2018: Best Available

24 Sep
Ahrens 200

Justin Ahrens

Heading into the last week of September we’ve already seen 13 players from the Ohio senior class of 2018 commit to NCAA D1 school, as well as nearly the same number having pledged to NCAA D2 or NAIA schools. However, even with that many prospects having already made their decision, this senior class is still full of future college players who have yet to make a commitment to a program. In fact, five of the top ten ranked 2018 prospects on our TDP Player Rankings are still available, meaning that fans can expect a lively fall recruiting period as we approach the early signing period. Here’s a rundown of Ohio’s top available prospects….

Christian Guess – ’18 SG/SF Shaker Heights: Claiming offers from DePaul, Kent State and Toledo, the recruiting wire has been surprisingly quiet for Guess, the #5 ranked prospect in the senior class on this site. A 6’5 wing with elite physical tools in terms of size and athleticism, Guess is a passionate player who really came into his own as a scorer during our viewings of him in the July evaluation period with Ohio Basketball Club. While he still has some developing to do, Guess has high-major D1 upside and could very well end up landing on that level with a big senior year.

Justin Ahrens – ’18 SF Versailles: The former Ohio State commit checks in at #7 in our senior rankings and announced a few weeks ago that he was unofficially down to a final three of Ohio State, Michigan and Xavier. Having already visited each school multiple times, including an official visit to Ohio State this weekend, we expect a decision out of Ahrens sooner than later. A sharpshooting wing with size and a developed, diverse skill-set, Ahrens shooting ability, versatility and basketball IQ could earn him a role early in his career at the high-major level.

Editor Note: An hour after posting this article, Ahrens committed to Ohio State. 

Jaxson Hayes – ’18 PF/C Cincinnati Moeller: Possibly underrated at #8 on our senior rankings, Hayes has seen his recruitment sky-rocket, even adding an offer from Kentucky’s John Calipari this past week. Per the Moeller coaching staff, Hayes is down to five in Texas, Kentucky, Xavier, Butler and Georgetown; with Hayes having taken at least an unofficial to all of the schools listed except possibly Georgetown. A hyper athletic 6’10 post with unlimited upside, some doctors have gone as far as to project that Hayes could end up 7’3 before all is said and done. While he has yet to start a game for last year’s State Runners-Up at Moeller, expect a big senior season from Hayes, a late bloomer who will only get better with time.

Caleb McConnell – ’18 PG/SG Spire Academy: Ranked #9 in our senior rankings, McConnell is a long and versatile combo guard with a smooth feel for the game and a confident attitude who moved to the Cleveland area to attend Spire Academy after three seasons at Dayton Dunbar. McConnell presently boasts a lengthy offer list including West Virginia, Wichita State, Kent State, Toledo, Rhode Island, Buffalo, Ohio University and Wright State, although the leaders in his recruitment have yet to emerge publicly. A prototypical big guard, McConnell’s length and IQ make him a candidate to be a really good college player, especially as he adds weight to his frame. While we probably won’t see much of him this year on the prep school scene, McConnell will get every opportunity to showcase his game to colleges on the prep school circuit.

Vince Williams – ’18 SF/PF Toledo St. John’s: Closing out our top ten at the #10 spot, Williams is a hard-nosed and versatile forward with a strong frame and a winning mentality. Although his size at 6’5-6’6 has slowed his recruitment down a tad, there’s a lot to like about the productivity that Williams showcased in the Nike EYBL with All-Ohio Red. Since the summer the two schools that have been constantly mentioned with Williams are Wichita State and VCU; however, the combo forward also lists offers from Duquesne, Richmond, Akron and his hometown team, Toledo.

Honorable Mention: Taevion Kinsey (#13 SG/SF Columbus Eastmoor), Jeremiah Davenport (#14 SF Cincinnati Moeller), Cameron Brooks-Harris (#16 Zanesville), Yahel Hill (#19 PG Cleveland Heights), Elijah McNamara (#20 PF Pickerington North), Kameron Gibson (#21 PG/SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills)

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