Flyin’ to the Hoop

17 Jan

Torrey Patton

The 15th annual showing of Flyin’ to the Hoop at Kettering Trent Arena was another success, as top teams from Ohio and other states as far away as California made their way to the Dayton area for four days of action packed basketball. Yet again, the Ohio teams measured up well against out of state prep schools, with Pickerington Central giving Marietta Wheeler (GA) all they can handle, Huber Heights Wayne playing a loaded Huntington Prep (WV) team close for a half and Massillon Jackson putting a beat down on Our Savior New American (NY). Here’s a look at the top in-state performers from our seventh trip up to Flyin’ to the Hoop….

Torrey Patton – ’17 SG Trotwood Madison: The unsigned 6’2 senior guard had a scoring outburst against nationally renowned Prolific Prep (CA) on Monday, scoring 36 points in a game that Trotwood-Madison (arguably Ohio’s top team regardless of class) competed in for more than a half before foul trouble doomed the Rams. Patton is a strong-bodied guard with a polished skill-set who plays some point guard for TM, but is even better off the ball as a strong slasher who can make shots from distance as well. One of Ohio’s top unsigned guards, expect to see Patton’s name near the top of the GWOC in scoring for the remainder of the season.

Kyle Young – ’17 SF Massillon Jackson: Already a legit Mr. Basketball candidate heading into this weekend’s showdown with New York City powerhouse Our Savior New American, Young was sensational on Sunday, scoring 26 points in a win. Young, a Butler signee, is a knockdown shooter at 6’7 from deep with great size on the wing; however, he’s also a solid athlete who can finish in traffic or use his body to create open looks. Capable of spending time at other forward spot at the next level, Young should make an impact for the Bulldogs with his shooting stroke and raw size.

Jayvon Graves – ’17 SG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: You always expect big things from the Akron STVSM boys at these events, and Graves was more than ready for the challenge, as the 6’2 senior wing guard tallied 27 points in a win over Pickerington North. A high wire act with both explosiveness and power, Graves was dominant on both ends of the floor, as he is nearly impossible to match up with at the high school level. The Buffalo signee can guard multiple positions, handle the ball and plays with a good motor; all the more reason why he was the target of top mid-major programs.

Keegan Saben – ’17 PG/SG Centerville: Another skilled and versatile guard like Patton, Saben was terrific for his disciplined Elks team this weekend, scoring 23 points and dishing out 5 assists in a win over a talented Cleveland Heights team. Saben has the ability to play either guard spot at 6’3, and is both capable of creating shots for himself or others off the dribble, as he relentlessly attacked the Cleveland Heights defense with strong drives to the rim and pull-up jumpers. One of Dayton’s top senior guards, Saben is committed to play at West Liberty (WV), one of the nation’s elite NCAA D2 programs.

Dane Goodwin – ’18 SG Upper Arlington: Everyone who had done their homework on Goodwin knew that the 6’4 Ohio State commit could make perimeter shots in bunches; however, before his game this weekend not everyone knew how skilled Goodwin’s overall floor game is, as the junior put on a clinic against Garfield Heights in posting 34 points and 13 rebounds. Goodwin’s point total matched the entire team total of his opponent, as the junior showed a fiery competitiveness on the bright state. A shooter who can also handle the ball, and is deceptively athletic, Goodwin will bring instant offense to Ohio State when he steps foot on the Buckeye campus for the ’18-’19 season.

Jerome Hunter – ’18 SF Pickerington North: Another Columbus junior capable of scoring in bunches, Hunter continued to make a case for the top spot in our Ohio Class of 2018 Rankings over the weekend, as he dominated the game with 27 points and 15 rebounds in a loss to Akron STVSM. Formerly a raw talent who we were waiting to put it all together, Hunter has now begun to play like a man on a mission; showcasing elite physical tools to go along with a refined skill-set for a 6’7 forward. With his athleticism, shooting stroke and ability to create off the bounce with power, Hunter has become one of the best scorers in Ohio HS basketball; part of the reason why schools like West Virginia, Purdue, Xavier, Florida and other high-major programs are aggressively recruiting the junior.

