John Lucas Camp Recap

4 Oct
Darius Bazley

Darius Bazley

With the location, date and management all changing (two of the three happening last minute), this year’s John Lucas Midwest Invitational faced some early challenges. However, as they have in the past, the folks at John Lucas Enterprises rebounded nicely, putting together another quality camp in Louisville, Kentucky, filled with over fifty future NCAA D1 players. Around fifteen Ohio natives took the floor at JLC, with several of them more than holding their own against elite competition. Here’s a rundown of Saturday’s action in Louisville, plus some recent recruiting news….

Darius Bazley – ’18 Cincinnati Finneytown SF: Bazley might have been the most impressive out of any of the Ohio players in the drill sessions of camp, as his skill level for his size at a slender 6’7 wing forward is very intriguing for a sophomore. Already being recruited at the mid and high-major level, Bazley furthered his exposure on Saturday by playing well in the games also, showing the ability to make lefty jumpers, finish athletically and both handle and pass the ball from the wing as a slasher or transition playmaker. One of the top prospects in Ohio’s 2018 class, expect to hear more and more about Bazley.

Vincent Williams – ’18 Toledo St. John’s SF/PF: Williams isn’t always going to be the tallest or most athletic player around, but we guarantee you that he’s always going to be one of the toughest and most detail-oriented guys. A 6’5 combo forward with a strong build and polished skill-set, Williams is a versatile combo forward who built upon a strong July on the AAU circuit by re-establishing himself with a solid showing at camp. Expect big things from Williams as a sophomore at St. John’s, as his abilities to rebound, defend, use his strength and make open shots make him a versatile threat.

Dwayne Cohill – ’18 Cleveland Holy Name SG: Already ranked as the best, or one of the best, in Ohio’s 2018 class, Cohill was one of two Ohio prospects at the camp who already holds high-major offers. As a long and athletic guard, Cohill has spent the fall working on making jumpers more consistently, adding weight to his frame and trying to add versatility by playing some point guard. The results at JLC were strong, as Cohill made open shots, but he was more impressive as a distributor in transition. We know Cohill can score at the rim off of the dribble, but if he can continue to add other parts to his game then there’s very little doubt that he’ll stay at the top of the ranking among 2018 guards in Ohio.

Malek Green – ’17 Cincinnati Taft SF: If you follow us on Twitter then there’s no secret that we think Green is Ohio’s most underrated prospect in 2017; and in our mind he furthered our point on Saturday with some strong play. Green used his 6’6 frame and combination of agility and athleticism to make plays on both ends, consistently playing with more effort than his counterparts. While Green’s jumper can be a bit streaky, the versatile forward excels in many other areas, particularly the ability to play with effort either inside or outside on both ends of the floor. Cincinnati Taft is loaded in 2015-2016, but expect the team to only go as far as Green carries them with not just his scoring but his versatility.

Jarius Ward – ’17 Lima Senior PG: A solid, tough guard who can play on or off the ball, Ward was effective on Saturday thanks to his effort and willingness to commit to defense. As he did on the circuit in July, Ward is happy playing a complimentary role next to other talented guards; however, his time will eventually come at Lima Senior after the departure next year of Michigan commit Xavier Simpson. Already holding an NCAA D1 offer, expect Ward to be a huge piece on a Lima Senior team that is capable of cutting down the news in March.

EJ Williams – ’18 Middletown C: With football season underway there’s no arguing that it is difficult for a player like Williams to have football all week and then try and compete at an invite only basketball camp; however, the 6’10 sophomore looked good in Louisville despite those circumstances. The gridiron seems to have helped Williams’ conditioning in a major way, as he seemed quicker, more toned and more flexible in drill work. Camp games certainly don’t benefit big men, but Williams was able to rebound and finish effectively, while going against great competition (including 2017 five-star post Jeremiah Tilmon, a 6’11 freak out of East Saint Louis, Illinois).

