Gaffney Picks OSU

10 Apr

Alonzo GaffneyIn a move that surprised many with the timing, as we’re less then two weeks away from the NCAA live evaluation period where college coaches will watch top prospects play on the travel circuit, Ohio’s top junior announced a verbal commitment to a college program on Tuesday via Twitter.

6’9 forward Alonzo Gaffney out of Cleveland Garfield Heights made a pledge to Ohio State and head coach Chris Holtmann. Ohio’s #1 ranked prospect in 2019 via this publication, landing Gaffney is a huge coup for Holtmann and his Buckeyes program, as the staff is taking a major stride forward both in showing an ability to land top in-state prospects as well as top ranked players nationally (as almost all major recruiting publications consider Gaffney to be a top-25 prospect in the nation and a five-star player).

While choosing Ohio State isn’t necessarily a surprise with Gaffney, as the state’s top prospects almost always at least consider the Buckeyes, but the timing again was unique, as Gaffney would have been evaluated by almost every college program in the nation this spring with his All-Ohio Red travel team. In choosing the Buckeyes, Gaffney spurned offers from programs such as Kansas, Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Michigan State.

The Cleveland area forward is an elite talent, as Gaffney possesses a unique combination of size, length and athleticism, with the fluidity to play on the wing or out of the post. Also a skilled player who is capable of handling the ball and knocking down shots, Gaffney is the prototypical new-age face-up four man, as he is almost a fourth guard at times but can also play an anchor role defensively by cleaning up shots at the rim with his length and explosiveness. As he continues to add strength and tighten up his skill-set, Gaffney will keep climbing the recruiting rankings nationally and could potentially find himself in the McDonald’s All-American Game a year from now as his production becomes more consistent.

Not only is Gaffney the fifth junior from Ohio to commit to an NCAA D1 school, but he’s the fourth to commit to a high-major program, joining Pickerington Central guard Jeremiah Francis (North Carolina), Cincinnati Moeller guard Deuce McBride (West Virginia) and Xenia guard Samari Curtis (Xavier) as top prospects who’ve already made their college decision. With four of the top ten prospects already off the board, this spring and summer should be an interesting one on the recruiting trail, as many of the top mid-major prospects could get an extra look from high-major programs who might’ve missed out on the kids who have already made their decisions.

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Bearcat Classic Recap

9 Apr
Loveday

Zach Loveday

Triple Double Prospects started our annual spring tournament journey this past weekend, staying local to check out the Bearcat Classic presented by OhioBasketball.com. With teams from all over Ohio, Kentucky and a few sprinkled in from Indiana, the Bearcat Classic featured a lot of talent, especially in the 16u and 15u divisions from not only Southwest Ohio, but also the entire Buckeye State. Here’s a look at some of the top performers who we watched this weekend….

Zach Loveday – ’20 PF Gallipolis Gallia Academy: Ranked by TDP as Ohio’s top prospect in the 2020 class, the 6’11 Loveday led his Louisville Magic team to a championship and undefeated weekend, as Loveday showed the ability to be a versatile scorer. A long and well above average athlete for his size, Loveday was able to run the floor and finish above the rim, but also showed shooting touch from mid-range and deft passing skills with both his back facing the basket or in the face-up. Already with offers from Xavier, Purdue and Ohio State, look for Loveday’s stock to skyrocket nationally this spring, as there are almost no similarly sized players his age with his combination of skill and athleticism at 6’11.

Jackson Ames – ’20 C West Clermont: Joining Loveday in the Louisville Magic frontcourt and standing almost as tall at a legit 6’10, Ames showed tremendous improvement since we saw him last in the fall at one of our open gyms, as he has strengthened his body and become a better athlete. One play stood out Saturday where Ames secured a defensive rebound, sprinted the floor to seal his man in the post and finished with a drop-step two-handed dunk, solidifying his transformation in our eyes. Like many bigs his age, Ames has plenty to work on, but he has a massive frame that you can’t teach, and his skills are improving by the day; look for Ames to earn offers this spring with the Magic.

