Championship Sunday at the Ohio AAU State Tournament will be remembered because of some great rivalry games, especially the All Ohio Red win over King James at 15u and the All Ohio Red overtime thriller over the Queen City Prophets at 17u, and some big time performances by offensive juggernauts like the Martin’s Wolverines 17u team. When you add in Cinderella performances like the runner-up performance of Shining Star 16u, this was one of the better trophy days in recent memory at the State Tournament. Here are the top performers from a Sunday that saw All Ohio Red capture the 15u, 16u, and 17u championships in a clean sweep…..
Keon Johnson – All Ohio Red PG: The “little engine that could” built on the momentum triggered from his strong play on Saturday as he led AOR to the title on Sunday. Johnson’s speed took over a semifinal game against QCP as he willed his way to the rim by gliding past defenders and acrobatically scoring around the basket. With his strength and speed there are few, if any, matchups for Johnson in Ohio.
Zach Garber – All Ohio Red PF/C: The big boy bullied his way to a fantastic finals performance as he was the top muscleman around the rim against the Martin’s Wolverines. Garber used physicality and terrific footwork to score at the basket, rebounded at a high level, and defended with toughness. His versatility as an offensive prospect with his size makes him a highly coveted recruit.
Tony Farmer – All Ohio Red SF: Being able to guard both on the wing and the post Farmer is a versatile defender who used his athleticism, for the second day in a row, to dominate the competition. He’s starting to shoot the ball with better balance, and his handle looked impressive. When Tony Farmer is focused like this he is one of the nation’s most special 2013 prospects.
Nigel Hayes – All Ohio Red PF: If we were to give out an MVP award it would be tough not to give it to Hayes. All weekend long his competitive spirit, athleticism, power, and versatility stood out from other players in the 17u age group. Hayes is a force on the boards and really defends, making him a beloved player by college coaches; when you factor in the plethora of offensive features he adds it’s tough to say that Hayes can’t end up at the high major level.
Jalen Rhea – Martin’s Wolverines SG: Under the radar guard from New Albany continues to knock down shots, and score in bunches, for the Wolverines. Rhea is a deadly shooter from way deep who can hit off the dribble, and is starting to impress us more with his in-between game.
DJ Wingfield – Martin’s Wolverines SG: Wingfield has really asserted himself this spring and he turned in another strong performance by leading his team to the finals. DJ’s body is built for basketball, but he is extremely nimble and smooth for a player of his size. With scoring and passing ability off of penetration his unique vision makes him a very good prospect who has really added a level of consistency to his game.
Tim Coleman – Queen City Prophets PG: A flat out winner who is one of the most gifted scorers in the state, Coleman was sensational in an overtime game against All Ohio. He can shoot the ball from deep, has a vicious crossover, and is really good in the mid-range game off the pull-up or floater. Tough competitor that rises to the big stage, Coleman is one of the top under the radar scoring combo guards in Ohio.
Devin Williams – Queen City Prophets PF: Williams battled hard on Sunday, his only day playing in the event, and was extremely productive down low. Banging against All Ohio’s Tony Farmer, Williams used good footwork and physicality to score the ball inside through contact. Playing with a new team is never easy but Devin brought another level of belief and confidence to the Prophets, proving that he is a good enough player to carry a team on his shoulders in spurts.
Austin Grimes – Queen City Prophets SG: Grimes capped off an excellent weekend with another strong day of games on Sunday. The athletic 6’4 wing can play PG, SG, or SF and is becoming really efficient at attacking the rim. Good rebounder who has the strength to score inside, Grimes is at his best when using his dribble to get into the paint and jump up and finish; or shoot the mid-range jumper where he is pretty consistent.
Jae’sean Tate – All Ohio Red SF/PF: Red’s championship 16u group doesn’t feature a lot of star power, just guys who play their roles and know how to win; Tate knows how to win but he is an exception to the lack of star power. A dynamic athlete with great power, and a competitive mindset, Tate is physically dominant over opponents his own age. He has versatility as a wing or power forward and is becoming much better at using his dribble to get to the lane and take good shots.
