Thursday, July 21, 2016

Skyler Schmidt Continues to Develop

Skyler Schmidt-2021
Skyler Schmidt (6/5/C/2021/Goshon) has consistently performed at a high level.  Rolling with the Cincinnati Royals during the spring and summer, Schmidt has proven to be a force both offensively and defensively. Not only can Schmidt put up solid numbers in the paint, he has proven to be an elite rim protector as well.  He possesses good footwork, a soft touch and the ability to finish at a high rate around the basket.  Thats not all, Schmidt can also step outside and hit the trey ball as well. Last September Schmidt participated in his first Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase and walked away with all-star honors.  In addition, in March, Schmidt did even better, as he not only made his second all-star game appearance; he grabbed Top 5 honors as well.  In the video below, Schmidt demonstrates his many skills on both ends of the floor.  You can catch Schmidt in action in Columbus on September 17th and 18th when he represents the South team in the Ohio North vs South game, and then suits up for Team Ohio in the Ohio vs Kentucky All-Star game.  With continued growth and development, Schmidt has a shot at college basketball.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Go Hard in the Paint Claims Title

Go Hard In the paint-Nike Summer Championship Champions
Despite being down early and trailing for most of the first half, Coach Tony Rogers’ 2021 Go Hard In the Paint (GHITP) squad fought back to defeat All-Ohio Purple in the championship game of the Nike Summer Championships in Columbus on Sunday.  The Kentucky-based GHITP was sparked by the heroic efforts of Jaden Rogers (5’8/PG/2021/Louisville, KY), who exploded for a game-high 29 points to lead his team to a 72-69 win over the #1 ranked All-Ohio Purple.  GHITP was down as many as 8 points early in the opening period, but took their first lead (22-21) with 3:10 left in the first half. GHITP would later take a 1 point lead (32-31) into the break.   All-Ohio would score first to start the half and retake the lead, but the lead would change hands for most of the second half.  Every time All-Ohio mounted a charge, Rogers answered with a score.  Possibly the most impressive performance of the tournament, Rogers was virtually unstoppable as he scored at all three levels and made it look easy.  Highly skilled and clutch best describes Rogers’ game on Sunday.  He hit triples, pulled up in the lane and drove to the basket at will.  Also playing well for GHITP was Sam Conley (6’1/WF/2021/Shelbyville, KY), who finished with 13 points.  For All-Ohio, Montev Ware (5’10/SG/2021/Cincinnati) was impressive, finishing with a team-high 22 points, followed by Rob Thompson (5’11/SG/2021/Cincinnati) who added 17 points.  We also saw some good things out of Jadaka Stone (5’7/SG/2021/Cincinnati).

Wilson, Rogers, Nichols, Henderson & Crawford
It’s important to note that Seth Wilson (6’1/P/SG/2021/West Lake), the state’s #1 ranked player, was running with All-Ohio Purple for the weekend.  Unfortunately for Purple, Wilson sustained a hairline fracture to his right thumb during the semi-final game against All-Ohio Red.  In that game, despite playing with the thumb injury, Wilson also proved unstoppable as he went off on Red to the tune of a game-high 26 points.  Wilson hit contested threes, hit stop and pop pull-ups in the lane, and used his strong frame to finish at the rim.  Just when you thought Wilson’s game was all about using his size and strength to bully his way to the cup, he displayed an elite skill set and the ability to score at all three levels.  For those people who expected Wilson’s development to stall, forget about it, he’s still developing and he still sits atop the rankings!  In that semi-final game, it’s also important to mention the play of Keon Henderson (5’6/PG/2021/Detroit, MI).  Despite Red’s eventual 67-43 loss to Purple, Henderson was the lone bright spot as he finished with a team-high 17 points, most of which were on drives to the cup.  Although he can create space for his jumper, Henderson’s game is about beating his defender off the dribble and getting to the basket.  Montev Ware was great in that game as was Adrian Layson 6’0/WFD/2021/Cincinnati) who finished with 11 points.

Ohio Clutch-Nike Summer Championship-4th Grade Champions
Congratulations to Coach Steven Hightower and his 2024 Ohio Clutch team for capturing the 4th grade title with a 59-45 victory over All-Ohio Blue.  The 2 teams were neck and neck for most of the game, but the Jonah Nichols-led Clutch was simply too big and too talented in the end. Nichols (5’7/C/2023/Akron) was a monster in the paint and All-Ohio simply had no answer for him. Nichols finished with an impressive 21 points in the win. For the record, Nichols is an “age eligible” 5th grader. Behind Nichols in scoring was Jonathan Powell (5’1/SG/2024/Akron), who finished with 13 points.  Juan Crawford Jr. (5’2/WF/2024/Dayton) was the leading scorer for All-Ohio with a team-high 16 points.  Although he’s a big, Crawford sets on the perimeter waiting for catch and shoot 3-ball opportunities.  Both teams are loaded with talent and will crack our top 10 team rankings when we publish them for next season.

