Top performers from the finals of Jerry Watson’s All-Ohio City Series “Battle of Ohio” in Columbus…..
Rozelle Nix – Cincinnati Withrow – The 6’10, 300-pounder’s stock has soared over the last several months and he continued to play at a higher level this weekend. The mammoth space-eater continues to be a more consistent scorer in the post with his baby hook to the middle and his drop-step to the outside. He played hard all weekend and was a game-changer with his rebounding and scoring on Saturday.
Rasheed Brooks – Lexington – The 6’4 wing was so impressive on Sunday that he took home the finals MVP trophy. He’s a little raw but he has good athleticism and a crafty and almost slightly awkward offensive game that is tough to guard. Brooks had an effective mid-range game where he found success with lots of leaning and fading jumpers. He could be a major sleeper in this class.
Jalen Robinson- Columbus Northland- The 6’8 post was able to score around the rim at will against mostly smaller opponents while also showing off continuously improving face-up and perimeter jumpshooting abilities. The Dayton commit just gets better and better as an athlete and produced some highlight reel dunks as well.
Devon Carter- Cleveland John Hay- The 6’2 SG can flat out fill up the score sheet in a hurry. Carter had his three point shot falling this weekend taking him to the next level as a scorer. Quick and very confident attacking the rim he, as always, scored over opponents in the lane with his bounce.
Desmond Ridenour- Cleveland Benedictine- The 6’2 PG showed off his open court speed as well as pure three point stroke while running the show for his team. A shifty ballhandler that knows how to create space with crossovers Ridenour looked improved since the July AAU period.
Mark Minch- Lakota East- The 6’3 SG dominated for the runners up as he overpowered defenders on his way to the rim and displayed maybe the most fundamentally sound mid range game of any prospect in attendance. Minch’s consistency is the key to his collegiate prospects and he answered that call to an extent this weekend with 6/6 solid scoring outings.
Damarion Geter – Dayton Dunbar – A 6’7 forward with good bounce, Geter was aggressive and matched the physical style of the tournament, which was good to see from the thin-framed prospect. He finished at the rim and made plays on offense and defense with his athleticism. He can alter a lot of shots when he’s playing with a high-motor as he did this weekend.
Vitto Brown- Bowling Green- The 6’8 center maintained his status as by far and away the state’s most effective defensive center in his class as he swatted away, and influenced even more, shots all weekend. Also displaying an improved offensive face up game and mobility in running the floor Brown proved that he is a mid major steal who bigger programs should monitor.
Austin Gardner- Toledo St. Johns- The 6’0 PG proved yet again that he is one of Ohio’s most crafty guards in 2013. Gardner led his undermanned team to the championship game by scoring from deep, including a three pointer at the buzzer (with his team down by 2) to take down Cleveland. Gardner is a prospect that could skyrocket up the state rankings next time they are updated.
Jack Gibbs- Westerville North- The 6’0 PG was the MVP and took home a championship trophy as well. Gibbs is a flat out winner that used his basketball IQ to set up his teammates and make all the gears work together for his Columbus squad. His first step quickness is elite and his understanding of how to attack poor defensive rotations allows him to score right at the rim despite a lack of height.
Maurice O’Field – Cleveland John Hay – O’Field played much bigger than his listed height of 6’4 this weekend, while consistently playing above the rim when grabbing boards and throwing down dunks. He had multiple highlight reel plays, and showed an improving handle to go along with his bullying performance on the boards.
Tony Farmer – Garfield Heights – The 6’7 power wing showed off his versatility by doing a little bit of everything over the weekend. He bullied people around the rim, handled the ball when leading the break, hit mid-range jumpers off the catch and the dribble and he had a few highlight reel dunks.
Devin Williams – Cincinnati Withrow – The 6’7 power forward has a few dominant performances on Saturday. He started out by using his brute strength to power his way to the bucket and get to the free-throw line, but as the day went on he showed off his mid-range jumper and his ability to take a dribble or two to go around a defender.