Darius Quisenberry – ’18 Tecumseh PG: We didn’t’ catch a ton of Quisenberry in actual game action, but he was impressive in drill work that we saw, showing off his polished jumper, handle and playing with toughness. One of our favorite guards in Ohio in 2018 because of his mindset and competitive demeanor, Quisenberry is quickly becoming a well-known name among college coaches.

Maurice Calloo – ’18 Geneva Spire Academy PF: We’re not sure if we’re going to include Spire Academy kids in our rankings in the future, as the Cleveland area school is loading up on foreign talent to play a non-OHSAA, national schedule; however, Calloo’s play warrants mention nonetheless. A sophomore Canadian import already highly regarded by national scouting services, Calloo is a versatile 6’7 combo forward who is currently more of a power forward trying to become a small forward. With all of the physical tools to be a great prospect, we’ll be eager to follow Calloo on a loaded Spire Academy team.

Jordan Mitchell – ’19 Gahanna Lincoln SF/PF: One of the few freshmen at the camp, and the only one heralding from Ohio, Mitchell more than held his own at JLC. Already standing around 6’6, Mitchell is a versatile combo forward with a mature feel for the game, a polished skill-set and the confidence to attack older competition. Playing alongside Michigan State commit Nick Ward and a few other talented players, look for Mitchell to make an immediate impact at Gahanna Lincoln this season.

Commitment Watch

Rodrick Caldwell – ’16 Huber Heights Wayne PG: Caldwell, our #2 ranked point guard in the state in the 2016 class, made a verbal commitment to Bowling Green last week. Choosing the Falcons over some other regional mid-major offers, Caldwell is a solid pickup for new BGSU coach Michael Huger.

Two More Commitments

25 Sep
Darrius Harper

Darrius Harper

It’s only been about twenty-four hours since our last recruiting update went live here at Triple Double Prospects; but as all readers know, the recruiting landscape can change that quickly. In that short time period, we’ve seen two more Ohio seniors make verbal commitments to NCAA D1 schools, while new information has also come to light about some other prospects. Here’s some more scoop to follow up on yesterday’s report….

Darius Harper – ’16 Springfield C: Harper, a massive post from the Dayton area, committed to Miami (OH) on Friday morning, ending speculation as to which sport he would be pursuing at the college level. While many thought that Harper would choose the football route based on his 6’8, 275 pound frame, the Springfield senior’s heart lied on the basketball court. Harper chose the Redhawks over several other mid-major offers on the hardwood and even some BCS level offers on the gridiron. In Harper, Miami (OH) head coach John Cooper is getting a physical paint clogger who has good hands and feet for his size, with the potential to be a pure back to the basket scorer. Conditioning and toning of his huge frame will be key for Harper as he makes the transition from Springfield to Oxford; but expect Harper to get plenty of running in this winter, as Springfield will be among the preseason favorites in the Southwest Region in Ohio.

Malik Smith – ’16 Cleveland Heights PF: Seemingly right after we published yesterday’s report, Smith committed to an NCAA D1 school on Thursday afternoon when he pulled the trigger in favor of UNC Asheville. An energetic, strong and athletic 6’6 forward, Smith will earn his scholarship money in the paint as a rebounder and defender as the coaching staff at UNC Asheville will try and develop Smith’s offensive repertoire. Smith burst onto the recruiting scene this July playing with TNBA, as a particularly strong performance at the Adidas All-In Classic really boosted his stock. Choosing UNC Asheville over a multitude of high NCAA D2 offers, as well as NCAA D1 offers from Air Force and Bryant, Smith certainly had plenty of options before settling on heading down to North Carolina.


Maishe Dailey – ’16 Cleveland Beachwood SF: Per his high school coach, Dailey, a super talented and late blooming 6’6 wing, will take a year of prep school after high school in hopes of finding a home in high-major college basketball. Dailey, who has over twenty NCAA D1 offers, is capable of qualifying academically for next season, but has chosen to become a 2017 prospect to give himself more time to develop his game and add weight.

