Saturday, December 3, 2016

Introducing Elmore James IV

James Elmore IV
As most Buckeye Prep Report fans know, many of the elite 2022 players in the state have been featured extensively on this website. Guys like Chris Livingston, Paul McMillian IV, Sonny Johnson Jr. and Khalil Luster have made their names with standout performances at Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases and other competitive events around the state; consequently, their success has been well documented. Well, with each season, as players grow and develop, new names emerge on the scene and demand recognition.  Although he enjoyed some success running with Court Leaders last season, his talent went mostly unrecognized.  His outstanding play and all-star game selection at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase last September convinced us we needed to give James his props.

He’s not yet a hot name, and most fans who follow this class have not seen nor heard much about him, but Elmore James IV (5’9/WF/South Euclid/2022) can play, and deserves to be recognized on the statewide stage.  We first saw James play at an NEO event this past February and were really impressed with his game.  In fact, in our post event report we described James as “…big, athletic and plays hard.  James runs the floor well and finishes at a high rate around the basket.  James has good genics as well; as he’s a relative of Ohio State commit Derek Funderburk. We think James’ upside is huge…”

Based on what James is currently accomplishing with his 7th grade Memorial Middle School in South Euclid, where he’s averaging 24 points per game, including a high game of 29 points, James has his 5-2 Arcs squad on a 5-game winning street, and it’s clear that what we saw in February was no fluke. Also, the fact that his cousin, Ohio State’s Derek Funderburk is 6’9, projections that James will to grow 6’7-6’9 is realistic.  In addition, with his current skill set, size and strength, it would not surprise us if James ends up playing college basketball at the D-I level.

We asked a couple of people about James’ game and the conscience is that he’s big, athletic, with a developing skill set.  Specifically, with his size and ball skills, James is versatile, allowing him to play multiple positions from the point to the post.  In addition, James’ size allows him to finish with contact, and his skill set, IQ and decision making equips him to be effective further away from the basket. Not only is James handling his business on the court, he’s an honor role student and with an A/B average. According to his father, James is likely to attend Brush High School in a couple of years.

James is currently weighing a couple AAU team options, both of which would put him in a more competitive situation and allow for even more exposure. We certainly expect to keep an eye on James’ development when the 2017 season tips off in March.  You can catch James in action at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase on March 4th, and again at the Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament March 31-April 2nd. Welcome to the big stage James Elmore!

Buckeye Prep Top 2022 Player List

Thursday, December 1, 2016

All-Ohio Red 2021 Upgrades Roster for 2017 Season

Trey James, Jaden Hameed & Keon Henderson
Last year, they were already one of the top 7th grades teams in the state, who could more than hold their own on a national level; however, with 3 key roster upgrades for the upcoming season, 2017 could be a big year for Coach Marty Finta’s All-Ohio Red 2021 squad.  Gone are Alex Williams, a big bodied slasher from Dayton and Quincy Clark, the team’s steady floor general from Gahanna. The biggest addition to Finta’s team is Trey James, a 6’10 athletic, space eater from Kentucky who will provide rim protection, rebounding and additional low post scoring.  We last saw James in action during the Ohio vs Kentucky All-Star Game and the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in September, where he showcased his ability to block shots, grab rebounds and score. For the record, James played with Al Mobley’s All-Ohio Red 7th grade team last year.

Also new to the team is 5’11 Jaden Hameed, a strong, athletic combo guard from Cleveland, who will add a more robust scoring punch with his ability to attack the cup and finish.  He joined the team late last season and made an immediate impact, but Keon Henderson, a dynamic 5’10 PG from Detroit, will join the team full-time in 2017.  Last season, Henderson provided both a scoring option as well playing making ability, and showed flashes of greatness. Another addition to the squad is Cleveland’s Collin Albert, a 5’7 PG who will add additional depth and shooting at the guard position.  In addition, Albert has been described as a fearless defensive specialist who is willing to guard the opponent’s best player. Rounding out All-Ohio’s roster additions is 5’8 Caden Edmondson, a very athletic combo guard who’s quick and defends at a high level.

With the return of 6’5 Brent Walker (Huber Heights), 6’1 Wil Sizer (Cincinnati) and 6’2 Elijah English (Gahanna), All-Ohio will have the biggest front court in the state.  Add 6’3 Isaiah May to the list and Finta’s squad will have 6 players over 6’0 tall.  Also returning is 6‘0 Gabe Finta, (Columbus) the team’s best 3-point shooter. With a roster that includes, size, multiple scoring options, elite defenders and solid guard play, Finta is excited about his team’s potential.  “Our team has been assembled with top talent, and we will focus on team ball,” Finta said. “We will have good attitudes, a 10-man rotation and we will play heavy and intense defense,” continued Finta.  According to Finta, his team’s keys to success require “team oriented play, coachability, and parent’s willingness to allow their sons to be coached,” offered Finta.

When we release our pre-season team rankings in March it will be hard not to give All-Ohio Red 2021 the nod as the #1 ranked team in the state based on the quality of their roster additions.  As far as Finta is concerned, it’s not even close [the #1 spot]. “I don’t see anybody close. This team will be tough to beat.  I wouldn’t want to coach against us,” proclaimed Coach Finta. In anticipation of their dominance next season, Finta has upgraded their schedule to include more competitive tournaments. Not only is Finta looking to play the other top teams around the state; he wants to play them in pool play! Joining Finta on the bench will be assistant coaches Anton Hameed and Harry Albert, both of whom coached with All-Ohio Northeast last season.

We’re confident that when the rest of the coaches and players in this class read Finta’s comments there will be no shortage of motivation, especially from the likes of All-Ohio Purple, last’s season #1 ranked team, the NEO Shooting Stars and the Ohio Basketball Club! You can catch All-Ohio in action when they debut their new team at the Buckeye Prep Invitational March 31st through April 2nd in Columbus.  Can you say “Super Pool?” We can’t wait to see this team take the floor in March!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Warriors Open Season with Tourney Win

New Birth Warriors-Beavercreek Stars Thanksgiving Tournament Champions
Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors program has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success for over a decade. With his team’s 3-1 title run at the Beavercreek Stars Thanksgiving Shootout this past weekend in Beavercreek, it’s clear Bradley’s program is poised for yet another successful campaign.  After dropping a close game in pool play to the Centerville Hustle (42-41), New Birth avenged their lone loss in the championship game, defeating Centerville 41-32 to claim the 6th grade title. 

Playing well for the Warriors were Majadi Cunningham (5’5/CG/Columbus/2023) and Alex Styles (5’11/C/Pickerington/2023), who averaged 13 and 11 points, respectively over 4 games. Bradley’s team is well built, boasting a starting line-up that includes Cunningham, Styles, Davion Bridges (5’6/WG/Columbus/2023), Juwan Turner (4’6/PG/Columbus/2024) and Bedi Lori (5’6/WF/Caldwell/2023), all of whom are lised among the state’s elite on our Player Watch Lists.

Although Bradley has had some very talented teams over the past several years, he’s excited about this squad. “I love this team.  There’s no egos; they knock down shots; they’re a very good team,” said Bradley. You can catch the Warriors in action later this week when they take on the Dublin Ballers.  We plan to keep an eye on this team.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ohio High School Team Rankings

Courtesy of Nike's John Stovall, below is a link to Ohio high school team rankings.  Let the debate begin!

High School Team Rankings

Happy Thanksgiving

The Buckeye Prep family would like to extend Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family. Because life is short people, during the holidays, it's important we all take the time to enjoy our loved ones.  God Bless!!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

The Buckeye Prep Report would like to wish everybody a Happy Halloween!