Aaron Ward – ’20 PF Cincinnati Princeton: A hyper-athletic 6’7 forward with wing skills, Ward is next-up at Princeton with the pending graduation of Darius Bazley. This weekend, running with the Cincinnati Lakers, Ward was able to score the ball in different ways, whether it was the mid-range jumper, offensive rebounds or dribble drives from the wing or high post. Also showing the ability to grab a defensive rebound and push it the length of the court, Ward is one of 2020’s most talented athletes and a developing forward with big time potential heading into his junior season.

Jack Sawyer – ’21 PF Pickerington North: Part of a dominant front line for the Mid-Ohio Pumas, who won the 15u championship, Sawyer is a man amongst boys at this age group. Already holding an offer from Ohio State for football, Sawyer is not only bigger and significantly stronger than his opponents, he also is more athletic as a 6’5 forward who can play on the wing or the block. Not only is Sawyer physically superior then his competition, but he also has a solid skill-set, showcasing the ability to handle the ball in traffic, score at the rim with touch and, more then anything, he competes with a motor and physicality at all times. While he’ll ultimately end up pursuing football, Sawyer is without question one of Ohio’s better 2021 basketball prospects.

Logan Duncomb – ’21 C Cincinnati Moeller: Although he didn’t play varsity basketball this year, which is standard at Moeller, don’t think that Duncomb isn’t one of Ohio’s premiere talents in 2021, as the 6’8 center is one of the focal points of the Mid-Ohio Pumas 15u team. A long and lanky post with well above average athleticism for his size, Duncomb plays the traditional center role and was devastating against defenses with his right-hand hook shot. Also, able to rebound, finish offensive rebounds, block shots and run the floor, Duncomb is a long-term prospect who is just scratching the surface of his potential as the next big man out of the Moeller program.

Kaden Warner – ’21 PG Cincinnati North College Hill: A small but fiery and ultra-skilled point guard, Warner scored in bunches all weekend, leading his BTC Trojans 16u team in scoring, despite playing up an age group. An electric ballhandler who can create shots whenever he wants, Warner is great in the pull-up game and a master of changing direction and using hesitation to get shots. His size at 5’8 is going to be a question mark going forward, but Warner is in the conversation for one of Ohio’s top 2021 point guard.

Isaiah Walker – ’21 PG/SG Cincinnati Wyoming: A long combo guard with a smooth game, Walker is a versatile scorer and slasher who can pass, shoot and handle the ball at 6’3 (and growing). Playing a lot of point guard for his Cincinnati Royals 15u team, Walker showed a mature floor game in handling the ball against smaller guards, attacking the paint and knowing when to pull-up for the jumper. Part of a “big three” at Wyoming, look for Walker to make tremendous strides from his freshman to his sophomore years at Wyoming as he adds strength to his frame.

Paul McMillan IV – ’22 PG Cincinnati TBD: McMillan is only an eighth grader, and we usually don’t write about junior high kids; however, as he was playing up at the 15u age level with his D-Miller Elite team (a group made up almost entirely of eighth graders), we’ll change our policy for once. McMillan set the tournament ablaze all weekend long, leading his D-Miller Elite team to the semifinals where they fell to Mid-Ohio Pumas. McMillan, one of the nation’s top ranked prospects, has not decided which Cincinnati high school he will attend; but whoever lands him will be getting a good one, as the 6’0 combo guard showed the ability to score at the rim, create space with the handle and shoot it from deep, all with a fiery demeanor as a competitor. Look for his D-Miller Elite team to turn heads all spring and summer, as they’ll play mostly at the 15u level, including stops on the Nike circuit.

Other Top Performers: Milton Gage (’19 PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), AJ Garrett (’19 PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Ryan Marchal (’19 PG Centerville), Alex Dotson (’19 PG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Kahlil Davis (’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton), Caleb Crawford (’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton), Leroy Walker (’20 SG Cincinnati Winton Woods), Trevon Ellis (’20 Dayton Stivers), Nick Smith (’20 PF Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Mark Wise (’20 Cincinnati Deer Park), Camron McKenzie (’21 PG Cincinnati Hughes), Jakada Stone (’21 PG Cincinnati Aiken), Walt Mattingly (’21 PF Batesville/IN), AJ Mirgon (’21 PG Hilliard Bradley)

Ohio Rankings Update

27 Mar
Zeb Jackson

Zeb Jackson is our top ranked 2020 PG

The high school season is over (in fact, if you have not done so already, scroll down to read our recap of the HS State Tournament) and now we at TDP are looking on to the future – mainly the evaluation and eventual recruitment of Ohio’s top prospects.

