Summer 2020 Rankings

27 Jul
Kobe Johnson

Kobe Johnson

Despite all the uncertainty that has surrounded the basketball world, and the entire country for that matter, since early March, we at Triple Double Prospects are committed to continuing to produce the best content possible regarding Ohio’s top high school basketball prospects.

Based on our past notes, as well as evaluations from six different events over the last month, we are proud to release our new prospect rankings/player database. Both the 2021 and 2022 lists received major overhauls, while the 2023 list is our first official position based database for this class, as opposed to our previous alphabetical watch list.

So, what are some of the storylines behind this latest update?

First let’s start in the class of 2021, where the big story is the commitment to Ohio State by Akron STVSM wing Malaki Branham, arguably the top 2021 prospect in the state. Joining Branham in making a high-major commitment is Canton McKinley guard Kobe Johnson, a prospect who generated a lot of buzz in Northeast Ohio before making his pledge to Coach Huggins last week. Including Sunday’s commitment to Kent State by Thomas Worthington point guard Jalen Sullinger, there are currently ten rising seniors in the state committed to NCAA D1 programs. With this class being exceptionally deep in talent, expect that number to propel into the mid-30’s by the end of the winter.

In the class of 2022 the two big storylines are the return of Chris Livingston (the state’s top ranked prospect) to an OHSAA school, along with an unusual amount of early NCAA D1 verbal commitments. As for Livingston, he announced Sunday that he would be re-enrolling at Akron Butchel (where he spent his freshman year) after spending this past season at Western Reserve Academy. Regarding the string of early commitments, four rising juniors are already off the board as Cincinnati Princeton’s Bowen Hardman (Ohio State), Garfield Heights’ Sonny Johnson Jr (Penn State), Philo’s AJ Clayton (Ohio) and Worthington Christian’s DJ Moore (Liberty) have all seen enough from the schools recruiting them to make an early decision.

Finally, the class of 2023 is one we have to admit we’re not as comfortable with as we normally would be (primarily due to the COVID issued shortened travel season). But even with that being said, we have seen enough basketball from that class to produce a list, with players such as Rayvon Griffith and Marlon Barnes having proven on a regional stage that they can compete with anyone.

RANKINGS LINK

Brawl for the Ball

19 Jul
Neal

Jamiya Neal

Summer basketball is starting to feel normal again, as we at Triple Double Prospects headed back up to Fort Wayne for the second straight weekend, this time checking out the Brawl for the Ball presented by the Grand Rapids Storm. With the action being equally as competitive as last weekend, several Ohio prospects performed well, in an event live-streamed to college coaches via Baller TV….

Jamiya Neal – ’21 SF Toledo Rogers: We’ve covered Neal over the years with All-Ohio Red, where he was a key piece to their rotation in a versatile role; however, playing with Hopson Elite this summer, Neal is asked to be primary offensive weapon, and he was up to that task in Fort Wayne with a great performance across two viewings. A 6’6 wing with a versatile skill-set and excellent athleticism, Neal was able to slash his way to the rim at will for Hopson Elite, showing the ability to finish with his length and athleticism, or make the right pass when the defense helped. With that length, Neal is also a capable defender who can create a steal and push it the other way for a bucket. As he continues to improve the consistency of his outside shot, Neal is without question one of Ohio’s most talented 2021’s; which is part of the reason why schools like Akron, Toledo, Miami (OH), Kent State and Northern Kentucky have already offered him scholarships.

Desmond Watson – ’21 SG/SF Columbus DeSales: The last time we profiled Watson was after his standout performance at the 270 Hoops 2021 Challenge; in Fort Wayne, Watson picked up where he left off, this time showcasing that ability to score around the rim against athletes of his caliber. In a showcase matchup against Indy Heat EYBL, Watson led his C2K Elite team, attacking the rim off the dribble to score or draw fouls. Not only a dominant athlete but also a tough competitor with a big, strong frame, Watson has all the physical tools to be a dynamic defender at the next level, as he was forced to matchup with future Big Ten wings in both the game with Indy Heat as well as Grand Rapids Storm’s Kobe Bufkin. No stranger to the recruiting scene, Watson holds mid-major offers from schools like Bowling Green, Miami (OH) and Cleveland State.