Ronnie Rousseau – Queen City Prophets PG: Scoring guard with a lot of confidence and great quickness. Rousseau had a big weekend as he was able to get into the lane whenever he wanted, where is a very good mid-range shooter off of a crossover. Ronnie can settle for his outside jumper a little too much, and needs to show that he’s a good distributor as well, but he’s a high level talent.
Landon Brazile – Ohio Varsity C: Emerging big man with good size at 6’7, athleticism, and a strong base. Brazile is a tough big who works hard on the boards and finishes through contact. He’s not a great back to the basket player but he does show good form from the line and an effort level that makes him look like a prospect who should continue to improve.
Lamonta Stone – All Ohio Red PG: Little floor general with speed that makes good decisions. Stone is the key to the engine for Red as he does the little things offensively to make sure all the scorers get the ball in good positions to make plays. He is undersized but his quickness and instincts make up for that somewhat defensively where he can really pressure the basketball.
Esa Ahmad - All Ohio Red PF: Ahmad displayed a level of skill that we had not previously seen from him as he scored from the wing and post against bigger opponents. A very good athlete who can push tempo himself or run the wing in the full court Ahmad brings a unique level of talent and versatility to the court. Some say that he is pushing Luke Kennard for the title of top 2015 recruit; not sure yet but they might have a case.
D’Mitrik Trice – All Ohio Red PG/SG: Not just a shooter but a tough shot-maker Trice has a knack for hitting big jumpers. He’s a combo guard who’s size will probably make him more of a point man, but he handles it well enough that position shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Andre Foster – All Ohio Red SG: Talented combo guard with good size at 6’2. Foster is very good in the up-tempo game as he can attack the basket off the bounce and make plays. With good quickness and leaping ability he will become a deadly scorer as he continues to work on his jumper.
Ahmad Wagner – All Ohio Red PF: Athletic forward with a high motor and good touch around the basket; Wagner is an emerging interior force in his class. He gets up and down the floor well, has leaping ability, and looks like a true power forward instead of a center.
Noah Bramlage – All Ohio Red PF: Intriguing forward with size at 6’7, athleticism, and nice touch on his mid-range jumper. Bramlage is an excellent role player for AOR who knows how to position himself to finish around the basket. He thrives in the up-tempo style and as he develops scoring moves he could become one of Ohio’s top young bigs.
Kyle Ahrens – King James SF: A tough and athletic wing that can shoot the ball from deep Ahrens is on the verge of breaking out in July. He runs the floor well, can attack off straight line drives, and is an unselfish player who can do more then just score. Presently, Ahrens has interest from Illinois, Cincinnati, Miami (OH), and Dayton.
Tony Anderson – King James C: In TDP’s first viewing of Anderson we came away impressed with his size, girth, mobility, and energy level as a block defender and rebounder. Anderson didn’t get a ton of offensive touches but looks to have very high potential as one of the top Ohio big men in 2015.
Other Standouts: Jordan Lauf (All Ohio Red 17u), Jaaron Simmons (All Ohio Red 17u), Zack Denny (All Ohio Red 17u), Marquez Carpenter (Queen City Prophets 17u), Kevin Johnson (Martin’s Wolverines PG), Jaylen Brown (Martin’s Wolverines 17u), Maverick Morgan (Martin’s Wolverines 17u), Ty Hairston (Ohio Varsity 16u), Roderick Mills (Queen City Prophets 16u), Kevin Daniels (Queen City Prophets 16u), Tyler Williams (Queen City Prophets 16u), Blake Simpson (Ohio Phenoms 16u), Aaron Oden (Shining Star 16u), Carlas Jackson (Shining Star 16u), Eric James (All Ohio Red 16u), Kendrick Mallory (All Ohio Red 16u), Connor Hearn (All Ohio Red 16u), Jordan Dartis (All Ohio Red 15u), Luke Kennard (King James 15u), AJ Harris (King James 15u), Nate Fowler (King James 15u), DeJuan Sherman (Queen City Prophets 15u), VJ King (All Ohio Red 15u)