’19 Open Gym #1

11 Aug

Gabe Cupps

Since 2011 we at Triple Double Prospects have tried to create the best fall open gym atmosphere possible in the Greater Cincinnati area. This year we plan on taking it to the next level, as we’ve teamed up with the newly formed 275 Hoops, to expand both the coverage of the event, and the amount of players who are able to attend. In our first session of the fall, played yesterday at Walnut Hills HS in Cincinnati, over 50 of the top high school players showed up to display their talents; here’s a quick rundown of some of the top performers from games we were able to catch….

Nekhi Smith – ’20 PF Cincinnati Taft: A physically gifted inside-outside forward who was knocking down jumpers all day with his lefty stroke, there’s not much you can do to stop Smith when he’s making shots. With the strength to finish around the rim and the skill-set to step out on the perimeter, Smith is a double-double machine at the high school level. His game looked polished today, and he did enough scoring on the inside to remind defenders how physically dominant he can be; part of the reason why folks are thinking Taft might be the team to beat in D3 this high school season. Smith currently holds one NCAA D1 offer from Detroit.

Deairius Barker-Randle – ’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton: A smooth operator at the point guard position, Barker-Randle made shot after shot from deep on Saturday, as he has become one of the top playmakers in all of the 2020 class in Ohio. With his shooting ability and his feel for navigating the pick-and-roll, Barker-Randle is a pure scoring guard who has become a more active defender in the past year as well. One of the top targets of the NAIA schools in attendance yesterday, Barker-Randle’s recruitment continues to build after a strong July with his APEX squad.

AJ Braun – ’21 C Middletown Bishop Fenwick: After recently earning his first NCAA D1 offer from Ohio University, Braun showed out on Saturday at Walnut Hills, as the 6’8 post looked more mobile and confident in the fast-paced setting that usually accompanies these type of events. Braun pushed the ball himself several times off rebounds but was most effective as a rim runner and finisher, who also showed the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting stroke in the half-court. As he continues to get stronger and more confident, Braun has the upside to be one of the elite prospects in Ohio’s 2021 class.

Anthony McComb – ’21 SG Dayton Thurgood Marshall: We have to ask all the in-state NCAA D1 coaches, where are this kid’s offers? McComb is near criminally undervalued around the state in our opinion, as he’s a smooth scoring guard with a big-time defensive motor and all the physical tools to play high-level college basketball. On Saturday, McComb was a shot-maker from beginning to end with his dribble pull-up, as he can get by defenders with a strong and athletic frame but also does not force the issue. Playing on what appears to be a loaded Dayton Thurgood Marshall team in D2, we’re thinking college coaches will come around soon on McComb, who is without question the most talented 2021 prospect in the city of Dayton.

Montev Ware – ’21 PG Cincinnati Woodward: Ware has made a couple of school changes where he could easily slip out of the minds of local basketball followers, but that’s all going to change very soon based upon his play on Saturday, as the powerful and intense point guard (now at Woodward) was sensational in all three games. Ware is a quick pass-first guard who can defend and make winning plays, but he also looked significantly more confident in shooting the ball from range and was an efficient scorer as well. Playing alongside 2022 PG Paul McMillan at Woodward, expect Ware to be a breakout name in the Cincinnati city league as winter approaches.

Gabe Cupps – ’23 PG Centerville: It’s not often that we have rising freshmen on our list of top performers from an event like this, but there’s no denying the success that Cupps, playing mostly against seniors and juniors, had yesterday at Walnut Hills. The 5’11 point guard shot the lights out from three, showed some serious confidence attacking off the dribble and displayed a feel for passing the ball that is advanced for his age. While he might be a somewhat nationally known name already thanks to his success on the travel circuit, and his viral social media shooting contest with LeBron James, Cupps is a new name to Southwest Ohio high school hoops fans, who can expect him to make an immediate splash on the varsity squad at Centerville this season, playing for his father’s Elks team.

Honorable Mention: Trey Robinson (’20 Hamilton), Mark Wise (’20 Deer Park), Max Land (’20 Cincinnati Moeller), Owen Spencer (’20 Turpin), Davion Mace (’20 Cincinnati Woodward), Kahlil Davis (’20 Princeton), Leroy Walker (’20 Cincinnati Taft), Mitchell Greer (’20 Mason), Nic Smith (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Greg Stewart (’20 Cincinnati Aiken), Zavian Ricks (’20 Fairfield), Jakada Stone (’21 Cincinnati Aiken), Isaiah Walker (’21 Wyoming), Julian Mackey (’21 Lakota West), Maro Egodotaye (’21 Dayton Carroll), Dre Kindell (’21 Cincinnati Gamble), Paul McMillan IV (’22 Cincinnati Woodward), Evan Mahaffey (’22 Cincinnati Moeller), Tom House (’22 Centerville), Robbie Cass (’22 Cincinnati Aiken), Rayvon Griffith (’23 Cincinnati Taft), Kanye Moreland (’23 Cincinnati Woodward)

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