Victor Dorsey – Akron St. Vincent St. Mary – A 6-7 combo forward with a tight handle and smooth shooting stroke from the perimeter, Dorsey showed good bounce and was unstoppable in transition Saturday. His high-motor and physicality makes him a rare type of player in his age group.
Jae’sean Tate - Pickerington Central – At 6’4, Tate is very athletic with good bounce and a lot of strength. His development will depend mainly on his growth and skill development, but right now he’s unstoppable at times because of his ability to elevate and his extremely high-motor. He pushed guys around both days of the event as he dominated on the glass and was constantly getting buckets in the paint.
Jeff Thomas – Norwalk – The 6’4 wing had a great showing on Saturday and Sunday. He’s a good athlete, as he displayed by dunking in transition on multiple occasions. He also has a solid handle and a nice shot. The best part about his game is his high IQ.
Robert Caldwell- Dayton Stivers- The 6’0 PG gave opponents fits this weekend as his left handed drives to the rim were unstoppable, even when the opposition knew they were coming. Great lateral quickness when changing direction and range to the three point line means that you have to stay out on “Ra-Ra” until he attempts to drive, making it even more difficult to contain him off the dribble.
Tony Anderson II – Marion Franklin – Anderson is a 6’6 post player with a big, wide frame. His mobility and footwork has improved tremendously recently, making him a lot more effective on offense and on the glass. He showed a lot of promise on Saturday.
Esa Ahmad – Shaker Heights – Another youngster with a big frame, Ahmad is around 6’5 currently. He has good athleticism for a big, and played very physical on Saturday.
Isaiah Farley – Huber Heights Wayne – Farley is around 6’4, and his growth will probably determine where he ends up playing at the next level. Currently, he is one of the biggest players on the court and plays like a forward. He’s a plus-athlete with a lot of strength, and on Saturday he showed the ability to score in bunches from 12-feet and in.
Other Top Prospects
2012- Willie Moore (Cincinnati Aiken SG), Geovonie McKnight (Middletown PG/SG), Paul Woodson (Cincinnati Aiken PF), Jermaine Freeman (Cincinnati Taft SG), Devon Scott (Columbus Northland C), Gary Akbar (Dayton Dunbar SF), Tyler White (Lima Senior SG), DJ Blanks (Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s SF), Caris Levert (Pickerington Central SG), Andre Yates (Dayton Dunbar PG), Khalid King (Columbus Brookhaven SG), Curtis Oakley (Cleveland Brush SF)
2013- Corey Wise (Cincinnati Withrow SG), Austin Grimes (Cincinnati Aiken SG), Monty Boykins (Lakota West SG), Kevin Johnson (Cincinnati Summit PG), Eric Tivis (Princeton SF), Mark Williams (Cleveland Benedictine PF), Kash Blackwell (Shaker Heights SF), Richard Parker (Garfield Heights SG), Keon Johnson (Mansfield Senior PG), Aaron Jackson (Gahanna Lincoln SF), Wendell Davis (Reynoldsburg SF), Randle Clarkson (Columbus Brookhaven PG), Ellis Williams (Columbus South C), Jamar Hammonds (Trotwood Madison SF), Mark Alstork (Dayton Thurgood Marshall SF)
2014- Rosel Hurley (Shaker Heights SF), Jeff Larkin (Cincinnati LaSalle SG), Tyonte Robertson (Cincinnati Withrow PG), Martin Jones (Winton Woods SF), Adam Gigax (Cincinnati Moeller SF/PF), Blake Simpson (Cincinnati Moeller PF/C), Ty Hairston (Columbus Northland PF), Logam Weimer (Toledo Springfield C), Evan Bailey (Massillon Jackson SF), JeMichael Blanton (Dayton Thurgood Marshall SG), Dezhante Bennett (Trotwood Madison SF), Shemar Waugh (Canal Winchester PG), Nate Jameson (Columbus Northland SF), Joey Schmitz (Bloom Carroll SG)