By most accounts, the 2011 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase was the best ever! Approximately 220 of Ohio’s best middle and high school ballers rolled in Central Crossing High School in Grove City, Ohio to participate in the one-day showcase. Not only did the Buckeye State’s top hoops stars attend the event, kids from as far away as Wisconsin, New York, Michigan and Indiana participated in the action. The competition level in each of the three divisions was fierce, and there were scouting services and the highlight video guys in the house documenting and filming the action. ESPN’s John Stovall was in the gym, as was City League Hoops’ Ty Kish and Cap City Preps.
Although there were a number of great players in attendance at the showcase, Lakota West’s Monty Boykins clearly established himself as the top 2013 prospect in the gym. Boykins has a super smooth game, is very skilled and can really shoot the rock. From what I hear, Boykins has already been offered a scholarship by Miami of Ohio. In addition to Boykins, you might want to keep an eye on Zach Denny, a 6’0 shooting guard from Valley View High School in the Dayton. Denny had an impressive day and he really had his shoot clicking.
Although Akron Buchtel’s Chris “Sanka” Davis has only lived in Ohio for about 3 weeks, his electrifying play on Sunday puts him in the conversation as one of the top freshmen in the state. Davis, a 6’4 small forward, jumps out of the gym, and he put on a one-man dunk contest the entire the day. Although Davis began his basketball career late, and still has several areas if improvement, but his explosiveness is already big time.
Davis was not the only player with freakish bounce; Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Carlin Dupree put on his own dunking show this past weekend, as he had several highlight dunks of his own. Dupree is a 6’5 combo guard from Bay View High School in Milwaukee. All I can say, I’m glad he made the long trip to Columbus, because he was a pleasue to watch. Some of the other standout performers included: DeAndre Martin, Dejorr Gibson, John Roberts, Javon Bess, Trajan Seay (Michigan) and Jaylen Tucker. See the list of the other all-stars in the accompanying story.
Top 8th Grader
For most observers in the gym, the top 8th grader at the event was Dayton’s Amos “AJ” Harris. The 5’8 point guard is considered by many to be the top 2015 prospect in the Buckeye state. Harris has a good skill set, is athletic, and plays with a confidence beyond his years. Harris is still developing his jumper, but every other aspect of his game suggests he has next level potential.
Right behind Harris was Springdale’s MaCio Teague, who impressed a lot of observers on Sunday, and played his way onto the all-star team. Although he did not get a Top 5 Award for his his all-star game performance, I'm not sure there were five better 8th graders at the event. The 5’8 guard impressed coaches with his positive attitude and overall game. According to his showcase coach, Teague shot the ball as well as anybody on Sunday, and he used his a tight handle tobeat his man off the dribble and get to cup at will. Bottom line, Teague's upside is tremendous. Huber Height’s D’Mitrk Trice showed great point guard skills and instincts, as did Columbus’ Xavier Holston-Simms and Jalon Lewis. Dayton's Isiah Fairley came late, but when he got there, he hit the ground running. The 6'3 forward played hard and should be high school-ready by the time he enrolls in Wayne High School next fall. Tyree Kinnel finished the event with a good all-star game showing, while Columbus' Elijah Barber did some real nice things throughout the day. One of the best long-term post prospects in the gym was 6'5 Anthony Anderson from Columbus. He's not just big, Anderson shows a lot of skill around the bucket. Noah Bramlage, Kyle Ahrens, Robert Martin and Chris Nunn (Indiana) were all impressive as well. See the list of the other all-stars in the accompanying story.
Top 7th Grader
The 6/7th grade division was full of talent, and included players as young as 4th and 5th graders. In terms of the 6th and 7th graders, Lima’s Xavier Simpson, Akron’s Anthony Christian and Cleveland’s Trevell Beck were some of the best players I saw on Sunday. Simpson is a veteran of Buckeye Prep showcases, and he continues to build his case as one of the top point men in the state. Also, Simpson’s play in the all-star game earned him MVP honors. According to his showcase coach, Christian was the top 7th grader at the event, and my own observation supported that assertion. Christian is a good looking prospect with good length and a constant motor, and he did a really god job of finishing around the rim. Beck has the size, athleticism and potential of a big time prospect. Just looking at the kid play, I would be surprised if does not turn into one of the top players in his class. The more I watched this kid play the impressed I was with his game. Keep a eye on this kid, he could be a good one! Hamilton’s Ashon Riggens was a man among boys and logged in an impressive performance as well. Other player to watch included: Jordan Kinchen, Algevon Eichelberger (Michigan), Alec Rhodes, Yerusalem Hill Jr., Trey Jackson, Jalani Rogers, Drew Grombacher. See the list of the other all-stars in the accompanying story.
Top 6th Grader
Although they are both young and a little undersized, Jacquel Freeman and David Dials Jr. more than held their own against the older players. As only 4th and 6th graders, both point guards are supper quick, aggressive, and proficient at finding open teammates. Despite his age, Freeman played his way into the all-star game. Keep an eye on big EJ Williams, a 6'3 center from Middletown. As is the case with most big men, he still has a lot of work to do, but you can't teach size! I also like what I saw in the play Jeremiah Francis, a 4th grader from Columbus. Depsite being hounded by older and bigger players, Francis did not back down and appeard comfortable handling the rock.
Stay tuned to this website over the next couple of days, as we will be adding links to highlight videos. Also, an event recap will be posted on ESPN's website within the next day or two. Also, to see some of the pictures we took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. To look inside the showcase click on the highlighted video link. See video #2.