City Series Wrap Up

25 Oct

Jerome Hunter

This year’s All-Ohio Battle of the Cities (also known as the City Series) featured many of the top young prospects in Ohio, as well as established upperclassmen, as players from all across the state descended on Reynoldsburg HS to rep their hometown. TDP was on hand for both days of action again this year, as we again were able to add a great deal of names to our freshman watch list; here’s a look at the top performers that we saw in Columbus….

Jerome Hunter – ’18 Pickerington North SF/PF: When we saw Jerome Hunter on Sunday he was making just about every jumper that he put up; and, when Hunter is making those jumpers he becomes not just an elite prospect in Ohio, but one of the best in the nation. A true inside-outside forward with a versatile and athletic frame at 6’7, Hunter is a pure scorer who just continues to mature as a competitor every time that we see him. If Hunter can continue to play with the passion that we saw this weekend then his offer list (which already includes schools like Purdue, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, West Virginia, Xavier and Pittsburgh) will only continue to grow. 

Cameron Brooks Harris – ’18 Zanesville SF/PF: Brooks-Harris is a name that has been getting more and more attention since last spring, when he put himself on the map with some strong performances on the circuit with Hidden Gems; as the 6’6 wing has become known as a versatile scoring threat with a lot of upside. Brooks-Harris is still raw with his physical frame, but he can shoot the ball from the outside and has the length and feet to play the role of an inside-outside scoring threat in any system. After transferring from Hebron Lakewood to Zanesville for this season, there’s a good chance that Brooks-Harris will be one of the top scorers in the Central Ohio region this winter.

Giovanni Santiago – ’18 Cincinnati Hughes PG: This is the first time you’re seeing Santiago’s name on this site, but we promise that it won’t be the last, as the Puerto Rican import took the first step towards establishing his name in Ohio this weekend with a series of strong performances. Santiago is quickly going to be known as one of the region’s top young point guards, as he has great vision as a passer, a creative style that makes teammates love playing with him as well as both the shooting stroke and quickness to be a big time offensive threat. Look for this lefty floor general to make an instant impact in his first season in the state, as he should compliment Hughes’ Correy Long nicely in the backcourt.

Isaiah Payton – ’18 Cincinnati Moeller PG: As we tweeted out on Sunday evening, it’s the start of the “Sleepy” Payton era at Moeller; as the junior point guard started varsity last year but is set to takeover as the team’s lead guard this season. Payton appeared more poised as a leader than he has in the past this weekend, also showing off a more reliable jumper to balance with his elite ability to get to the rim off the bounce. A speedy guard who changes gears and directions well, if Payton can continue to be an effective scorer and playmaker in the half-court to balance his transition game then he’ll be one of the most talked about 2018 guards in Ohio.

Samari Curtis – ’19 Xenia SG: Curtis proved one thing this weekend; he is a scoring machine! The 6’3 wing guard from the Dayton area was dynamic both days, as he scored at will from all three levels in the half-court. A streaky, but capable, jump shooter, Curtis is at his best attacking the rim with his solid frame and both creativity and touch around the basket. We’ve been high on Curtis for well over a year now, as we believe he’ll prove to the rest of the state this season that he is absolutely on par with other top Dayton area 2019 guards such as Andre Gordon and Amari Davis.

Brandon Rush – ’19 Warrensville Heights PG: A talented point guard who we first saw at this event a year ago, Rush has improved both his game and his stature in the last year; as he now stands a legit 6’0 heading into his sophomore season. Already known as a steady playmaker who can create off of the dribble, Rush also showed improved faith in his perimeter jumper, as well as more of a vocal presence in leading his Cleveland sophomore team. With Warrensville Heights having lost some talent to graduation last year, look for Rush to establish himself as the man this season as a sophomore.

Taevon Pierre-Louis – ’19 Lorain SF: A bruising athlete with a ton of competitive passion, Pierre-Louis was dominant on both Saturday and Sunday for the Cleveland sophomore team. While his ball-skills are still developing, Pierre-Louis’ game is somewhat reminiscent of Lorain teammate Naz Bohannon, as both are able to impact the game with physicality around the rim and are also versatile enough to be elite defenders. Look for Pierre-Louis to make a big splash this season at Lorain, as few high school teams boast the frontline to contain both Bohanon and him.

