|Roderick Caldwell-8th Grade PG|
With the football season underway, and as basketball players and fans look toward the start of the hoops season in a few months; kids all across the state are participating in fall leagues and open gyms in an effort to develop their games. One such open gym is being held at Brunner Catholic School in Dayton, where approximately 20-25 elite 7th and 8th grade kids meet every Saturday morning from 9:00am to 11:00am to get in a quality run. In its 5th week, the open gym has attracted many of the city’s top young players. According to Tony Boddie Sr, one of the organizers of the event, “the open gym is designed to give non-football players a good run.” Also, for those players who might be interested in participating, Boddie advised that the open gym will run another 3-4 weeks.
|Derrick Daniels-6'5 Center|
From what I hear, Roderick Caldwell is lighting it up, and has clearly separated himself from the other 8th graders in the city. Right behind him is Derrick Daniels, a 6’5 center at Mary Queen of Peace. I had a chance to see Daniels this summer and came away super impressed with his upside potential. I’m also hearing some good things about Joey Williams Jr, a 6’2 combo guard. Although I have not seen Williams, his game is well respected by those who follow youth basketball in Dayton. It should be noted that both Caldwell and Dainels are listed as one of Buckeye Prep's "Top Thirty 8th Graders."
Below is a full report on some of the standout players at last Saturday’s session. If possible, I plan to attend the event in person with in the next couple of weeks to see firsthand who is getting it done. Also, look for many of the below players at my September 25th Elite Showcase here in Columbus.
"Some of Dayton's top 8th graders and a couple of the top 7th graders have been playing weekly at Brunner Catholic School in Dayton. The 8th graders are led by Roderick Caldwell, Derrick Daniels, and Joey Williams Jr. Other 8th graders that shown well include: Josh Smith, Isaiah Williams, Joey Keeble, Terance Landers and Michael Pickel. The 7th graders are led by Tony Boddie Jr. and Brandon Sutherland.
The games are becoming increasingly fierce with some serious intensity. Caldwell is a point guard that continues to show a high hoop IQ while regularly unleashing a killer jump shot. Derrick Daniels remains raw on the offensive end but is one of the most intimidating defensive players in the state. At 6'6" he can dunk the ball almost any way you want it and uses that height and athleticism to defend the middle. Joey Williams Jr. is a multiple-skilled player that at 6'2" can play the 1, 2, or 3 at a high level. If he continues to work on his shot he has a chance to be special.
There have been two 8th graders that until now, at their fathers' discretion, have flown under the radar screen. They are Joey Keeble and Michael Pickel. Michael is a big body lefty guard that can play the 1 or 2, while Joey Keeble is a 2 or 3 that can lock down an opposing 2 guard. Terance Landers is multi skilled and can get to the basket at will. Also, watch out for Tony Boddie Jr. and Brandon Sutherland, the only two 7th graders participating in the open gym. Tony holds his own well with the older fellas due to a mid-range game reminiscent of 80's ballers like Bernard King. Brandon Sutherland is a hard nosed point guard that plays the game from baseline to baseline. Watch out for these guys. They should have outstanding Jr. High campaigns this winter."