270 Hoops Fall League

29 Sep

Trey Woodyard

After finishing our Cincinnati based series of fall open gym on Saturday, Triple Double Prospects decided to take our show back on the road for the first time since late July, to get a look at how some of the top prospects from other parts of the state are improving. Today’s stop was at Groveport Madison HS in suburban Columbus to check out the 270 Hoops Fall League. With the best of the best from the Greater Columbus and Central Ohio region on site, we got a chance to see a lot of talent from the classes of 2020-2023. Here’s a look at five prospects who really stood out in games we evaluated….

Trey Woodyard – ’21 SF London: One of several prospects at the event from a smaller town outside of Columbus, players like Woodyard are able to use these showcases to maximize exposure which might not always come their way in the winter. Even with Woodyard being experienced with two years on the Nike EYBL summer circuit, these opportunities are still important, and the 6’5 wing from south of Columbus proved up to the task on Sunday. A deadly shooter who plays with a motor and can make plays off the dribble, Woodyard is an extremely versatile offensive player who can play the role of primary scorer or secondary scorer. Despite being from a smaller school where he is going to be forced to be ball dominant, Woodyard played in flow in both games on Sunday afternoon, but still led his team in scoring with efficient shooting outings. With his size and frame at 6’5 he’s a clear cut NCAA D1 prospect, as Woodyard has already earned offers from Miami (OH), Toledo, Cleveland State and Robert Morris over the last few weeks.

Desmond Watson – ’21 SF Columbus DeSales: If the 270 Hoops Fall League comes out with some sort of hustle based award at the end of the year then you can pretty much pencil Watson’s name in to win it, as the 6’4 junior wing was a madman on both ends of the court on Sunday. Even though he might not have ideal forward height at 6’4, Watson is so physical and plays with so much effort that he can rebound misses to score at the rim, finish in transition and draw fouls pretty much at will. More of a power player then a finesse finisher, Watson rebounded the ball on the defensive end and pushed it end-to-end for multiple scores, while also converting from the foul line with regularity. Even though he was called upon to be more of a scorer today, we’ve always been high on Watson’s willingness to buy in to a complimentary role on the Nike EYBL, as he’s a basketball prospect focused on winning.

TJ Pugh – ’21 SF Shelby: Like Woodyard, Pugh is another small town kid with the talent to stand out against the best from Greater Columbus on a day-to-day basis. At 6’4 Pugh is an above average athlete who can finish around the rim, but also showcased a skilled perimeter game with the ability to create shots for himself and score from the mid-range. Besides being a pure scorer with some physical tools to build on, Pugh also impressed with his motor, as he was aggressive to attack both the lane and the glass for physical plays. Even though we had never had a chance to evaluate him live before today, Pugh’s name is one being mentioned more in more in recruiting circles in the state of Ohio, and we expect that to continue as he is expected to put up monster scoring numbers in the Mansfield area this season as a junior.

Elijah Hinton – ’21 PF Newark: We weren’t familiar with Hinton heading into Sunday, and, even though 270 Hoops’ Zach Fleer mentioned his upside to us upon our arrival, we would’ve been unlikely to overlook Hinton once the action got underway. A powerfully built 6’6 power forward with a lot of physical upside, Hinton played hard on both ends and showed promise running the floor, finishing in traffic and scoring in the mid-post with his face-up jumper. While he has some skill facing the rim, Hinton’s best basketball at this point in his career is played by using his physical tools and strong motor to rebound and finish, as an early sequence where he corralled a defensive board, ran the floor, grabbed an entry pass and finished it highlighted the breakout performance from a junior forward who could see a significant boost in his recruiting stock very soon.

Sean Jones – ’22 PG Gahanna Lincoln: While he’s only a sophomore, Jones is one of the more well known prospects in the Columbus area based upon his play last season as a freshman and in the Nike EYBL this past travel season. In fact, Jones already holds a pair of NCAA D1 offers in Ohio University and Grambling State. But, when you’re only 5’8 and playing the game of basketball, there’s always something to prove; which is exactly the chip that Jones played with when we watched him in his opening game on Sunday. A blur with the ball in transition, Jones is a fearless smaller guard who can get in the paint and find ways to either put the ball in the rim or distribute to open teammates. What has scouts buzzing, however, is the consistency and form in which Jones is now shooting the ball, as he quickly becomes very, very difficult to guard with his combination of explosiveness and shooting. We’ve always said that small guards have to have big heart, the ability to distribute and either great speed or shooting ability; if Jones can continue to prove that he can check all four of those boxes then he’s going to be one of the most highly recruited prospects in Columbus in his 2022 class.

