Hidden Gems Showcase Recap

17 Mar
Carlas Jackson - Ohio's top available wing qualifier?

Carlas Jackson might be Ohio’s best available senior wing who can qualify

Triple Double Prospects spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon traveling all through Ohio, taking in both the Tier-1 Sports Academy Middle School Showcase and the Hidden Gems Spring Showcase. We’ll get to the top performers from the middle school event, hosted in Lima by Quincey Simpson, as it gets closer to summertime. For now, we want to focus on some of the standouts from Lucius Jones’ semi-annual event in Columbus. With college coaches from the Division II and III levels in attendance, here are some of the standout performers….

  • JaQuan Harrison – ’15 SF Columbus Africentric: An athletic phenom, Harrison was probably the most impressive prospect at the camp on Sunday, taking over the game with his transition scoring abilities. A bigger wing who is explosive enough to finish over almost any defender, Harrison continually has shown a desire to improve and a more refined game as we’ve seen more and more of him over the last few months. With the physical tools allowing him to have great upside, Harrison might be a jump-shot away from being one of Ohio’s top prospects in the class.
  • Khalil Iverson – ’15 SF Delaware Hayes: While Harrison might have been the best athlete in attendance, Iverson was not only second but also held the undisputed title of the strongest wing player in the gym. A power wing that can score from different areas, what we like most about Iverson is his motor and ability to rebound balls out of his area. Currently being recruited heavily at the mid-major level, don’t be surprised if Iverson becomes one of the true breakout players on the AAU circuit this spring and summer at 17u.
  • Elijah Pughsley – ’15 PG/SG Cincinnati Hughes: When Pughsley is making his shot from deep he can be one of the most electric scorers in all of Ohio high school basketball. He had some good and bad moments on Sunday in Columbus, but the Lima native who attends school in Cincinnati had an overall impressive showing, mixing deep jumpers with some flashy passes in transition. An exponentially better defender than he was a year ago, Pughsley has expanded his all-around game, and with his ability to score in bunches with the jumper he’ll always be one of the top guards to follow in 2015.
  • Tyrell Edmiston – ’15 PF Plymouth: TDP had never seen or head of the powerfully built post player before Sunday, but the football star with more than a little bit of basketball game was very impressive with his physicality. At about 6’3, Edmiston isn’t the tallest low block player, but he has a decent skill-set around the rim and is so strong and quick that he can carve out position. Edmiston looked comfortable with his back to the basket and facing the rim, making him an intriguing prospect that we look forward to seeing more of.
  • Raymel Franklin – ’15 SF Cleveland Garfield Heights: A junior wing that TDP has been high on since the fall when we saw him at Adidas Midwest Elite Camp, Franklin is a long, above average athlete with ball-skills of a smaller guard. He didn’t play a huge role this season on a more experienced Garfield Heights team, but the junior has a lot of upside as a jack-of-all-trades wing that can mix in some scoring. Playing at a high profile high school program like G’Heights, expect to hear more of Franklin’s name in the next year.
  • Luke Mayer – ’16 C Hilliard Davidson: Another player that TDP had not previously seen before this event (although we had heard of the big fella), Mayer was very impressive in the one game that we viewed of him on Sunday. A semi-skilled, long and surprisingly athletic post, Mayer runs the floor with good energy and decent feet. We still will need to see more of him before we can give a full, comfortable evaluation, but at 6’7 he looks to be one of the more promising post prospects in 2016.
  • James Manns – ’16 SF Columbus Marion Franklin: It’s safe to say that Manns was the player in the gym on Sunday with the biggest reputation headed into the event. He wasn’t perfect with his play, but for the most part it was one of Manns’ more impressive showings. The 6’7 sophomore wing finished more physically and athletically around the rim than he has in the past, while also showing his more traditional ability to knock down perimeter jumpers. Manns’ overall package of ball-skills might be a little better than we’ve given him credit for in past evaluations, however he still needs to work on maximizing his motor on every outing.

Other Top Performers that TDP Saw: Kyle Stergis (’15 Cleveland Garfield Heights), Assante Patterson (’15 Dayton Thurgood Marshall), Ulmer Manzie (’15 Columbus Africentric), Myles Copeland (’15 Toledo St. Johns), Mike Hall (’15 Warren Local), Akiean Frederick (’14 Franklin Heights), Josh Chellers (’15 Columbus Beechcroft)


  • After a strong junior year at tiny Berne Union High School, located in the rural part of central Ohio, class of 2015 center Hunter Martin is continuing to get more and more looks at the Division I level from college coaches. According to Martin’s high school coach, Ohio University, Miami (OH), Ball State, UNC Asheville and even some Big Ten schools have inquired about Martin’s ability. A skilled 6’8 player who can do a lot of things offensively, look for Martin to potentially burst onto the AAU scene as he spends his first season on the circuit at the high school level, where he will be running with upstart program Ohio Elite Orange.
  • Throughout the high school playoffs there might not one senior in Ohio, certainly the Southwest region, that has had more of an impact on the game than Cincinnati Roger Bacon guard Carlas Jackson. An athletic shooter that can score points in bunches, Jackson tallied 24 points in Bacon’s regional championship win over Cincinnati Summit Country Day, leading the Spartans back to the State Tournament and helping expand his name in recruiting circles. Due to his high scoring senior season, Jackson has accumulated significant interest from both Eastern Kentucky and Winthrop, however at this point the talented guard (maybe the most talented available guard in Ohio with strong academics) is still without a scholarship offer. According to Jackson, if a Division I offer does not come his way he’ll be reclassifying to the 2015 class and heading to prep school, however, TDP feels that ultimately the right school will eventually take full notice and offer the talented wing.
  • Monday afternoon Virginia Tech made waves in the college basketball world when they fired head coach James Johnson after just his second season in the first chair. It is very noteworthy that Johnson had signed two Ohio seniors, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s athletic wing Jalen Hudson and Montverde Academy (FL) and Dayton native Justin Bibbs, a powerful 6’4 wing, to scholarship papers in the fall.  While Hudson and Bibbs are tied to Virginia Tech based on their National Letters of Intent, it is not uncommon at all for committed prospects to ask for a release from those contracts when a coach leaves or is fired. Will Bibbs and Hudson open their recruitments back up? Tough to say now, but after the huge senior year that both of them had, and with the limited amount of available senior talent on the market, both would be heavily recruited by some of the nation’s top programs.
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