Ohio Recruiting News

6 Aug

The end of the summer and early fall is usually the most action-packed part of the year when it comes to college basketball recruiting, as rising seniors fresh off of their final season of AAU ball begin to make their decisions for college, while rising juniors begin to get more visits from coaches and try to earn scholarship offers. This past week has been exceptionally busy, as we’ve seen five prospects from Ohio’s 2016 class make verbal commitments, while another has actually de-committed from a school. Here’s the full rundown of the last few days in Ohio recruiting news…

Henry Baddley – ’16 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s SF: Baddley committed to the Butler Bulldogs out of the Big East Conference on Thursday afternoon, less than twenty-four hours after receiving an offer from the well-known Indianapolis based program. A high-flying athlete who earned a lot of praise from college coaches after his April and July performances on the circuit with King James, Baddley has long been considered a mid-major priority as well as a high-major sleeper; but all of that came to an end on Thursday when Baddley spurned offers from several top MAC schools to commit to Butler. With his athleticism and size on the wing at 6’5, Baddley should bring a lot of versatility to the court for the Bulldogs beginning in ’16-’17.

Dantez Walton – ’16 Lima Central Catholic SF/PF: Walton committed to Northern Kentucky this week, ending a mid-major recruiting battle as the 6’6 forward became the first Ohio prospect to commit to new NKU head coach John Brannen. Walton considered multiple NCAA D1 offers from both MAC and Horizon League schools before choosing the Norsemen, as Walton should fit in nicely on a roster that already contains some forwards who can step out and shoot the ball. With the toughness and versatility to play inside or outside, look for Walton to eventually turn into a very solid player for Brannen at NKU.

Ryan Custer – ’16 Cincinnati Elder PF: Playing behind several seniors on a talented Elder team last year, Custer’s name wasn’t one that got a lot of attention; however, all of that changed come AAU season as the Shining Stars starting power forward had a breakout spring and summer leading to several offers. This week, Custer jumped on the first NCAA D1 offer to come his way, verbally committing to Wright State and head coach Billy Donlon. A tough and energetic 6’6 forward who can step out and shoot the basketball, Custer is a pick-and-pop forward who should have a huge year in the Cincinnati Catholic league (GCL South) as a senior, as his combination of physicality and skill should be too much for the competition. The commitment by Custer to Wright State is certainly a blow to several NCAA D2 schools, as several of the top programs tracked Custer at every Shining Stars game this July.

Xavier Simpson – ’16 Lima Senior PG: After another standout season on the travel circuit with King James, Simpson’s reputation continues to grow as he’s consistently ranked among the top rising senior point guards in the nation. This week, Simpson’s recruitment has also picked up, as the 5’10 floor general added offers from Miami (FL) and Indiana on consecutive days. With schools like Iowa, Iowa State, VCU, Butler, Purdue, Xavier, Illinois and other high-majors also recruiting Simpson heavily, Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson told TDP that his son plans on taking the process slowly and hearing what all the schools have to offer before making a decision.

Frankie Hughes – ’16 Garfield Heights SG: Hughes announced his top ten schools on Thursday, putting his name in the news a second time this week after earning an offer from Wisconsin earlier. The 6’4 wing guard included Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State, Dayton, Florida State, St. Joe’s, Texas A&M, Wichita State, Tulane and San Francisco on his top ten list, while Garfield Heights head coach Sonny Johnson also announced that Hughes will take an official visit to Minnesota in September and will likely officially visit Wisconsin as well.

Evan Clayborne – ’16 Dayton Thurgood Marshall PF/C: The recent Dayton Dunbar transfer made headlines not by committing, but by re-opening his recruitment, as the 6’6 post is no longer committed to Buffalo. After playing with Ohio Basketball Club in Las Vegas to end the July period, Clayborne made the decision to reevaluate his recruitment, as the news was first reported early in the week by OBC head coach Corey Tucker.

Andrew Emrick – ’16 Lakota East SF/PF: Just days after accumulating offers from about every top NCAA D2 school in the region, Emrick, a 6’7 forward committed to Fairmont State this week. One of the top programs in the well-known Mountain East Conference in West Virginia, Emrick was a top target of FSU as they were able to beat out D2 powerhouse schools like Bellarmine, Findlay, West Liberty and Lincoln Memorial. After having a huge July with Shining Star, Emrick has climbed up the rankings among Ohio seniors, as his size and versatility make him an impressive prospect who is primed for a big statistical year after playing a role last year as a junior on a senior-laden Lakota East team.

Lamont Rhodes – ’16 Bedford PF: One of several players from a TNBA 17u team to attract some of the top NCAA D2 programs to every one of their games in July, the Northeast Ohio forward ended his recruitment on Thursday afternoon, committing to local program Lake Erie College. Rhodes has long been a target of LEC, as his athleticism and skill-set allow for him to show excellent potential as a scoring power forward once he learns to harness his talent and put all of his tools together.

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