Andre Wesson – ’16 Westerville South SF: Wesson took an official visit to George Mason this past weekend, as his recruitment still appears to be wide open.

James Manns – ’16 Columbus Walnut Ridge SF/PF: Added another NCAA D1 offer, this one from High Point. Last week Manns took an official visit to Bowling Green.

Evan Kuhlman – ’17 Lakota East PF: An emerging 6’7 combo forward with a lot of skill and developing confidence, Kuhlman added his third NCAA D2 offer of the fall, this one from Fairmont State (WV), on Friday morning. Fairmont State joins Christian Brothers (TN) and Hillsdale (MI) on Kuhlman’s offer list.

Marreon Jackson – ’17 Garfield Heights PG: Jackson’s name has been mentioned a lot this fall, as the 5’8 point guard will be visiting both Cornell and Kent state in the coming days, while he also added an offer from Buffalo.

Dylan Swingle – ’18 Paint Valley C: Swingle, a 6’10 center with a huge frame, has received visits from Dayton, Xavier, West Virginia and Ohio State this fall, per high school coaches.

Tracking The Ohio Commitments

24 Sep

The class of 2016 in Ohio made their latest mark on the recruiting landscape yesterday, as another one of the state’s top prospects committed to a high-major school. In one of the most talented and deep classes in recent memory, Ohio senior class now has twenty-four players who have already committed to NCAA D1 schools (with several others committed to NCAA D2’s) and it’s only late September! Here’s a rundown of the latest 2016 commitments, as well as a rare underclassmen commitment from around the Buckeye State….

Willie Jackson – ’16 Garfield Heights SF/PF: Jackson became the latest high-major recruit out of Ohio, choosing the Missouri Tigers at a press conference at his Garfield Heights High School in suburban Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon. Jackson selected Missouri just days after visiting their Columbia, MO, campus for his official visit, as the Tigers narrowly beat out schools like Boston College, Temple and Akron. In Jackson, Mizzou head coach Kim Anderson is getting a hyper-athletic combo forward with strength and energy who should really help the Tigers on the glass in SEC play. Jackson becomes the latest in a long line of Garfield Heights players to sign at the highest level, and Bulldogs coach Sonny Johnson probably still has one more on his hands this year, as wing guard Frankie Hughes is expected to commit to a high or mid-major NCAA D1 school later this fall.

Ennis Thomas – ’16 Westerville South SG: Thomas committed to NCAA D2 school Lake Erie College out of the Cleveland area earlier this week, the first of what would turn out to be two in-state commitments this week for LEC. Thomas is an athletic wing guard who was a huge piece in Westerville South’s run to the State Finals last year and also a reason while his team is picked to be among the favorites to capture that title this season.

Gabe Kennard – ’16 Toledo St. John’s PG: One of the top 2016’s in the Toledo area, Kennard, a powerfully built point guard who can also score, became Lake Erie College’s second in-state commitment this week, as he pledged to play for LEC on Tuesday. Combining with Thomas and Bedford power forward Lamont Rhodes, Kennard represents part of a three man class for the in-state school who not only secured three solid Ohio prospects but also three prospects from different parts of the state.

Blake Furcron – ’16 Elyria SG: To be honest, we’re only familiar with Furcron in name; as he’s been mentioned by Northeastern Ohio basketball minds as a potential sleeper in the 2016 class. But unfortunately, TDP has not had a chance to evaluate the high scoring wing. However, at least one college took note of the 6’2 scorer this past week, as Furcron committed to Ohio Dominican University shortly after being offered by head coach Dan Evans. The third NCAA D2 commit of the week from the 2016 class, Furcron is a prospect we hope to watch this year as a senior at Elyria.

