’19 Best Available

1 Oct

Andre Gordon

This year’s fall signing period, where prospects can sign National Letters of Intent with NCAA D1 programs is scheduled for November 14-21; and, as of October 1st, we’ve already seen 18 prospects from Ohio’s senior class of 2019 make verbal commitments to NCAA D1 programs (with around the same number also having committed to NCAA D2 programs). Excluding those committed prospects, who are the best players from the Buckeye State whom college coaches are targeting as the fall signing period approaches? Below is our list of the ten prospects being most heavily recruited right now, plus some sleepers to watch for. Note that in this article we are listing prospects that are true 2019 high school seniors, meaning we are not including reclassified prep prospects who were 2018 seniors.

Andre Gordon – PG/SG Huntington Prep (WV): The name being mentioned most frequently to us by NCAA D1 schools, both at the mid and high-major levels, Gordon left Sidney (OH) to head to Huntington Prep for his final high school go-around, and so far that, along with a strong circuit season with C2K Elite, has paid dividends in his recruiting stock. An elite level athlete (perhaps the most bouncy prospect in Ohio’s 2019 class), Gordon has evolved as both a scorer and a true lead guard, causing college coaches to like him more as an all-around basketball player and not just an elite athlete. Having given up football to focus on hoops, we’re excited to see how many minutes Gordon can earn at Huntington Prep, and the potential offers that could come with excelling in those minutes. Gordon’s current offer list includes Boston College, SMU, DePaul, Loyola-Chicago, Dayton; and, per Huntington Prep coach Arkell Bruce, more and more high-major schools are jumping into the mix almost daily.

Ben Roderick – SG/SF Olentangy Liberty: Roderick was putting together a huge junior season before an injury derailed not only the remainder of the season, but also his entire AAU season. Due to that injury, Roderick’s recruitment is very tough to project. On one hand, high-major NCAA D1 schools were raving about him pre-injury, and have had good things to say about him in fall workouts; however, on the other hand, missing those months allowed for some other prospects to get more exposure and thus could mean that Roderick ends up being the top signee on a quality mid-major team. Regardless of where he ends up, Roderick has a college ready body with a mature and skilled floor game that should allow for him to be an impact player. Potentially a top-five prospect in Ohio’s 2019 class, we expect for Roderick to wait out the process, put up big scoring numbers this winter, and have multiple scholarship offers to choose from heading into the spring signing period. As of today, Roderick’s known offer list consists of Ohio, Akron, UT-Martin and Stony Brook.

Jordan Mitchell – SF Montverde Academy (FL): An honoree member of Ohio’s 2019 class, even though he decided to spend his last two years of high school hoops at the prestigious Montverde program in Florida, there are few players anywhere in the country as talented as Mitchell. A 6’7 do-it-all wing with unlimited offensive potential and fluid athleticism for his size, Mitchell didn’t stand out in limited minutes at Montverde this year; but, if he gets on the floor more this year, his deft combination of skill and size will quickly catch the eye of high-major college coaches. With all of Mitchell’s high-major offers having come a full two years ago, we’re not really sure where his recruitment stands at the moment, but his talent level definitely warrants one of the top spots on this list.

Greg Tribble – PG/SG Cincinnati Winton Woods: Having taken a similar trajectory to Gordon as a hyper-athletic scoring point guard, Tribble’s future is somewhat of an enigma. Both mid and high-major NCAA D1 schools tracked him in April and July, with Stony Brook, NKU, Ball State, Kent State, Toledo, Youngstown State and Morehead State being among those who have offered. As he is very young for his graduating class, don’t be surprised if Tribble considers the prep school route for another year of development; however, if he remains in the 2019 class then we expect these in-region mid-majors schools to turn up the heat on his recruitment.

Tanner Holden – SF Wheelersburg: A two sport athlete also putting up impressive stats on the football field, Holden is easy to forget about among Ohio’s top hoopers due to the remoteness of his high school. However, we’d hate to sleep on the 6’5 wing from Southeastern Ohio, as Holden is one of the most versatile role players you’ll find on the circuit. The prototypical “glue guy” Holden is coveted by multiple mid-major programs, including Wright State, Marshall, Akron, Toledo, Cleveland State and Winthrop, all of whom have offered scholarships.

Devon Grant – PG/SG Lorain: Tough and skilled floor generals such as Grant are hard to come by, and, while he isn’t the flashiest athlete on this list, Grant is near the top of the recruiting board for every mid-major school in the region still searching for a point guard. Already with offers from Bowling Green and Kent State, we’re expecting to see Grant end up in the MAC, although his list of schools could grow with the exposure that will come to Lorain this season, as Grant will lead one of Ohio’s most talented high school basketball teams. An injury limited him some in AAU, but, when healthy, Grant has the toughness and offensive playmaking ability to continue to impress college coaches.

Abba Lawal – C Cincinnati Withrow: Standing at 6’11, Lawal, a Nigerian native entering his fifth year in the USA, has true collegiate size in the lane, but, also has the ability to run the open floor like a deer (rare for someone with his size). While Lawal still lacks bulk, and his basketball game is somewhat raw considering his late introduction to the sport, several mid-major schools have extended scholarship offers. Cincinnati Withrow HS has been a busy spot this fall with college coaches, and will continue to be heading into the winter, as Cleveland State, Akron, Stony Brook, Miami (OH) and Toledo have offered scholarships.

