Buckeye Prep Showcase – Recap

24 Sep

By: Jonathan Burgin

Rob Taylor’s latest Columbus based showcase drew national attention from scouting services with Rob’s ability to bring in the best talent from Ohio and Michigan. Triple Double Prospects’ Jon Burgin was among those scouts who headed to Columbus on Saturday to check out the action, with TDP focusing on identifying the top performers from the classes of 2015 and 2016. Here’s a look at who stood out above the rest.

Class of 2016 Top Performers (Day One)

  • Omari Spellman – 6’7 PF North Royalton: Omari played like a man against boys dominating both ends of the court.  He showed his low post game by scoring on the block at will and he showed a soft touch with either hand while playing volleyball and finishing when a teammate missed a shot.  He was able to step out about 15-17 feet and constantly knock down shots.  Defensively, from the weak side, he was able to help his teammates with a block or altered shot and rebounded the basketball at will.

    Omari Spellman

  • Seth Towns – 6’6 PF Columbus Northland: Seth showed that he can score and defend with the best of his class.  I was very impressed with his intensity and alertness on defense, and his ability to get others involved from the perimeter offensively. Seth showed a good stroke during the blowout of the Ohio-Michigan Showcase as he picked up Co-MVP.  Seth should fit right in with his Northland teammates.
  • Roderick Caldwell – 5’10 PG Dayton Stivers: Roderick has had the scouts and Coaches in awe for awhile, but he impressed too at the BPRS.  Roderick’s vision on the court at such a young age is that of a seasoned point guard.  His handle speaks for itself and scoring also is not a problem.  I really like how he takes control of the team on both ends; as he grows and gets stronger he will be a force to be reckoned with.
  • Anthony Christian – 6’3 SF Akron Hoban: Anthony showed a nice touch shooting the basketball extending his range at times out to about 22 feet.  Has good size and at his age, if he continues to grow look out with that scoring mentality.  Anthony also showed that he is one of the better athletes in Ohio’s 2016 class.
  • James Manns – 6’4 SF Columbus Marion Franklin: James has good size at his age and rebounds the ball aggressively on both ends. He tries to block and alter a shot when given the chance. Look for him to improve his jump shot up to 15 feet extended and get a little more athletic.  James should be a solid pickup for Columbus Marion Franklin this year and get some crucial minutes this year.
  • Trevell Beck – 6’3 SF Cleveland Central Catholic: Trevell is mostly known as a scorer but showed that he could play defense and rebound the basketball effectively.  A scorer at heart, he displayed that he also can get other’s involved while stacking up assists and scoring when needed.  The addition of some weight will come a long way as he matures. All of that being said, Trevell is probably Ohio’s most explosive leaper in the 2016 class as he threw down several impressive dunks.
  • Hunter Lampley – 5’11 PG Cincinnati St. Xavier: Hunter proved he belonged as he picked up Co-MVP in his North vs South game. Hunter’s relentless effort to get to the rim was null and void as he scored from the mid-range and showed he could be a distributor.  Defensively he locked his man up and played the passing lanes, picking up some key steals in the game.
  • Derek Funderburk – 6’5 C Lakewood St. Edward: Derek has great size at a young age and looks like he will continue to grow and mature.  Quick leaper to get the rebound in or out of his area. Offensively he’s a threat on the block and showed good touch from about 12 feet out.  His maturation will take him to the next level as he’s able to extend his range with his shot.

Class of 2015 Top Performers (Day One)

  • Esa Ahmad – 6’7 SF/PF Cleveland Shaker Heights: Ahmad is a versatile forward talent that we at TDP absolutely love. It’s evident that Ahmad has been in the gym working on the consistency of his mid-range jumper; which makes him really tough to guard in face-up situations. Already very skilled on the low block as a scorer who can use his wide bodied strength, solid athleticism or touch with his skill moves to finish; Ahmad is improving as a wing player. Where before he was unable to change direction once he began his drive; Ahmad is now showing a nice spin move and is seeing the floor better. As he continues to improve his wing game and leaping ability, Ahmad is going to hear from more and more high majors; and along with Luke Kennard he’ll be considered Ohio’s best in 2015.
  • MaCio Teague – 6’3 SG Cincinnati Summit: Teague is, as of right now, the best pure shooter from three-point land in Ohio’s sophomore class; and he proved that on Saturday by showing great consistency in his release. After a year at IMG Academy in Florida, Teague returns to Ohio as a bigger, stronger and overall more skilled ball player. A very good passer, Teague now has an improved handle making it easier for him to find teammates; and adding another dimension of his game to his shooting/scoring abilities.
  • Isaiah Jones – 5’10 PG Cincinnati Woodward: Jones has hit a growth spurt, and now one of the best defensive guards in Ohio is also becoming a consistent scoring threat. Jones is a skilled ball-handler and passer who can pull-up for his jumper on a dime, and shoots it pretty well from the mid-range area. West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky and St. Francis (PA) have recently been at his school to watch Jones workout; while he also recently took an unofficial visit to Miami (OH).
  • Kipper Nichols – 6’5 PF Lakewood St. Edwards: Nichols is an inside-outside forward like Ahmad, and is one of the best sophomores in Ohio at taking advantage of mismatches. He’s big enough to be an efficient player around the rim, but also skilled enough to face up and attack by reading the defense. Nichols is a talent that will only get better and better, but he showed us a lot of progress on Saturday.

    Kwan Cheatham verbally committed to Akron

  • Carlton Bragg – 6’9 PF/C Cleveland VASJ: Bragg is a very good athlete with length and tremendous upside. Along with Ahmad and Kennard, Bragg is going to be considered one of the top three prospects in Ohio in 2015; and should be recruited at the high major level. Over the weekend Bragg showed his usual ability to dominate the defensive interior with his shot-blocking, the ability to run the floor offensively and a steadily improving all-around offensive skill-set.

Notes

  • Ellis Williams – 6’8 PF/C Columbus South 2013: Williams committed to Division I Bryant University (R.I.) over the weekend. Williams chose Bryant over other offers from Bethune-Cookman, St. Francis (PA) and Findlay.
  • Kwan Cheatham – 6’9 PF Cincinnati Winton Woods 2013: On Monday, the day after returning from his official visit, Cheatham pledged to Akron; making him the third Ohio commit for the Zips in 2013 along with Aaron Jackson and Isaiah Johnson. Cheatham chose Akron over Kennesaw State.  An inside-outside forward with length and shooting ability, Cheatham has the potential to be a deadly face up forward in the MAC.
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