CJ Fleming – ’17 Cincinnati LaSalle PG: Just about a week after Cleveland St. Edward point guard Tommy Schmock verbally committed to Findlay, Cincinnati LaSalle’s Fleming became the second point guard from Ohio’s 2017 class to verbally commit to an NCAA D2 program. The 5’10 floor general, known for his toughness, vision and scoring committed to Bellarmine, a top-10 NCAA D2 program out of Louisville, KY. In Fleming, Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport is getting his point guard of the future, as Fleming fits well into Davenport’s culture that emphasizes toughness and fundamentals.

Latest Ohio Recruiting News

20 Sep

The fall evaluation period has heated up in Ohio over the last two weeks, as regional schools as well as programs from over a thousand miles away have been in the Buckeye State to check out some of the top 2016, 2017 and 2018 prospects. While we haven’t seen an Ohio senior make a verbal commitment since back on September 9th when Lima Senior’s Xavier Simpson chose Michigan, that doesn’t mean that the senior class hasn’t been busy, as top players from the class have made visits all over the country. Here’s a rundown of the latest recruiting news from around the state….

Maishe Dailey – ’16 Cleveland Beachwood SF: Dailey has been a well known name in Ohio for only a few months, but that hasn’t stopped some of college hoops’ top programs from checking him out lately. Specifically, Dailey spent the weekend at Michigan these past two days, checking out a Wolverines program that has already landed verbal commitments from three Ohioans in the 2016 class. With over twenty mid-major offers, Dailey is now trying to land a coveted high-major offer before making his decision; as one of the top sleeper wings in the Midwest with plenty of untapped talent it wouldn’t be surprising to see Dailey wait until the spring to see which new programs join his recruitment.

Derrick Daniels – ’16 Dayton Thurgood Marshall PF: Daniels’ name hasn’t had as much buzz around it as it once did, but the 6’8 athletic front-court player still earned a valuable mid-major offer on Saturday, as the Miami Redhawks offered the local product. While college coaches still want to see Daniels add strength to play effectively at the next level, Daniels combination of size and athleticism would make him a potential all-league shot-blocker in the MAC or a similar conference, should he sign to that level.

Tommy Schmock – ’17 Cleveland St. Edward PG: Schmock became Ohio’s second 2017 prospect to make a verbal commitment this past week, when the 5’11 point guard from St. Ed’s decided to make an early pledge to in-state NCAA D2 powerhouse Findlay. According to Schmock’s father, Findlay was the offer that his son coveted the most, and the tough floor general was eager to jump on it when Oilers head coach Charlie Ernst extended the scholarship offer to Schmock this past week.

Several college programs have been making rounds in Northeast Ohio in the 2017 class this past week, as schools like Florida, Butler, Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, Xavier, Clemson and others were seen watching the area’s top players, including Cleveland East Tech guard Markell Johnson, Massillon Jackson forward Kyle Young, Akron Ellet forward AJ Gareri and Warren Harding power forward Derek Culver. Florida made the biggest headlines of all the visiting schools, as the new Gators staff extended scholarship offers to both Johnson and Culver, making a statement that the SEC school is interested in recruiting in Ohio.

For up to the minute updates on visits, offers and to see which programs are evaluating which prospects, follow Triple Double Prospects on Twitter at @Corey_Albertson.

Simpson Pulls Shocker, Commits to Michigan

9 Sep

Xavier Simpson 8Two days ago, ’16 Lima Senior PG Xavier Simpson announced that he would be making a verbal commitment to one of his four finalists – Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa State or Miami (FL) – on Wednesday at a press conference at his school.

Heading into Wednesday morning everything seemed status quo with the Simpson recruitment. Some were speculating that he would end up at Illinois, others that the choice would be Wisconsin. With Miami (FL) never receiving an official visit from Simpson, and Iowa State having received a point guard commitment since the Lima guard’s official visit last month, those two schools seemed to be long shots. So it was Illinois or Wisconsin right? Wrong.

On Wednesday afternoon at Lima Senior High School, Ohio’s top ranked point guard from a loaded 2016 class shocked the community by committing to the University of Michigan. As the word spread more information became available, such as the fact that Simpson’s family snuck in a quiet visit to Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor on their return home from their official visit to Wisconsin last weekend, and the pieces to the puzzle seemed to fall into place more clearly.