’19 Open Gym #4

28 Sep

Ed Abernathy

As it gets later into the fall, and the high school season approaches, it becomes harder and harder to attract top talent to our open gym sessions. Having said that, we’re pleased to announce that our fall 2019 season came to a strong ending, as some of the top local talent from the Cincinnati/Dayton area attended Session #4 at Walnut Hills HS. As we look back at the events we held this fall, we’d like to thank all those who participated, with special thanks to 275Hoops for their partnership, and to Ricardo Hill of Walnut Hills HS for his hospitality. With that in mind, here are the standouts from Session #4….

Ed Abernathy – ’20 SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills: Abernathy made the standouts list last session and carried that momentum over to today’s final session, where the 6’2 shooting guard was electric as a scorer over the course of several consecutive wins on our winner’s court. After missing his junior season with a knee injury, Abernathy has finally returned to near 100%, and the results are showing as he’s fluid attacking the basket, smooth with the ball in his hand, and, above all else, a deadly shooter off the dribble from three-point land. On a Walnut Hills team loaded with senior talent, expect Abernathy to not only be the team’s leading scorer, but for him to attract major college interest by winters end.

Mark Wise – ’20 PG/SG Cincinnati Taft: After playing a scoring role for three years at Deer Park, Wise is focused on playing a distributing role at Taft this season as the team’s point guard. Wise gave attendees a preview of this playing style on Saturday, as the 6’3 combo guard spread the wealth in transition and worked the pick-and-roll for many assists. With his strong frame and touch around the rim, we still think Wise will score consistently for Taft this year, but his ability to move the ball on a team full of scorers could potentially turn a really talented Taft team into possible state title contenders.

Nic Smith – ’20 C Cincinnati Walnut Hills: Big men don’t always shine in up-and-down open gym settings, so Smith stacked the deck in his favor, selecting a team of mostly post-oriented players to allow Smith to step out on the wing some offensively. The results were overwhelmingly positive, as Smith made jumpers, showed good footwork in attacking the rim as well as instincts as a passer. Smith isn’t an above-the-rim highlight film, but he’s a really solid all-around basketball player who puts up consistent stats and helps in wins, which we believe will lead to scholarship offers before graduation.

Kahlil Davis – ’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton: A guard who has received plenty of hype on this site over the years, we love Davis’ combination of athleticism and shooting at the combo guard spot. Davis was able to both score and distribute today, playing primarily on the ball as opposed to at Princeton where they often play multiple point guards at the same time based on all of their perimeter talent. When Davis uses his athletic tools to be a sound defender there are few more equipped to shutdown opponents then he is, part of the reason why Davis has picked up multiple NAIA offers this fall.

Zion Reynolds – ’21 SG Cincinnati West High: One of the potential sleepers in Cincinnati in the 2021 class, Reynolds hasn’t received all the pub as some of his classmates have; however, he might have just as much long-term upside, as the 6’4 West High wing guard can make shots from the perimeter, is getting better at playing off of the dribble and is a solid athlete with length on the wing. West High’s trio of Reynolds, Demetrius Watkins and Aboucar Cisse showed chemistry in all four of our sessions, as we expect each member of this trio to have a big winter statistically.

Rich Rolf – ’22 PF Centerville: After missing his freshman season with an injury, we saw a somewhat hobbled version of the 6’7 post in July and came away intrigued. However, after playing multiple sessions this fall, including today where he had by far his best session yet, we’re convinced that Rolf (at or near 100% health) is one of the premiere 2022 front-court players in Ohio. With improved mobility to go along with a refined skill-set, touch and offensive feel, Rolf showed the ability to score in different ways from fifteen-feet and in; and, even though he’s still on the thinner side, a fearlessness in attacking contact at the rim. Making his true debut on the high school scene this winter, look for Rolf to make noise on a loaded Centerville front-court alongside Mo Njie.

Honorable Mention: Steve Gentry Jr. (’20 Deer Park), Demetrius Watkins (’20 West High), Mike Grant (’20 Walnut Hills), Kionte Thomas (’20 Hughes), Greg Stewart (’20 Aiken), Owen Spencer (’20 Turpin), Kelvin Turner (’21 Princeton), Kodee Holloway (’21 Finneytown), Greg Johnson (’21 Princeton), Trey Johnson (’21 Centerville)

’19 Open Gym #3

8 Sep

Kodee Holloway

Returning to the old format of keeping the winning teams on the court, session #3 of the Triple Double Prospects/275 Hoops Open Gym returned with some intense play on Saturday at Walnut Hills HS. With some of the area’s top players in attendance, including the majority of the roster from Cincinnati based postgrad program Dohn Prep Academy, there was plenty of talent on display. Here’s the rundown of some of the top performers from this session….