Brison Waller – PF Cleveland Garfield Heights: While Waller still has a ways to go with his development, there are few players more physically talented then the Garfield Heights power forward, as Waller possesses elite athleticism at 6’8. While his name was hot within recruiting circles earlier in his career, some schools are still waiting for Waller to put all the pieces together on the basketball court. Being recruited primarily at the mid-major level, Waller will end up signing with an NCAA D1 school; as he might be the Ohio senior who is most closely watched this winter by college coaches.

Morgan Safford – SG Columbus Bishop Hartley: A skilled and polished scoring wing at 6’3, Safford holds NCAA D2 offers and is being evaluated by NCAA D1 schools as well, primarily due to his ability to score the ball from the perimeter. After a strong July with Nova Village-James, Safford is without a doubt one of the best wing guards in Ohio available, especially with similar scorers like Josh Corbin (Gahanna Lincoln) and Samari Curtis (Xenia) already committed. If he continues to put up big high school scoring numbers, expect for Safford’s list of offers to grow.

Ben Fort – SG/SF Reynoldsburg: A long and intriguing wing athlete with the ability to score the ball, Fort’s size, athleticism and versatility have caught the eye of a lot of colleges, after his play on the Adidas circuit with EG10. While IUPUI is the only NCAA D1 school to have offered a scholarship to Fort, several others are considering following suit, as Fort has late-bloomer potential which could make him a steal in this class looking back a few years down the road.

Honorable Mention: Jeremiah Keene (PG Westerville North), Milton Gage (PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), Alex Dotson (PG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), DJ Dial (PG Cleveland Brush), Bash Wieland (SF Lakota East), Taevon Pierre-Louis (SF Lorain), Ibrahima Athie (SF Cincinnati Deer Park), Derek Van Lerah (SF Dublin Coffman), Mike Hill (SF Cincinnati Withrow), Brice Hill (SF Cincinnati Seven Hills), Alec Pfriem (SF Cincinnati Moeller), Sam Towns (SF Pickerington Central), AJ Garrett (PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Na’elle Simmons (C Columbus Beechcroft), Noah Pack (C Georgetown), Keshawn Heard (C Newark), Coleton Landis (C Pickerington Central)

TDP/Friar’s Showcase

22 Sep

Mark Wise

The first ever Triple Double Prospects/Cincinnati Friar’s Club joint showcase was a success this weekend in Cincinnati, as forty of the area’s top prospects showed up to the Friar’s Club for some exposure, skill work and some seriously competitive games of basketball. The top performer’s list is a mix of some talented prospects whom we had previously evaluated, and some new faces, with many of the players in attendance showing that they have spent their time this fall working on their skill-sets. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top standouts from the event….

DJ Brewton – ’19 SG Cincinnati Dohn Prep: A post-grad prospect originally from Cincinnati Hughes, Brewton was one of the top scoring guards in the 2018 class, and will bring that same smooth offensive game into the 2019 class this winter. A 6’2 athletic and long guard who can create whatever he wants with the bounce, Brewton is a scoring machine who can fill it up from deep as well. Look for Brewton to put up some big offensive numbers this winter on a Dohn Prep team full of talented scorers.

MeKell Burries – ’19 PG Cincinnati Dohn Prep: Another post-grad prospect, with Burries having spent his high school career in Greater Cincinnati at Newport (KY) HS, Burries has drawn attention from several NCAA D1 schools this fall with his ability to score and play the point guard position. Burries is a lefty slashing guard who can hit the floater, has deceptive explosiveness around the rim, but is best as a jump shooter with limitless range from deep. At the showcase Burries also impressed with his improved desire to make teammates better, consistently find the right man in pick-and-roll situations.

Elijah Bishop – ’19 SF Cincinnati Dohn Prep: Potentially the most talented prospect in attendance, and on the Dohn Prep roster, Bishop, a 6’7 combo forward and native of Columbus, was dynamic as a versatile wing forward who can attack off the dribble. Capable of making perimeter shots or playing the hybrid four-man role, Bishop is best as a wing athlete who can handle the ball well for his size and who competes defensively with his length. As the pieces all start to come together for Bishop, expect to hear his name a lot in NCAA D1 recruiting circles once Dohn’s season begins.

Matthew Lee – ’19 PG Cincinnati Dohn Prep: If you follow us on Twitter then you already know that we declared Lee, a native of Puerto Rico, the MVP of our two TDP Elite Open Gym sessions this fall, as the small but quick and strong point guard was tremendous on both ends of the floor. Nothing changed today, as Lee dominated the point guard position with passing, shot making, creating off the dribble and particularly with his on-ball defense. While he’s small for a college guard, Lee has the chops to match the production of the last two Puerto Rican point guards to come through Cincinnati in Giovanni Santiago and Angel Rivera.

Cameron Harris – ’19 PF North College Hill: The most physically intriguing prospect in attendance, Harris, a recent transfer from Finneytown to North College Hill, has great size as a 6’7 forward who is a mix between a hybrid four man and a pure small forward. Capable of ripping and running off the defensive rebound, Harris is a smooth and nimble athlete at 6’7 who has the skill-set to handle and finish at the basket. Yes, the pieces are still coming together for this late blooming forward; however, we expect him to have a huge senior campaign at North College Hill, as Harris easily could end up becoming a scholarship college player in due time.

Kenny Jackson – ’19 C Cincinnati Hughes: Entering just his second year of organized basketball, this wide-bodied 6’8 bruiser showed that he has improved by leaps and bounds since last winter, as Jackson looked much more agile running the floor, was more consistent finishing around the rim, and generally dominated the paint on both ends today, as the most efficient pure post prospect in attendance. You can’t teach Jackson’s size, and, while he’s still learning the nuances of organized basketball, he has considerable upside as a space eater inside who will compete physically.