Maceo Williams – ’21 PF/C Gahanna Lincoln: Another player who shined recently at the 270 Hoops 2021 Challenge, Williams is a big, physical post player with soft touch around the rim, and particularly in the mid-range with his jumper. While his body might be built more like your stereotypical bruiser center, Williams ability to stretch the floor with his shooting is one of the things that college coaches like most about him. Somewhat of a sleeper statewide in the 2021 class, Williams was tremendous on Friday morning for his Nova Village team, showing the ability to rebound in traffic as well as score against a physically talented MBA Select team.

Cli’ron Hornbeak – ’21 C Toledo St. Francis: While Jamiya Neal was the prospect on Hopson Elite whom we were most familiar with heading into the weekend, Hornbeak might have been his team’s biggest stockriser in Fort Wayne. The 6’9 post is one of the state’s most well put together 2021 prospects, and should burst onto the recruiting scene based on his play, as Hornbeak looked the part of a future NCAA D1 college center. Hornbeak has good feet for his size, understands how to play offensively and showed an ability to finish with power through contact. He doesn’t have any NCAA D1 offers yet, but plenty of schools began talking more and more about him as the weekend went on.

DJ Moore – ’22 PG/SG Worthington Christian: Whenever we’ve had a chance to see Moore’s team play he’s usually been sidelined with injuries; so, fortunately for all parties, when Moore took the court this weekend with his Nova Village team we were excited to see his progress on the floor. The results were certainly positive, as Moore, a 6’3 combo guard, showed a great pace and feel for the offensive end, leading his team as a bigger pass-first guard who can also score when called upon. As a scorer, you could actually argue that Moore is too unselfish, as, when he was aggressive attacking the rim, Moore made some high level plays to finish, and also showed the ability to make jumpers in rhythm off the dribble. With size, mobility and an offensive IQ, Moore is going to continue to be one of Ohio’s most highly recruited 2022 prospects, having already attracted offers from Miami (OH) and Ohio.

Roderick Coffee – ’22 PG/SG Painesville Harvey: Similar to Moore in that he’s a big, steady, pass-first type of combo guard, Coffee was the top performer we saw when we evaluated his C2K Elite team. Coffee, again like Moore, didn’t always look for his perimeter shot; however, when he did, his ball went in, and he has the frame to absorb contact and get to line or finish at the rim as well. A very composed guard with the size and mobility to be a productive defender against both guard positions, Coffee is someone folks in Northeast Ohio rave about, and that attention has already led to scholarship offers from Tennessee-Martin, Youngstown State and Arkansas-Little Rock.

Rayvon Griffith – ’23 SG/SF Cincinnati Taft: Griffith, a 6’6 wing, looked like the most talented player on his Bates Fundamental team, a squad which ended up finishing off the weekend as the event’s 15u champions. This might not sound like the world’s greatest accolade; however, it’s important to note that the Bates Fundamental team was not only the most talented team in their age group, but also in the entire event, boasting a roster full of prospect who we expect to be recruited at the NCAA D1 level. What separates Griffith from the pack is his combination of motor and athleticism, as the rising sophomore lives on the offensive boards, finishes in transition and is active as a rebounder and defender as well. While parts of his perimeter game are still developing, Griffith showed improvements with his jumper, knocking down shots at a consistent clip from the mid-range and high post against zone defenses. As his jumper and handle continue to improve, Griffith will have a chance to make an argument as Ohio’s most talented prospect in his 2023 class. Heading into the tournament, Griffith already held scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Kent State, Grambling State and Alabama A&M.

