Day two of the state tournament provided more memorable performances as the top teams rose to the top….
Nigel Hayes – All Ohio Red PF: The best player in the event on Saturday by a landslide was the super athletic 6’7 combo forward from Toledo Whitmer. Hayes was dunking everything around the rim with his bounce and power, blocking shots on the defensive end, and rebounded at a high level. The fact that he can also handle the ball and shoot some from the mid-range is just icing on the cake for the high major prospect, who’s offers right now are from the mid-major level. Hayes effort has All Ohio Red’s 17u team marked as the clear favorite to take Sunday’s title.
Keon Johnson – All Ohio Red PG: One of the most exciting players in the state the 5’8 jet from Mansfield Senior was terrorizing the Ohio Phenoms defense with his quickness and scoring abilities on Saturday night. More of a scoring guard then pure passer Johnson was knocking down three’s, getting to the rim at will off of crossovers, and putting constant pressure on the defense with his speed.
Jordan Lauf – All Ohio Red SG: Lauf tends to get undervalued as the 6’4 off guard doesn’t do a lot of things to stand out, but he’s a consistent playmaker for his Red team. Lauf shoots the ball well from deep, is deceptively athletic as a defender, and competes with toughness on the court. With mid-majors blowing up the phone lines Lauf should see plenty more offers come his way in July.
Jaaron Simmons – All Ohio Red PG: With all the highly ranked kids on AOR’s team the catalyst might be Simmons. A steady guard that can shoot, pass, attack the rim, and who really defended well today; Simmons is the glue for his Red team as he rarely makes mistakes, while still having big play capabilities. With a big month in July in front of the college coaches Simmons could be one of the Midwest’s breakout prospects.
Tony Farmer – All Ohio Red SF: The athletic 6’7 Garfield Heights wing was exerting his physical dominance on opponents all days in blowout wins over the Ohio Phenoms and Club Ohio. With his ballhandling ability Farmer is a matchup nightmare and was able to overpower wing defenders while effortlessly shaking big men. The offensive end comes easy to Farmer but TDP was most impressed with his defensive intensity where he blocked several shots, and was active as a communicator.
Mike Wells – Ohio Hoopsters PG: He might not have size but the Delaware Hayes ballhandler is super fast, can shoot the ball, and is a creative playmaker in transition. Wells had his offensive game flowing in a Hoopsters loss to the Queen City Prophets as he poured in contested threes and drew fouls attacking the basket. One of Ohio’s top ’13 PG’s Wells is sliding under the radar some but is a very nice prospect that could be a collegiate steal.
RaChaun Martin – Ohio Phenoms PG: Martin is continuing to prove to all the doubters wrong, and prove to scouts that he is one of the truly elite PG’s in Ohio’s 2014 class. With blazing speed, a tight handle, and a competitive mindset Martin was the best player on the floor in tight games with the Cincinnati Lakers and Fire Select. If he keeps on shooting the ball at a high level he could contend for the top guard spot in his class.
Vincent Edwards - King James SF: The 6’7 versatile forward is getting better athletically and is continuing to rebound the ball at a high level. Being able to do just about anything offensively Edwards is improving his shot selection and is becoming more aggressive attacking the rim with the bounce. Physically Edwards is also maturing and with his mismatch ability in the post with his back to the basket, or on the face-up, he can make a lot of things happen offensively.
Jeff Larkin - Cincinnati Lakers SG: One of Cincinnati’s top young shooters the 6’0 combo guard from LaSalle was knocking down long jumpers in a loss to the Ohio Phenoms. Larkin competes at a high level, can take you off the dribble, and has a deadly quick release from long range.
VJ King - All Ohio Red SG: A talented and versatile 6’5 combo guard from North Carolina who is only an 8th grader, and will be moving to Akron to attend St. Vincent-St. Mary’s next year, King put on a show in an early morning AOR blowout win. He’s incredibly smooth for his size and can really shoot the ball from deep as well. King is one of the elite players in the nation in his 2016 class and should be an immediate impact player at SVSM next season.