Bearcat Classic Recap

9 Apr
Loveday

Zach Loveday

Triple Double Prospects started our annual spring tournament journey this past weekend, staying local to check out the Bearcat Classic presented by OhioBasketball.com. With teams from all over Ohio, Kentucky and a few sprinkled in from Indiana, the Bearcat Classic featured a lot of talent, especially in the 16u and 15u divisions from not only Southwest Ohio, but also the entire Buckeye State. Here’s a look at some of the top performers who we watched this weekend….

Zach Loveday – ’20 PF Gallipolis Gallia Academy: Ranked by TDP as Ohio’s top prospect in the 2020 class, the 6’11 Loveday led his Louisville Magic team to a championship and undefeated weekend, as Loveday showed the ability to be a versatile scorer. A long and well above average athlete for his size, Loveday was able to run the floor and finish above the rim, but also showed shooting touch from mid-range and deft passing skills with both his back facing the basket or in the face-up. Already with offers from Xavier, Purdue and Ohio State, look for Loveday’s stock to skyrocket nationally this spring, as there are almost no similarly sized players his age with his combination of skill and athleticism at 6’11.

Jackson Ames – ’20 C West Clermont: Joining Loveday in the Louisville Magic frontcourt and standing almost as tall at a legit 6’10, Ames showed tremendous improvement since we saw him last in the fall at one of our open gyms, as he has strengthened his body and become a better athlete. One play stood out Saturday where Ames secured a defensive rebound, sprinted the floor to seal his man in the post and finished with a drop-step two-handed dunk, solidifying his transformation in our eyes. Like many bigs his age, Ames has plenty to work on, but he has a massive frame that you can’t teach, and his skills are improving by the day; look for Ames to earn offers this spring with the Magic.

Aaron Ward – ’20 PF Cincinnati Princeton: A hyper-athletic 6’7 forward with wing skills, Ward is next-up at Princeton with the pending graduation of Darius Bazley. This weekend, running with the Cincinnati Lakers, Ward was able to score the ball in different ways, whether it was the mid-range jumper, offensive rebounds or dribble drives from the wing or high post. Also showing the ability to grab a defensive rebound and push it the length of the court, Ward is one of 2020’s most talented athletes and a developing forward with big time potential heading into his junior season.

Jack Sawyer – ’21 PF Pickerington North: Part of a dominant front line for the Mid-Ohio Pumas, who won the 15u championship, Sawyer is a man amongst boys at this age group. Already holding an offer from Ohio State for football, Sawyer is not only bigger and significantly stronger than his opponents, he also is more athletic as a 6’5 forward who can play on the wing or the block. Not only is Sawyer physically superior then his competition, but he also has a solid skill-set, showcasing the ability to handle the ball in traffic, score at the rim with touch and, more then anything, he competes with a motor and physicality at all times. While he’ll ultimately end up pursuing football, Sawyer is without question one of Ohio’s better 2021 basketball prospects.

Logan Duncomb – ’21 C Cincinnati Moeller: Although he didn’t play varsity basketball this year, which is standard at Moeller, don’t think that Duncomb isn’t one of Ohio’s premiere talents in 2021, as the 6’8 center is one of the focal points of the Mid-Ohio Pumas 15u team. A long and lanky post with well above average athleticism for his size, Duncomb plays the traditional center role and was devastating against defenses with his right-hand hook shot. Also, able to rebound, finish offensive rebounds, block shots and run the floor, Duncomb is a long-term prospect who is just scratching the surface of his potential as the next big man out of the Moeller program.

Kaden Warner – ’21 PG Cincinnati North College Hill: A small but fiery and ultra-skilled point guard, Warner scored in bunches all weekend, leading his BTC Trojans 16u team in scoring, despite playing up an age group. An electric ballhandler who can create shots whenever he wants, Warner is great in the pull-up game and a master of changing direction and using hesitation to get shots. His size at 5’8 is going to be a question mark going forward, but Warner is in the conversation for one of Ohio’s top 2021 point guard.

Isaiah Walker – ’21 PG/SG Cincinnati Wyoming: A long combo guard with a smooth game, Walker is a versatile scorer and slasher who can pass, shoot and handle the ball at 6’3 (and growing). Playing a lot of point guard for his Cincinnati Royals 15u team, Walker showed a mature floor game in handling the ball against smaller guards, attacking the paint and knowing when to pull-up for the jumper. Part of a “big three” at Wyoming, look for Walker to make tremendous strides from his freshman to his sophomore years at Wyoming as he adds strength to his frame.

Paul McMillan IV – ’22 PG Cincinnati TBD: McMillan is only an eighth grader, and we usually don’t write about junior high kids; however, as he was playing up at the 15u age level with his D-Miller Elite team (a group made up almost entirely of eighth graders), we’ll change our policy for once. McMillan set the tournament ablaze all weekend long, leading his D-Miller Elite team to the semifinals where they fell to Mid-Ohio Pumas. McMillan, one of the nation’s top ranked prospects, has not decided which Cincinnati high school he will attend; but whoever lands him will be getting a good one, as the 6’0 combo guard showed the ability to score at the rim, create space with the handle and shoot it from deep, all with a fiery demeanor as a competitor. Look for his D-Miller Elite team to turn heads all spring and summer, as they’ll play mostly at the 15u level, including stops on the Nike circuit.

Other Top Performers: Milton Gage (’19 PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), AJ Garrett (’19 PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Ryan Marchal (’19 PG Centerville), Alex Dotson (’19 PG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Kahlil Davis (’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton), Caleb Crawford (’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton), Leroy Walker (’20 SG Cincinnati Winton Woods), Trevon Ellis (’20 Dayton Stivers), Nick Smith (’20 PF Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Mark Wise (’20 Cincinnati Deer Park), Camron McKenzie (’21 PG Cincinnati Hughes), Jakada Stone (’21 PG Cincinnati Aiken), Walt Mattingly (’21 PF Batesville/IN), AJ Mirgon (’21 PG Hilliard Bradley)

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