With that in mind, we are happy to release our latest Ohio prospect rankings for the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020. While the class of 2018 has finished their high school careers, we’ve received several requests to update the rankings for a final time and are happy to oblige.

As for 2019 and 2020, there are many changes to the rankings, with some re-arranging of some previously ranked prospects as well as some new faces making their debuts on this page.

Heading into the upcoming NCAA Live Evaluation Period in late April, in which D1 college coaches are allowed to hit the road to evaluate top prospects on the AAU circuit, we’re happy with the lists that we’ve released; however, we of course will spend the spring scouring the various travel club rosters and hitting as many games as we can, as we strive to produce Ohio’s most reliable prospect rankings list.

TO VIEW OUR OHIO PLAYER RANKINGS FOR THE CLASSES OF 2018, 2019 AND 2020, CLICK ON THE LINK IN THE BANNER ABOVE.

Questions or comments regarding our rankings? Email us at tdpcorey@gmail.com.

’18 State Tourney Recap

25 Mar
Sincere Carry

Sincere Carry

The four newest Ohio State Champions were crowned at the Schottenstein Center on Saturday, as another high school basketball season came to a close. Fans were treated to a thrilling 2OT contest in the D4 title game, with Marion Local defeating Cleveland Cornerstone Christian, followed by a come from behind victory for Cincinnati Deer Park over Columbus Africentric in the D3 championship. The final two games, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s win over Trotwood Madison in D2 and the D1 game in which Cincinnati Moeller handily defeated Solon were not as close, but there will still plenty of top performances to discuss. Here’s a look at the best of the best from Thursday through Saturday in Columbus… 

Jeremiah Davenport – ’18 SF Cincinnati Moeller: Davenport capped his legacy at Moeller with a State Championship as the youngest of the three brothers has officially ended his career with Moe. A 6’5 senior wing signed with Wright State, Davenport finished off a dominant tournament run with 22 points in the title win over Solon, finishing above the rim with several transition dunks and showcasing an ability to play inside or outside. An energetic and athletic wing with a lot of passion, expect Davenport to make an impact on both sides of the floor at the college level. 

Jaxson Hayes – ’18 PF Cincinnati Moeller: The Crusader’s man in the middle also deserves mention for his play, as the freaky athletic 6’10 senior center controlled the paint on Moeller’s wins over Lorain and Solon, finishing with a team high 16 points in the semifinals and 14 points in the finals. A Texas signee, Hayes improved considerably as the season unfolded, and no one in Ohio shows as much interior upside as the lanky 6’10 post, who can block shots, rebound in and out of area and is tremendous in the open court with running the floor and finishing alley-oops for highlight dunks.

Sincere Carry – ’18 PG Solon: Leading his team to a 28-2 record and a runner-up in the D1 State Final, there is no question that Carry was this weekend’s MVP, as the 6’0 senior point guard totaled 29 points and 11 assists in a come from behind win over Pickerington Central and 27 points in the finale against Moeller. A competitive, strong and tenacious lead guard who can shoot with range, attack off the dribble and who is an excellent distributor, Carry is one of 2018’s top point guards. With a knack for making his teammates better and his leadership abilities, look for Carry to be a playmaker early in his career at D2 powerhouse West Liberty (WV).

Adrian Nelson – ’18 SF Pickerington Central: The 6’6 combo forward from the Columbus area put on a show in the first half of what eventually became a semifinal loss for his Tigers, as Nelson logged 21 points in the first frame. A super athlete who has expanded his game to being able to knock down jumpers with confidence, Nelson is a threat to rip and run on every rebound, plays with terrific energy and has as much long-term upside as just about anyone in Ohio’s senior class. Signed to play with Detroit Mercy next year, Nelson is the latest D1 product from Pickerington Central who we believe will have a standout college career with his athleticism, versatility and emerging skill-set.

