OBBL Session #1 Recap

14 Apr
Khalil Iverson

Khalil Iverson

The first weekend of the second edition of Ohio’s Best Basketball League, an in-state version copying the Nike EYBL concept, took place in Cincinnati this past weekend, with some of the state’s top talent taking place. Programs like Ohio Basketball Club, Ohio Varsity, Hidden Gems and local programs such as Team One and A.B.U. Elite all enjoyed success at the first of three league events, while several others participated.

Here are a few standout players who looked to be among the OBBL’s finest in the first session….

  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 PF Cleveland VASJ: Simply put, Bragg is supposed to be on this list. At 6’9 (or taller), he’s the tallest player in the league, one of the best athletes and definitely the most promising prospect as he is consistently listed among the nation’s top-15 rising seniors. Both days this weekend, Bragg lived up to his hype, scoring the ball with ease around the basket, and from the perimeter. Showing off his floor-running ability, Bragg punished the rim for big dunk and big dunk, while also using his length to block shots around the rim. Playing on an OBC 17u team that looks like favorites to finish undefeated in the league, Bragg was the most impressive of several top performers.
  • Dikembe Dixson – ’15 SF Mingo Central (WV): It’s been hard to track Dixson this season as we’ve seen him transfer from Ashland Paul Blazer (KY) to Bardstown Thomas Nelson (KY) then to Mingo Central (WV), but we think that with his commitment to OBC 17u he might have found a outlet where folks can continue to watch this star shine. Since the last time we saw him, at John Lucas Camp in the fall, nothing has changed with Dixson’s athleticism, as the 6’6 wing continues to play above the rim basketball with a high motor. One thing that the junior did show off that looked new, however, was an ability to stop and pop from the mid-range, adding another weapon and showing that he can avoid being called for charges. Against OBBL competition, it appears that Dixson will have his way in the full-court game, and he could easily end up being OBC’s leading scorer by year-end.
  • Khalil Iverson – ’15 SF Delaware Hayes: The Ohio Varsity 17u forward picked up where he left off in last season’s OBBL, dominating like no other player in the league with his combination of athleticism, strength and flat out effort. Arguably the state’s top athlete in the rising senior class, the 6’4 wing forward finished everything around the basket through contact, producing several highlights in the process. Iverson has emerged as an almost sure-fire Division I prospect in the past year, as his combination of physical tools, upside, effort and just enough skill give him a nice package for mid-major schools to look at. Playing for the first-time with one of Ohio’s better-known AAU programs, look for his name to be mentioned amongst Ohio’s breakout players this spring.
  • Rodney Culver – ’15 SG Pickerington Central: Another potential breakout player this spring, the 6’4 wing from Columbus is another intriguing athlete playing with Ohio Varsity, who has really improved his production level from a year ago. What impressed us most about Culver over the weekend was his ability to affect the game defensively with his length, as he had to lead the entire league in deflections at the top of the OV press. A talented scorer in transition, Culver handles the ball better then we’ve given him credit for at Triple Double Prospects, and has complimenting finishing or distributing abilities as well. As he improves his feel for the game offensively, Culver might just be a consistent jump-shot away from becoming one of the top wings in Ohio’s 2015 class, and is definitely one of the late blooming perimeter players to keep an eye on with his athletic ability and size.
  • DJ Harris – ’15 SG Cincinnati Aiken: Starring for Cincinnati based upstart program A.B.U. Elite, Harris scored the ball from the wing area all weekend long as consistently as any player who we evaluated. He’s a power wing with good athleticism and a toughness to his approach, who when focused on taking it to the rim is very difficult to contain. Since breaking onto the scene last AAU season with the Ohio Phenoms, Harris has continued to impressed with his defensive ability, but now is a much more efficient scorer of the ball as well. With A.B.U. making a splash in the OBBL with an impressive 4-2 opening weekend record, look for Harris and fellow Aiken guard Vonny Irvin to be among the league’s top players heading up to Cleveland.
  • Yavari Hall – ’16 SG Cleveland Warrensville Heights: While OBC’s 17u team dominated their division, the rising juniors in the 16u division more than just handled their business in their age group. Led by Hall and Wilmington wing Jarron Cumberland, OBC outscored teams with length and athleticism in transition, while applying enough defensive pressure to frustrate teams into turnovers. Hall is one of our favorite prospects to watch in the 2016 class in Ohio due to his immense talent and versatility, and over the weekend he was particularly impressive as he was locked in with an attacking mind-set. Capable of scoring from all three levels or distributing, the Cleveland wing can really finish on the break at or above the rim. Playing on an OBC team that has all of the pieces to be really successful with on both ends of the floor, Hall will be one of the most heavily relied on prospects, as his ability to create offense is hard to teach and can translate to the next level.
  • TC Wells – ’16 SF Cincinnati Fairfield: One of the most productive high school wings that you’ve probably never heard of, Wells had a huge weekend with Team One, another Cincinnati based program, as he scored with power, touch and rebounded the ball at a high level. With a linebacker build but shooting guard game the Fairfield sophomore is a versatile prospect that can be a matchup nightmare. Wells can handle and shoot the ball, but is best served scoring around the rim, as his motor and strength are simply too much for opponents to contain. As he gets more and more skilled, look for Wells to be one of the breakout performers in this year’s OBBL and entire AAU season even.
  • Spencer Cline – ’16 PF Mason: When we evaluated Cline during the high school season, TDP had several question marks regarding Cline’s game. However, the 6’6 forward proved us wrong in many ways this past weekend, showcasing athleticism, skill and versatility that we simply didn’t see with him wearing a Mason uniform. Playing for Team One along with Wells, Cline showed a toughness with the ball in his hands, consistently attacking the rim as a scorer, including putting up one 35 point game in the process. We’re still not entirely sure what his best offensive position is, but Cline could emerge quickly as one of the better face-up power-forwards in Ohio’s 2016 class.

Other Top Performers: DJ Triplett (’17 SG Toledo Whitmer/Ohio Gators), Justin Johnson (’15 PF Fairfield/Team One), Assante Patterson (’15 SF Dayton Thurgood Marshall/Team One), Craig Randall (’15 PG Medina/OBC), Zach Neuenschwander (’15 C Navarre Fairless/OBC), Isaiah Jones (’15 PG Cincinnati Woodward/OBC), J’Suan Davis (’15 PF Columbus Brookhaven/Ohio Varsity), Jarron Cumberland (’16 SG Wilmington/OBC), Kameron Moore (’16 PF Cincinnati Aiken/OBC), Trey McBride (’16 PG Cincinnati Roger Bacon/Team One), Vonny Irvin (’15 PG Cincinnati Aiken/ABU Elite), Rakeem Mincey (’15 SF Cincinnati Woodward/ABU Elite)

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