I have to admit it; central Ohio is blessed with many quality basketball opportunities. As an example, in addition to the All-Ohio fall basketball league and fall Ohio Youth Basketball fall tournaments, Benji Burke's Sunday basketball league represents yet another opportunity for players to develop their games prior to the start of the high school basketball season. Week 2 of the six-week league not only featured some of central Ohio's top upper classmen, but many of the area's top young guys were spotted putting in work. Of course you had guys like Trey Burke, Elijah Macon and Devon Scott all taking care of business, but guys like Gahanna Lincoln's Manuel Powell (Pictured) and Aaron Jackson; Hilliard Davidson 's Jaevon Peterson and Pickerington Central's Karis Lavert were all banging with the big boys and holding their own. Powell really impressed a lot of onlookers as he knocked down open shots, many of which were from beyond the arc. Although undersized, Powell's handle and one-on-one moves makes him tough to guard. It's also clear to this evaluator that Peterson is getting in some extra work, as his game appears more polished, and his skill set more refined. In addition, Lavert really scored the ball and Jackson got to the cup on a regular basis. Chillicothie's Malik London caught a few eyes with his aggressive play around the bucket. Granville's Jim Bennett had a good day, while Rico Spears flashed some impressive stuff. Afrocentric 's Marquise Taylor showed his defensive prowess as he picked a couple of guys in the open court for easy buckets, while Westerville North's Matt Rhodes shot it well from the perimeter. I also saw a couple of nice moves from DeSales' Clinton James who is coming off an injury that limited his play this past summer. Jack Gibbs III, a sophomore guard from Westerville North, continued his solid play and is absolutely stuffing stat lines with his play. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I had a chance to poke my head in at the All-Ohio fall basketball league today, and I quickly determined that a few of central Ohio's top guys were getting busy. For the limited time I was there, Michigan-bound Trey Burke (Pictured) was the best player in the gym. Burke's strength was on display, as he muscled his way to the cup at will. Burke has also perfected his "Chauncey," which makes him very difficult to guard. Marion Franklin's Elijah Macon did some very nice things and showed off his high level athleticism. Although most people would like to see more of his post game, this writer included, there is no mistaking Macon's ability to be produce from the perimeter. Northland's Jalon Robinson had some flashes and did most of his damage around the bucket. Few of the other guys who stood out included Hartley's Chris Moxley and Adam McCall. To see some of the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.
Monday, September 13, 2010
The fall edition of the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase II attracted some of the top young talent in Ohio. In total, 135 middle and high school ballers made their way to Gahanna Lincoln High School in suburban Columbus, Ohio on Sunday to participate in the second elite showcase of the year. As is the case in every Buckeye Prep event, prominent scouting services were on hand to evaluate the talent. ESPN and Prep Spotlight's John Stovall, and JJ Huddle/Ohio High School Hoops' Kurt Stubbs II were a few of the faces in the crowd. Mix tape artist Ty Kish was there all day compiling footage for more of his highlight tape magic. Although their were a number of showcase veterans in the house, a few newcomers burst on the scene. Although I will list the all-star game participants in later articles, I did want to highlight a few players who really stood out at the event. In the 9/10th grade division, Westerville North's Jack Gibbs III may have been the top player at the event. Gibbs, a 5'10 sophomore combo guard, displayed a "complete" game which included a heavy dose of scoring, defending, distributing the rock and simply playing hard. The kid just keeps getting better. Columbus East's Marvin Thomas arrived at the showcase late and barely made it in; however, we squeezed him in and he made the most of the opportunity by playing his way onto the all-star game, including a Top 5 Award. Standing 6'2, the 2013 prospect showed a great deal of athleticism and the ability to score the ball. Westerville North had a second standout performer in Darren Nettles, a 5'10 combo guard. Although he was not selected in the Top 5, the general consensus from many observers in the gym, he had a good day. Although they were playing against sophomores, a few freshman played their way into the all-star game. Gahanna's Manual Powell and Bishop Hartley's Chris Moxley went head-to-head with the big boys and more than handled their own. In fact, Moxley was a Top 5 Award winner. The other all-star selectees included: Aaron Jackson, Crisshawn, Will Hill Jr., Declan Feery, Ronnie Williams, Matt Gump, Adrian Cook, Nick Deitsch, DeVon Price, Evan Bailey and Jalen Rhea. In addition, Cincinnati's Adam Gigax, Indiana's John Roberts and Terry Cook all deserve some ink for collecting one of the 5 Special Awards given out at the event.
