Adidas 3SSB Birmingham

11 Jul

NI-f4gBwAfter an almost 24-month break, travel basketball is back to being played in front of college coaches, as the first of three July live periods was played this Thursday-Sunday. The Adidas 3SSB circuit was the most noted event around the country, with all of the Adidas sponsored programs traveling to Birmingham for a session of six games. Ohio represented well in the event, with Midwest Basketball Club’s 17u team compiling an undefeated record of 6-0, while the other Ohio based team, Wildcats Select struggled in part due to some injuries and unexpected roster turnover. Triple Double Prospects was on site for games in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday, as we watched Ohio based teams and other prospects from around the region. Here are our top Ohio and Kentucky based performers….

Chris Livingston – ’22 SG/SF Akron Buchtel: Despite his national top-ten status and the fact that he’s had every national scout in the country watch his travel team play, we personally haven’t had a chance to watch Chris Livingston in over a year. Playing on the Tennessee based We All Can Go team alongside some other highly regarded prospects (and social media stars), Livingston had all the bright lights shining on his face in Birmingham this weekend. While his team posted some up and down results, Livingston showed flashes of his extreme talent in two games we evaluated. Even at the highest level of high school basketball there simply just aren’t other guys who have Livingston’s combination of size (6’7), power, quickness and ELITE leaping ability. When Livingston gets the ball with a head of steam he’s literally unstoppable in getting into the lane to score and draw contact. While at times Livingston was sloppy with the ball in his decision making, his physical tools have made even the strongest blue-blood programs extend offers his way, as the Akron based wing holds scholarship offers from schools like Kentucky, Kansas and Memphis, and is also reportedly considering pro options for after his senior season.

Roderick Coffee – ’22 SG Spire Institute: Of all the Ohio and Kentucky based players in attendance, we were most excited to see Coffee this weekend. We enjoyed evaluating him last summer in Fort Wayne, but didn’t see him either this winter or spring (he was injured the one event we saw his team in May). Fortunately for all parties, Coffee was back healthy this weekend as he suited up with his Wildcats Select team. Despite the team being undermanned for a couple of reasons, Coffee was a standout performer, including a dominant performance on Saturday afternoon against California based Dream Vision in a game viewed by north of 50 NCAA D1 schools. A big and physical combo guard who plays with a good pace to his game and who can defend on or off the ball, Coffee is a solid guard who has improved his body since transferring into Spire from Cleveland area school Painesville Harvey. The big addition to Coffee’s game in Birmingham was not only a better looking shooting stroke, but the ability to get to good spots off the dribble to create those shots, as Coffee took on more of a heavy scoring role then we’ve seen from him in the past. We love Coffee’s versatility as a playmaker or scorer who can also defend and, like several players on this report, if he continues to shoot the ball well he’ll see his offer list (which currently includes schools like Cleveland State, Toledo and Akron) continue to lengthen.

Rich Rolf – ’22 PF Centerville: On any given day Midwest Basketball Club can beat you with any of their eight players leading the team in scoring, so it’s difficult to call any of their players “under-the-radar”. However, with so many schools focused on Reed Sheppard and Gabe Cupps, it was Rich Rolf who stole the show in the first game we saw on Friday morning. Rolf scored 15 of his team’s first 21 points, including going 3/3 from three during that stretch and opening the floodgates as Midwest jumped all over Washington DC based New World. College coaches were already very familiar with Rolf due to his versatility on both ends and effectiveness as a rebounder (maybe the top rebounder in Ohio’s 2022 class). But, after shooting the ball so well on Friday, Rolf greatly enhanced his recruiting stock, as he’s come a long way over the last couple years from being a skilled post player to a true face-up forward who can hurt the defense in different ways. Rolf currently holds NCAA D1 offers from Kent State and Radford, but if his three-ball continues to go in we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see that list grow.

Reed Sheppard – ’23 SG North Laurel/KY: While Rolf was the somewhat under-the-radar performer for Midwest Basketball Club’s 17u team, every college coach, scout and media member came into the event wanting to get eyes on Reed Sheppard to see his progress as a prospect. Sheppard had some games where all his shots fell and some where it didn’t, but he, along with 2023 backcourt running mate Gabe Cupps, was dialed in all weekend in leading his team to their 6-0 record. Sheppard gets most of his praise as a shot-maker who can use his athletic ability to create a mid-range shot for himself or attack the rim and finish; however, it’s his ability to defend either guard spot and his active presence as a help-side defender creating steals which college coaches talk about the most. At 6’2, Sheppard is one of the premiere athletes on the travel circuit at the guard position, and, combined with his scoring prowess and defensive acumen he’s going to continue to see his name mentioned by national recruiting sites on their top-100 ranking boards. Sheppard’s recruitment also took the next step forward this weekend, as he added offers from Kentucky and Indiana to a list that already included schools like Louisville and Arizona State.

Colin Porter – ’23 PG Ashland Blazer/KY: Small guards have to have a lot of heart, which is exactly what Porter brings to the table. He might only stand 5’9 or 5’10, but Porter found success in Birmingham, playing up a grade level on the EAB Tennessee 17u level. With good foot speed and a feel for the game as a passer, Porter is a playmaking guard who can also make shots from behind the three-point line. Coaches obviously aren’t too worried about Porter’s size, as he was heavily tracked at the event, and entered the weekend holding early offers from 6 NCAA D1 schools, including a recent offer from Marshall. Porter’s game reminds us a lot of another 2023 Kentucky guard whom we’ve covered a lot on this site in Covington Catholic’s Evan Ipsaro; heading into next winter we expect those two to both continue to be heavily evaluated by college coaches, and likely compared to each other by Kentucky high school basketball fans.

Amire Robinson – ’23 SG/SF Akron Copley: Team records are sometimes overlooked on the travel circuit, but there’s no denying the success of Indiana Elite’s 16u team, as they’ve gone undefeated so far this travel season. Robinson, the lone Ohio based prospect on the team, was a big part of his team’s success this weekend, as the 6’3 wing was a defensive catalyst and gave great energy and leadership to his team during their continued winning streak. After seeing Robinson in Fort Wayne earlier this travel season, we knew he was a versatile defender with a good motor; but, what we didn’t know was that Robinson was also capable of stretching the floor with his long-range shooting. The Northeast Ohio based wing made several timely shots in a competitive matchup we watched against EAB Tennessee, giving us more reason to be excited about his potential as a prospect.

Dellquan Warren – ’24 PG Spire Institute: A speedster with elite leaping ability, Warren is a big-time playmaker for his Wildcats Select 16u team. A native of Erie (PA) who transferred into Spire this past season, Warren is already a well-known name on the circuit, holding early offers from Maryland and Youngstown State. The 6’0 point guard was at his best on Saturday afternoon against California based Dream Vision, making plays in transition and on the defensive end by using his previously mentioned speed and athleticism. An aggressive guard who plays a pass first role in the half-court but who also likes to get to the rim, Warren is a fiery guard who also likes to talk some trash on the court.

Honorable Mention: Mike Sharavjamts (’22 Centerville), Ben Southerland (’22 Sycamore), Jacob Conner (’22 Kettering Alter), Gabe Cupps (’23 Centerville), Evan Ipsaro (’23 Covington Catholic/KY), Chandler Starks (’23 Covington Catholic/KY), Jacob Meyer (’23 Covington Holy Cross/KY), Nate Dudukovich (’23 Lakota West)

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