Michael Bothwell – ’18 SG Cleveland Cornerstone Christian: While CCA’s quest for a second straight championship fell just short in a double-overtime heartbreaker, there’s no shortage of compliments that can be attributed to Bothwell. The 6’3 combo guard who is signed to play at Furman was spectacular in both outings, finishing with 22 points in the semifinals and 23 points in the finals on an array of pull-up threes and crafty finishes. An elusive ballhandler with a slippery game and a dangerous jump-shot, Bothwell can flat out score the ball and should be able to do so at the college level right away.

Damani McEntire – ’18 SG Cincinnati Deer Park: One of Ohio’s most tenacious defenders, many fans weren’t familiar with McEntire before this weekend, as he moved into Cincinnati over the summer from his native Indianapolis; however, by weekend’s end everyone knew his name as the super athletic 6’2 senior guard hounded ballhandlers and forced turnovers, propelling Deer Park to their first ever championship. With a D1 offer from Texas Southern and other D1 interest, look for McEntire to sign with a D1 school within the next few weeks.

Tre Baumgardner – ’18 PG Columbus Africentric: Like Carry and Bothwell, Baumgardner’s team fell a little short in the title game, but not due to his play, as the fiery 6’0 scoring point guard led his Nubians team on a magical tournament run, single-handedly defeating Columbus Harvest Prep in the semifinals and scoring 17 points in the loss to Deer Park. A sharpshooter with unlimited range and a lot of confidence, Baumgardner plays a scoring role for Africentric, but is a capable pure point guard as well. While he might be playing his college ball a ways away from at D2 Minnesota State, this will not be the last time you hear from this high scoring guard.

Lunden McDay – ’19 SF Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: One of the state’s most under-mentioned juniors, McDay is a not a kid who plays a flashy game or shows a lot of emotion; but man can he play. The 6’3 wing is an elite defender with deceptive athleticism and plenty of length, as well as a do-it-all offensive talent who can shoot when open from the perimeter but is best at attacking off the dribble and using crafty finishes to draw defenders. McDay is a kid who simply makes the right play and has no major holes in his game, part of the reason why we expect him to receive multiple D1 offers by the end of the summer.

Nathan Bruns – ’19 SF Marion Local: The unquestioned breakout player of the weekend, Bruns put his name on the map in a big way, leading his team to a come from behind win in a thrilling double-overtime game against Cleveland CCA. Bruns, a 6’5 wing with length and fluidity, hit the game tying three to end regulation and force the extra time, and then carried his team down the stretch, demanding the ball on the wing or in the high post. A lanky wing who can shoot, handle and pass, Bruns can score in different ways, and despite not being an elite athlete, knows how to play the game on both ends. Look for Bruns to accumulate significant D1 and D2 interest after this weekend’s play.

Amari Davis – ’19 SG Trotwood Madison: Davis capped a tremendous tournament run, in which we watched him dominate two regional games, with back-to-back twenty point games in Columbus, as his Trotwood team was bounced by Akron STVSM for the second time in as many years. A 6’2 bouncy athlete, Davis is a high-wire act who can dunk on you driving to his left at any time, while also being his team’s best perimeter defender and playmaker. Most of his game revolves around his athleticism and passion, but Davis has been a winner on all level and has he fine-tunes his skill-set expect his offer list, which already includes many mid-major D1 programs, to continue to grow.

Javohn Garcia – ’19 PG/SG Pickerington Central: We knew Garcia was a good junior guard; however, we didn’t know how good he was until Friday evening when, in a heartbreaking loss to Solon, Garcia finished with 20 points while also leading his team in assists and steals. A long 6’3 combo guard with some burst to his step, Garcia can make defenders look silly with his ballhandling, while getting into the lane to create for himself or others. A versatile all-around threat, Garcia is a streaky shooter; but, if he can hone that jumper during the AAU season, his offer list, which already has D1’s on it, will lengthen.

