The second, and final, week of the 2016 spring NCAA Live Evaluation Period has come and gone, as for the second straight weekend, college coaches flocked to all corners of the country to view prospects at grassroots circuit events. Triple Double Prospects spent our weekend in Indianapolis, as the biggest city in Indiana was absolutely abuzz with both Nike and Under Armour hosting their circuit events in town. With Ohio and Kentucky prospects competing in the Nike EYBL at 17u and the Nike Midwest Takeover 16u, we got another look at some of the Buckeye and Bluegrass State’s top players; here’s who stood out in front of the hundreds of college coaches who made the trip….
Note: Check out our new Ohio Prospect Rankings – HERE
Markell Johnson – ’17 PG Cleveland East Tech: The hyper athletic combo guard from King James was electric in two full games, and part of another, that we watching him in Indianapolis; as Johnson found ways to score both in transition and the half-court. Able to create whatever he wants in isolation situations with his handle, speed and a newly improved jab-step arsenal, Johnson was able to get his feet in the paint to finish or draw contact, while also making enough pull-up jumpers to keep the defense honest. With his athletic ability, and the fact that he is currently a high school senior (as ruled by the OHSAA) who will either go to prep school or maybe even college next year, Johnson attracted Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Florida to his games; while Louisville is also reportedly pushing hard for his services as a 2016 prospect. Regardless of where he ends up next year, Johnson’s play has led TDP to elevate him to the #1 ranking in our new 2017 rankings.
Nelly Cummings – ’17 PG Pittsburgh Lincoln Park/PA: In his second year as the starting point guard for All-Ohio Red, Cummings looked more comfortable shooting the jumper, as well as running the show, as the 5’11 athletic point guard was the catalyst for AOR in leading his team to a rivalry win over King James on Saturday morning. Cummings is an emotional point guard with a strong frame and speed, despite limited size, and showed an improved ability to manage the pace of the game in the half-court. Cummings is one of the top prospects in the Pittsburgh area regardless of class, and currently has offers from Bowling Green, Robert Morris, High Point and others.
Dalonte Brown – ’17 SF/PF Toledo Bowsher: After generating a lot of a lot of buzz in week one of the Nike EYBL, Brown was solid in Indianapolis as well. The 6’7 combo forward showed an ability to finish around the rim with touch and above average athleticism, made shots from the perimeter when open and generally played with some edge to his game on both ends. Consistency is the name of the game now for Brown, as he clearly is able to demonstrate all of the physical tools to excite mid and even some high-major college coaches with his abilities. Currently with offers from Toledo and Dayton, the in-state mid-major schools are beginning to make Brown a top priority for 2017.
Kyle Young – ’17 SF Massillon Jackson: After leading the entire Nike EYBL in scoring at the Brooklyn session with King James, Young was unfortunately slowed down by a nagging back injury for much of Saturday and Sunday. The 6’7 wing forward was, however, able to give it a go on Friday night, as he put on a solid performance. Young knocked down shots from three-point land with a smooth stroke, finished at the rim with a stronger and more developed post-up game and showed more competitive fire than he sometimes does as a high school player with a somewhat quiet style. With size and athleticism, Young projects as the ideal combo forward at the high-major level, part of the reason why North Carolina State, West Virginia, Michigan State and others have made him a priority this month. In addition to those schools, Young also holds offers from Butler, Purdue, Xavier, Clemson, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Jon Williams – ’17 PG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: While Markell Johnson handled the high octane offense for King James, Williams was the calming force, and did so in an impressive fashion. One of Ohio’s most pure outside shooters, especially as a pass first point guard, Williams showed pace, a high IQ and shiftiness at the position in all of King James’ games. Able to change gears to get by defenders with his deceptive length, Williams is a capable playmaker and a very good floor general who might be one of the most highly regarded mid-major guys in the 2017 class in Ohio.
Dane Goodwin – ’18 SG Upper Arlington: Always known as a shooter and skilled player, Goodwin showed that he is ready to take the next step in Indianapolis, as the Ohio State commit led All-Ohio Red’s 16u team to the event championship and a berth in the Nike Peach Jam in July. Yes, he still makes a lot of threes, but Goodwin’s ability to get into the lane and finish with creativity around the rim has been very impressive, as he is quickly becoming the master of the reverse layup in traffic. A more confident competitor and better athlete than a year ago, Goodwin looks the part of a Big Ten commit, and should see his stock rise high on the national scene as he continues his play with AOR on a team full of high-IQ perimeter players that fit Goodwin’s style.
