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.

End of Summer MS Showcase

31 Jul
Darien Henry

Darien Henry

While Triple Double Prospects always focuses our attention on the top high school talent in Ohio and Kentucky, once it gets to be summer it’s never too early to start identifying the top incoming freshmen that will be making their debut on the high school scene. This year’s group of rising freshmen from the Cincinnati area, the class of 2020, looks to be a strong group, as TDP got our first chance to evaluate some prospects from that class at Sunday’s All-Ohio End of Summer Middle School AAU Showcase at Cincinnati Woodward HS. Here’s a look at some top performers, whom we believe will be names that you’ll see in varsity box-scores in the near future….

Darrion Henry – ’20 PF Cincinnati Princeton: There are few things in basketball more difficult to defend then a dominating big man; and that’s exactly what Henry proved to be on Sunday at Woodward. We’ve heard for months now about the upside of this 6’5 post player, but we might have been under sold, as Henry clearly possesses the strength of a center with the nimble feet of a wing forward. With the athleticism to run the floor and finish with a dunk and the strength to rebound through contact, Henry showed a knack for finishing plays on the offensive side, as he should have all of the physical tools to be an instant impact at the varsity level. Right now, at 6’5, Henry is a very intriguing basketball player, if he grows to be in the 6’8 range, watch out!

Isaiah Kennedy – ’20 PG Huber Heights Wayne: Having earned the reputation among junior high AAU coaches as one of the best point guards in Ohio’s 2020 class, Kennedy was very impressive with his R4L Davis team, showcasing excellent vision as a passer, making pull-up jumpers after creating space with crossovers and having enough strength and athleticism to be a finisher as well. What also stood out about Kennedy was his knack for creating turnovers with his length as an on-ball defender as well. If he continues to hone his craft, Kennedy could be the next dominant guard on the long list of top prospects to have come out of the Huber Heights Wayne program this decade.

Mark Wise – ’20 SG Cincinnati Deer Park: Wise has been the talk of the Cincinnati middle school city league coaches for over a year now thanks to his athleticism and ability to score the ball at the basket, which is exactly what he showcase for R4L Davis, as the 6’2 guard showed exceptional length and a nose for getting to the rim and scoring in traffic. Wise’s coaches say that his jumper has already improved considerably in the last few months, making him a potential varsity starter as a freshman next season. With the frame to play the one through the three, look for Wise to make an immediate defensive impact, and continue to tighten his offensive skill-package in the next year.

Jaheim Thomas – ’20 PF Cincinnati Princeton: Another promising forward out of Princeton, Thomas, like Henry, has an excellent build, as he looks much more like a high school senior than a freshman. Another very good athlete at 6’4 who can play in transition or around the basket, Thomas might not have the polished offensive game of Henry, but his ability to block shots, run the floor and defend will be helpful to a young Princeton team in search of players with a strong motor like Thomas has.

Aaron Ward – ’20 PF Cincinnati Princeton: That’s right, a third freshman from Princeton with big time potential; and another one with some size, as the 6’5 Ward was equally as impressive as his teammate Thomas. Ward is a little bit more polished with his face-up jumper, and unlike Thomas and Henry is built a little more slender, making us believe that he’s the most likely of the three to add a few more inches to his frame. Ward showed a good motor getting up and down the floor, was active around the rim as a young big who is athletic enough to finish with a dunk with ease and also showed solid instincts as a shot-blocker. As you’d expect with any high-upside young big man, Ward is raw, but his talent is unquestioned.

Paul McMillan – ’22 PG/SG Cincinnati Woodward: We tried to focus our attention on the rising ninth graders, but TDP did stop over and watch highly publicized Paul McMillan of the All-Ohio Red 2022 team (rising seventh graders) for one game. McMillan, the son of Cincinnati Woodward head coach Paul McMillan and a player who has garnered national recognition from sites like Buckeye Prep and City League Hoops TV, did not disappoint in the slightest, as he showed off a true combo guard game and advanced skill-set, while also having more size at the guard position than any of his competition. With an intensity to his game that you don’t often see in young players, McMillan competed on both ends of the court, and appears to be a top prospect to watch as he ascends the middle school ranks at Woodward JR HS.

Recruiting Notes

Jaden Sayles – ’17 PF/C Cincinnati Sycamore: An athletic 6’9 post who had a very strong July with OBC White, Sayles made his verbal commitment on Saturday afternoon to the Akron Zips. Choosing the MAC program over mid-major rivals such as Bowling Green, Toledo, Tennessee-Martin and Niagara; Sayles became the eighth member of Ohio’s 2017 class to commit to an NCAA D1 school, and the first in-state prospect from that class to commit to Akron. With length, the ability to run the floor and a frame that can pickup weight, Sayles could be the ideal rim defender at the mid-major level for the Zips, especially as the 6’9 rising senior showed tremendous strides during the final three live evaluation periods.