Devon Grant – ’19 PG Lorain: Another up and coming 2019 guard, Grant led his young Lorain team to a semifinal appearance and posted 17 points against a good Moeller defense, showing the ability to hit perimeter jumpers and get to the paint off the dribble. While he isn’t the biggest or most athletic guard, Grant is a skilled ballhandler who can score with his floater and can create a jumper for himself almost at will. Already with an offer from Bowling Green, Grant’s name has been mentioned by several college coaches of late.

Mark Wise – ’20 SG Cincy Deer Park: The only sophomore to make this list, Wise was dominant for Deer Park in their semifinal win over Cleveland Lutheran East, in which he scored 16 points (13 of them in the first eight minutes) and added 7 points and 8 assists in Deer Park’s championship win over Columbus Africentric. A strong combo guard who can score off the dribble and who uses his aggressive mindset to put pressure on the defense, Wise has already earned an offer from Kent State and has many of the Golden Flashes’ league rivals looking at him early as well.

Other Top Performers: Isaiah Payton (’18 PG Cincy Moeller), Deuce McBride (’19 PG/SG Cincy Moeller), Mike Bekelja (’19 Solon), Seth Wilson (’21 PG/SG Akron STVSM), Myles Belyeu (’18 SF Trotwood-Madison), Justin Stephens (’19 C Trotwood-Madison), Dorian Holloway (’19 SF Columbus Africentric), Steve Gentry Jr (’20 PG Cincy Deer Park), Joe Hocker (’19 C Cincy Deer Park), Jalen Rose (’18 SF Cincy Deer Park), Tyler Mescher (’18 C Marion Local), CJ Anthony (’20 PG Columbus Harvest Prep), Cade Stover (’19 SF Lexington), Drew Johnson (’18 SG Pandora Gilboa), Taevon Pierre-Louis (’19 SF Lorain)

’17-’18 All-Cincinnati Teams

26 Feb
Princeton_High_School_29162018_DARIUS_BAZLEY_ALL_AMERICAN

Darius Bazley

With the ’17-’18 Ohio HS basketball season already moving towards this week’s sectional tournament semifinals and finals, it’s time to look back and recognize some of the individual excellence achieved by players this winter. Focusing in on the Cincinnati area, here is TDP’s list of all-city teams for D1 and D2-D4….

D1 All-Cincinnati 1st Team
Darius Bazley – ’18 SF Princeton ***
Jeremiah Davenport – ’18 SF Moeller
Kameron Gibson – ’18 SG Walnut Hills
Jaxson Hayes – ’18 PF/C Moeller
Jarrett Cox – ’18 Senior SG/SF Lakota East
Greg Tribble – ’19 PG Winton Woods

***Player of the Year***

D1 All-Cincinnati Second Team
Isaiah Payton – ’18 PG Moeller
Alec Pfriem – ’19 SG/SF Moeller
Darweshi Hunter – ’18 SG Princeton
Nick Deifel – ’18 PG/SG Oak Hills
Riley Haubner – ’18 SG LaSalle
Abba Lawal – ’19 C Withrow

D1 Honorable Mention: EJ Williams (’18 C Middletown), Nathan Stockman (’18 SG St. Xavier), Chase Wolf (’18 SG St. Xavier), Jeffrey Mansfield (’18 SF Wilmington), Jay Tiemeyer (’18 SG West Clermont), Gabe O’Neal (’18 PF Princeton), D’Marco Howard (’19 PG Hamilton), Jaylen Robinson (’19 PG Hamilton), Jaylen Mason (’18 SG Winton Woods), Zubi Nwankwo (’18 C Walnut Hills), Nick Smith (’20 PF Walnut Hills), Noah Harp (’18 SF Mason), Tanner Knue (’18 PG Mason), Zach Harp (’18 SG Elder), Mike Hill (’19 SF Withrow), Carlos Garcia (’18 SG Moeller), Bash Wieland (’19 SF Lakota East)

