The Hoop Group Pitt Jamfest, held annually during the first of April’s live recruiting evaluation periods for Division I college coaches in Pittsburgh, is always a great place for Ohio and Kentucky prospects to make a name for themselves. Several Ohio and Kentucky teams participated in this year’s event, with programs like the Louisville Magic and Team Work making big runs against some of the nation’s most talented teams. Additionally, although TDP didn’t get to see due to focusing on national talent at the 17u division, several regional teams played extremely well at the 15u (rising sophomores) division. Team Work made the semifinals in that division, while the Cincinnati Lakers, Ohio Basketball Club and the Louisville Magic all advanced to the quarterfinals. Finally, in the 17u “Steel City Division” of the Pitt Jamfest, Columbus powerhouse Ohio Varsity captured the tournament title. Of prospects that TDP was able to check out, here are the guys who stood out in front of packed gyms of college coaches…….
- Gavin Skelly – ’14 Cleveland Westlake PF/C: Over fifty college coaches flocked into a gym on Saturday morning to check out one of Under Armour’s elite teams, Team Charlotte, and their slew of talented prospects, most of those coaches left the gym talking about the big guy from the other team, Team Work post man Gavin Skelly. An athletic interior player with endless energy the 6’8 Skelly was at times dominant against elite competition, showing the ability to score the ball in a variety of ways from mid range and in. Skelly is skilled enough to knock down mid-range jumpers, can attack slower footed big guys off of the dribble and has the physicality to get it in the bucket with his back to the basket. Also very good in transition, Skelly showed the ability to run the floor for dunks off of the pass or to even handle the ball some himself. Skelly told TDP that he has a ton of schools recruiting him right now, including Bucknell, Elon, Miami (Ohio), Ohio University, William & Mary and Marshall.
- Justin Bibbs – ’14 Montverde Academy (FL) SG: A Dayton native who just finished his first season of prep ball in Florida, Bibbs looked very much improved from last year in multiple viewings from TDP of his Ohio Basketball Club team. The 6’5 wing has good size at the guard position, has strength and athleticism and plays with great effort on both ends of the floor. The year at Montverde really helped Bibbs’ perimeter skills as he now is more comfortable handling the ball on the break, sees the floor better on drives and more than anything else he is able to consistently knock down mid to long range jumpers. Coaches from Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, Virginia and others checked out Bibbs over the weekend, and if he continues to add shot making to his arsenal of other skills the versatile wing will become one of the more heavily recruited players in Ohio’s rising senior class.
- Antonio Woods – ’14 Cincinnati Summit PG: The 6’0 point guard from Cincinnati is the best ballhandler in Ohio’s rising senior class, and showed excellent maturity in his floor game over the weekend as coaches from several mid majors watched on. Playing with Ohio Basketball Club, Woods showed poise under pressure against full court defenses, and the explosive speed to create plays in the open court. He’s not the tallest guard but his combination of speed and strength make him an excellent defender on the court. A pure point guard who prefers to play the role of set up man, Woods is going to continue to be recruited highly because he makes so many positive things happen on the court, while rarely making a mistake like turning the ball over.
- Quentin Snider – ’14 Louisville Ballard PG: Everyone is already familiar with the Louisville Cardinals commit, who is the best point guard in the state of Kentucky regardless of class. Playing over the weekend with his Louisville Magic squad, the top fifty recruit was again more than efficient as he dominated on the defensive end, forcing a ton of turnovers with his quickness, fast hands and energy. Offensively, Snider controlled the show as he usually does, but also showed an improved ability to knock down the mid-range jumper off of the dribble. Assistant coaches from Louisville checked out multiple Magic games, and they should be excited to eventually have the 6’0 point guard on campus in the fall of 2014.
- D’angelo Hunter – ’15 Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park SF: We had heard great things about the 6’7 sophomore from Louisville PRP, but this weekend after seeing him run multiple games with the Louisville Magic 16u squad we can say that Hunter has actually been under-hyped. A long and athletic combo forward who is making the transition to being a pure wing player, Hunter plays with great effort on the court and can affect the game positively in a number of ways with his versatility. He’s a good slasher who can find teammates when the help comes, gets toughness baskets and inside and is good in the transition game. Hunter still has a ways to go in his skill development but his size, mindset and talent are going to make him a heavily recruited prospect. After the game, Hunter told TDP that he is already being recruited by Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Wright State and has also begun to communicate some with Michigan State and Xavier.
Among other names that had college coaches buzzing amongst Ohio teams were Isaiah Walton (’14 Elyria PG/SG) of Hidden Gems Black, Nate Sheppard (’14 Dayton Jefferson SG) of the Ohio Hoopsters and Dakota Mathias (’14 Elida SG/SF) from Northwest Ohio Basketball Club. TDP didn’t get a chance to catch these teams in action over the weekend, but we’ll have more on all three of these prospects in the coming weeks on the circuit.
News and Notes:
- Damarion Geter – Dayton Dunbar PF: The 6’7 Geter committed to Longwood University over the weekend. Longwood is a Division I program out of Virginia that plays in the Big South Conference.
- Dorian Jordan – Cincinnati Princeton PG: The undersized but dynamic playmaker committed to Division II Kentucky State over the weekend.
- Tyler Herron – The 6’8 power forward from the class of 2014 has bounced around in and out of state at several schools in the last few years, but has found a home for now back in Cleveland. Herron is currently enrolled in school at Euclid HS in suburban Cleveland and is playing for the Ohio Basketball Club 17u team.
- Kevin Fischer – The 6’8 power forward from the class of 2015 has officially transferred back from Florida’s IMG Academy to his home district of Logan Hocking, which is southeast of the Columbus area. For the second straight year, Fischer is running with the Ohio Basketball Club organization.