Garvin Clarke – ’20 Euclid PG: Probably the most physically talented 2020 floor general that we saw at the event, which is saying something as there were several, Clarke has a competitive demeanor and a lot of talent at his disposal. A shifty playmaker with speed and athleticism in the open floor, Clarke did a nice job of blending passing and scoring together for his Cleveland squad, which is something that he’ll be asked to do from day one with the Euclid varsity. We certainly haven’t seen all of the top 2020 guards yet, but we’re confident that Clarke will project as one of Ohio’s finest.

Marcus Johnson – ’20 Columbus South SG: A big time athlete who is going to be a problem as he continues to develop his basketball skill-set, Johnson has the upside to be one of the top 2020 players in the state of Ohio. Already capable of dominating the game in full-court settings, Johnson is a transition scorer who can slash from the wing; while also showing the motor and competitive spirit that we want to see in a young player. Remember this name, as Johnson is going to be talked about on this site a lot for years to come.

Others: Caleb McConnell (’18 Dayton Dunbar), Mason McMurray (’18 Stow), Tre Baumgartner (’18 Columbus Africentric), DiShon Daniels (’18 Walnut Hills), Kameron Gibson (’18 Walnut Hills), Myles Belyeu (’18 Trotwood-Madison), Alfonso Hale (’18 Maple Heights), Ben Forte (’19 Reynoldsburg), Josh Corbin (’19 Gahanna Lincoln), Jordan Mitchell (’19 Gahanna Lincoln), Jahvon Garcia (’19 Pickerington Central), Greg Tribble (’19 Winton Woods), Kemondre Muhammad (’19 Warren Harding), Davin Ziegler (’19 Cleveland Benedictine), Taylor Currie (’19 Clarkston/MI), Jay Younkin (’20 Cincy Moeller), Blake Lloyd (’20 Cincy Moeller), Dominiq Penn (’20 Dublin Coffman), Chris Mayfield (’20 Hilliard Bradley), Max Mollmon (’20 Upper Arlington)


Miryne Thomas – ’17 Cleveland Central Catholic PF: A late bloomer onto the scene who had a breakout summer with King James in the Nike EYBL, Thomas made a commitment to D1 Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday night. With size, length, athleticism and upside, Thomas is becoming a pick and pop or hybrid forward who can shoot the ball but play with enough energy to have an impact on the glass. He’ll have to continue to add weight to his frame, but Thomas is an intriguing forward to keep an eye on. 

Matt King – ’17 Mason SG/SF: After a month long recruiting war among some of the top regional D2 schools, King decided to stay close to home for his college ball, committing to Columbus program Ohio Dominican on Sunday evening. A skilled 6’5 forward with a versatile game who is known as an elite defender and cerebral offensive player, King can handle, pass and shoot the ball on the offensive end. Look for King to make an early impact for ODU, as he has the versatility to defend guards, wings and even some forwards.

Keegan Saben – ’17 Centerville SG: One of the most talented combo guards in the state, Saben committed to West Liberty last week, making him the first Ohio commitment of the year for WLU (a top-ten nationally recognized program known for recruiting Ohio players). Saben’s ability to play the point guard spot as a strong 6’3 guard should be intriguing for West Liberty, but Saben also possesses the shooting ability and strength to play off of the ball as well. After leading Centerville to a District Title last year in his first year with the Elks, expect Saben to be one of the top players in Dayton this season.

Top 3 Available 2017’s Commit

17 Oct
Sterling Manley

Sterling Manley

In the two weeks since our last post much has changed in the recruiting scene in Ohio high school basketball. In particular, the top three available seniors from our Class of 2017 prospect rankings have made verbal commitments, as the fall signing period approaches quickly. Here’s the latest scoop on where each of those three will play their college ball, as well as a look as to how they’ll fit in at that school; as well as a look at who the best available seniors are in the Buckeye State….