D2-D4 All-Cincinnati 1st Team
Terry Durham – ’18 PF Woodward ***
Mark Wise – ’20 SG Deer Park
Joey Edmonds – ’19 PG Wyoming
Ryan Reidy – ’18 PG McNicholas
Damani McEntire – ’18 SG Deer Park
Giovanni Santiago – ’18 PG Hughes
Chris’Seon Stringer – ’18 SF Taft

***Player of the Year***

D2-D4 All-Cincinnati 2nd Team
Evan Prater – ’20 SF Wyoming
DJ Brewton – ’18 SG Hughes
DeMarco Bradley Jr – ’19 PG Taft
Steve Gentry Jr – ’20 PG Deer Park
Lorenzo Sparks – ’18 SG North College Hill
Colin Shaw – ’18 SG Indian Hill
Brice Hill – ’19 SF Seven Hills
Javonta Lyons – ’19 SG/SF Purcell Marian

D2-D4 Honorable Mention: AJ Garrett (’19 PF Purcell Marian), Dashawn Lawrence (’18 PG Taft), Derrick Heard (’18 PG Taft), Shawn Hawkins (’18 SF Hughes), AJ Smith (’18 SF Hughes), D’Arris Dean (’19 SG Aiken), Jakada Stone (’21 PG Aiken), Charlie Tripp (’18 SG Mariemont), Jalen Rose (’18 SF Deer Park), Trey Smith (’19 PG CCD), Blake Adkins (’19 SG CCD), Greg Stewart (’20 SG St. Bernard), Deanza Duncan (’21 SG New Miami), D’Shawnti Hawkins (’19 PG Clark), Kaden Warner (’21 PG North College Hill), Dearius Barker (’20 PG North College Hill), Jacob Haussler (’18 PG Taylor), Jack Cravaack (’18 C Madeira), Kyle Johnson (’18 SF Madeira), Bryce Hunt (’18 PF Reading), Grant Whisman (’20 SF Middletown Madison), Skyler Schmidt (’21 PF Clermont Northeastern), Xavier Johnson (’18 PG/SG Summit), Brandon Doss (’18 PG Shroder), Nekhi Smith (’20 SF Shroder), Cole Burdick (’19 SG McNicholas), Noah Pack (’19 PF Georgetown), Brayden Sipple (’21 SF Blanchester)

Two 2019’s Commit

6 Feb
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Deuce McBride

It seems to be a little early for Ohio’s top 2019 prospects to be committing to colleges, but that has been the case in the last 24-hours, as two high profile wing guards from the Southwestern part of the Buckeye State have made verbal pledges, becoming the third and fourth NCAA D1 commits in the current junior class.

6’3 SG Samari Curtis out of Xenia HS was the first to pull the trigger, committing to the Xavier Musketeers on Monday night. A pure scoring wing averaging 30 PPG in his junior season, Curtis has set the GWOC (Dayton’s D1 public league) on fire this season with his ability to make perimeter shots as well as slash to the rim and create opportunities for himself or teammates. An All-Ohio Red product on the Nike circuit, Curtis also considered interest/offers from Cincinnati, Dayton and many top mid-majors programs before selecting the Musketeers.

Less than 24-hours later, Cincinnati Moeller’s Miles “Deuce” McBride, a 6’1 combo guard, joined Curtis as a high-major 2019 commitment from Ohio, as McBride chose to pledge to West Virginia. A tenacious defender with athleticism and versatility, McBride should fit perfectly into the “Press Virginia” style that Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins favors, while McBride also showed an ability to make shots in bunches this past July playing with the Cincinnati Lakers. While McBride has missed this entire season with a foot injury suffered during football, expect his return this spring to solidify his standing as one of Ohio’s top 2019’s.

Curtis and McBride join two Columbus area prospects in Pickerington Central PG Jeremiah Francis (North Carolina) and Upper Arlington SF Max Martz (Penn) as 2019 prospects from Ohio who are committed to NCAA D1 programs, while they also join Wyoming PG Joey Edmonds (NCAA D2 powerhouse Findlay) as the second and third basketball prospects to commit to colleges from the Cincinnati/Dayton area.

