Brawl for the Ball

19 Jul

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

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…


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 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)

Cincy Live-Stream Run

4 Jul
AJ Braun

AJ Braun

The Cincinnati Elite Open Run – Hosted by 275 Hoops and Triple Double Prospects – brought the majority of the top talent in Greater Cincinnati’s 2021 and 2022 classes to Dohn Prep Academy on Friday night, as over 100 colleges (including over 60 NCAA D1 programs) checked in on the competition via the YouTube steam (VIDEO LINK). With 40 players taking the court on Friday, it’s hard to narrow down a list of top performers; but here are some prospects who really stuck out in our eyes:

Kobe Rogers – ’21 SG Cincinnati St. Xavier: The top scorer on the day, Rogers, a 6’2 wing guard, was exceptional on Friday night, as he scored in different ways to pace his team. Rogers can make shots from three with his feet set, but it was his length and craftiness as a finisher that was most impressive. Rogers is a smooth athlete who can also handle the ball, and will be expected to be one of Cincinnati’s top scorers next season. He doesn’t hold any scholarship offers yet, but they’re coming soon!

AJ Braun – ’21 C Middletown Bishop Fenwick: A 6’9 post prospect on the verge of seeing his recruitment blow up, Braun entered the day with 6 NCAA D1 offers, including in-state Ohio University. Braun solidified his recruiting status on Friday, as he scored inside with powerful post moves with either hand, showed a good feel in the half-court and made an impact both defensively and with his shot-blocking. One of the more offensively skilled bigs in the area, Braun has drawn attention at a variety of NCAA D1’s who tuned in to watch him in the open run.

Nate Johnson – ’21 PG/SG Lakota East: Johnson also entered Friday’s run with a slew of NCAA D1 offers, including several in-state MAC schools, with many mid and high major schools tuning in specifically to watch his development. Johnson did not disappoint with his athleticism and playmaking ability, as the strong and hyper-athletic 6’3 combo guard finished multiple dunks, made passes off drives and showed an ability to shoot the ball with a more consistent stroke. One of the most physically talented guards in Ohio in the 2021 class, Johnson is going to be a prospect whom colleges really keep an eye on during live streamed AAU games this July.

Jackson Holt – ’21 SG Turpin: We knew going into the day that Holt was one of the most skilled guards in the event, and arguably the event’s top shooter. However, no one was sure how Holt would do playing against some of the top athletic wings in the city. Holt more than answered the bell Friday night, showing a composed and slippery handle to create space against even the quickest defenders. When Holt found room to shoot it from three the results were as anticipated, it went in! At worst case Holt is a shooting specialist at the next level, and he showed major upside today to be an all-around scorer; meaning we expect his phone to start ringing from college coaches very soon.

Jakada Stone – ’21 PG Cincinnati Aiken: Like we said on stream, Stone is a point guard we’ve raved about since his freshman season, as the 6’0 floor general is a smooth slasher who can make the right pass, score at the rim and is both quick and composed with the basketball. Friday night we saw some impact defensive plays from Stone, and he was able to take it the other way for a score or assist consistently. While his jumper didn’t fall much on Friday, Stone is also a capable shooter and a triple threat offensively who also defends and shows a competitive desire to win.

Aidan Noyes – ’21 SF Cincinnati Moeller: Noyes, a 6’7 wing, might not have been one of the leading scorers on Friday, but he was productive for his team and showed the upside that has led to him acquiring double-digit NCAA D1 offers (including multiple new additions after a strong showing at the Wildcat Select Open Run two weekends ago). A freaky athlete with great length, Noyes blocked and altered shots, rebounded above the rim and was able to finish plays on the offensive end with multiple jumps or long, reverse finishes. Besides being a great athlete, Noyes is also a very good three-point shooter, another reason why coaches are very excited about his long-term upside.

Aboubacar Cisse – ’22 SF Cincinnati West High: Another prospect we’ve been high on since the beginning of his freshman year, Cisse looked the part of a polished scorer on Friday night. A strong but mobile 6’4 wing who can score in different ways, Cisse is great at finishing around the rim with touch, can score in the in-between game or make shots with his feet set. In addition to all of that, Cisse showed progression as a ballhandler, as, at 6’4, he’s going to have the ball in his hands a lot at the college level. With Cisse it’s just a matter of time before coaches start to realize his upside, and between this event and what he does the rest of this month in AAU, we wouldn’t be shocked to see an offer come his way.

Chandler Starks – ’23 PF Covington Catholic (KY): We invited two 2023 prospects to attend, and both made the top performers list, as we start with Chandler Starks. A powerfully built 6’6 power forward with a versatile game, Starks was most impressive with his effort, as the rising sophomore out-worked older forwards for rebound after rebound. Besides rebounding, Starks was a very efficient and skilled finisher at the rim against even the best athletes, and showed an ability to step outside and shoot the ball from deep. Still baby faced despite his strong frame, as Starks continue to fine-tune his body he has as much upside as anyone in the area in the 2023 class.

Rayvon Griffith – ’23 SF Cincinnati Taft: The only other 2023 prospect in attendance besides Starks, Griffith also got a lot of things done on both ends via his motor, as the long and rangy 6’5 athlete blocked shots, finished dunks, rebounded and scored around the rim on a consistent basis. Playing more of a power forward role on a team of smaller players, Griffith was active on both ends, and, given his elite physical tools such as his quickness and leaping ability, Griffith continues to show upside as one of the nation’s more highly regarded 2023 prospects. Heading into the day, Griffith already held 4 NCAA D1 offers including Oklahoma State and Kent State.

Honorable Mention: Skyler Schmidt (’21 PF/C Clermont Northeastern), Will McCracken (’21 SG/SF Cincinnati Moeller), Julian Mackey (’21 PG/SG The Skills Factory/GA), Mark Wise (’21 PG/SG Dohn Prep Academy/OH), Davion Mace (’21 PF/C Dohn Prep Academy/OH), Zion Reynolds (’21 SG Cincinnati West High), Ben Southerland (’22 PF Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy), Logan Woods (’22 Cincinnati Christian)