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.
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.