In some of the other finals results, the Ohio Bulldogs defeated TNBA South 56-35 to claim the 8th grade title, while King James took down Tri-County Canada 56-27 to grab the 9th grade crown, All-Ohio Red got by TNBA West Flash 54-31 in the 10th grade division and All-Ohio Red bested Hidden Gems Black to take the 11th grade gold.  Congratulations to all of the tournament winners as many teams wrap up their 2016 season.

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Invitations Extended

Below is a copy of an email that went out this morning along with an invitation to the September 17th & 18th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.  The email provides details about the event.  We don't have everybody's email who deserves an invitation, so please feel free to contact us at to receive a copy.  All ranked players and any players we have listed or written about on this website is eligible to attend.  Also, if you have attended our elite showcases in the past you are also invited.  Finally, we will accept nominations from coaches for invitations.

Parents, Coaches, Players,

We are now a little over 60 days before the September 17th and 18th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase (fall).  Attached is an invitation for your son/player.  As was the case last September, the event will be loaded with talent and will represent another opportunity for your son/player to compete against the best players from around Ohio, the Midwest and the nation.  As is the case with every Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, the exposure opportunities will be great, as there will be numerous scouting services, video guys and small college coaches in the house to document the action.  In addition, with the return of the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-Star Games, your son/player will have the opportunity to compete against the very best. 

As I have done before, I will be maintaining a running list of players who have committed to the event (right hand side of the website).  This is not an official list and will not hold your son/player a spot in the showcase, as only a full payment of the $149.00 registration fee by the deadline will guarantee a spot. Also, for your convenience, I have placed a Pay Pal link in the upper right hand corner of the website if you would like to pay the fee online with a credit card.  When using Pay Pal, please make sure you enter your son/player’s name, grade, height and position in the space provided, as this will assist me to match your payment with the registration forms. Also, please make sure you note the Pay Pal receipt number on the registration form, and then bring the receipt with you the morning of the event.  If you plan to attend the event, please email us with your intentions, provide me with your son’s name, grade, height and position, then send in the registration forms and fee ASAP. Please do not send registration forms without the fee!  Every player must submit completed registration forms.

Once again, we will be hosting a 2nd-5th grade division for the younger players. Because of the smaller numbers with these age groups, this division may be combined into 1 division. As the date of the showcase gets closer, I will be sending out emails and updating the website.  It is very important that you continue to follow the website up until the day of the event ( for updates, as things may change. I know I don’t have email addresses for everybody, and some people don’t use the internet very often; therefore, please help me spread the message and share the information and updates with those parents who you know may not receive the information they need.  If you know of a ranked player, or any kid who may be talented enough to attend the event, have them contact me for an invitation.

For those of you who have not attended Buckeye Prep showcases in the past, below are a number of links to articles and videos from past events. Please take the time to go through the material as they offer some great insight into the nature of the events.  For those you who have participated in the showcases, you know that the competition is fierce; the right people are there watching; and the event is always well run.

Based on the level of participation last September, the positive feedback we received after the event, this event will likely be SOLD OUT. Because of facility limitations, once all of the spots have been filled, I cannot add additional players. Spots will be filled on a “first come, first served basis.” If you have any questions or concerns, emailing me is the best option, but feel free to call me at 614-203-2929.  I hope to see you in March!

PS. I’m always looking for quality coaches.  If you enjoy working with kids, have a coaching background, can be objective and are interested in coaching at the event, please email me. Coaches will receive a free admission ($20 value), showcase T-shirt and free meals and drinks in our coaches and media only hospitality lounge. This year, the coaches/media lounge will be sponsored by Roosters Restaurant, so we will be eating good!! Please note, you cannot coach your son or player(s), and every attempt will be made to schedule around your son’s games.