Brandon Muntu – ’20 SG Dohn Prep Academy: The standout player of the day, Muntu scored at will from start to finish, as his team dominated the winner’s court for the majority of the day. A native of Canada playing his postgrad year at Dohn Prep, Muntu is a strong 6’4 combo guard who can shoot it from deep with ease. While a lot of his scoring came off of the three-point shot, Muntu also showed the ability to handle the ball, make the right pass and finish at the rim through contact with his strong frame. Per Dohn Prep head coach Sammy Villegas, Muntu has several NCAA D1 schools showing interest right now.

Ed Abernathy – ’20 SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills: After missing last season with a knee injury, Abernathy is a senior floating under the radar in the Greater Cincinnati area. That should change come winter time, however, as Abernathy is a scoring machine with a smooth perimeter game. Capable of making shots off the dribble with a fluid stroke and the ability to create off a couple of bounces, Abernathy brings size and above average athleticism to the table as well at a legit 6’2. With Walnut Hills having graduated their two starting guards from last year, we expect Abernathy to put up some big scoring numbers in the ECC, based on what we saw from him offensively on Saturday.

Robert Avery – ’21 PF Dohn Prep Academy: The only Dohn Prep prospect in attendance yesterday who was not a senior, Avery was the highlight reel player of the day, as the 6’7 super-athlete was a threat to bend the rims at Walnut Hills every trip down the floor. A native of Louisville, Avery finished above the rim with elite explosiveness, and also showed a great motor to get up and down the court, rebound in traffic and influence shots at the rim defensively. Avery’s skill-set is still in development; however, with athleticism and size like he has, there are going to be some interested college coaches.

Jakada Stone – ’21 PG Cincinnati Aiken: Having been one of the top ranked point guards statewide in his class since we first began posting 2021 rankings, our expectations of Stone are of course going to be high. On Saturday the junior point guard met those expectations, as he showed the ability to create offense at will, especially in transition where he is a blur getting to the rim. Stone continues to show progression as a shooter, and has always been a reliable passer, making him one of the top threats in the Cincinnati city league this winter. In session #1 we complained that 2021 Dayton Thurgood Marshall guard Anthony McComb has no NCAA D1 offers, in session #2 we said the same about 2021 Wyoming wing Isaiah Walker; this time it’s Stone, where are his offers? In our opinion, they’re coming soon.

Kodee Holloway – ’21 PG/SG Finneytown: In the last three sessions Holloway has sky-rocketed up the list of evaluations and extended rankings we send to college coaches, with this third session being an even bigger turning point for the junior combo guard. A slippery athlete who can make things happen at the rim, Holloway is a big guard who can finish, pass and draws contact around the rim with his size and fluidity. He still needs to prove that he’s a consistent shooter from behind the arc, but Holloway has made major strides since we saw him last winter, and we expect him to be one of the standouts in the CHL this year.

Deshawne Crim – ’23 SG Fairfield: Continuing with the trend of the fall, Crim becomes the latest freshman to make our recap, as the 6’1 guard out of Fairfield was a walking bucket on Saturday. Playing against postgrad kids four years olden then him, Crim was aggressive as a scorer attacking the basket, but also showed more pace and control then most guards his age. With a strong frame, Crim can create separation off the dribble, and proved to be a more than reliable shooter from three-point land as well. He hasn’t received quite the same social media attention as some of the other top local 2023 prospects, but we’re confident that Crim has as much long-term talent as just about any of them.

Honorable Mention: Curtis Harrison (’20 Cincinnati Seven Hills), Mamadou Diop (’20 Dohn Prep), Anthony Williams (’20 Dohn Prep), Diego Gonzalez (’20 Dohn Prep), Tahj Harding (’20 Dohn Prep), Steve Gentry Jr (’20 Deer Park), Greg Stewart (’20 Cincinnati Aiken), Ed Abernathy (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Isaiah Walker (’21 Wyoming), Marjoni Tate (’21 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Julian Mackey (’21 Lakota West), Chance Davis (’22 Cincinnati Aiken), Robbie Cass (’22 Cincinnati Aiken), Aboucar Cisse (’22 Cincinnati West High), Kollin Tolbert (’22 Mount Healthy)

Rankings Update

3 Sep
Shawn Phillips

Shawn Phillips

The passing of Labor Day traditionally means a few things for high school basketball fans. First, the commitment cycle for high school seniors really starts to kick into full gear. Second, with schools across the state underway, any rumors regarding transfers are put to bed for once and for all. And, finally, new gossip starts to float through the airwaves regarding who might be the best players in the state for this coming season.