Adidas All-In Recap

17 Jul
Naz Bohannon

Naz Bohannon

The Adidas All-In Classic returned to Cincinnati for another year this past weekend, as the event drew a ton of college coaches from all levels for the middle of the three summer NCAA Live Evaluation Periods. While the NCAA D2 and low and mid-major D1’s had the most coaches in attendance, several top-25 programs were also represent in the event, which was headlined by Ohio Basketball Club. However, as you’ll see below, there was more talent than just the OBC teams; here’s a rundown of the top performances that we were able to catch….

Naz Bohannon – ’17 SF/PF Lorain: Bohannon was dominant from start to finish during the tournament, particularly in a rivalry matchup in which his Ohio Basketball Club team defeated OBC White, 66-62. A master of the intangibles, Bohannon brought effort, toughness and leadership to the floor for OBC, and along with Findlay commit Tommy Schmock (Cleveland St. Edward) and Salem Northwestern PF Derek Koch, the Lorain product also helped handle a lot of the scoring load. While Bohannon isn’t the most skilled player, his effort and strength allow him to score on the interior, while he’s also athletic enough to get out and make plays in transition as well. With mid-major and Ivy League schools tracking him the hardest right now, Bohannon is set to have plenty of NCAA D1 options by the fall.

Derek Koch – ’17 PF Salem Northwestern: As we mentioned before, Koch handled a lot of the scoring responsibilities for OBC, as the 6’8 showcased his signature combination of power and explosiveness around the rim. While Koch is skilled enough to hit some mid-range jumpers, we believe that his best work is done around the rim; where he is strong enough to finish through contact, rebounds at a high level and just generally bullies opponents. With some of the top in-state mid-major programs tracking him all weekend long, Koch is one of the most highly recruiting rising seniors in Ohio at the moment.

Lonnie Grayson – ’17 SG Cincinnati Wyoming: A name that has been on the radar of the NCAA D2’s, and some D1’s, for a long time now, Grayson improved his stock over the weekend by playing some terrific on the ball defense, as well as making shots. Always known as a scorer who can make long-range shots off the bounce, Grayson was excellent in transition and on the defensive end, as he used a combination of quickness and effort to make plays on both ends of the court. While he might not have ideal height for a shooting guard at 6’0, Grayson is a pure scorer and a heck of a prospect.

Tavon Brown – ’17 PF Columbus St. Charles: Brown turned heads more than anyone else in the event at the 17u level with his VCC-Nova team, as the 6’8 forward proved to be a very intriguing athlete who plays with a motor and has a lot of physical talent that is still untapped. Offensively, Brown is still figuring it all out, but he does show some feel for how to create space around the rim; however, it was his ability to get up and down the floor and alter shots that impressed college coaches the most. After catching our eye in the spring, Brown has gotten better and better, and will be heavily recruited at the NCAA D1 and D2 level if he continues to play with such great energy heading into the winter.

Dwayne Cohill – ’18 PG/SG Cleveland Holy Name: Cohill has been our top-ranked 2018 prospect for sometime now thanks to his ability to attack the rim and score with great athleticism. However, two improvements to his game really had us excited this past weekend, as Cohill proved that he has improved his point guard game and has really focused in on going from a good defender to a great defender. Handling a lot of point guard duties for his OBC 16u team, Cohill made the right pass at the right time, and did a nice job balancing scoring with distributing in transition; but it was his defense that stood out the most, as the 6’3 guard used his length, quickness and explosiveness to turn opponents turnovers into dunks on the other end. With many high-major coaches stopping through Cincinnati specifically to see Cohill and his OBC teammate Robby Carmody (Mars Area/PA), the Cleveland product did nothing but improve his recruiting stock with his latest performances.

Christian Guess – ’18 SG Shaker Heights: While Carmody and Cohill get much of the praise on the OBC 16u team, Guess is truly not that far behind them when it comes to natural ability. After transitioning from Glenville to Shaker Heights for his junior year, Guess is eager to get his name back on the map, after jumping around on the AAU circuit a bit a year ago. In Cincinnati, Guess showed tremendous playmaking ability, as he’s a long 6’5 wing that can score from the perimeter, has great athleticism at the rim and plays with a competitive passion. As Guess continues to use his emotional mindset as a positive, and area where’s he already come a LONG way, there’s no reason why he can’t become a top five to ten prospect in Ohio’s 2018 class, as many in-state mid-majors already have their eyes set on securing his services.

