Top 3 Available 2017’s Commit

17 Oct
Sterling Manley

Sterling Manley

In the two weeks since our last post much has changed in the recruiting scene in Ohio high school basketball. In particular, the top three available seniors from our Class of 2017 prospect rankings have made verbal commitments, as the fall signing period approaches quickly. Here’s the latest scoop on where each of those three will play their college ball, as well as a look as to how they’ll fit in at that school; as well as a look at who the best available seniors are in the Buckeye State….

Sterling Manley – ’17 Pickerington Central PF/C: In a recruitment that can’t be described in any other way than uncanny, Manley, a 6’11 post from the Columbus area, selected the University of North Carolina over this past weekend. Choosing the UNC Tar Heels over the likes of Purdue, Xavier and Georgetown, Manley becomes the first Ohio prospect in our time of following basketball to commit to the national powerhouse out of Chapel Hill. The reason that Manley’s recruitment was so uncanny is due to the fact that an injury cost Manley not only the end of his junior season, but also his entire final AAU season; so these coaches were not even able to evaluate him in April or July. However, some strong showings in fall open gyms at Pickerington Central drew some of the nation’s top college coaches, leading UNC coach Roy Williams to offer Manley a scholarship. It’s unclear how much early playing time Manley will see at UNC, a team that finished as National Runners-Up last year and features several McDonald’s All-Americans; however, the consensus among high-major coaches is that Manley is a late bloomer who will eventually effect shots around the rim, finish at the basket and make enough plays to become a regular contributor at the college game’s highest level.

Dalonte Brown – ’17 Toledo Bowsher SF/PF: Once thought to be a lock to stay in-state at either Toledo or Dayton, Brown, a 6’7 forward from Toledo, surprised followers of Ohio recruiting last week when he committed to Tennessee-Martin. A skilled inside-outside forward who can score in different ways, Brown is a huge recruiting coup for Tennessee-Martin head coach Anthony Stewart, an Ohio native who has recruited his native land with a lot of effort in his months as acting head coach. After playing at a high level in the Nike EYBL with All-Ohio Red, Brown was the target of many regional mid-majors, while multiple high-majors also took a hard look at him; however, UT-Martin was eventually the only school left standing, as they land the top prospect in the Toledo area in the 2017 class.

Jayvon Graves – ’17 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s SG: A dynamic scoring guard with athleticism, Graves had been one of the most coveted mid-major prospects in the entire Midwest; well, at least until Monday evening, when the 6’1 combo guard from Akron STVSM made his commitment to Buffalo. Choosing Buffalo over two other finalists in Toledo and Fordham, Graves spurned several in-state mid-majors in choosing to stay in the MAC, but not an Ohio school. Graves will add depth, strength, versatility and athleticism to a solid guard corps for Buffalo head coach Nate Oats, a Michigan native with Ohio ties as well. Graves is the second senior from Akron STVSM to choose a D1 school, as the Fighting Irish have become synonymous with D1 signings over the last 15 years now.

Best of the Rest:

With Manley, Brown and Graves off the board, who are the top available prospects in Ohio’s 2017 class? Well, that question isn’t as easy to answer as you’d think, as the top two un-committed players in our 2017 players rankings, Danny Davis and Jaylen Harris, will both end up playing college football, not basketball. So, moving a few spots further down the list, here who the two top dogs, in our opinion, are for the moment…

Malek Green – ’17 Cincinnati Taft SF/PF: A hybrid forward with athleticism, toughness and an excellent motor, it’s no secret that we at TDP have always been high on Green’s upside. With an improved all-around skill-set, and factoring in that the senior just turned 17 years old in September, we believe that Green has the tools to be a solid mid-major player down the road. With an offer from Stony Brook, as well as interest from Indiana State, Northern Kentucky and multiple other D1 programs, look for Green to be a late signing period steal for a quality mid-major program.

Naz Bohanon – ’17 Lorain SF/PF: A similar player to Green in that he’s versatile, athletic and oozes toughness, Bohanon is a strong forward who plays the role of vocal leader. His offensive skill-set is still developing, but Bohanon rebounds, defends and competes at the high level that college coaches demand. With interest and offers from some high-academic D1’s, as well as some in-state mid-majors, look for Bohanon to be another player, like Green, who commits to a mid-major school after the high school season ends.

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