Sterling Manley – ’17 Pickerington Central PF/C: In a recruitment that can’t be described in any other way than uncanny, Manley, a 6’11 post from the Columbus area, selected the University of North Carolina over this past weekend. Choosing the UNC Tar Heels over the likes of Purdue, Xavier and Georgetown, Manley becomes the first Ohio prospect in our time of following basketball to commit to the national powerhouse out of Chapel Hill. The reason that Manley’s recruitment was so uncanny is due to the fact that an injury cost Manley not only the end of his junior season, but also his entire final AAU season; so these coaches were not even able to evaluate him in April or July. However, some strong showings in fall open gyms at Pickerington Central drew some of the nation’s top college coaches, leading UNC coach Roy Williams to offer Manley a scholarship. It’s unclear how much early playing time Manley will see at UNC, a team that finished as National Runners-Up last year and features several McDonald’s All-Americans; however, the consensus among high-major coaches is that Manley is a late bloomer who will eventually effect shots around the rim, finish at the basket and make enough plays to become a regular contributor at the college game’s highest level.

Dalonte Brown – ’17 Toledo Bowsher SF/PF: Once thought to be a lock to stay in-state at either Toledo or Dayton, Brown, a 6’7 forward from Toledo, surprised followers of Ohio recruiting last week when he committed to Tennessee-Martin. A skilled inside-outside forward who can score in different ways, Brown is a huge recruiting coup for Tennessee-Martin head coach Anthony Stewart, an Ohio native who has recruited his native land with a lot of effort in his months as acting head coach. After playing at a high level in the Nike EYBL with All-Ohio Red, Brown was the target of many regional mid-majors, while multiple high-majors also took a hard look at him; however, UT-Martin was eventually the only school left standing, as they land the top prospect in the Toledo area in the 2017 class.

Jayvon Graves – ’17 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s SG: A dynamic scoring guard with athleticism, Graves had been one of the most coveted mid-major prospects in the entire Midwest; well, at least until Monday evening, when the 6’1 combo guard from Akron STVSM made his commitment to Buffalo. Choosing Buffalo over two other finalists in Toledo and Fordham, Graves spurned several in-state mid-majors in choosing to stay in the MAC, but not an Ohio school. Graves will add depth, strength, versatility and athleticism to a solid guard corps for Buffalo head coach Nate Oats, a Michigan native with Ohio ties as well. Graves is the second senior from Akron STVSM to choose a D1 school, as the Fighting Irish have become synonymous with D1 signings over the last 15 years now.

Best of the Rest:

With Manley, Brown and Graves off the board, who are the top available prospects in Ohio’s 2017 class? Well, that question isn’t as easy to answer as you’d think, as the top two un-committed players in our 2017 players rankings, Danny Davis and Jaylen Harris, will both end up playing college football, not basketball. So, moving a few spots further down the list, here who the two top dogs, in our opinion, are for the moment…

Malek Green – ’17 Cincinnati Taft SF/PF: A hybrid forward with athleticism, toughness and an excellent motor, it’s no secret that we at TDP have always been high on Green’s upside. With an improved all-around skill-set, and factoring in that the senior just turned 17 years old in September, we believe that Green has the tools to be a solid mid-major player down the road. With an offer from Stony Brook, as well as interest from Indiana State, Northern Kentucky and multiple other D1 programs, look for Green to be a late signing period steal for a quality mid-major program.

Naz Bohanon – ’17 Lorain SF/PF: A similar player to Green in that he’s versatile, athletic and oozes toughness, Bohanon is a strong forward who plays the role of vocal leader. His offensive skill-set is still developing, but Bohanon rebounds, defends and competes at the high level that college coaches demand. With interest and offers from some high-academic D1’s, as well as some in-state mid-majors, look for Bohanon to be another player, like Green, who commits to a mid-major school after the high school season ends.

John Lucas Camp

2 Oct

Jeremiah Francis

This weekend marked the latest annual trip down to Louisville for the always highly anticipated John Lucas Midwest Invitational Camp. About one hundred and fifty of the nation’s top juniors, sophomores and freshmen ascended on the Mid-American Sports Complex in suburban Louisville, as John Lucas’ staff again provided top-level development, exposure and talent. Ten Ohio prospects participated in this year’s camp, with several more than holding their own against top prospects from Texas, Florida, California and even Canada. Here’s a look at some of those standouts….

