The competition was as intense as always this year at the All-Ohio City Series, a weekend long event pitting teams from each of the four high school grade levels from Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo against each other, as teams from across the Buckeye State descended on Reynoldsburg HS for the action. Triple Double Prospects was on hand for the entire weekend, as we were able to identify some really impressive young prospects while also getting news evaluations on known stars. Here are some of the players who stood out in games that we watched….
Chandler Fointrio – ’17 Huber Heights Wayne SG: Last year’s HHW team might have been filled with veterans, forcing talented players like Fointrio onto the junior varsity team. This year, however, we expect Fointrio to shine, as the speedy combo guard showed the ability to score in bunches on the drive. Fointrio played well in transition, attacked defenders with aggression and showed a competitive spirit on both ends of the floor; leading us to believe that he’s going to be one of the next guards to star at Wayne.
Jerome Hunter – ’18 Pickerington North SF/PF: Despite his immense talent, Hunter might actually be underrated statewide, as the 6’6 forward will be playing his first year of high school basketball this season. Hunter is an athletic and versatile forward with a polished skill-set and the ability to score from multiple levels, but it is his new found aggression and competitive edge that has TDP excited. Hunter was more aggressive with his dribble then we’ve seen from him before, as he attacked defenders and drew fouls at will, while also scoring from mid-range with his jumper. With his length and athleticism, Hunter has the ability to be the best player in Ohio’s 2018 class before all is said and done, and his sophomore season will go a long ways toward seeing if he realizes that potential.
Darius Bazley – ’18 Finneytown SF: If Hunter is the most talented forward in the 2018 class in Ohio then Bazley is a close second. A lanky 6’7 forward with pure guard skills and the athleticism to finish above the rim, Bazley was electric on Saturday as a versatile scorer with deep range and a smooth all-around offensive game. Playing at the Division III level in high school ball, Bazley floated under the radar some last year, but he’ll be among the top players in Ohio this season as a sophomore, as he continues to show all of the physical tools, skills and confidence to be one of the state’s premier forwards.
Caleb McConnell – ’18 Dayton Dunbar PG/SG: We first saw McConnell as an 8th grader as a talented and lanky guard with a smooth handle that can attack the basket. However, McConnell was both too skinny and too inexperienced to make a huge impact on the varsity last year. This year should be different though, as McConnell showed a newfound level of confidence as a scoring guard who can make plays for himself and teammates with the bounce. McConnell was particularly dynamic against the Cincinnati sophomore team, as he used his length and agility on the wing to setup jumpers, get by defenders with the dribble and create steals in transition; all essential skills for the Dunbar system.
Dale Bonner – ’18 Shaker Heights PG/SG: Bonner might not get the most hype out of the 2018 Cleveland prospects, but he’s certainly one of the most intriguing ones; as the long and athletic 6’1 guard has grown and looks to be improving his skill-set as a scoring guard with some upside. Bonner will take the helm at Shaker Heights this year as the next in a long line of talented guards, as it will be his job to create offense with his dribble game and ability to get into the lane. Also a versatile defender with the ability to shoot the ball, look for Bonner to be a breakout star in 2018 in the Cleveland area.
Devon Fouche – ’18 Euclid SF/PF: We were impressed with the upside and versatility of Fouche in our first ever viewing of him, as the 6’6 forward showed a skill-set that with some refinement should be effective both inside and outside. Additionally, Fouche has a strong build and good mobility for his size, making him a promising forward prospect to monitor as he gains more experience.
Abba Lawal – ’19 Cincinnati Walnut Hills PF/C: Lawal, a Nigerian import, clearly has the most height in Ohio’s freshman class at 6’11, but he also shows a lot of upside as a basketball player; as Lawal has good hands, can run the floor and shows instincts on both ends of the court. Most of his production right now is off of blocked shots, rebounds and dunks, but as he adds weight and gains experience look for Lawal to be a star in the 2019 class.
Taylor Currie – ’19 Worthington Christian PF/C: An experienced circuit product from the All-Ohio Red 2019 team, Currie is an athletic 6’7 post with a nice skill-set and excellent upside as a consensus top-ten talent in the class statewide. A likely immediate impact player at Worthington Christian, Currie has the agility to run the floor but also plays well on the interior as a traditional big man, all the while as he shows the ability to score from twelve-feet and in with touch and athleticism. As he gets stronger and teams begin to feature him more offensively, Currie could become one of the top talents in all of the state.
Samari Curtis – ’19 Xenia SG: While casual basketball fans might not be too familiar with Xenia as a program, they will be soon, as the Dayton suburb has an excellent prospect in Curtis, a 6’2 scoring guard. Curtis is both athletic and polished as a scorer, as he showed the ability to hit jumpers but was far better at attacking the rim at full speed to draw contact and score athletically. Already well built for his age, look for Curtis to be a top prospect in the Dayton area in his class along with Trotwood-Madison’s Amari Davis and Sidney’s Andre Gordon.
Best of the Rest: Craig McGee (’17 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Harrison Riggs (’17 Toledo St. John’s), Christian Montague (’17 Dayton Chaminade Julienne), Khiry Shelton (’17 Pickerington North), Jaden Sayles (’17 Sycamore), Jay Joseph (’17 Worthington Christian), Tyler Golphin (’17 Cleveland Central Catholic), BJ Duling (’17 Newark), Reece Strohm (’17 Reynoldsburg), Dondre Palmer (’18 Pickerington North), Isaiah Payton (’18 Cincinnati Moeller), DiShon Daniels (’18 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Robby Carmody (’18 Mars Area/PA), Deshon Parker (’18 Huber Heights Wayne), Emari Baddour (’18 Euclid), Ross Ryan (’18 Centerburg), Dwayne Cohill (’18 Cleveland Holy Name), Alec Pfriem (’19 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Morgan Safford (’19 Columbus Bishop Hartley), Kemondre Muhammad (’19 Warren Harding), Brandon Rush (’19 Warrensville Heights), Jeremiah Keene (’19 Westerville North), Taevon Louis (’19 Lorain), Amari Davis (’19 Trotwood-Madison)