D’Marco Howard – ’19 SG Hamilton: One of the top returning players in Cincinnati’s largest suburban league, the GMC, Howard is a versatile guard who really excels on the defensive end. His full talents were on display on Saturday, as the 6’2 combo guard shot the ball with more consistency then we’ve seen in the past, while attacking the rim with controlled takes and finishes. On a Hamilton team that has some fire-power, look for Howard to be the one who consistently puts pressure on the rim with driving scores, while he’ll also undoubtedly be the teams top defensive player. When the dust settles, we’d be surprised if more NCAA D2 and NAIA schools don’t jump in on Howard’s recruitment.

Omari Peek – ’19 SF Cincinnati Dohn Prep: Another Dohn Prep prospect, originally from Cincinnati (Walnut Hills) but most recently from Cleveland (Strongsville), Peek is a 6’5 wing guard or small forward who can score it in bunches. Very strong with the ball in his hands and able to create a shot off of one or two dribbles, Peek is a mid-range scorer who can draw contact and finish through defenders with his physical gifts. Due to his size and athletic ability as a mature 6’5 forward, look for Peek to play a variety of roles defensively for Dohn Prep, while his best offensive quality is without a doubt his ability to put the ball in the bucket.

Ibrahima Athie – ’19 SF Cincinnati Deer Park: A 6’5 wing defender and athlete with length, Athie is the quintessential third option offensively, as he knows how to position himself for buckets off assists when the defense closes in on the primary scorer. An improving offensive player who can finish around the rim and who is very good on the offensive boards, Athie will try and also prove that he can be a consistent outside shooter this winter. A late bloomer physically who now has a college ready body, Athie’s physical tools are intriguing enough that college coaches will be checking him out again this high school season.

Alex Dotson – ’19 PG/SG Cincinnati Purcell Marian: It’s hard to come by smooth playmaking guards, especially ones like Dotson, as this senior stands near 6’4 and has both the length and athleticism to give opposing point guards fits at the high school level. A slashing guard who can create for himself or make the pass around the basket, Dotson is a gifted offensive player who, as he continues to improve his jumper, can keep the defense guessing with his array of weapons. His size also gives him great tools to work with defensively, as Dotson has as much upside as any available 2019 guard in Ohio.

Mark Wise – ’20 SG Cincinnati Deer Park: The first of two underclassmen to make this list, Wise was a dynamic scorer on Saturday; and, while he still is capable of playing both guard positions, we continue to value him more off the ball where he can fill it up from all three levels. A more consistent shooter then he gets credit for, Wise is a shot maker off the bounce who can use his strong frame and tight handle to create what he wants, or draw contact at the rim. One of the toughest guards in the state in the 2020 class, Wise already has mid-major NCAA D1 offers and continues to attract more attention daily.

Steve Gentry Jr – ’20 PG Cincinnati Deer Park: The only other underclassmen to make this list, Gentry is a speedy point guard who can really play in transition; whether it’s with his full-court defense or ability to push the ball to the rim, Gentry is one of the most athletic point guards in the state, and does a nice job of managing the game for other scorers. Yes, his size is always going to be mentioned by some, but Gentry is a winning guard who started last year on Deer Park’s undefeated State Title team.

Honorable Mention: Benez Woodard (’19 Cincinnati Dohn Prep), Dayshawn Blair (’19 Cincinnati Dohn Prep), Marcus Hutchinson (’19 Cincinnati Oyler), Louis Frazier (’19 Cincinnati Dohn Prep), Greg Phelia (’19 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Micah Thomas (’20 Cincinnati Princeton), Brenton Foust (’20 Loveland), Will Burns (’20 Cincinnati Deer Park), Wendell Hughes (’21 Cincinnati Hughes), Jayden Bennett (’22 Middletown), Jae’sean Martin (’22 Cincinnati Hughes)

Rankings Update

12 Aug

Is Meechie Johnson the top 2021 prospect in Ohio?

With the July Evaluation Period squarely behind us, for the last time as we currently know it due to changes in NCAA recruiting calendar rules, it’s time to look at the prospects who made the biggest strides this summer in our eyes.

Every August we at Triple Double Prospects do our best to update our prospect rankings for rising seniors, juniors and sophomores, as we try and judge performance, production, long-term potential, physical gifts and intangibles in creating a list of the players we believe are at the top of their respective class’ in the state of Ohio.

For the class of 2019, we haven’t seen much movement at the top, as the players already identified as top targets did nothing to lose their star status; however, as is common in the summer before a prospect’s senior season, we did see a lot of movement towards the bottom of the rankings, with some late-blooming players making their way onto the list. Many of these players are being targeted by school at the NCAA D2 level, as the class of 2019 has proved to have more top-to-bottom depth of future college prospects then we thought it had a year ago. With 10 players committed to NCAA D1’s and another 7 committed to NCAA D2’s, look for the list of commitments to at least double by the end of September.

Like 2019, there weren’t a ton of big shakeups in 2020, with Mentor Lake Catholic’s Luke Frazier making probably the biggest jump up the list of any one player. Again, the top talent from the spring for the most part had a productive summer in games we viewed, but there were several new additions to the rankings, with Chillicothe’s Jayvon Maughmer being one player whom we are very excited to track.