 Jeremiah Francis – ’19 Pickerington Central PG: A veteran, even as a sophomore, in playing against top competition, Francis showed that he will not back down to anyone in Louisville. The 6’0 point guard matched against bigger and more athletic prospects; however, he controlled the game time after time with his smooth handle against pressure and ability to make the right basketball decision as a passer. Also showcasing great strength at the point guard position, Francis was able to bully opposing guards on both ends as he craftily found ways to score at the rim. The top point guard prospect in Ohio’s 2019 class, expect for high-major coaches to continue to flock to Pickerington Central to get an early look at this floor general.

Tanner Holden – ’19 Wheelersburg SF: A small town Ohio kid with big city game, Holden is a walking mismatch who really impressed at John Lucas Camp in a setting where few knew about him heading in to Saturday. A rangy 6’5 athlete with length, Holden is a triple threat prospect who can handle, shoot and pass the basketball from the wing. As he continues to come out of his shell and show more emotion on the court, Holden is going to become not only one of the top 2019’s in Ohio, but potentially one of the top 2019’s in the entire Midwest. 

Amari Davis – ’19 Trotwood Madison SG: Known as an elite athlete, the John Lucas Camp setting was a great opportunity for Davis to be forced to show off his basketball skill-set, as he was faced against players who were athletically either his equal or superior (while also being older and often bigger). In Louisville, Davis showed that his skill-set is developing, as he made lefty jumpers in the mid-range and looked comfortable handling the ball in transition settings. With his athletic upside and size at 6’3, there’s no reason why Davis can’t continue to develop into one of the top wing prospects in the region, and maybe even the nation, as his ball-skills keep on improving.

Houston King – ’18 Toledo St. John’s SG: We learned back in the AAU season that King is a tough kid who will flat out defend on the wing. Nothing changed in Louisville, as King embraced the camp staff’s challenges to try and dominate the game on the defensive end. A 6’3 wing guard with length, solid athleticism and the ability to make perimeter shots, King is an improving wing prospect out of Toledo’s most well-known program, and should continue to receive more and more NCAA D1 interest as his junior season begins.

Solomon Pierre-Louis – ’18 Columbus Wellington SG: An intriguing 6’3 guard who has made a name for himself over the last few months, including appearing in a TDP Open Gym, Pierre-Louis is a slippery ballhandler and attacker who can make plays as a scorer at the rim, with the jumper or as a passer. He’s not really a wing guard and not really a point guard, but a solid all-around guard who can create offensive opportunities and also has enough athleticism to turn some heads; part of the reason why more and more NCAA D1 schools have been showing interest in Pierre-Louis over the last month.

Recruiting Notes:

Riley Voss – ’17 Cincinnati Moeller PF: Since our last recruiting update this past week, another Ohio senior has made a pledge to an NCAA D1 school, as Cincinnati Moeller senior forward Riley Voss committed to IVY League program Cornell. After weighing offers from Air Force, multiple top D2’s and Cornell, Voss chose the Big Red for their academic offerings. A skilled 6’5 forward with toughness, a great basketball IQ, a refined skill-set and versatility, Voss should bring a solid all-around game to New York next year. Look for Voss to be the key piece in 2016-2017 for Moeller, as they are arguably the team to beat in the Southwest Region heading into the start of practice.

Latest Recruiting Updates

26 Sep
Tyler Mitchell

Tyler Mitchell

With college coaches visiting high school players daily at their homes and/or their schools, commitment season in full swing for followers of college basketball. While the senior class of 2017 isn’t going to break any records for most NCAA D1 commitments, we’re still seeing more Buckeye State prospects make their decisions public each week this fall. Here’s the latest series of commitments, as three players have all accepted in-state scholarship offers, while a late bloomer has chosen to cross the Indiana border to play his college ball….

Evan Kuhlman – ’17 Lakota East PF: One of the most talked about players of this past spring and summer among college coaches, Kuhlman saw a huge spike in his recruitment, as the 6’7 pick and pop forward landed several NCAA D1 scholarship offers. Kuhlman ended his recruitment in mid-September when the senior forward from the Cincinnati area announced his verbal commitment to Evansville. Committing to play in the Missouri Valley Conference, which features mid-major powerhouses like Wichita State and Northern Iowa, means that Kuhlman will be exposed to some of the top competition that college basketball has to offer, as the Evansville staff will be counting on the power forward to be able to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting touch.

