270 Hoops Recap

26 Mar

Jalen Sullinger

The top underclassmen prospects from Columbus as well as other parts of Central Ohio all gathered together on the campus of Olentangy Orange HS on Tuesday evening for the annual 270 Hoops “Battle for the City” showcase event. With the 270 Hoops staff breaking the teams down into OCC (suburban league), City League and Central Ohio (private schools plus outskirts schools), squads consisting of current freshmen, sophomores and juniors battled for individual notoriety, as well as bragging rights. Triple Double Prospects spent the evening focusing on the 2021 and 2022 talent; here’s a look at some of the top performers we evaluated….

Jalen Sullinger – ’21 PG Thomas Worthington: Ever since his sophomore season started, folks in Columbus have been praising the development of Jalen Sullinger (nephew of the famous Jared Sullinger), as the 5’10 sophomore point guard has established himself as one of the top pure scoring guards in the 2021 class. At “Battle for the City” Sullinger didn’t disappoint, as he showcased a refined skill-set with long-range jumpers, floaters and acrobatic finishes with his left hand, all using a smooth handle to create separation. He doesn’t have great size at this point, but Sullinger is one of the guards who we expect to have a breakout season on the travel circuit.

Chance Groce – ’21 SG Columbus Linden-McKinley: We’ve hyped Groce on this site for almost a year now as one of the elite talents in the 2021 class in Ohio, with a combination of basketball skill, size and excellent athleticism. While he still needs to focus on putting those pieces together with consistent effort, Groce proved again that he is a step ahead of the other sophomores in Central Ohio in terms of raw talent, as he finished big dunks, made timely three pointers and created whatever he wanted in transition with the dribble. If that motor keeps improving, Groce could end up being a top-5 prospect statewide in 2021.

Trey Woodyard – ’21 SF London: Another player like Sullinger who has generated serious buzz this winter, Woodyard is a 6’5 sharpshooting wing with a good skill-set and size for the small forward position. Not only is Woodyard a big shooter who can fill it up, but he also displayed a good basketball IQ as a passer, and has added weight, which will give him some versatility on both ends of the floor. Playing on the Nike circuit with NEO Tru Game, Woodyard is another one who is primed for a breakout spring.

Tyrese Hughey – ’21 PF Licking Heights: When we saw Hughey last, way back in July, he was a bruising back to the basket big who could score around the rim. While that is still in his repertoire, we were impressed tonight with the physical progress of Hughey, who is slimmer and lighter on his feet as a result. Capable of facing up and attacking from the high-post, scoring down low or hitting the open jumper, Hughey is one of the more offensively skilled and physically imposing young bigs in Ohio in 2021.

AJ Clayton – ’22 PF Philo: Of the roughly 60 players we evaluated tonight none were more dominant then Clayton, a 6’6 power forward out of a small town southeast of Zanesville. With size, strength, advanced athleticism for his age as well as a great motor, Clayton was a monster on the interior all evening long. Unlike most big men his age, Clayton was willing to stick to what he does well (rare for an all-star event), as he posted up, finished offensive rebounds and out-ran his competition in transition for dunks. Even though he’s a small-town kid, Clayton is going to be a big name in Ohio high school basketball for the next three years, with this event being his breakout night onto center stage.

Sean Jones – ’22 PG Gahanna Lincoln: While we only got to watch Jones for a few brief moments, there’s no denying his ability as an advanced point guard, not surprising considering the numbers he put up as a freshman at Lincoln. Jones is a quick guard who can get up and down the court and is slippery with his handle to create space as a finisher at the rim or as a passer, where he showed a flair and creativity tonight. He is on the smaller side at just 5’9, but look for Jones to continue to be one of the most talked about guards in Ohio’s 2022 class heading into the travel circuit season.

Jared Frey – ’22 SG Columbus St. Charles: Big, skilled guards are all the rage right now in college basketball, and, even though he’s just a freshman in high school, Frey fits that mold perfectly, as the 6’3 shooting guard was efficient as both a scorer and primary ballhandler today. A lefty who can shoot it effortlessly from three-point range, Frey shoots a pure jumper but also can handle and pass the ball as well, proving why he averaged double-figures in the Columbus Catholic league this year; he’s not the most athletic guard, but his skill-set and IQ are so strong that he’ll be near the top of our rankings list.

Honorable Mention: AJ Mirgon (’21 PG Hilliard Bradley), Isaac Settles (’21 SF Thomas Worthington), Elhadji Thiam (’21 PF Pickerington Central), Eli Burke (’21 PG Columbus Africentric), Jerry Saunders (’22 PG Pickerington North), Josh Whiteside (’22 PF Gahanna Lincoln), Jaylen Simmons (’22 PG Columbus Beechcroft), Jared Rose (’22 PG Lancaster Fairfield Christian), Troy Scowden (’22 PF Buckeye Valley)

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