The biggest change in the rankings came in the 2021 class, as TDP released our first positional breakdown of players. While it is still early in this class’ development, we’d have to say that, as of August 2018, Convoy Crestview forward Kalen Etzler and Cleveland Garfield Heights guard Meechie Johnson look like the players to keep the closest eye on. Like 2020, this class is full of talented point guards, but we’ve also been intrigued by some of the bigger wings and forwards, with kids like Enavell Lighty, EJ Farmer, Chance Groce and Malaki Branham, who all will have a chance to contend for the number one spot in due time.

Our latest 2019, 2020 and 2021 rankings can be viewed below, or in the site header….


Louisville Jamfest

29 Jul

Dieonte Miles

The final of the three July live evaluations periods, where NCAA D1 coaches can watch prospects play on the travel circuit, has come and ended; with many of the top players from Ohio choosing to end the period with a bang instead of a fizzle. For the final weekend, we at Triple Double Prospects spent our time in Louisville for the Hoop Group’s Louisville Jamfest, an event which attracted top teams from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and some even further away states. Here’s a rundown of some of the top individual performances from games that we evaluated in the Derby City….

Dontaie Allen – ’19 SF Pendleton County/KY: While we went to Louisville to primarily track Ohio talent, it was Allen’s travel team, MATTS Mustangs out of Kentucky, who stole the show. As was the case when we saw this team in April in Indianapolis, the focal point of the Mustangs’ offense was Allen, a 6’7 wing guard from just south of the Greater Cincinnati region of Northern Kentucky. One of the most skilled wings in the country, Allen made jumpers in bunches this weekend, proving that he is a three level scorer who, despite limited athleticism, can create a shot at will with his handle, feel for the game and size at 6’7. With his offensive versatility at that size, Allen is an ideal fit for an offense that likes to feature big wings as ballhandlers, as well as somewhere where he will be able to load up on three point attempts. Kentucky head coach John Calipari was among the potential suitors tracking Allen, who holds offers from schools like Louisville, Xavier, Auburn, Florida, Illinois, Purdue and many other high-majors.

Deionte Miles – ’19 C Walton Verona/KY: This 6’10 mystery man from the Greater Cincinnati region of Northern Kentucky was without question the most talked about prospect in Louisville this weekend, as it was the first event where Miles, who has dealt with injuries this summer, has played with a major AAU outfit such as the MATTS Mustangs. An elite athlete at 6’10, Miles was an active and long rim protector who ran the floor, finished above the rim and even showed an ability to step outside and knock down the three-point shot with some consistency. While he still lacks the refinement and repetitions of most of his competition, Miles is an incredibly intriguing prospect who is beginning to receive considerable interest from a multitude of high-major programs who were in attendance in Louisville.

Evan Bainbridge – ’19 PF Stow-Munroe Falls: With size at 6’8 and a legit college ready skill as a pick-and-pop three point shooter, Bainbridge is a mid-major recruiting special who has seen his recruiting stock sky-rocket over the last few months. Currently reporting offers from Furman and Kent State, Bainbridge scored the ball with consistency for his Ohio Basketball Club team this weekend, mainly knocking down three point shots, but also showing the ability to put the ball on the floor once or twice as a prototypical new-age power forward with a skilled game. Bainbridge will have to add strength to make an impact around the basket at the next level, but his size and shooting ability have D1 coaches excited.

Devon Grant – ’19 PG Lorain: After a great showing at the Ohio HS State Tournament and then subsequently missing the April recruiting periods with an injury, we were excited to get another look at Grant with his Ohio Basketball Club outfit. A scoring point guard who isn’t a flashy athlete but who can create shots with separation dribbles, Grant was consistent as a shooter and scorer from mid and long range for OBC. Grant doesn’t have great size for a scoring guard at the next level, but he plays with a lot of heart, and his combination of skill-set and IQ are the ideal fit for what coaches seek in the modern scoring point guard. Currently, Grant has offers from Kent State and Bowling Green.

Max Land – ‘20 SF Cincinnati Moeller: Land, a 6’4 wing athlete, has bounced around some on the travel circuit this spring and summer, but looked at home in Louisville while playing with the Mid-Ohio Pumas. Playing the role of primary scorer on an amended Pumas’ roster, Land showed his ability to get to the rim and use his athleticism and frame to draw contact or finish. With that length and athleticism, Land has the ideal physical tools to be an impact defender at the next level, and, as he becomes a more consistent perimeter shooter, Land should only see his stock continue to ascend up the list of Ohio’s top 2020 prospects.

Luke Frazier – ’20 PG Mentor Lake Catholic: In just a period of two months we’ve seen Frazier, a 6’4 lanky combo guard, go from a kid who was thought of as a role player for Ohio Basketball Club to one of the team’s marquee talents, as Frazier has picked up offers from Northern Kentucky, Wright State and Youngstown State. A smooth and skilled combo guard with some burst to his game off the dribble, Frazier is a long combo guard who can do it all offensively; and, as his confidence grows, Frazier has shown he can be a big time playmaker off the bounce as a scorer or facilitator. College coaches are going to want to see Frazier continue to add muscle to his game, but, his versatility, size and skill-set make him the ideal D1 guard who can contribute in different offensive roles.

Jayvon Maughmer – ’20 SG Chillicothe: This was our first time seeing Maughmer, a 6’4 combo guard playing his first event with the elite team from the Mid-Ohio Pumas organization, and we were in no way disappointed, as Maughmer handled the primary point guard role with a lot of success. Another big and slippery guard who can handle and create, Maughmer was effective as a set-up man or as a scorer, where he has the length and frame to be a finisher around the basket. Maughmer’s frame is still very much in the development phases; however, in the two games we watched we’re ready to give him our stamp of approval as one of the most promising 2020 prospects in the state of Ohio.