Rob Taylor
Buckeye Prep Report

Committed player list, updates, media & video links from past events:

Information Page:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Nike Summer Championship Day 2 Recap

Johnson, Walker, Nichols, Walker & Conley
We had the opportunity to spend the day on Saturday at the Nike Summer Championship in Reynoldsburg, OH.  Approximately 60 teams participated in the first-year event that represented a collaboration between the All-Ohio Program and TNBA.  Although the field was small I numbers, there were several talented teams and compelling match-ups. With a roster full of talent, Chris Anthony’s Ohio Bulldogs appeared to be the class of the 9th grade division. Marcus Johnson (6’2/WF/2020/Columbus) was his explosive self and excited the crowd with a powerful dunk.  Von Cameron Johnson (6’2/PF/2020/Columbus) was productive in the paint while CJ Anthony (6’1/P/SG/2020/Columbus) was on his game. Despite their close loss to the Louisville, Kentucky-based Go Hard In The Paint (GHITP), Marty Finta’s 2021 All-Ohio Red team looked good on Saturday. The addition of Detroit’s Keon Henderson gives the team more scoring and toughness at the point guard position.  In addition, Henderson’s motor and hawkish defense set the tone for All-Ohio.  Of course Brent Walker (6’5/C/2021/Huber Heights) was dominate, as he finished at a high rate around the basket and protected the rim from would be scorers.  Wil Sizer (6’2/PF/2021/Mt Orab) had a big day as well as he almost willed his team to victory over a tough Key Player team.  We also saw some good things out if Isaiah May (6’1/WF/2021/WV) who hit a pair of big treys in a loss to GHITP.  May has good length and a nice skill set which allows him to be a multi-level scorer.

GHITP had several studs including Sam Conley (6’1/WF/2021/KY), Chandler Strong (6’1/SG/2021/KY) and Selah Brown (6’1/C/2022/KY).  Both Conley and Strong are super skilled, while Brown is big and strong and able to finish at a high clip near the cup.  The fact he was so productive playing up a year suggests he’s worth tracking going forward. You can catch Conley and Strong in action when they return to Columbus on September 17th & 18th for the Ohio vs Kentucky All-Star Game. We got out first look at Ohio Crush (2024) and were very impressed with what we saw.  They only rolled with 6 players, but the starting five were as good as any 5th graders we’ve seen this season.  The Clutch is anchored in the paint by Jonas Nicholas (5’7/C/2023/Akron), who is big, strong and athletic. Surrounding Nichols are 4 guards who can all go. Jonathon Powell (5’1/SG/2024/Akron) seems to be the best of them, but Amaree Pickens (5’1/SG/2024/Erie, PA), Jalen Hightower (4’9/SG/2024/Copley) and Levelle Sharpe (5’1/SG/2024/Akron) are all very talented and make this team a tough out.  We were also really impressed with Chase Walker (5’10/C/2023/Columbus) who was all most unstoppable around the rim. Speaking of impressive, Coach Jeff Rike’s All-Ohio Blue (4th grad) squad is absolutely loaded with talent! Delamarr Blanton (5’2/SG/2024/Dayton) and Javon “Tank” Vaughn are the engine that makes this team go, but there are several other guys including Bryce Johnson (5’2/PF/2024/Dayton) and Mason Carpenter (4’7/PG/2024/Richmond, IN) who contribute and make this team tough to beat. There are also some good-looking Canadian teams playing in the event including Grassroots Canada.  Big Hunter Harding (5’10/C/2023/Toronto, CA) is a huge space eater and has potential written all over him, while Ryan Regault (5’0/SG/WF/2023/Toronto, CA) brings toughness to the table and Sean Blake (4’11/PG/2023/Toronto, CA) runs the show.

Davis, Sizer, Henderson, Regault & Vaughn
Below is a list of the standout performers we saw on Saturday. Marcus Johnson (6’2/WF/2020/Columbus), Von Cameron Davis (6’2’/PF/2020/Columbus), CJ Anthony (6’0/PG/2020/Columbus), Jordan Jackson (6’1/PG/2020/Loraine), Brent Walker (6’5/C/2021/Huber Heights), Wil Sizer (6’2/PF/2021/Mt. Orab), Keon Henderson (5’6/PG/2021/Detroit, MI), Isaiah May (6’1/WF/2021/WV), Chandler Strong (6’1/SG/2021/Louisville, KY), Sam Conley (6’1/WF/2021/Shelbyville, KY), Selah Brown (6’1/C/2020/Louisville, KY), Isaac Merchants (5’8/WF/2020/Toronto, CA), Ethan Hunte (5’7/PG/2022/Toronto, CA), Elijah Aedo-Castillo (5’9/W/PF/2022/Toronto, CA), Chase Walker (5’10/C/2023/Columbus), Jonas Nichols (5’7/C/2024/Akron), Jonathon Powell (5’1/SG/2024/Akron), Amaree Pickens (5’1/SG/2024/Erie, PA), Jalen Hightower (4’9/PGH/2024/Copley), Levelle Sharpe (5’1/SG/2024/Akron), Bryce Johnson (5’2/PF/Dayton), Mason Carpenter (4’7/PG/2024/Richmond, IN), Cannen Howser (5’1/SG/2024/Ft Wayne, IN), Hansen Haffner (4’11/PG/2024/Ft Wayne, IN), Hunter Harding (5’10/C/2023/Vaughn, CA), Delamarr Blanton (4’2/SG/2024/Dayton), Javon “Tank” Vaughn (PG/2024/Dayton), Sean Blank (4’11/PG/2023/Toronto, CA), Ryan Regault (5’10/SG/WF/2023/Toronto, CA), Jalen Simmons (2022), Clayton Thomas (2021), Brady Dingess (2022), Jordan Williams (2021), Christopher Snyder (2022) and Joshua Jones (2021).

