 Padua/DB Hoops), Dylan Lowry (’15 Lakota East/Cincinnati Lakers), D’Angelo Hunter (’15 Pleasure Ridge Park/Louisville Magic), Evan Hall (Knott County Central/The Ville), Devon Andrews (’15 Lorain/OBC), Malik Miller (Farrell PA/OBC), Evan Clayborne (’16 Dayton Dunbar/OBC), Mason Baich (’16 Dublin Jerome/Team Work), Jon Teske (’16 Medina/Team Work), BJ Duling (’17 New Albany/OBC), Tommy Schmock (’17 Cleveland St. Edward/OBC), Derek Koch (’17 Salem Northwestern/Team Work), Griffin Lutz (’17 Athens/Team Work)

OBBL Finals Recap

6 Jul
Carlik Jones

Carlik Jones

Ohio’s Best Basketball League was a success in year one, and then built on that success in year two with an even larger pool of teams, and talent. That second season came to an end on Sunday afternoon, when the third session of 2014 came to a close at Thomas Worthington High School in suburban Columbus. Three champions were crowned, with Ohio Basketball Club again sweeping all the divisions.

During the games that we watched, Triple Double Prospects focused on the 17u and 16u action at the OBBL. In the 17u (rising seniors) division, OBC defeated a resilient Ohio Varsity team, while it was Cincinnati based Team One who finished as runners-up to OBC in the 16u age bracket.

Here’s a look at the top performers who TDP evaluated at the OBBL Grand Finale…..

  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 Cleveland VASJ PF: The OBC product had all the pressure fall on his shoulders to make sure that his club was not upset in the OBBL finals, and Bragg made sure to deliver. The 6’9 forward scored 32 points in the title game, after dominating the league for two straight seasons. Sure, it’s what should be expected from Bragg, but nevertheless the Cleveland product stepped up on the biggest state, giving himself some additional momentum heading into the Adidas Unrivaled camp in Chicago next week.
  • Devon Andrews – ’15 Cleveland Lorain SF: You could easily make an argument that besides Bragg, Andrews is the next most talented prospect in the entire OBBL. The 6’6 small forward looked the part in a game TDP viewed on Saturday. Andrews is head and shoulders superior to his competition from an athletic standpoint, and also has the skill-set to do some different things that you don’t usually see out of guys his size. Already committed to Kent State, Andrews has absolute super-star potential in the MAC, if he can consistently play with the focus that he displayed over the weekend.
  • Corey Saddler – ’15 Clinton-Massie SF: One of the surprise players of the spring, Saddler started off his summer in style, leading his Ohio Varsity team to an appearance in the finals. The 6’5 wing is a very good three-point shooter who is constantly becoming more confident as he gains AAU experience. However, it is the athleticism of Saddler that makes him such an intriguing prospect. Playing next to two of the state’s top ranked guys in Delaware Hayes forward Khalil Iverson and Pickerington Central wing Rodney Culver, expect for this year’s Ohio Varsity team to attract flocks of college coaches to their games this month.
  • Tyrell Edminson – ’15 Plymouth PF: Just like that last time we saw Edminson at Thomas Worthington HS, at the Hidden Gems Spring Showcase, the undersized but overly athletic forward looked like a beast on the court. Edminson is pound for pound as strong of a prospect as there is in the state, and the basketball player who moonlights as a football star was dominant around the rim on Saturday as a rebounder, finisher and scorer. He’s still undecided as to which sport he’ll be pursuing at the college level, but rest assured, this kid can really play.
  • RJ Jones – ’15 Huntington Prep (WV) PG: The Cleveland native returned to his home-state in style, after spending the past semester at one of the nation’s elite prep programs. Jones scored at will in a game that TDP checked out against Hidden Gems, as the athletic point guard blew by defenders to score acrobatically at the rim. Also with the quickness to be really good on the defensive end, Jones will be highly recruited, especially by high-academic D1 programs, during July.
  • Carlik Jones – ’16 Cincinnati Aiken PG: When it comes to the 2016 point guard rankings, no one is on the rise more right now than OBC’s floor general, Carlik Jones. The Cincinnati Aiken product had a good winter, a great spring and is now setting himself up for an even better July after leading his team to the 16u OBBL title. Jones isn’t the most physically imposing guard, but he is a good decision maker who makes his teammates better, is a strong competitor and also is able to mix scoring with passing depending on the situation. With D1 colleges just starting to take notice, Jones could be on of the 2016 prospects in Ohio who really sees his recruitment take off in July.
  • The OBC 16u team is really good, and other than Jones, who starred over the weekend, it would be tough to signal out just one other guy as leading the charge. Wings Jarron Cumberland (Wilmington), Yavari Hall (Warrensville Heights) and Malik Miller (Farrell/PA) all shined offensively, especially in transition where they could finish above the rim, while new addition Markell Johnson, a 2017 prospect out of Cleveland East Tech, also stepped up on the perimeter, playing some of each guard position. On the interior, OBC boasts a quartet of powerful athletes in Darrius Harper (Dayton Springfield), Kameron Moore (Cincinnati Aiken), Evan Clayborne (Dayton Dunbar) and Justin Slyver (Cleveland Brush), all four of whom performed well over the weekend.
  • Trey McBride – ’16 Cincinnati Moeller PG: An athletic defender who can really disrupt opposing point guards in full court man-to-man situations, McBride was very impressive on both ends over the weekend. The Roger Bacon transfer likes to play fast, and is capable of finishing above the rim for a dunk, with a smooth layup around a defender, or making the pass for an assist. McBride will need to continue to improve as a shooter, but the Team One 16u guard led his team to a finals appearance, and is making a name for himself as one of the best guards in all of Southwest Ohio.
  • Trey Smith – ’16 Delphos Jefferson SF: An elite shooter with a good basketball frame, Smith just has the look of a college basketball player at 6’4. When his feet are set, Smith can knock in long-range shots effortlessly, and gets good elevation to get his shot up over bigger opponents. He looks better scoring off the dribble, especially in transition, than when we’ve seen him in the past; and after his great high school season, there’s no doubt he’s one of Ohio’s most consistently prolific scorers.

News and Notes

  • The University of Dayton picked up a second local commitment for the 2015 class this past week, as they received a verbal commitment from St. Henry wing forward Ryan Mikesell. One of Ohio’s most skilled and versatile prospects, Mikesell excelled recently at UD’s team camp, after having a very strong spring on the AAU circuit with All-Ohio Black. The 6’6 small forward joins AAU teammate Xeyrius Williams of Huber Heights Wayne as Flyer commits in the 2015 class. Mikesell chose Dayton over multiple MAC offers, committing to coach Archie Miller just a week after receiving a scholarship offer.
  • One of the hottest names on the circuit right now among 2015 post players is Toledo Springfield center DeMajeo Wiggins. The 6’8 post has recently received offers from Illinois State and Bowling Green, to go along with an existing offer from Bethune-Cookman. Finally, Wiggins also has received strong interest from Cleveland State, after recently taking an unofficial visit to their campus. A somewhat raw prospect with ideal size for the low post at the mid-major level, Wiggins will be heavily tracked this July by D1 college coaches while he plays with his OBC 17u team.

Updated Prospect Rankings

1 Jul

Heading into the July AAU period, we’ve received several requests to update our online prospect rankings. So, responding to these requests, Triple Double Prospects has re-created player rankings for Ohio prospects from the classes of 2015 (rising seniors), 2016 (rising juniors) and 2017 (rising sophomores).

Take a look at the new rankings at the links below, or with the tab at the top of the page……

CLASS OF 2015

CLASS OF 2016

CLASS OF 2017

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