Walt Mattingly – ’21 PF Deerfield/IL: While he now resides a little bit out of our normal range of coverage, Mattingly, who is originally from Greater Cincinnati, then Batesville (IN) and now Deerfield (IL), played well enough with the Cincinnati Royals 15u team that it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t show him some love. A 6’7 versatile and skilled forward with some real competitiveness to his game, Mattingly showcased a ton of upside on Saturday night, as he battled physically with his long and mobile frame against stronger interior players, and also stepped out on the wing where he showed the ability to handle against pressure and create shots. Now that Mattingly is in the Greater Chicago area, one of prep basketball’s most historically talent-rich metropolitans, look for his stock to continue to rise.

Honorable Mention: Isaiah Cozart (’19 PF Madison Central/KY), Ben Fort (’19 SG Reynoldsburg), Greg Tribble (’19 PG Cincinnati Winton Woods), Sam Towns (’19 SF Springfield), Milton Gage (’19 PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), AJ Garrett (’19 PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Coleton Landis (’19 PF Pickerington Central), Grant Huffman (’20 SG Cleveland St. Edward), Andy Barba (’20 SG Cleveland Benedictine), Evan Prater (’20 SF Wyoming), Quentin Richardson (’20 PG Cleveland Holy Name), Greg Johnson (’21 PG Cincinnati St. Xavier), Isaiah Walker (’21 SG Wyoming), AJ Braun (’21 PF Middletown Bishop Fenwick), Alex Williams (’21 PF Cincinnati Moeller), Aiden Turner (’21 PG Cincinnati Moeller)

All-In Hoopfest

22 Jul

LogoThe All-In Hoopfest has become a staple of the July recruiting period for NCAA D1 coaches, as Ohio teams have always attended this event, and performed well, since it’s inception a few years ago. For the second straight July, the event was held in Louisville, but the Ohio teams still made their presence felt, as 17u squads such as Mid-Ohio Pumas, Nova Village (Russell), SMAC Runnin’ Rebels, APEX and others all made their presence felt. As far as individual performances are concerned, we at Triple Double Prospects were in the gym for all three days of action and saw several prospects boost their recruiting stock with quality showings. Here’s a look at some of the top performers from games we evaluated….

Darweshi Hunter – ’18 SG Cincinnati Princeton: A recently graduated senior still looking for the right home for next school year, Hunter is still seeking a NCAA D1 offer (and is considering both prep school and junior college options); in Louisville, the 6’4 wing improved his recruiting stock, as he continued to show college coaches that he can flat out score the basketball. A deadly pull-up shooter who can find a rhythm with a couple of dribbles or a step-back, Hunter shot the ball with consistency, averaging over 20 PPG in six games on the weekend. Also a solid athlete with size for his position, Hunter looked the part of an NCAA D1 prospect, and while he’ll have to continue to develop his overall floor game, there are few who can put the ball in the bucket on the same level that he can.

Milton Gage Jr– ’19 PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne: One of the most under-rated guards in the 2019 class in Ohio, Gage is starting to show college programs what he has to offer, as the 5’10 floor general led the Cincinnati Lakers all weekend long. A classic pass-first point guard who can use his strong build to finish at the rim, Gage also shot the ball from three more efficiently then he has in the past; however, the thing that that Gage is most well known for at this stage is his defense, as he is arguably the most tenacious on-ball defender at the point guard position in Ohio’s rising senior class. Heading into the last live period, look for Gage to begin to accumulate scholarship offers very, very soon.

Bo Myers – ’19 SG/SF Logan: A sharpshooting wing at 6’5 with offers at both the NCAA D1 and D2 levels, Myers is a super skilled, competitive and efficient wing guard who can play any of the perimeter positions. Playing with the Ohio Hoopsters, Myers proved that he is more then just a shooter; even though he continued to shoot the ball at a high clip from deep. With a smooth feel as a passer and the length to guard wings and guards at the college level, Myers is a small town gem who we expect to see a rapid spike in recruiting circles as soon as this week.

Alex Dotson – ’19 PG/SG Cincinnati Purcell Marian: Our friends at NEO Spotlight called Dotson, “(the) most under-recruited kid in Ohio’s 2019 class”, after Dotson’s RGB Unity team put together a string of wins in front of a crowd of college coaches on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Dotson did perhaps more for his recruiting stock then any other player in Ohio’s 2019 class over the weekend, as the 6’4 senior combo guard showed that he can play on the ball, off the ball, attack the rim with the dribble, set up teammates for assists and defend multiple positions. A solid athlete with a strong build, Dotson’s ability to consistently make perimeter jumpers is the last piece to the puzzle, as college coaches will continue to circle his name in their programs.

Tremaine Smith – ’19 PF Cincinnati Aiken: Dotson’s teammate with RGB Unity, the 6’8 post known as “Noodles” also had a great weekend on both ends of the floor; as the skinny but energetic big was active defensively and showed physicality despite his slender frame, as he altered shots and rebounded the ball. A raw but talented and emerging offensive threat, Smith plays best when facing the rim and can play off of a couple of dribbles from the high post. After being known as a player who shows spurts of potential, this could be the start of some consistent production from the 6’8 power forward.