As always, we at Triple Double Prospects try to answer that final question with our list of prospect rankings, by position, for the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 (watch list for 2023 coming soon). While we compose our lists based more on long-term upside then current production, many of the names you’ll see on our rankings lists will be among the top statistical performers in the entire state of Ohio this season.

Looking at our class of 2020 rankings, we’ve already seen nine prospects commit to NCAA D1 schools, with Miami (OH) leading the charge this year among in-state schools with three early commitments. While Zeb Jackson remains the only prospect to commit to a high-major NCAA D1 program so far, we expect that to change soon with the decisions of Zach Loveday and John Hugley looming.

The 2021 class has taken an interesting turn, as four players have already made commitments to NCAA D1 programs, including three to high-major programs. Kalen Etzler committed to Ohio State back in the spring, and was joined recently by point guard Meechie Johnson on the list of future Buckeyes. Then, just this past weekend, the third decision was announced, as point guard Seth Wilson announced his pledge to West Virginia.

Even with all of the hype surrounding the 2021 class, the 2022 class might be even more exciting to follow, as blueblood programs have prioritized prospects such as Chris Livingston, Paul McMillan IV, Sencire Harris, Bowen Hardman and Shawn Phillips. While all of them are impressive prospects, look for Phillips name to gain the most traction this winter, as college coaches are quickly realizing how much talent the nimble 6’10 post player has.

As always, links to our prospect rankings can be found on the header of this page, or by clicking the link below; for comments regarding rankings, please email us at TDPcorey@gmail.com.


’19 Open Gym #2

25 Aug

Rayvon Griffith

Building upon the success of Session #1, both in terms of the quality and quantity of top prospects in attendance, Session #2 of Triple Double Prospects/275 Hoops Elite Open Gym attracted the majority of the best young players from Southwest Ohio to Cincinnati Walnut Hills HS on Saturday. While the senior class produced some impressive performances, it was the depth of talent among the underclassmen in attendance that had folks buzzing as they left the gym following the final games. Here’s a rundown of some top individual showings among attendees….

Leroy Walker – ’20 SF Cincinnati Taft: Through three years of high school basketball Walker might have hidden just slightly under the radar; but don’t expect things to remain that way heading into his senior year, as the 6’3 senior wing made a major statement on Saturday, playing above the rim from start to finish. A ridiculously bouncy athlete, Walker can finish with crowd-pleasing dunks, but was also more effective then he’s been in the past at finishing through or around contact off of drives. While he’s not a pure shooter, Walker can make the three-point ball with his feet set, and will be counted on to provide a scoring punch for potential State Championship contenders Cincinnati Taft this winter, after transferring in this summer from Winton Woods.

Greg Stewart – ’20 SG Cincinnati Aiken: Despite missing most of his junior season at Aiken due to OHSAA transfer rules, Falcons coaches have raved about Stewart and the strides he’s made. The hype matched his play on Saturday, as the 6’3 scoring wing was aggressive in knocking down three-point shots, attacking off of the dribble for smooth finishes and finishing above the rim in transition with dunks. A pure scoring minded guard with length and athleticism, Stewart could be a breakout player in the Cincinnati City League this winter, playing alongside some other really talented perimeter prospects.

Alex Williams – ’21 SF/PF Cincinnati Moeller: While Williams is not a player who we would consider a “big”, open gym settings usually aren’t ideal for players of his build; as they often turn into guard-oriented up-tempo style games. All of that being said, Williams made sure his teammates got him touches early and often on Saturday, scoring the ball from all three levels and showcasing his elite strength to score around the rim through contact. An active defender and rebounder with a motor and toughness, Williams is a pure winner anytime he steps on the court, and his combination of strength and touch make him nearly unguardable at the high school level as a walking mismatch, part of the reason why the junior already holds NCAA D1 scholarship offers.