Friday, July 15, 2016

Last Call For Buckeye Prep All-Academic Team Nominations!

The Buckeye Prep Report has always been synonymous with youth basketball excellence. With our ongoing desire to support and recognize academic excellence, we have developed a program designed to shine a spotlight on youth basketball players who are not only excelling on the basketball court, but are also taking care of business in the classroom as well.  To this end, we will be selecting young men in grades 5th-8th for our “All-Academic Teams.” Through the end of the 2015/2016 school year, we are asking parents and guardians to send us copies of their child’s grade cards as well as other information relative to academic-related awards, special recognition and/or community service work, which will serve as nominations for this very worthy endeavor. Not only will we track and publish the nominations, later this summer we will publish the names of the “All-Academic Teams” and will present each selectee with an award.

Most of us understand a couple of truths; some day the basketball is going to stop bouncing for everyone.  In addition, with ever tightening NCAA academic standards, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many of our youth to qualify for division I, II, or III college basketball programs. So that we represent more than just basketball exposure, Buckeye Prep wants to send out a clear measure that EDUCATION MATTERS, and just like athletic success, academic excellence is worthy of recognition!  For this program to be successful, we need parents, guardians, coaches and concerned adults to take affirmative steps to get us the information we need in order to recognize these young people.

We will be using the following criteria in our determinations: GPA (3.0 minimum), honors/AP classes taken, awards received, organizations/clubs, community service and basketball accomplishments. Please email grade cards and supporting information (copies, as information will not be returned) to or mail to the Buckeye Prep Report at 585 Tall Oaks Dr. Gahanna, Oh. 43230. Decisions will be made at the conclusion of the 2015/2016 school year.  Here’s your chance to create something truly unique special!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

NEO Finishes 3rd in the Nation

Congratulations to Coach Danelle Love and her2021 NEO Tru Games squad for their 3rd place finish at the AAU Nationals last weekend.  In pool play, NEO finished 2-1 with wins over Arc 13U Elite (76-29) and NJ Bulldogs (77-57), and a loss to Seattle Rotary Style (74-64).  In bracket play, NEO got by Seattle Select Warriors (64-61) and North Carolina Wolves (62-54) before taking a loss to Michigan-based The Family Black in the semi-finals (53-39).  In the 3rd/4th place game, NEO defeated New York’s RENS 72-68 to claim 3rd place.  For the record, the Atlanta Celtics defeated The Family 56-52 to claim the championship.  Standouts for NEO included Seth Wilson who was twice singled out as a Top Performer my AAU and J. Nob Cameron who was described as having “played at another level.” Other players who had standout performances included Jayden Hawkins-White, Malachi Branham and Trey Woodyard.

Danny Young’s 2022 All-Ohio Northeast squad finished 7-0 on their way to the championship of the Gym Rat Nationals in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sunday. On their trek to the title All-Ohio took down Indiana Speed (52-17), Whitney Panthers (46-34), Team Future (49-47), Chicago Predators (44-22), Gym Rats, Lima Gators and Indiana Always 100 (39-33).  Standouts for All-Ohio were Jordan Huff, Danny Young Jr., Jonah Dieterie and Trey Martin.  For the season, All-Ohio has a very impressive 45-8 record.

Malcolm Walter’s 2020 NEO Shooting Stars team made a sweet sixteen run at the Peach State Tournament in Augusta, GA.  Grant Huffman had a big tournament and was recognized by Insider Prep as one of the top performers at the event. Also playing well were Kenny McElreth Marvin Davies and Nicholas Walters.  It should be noted that NEO was without the services of Devonte Blanton and Isaiah Kennedy.  You can catch many of these players at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase September 17th & 18th in Columbus.