Kyle Goessler – ’19 PG Brunswick: Goessler’s recruiting stock plummeted among NCAA D2 programs on Saturday; only because he committed, as the 6’0 point guard from the Cleveland area selected D2 power Hillsdale College out of Michigan. Playing with SMAC Runnin’ Rebels in Louisville, Goessler looked the part of the quintessential skilled offensive point guard, as he made perimeter shots, set up his teammates for assists and used crafty playmaking to create advantage situations for his team offensively. Capable of running and gunning or handling pressure in the half-court, Goessler is a cerebral point guard who should have a successful career at the college level.

Chance Groce – ’21 SG/SF Columbus Linden-McKinley: While we spent approximately 90% of our time this weekend at the 17u level, Groce was one of two 15u prospects who really caught our eye, as we got our first chance to view this rising sophomore wing with his Columbus 101 team on Saturday night. The 6’4 wing guard was dominant in scoring 29 points, as Groce connected from deep on several occasions, while showcasing a solid all-around skill-set to go with a big and fluid frame that should see him develop into a very good athlete. Without question one of Ohio’s premiere talents in the 2021 class, we will be very interested to follow Groce’s career over the next three years.

Tyrese Hughey – ’21 PF Licking Heights: With Groce being a young prospect who oozes future potential, Hughey is an already refined young prospect, as the 6’6 power forward from Ohio Hoopsters-Tillman, is a skilled post who can score with his back to the goal, face-up and make a shot and has a good feel for how to use his body around the rim. With a strong base and legit size already, Hughey is another one of the top 2021 prospects in Ohio.

Honorable Mention: Elijah Bishop (’18 Columbus Beechcroft), DJ Brewton (’18 Cincinnati Hughes), Me’Kell Burries (’18 Newport/KY), Bryce Hunt (’18 Cincinnati Reading), CJ Napier (’19 Middletown Bishop Fenwick), Brice Hill (’19 Cincinnati Seven Hills), Sean Marks (’19 Olentangy), Max Martz (’19 Upper Arlington), AJ Garrett (’19 Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Will Mfum (’19 Quality Education Academy), Javonta Lyons (’19 Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Noah Pack (’19 Georgetown), Garrett Powell (’19 Springboro), Jacob Drees (’19 Hilliard Davidson), Garrett Denbow (’19 Ashland), D’Marco Howard (’19 Hamilton), Curtis Harrison (’20Cincinnati Seven Hills), Quentin Richardson (’20 Cleveland Holy Name), Kristopher McClure (’21 Cincinnati St. Xavier), Isaac Settles (’21 Columbus Thomas Worthington), Paul McMillan IV (’22 Cincinnati Woodward)

NUR Camp Recap

1 Jul
Kyky Tandy

Kyky Tandy

Every year the Next Up Recruits Camp, hosted by NUR’s Taylor Hicks, brings the top talent from the state of Kentucky together for a day of competition in front of scouts and college coaches. While we’ve been impressed with the Kentucky talent in the past, this trip was even better, as the camp featured premiere talent from West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and some other states as well. With plenty of future NCAA D1 prospects from the classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021 on hand, here are the ten performances that really stood out from the games that we took in on Saturday in Wilmore, KY….

Dekeyvan Tandy – ’19 University Heights/KY: “Kyky” is the top prospect in Kentucky not only in the rising senior class but in the state regardless of class, and showed why on Saturday, as the powerful and ultra-athletic 6’0 guard dominated the game at the rim. Playing in the Russell Westbrook mold where he is always in attack mode to try and dunk on someone, Tandy reeled off some highlight plays. Already with offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Iowa State and Wichita State, Tandy is a top-100 player nationally and will continue to attract high-major attention in July.

J.J. Eubank – ’19 PG/SG First Love Christian/PA: Playing an opposing style to Tandy, Eubank is a smooth and skilled combo guard with good vision and a knack for changing pace to create offense. Eubank is equally skilled as a shooter who can play off ball or a ballhandling guard who can create in the pick-and-roll, and as he continues to add weight on his frame he’ll become one of the best guards in the region. Eubank currently holds offers from South Florida, DePaul, New Mexico, UMass and a slew of mid-majors.

Michael Moreno – ’19 SF/PF Scott County/KY: Moreno’s play would never be called “sexy”, but the 6’6 forward out of Georgetown/KY is one of the toughest dudes you’ll ever see on the court, and his effort can never be questioned. Moreno was at his best on Saturday around the rim, as he has power and explosiveness around the rim to finish rebounds, but has also improved considerably with the consistency of his perimeter jumper. With offers from Iowa, Winthrop, Evansville, Toledo, Bradley, Eastern Kentucky and others, Moreno will be heavily tracked in July with his Indiana Elite team.

Devin Cambridge – ’19 SF/PF Believe Prep/TN: Perhaps the top athlete at the camp, the 6’5 Cambridge came into the event somewhat unknown but made waves with his jaw-dropping dunks and blocked shots. A high-motor player who can also stretch the floor as a shooter with a streaky but dangerous jump-shot, Cambridge is a late bloomer who certainly could catch the eye of NCAA D1 coaches in July.

Jaemyn Brakefield – ’20 SF/PF Huntington Prep/WV: Not just the best 2020 prospect at the camp but the best prospect regardless of class at the event, Brakefield has the talent to one day make a lot of money in basketball. A 6’9 forward who can shoot it from three effortlessly with a lefty stroke, Brakefield is also a high level athlete with a college-ready frame. When he’s engaged, there’s no stopping Brakefield on either end, as he just has so many weapons at his disposal as a forward who can put the ball on the floor and attack. A top-20 prospect nationally, Brakefield, a native of Mississippi, has early offers from Kansas, LSU, Xavier, UCLA, Florida, Mississippi State and most other high-majors within reach of either Mississippi or his Huntington Prep/WV high school program.