Darius Bazley – ’18 SF Cincinnati Princeton: A 6’8 forward with incredible upside, we were impressed with Bazley’s effort level, as the junior Ohio State commit really competed in his first outing with Princeton (after sitting 11 games per OHSAA transfer rules) in their loss to national powerhouse Marietta Wheeler (GA). While his Princeton team is very young, the Vikings showed long-term upside, particularly in Bazley who has legitimate guard skills at 6’8 and is fun to watch every time he catches the ball. Bazley is still figuring things out in terms of efficiency, but you just don’t see kids who have his combination of size, agility and skill, part of the reason why this future Buckeye is a top-50 prospect per all the major national recruiting publications.

Justin Ahrens – ’18 SF Versailles: A third Ohio State commit from the 2018 class, Ahrens was ready to play on Monday morning at FTTH, finishing with 26 points as his Versailles team defeated Tri-Village in the annual small school showdown game at Trent Arena. While we’ve seen Ahrens play plenty of times as a second or third scoring option on the AAU circuit, this was our first time really seeing him as a go-to scorer at the high school level; and the versatility of the 6’6 forward really showed, as Ahrens got buckets in the post, as a jump-shooter and by creating off of the dribble as his team’s primary ballhandler. A true jack-of-all-trades, we envision Ahrens as a key role piece down the road at Ohio State alongside guys like Goodwin and Bazley.

Jake Walter – ’18 C Covington Catholic/KY: While his school is technically located about 1.5 miles outside of the state of Ohio, we thought that we’d include this massive 2018 post prospect from the Greater Cincinnati area in our recap, as the 6’11 Walter produced a solid outing in Cov Cath’s win over Dayton Dunbar. It’s hard to beat Dunbar in Dayton, and that’s exactly what Walter’s squad did, even playing without star junior wing CJ Fredrick; as Walter produced double-figure rebounds and altered shots at the rim with his ability to clog space in the paint with his giant frame. Playing his first true season of high school hoops after being injured the last two years, Walter is in shape and ready to make an impact for the Colonels (arguably Kentucky’s top team), as he showed great hands, a lot of hustle and ability to rebound in traffic. Already with one mid-major offer to his name, Walter’s name is being mentioned by several mid-major programs of late, and he should see a steady rise in his recruitment in the spring.

Jeremiah Francis – ’19 PG Pickerington Central: The lone sophomore to make our top performer list, Francis’ competitive drive kept his Pickerington Central team going on Saturday, as the Tigers stayed in the game until the final minutes with an experienced and talented Marietta Wheeler (GA) team. By far Ohio’s most talented 2019 point guard, Francis was dynamic as a ballhandler and passer who has the strength to get in the lane and create for himself or others. Additionally, Francis continues to look more and more confident with his three-point shot, which gives yet another weapon on the offensive end of the floor. A legit floor general with a mature feel for the game and a sense of composure to his play, Francis already has high-major offers from West Virginia, Purdue and Nebraska on a list that we expect to continue to grow.

Honorable Mention: Danny Davis (’17 Springfield), Michael McKay (’17 Springfield), Braden Norris (’18 Hilliard Bradley), Isaiah Speelman (’18 Hilliard Bradley), Adrian Nelson (’18 Pickerington Central), L’Christian Smith (’18 Huber Heights Wayne), Darius Quisenberry (’18 Huber Heights Wayne), Jordan Mitchell (’19 Gahanna Lincoln), Jaylen Harris (’17 Cleveland Heights), Yahel Hill (’18 Cleveland Heights), Caleb McConnell (’18 Dayton Dunbar), Myles Belyeu (’18 Trotwood Madison), Amari Davis (’19 Trotwood Madison), Andre Gordon (’19 Sidney)

Cincinnati HS Preview

26 Nov

Terry Durham

Just two days after a Thanksgiving feast, Cincinnati high school hoops fans were treated to a basketball feast at Woodward High School, as Bulldogs head coach Paul McMillan hosted another edition of The Cincinnati HS Preview. TDP was in attendance for the final five games of the evening, although, unfortunately, the final game scheduled between Cincinnati Taft and Cincinnati Purcell Marian was unable to be played. In the four games where we were able to take in the action, here are the standout performers that caught our eye….

