This year’s All-Ohio Super Sixteen again attracted some of the top talent from Ohio, as well as surrounding states like Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, to Columbus for a weekend of competitive play. Particularly in the 16u division, action was competitive, as top teams like King James, All-Ohio Red, Kentucky Travelers, Team Harris (IN), Greenwood Elite, CIA Bounce and Ohio Nova paced a strong field; while the 17u field was rounded out by many of those programs plus teams like OBC White, Shining Stars, Ohio Unity, Michigan Mustangs and more. After spending much of the spring watching All-Ohio Red and King James, we spent much of our weekend checking out some other top talent which we hadn’t viewed as much this spring. Here’s a look at some of the top performances we saw in Columbus…
Note: If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to check out our updated prospect rankings and new player profiles here – LINK
Malek Green – ’17 SF/PF Cincinnati Taft: The top performer among Ohio prospects who we watched this weekend, Green displayed his usual great effort level to match consistent scoring and rebounding; particularly in an intense quarterfinal matchup with the Michigan Mustangs, which saw Green’s OBC White team fall by one point. At 6’6, Green showed versatility in attacking the rim off the dribble from the wing or in transition, but it was his ability to finish inside, often on offensive rebounds, that was most impressive. Add in the fact that Green is a tough defender with length and athleticism, and you have part of the reason why we’ve been billing him as the biggest sleeper in Ohio’s 2017 class.
Tyler Mitchell – ’17 PG Kings: Another sleeper out of Southwestern Ohio, Mitchell was also impressive for OBC White in two viewings by TDP. Known as a quick, playmaking point guard, Mitchell made good decisions in the pick and roll, managed the tempo of the game, made pull-up jumpers and proved that he can physically handle the rigors of 17u ball now that he’s added some weight to his frame. While he doesn’t have great size, Mitchell has the quickness, skill-set and vision that college coaches covet; making us believe that his NCAA D1 interest list is only going to continue to grow heading into July.
Devon Baker – ’18 SG Dayton Dunbar: Baker missed the entire circuit season up until this weekend, which had to be frustrating as his 16u Ohio Nova-Tillman team has earned some high praise for their performances at Spiece and during the first live period in Columbus. However, Baker showed that his game was rust-proof on Saturday, as we watched him come out with vengeance against a solid Another Level squad, as the strong-bodied 6’1 guard made shot after shot, attacked the rim with force and played his normal intense style of defense. One of the strongest and toughest kids in Ohio in 2018, if Baker can continue to hit shots heading into July, you’re really going to see his stocky skyrocket.
JJ Reed – ’18 SF/PF Paducah Tilghman/KY: Playing on a 16u Kentucky Travelers team that has a true post in 6’10 Middletown center EJ Williams, Reed is finally able to play his true position as a face-up forward; and the results of that project were quite successful in Columbus. The western Kentucky forward was impressive with his effort level as well as his skill-set, making mid-range jumpers, handling the ball in transition and rebounding from both the block and the wing. Consistency has always been the name of the game for Reed, but, if he can play like he did in Columbus on a consistent basis, he could challenge for the title of the top prospect in Kentucky in the 2018 class
Tre Baumgartner – ’18 PG Columbus Africentric: Playing for the rebranded VCC Warriors, now known as the Pro Bound Warriors, Baumgartner proved that he isn’t just a small guard who can shoot the ball; he’s an excellent point guard prospect. Showcasing more of a handle and more competitiveness then we knew he possessed, Baumgartner was aggressive in attacking the paint, made three-point shots (like always) and genuinely seemed comfortable playing the role of alpha dog on his team. If Baumgartner can replicate his level of play from this weekend next year at Africentric, he could become a candidate for Columbus City League player of the year.
Antwon Hampton – ’18 SG Grove City Central Crossing: A name that our friends at 270-Hoops have been talking about for a few months now, Hampton is a high-riser with an equally high ceiling as a prospect as he continues to develop his skill-set. Playing for the Ohio Hoopsters, Hampton did show that he’s capable of making some jumpers, but it’s his frame, athleticism and aggression as a slasher that excites us the most at this point. Once he really adds consistency to that shot and learns to be an active defender at all times, Hampton could be one of the top juniors in Columbus by the time the next high school season rolls around.
Honorable Mention: Dominic Lavarie (’17 Kettering Alter), Nick Pluta (’17 Springboro), Lonnie Francis (’17 Groveport-Madison), Keegan Saben (’17 Centerville), Tyjuan Childers (’18 Whitehall Yearling), Jerome Hunter (’18 Pickerington North), Dondre Palmer (’18 Pickerington North), Zach Kelch (’18 Simon Kenton/KY), Dyshawn Jackson (’18 Cleveland Central Catholic), TC Price (’18 Lexington Catholic/KY), Josh Corbin (’19 Gahanna Lincoln), Na’elle Simmons (’19 Columbus Beechcroft), William Mfum (’19 Columbus Northland)