Zach Loveday – ’20 PF/C Gallia Academy/OH: The player at camp whom we were most familiar with heading into the event, Loveday had a solid showing in Kentucky, as the 6’11 post was active on both ends and showcased the ability to be one of the best floor-running big men in the country. While he got limited touches offensively, Loveday knocked down quite a few perimeter shots, finished offensive rebounds and showed a willingness to both communicate and compete on the defensive end. With offers from Ohio State, Purdue, Xavier, Florida, Indiana and others, July will be a huge month for Loveday with his Louisville Magic AAU team, as he tries to solidify himself as Ohio’s #1 prospect in 2020.

Ike Herster – ’20 SG/SF Kennedy Catholic/PA: A knockdown shooter with limitless range and a killer mentality, Herster caught fire from three on Saturday. A strong and mobile 6’5 wing with versatility, Herster was able to take big men to the basket when they crowded him, or shoot it over smaller matchups. Expect Herster to play a big role on a loaded Kennedy Catholic team next year, as he should be one of the breakout players in Western Pennsylvania. Already holding offers from Youngstown State and Stony Brook, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Herster pick up a few new offers in July with his ITPS Wildcats squad.

Jokhow “JT” Thor – ’21 SF/PF Huntington Prep/WV: The rich just keep getting richer, as, along with Jaemyn Brakefield, Thor was of the elite prospects at Next Up Recruits Camp. At times Thor looked like a baby-Kevin Durant as his 6’9 frame is blessed with a skill-set that lets him handle and shoot the ball like a true wing forward. With a long and surprisingly nimble frame, Thor has the ability to be one of the top-50 or so prospects in the nation in his 2021 class in time and will certainly become a well-talked about name with the always talent-loaded Huntington Prep team next year. Currently with one high-major offer, from California, look for many, many more to jump on the Thor bandwagon very soon.

Jayden Taylor – ’21 PG/SG Indianapolis Perry Meridian/IN: A big and smooth combo guard at 6’3 with a slippery handle and a lot of swag to his game, Taylor was able to score in bunches in the two games we watched him play Saturday. While he falls in love a bit too much with long-range pull-up jumpers, Taylor can create whatever he wants with the bounce and has the athleticism to get to the rim and finish as well. Playing with G3 Grind on the circuit, Taylor has established himself as top-10 prospect in a 2021 class in Indiana that is full of high-level talent.

Trey James – ’21 C Sheldon Clark/KY: A throwback center with a supremely physical approach for a young big, James did not back down one bit from older competition, as the 6’10 post was active on both ends all day long. Capable of scoring inside with a fairly refined low-post game, James utilized his hook-shot to score, while also controlling the paint and the boards. The game sometimes plays a little too fast for this bulky young center, but he has as much upside as just about any center in his class nationally.

Other Standouts: Christopher Monson (’19 Rossview/TN), Deionte Miles (’19 Walton Verona/KY), Isaiah Cozart (’19 Madison Central/KY), Naim Miller (’19 First Love Christian/PA), Jamier Fletcher (’19 First Love Christian/PA), Curt Lewis (’19 Aspire Prep/KY), Mattia Acunzo (’19 Kennedy Catholic/PA), Obinna Ancholi-Killen (’20 Chapmanville/WV), Ryan Kalkbrenner (’20 St. Louis Trinity/MO), Jamel King (’20 Tuscaloosa Bryant/AL), Dayvion McKnight (’20 Shelbyville Collins), Kenny White (’20 North Hopkins/KY), JJ Traynor (’20 Bardstown/KY), Sheena Goodson (’20 Lexington Douglass), CJ Meredith (’20 Spring Valley/WV), Cearius Warren (’21 Louisville Southern)

Spiece Top Performers

7 May

Josh Corbin

We said it on Twitter this past weekend, there’s nothing like the Spiece Run-N-Slam. Every year the top travel teams from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin head to the Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne for a chance to play elite competition; which is precisely what happened this past weekend, as scouts got the rare opportunity to watch teams from competing shoe companies battle it out for bragging rights. With all the top national scouting services on hand to evaluate talent, Ohio teams fared well yet again at Spiece, with All-Ohio Red winning the 17u championship and the Mid-Ohio Pumas taking the 15u championship. Here’s a look at some of the top individual performers in the games we saw in Fort Wayne….

Josh Corbin – ’19 SG Gahanna Lincoln: Known for some time now as one Ohio’s top shooters, Corbin has become one of Ohio’s top players in the 2019 class, as well as a guard prospect who is becoming synonymous with winning. The 6’2 shooting guard out of Columbus was instrumental in his All-Ohio Red team taking home the 17u title, as Corbin lit it up from deep as Red’s best perimeter player on the offensive end. However, besides just shooting it well, Corbin’s fiery style of play gave Red the boost they needed to get over the hump and avenge a loss to Spiece Indy Heat the previous weekend in the Nike EYBL. With nine NCAA D1 offers, including Duquesne, Akron, Toledo, Kent State and Cleveland State, Corbin is going to be a priority target for mid-major programs looking to sign a scorer in the 2019 class.