Vince Williams – ’18 SF Toledo St. John’s: Like many of his teammates with All-Ohio Red 16u, Williams is a player with a solid IQ; however, the 6’5 combo forward prefers the role of bully with this team, as he uses his strong frame and athletic build to push around and intimidate the competition on the inside for AOR. Williams was the enforcer for Red all weekend long; whether it was finishing in traffic, grabbing rebounds or guarding both wing and power forwards. Already with a scholarship offer from Toledo, Williams is quickly accumulating high-major interest, as he mentioned schools like Wisconsin, Purdue and Wisconsin as schools who’ve reached out to TDP.
Foster Loyer – ’18 PG Clarkston/MI: Another standout from AOR 16u, Michigan based point guard Foster Loyer showed that size does not matter, as the 5’9 lead guard controlled the pace of the semifinal and championship games, as Red defeated two much more athletic clubs in Southern Stampede (GA) and Team CP3 (NC). Loyer is a competitive, smart and exceptionally skilled guard; capable of shooting the jumper, making a crafty pass or just running the show as the primary ballhandler against pressure. While he’s always going to be critiqued due to his small stature, Loyer has shown that he can hold his own against the best; part of the reason why he already holds offers from DePaul and Michigan State.
Darius Bazley – ’18 SF Cincinnati Finneytown: No one from Ohio in the Nike events showed more upside that Bazley, as the 6’8 pure small forward from King James 16u team finished two-handed alley-oop dunks, finished tip in shots around the rim, handled the ball, made three-pointers and showed that he is starting to learn how to compete every possession. With elite length and athleticism for his position, Bazley has the skill-set to do whatever he wants on the court as he adds consistency to his mental approach. Schools like Xavier, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan and several other high-major programs tracked Bazley from start to finish this past weekend, as he led King James to the 16u Silver Title.
Darius Quisenberry – ’18 PG Tecumseh: A tough-minded scoring point guard from western Ohio, “Quizz” proved to be up to the challenge of playing against bigger athletes, as the crafty guard was able to score in the lane with his strong frame, make jumpers (as he always has) and prove to be both a competitor and a leader. While he is slightly undersized, look for Quisenberry to become one of Ohio’s most sought after guards by college coaches for the 2018 class, as point men who can really shoot the three-ball are all the rage right now.
EJ Williams – ’18 C Middletown: Crossing the Ohio river for AAU to run with the Kentucky Travelers 16u squad, the lone Buckeye State prospect on the team made a solid impression in a Saturday morning win. Williams, a widely built 6’10 center, was able to finish with his strong left hand, made passes out of double-teams and showed his usual soft touch as a rebounder at the basket. While the pace of the game is much faster in AAU than in high school, we were pleased with the energy that the big fella played with, as we tweeted that Williams played with more of an edge than we saw with what was an underwhelming Middletown team this past year. Williams still owns an offer from Xavier, and as he continues to trim his big frame will only continue to gather more mid and high major interest.
Trevon Fulkner – ’18 Mercer County/KY: An up and coming guard from about forty miles southwest of Lexington, Fulkner is a talented scoring combo guard with a big and athletic frame and a lot of upside. Also armed with a smooth handle and lefty pull-up jumper, Fulkner showed that while he might not quite have figured it all out yet, he has big play ability on the wing for the Kentucky Travelers 16u team. Fluid enough to get by defenders and strong enough to finish, Fulkner has a lot of scoring talent; however, with those same physical traits he also can be a really good defender as well. If Fulkner can start to show that he has the point guard skills to match his scoring game, there’s no reason why he can’t establish himself as a top five prospect in the state of Kentucky in 2018.
Others: Reece Strohm (’17 Reynoldsburg), Kaleb Wesson (’17 Westerville South), Torrey Patton (’17 Trotwood Madison), Logan Hill (’17 Massillon Jackson), David Collins (’17 First Love Christian/PA), Jaylen Harris (’17 Cleveland Heights), Miryne Thomas (’17 Cleveland Central Catholic), Jayvon Graves (’17 Akron STVSM), Yahel Hill (’18 Cleveland Heights), Justin Ahrens (’18 Versailles), Dylan Swingle (’18 Paint Valley), Braden Norris (’18 Hilliard Bradley), Ahmad Price (’18 Louisville Fern Creek/KY), Adam Kunkel (’18 Burlington Cooper/KY)