Cincinnati 2018: Best Available

25 Sep
Gio

Giovanni Santiago

Yesterday, TDP profiled the top available prospects from the 2018 class in the state of Ohio. Since that article’s release, we’ve seen Versailles SF Justin Ahrens become the 14th Ohio senior to commit to a NCAA D1 school, as Ahrens chose Ohio State on Saturday afternoon.

Today we’ll be narrowing our focus a little bit to look at the top available prospects in the city we reside, Cincinnati. It’s already been a busy fall in Greater Cincinnati, as three prospects have committed to high-major NCAA D1 schools in Princeton’s Darius Bazley (Syracuse) as well as the Covington Catholic (KY) duo of CJ Fredrick (Iowa) and Jake Walter (Xavier). Additionally, Burlington Cooper (KY) guard Adam Kunkel (Belmont) and Simon Kenton (KY) post Zach Kelch (Navy) have also committed to NCAA D1 schools, while Lakota East wing Jarrett Cox (Fairmont State) and Cincinnati Moeller PG Isaiah Payton (Indiana Wesleyan) have made verbal pledges as well.

Now, with all of that dust settled, here’s a look at which players in the Queen City area are still on college coaches recruiting boards heading into the fall signing period….

 Jaxson Hayes – ’18 PF/C Cincinnati Moeller: Hayes was near the top of the list of top available prospects statewide yesterday, as the 6’10 (and growing) post with tremendous athleticism and upside has narrowed his list of schools to Xavier, Butler, Kentucky, Texas and Georgetown. The most heavily recruited player in Ohio who has yet to make a decision, we expect Hayes to choose a school by the end of the fall signing period.

 Jeremiah Davenport – ’18 SF Cincinnati Moeller: Hayes’ teammate at Moeller, and one of the best all-around wings in the state, Davenport has seen his recruiting stock skyrocket in the last year thanks to a strong junior season at Moeller and a solid spring and summer on the circuit. An athletic and versatile forward who can defend multiple positions and score in different ways off of the dribble, Davenport is a long 6’5 forward with great upside. Currently with offers from Tennessee-Tech and Presbyterian, several other D1’s are actively recruiting Davenport, who could be Moeller’s second leading scorer this season.

Kameron Gibson – ’18 PG/SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills: A smooth and skilled guard with length at 6’3 and the versatility to play either guard position, Gibson excels off of the dribble as a scorer from the mid-range, but is just as capable at making his teammates better with the drive and kick game. Already with an offer from Maryland Eastern Shore, plus other NCAA D1 interest from Miami (OH) and Northern Kentucky, Gibson is a potential breakout recruit to follow this winter, as he should lead a talented Walnut Hills team in scoring.

Omari Peek – ’18 SG/SF Strongsville: While Peek technically lives in the Cleveland area, he’s included on this list since he lived in Cincinnati until the end of his sophomore season at Walnut Hills HS. A big wing forward who can score from three levels and has NCAA D1 size and athleticism, Peek certainly looks the part of a big time player. Peek, like Gibson, has one D1 offer from Maryland Eastern Shore, but should see his recruitment continue to develop, as NEO Spotlight ranks him as the top senior small forward in the Cleveland area. 

Bryce Hunt – ’18 PF Reading: A raw but extremely talented 6’6 power forward with a mature frame and excellent athleticism, Hunt will be debuting at Reading this season after spending his first three seasons at Cincinnati Purcell Marian. Hunt has all the tools that college coaches want to see, including a motor, a knack for playing with physicality and the ability to face up in the mid-range game; all the reason why several NCAA D1’s have inquired about the under the radar senior this fall for workouts; also a candidate for prep school due to his age, there’s a possibility that Hunt ends up as a 2019 prospect. Don’t be surprised if Hunt finishes among Cincinnati’s top scorers this season, especially at the D3 HS level.

Giovanni Santiago – ’18 PG Cincinnati Hughes: One of the most exciting offensive players in all of Ohio, Santiago is a flashy playmaking point guard who makes his teammates better with pinpoint passes off the dribble; however, he’s also a proven scorer who shoots it well from deep and is adept at using his crossover to create space to shoot the ball. While Santiago still needs to add strength to his frame, he’s proven time and time again that he’s among Ohio’s elite floor generals, part of the reason why D1 Maryland Eastern Shore has extended a scholarship offer Santiago’s way, and several other D1 and D2 programs have inquired about him. Expect his recruitment to likely go past the high school season, but we believe that Santiago is another prospect who will end up signing with a D1 program.

