Top Available: 2019

18 Mar
Roderick copy

Ben Roderick

By our count, there are currently 21 seniors from the state of Ohio (OHSAA schools – not counting places like Spire Institute) who are committed to NCAA D1 colleges. While there is still time before the final signing deadline, and even more time before next school year begins, this number is well on the low end for what we historically see from Buckeye State prospects. That being said, there are still a few prospects on the board whom we believe will end up signing with NCAA D1 programs sooner than later, highlighted by some explosive perimeter scoring guards. Here’s the rundown of the best available prospects in Ohio’s senior class of 2019….

Ben Roderick – ’19 SG/SF Olentangy Liberty: As the only player on this list who will be playing in this weekend’s Ohio State Tournament, Roderick has the most fluid situation, as he could play his way into more offers within the next few days. As of now, Roderick has seen an explosion in his recruitment this winter, as both mid and high-major NCAA D1’s have tracked his progress, after he missed most of the high school season last year. Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Roderick is a big, physical scoring wing who led the city of Columbus in points this year as a senior. Heading into the State Tournament, Roderick lists Ohio State and Xavier among the high-major programs recruiting him the hardest, while Wisconsin and West Virginia have also been in touch; additionally, Roderick holds a slew of mid-major offers, including Ohio and Miami (OH).

Javohn Garcia – ’19 PG Pickerington Central: Garcia is the big enigma amongst all of the names on this list, as the big and athletic point guard from the Columbus area, coming off a strong summer in the Nike EYBL, committed to Miami (OH), and then de-committed, choosing to re-open his recruitment, right before the fall signing period. Since then, Garcia put up huge numbers in his senior campaign at Pickerington Central, leading his squad to a Regional Semifinal showing, while also adding new offers from Toledo, Akron and James Madison. Like many of the names on this list, prep school is a potential option for Garcia, who reportedly is looking to add to his offer list this spring by re-entering the travel circuit for one more go-around in April. A playmaker with size and length who can get to the rim and defend, Garcia should attract offers from most mid-majors looking to add a guard late in the recruiting cycle.

Greg Tribble – ’19 PG Huntington Prep (WV): After leaving Cincinnati Winton Woods just days before the start of the season to play at prestigious prep program Huntington Prep (WV), Tribble was able to earn a starting role and play in some elite exposure events – including two high level games at Flyin’ to the Hoop. This added exposure has helped boost Tribble’s recruitment, as he has interest at both the mid and high-major NCAA D1 level heading into April. Currently Tribble lists high-major interest coming from both Iowa State, VCU and Purdue, as well as mid-major interest from Murray State, New Mexico and Chattanooga. Since he’ll be graduating high school at just 17-years old, prep school is still on the table for Tribble as well, who is likely to suit up on the travel circuit this spring. An explosive leaper with the quickness to make plays as a slasher at the rim or as a perimeter defender, Tribble is an athletic point guard who likely will generate more recruiting buzz as the process goes later and later.

Morgan Safford – ’19 SG Columbus Bishop Hartley: Safford capped a big tournament run and senior season in leading his team to the D2 Regional Semifinals, drawing interest from college coaches all season long, as he established himself as one of Ohio’s most efficient shooting guards. Capable as an athlete, a perimeter shooter and a two-way wing guard, Safford is a solid and versatile prospect who is effective in every aspect of the game; and, despite playing on a slower-paced high school team, Safford still showed he could score in bunches, including standout performances this fall at the 270 Hoops Fall League. Heading into this week, Safford does not hold any NCAA D1 offers, but we expect that to change, as Safford told TDP that Youngstown State, Ohio, Wofford and Presbyterian are all tracking him closely; before the end of the spring expect one (or more) of these schools to pull the trigger with an offer.

Raheim Moss – ’19 SF Springfield: One of the state’s most rugged and powerfully explosive athletes (in a class full of high-flyers), Moss put together a great senior season at Springfield, leading his team to the SW Regional Semifinals. With NCAA D1 interest in both football and basketball, the dynamic and versatile athlete is still unsure as to where he will enroll next year. Moss told TDP this week that he is still considering playing both scholarship football and walk-on basketball at Cincinnati or Toledo, as well as prep school options at Spire Institute. Due to his frame, athleticism and motor, Moss is seen by many as more of a football prospect; however, as his skill-set matures, Moss has become a more and more consistent basketball prospect who is capable of contributing in a role.

Abba Lawal – ’19 C Cincinnati Withrow: Since immigrating to the USA from Nigeria as a freshman, Lawal has always been seen as a project with long-term upside, as he had limited basketball experience before arriving in Cincinnati. Lawal made progress as a shot-blocker and rebounder, as well as a fluid floor-runner, during his high school career, but still has work to be done; so, Lawal will be attending a to be determined prep school next year to continue to add weight and develop his game. Prior to this decision, Lawal was weighing different mid-major offers from in-state schools.

Jordan Mitchell – ’19 SF Montverde Academy (FL): To be honest, we don’t know a whole lot about what has happened with Mitchell’s game or his recruitment since leaving Gahanna Lincoln and his Columbus home for prep powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida two years ago. We do know that Mitchell, ranked as one of the elite prospects in Ohio’s 2019 class before his departure, has not received much playing time in his two seasons with Montverde Academy; and, as a result, we’re not quite sure where his recruitment stands. A long, mobile and skilled forward, rumors have surfaced that have linked Mitchell to playing a fifth year of prep ball somewhere; if he does, and the pieces of his game come together, he’s a very talented prospect to monitor.

Honorable Mention: Eddie Colbert (SF Toledo Whitmer), Milton Gage (PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), Alex Dotson (PG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), DJ Dial (PG Cleveland Brush), Ben Fort (SG Reynoldsburg), Ryan Hall (SG Kettering Fairmont), Derek Van Lerah (SF Dublin Coffman), Jayson Woodrich (SF Cleveland Beachwood), Taevon Pierre-Louis (SF Lorain), AJ Garrett (PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Na’elle Simmons (C Columbus Beechcroft), Kevin Davet (C Cleveland St. Ignatius), Demetrius Terry (SG Cleveland St. Edward), Ibrahima Athie (SF Cincinnati Deer Park), Chris Painter (Akron STVSM), Sam Towns (PF Pickerington Central), D’Marco Howard (SG Hamilton)

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