Chico Johnson – ’23 PG/SG Toledo Central Catholic: Folks in the Toledo area are a buzz regarding the 2023 talent in their area, particular at the guard position; and, as we were able to see several of these prospects in person in Fort Wayne, Chico Johnson was the top performer. A quick and aggressive combo guard at 6’2-6’3, Johnson looked like one of the most talented 2023 prospects in the state of Ohio with his C2K Elite team; showing the ability to create off the dribble, finish at the rim and make jump-shots, all while running the show as the lead guard for his squad. Johnson also showcased maturity on the floor, playing with a competitive desire to his game that you don’t often see from such young prospects. We’ll need more time to evaluate the 2023 class, as the lack of a true AAU season hurt us in understanding where the pieces fall in this class, but regardless, Johnson looks like a name to track out of Northwest Ohio.

Honorable Mention: Alex Williams (’21 Cincinnati Moeller), Tyrese Hughey (’21 Thomas Worthington), Jalen Sullinger (’21 Thomas Worthington), Meechie Johnson (’21 Garfield Heights), Keaton Norris (’21 Hilliard Bradley), Tasos Cook (’21 Westerville Central), Jarius Jones (’21 Gahanna Lincoln), Javan Simmons (’22 Gahanna Lincoln), Marlon Barnes (’23 Cleveland Brush), Chandler Starks (’23 Covington Catholic/KY), Gabe Cupps (’23 Centerville), CJ Hornbeak (’23 Toledo St. John’s)

Dayton Live-Stream

16 Jul
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Jacob Conner

After the success of our first live-stream open run in Cincinnati back on July 3rd, we at Triple Double Prospects decided to take the show on up I-71 North, all the way to Dayton to Flyght Academy in Trotwood. For this session we teamed up with Miami Valley Hoop Vault to host the top talent in the Dayton area for a live-stream open run, with the help of Chatterbox Sports in the broadcast both. With college coaches checking out the action on YouTube, several of Dayton’s finest stood out…

VIDEO LINK

Malcolm Curry – ’21 PG Huber Heights Wayne: Every college who recruits Ohio about the talent pipeline that is Wayne High School. On Wednesday night, Curry took the next step towards being the next college signee out of Wayne, as the hyper-athletic point guard attacked the basket, found teammates for assists and made some perimeter jumpers; finishing the evening as one of the event’s top scorers. Curry is an explosively bouncy point guard, but also has flair to his game, as he can pass and finish around the basket, especially in the transition game. A confident scorer with a competitive mindset, Curry will be one of Dayton’s most talked about point guards next year as a high school senior.

Anthony McComb – ’21 SG Dayton Thurgood Marshall: We’ve written on this site that we cannot for the life of us understand why McComb doesn’t hold any NCAA D1 scholarship offers; nothing changed regarding our opinion Wednesday night, as McComb created whatever shots he wanted off of the dribble to lead his team in scoring. A versatile guard with mobility and strength who can really break defenders down, McComb is a mid-range scorer who can also defend multiple positions effectively. A competitor with a terrific motor, McComb is the type of utility guard that college coaches love at the next level, and, we think he made enough perimeter shots tonight to justify more NCAA D1 recruiting attention.

Carter Mims – ’21 PG Trotwood-Madison: If ever there was a “stock riser” from an event such as this one, that player would be Mims. The unofficial leading scorer at the open run, and without question the most electrifying player from a highlight standpoint, Mims proved that heart matters more than height. He might only stand about 5’7, but Mims is a tough-minded point guard who can get to the rim with blazing speed and will shots into the basket. When he’s making jump-shots, as he was tonight, Mims is tough to guard, as opponents are forced to crowd him and he’s just too quick to guard when crowded. A perfect Trotwood-Madison guard with his style of play and mental demeanor, Mims will lead the Rams into the 2020-2021 season.