Isaiah Speelman – ’18 SF/PF Hilliard Bradley: Yet another standout performer for OBC 16u, Speelman provided the biggest scoring burst for the rising junior team, as he continues to become the consummate inside-outside threat as a 6’6 combo forward. Speelman shot the ball with great consistency out to the three-point line, drove strong to the rim off of one dribble and even showed the ability to make the correct play as a ballhandler in transition. While his offensive style can be unorthodox at times, very few prospects in the 2018 class have as much natural scoring ability as Speelman, who also plays with enough effort and athleticism to be an above-average rebounder as well. Given his inside-outside style, expect Speelman to actually become the most heavily recruited mid-major prospect on an OBC team that is deep with future college players.

Notes: The OBC 15u team also showcased some impressive young talent in our viewing of them on Friday night. Led by skilled and crafty wings in 6’4 Alec Pfriem (Cincinnati Roger Bacon) and 6’4 Jack Davin (Covington Catholic/KY), OBC has both size and skill on the perimeter. Pfriem is more of a natural scorer with shooting ability and touch on his floater, while Davin is a great complimentary piece with his vision as a passer and length to make plays defensively. Additionally, athletic 6’6 forward Nick Thelen (also from Covington Catholic) was impressive as well, as he showed a motor and great physical upside. As this team matures, those three should be among the top 2019’s in Ohio and Kentucky to follow.

Others: Tommy Schmock (’17 Cleveland St. Edward), Tyler Mitchell (’17 Kings), Malek Green (’17 Cincinnati Taft), Ryan Batte (’17 Oak Hills), Correy Long (’17 Cincinnati Hughes), James Johnson (’17 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Matt Smith (’17 Bloom Carroll), Rob Brown (’17 Toledo Bowsher), Alex Dahling (’17 Cincinnati Summit), Solomon Pierre Louis (’18 Columbus Academy), Robby Carmody (’18 Mars Area/PA), JJ Ramey (’19 South Laurel/KY)

Commitment Watch

28 Jun
Logan Hill

Logan Hill

We’re only a few days away from the start of the July evaluation period, where college coaches will get their final look at Ohio’s top prospects before the start of the new school year. However, before that period starts, some schools are moving quickly to try and secure commitments from their biggest targets, to avoid having another school swoop in and change that player’s mind after a big series of performances in July. Two such prospects from the Buckeye State made decisions over this past weekend, while plenty of other recruiting rumors were circulating as well. Here’s the latest scoop….

Markell Johnson – ’16 PG Cleveland East Tech: After being ranked as Ohio’s top 2017 prospect by this publication and several others, Johnson officially (after months of speculation) reclassified to the class of 2016. Johnson will play next year at North Carolina State, choosing the Wolfpack over Texas A&M, Louisville, Ohio State and others. A big time athlete and scorer, Johnson had been putting up great numbers in the Nike EYBL with King James, after having a final season at East Tech where he contended for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award. While the departure of Johnson will leave the state without a premiere guard in the 2017 class, we do expect to see Johnson make an impact with the Wolfpack as a backup point guard to likely one-and-done NBA caliber talent Dennis Smith Jr, a fellow freshman next season.

AJ Gareri – ’17 PF Akron Ellet: A long, skilled and talented offensive player, Gareri went from a good to great mid-major prospect thanks to his play as a junior at Ellet, where he scored at will. Using that scoring ability as leverage to earn scholarship offers from several mid-major schools, as well as some high-major interest, Gareri ended the recruiting process early on Sunday, as he committed to in-state power Ohio University. Giving the Bobcats an offensive weapon that can replace the pick-and-pop ability to current star Antonio Campbell after his graduation, Gareri’s skilled game could be an ideal fit in the MAC, where his size and agility make him a tough matchup for opposing power forwards. While many thought that Gareri was likely to end up at Kent State or Akron, the Bobcats staff did a good job securing an early commitment from the 6’8 forward, who will finish up the summer live period with Ohio Basketball Club.

Logan Hill – ’16 PF Massillon Jackson: Another highly recruited prospect by in-state mid-major programs, Hill also made a verbal commitment within the last few days; choosing the Toledo Rockets as his future home for college basketball. Hill was the target of almost the entire MAC due to his athleticism, motor and rebounding ability, as he has proven to be an effective role player at the Nike EYBL level with All-Ohio Red, despite not having natural power forward size for the mid-major level. With Hill expected to make up part of the one-two scoring punch, along with Kyle Young, next year at Massillon Jackson, the Rockets staff made sure to get their commitment from the 6’6 forward early, as they held off other programs such as Bowling Green, St. Francis (PA), High Point and Florida Atlantic.