Tyler Mitchell – ’17 Kings PG: Another Cincinnati area senior making a commitment to an NCAA D1 school, Mitchell ended his recruitment on September 25th, as he pledged to in-state Wright State University and their new head coach Scott Nagy. A quick playmaking point guard with flair to his game, Mitchell, like Kuhlman, became the target of several mid-major programs in the July evaluation period; however, it was the proximity to home that drew him towards Wright State. As the first in-state commit for Nagy, Mitchell commitment could have a domino effect among Ohio prospects with a WSU offer, as the 5’11 point guard chose the Raiders over UNC Asheville and Oral Roberts after taking his official visits.

Derek Koch – ’17 Salem Northwestern PF: Always considered a favorite to stay on the eastern side of Ohio, or to go to West Virginia even, Koch surprised us (and several others) last week when he verbally committed to Bowling Green; spurning the advances of other in-state MAC programs. With strength and toughness around the rim, Koch could be an early contributor inside for Coach Huger’s Falcons team, as already has a grown man’s frame as a high school senior. At 6’7 expect for Koch to play both power forward and center at BGSU, and while he is skilled enough to step out and make jumpers, we love him when he attacks the paint and rebounds with energy on both ends.

Harrison Riggs – ’17 Toledo St. John’s PG: One of the top point guards in an Ohio 2017 class full of small but tough and cerebral lead guards, Riggs made a verbal pledge to in-state NCAA D2 program Lake Erie last week, choosing to cross over from Northwest Ohio to Northeast Ohio to play his college basketball in the Cleveland area for Coach Kyle Conley. The target of several regional D2 programs, Riggs should bring an ability to guard the ball and manage the offense to the Lake Erie program.

Four Seniors Commit D1

11 Sep
Corry Long

Correy Long

The fall recruiting season has officially kicked in to top gear, as the later part of this week marked the start of the period in which NCAA D1 college coaches were able to visit senior prospects for in-home visits, as well as stop by high school campuses to evaluate prospects at open gyms and/or workouts. Combine that with the fact that players from all over the state are taking official and unofficial visits to colleges, and it is becoming harder and harder to keep up with all of the latest Ohio recruiting news. One thing that can be easily tracked, however, are verbal commitments; and that is precisely what this article will focus on, as four seniors from the Buckeye State have made commitments over the last week. Here’s a look at where each of them will be playing their college hoops….

Correy Long – ’17 PG/SG Cincinnati Hughes: One of the top ranked combo guards in the state of Ohio, the 6’3 playmaker committed to Stony Brook on Friday, giving first year head coach Jeff Boals his first commitment from an Ohio prospect (after Boals had spent the last several seasons as Coach Thad Matta’s right hand man at Ohio State). Choosing Stony Brook over Ball State, Bethune Cookman and Evansville, Long should have a chance to make an early impact on Long Island, thanks to his ability to handle the ball and create plays in the paint for himself and teammates. With several other 2017 and 2018 Ohio prospects having received offers from Stony Brook, it will be interesting to see if Long’s commitment sparks a new trend among Ohio prospects in choosing the Long Island based program.

Nick Muszynski – ’17 C Columbus St. Charles: A late-blooming 6’10 post who had a productive July with Ohio Basketball Club, Muszynski ended his recruitment on Saturday, committing to Belmont while on his official visit. A lanky post player who is still developing as an athlete, the commitment from Muszynski was probably looked at as a long-term investment by the Belmont staff, as they have a history of targeting Ohio big men with skill-sets who slip under the radar. Muszynski reminds us of ’13 Cincinnati St. Xavier C Tyler Hadden, who also signed with Belmont after sliding under the radar among in-state mid-major programs.

