17u AAU Preview

3 Apr

One of Ohio’s most talented classes in recent memory will kick off the AAU season in the upcoming weeks, some as early as this weekend. With the talent being spread over several teams college coaches and scouts will have busy schedules on the circuit this year at 17u. Here’s a look at some of the top teams…….. ***These are not rankings, simply team previews with no defined order***
  • All-Ohio Red: The rich got richer this recruiting season as Coach Quentin Rodgers picked up SF Maurice O’Field, C Zach Garber, PF Damarion Geter, and SG Zach Denny to go along with a loaded core roster. That core is made up of Ohio’s top prospect in forward Marc Loving, PF Nigel Hayes, forward Tony Farmer, wing Jordan Lauf, and a trio of quick guards. Those guards include Jaaron Simmons, Keon Johnson, and Michigan native Charles “Cha-cha” Tucker. Heading into Nike EYBL this All-Ohio Red team looks to be more then competitive and will be the favorites to repeat as Ohio state champions.
  • King James: The core of this team is formerly known as Ohio Varsity and they have a closet full of trophies but are looking to add more in their final year together. The question for KJ is how soon will TDP’s top point guard prospect be ready to play? Jack Gibbs is coming off an ACL tear and says he will be ready early May, in plenty of time to lead his team through most of the EYBL circuit. It’s not just Gibbs though; the old Varsity group features wing Aaron Jackson, PG Randle Clarkson, wing Wendell Davis, and C Marquiez Lawrence. The King James staff has also added forward Mark Williams and guards Zacc Carter and Isaac McGlone to the fold; making this a talented and deep group.
  • Ohio Basketball Club: On the surface OBC took a major hit in losing Elijah Brown to California and Tony Farmer to All-Ohio Red but they still have a ton of talent. Their Cincinnati trio of forward Devin Williams, guard Kevin Johnson, and newly added wing Josh Davenport gives them a solid nucleus to pair with star forward Damonte Flannigan. Playing on the Adidas circuit OBC will be challenged early and often just like the EYBL. Watch out for wing Kash Blackwell, who could make a big splash this AAU season.
  • Team Work: Very successful group last year, formerly known as Team CBiz, will be led again by star forward Evan Bradds (who just re-opened his recruitment). After missing last year with injury Team Work also returns guard Danny Monteroso, one of the state’s most unknown talents. Team Work also features a very good supporting class of 5-6 Division II college prospects.
  • Ohio Phenoms: TDP is calling the Phenoms the “I-75 All-Stars” as they are made up of players from Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. Guards Monty Boykins and Mark Alstork, along with forward Vitto Brown (who will be splitting time with Spiece Indy Heat of the EYBL), highlight a roster that is very talented for the program’s first year. Toledo guards Deontae Cole, Tony Kynard, and Clemmye Owens; along with Cincinnati guards Sterling Gilmore and Nick Fredrick round out the rotation. Inside the Phenoms will feature Rozelle Nix (who is headed to prep school), Gerry Green, and Keith Towbridge.
  • Martin Wolverines: The one-two combination of center Maverick Morgan and guard DJ Wingfield is as good as there is in Ohio, that’s for certain. Add in PG Antonio Woods, a sixteen and under prospect playing up a level, and a strong crop of out of state talent and you have one of the most talented teams in the country that is capable of beating anyone.
  • Hidden Gems: Our pick for the surprise team of the year, led by the one-two punch of pure point guard Austin Gardner and big man Ellis Williams this might be the best Hidden Gems team that we’ve seen.
  • Cincinnati Lakers: PG Dorian Jordan picked up a new passing target in C Isaiah Johnson, to go along with C Garrett Mayleben, in his final year on the circuit. The Lakers still feature guard Keith Watkins and Ricardo Hill, while also picking up talented wing Eric Tivis. Finally, Coach Ricardo returns scoring forward Trent Donald to a gritty team with one more run left in the tank.
  • Queen City Prophets: It’s going to be the Austin Grimes show for QCP as it’s the wing’s turn to be the face of a program. Guard Tim Coleman and forward Joe Cossins will help shoulder the scoring load with Grimes.
  • Ohio Hoopsters: Point guard Mike Wells returns to lead a team that made a surprising splash on the circuit in year one and should be even better this year.
  • Shining Star (Schaefer): Another team that did suffer some losses in the recruiting end but still has some good prospects, led by forward Kwan Cheatham.
  • Club Ohio: Guard Corey Wise and post Antonio Campbell lead this Cincy based squad.
  • Nova Village: Relatively unknown but talented and scrappy team that plays 17u despite having a roster of mostly 16u kids. Point guards John Draper and Shemar Waugh lead the backcourt while frontcourt players Jalen Tucker and Nate Jameson balance the team out.
  • One of Ohio’s top 2013 prospects, center Mark Donnal (Michigan commit), will be returning to the Indiana Elite program again this season.

Check back in soon for TDP’s 16u preview! Did we make a mistake? Email us at tripledoubleprospects@gmail.com

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