Nate Bruns – ’19 SF Marion Local: We first wrote about Bruns’ play at the Ohio HS State Tournament where he led his team to a Division IV State Championship; Bruns followed that up with two impressive outings in Fort Wayne, as his Northwest Ohio Basketball Club team was competitive (as they always are). A 6’6 forward with a skilled and versatile game, Bruns has a high IQ and knows how to take advantage of mismatches as a scorer. Also a high-volume rebounder and a vocal leader, Bruns isn’t the best athlete on the floor but he knows how to play, can affect the games in different ways with his skill-set and is a proven winner. Already with a NCAA D1 offer from Toledo, as well as D2 offers from Findlay and others, we will be interested to see if any other mid-major schools throw their hat in the ring in the Bruns sweepstakes.

Ethan Conley – ’19 SG Franklin Monroe: One of the big stock boosters from April in Ohio’s 2019 class, Conley is a strong-bodied and mobile 6’4 wing forward who can really shoot the ball from range with consistency and a smooth stroke with soft touch. With the physical versatility to play the 2-4 at the NCAA D2 level, Conley has earned scholarship offers from Findlay, Cedarville, Ashland, Tiffin and Urbana, and more offers could be headed his way soon, as several of the top regional D2’s evaluated Conley’s Dayton Metro team in Fort Wayne.

John Hugley – ’20 C Cleveland Brush: The biggest member of All-Ohio Red’s 16u team, we were impressed this weekend with the 6’8 post man’s conditioning, as Hugley has really toned his body over the last year. With strength and touch around the rim, Hugley has the size and ability to get a bucket around the rim, which is the primary reason why many mid-major schools have made him a priority in the 2020 class. With offers from Akron, Toledo, Kent State, Cleveland State, Bowling Green, Miami (OH), Buffalo and others, Hugley’s combination of raw size, power and scoring ability will make him one of Ohio’s most heavily recruited 2020’s.

Joey Holifield – ’20 PG Toledo Cardinal Stritch: We love no-nonsense point guards, which is exactly what Holifield brings to the table, whether as a starter or as the first guard off of the bench, for his C2K Elite 16u team. A strong and athletic guard who can defend, run the show and score at the rim, Holifield is a winner who meshes well with C2K’s Zeb Jackson and Matt Allocco, despite playing off the ball more so than he is accustomed to. He might not be the flashiest prospect in Ohio’s 2020 class that is full of playmaking guards, but we’ll take Holifield over most of his competition due to his defensive prowess, strong frame and winning mindset.

Meechie Johnson – ’21 PG Garfield Heights: The most hyped guard in Ohio in the 2021 class, the pressure was on Meechie to produce at Spiece, with all the top state and national scouts watching. Johnson did just that in a pool play win on Friday night and a bracket play loss to eventual champion Indiana Elite on Saturday, as the 5’11 scoring point guard filled it up in bunches for his Hardwork Basketball team. With a mature skill-set and a competitive fire to his game, Johnson can score off the dribble with pull-up jumpers, sees the floor well as a passer and can get to the rim and finish with touch in transition. He might not have the physical tools of similarly ranked players, but Johnson is a competitor who fits the mold of the new age scoring point guard, who will be one of Ohio’s top ranked prospects when we release our 2021 list in June.

Kalen Etzler – ’21 PF Convoy Crestview: Another player who will be highly ranked in our 2021 list when it comes out (possibly even in consideration for the #1 spot), the younger Etzler (his brother committed to Miami-OH this week) is a 6’7 athletic forward with a versatile all-around game and a lot of upside. Playing in his first tournament with All-Ohio Red, Etzler blended in quickly with his new teammates, as his athleticism, energy and perimeter shooting were a welcome addition. As Etzler adds strength, he’ll have the opportunity to be highly recruited by various NCAA D1 programs, as his game translates to exactly what coaches value with the ability to run the floor and shoot it with size at 6’7.

Garner Wallace – ’21 SF Pickerington Central: Last time we wrote about the Mid-Ohio Pumas 15u team we focused on Jack Sawyer and Logan Duncomb (who were productive again this weekend); however, the key this weekend, in our opinion, was the play of Wallace, a 6’4 wing. Leading his team to a championship in which they defeated four Nike EYBL programs, Wallace was efficient as a scorer who can finish with touch in the paint, draw contact and is a fluid athlete off the dribble. As his perimeter skill-set continues to develop, Wallace will have a chance to be one of Ohio’s top 2021 prospects, as he has all the physical tools, versatility and scoring instincts to be a playmaker.

Other Top Performers: Elijah Bishop (’18 SF Columbus Beechcroft), Giovanni Santiago (’18 PG Cincinnati Hughes), Tre Williams (’18 PF Reynoldsburg), Alonzo Gaffney (’19 PF Garfield Heights), Tanner Holden (’19 SF Wheelersburg), Morgan Safford (’19 SG Columbus Bishop Hartley), Owen Hazelbaker (’19 PF Johnstown Monroe), Max Land (’20 SF Cincinnati Moeller), Devontae Blanton (’20 SF Cleveland St. Edward), Matt Allocco (’20 PG Hilliard Bradley), Zeb Jackson (’20 PG Maumee Valley Country Day), Von Cameron Davis (’20 SF Columbus Walnut Ridge), Steven Coleman (’21 SF Maumee Valley Country Day), Ramelle Arnold (’21 PG Warrensville Heights), Enavell Lighty (’21 SF Cleveland VASJ), Logan Duncomb (’21 C Cincinnati Moeller), Jack Sawyer (’21 PF Pickerington North), AJ Mirgon (’21 PG Hilliard Bradley)