In this writer’s opinion, Michigan’s style of play actually fits Simpson better than any of his other choices, while Ann Arbor also allows him to play his home games within two hours of his Lima home. Add in the fact that Wolverines head coach John Beilein has built a reputation for producing a consistent upper-Big Ten team and often a National Championship contender, and you’ve got the perfect storm for Simpson.

With current Michigan guards Spike Albrecht entering his senior year and Derrick Walton Jr entering his junior season, Simpson should have an opportunity to see the floor right away at Michigan, where the point guard’s floor vision, leadership and defense should allow him to become a solid Big Ten player sooner rather than later.

The addition of Simpson to Michigan’s now four-man recruiting class gives the Wolverines a dynamic foursome of talent, and coincidentally one that includes three Ohio natives. Simpson joins Pickerington Central wing Ibi Watson and Medina post Jon Teske in UM’s 2016 recruiting class, while massive Michigan born post Austin Davis rounds out a group that Beilein and his staff have to be excited about. Adding Simpson, a consensus top ten point guard nationally in the class, not only keeps Beilein’s strong Ohio ties running, but it gives him a viable option to replace Albrecht and Walton, both of whom played more than thirty-two minutes per game last season.

Simpson coming off of the board means that yet another Ohio prospect from 2016 has committed to a high-major program, as one of the best classes to come through the Buckeye State in recent years continues to earn more accolades. With the top point guard now moved into the committed category, Garfield Heights now boasts the state’s top two available senior prospects in wing Frankie Hughes and forward Willie Jackson.

Latest Ohio Recruiting News

7 Sep

A lot has happened since the last time that we posted recruiting updates on this website, as a couple of Ohio seniors have made their collegiate decisions, while several other top available players have either accumulated new scholarship offers or began to take official visits. This coming week the recruiting season heats up even more, as NCAA D1 and D2 coaches are allowed to visit prospects at their schools or homes (seniors only) to reevaluate and build relationships. Heading into what is sure to be a busy week, here is the latest news from around the Buckeye State….

Xavier Simpson – ’16 Lima Senior PG: Simpson took his third official visit this past weekend, this time heading up to Madison to visit Wisconsin. After both Simpson and his father posted rave reviews of their time with the Badgers on social media, Wisconsin appears to be in good shape to land in Simpson’s final four, which he says he will release shortly. Illinois also appears to be a lock to land in the final four, as sources say that their visit with Simpson went exceptionally well. The remaining two spots are somewhat uncertain, especially since Iowa State (who previously was considered a leader for Simpson) received commitments from other guards last week to potentially take themselves out of the running. Look for Miami (FL) to also make Simpson’s list, as he plans on visiting the Hurricanes later this month, with schools like Purdue, Iowa, Indiana and VCU among the long list of suitors hoping to land in the fourth spot.

Onno Steger – ’16 Upper Arlington SG/SF: After coming out of nowhere to showcase his talents with the Hidden Gems 17u team last summer, Steger earned an NCAA D1 offer in June and ended up committing to that school this weekend, as he became the latest Ohio prospect to verbal to Western Carolina. A smooth-shooting and physically intriguing wing, Steger only had one division one offer, but had significant division two interest and offers from the region as well. Playing alongside Ohio State commit Dane Goodwin, look for Steger to have a big senior year at Upper Arlington.

Drew Noble – ’16 Louisville PF/C: Due to playing small town basketball, and running with the lesser known Ohio Cagers on the travel circuit, Noble is somewhat of a man of mystery in Ohio. Nevertheless, college coaches saw enough of him to be intrigued, as the 6’8 post saw plenty of division one and two interest come his way after a strong July evaluation period. This past week, however, Noble decided to end his recruitment early, committing to Ashland, a strong division two program located very near Noble’s home. Noble is Ashland’s first commitment of the fall, but the coaching staff has to be thrilled to win this recruiting battle, furthering their reputation as a program that relieves heavily on in-state talent.