Alex Williams – ’21 SF/PF Cincinnati Moeller: One of the more heavily recruited 2021 prospects in attendance heading into the event, Williams recovered from a shooting slump at the Cincinnati open run, knocking down several long-range shots in Dayton on Wednesday night. A Dayton native who attends Cincinnati Moeller, Williams ability to attack bigger players with his perimeter skill-set and quick feet, matched with his versatility to bully and shoot over smaller defenders, all makes him one of the most difficult prospects to guard in all of Southwest Ohio. College coaches love Williams motor, strength and versatility; and, if he can continue to consistently shoot the ball well from three, he’ll only see more and more schools join his scholarship offer list.

Jacob Conner – ’22 SF Kettering Alter: Our top performer of the day, and arguably the prospect in the event with the most long-term upside, Conner was tremendous on Wednesday evening, showcase game-changing versatility as a 6’7 wing who can shoot it, pass it and drive it. A rangy and bouncy athlete for his size, Conner is a long and mobile wing who can play the point-forward role offensively, but also showed that he’s a deadly shooter from the outside as well; which, if he keeps that up, will make him one of the toughest matchups in Ohio. Add in the fact that Conner has a good feel for the offensive game and competes on the defensive end with a motor, and you have a prospect who is quickly climbing the ranks as one of Ohio’s most sought after 2022’s by NCAA D1 coaches. Already with multiple NCAA D1 offers, Conner received an offer from Youngstown State just a few days before today’s event.

Tom House – ’22 SF Centerville: A catch and shoot specialist with a fiery chip to his game, House was one of the most intense competitors at Wednesday’s run. While he started off slow with his three-point shooting, the confident 6’4 wing kept on firing, eventually leading to some serious hot-streaks, including a personal 8-0 run late in his second game where he hit two three-pointers with a transition dunk sandwiched in between. Having started last season on Centerville’s JV and then earning a larger varsity role as the season unfolded, House continued to show the size, athleticism, confidence, competiveness and shooting ability that makes him a legitimate college prospect and a key piece of Centerville’s loaded 2022 class.

Keon Wright – ’22 PG Kettering Fairmont: An athletic playmaker who really knows how to play, Wright brought a quiet style to the floor, but that style was extremely effective, making him one of our top performers. Both explosive and strong, Wright can be a blur with the ball in his hands, but also showcased the skill-set needed to be successful at the next level, as the 6’0 point guard was successful both as a passer and shooter in the half-court game. Part of a Kettering Fairmont 2022 class that also includes Dasan Doucet and Anthony Johnson, we expect to see college coaches make the trip to Trent Arena this coming winter for a closer look.

Honorable Mention: Jacob Reed (’21 Dayton Stebbins), Justin O’Neal (’21 Dayton Meadowdale), Allen Lattimore (’21 West Carrolton), Ben Knostman (’21 Tippecanoe), AJ Braun (’21 Middletown Bishop Fenwick), Tyler Montague (’21 Vandalia Butler), Maro Egodotaye (’21 Dayton Carroll), Rich Rolf (’22 Centerville), Adam Duvall (’22 Beavercreek), Lawrent Rice (’23 Huber Heights Wayne)

Ballin’ Under 1 Roof

12 Jul
Meechie

Meechie Johnson

We’ve seen live basketball return via open gyms in the last few weeks; however, this weekend gave us something we haven’t had a chance to enjoy since mid-March, that being team basketball. The first true event of the travel season for us at Triple Double Prospects kicked off in Fort Wayne this weekend, as teams from Ohio and surrounding states participated in Ballin’ Under 1 Roof hosted by OH Hoops. With several top Ohio prospects in attendance, here are a few of the standouts…

Meechie Johnson – ’21 PG Garfield Heights: If memory serves us correctly, we had not had a chance to watch Meechie Johnson play a live basketball game since January of 2019 at Flyin’ to the Hoop, as the nationally ranked guard tore his ACL shortly after causing him to miss the entirety of his junior season. Despite playing some of his first true basketball in 18-months, Johnson looked superb for his Indy Heat EYBL team, as the 6’1 playmaker showcased his athleticism, passing ability, perimeter shooting and shiftiness with the ball which allows him to get into the paint. Having recently transferred back to Garfield Heights after spending his junior season at ISA Academy, Johnson should be considered a candidate for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award as a senior; and, he’ll have the added bonus of not having to worry about the recruiting process, as Johnson has committed to Ohio State.