The 8th grade division had its fair share of top performers, including 6'6 big man Nate Fowler from Cincinnati. Fowler was easily one of the top post players at the event, and he has a real good chance of being a long term post prospect. Following in the foot steps of his older brother Travis, Huber Heights' D'mitirk Trice established himself as one of the top floor generals at the event. Like his older sibling, Trice has a great skill set and a high basketball IQ. I also really like the poise and skill package of Jea'von McClain, a strong 5'2 PG from Aurora, Ohio. The kid's game just seemed a bit more advanced than his opponents. In terms of guard play, Kyle Stergis, a 5'3 point guard from Shaker Heights is strong with the ball, makes good decisions, caught the eye of the scouts in attendance. Kevin "Sticks" Fischer, a 6'4 center from Columbus had a good day, as did Dayton's Asante Patterson and Huber Height's Isiah Fairley. Fairley, a 6'3 swing man, has a nice frame, a high motor and showed he can knock down the mid-range shot. The other all-star selectees included: Jeavon Peterson, Cameron Fails, Trevon Baker, LaMonte Stone Jr., Brad Smith, Tyrone Cheery, Andrew Franscesconi, Chris Oakley, Cord'e Donald, Caleb Harris, Nick Ward, Xeyrius Williams and Jalen Lewis. Although he just missed making the all-star game, Afrocentric's Tony Anderson, a 6'4 PF made enough noise to win one of 5 Special Awards.
Although the 6/7th grade division was the smallest in terms of numbers, there was no shortage of talent. Arguably the top player in the division was 7th grader Hunter Lampley. Not only did Lampley's stellar play earn him a spot in the all-star game, he led that team to a win, on the way to Top 5 honors. Remember this kid's name, he could be a good one. Right behind him was Westerville's Jelani Rogers who put up a couple of 20 point plus games in league play. A crowd favorite, Rogers has a lot of tricks in the bag and can get you buckets. I have to mention Cincinnati's Rashaad Ali-Shakir, a 7th grader who has played consistently when ever we have seen him play. Ali-Shakir is a skilled PG with a solid handle and a good feel for the game. Kiston Branson, a 5'6 wing guard from Lansing, Michigan was a steam roller who used a strength and aggression to get to the cup and score. Branson was simply stronger and more determined than most of the other kids and he used his gifts to grab Top 5 honors in the all-star game. Also, special mentioned goes out to Justin Roberts, who as the only 6th grader, played his way to Top 5 honors. You might also want to keep an eye on David Dials Jr. from Cleveland. Like his older cousin Carl "Tay Tay" Jones, Dials has a lot of skill at a young age. Although he is just a 4th grader, Dials did not back down from the older player, and for his efforts he received 1 of five Special Awards. The other all-star selectees included: Erron James, Justin Roberts, Mitch Weber, Marcus Dempsey, Devin Taylor, Jake Fisher, Corey Benton, Mitch Peterson, Drew Helweger, Hershey Green, Matthew Moyer, Blake Bickett, PJ Jones, Seth Towns, David Rowlands and Ariuos Spears. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Also, click on the highlighted link to view Kurt Stubb's post event report , and re-visit this site to view multiple highlight mix videos from Ty Kish. Check out the latest mix tape.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tentative rosters, team assignments, game schedule and showcase rules were emailed out to everyone on my email list today. If you have registered your child/player and did not receive the emailed information, call (614-203-2929) or email Taylorobe@aol.com) me ASAP and I will send you the material. Please check the comment section below to review the copy of the email I sent out. The location of the event has been moved to Gahanna Lincoln High School located at 140 S. Hamilton Rd. Gahanna, Ohio 43230. Please have your child/player report between 7:45am and 8:45am on Sunday morning. Game will start at 9:15am. To view the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase rosters, game schedule and showcase rules, click on the Jr. All-American Camp link.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The Buckeye Prep Report had the opportunity to recommend some of the Buckeye State's top young ballers for John Lucas' Midwest Invitational Camp, currently scheduled for October 2 & 3rd in Louisville, Kentucky. Lucas, a former NBA star, has held his International Combine in Houston, Texas for many years, but is now taking his show on the road to reach the masses. The 2-day event should feature a number of the nation's top players in a very competitive atmosphere. In addition to the Buckeye Prep Report, Hoop Scoop's Clark Francis will be on hand to evaluate the campers. For more information click on the highlighted link or email John Lucas at Jlucas@mail.org.