Other Visits/Offers

Willie Jackson – ’16 Garfield Heights SF/PF: Officially visited Akron

Frankie Hughes – ’16 Garfield Heights SG: Officially visited St. Joe’s

Kyle Young – ’17 Massillon Jackson SF: Will visit Michigan, Purdue and Butler this month

Derek Culver – ’17 Warren Harding PF: Unofficially visited West Virginia

Caden Sanchez – ’17 Columbus DeSales C: Received his first offer from Wright State

Andre Wesson – ’16 Westerville South SF: Added an offer from Duquesne

Drew Rackley – ’16 John Glenn PF: Added an offer from Virginia Military Institute

Also, don’t forget to check out Triple Double Prospects official YouTube channel, where we have been posting video highlights from our weekly open gym as well as mixtapes for top players who’ve participated.

Open Gym Week #2

25 Aug

The second session of Triple Double Prospects Elite Open Gym took place this past weekend in Cincinnati, as prospects from Southwest Ohio were joined by some of Columbus and Lima’s finest players. Here are some of the highlights from the action, as well as the latest quick-hitter recruiting notes….

Highlights Part I

Highlights Part II

Xavier Simpson – ’16 Lima Senior PG: Simpson will officially visit Illinois this coming weekend, his second official visit of the fall following a previous trip to Iowa State. With schools like Iowa, Purdue, Indiana and Miami (FL) also pining to earn an official visit from Simpson in the coming months, the Lima based guard’s recruitment continues to be arguably the most intriguing in the state of Ohio in 2016.

Derek Culver – ’17 Warren Harding PF: Ohio’s top 2017 prospect received yet another high major offer, this one coming from Virginia Tech. Culver’s other offers include Indiana, Xavier, Iowa, Marquette, Purdue, West Virginia and Cincinnati. An athletic and skilled big with great upside, Culver is a legitimate top-50 prospect nationally in the junior class.

Derek Funderburk – ’16 Cleveland St. Edward PF: Funderburk, one of Ohio’s top prospects and an Ohio State commit, has left the Buckeye State for his senior year, ending heavy speculation that he was no longer enrolled at St. Edward HS in Cleveland. For his final season, Funderburk has chosen to enroll at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, one of the nation’s most well respected prep programs. The loss of Funderburk could spell trouble for St. Ed’s, as the athletic 6’9 forward was an integral part in their back-to-back D1 State Final-Four appearances the last two years.

Malik Smith – ’16 Cleveland Heights PF: Not only did Air Force offer the senior from Cleveland Heights, but they’ve also sweetened the deal, as Air Force has become the first NCAA D1 program to offer Smith’s talented younger brother, 2018 power forward Tyreke Smith. The offer is the second NCAA D1 offer for the older Smith brother, joining Bryant University.

Eli Wright – ’16 IMG Academy (FL) SG: The former Owensboro Apollo (KY) star transferred down to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior year a few weeks ago, and now made headlines again as he ended his recruitment last week when he committed to Mississippi State. Wright will join 2015 Kentucky prospect Aric Holman with the Bulldogs when he gets to MSU, as the pipeline between Mississippi State and the western part of Kentucky is growing. Wright is the second 2015 prospect from Kentucky to commit to a high-major school, joining Taylor County guard Quentin Goodin, who is committed to Xavier. In other news, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for Owensboro Apollo, as they’ve lost Wright to IMG Academy, while star 2017 forward Trace Young announced last week that he is transferring to Huntington Prep (WV).

Mason Faulkner – ’16 Horse Cave Caverna (KY) SG: Faulkner became the first in-state prospect to commit to new Northern Kentucky University head coach John Brannen. Faulkner joins 2016 Ohio prospects Dantez Walton and Jalen Tate as Norse commitments, helping boost the NKU roster as they prepare to move into the Horizon League.


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