Isaiah Walker – ’21 SG/SF Wyoming: Always known in Cincinnati as a top young prospect, Walker looks like he’s ready to take the leap from promising young player to productive veteran this winter, as the 6’5 wing put together his second straight impressive performance at Walnut Hills. After just missing the cut for a write up in Session #1, Walker was a no-brainer for this list, as he showed a smooth and fluid game in the open court, with the ability to attack off the dribble, make plays for teammates and defend with his length and mobility. The big jump that Walker has made from last year to this year, in our eyes, is the form and consistency of his shooting, as Walker is not only making the three at a much better clip but also getting the shot off faster. As he makes up one half of one of Cincinnati’s most dynamic duos on the high school scene, look for Walker to garner more NCAA D1 interest as the winter progresses.

Walker Horn – ’22 SG Covington Catholic/KY: A new name to the scene since moving to Greater Cincinnati from Austin (TX), Horn, the son of new Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball coach Darrin Horn, is going to be a name basketball fans will hear a lot of over the next few years. A high IQ guard with a polished skill-set and smooth feel for the game, Horn makes the game fun to watch, as he’s an adept passer who also can craftily score around the rim or consistently step out and stroke the three point shot. With solid size and mobility at 6’2 to go along with a defensive motor and defined all-around offensive game, Horn is going to be an instant impact player at Covington Catholic; a team loaded with future NCAA D1 prospects, especially in the younger grades.

Rayvon Griffith – ’23 SG/SF Cincinnati Taft: For the second straight write-up at least one rising freshman makes this write-up, as Griffith, a 6’5 pogo-stick athlete out of Cincinnati Taft, lived up to the immense hype that followed him throughout his junior high career, with a couple of high scoring outings on Saturday at Walnut Hills. A big time finisher with size and length who plays above the rim, Griffith is a blur with the ball in transition and can score around contact, especially driving to his left hand. Already being billed by many as one of the top prospects in his class on a national scale, Griffith has every athletic tool that NCAA D1 programs covet, and, as his skill-set continues to improve, he’ll have a chance to be one of the most talked about and successful players to come through Greater Cincinnati in some time.

Chandler Starks – ’23 PF/C Covington Catholic/KY: Another rising freshman who has created a name for himself off the travel circuit, Starks stood out as well on Saturday. As we mentioned earlier, open gym is not always an ideal setting for young big men; however, Starks found ways to get involved in the offense at Walnut Hills, as the 6’5 forward stroked shots from three-point land, scored around the paint on rebounds and showed a willingness to both mix it up physically on the glass as well as defend on the perimeter against wings. With big men we usually see a slower progression, so, the fact that Starks can hold his own against older competition at this stage reflects favorably on his upside, as Starks shows a frame which could easily spurt another few inches over the next couple of years.

Honorable Mention: Ed Abernathy (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Michael Grant (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Nic Smith (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Davion Mace (’20 Cincinnati Woodward), Michael McCants (’20 Cincinnati Gamble), Josiah McGee (’20 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Aaron Ward (’20 Winton Woods), AJ Braun (’21 Middletown Bishop Fenwick), Greg Johnson (’21 Princeton), Skyler Schmidt (’21 Clermont Northeastern), Brayden Sipple (’21 Blanchester), Patrick Ivory (’21 Northmont), Chanze Amerson (’21 Dayton Thurgood Marshall), Montev Ware (’21 Cincinnati Woodward), Tom House (’22 Centerville), Max Poynter (’22 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Chance Davis (’22 Cincinnati Aiken), Sellers Little (’22 Trotwood), Jacob Conner (’22 Kettering Alter), Aboucar Cisse (’22 Cincinnati West High), Kollin Tolbert (’22 Mount Healthy), Alexander Parks (’23 Covington Catholic/KY), Jack Kronauge (’23 Cincinnati St. Xavier), Gabe Cupps (’23 Centerville)

’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)

GRBA Nationals

27 Jul

Jayvon Maughmer

With the final weekend of travel basketball upon us, many of the top Ohio teams chose to spend the weekend in Fort Wayne (IN) to participate in the GRBA National Championships. Although, due to this year’s NCAA Recruiting Calendar, NCAA D1 schools were unable to attend, the gyms were still full of NCAA D2, NCAA D3 and NAIA programs, as well as various scouting services, including Triple Double Prospects. Here’s the rundown of Ohio based prospects who impressed us with their play on Friday….