Ben Knostman – ’21 PG Tippecanoe: Scouts and college coaches have buzzed about Knostman as arguably Ohio’s top passer in the 2021 class for some time now; however, due to the location of his high school, he has stayed somewhat under the radar statewide. That has started to change this month though, as Knostman has picked up NCAA D1 offers, including one from Winthrop after Friday’s nights game, as he was the chief offensive catalyst for his Midwest Basketball Club team in both games we were able to view. A bigger point guard with a pass-first mentality and some flair to his game, Knostman shows a terrific feel for the offensive end, while also motivating teammates to run the floor extra hard due to his proclivity for finding the open man in transition. As his recruitment picks up, Knostman will be one of the most anticipated prospects to participate in Wednesday’s Dayton Elite Open Gym hosted by TDP and our partners, Miami Valley Hoop Vault.

Keyshawn Hall – ’21 SF Cleveland Rhodes: Since we first saw him in January at the Play-by-Play Classic we dubbed Hall as “Baby Melo” due to his big frame, shifty handle and hairstyle that reminds us of a Denver Nuggets version of Carmelo Anthony. In Fort Wayne there was no one more aggressive or intense then Hall, who battled from buzzer to buzzer in a hard fought loss to the Illinois Stars and five-star prospect Michael Foster. Hall is a big bodied 6’6 wing who can handle the ball on the perimeter and who has a knack for finishing inside, making him a certified scoring machine at the travel ball level. He’ll have to keep improving his conditioning and the consistency of his perimeter shot, but Hall really turned heads for his Team Cleveland squad with his scoring capabilities.

George Mangas – ’21 SF Lima Shawnee: Another potential Mr. Basketball candidate for next season, Mangas averaged over 30 PPG and led his team to an undefeated record in the shortened season this winter, making him one of our top priorities to get eyes on during travel circuit play. On his Northwest Ohio Basketball Club team, which is perennially filled with sleepers, Mangas was the most talented prospect, as the 6’4 wing showcased a quick release jumper from three, some flashy passing ability and a smooth feel for scoring around the basket with or without his back to the basket. Mangas has a mature and crafty offensive game and moves well without the ball, where, even though he often played a semi-post position, he can score in different ways and has the quick release to be a deadly shooter at the next level. Currently getting attention at the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, look for Mangas to be one of Ohio’s leading scorers again next season.

Omari Effiong – ’21 PG/SG Thomas Worthington: Another member of the loaded 2021 class at Thomas Worthington in the Columbus area, Effiong was not the leading scorer for his Ohio Hoopsters team in either game we evaluated; however, he was the prospect with the best motor. An athletic and strongly built combo guard with a great attitude to his game, Effiong was effective defensively, attacked the basket offensively and showed a lot of heart in battling against Indy Heat EYBL, a team which features five players committed to high-major NCAA D1’s already. Effiong’s athleticism and motor should compliment each other nicely next season, as we expect him to not only be Thomas Worthington’s top perimeter defender, but also a complimentary offensive piece alongside prospects such as Tyrese Hughey and Jalen Sullinger.

Honorable Mention: Tyrese Hughey (’21 Thomas Worthington), Josiah Mobley (’21 Whitehall), Tabari Howard (’21 Westerville South), Kalen Etzler (’21 Convoy Crestview), Nate Johnson (’21 Lakota East), Malcolm Curry (’21 Huber Heights Wayne), Trent Koning (’21 Cedarville), Jamal Sumlin (’22 Cleveland Rhodes), Kebba Njie (’22 Centerville), Dylan Hughes (’22 Rockford Parkway), Gabe Cupps (’23 Centerville)