Caden Sanchez – ’17 C Columbus DeSales: Just a few days after returning from his official visit to High Point, a South Carolina based D1 program, the 6’7 senior post from Columbus DeSales made his verbal commitment to the Southern Conference school. Sanchez, a strong bodied low post player who earned some college offers this past spring on the travel circuit with Indiana Elite, continued the trend of Ohio players to consider High Point, as the school has made a habit of offering prospects from the Columbus area. In a senior class that is full of big bodies, Sanchez has always been one of TDP’s top ranked post players, due his ability to use his size to carve out position in the lane.

Jon Williams – ’17 PG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: Williams became the latest guard from the prestigious Akron STVSM program to commit to a D1 school, as the 6’0 point guard made his pledge to Robert Morris, a Pittsburgh based program in close proximity to William’s hometown of Akron. In Williams, Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole is getting a cerebral floor general who can really shoot the ball from the outside, does not get rattled by pressure and is a team oriented player. Williams chose Robert Morris over several interested MAC schools, and could be seen down the road as a “steal” for the Pittsburgh based program to get him out of the state of Ohio.

Young to Butler

30 Aug

Kyle YoungOhio’s top uncommitted senior for the class of 2017 has officially changed, as 6’7 Massillon Jackson forward Kyle Young became the latest prospect to make a verbal commitment this fall, choosing the Butler Bulldogs in an announcement via Twitter on Monday afternoon.

Young, listed by TDP as the #3 prospect in Ohio’s 2017 class, made that announcement during a visit to Butler’s Indianapolis campus, giving Coach Chris Holtmann something to be very excited about in landing a consensus top-100 prospect nationally.

To land Young, Butler had to beat out some tough competition, as the skilled forward had previously announced a final five of Butler, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue and Clemson back in late July. The Bulldogs had been seen as going neck and neck with Ohio State and Purdue to land Young’s services; however, the campus visit yesterday was able to seal the deal.

Young’s playing style is an ideal fit for Butler’s system, as Young is a big and skilled shot-maker with deep range, a big frame and above average athleticism. Different scouts see Young playing either the three or the four at the college level, but his shooting ability and strength might make him a potential combo forward, who could easily contend to earn early minutes for the Bulldogs in 2017-2018.

Ohio’s 2017 class now has ten players committed to NCAA D1 schools, with Pickerington Central’s Sterling Manley and Akron STVSM’s Jayvon Graves now becoming the most highly sought after prospects according to our rankings.

OSU Lands Pair of 2018’s

27 Aug

CommitOhio State added to their 2018 recruiting class on Saturday, thanks to the surprise commitments of two talented in-state prospects in Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens.

Bazley, a 6’8 forward out of Cincinnati Princeton, and Ahrens, a 6’5 wing from Versailles, both ended their recruitments in Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta’s office, as the attached photo hit Twitter and quickly went viral shortly after 1:00 PM.

The pair, who had both been quoted by various recruiting sites in the past as saying they’d like to play college ball together, will join fellow in-state prospect Dane Goodwin (Upper Arlington) as 2018 Buckeye commits, giving Coach Matta a talented trio of skilled wing guards and wing forwards to build his team around.

Currently ranked by this site as the top 2018 prospect in Ohio, and a consensus top-50 prospect nationally, Bazley is an early steal for the Buckeyes staff, as they were able to hold off schools like Florida, Cincinnati, Xavier and Michigan to get a commit from the lanky 6’8 forward. With a wing oriented game and exceptional skill for his size, Bazley’s talent is obvious, as he will have a chance to be an immediate impact player at OSU should he continue to put all the pieces of his game together.

Ahrens, while ranked as a top ten prospect in the state by this site (and we admit that he’s probably a little lower on the list then he should be), had not received a ton of high-major interest until the Buckeyes offered him on an unofficial visit last week. The 6’5 shooter with a smooth all-around game wasted little time in weighing his options, as one week later he committed to stay in-state for college. Coincidentally, Ahrens commitment is to one of the arch rivals of his brother, 2015 Versailles graduate Kyle Ahrens, who is just beginning his sophomore year at Michigan State; setting up some potential family bragging rights games in Kyle’s senior year.

The trio now gives Ohio State their first three-man in-state recruiting class since 2010, and that list could only continue to grow, as the Buckeyes also have offers out to Cleveland Holy Name guard Dwayne Cohill as well as Pickerington North forward Jerome Hunter.