Jayvon Maughmer – ’20 SG Chillicothe: The most impressive Ohio performer of the day, Maughmer led his underdog Mid-Ohio Pumas team through an overtime thriller against a talent-laden Michigan Playmakers squad, and, although the Pumas fell just short, Maughmer stole the show with his scoring. The 6’3 wing guard displayed a polished and versatile all-around offensive skill-set, with the ability to make the long-range shot, attack off the dribble with a smooth style and pass the ball in the Pumas’ half-court sets. When he’s aggressive there’s no denying Maughmer’s talent or upside, as he’s a long and fluid athlete who is just scratching the surface of his potential. Although he holds various NCAA D1 and D2 offers, Maughmer reported to TDP that he’s primarily considering a pair of in-state D2’s in Cedarville and Ashland.

Aidan Noyes – ’21 SF Cincinnati Moeller: Noyes is a name gaining a ton of traction in recruiting circles, even though he played on the Junior Varsity team last season at Moeller. Playing with Mid-Ohio Pumas 16u squad, Noyes built on the reputation he developed in team camps with Moeller this June, as well as at the OHSBCA Showcase, showing again that he’s a deadly scorer with tremendous athletic upside. Noyes attacked and finished above the rim in transition and made open shots with consistency, but it was his ability to create a shot for himself off of one to three dribbles that was most impressive; as Noyes mixture of size at 6’5, along with skill and excellent athleticism make him a tough cover. Will he blow up at Moeller and be reminiscent of a Jaxson Hayes or Jeremiah Davenport ascent; that remains to be seen, but regardless we expect Noyes to have a big junior year at Moeller.

Kalen Etzler – ’21 PF Convoy Crestview: After playing with All-Ohio Red for their entire travel season, Etzler switched over to run with the host team, Indy Heat EYBL for the final weekend, where he was given the opportunity to suit up with their 17u team, despite being a class of 2021 prospect. The results were in Etzler’s favor, as the 6’8 forward stretched the floor with his shooting, moved the ball well in a crisp Indy Heat offense and attacked off the dribble with more confidence then when we saw him last this spring. Etzler’s athleticism and fluidity at 6’8, along with his ability to shoot the ball with extreme accuracy from three are two of the reasons why he’s already given a verbal commitment to Ohio State; however, as he continues to add more strength and more physical play to his arsenal he has the upside to become an even more dominant prospect.

Tyrese Hughey – ’21 PF Thomas Worthington: We profiled Hughey’s success in Atlanta with C2K Elite at the Under Armour Finals, with the 6’7 forward following up on that performance with another strong showing in Fort Wayne, this time suiting up for the Ohio Hoopsters. Whether it was scoring with the mid-range jumper, going to work in the post or just bullying defenders for finishes off of drop-off passes around the rim, Hughey was as dominant of a scorer as he wanted to be on Friday. His ability to get off his feet quickly to finish around the rim, as well as his increased shooting consistency, all coupled with his frame, make him one of the most intriguing prospects in Ohio’s 2021 class; and, even though he’s already received a pair of NCAA D1 offers, we’re surprised Hughey hasn’t accumulated more offers to this point.

Jonah Waag – ’21 SG Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joe’s: This was our first true live look at Waag, after hearing some very positive feedback on him from fellow scouts, and we came away very impressed with his all-around floor game with his TNBA 16u squad. Waag showed the versatility to be a combo guard with size, length and mobility at 6’2, and was able to get his teammates involved or find offense for himself in attacking in transition and the half-court. A high IQ guard with a good motor who also impacted the game defensively, Waag is going to see his name in print a whole lot more during his junior season at Cleveland VASJ, where we fully expect him to become one of NE Ohio’s premiere guards. If Waag can continue to improve on the reliability of his jumper, watch out, as this kid would become a heck of a prospect!

Josh Irwin – ’21 PF West Geauga: Of all of the Ohio prospects whom we evaluated on Friday, none gave more effort, or displayed more passion, on the court then Irwin, a 6’5 strong-bodied forward out of Northeast Ohio running with TNBA. Known in recruiting circles as a pick and pop big who can shoot the three, Irwin (who is still getting back to 100% after some injuries) showed the ability to score in the paint with his strength and grit, make open shots as always, as well as make high IQ plays in TNBA’s half-court offense. There are going to be some who will question his size as a 6’5 forward most comfortable at the four-spot, but Irwin can get a lot of things done on the floor and brings great intangibles to the table.

Honorable Mention: Caleb Piks (’20 Mentor), Johnny Manning (’20 Midview), Cooper Parrot (’20 Williard), Ezra McKee (’20 Wooster), Cameron Seeman (’21 Cincinnati McNicholas), Henry Raynor (’21 Cleveland St. Ignatius), Chance Groce (’21 Columbus Linden-McKinley), Elhadji Thiam (’21 Pickerington Central), Jalen Sullinger (’21 Thomas Worthington),