Recap: MW College Showcase

17 Apr
Caleb McConnell

Caleb McConnell

The April live evaluation period, where NCAA D1 schools can hit the road and watch recruitable prospects from all over the nation play, has officially hit; as this weekend was the first of two consecutive weekends where top players from Ohio would be viewed on the travel circuit by college coaches. While the shoe-sponsored programs headed to Brooklyn (Nike EYBL) or Dallas (Adidas Gauntlet), the rest of the Ohio clubs were spread out throughout smaller tournaments all across the Midwest. Triple Double Prospects spent Friday and Saturday at the Midwest Elite College Showcase in Columbus, as the event hosted by the Ohio Hoopsters and All-Ohio Red, showcased some of the Buckeye State’s top 2018 and 2019 talent. With the eyes of coaches on them, here are some of the standout performers…. 

Jerome Hunter – ’18 Pickerington North SF/PF: One of the top talents in Ohio regardless of class, Hunter has nearly unlimited potential as an athletic and skilled inside-outside forward; as college coaches have gone on the record saying that when he consistently plays with a competitive fire that he can be the best player in the class potentially. On Friday night, Hunter dominated the game based on talent, as his 6’7 frame and shooting ability were too much for the competition; but on Saturday, the sophomore forward was special as he played with a lot of defensive energy in leading his talented 16u Ohio Nova-Tillman team to a win over All-Ohio Stewart. Capable of moving his feet and guarding perimeter players or using his athleticism to influence shots around the rim, Hunter’s athletic upside is tremendous on the defensive end, while he’ll likely always be a matchup problem on the offensive end. Look for high-major college coaches to track Hunter next weekend, and especially in July, with Ohio Nova, while in-state schools like Ohio State and Xavier have already begun to show significant interest.

Caleb McConnell – ’18 Dayton Dunbar PG/SG: Another standout from the Ohio Nova-Tillman 16u team, McConnell got off to a slow start in their Friday night win but was very impressive in Saturday’s rivalry win over All-Ohio Stewart. McConnell is a smooth and slippery combo guard with a solid handle, outside shooting ability and a knack for creating passing lanes with the dribble. An emotional player when he’s playing with his competitive edge, as he was on Saturday, McConnell has proven again that he is without question one of Ohio’s premiere guard prospects in the 2018 class, as his length, ability to change directions and feel for the game on both ends make him elite. McConnell told TDP that he does not have any offers yet, but has received light interest from Dayton, Wright State, Xavier and Ohio State.

Xavier Johnson – ’18 Cincinnati Summit PG: Playing for the All-Ohio Stewart 16u team, Johnson might not have been able to get a win against Ohio Nova-Tillman; however, the strong bodied 6’2 combo guard showed that he belonged on the court with them, as he led his team as a defender, ball-handler and scorer. Also a very good football prospect, Johnson patrols the defensive end like a ball-hawking safety and is very adept at turning defense into offense by using his strength and athleticism to finish in transition. A very good ballhandler and underrated passer, Johnson has the tools to be one of Ohio’s most dynamic guards on the offensive end as he improves his shooting touch.

Taylor Currie – ’19 Worthington Christian PF/C: For a young 6’8 post player, Currie is exceptional at running the floor and playing with a motor, which is exactly what he did on Friday and Saturday in helping lead All-Ohio Red’s 15u team to easy win after easy win. Due to his size alone, Currie is arguably the best prospect on a really good AOR group, as he is able to mix athleticism and size with a solid skill-set and a lot of effort. Like all young big men, Currie will need to focus on getting stronger, but with his instincts for the game and overall talent level he looks like a surefire top-ten prospect in Ohio’s 2019 class right now.

Tanner Holden – ’19 Wheelersburg SF/PF: Playing in a remote part of Ohio, near the Portsmouth area, Holden put up big numbers as a freshman but didn’t get a whole lot of publicity due to his location. However, Holden put himself on the map (at least in our eyes) in a big way over the weekend, dominating the competition for All-Ohio Red’s 15u team along with Currie. A long and lanky forward with a well above-average skill-set, a good motor and a feel for the game, Holden showed the ability to score or pass in transition, along with the size and athleticism to make us believe that this rising sophomore has a tremendous amount of upside.

Others: Drew Rackley (’16 New Concord John Glenn), Tavon Brown (’17 Columbus St. Charles), Antonio McQueen (’17 Warren JKF), Anthony Mills (’17 Westerville South), Miles Joiner (’17 Vandalia Butler), Mason Schneider (’18 Jamestown Greenview), Garrett Tipton (’18 Columbus Bishop Hartley), Elijah McNamara (’18 Pickerington North), Keaton Upshaw (’18 Lima Senior), John Alessandro (’18 Beavercreek), Antwon Hampton (’18 Grove City Central Crossing), Jeremiah Keene (’19 Westerville North), Samari Curtis (’19 Xenia)

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