DJ Brewton – ’18 SG Cincinnati Hughes: An under the radar wing guard whose praises we’ve been singing for some time now, Brewton is still raw but has as much upside as any guard in Ohio who has yet to commit to a college program. A natural scorer with excellent athleticism and an explosive first-step, Brewton can get anywhere he wants off of the dribble, and while his jumper is streaky, he has the ability to score in bunches when he’s in attack mode. Transferring from Mount Healthy to Cincinnati Hughes for his senior year should only enhance Brewton’s exposure, as alongside Santiago he’ll make up half of one of Ohio’s most exciting backcourts. Brewton has yet to earn a scholarship offer; however, we expect that to change by the end of the winter.

Terry Durham – ’18 SF/PF Cincinnati Woodward: A week ago we would have led this paragraph by talking about Durham’s toughness, elite strength and elite athleticism; however, things can change quickly in a week in recruiting, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Durham. Playing his first season of high school football, Durham has recently received an offer from Cincinnati, and per his high school coaches has had many of the nation’s top programs call about him in the last week. A double-double machine on the basketball court who demands more than one body to defend him on the block, look for Durham to have options in both sports this spring.

Damani McEntire – ’18 SG Deer Park: A name that is more than likely not familiar to readers, McEntire is a new addition to Deer Park via transfer, as the Indianapolis product spent last season at the famed Oak Hill Academy (VA). A tough and strong-bodied scoring guard who can really create off of the dribble, McEntire is deceptively explosive in transition and constantly plays in attack mode as a crafty, aggressive and consistent scorer. Not much is known about his recruitment at this point, but McEntire should generate some buzz on a loaded Deer Park team this winter.

EJ Williams – ’18 C Hargrave Military Academy (VA): The big fella from Middletown who has spent his last two years at the prestigious Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia hasn’t been seen around Cincinnati much lately, but his name has popped up on the circuit, as Williams spent his final year of AAU with Chicago based Mac Irvin Fire. A massive post prospect at 6’11 and in the neighborhood of 300-lbs, Williams has size that cannot be taught. Williams only offer at the D1 level right now, to our knowledge, is from Samford, but that could change at Hargrave, where Williams will face the nation’s best on a nightly basis this winter.

Dylan Beaugard – ’18 PG Wilmington: One of the toughest guards you’ll ever see, Beaugard is undersized but a flat out winner as a pass-first point guard with strength and quickness in a small frame. After a great first three years at Wilmington, and a standout 17u AAU season this past spring with Ohio Unity, NCAA D2 coaches are enamored with Beaugard ability to distribute, defend and manage the game from the point guard position. His lack of size and consistent jumper will likely mean he’ll end up at the D2 level, but this kid is a winner who will be highly, highly recruited during his senior season as both a basketball and football prospect.

Me’Kell Burries – ’18 PG/SG Newport (KY): With most of Northern Kentucky’s senior talent having already made verbal commitments, Burries becomes the most talented available prospect, as the 6’0 scoring point guard from Newport broke out in his junior season, and should average north of 20 PPG this season. A score-first slashing guard who can lull you to sleep with the dribble, make shots with range and is explosive off the floor, Burries has big time playmaking ability. He’ll have to continue to refine his all-around point guard play, but both NCAA D1 and D2 programs have been checking out this scoring combo guard, who will contend to lead the entire region in scoring this winter.

Honorable Mention: Xavier Johnson (PG Cincinnati Summit), Stevie Stewart (PG Cincinnati Taft), Noah Pedelty (SG Mason), AJ Smith (SG Cincinnati Hughes), Darweshi Hunter (SG Princeton), Dean White (SF/PF Cincinnati Moeller), Dominic Pierce (SF/PF Princeton), Shawn Hawkins (SF Cincinnati Hughes), Jalen Rose (SF Deer Park)