Friday, October 28, 2011

Upper Arlington Senior Nears Decision

Carter Smith-Senior PG Upper Arlington

Yesterday we profiled Matt Rhodes, a central Ohio senior who is currently considering several division II offers. Similar to Rhodes is Upper Arlington’s Carter Smith, a 5’9 senior PG. Like Rhodes, Smith is well known in central Ohio basketball circles as a fierce competitor, who has more game than his small frame and appearance may suggest.

We caught up with Smith last Saturday to talk about his recruitment, and he reported several D-II offers from the likes of Stone Hill, Hillsdale, Ohio Valley and Wheeling Jesuit. Smith also mentioned that Findley and Lincoln Memorial are showing interest as well. Right now, Smith’s favorites are Stone Hill, Hillsdale and Lincoln Memorial. Though he has no firm time table for a decision, Smith did indicate “I will make my decision pretty soon.” When he is ready to make the call, Smith will be looking for a “winning program, pretty good academics, and a good coach who I can vibe with,” said Smith.

Smith, though undersized, is a tough, scrappy floor general who finds a way to get his team a win. Armed with a tight handle, Smith is proficient at getting to the cup, finishing, or finding an open teammate off of a drive. He’s not just a penetrator, as he can also knock down the jumper if left open. At the Nike Peach Jam the summer before last, while running with All-Ohio Black, Smith more than held his own against elite level competition, and actually emerged as one of the team’s most reliable players.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NCAA Approves Significant Changes In Scholarship Values

Below is a link to an ESPN story about the major changes recently approved by the NCAA.  The biggest change now allows conferences and schools to decide of they will provide what amounts to stipends of up to $2000 per student-athlete, designed to cover what the NCAA describes as "The full cost of admission."  Although this measure stops  way short of  "pay for play," it does represent a win for college student-athletes who often struggle with the day-to-day expenses associated with the college experience.  Check out the story below.

ESPN Story

Kaminski Out for the Season

Kenny Kaminski- 6'8 PF Medina

Medina senior Kenny Kaminski will miss his senior season of basketball due to a recent shoulder injury.  According to Kaminski's father, his son dislocated his shoulder on a pass reception during a football game against Lakewood last week. Kaminski would remain in the game, and actually go onto to score a touchdown before a subsequest MRI diagnosed his injury. Kaminski will undergo surgery in 2 weeks to repair a torn Librium, and should be fully recovered before reporting to Michigan State.

The Kaminski's have been in constant contact with Tom Izzo and MSU, and have actually consulted with MSU doctors about the injury. "Coach Izzo has been fantastic," said the elder Kaminski. "Actually, Adrian Payne [MSU sophomore from Dayton] had the same injury and had a full recovery," continued Kaminski.  In theory, Kaminski could probably tough it out and play hoops this season, but in all likelihood, he would relocate the shoulder again, causing more injury. "Coach Izzo said if Kenny was a guard he could go on and play, but since he is a big man he would get hit too much," Kaminski said.

Before the injury, the Michigan State commit was one of the players most mentioned in the Ohio Mr. Basketball discussion.  Over the summer, the 6'8 240 pound forward gave his All-Ohio Red squad a serious perimeter threat with his ability to consistently drain the trey. Some may recall, Kaminski suffered an Achilles heel injury in the playoffs last season. The Buckeye Prep Report would like to wish Kaminski a speedy and full recovery.

Rhodes Ponders Tough Decision

Matt Rhodes-6'4 Senior Westerville North

Although he does not have a big statewide reputation, Matt Rhodes, a 6’4 senior shooting guard at Westerville North High School is known as a sharp shooter extraordinaire by most central Ohio basketball fans. As Rhodes prepares to enter his senior season he is trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on D-II offers from Walsh, Notre Dame College and Ohio Valley, or roll the dice and hold out for a D-I offer during the season. Rhodes indicated that he is also receiving interest from other D-II programs such as Lake Erie, Lincoln Memorial and West Liberty.