Terry Durham – ’18 SF Cincinnati Woodward: There’s no secret that expectations are high for Durham in his first year at Woodward, after transferring from Winton Woods over the summer. Known as a superb athlete with a grown man’s strength at the basket, Durham has been labeled as a tough kid who has let his emotions slow him down at times in the past. We saw no signs of that at all on Saturday, however, as the 6’3 forward was flat out dominant on both ends of the floor for a Bulldogs team that appears to be one of the state’s top D2 squads heading into the regular season next weekend. Durham blocked shots on the defensive end, rebounded on both ends, ran the floor with great effort and, to the crowd’s delight, finished dunk after dunk on the offensive end, including a two-handed of the backboard alley-oop in transition from a Will Coker pass. While his perimeter set is improving, the ability to consistently make shots should be what will separate Durham from having a good high school season to a great season; as the Bulldogs coaching staff is excited to see what Durham, Coker and senior wing Lonnie Berry Jr. can accomplish this season.

DJ Brewton – ’18 SG Mount Healthy: After some inconsistent play a year ago, Brewton appears ready for a breakout junior season with the Owls, as the 6’2 combo guard was electric in his team’s loss to Cincy Shroder on Saturday. Whether it was making pull-up jumpers, throwing no-look passes or finishing two big dunks in transition (one of which was a poster play that brought the crowd at Woodward to their feet), Brewton looked every bit like a high-end prospect for Mount Healthy. On a team that might struggle to score consistently against top defenses, look for the Owls to get the ball into Brewton’s hands and ask him to make plays for himself and teammates, as one of the top junior guards in the area at creating shots on the offensive end.

Sam Martin – ’17 PG Cincinnati Summit Country Day: A tough-minded guard in a Cincinnati senior class full of tough-minded guards, Martin, fresh off a second straight state soccer championship, wasted little time readjusting to basketball on Saturday night; as he again proved that he is among the region’s most crafty playmaking guards. Dribbling less but getting in the lane more, using some quick cuts in a new look Summit offense, Martin found some opportunities to score around the rim, while also creating some nifty assists for his teammates with well timed passes. A competitor who loves to pester opposing guards in the full-court, Martin is one of our favorite unsigned point guards in the state of Ohio, and a kid who we believe NCAA D2 schools should be all over as they close out their 2017 recruiting classes.

Will Coker – ’17 PG Cincinnati Woodward: After another stellar year on the football field, where he’s known as the Reggie Bush of the Cincinnati city league, Coker made his return felt upon stepping on the hardwood again, as the senior looks to build on what were already video-game like numbers a year ago. While this year’s Woodward team features more scoring options, Coker is still the conductor of the train, as the speedy 5’8 point guard is the one who will look to push tempo in transition, apply pressure in driving at the rim as often as possible and apply pressure of his own with full-court defense. While at times his speed can be a gift and a curse, there is no one in the state of Ohio who can stay with Coker when he’s pushing the ball in transition, something that will again lead to many, many fast break points for the Bulldogs all season long.

Marcus Barton – ’17 SG Cincinnati Aiken: Many have wondered if Barton will be able to keep Aiken in their normal place near the top of the CMAC standings, after graduation and transfers hit the Falcons hard last summer. Well, if Saturday night was a preview for the whole season, the answer would be, yes! Barton was unconscious from beyond the arc, playing with his usual swag and emotion, as the 5’9 sharpshooter proved yet again that he is pound-for-pound as good of a high school guard as anyone, despite his slender frame. While this year’s Aiken’s team doesn’t have great size, or experience other than Barton, we do know that The Swoop has an emotional leader in Barton, who is capable of putting up big time shooting numbers from long-range with his quick release.

Darweshi Hunter – ’18 SG Princeton: Leading the charge for an inexperienced Vikings team that recently undertook a coaching change, Hunter was the scoring catalyst for Princeton in their narrow loss to Woodward. Playing without Ohio State commit Darius Bazley (sitting first 11 games per OHSAA transfer rules) and junior forward Dominic Pierce, Hunter was more than able to carry the scoring load for a team that had to rely on several freshmen to play key minutes. After averaging double-figure scoring numbers a year ago, Hunter is still an above-average, albeit streaky, shooter from long range; but the 6’3 guard does appear to have improved his ability to create for himself off of the dribble and get in the lane to draw contact. Also a high effort player on both ends, expect Hunter to continue to make a name for himself in his second go-around in the GMC at the varsity level.

Others: TJ Walker (’17 Cincy Summit), Derrick Heard (’18 Cincy Shroder), Tremaine Smith (’19 Cincy Aiken), Mark Wise (’20 Deer Park), Alex Dahling (’17 Cincy Summit), Xavier Johnson (’17 Cincy Summit), Nekhi Smith (’20 Cincy Shroder)

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), Jake 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.