Though Rhodes’ game has long been about knocking down kick out treys, he has continued to develop his game to the point where is now proficient in shooting off the bounce, hitting mid range shots, and taking guys of the dribble and finishing. By most accounts, Rhodes has the size and skill to play low D-I ball, but he understands the risks of passing on a sure thing right now. “Coaches [college] want an early decision,” said Rhodes. “Some people want me to sign now and some people want me to sign late [to wait for D-I offers]. I think I can play D-I,” continued Rhodes.

Luscious Jones, Rhodes’ Hidden Gems AAU coach, knows Rhodes’ game as well as anyone. “I think Matt is a MAC player. Matt is receiving interest from BG [Bowling Green] and low D-I programs,” said Jones. Offensively, I think Matt Rhodes is a MAC player. On defense, he is NAIA. Matt can score on anybody,” said Jones. "Some coach will have to love Matt’s offense enough to put up with his defense,” Jones added.

Right now, Rhodes is torn between Walsh and Notre Dame, “I love Coach Young, and the campus is amazing. You know they [Walsh] just built a new arena,” offered Rhodes. I also really like Notre Dame. The coach [Kevin Bille] is not afraid to play freshmen,” Rhodes said. In terms of the upcoming high school season, Rhodes is very optimistic about Westerville North’s chances to go deep. "I think we will be very, very successful this year. It should be us [North] and Northland as tops in the Central District,” said Rhodes. “I really think we can win a state title Rhodes said.” Good luck to Rhodes and his family as he makes one of the biggest decisions of his life!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pickerington Central Sophomore Turning Heads

Jae'son Tate-6'4 Sophomore Pickerington Central

Jae’son Tate, an athletic 6’4 sophomore wing from Pickerington Central High School, has already caught the attention of college coaches. After we watched Tate dominate the competition at the All-Ohio City Series on Saturday, we spoke with him about his recruitment.  Though he has only played one season of high school basketball, Tate has already established himself as at least a mid-major division I prospect.  In fact, several of the MAC’s top programs have already taken notice.  According to Tate, he already has offers from Kent State, Akron and Miami (Oh), while Michigan, Dayton, Ohio and Xavier are reportedly showing interest.  To date, Tate has only visited two schools, Dayton and Akron, and does not plan any additional visits anytime soon.

Tate still has 3 more seasons of high school hoops, but he is already thinking about what he desires in a program. “I want to play fast; really get up and down,” stated Tate. “I also want a coach that can teach me more,” added Tate. Right now, the biggest decision for Tate is rather he continues to juggle both football and basketball going forward.  Tate also plays outside linebacker for the Tigers. If he had his choice, Tate would concentrate on hoops exclusively. “My dad is making me play [football],” said Tate.  Right now, Tate is perpetual motion, and does not have an equal in his class in central Ohio.  Blessed with a strong body, plenty of bounce and a nonstop motor, the sky is the limit for Tate once he refines his jump shot.

Prep Spotlight's John Stoval, who has Tate ranked 4th in the state in the class of 2014, likes what he sees in Tate's game. "Effort, production and he plays hard," said Stovall about Tate.  "He finishes, plays bigger than he is and is improving," continued Stovall.  In terms of Tate's upside potential Stovall added, "It depends how tall he gets.  Every inch is another level.  If he gets to 6'6 he is mid [major] plus; if he gets to 6'8 he is high major," offered Stovall. Because Tate is already reaping the benefits of genetics (his father Jermaine was a standout at Ohio State and Cincinnati) the younger Tate may still have room to grow. "Historically, his father [Jermaine] grew as a sophomore," said Stovall. Jerry Francis, Tate's high school coach, sees the same potential in Tate as does Stovall. "His potential is untapped. A lot depends on his growth and development, but  if he grows to 6'8 he is high major plus," offered Francis.

Tate's AAU coach, Myron Bess, has also seen a big improvement in Tate's game. "Jae'son just keeps getting better and better each year," said Bess. "This summer, we always had a mismatch with Jae'son.  He is strong inside and can now step outside and hit the three pointer," continued Bess.

Tate's high school squad is predicted to compete for an OCC Capital league title, and has a good chance to improve on their district semi-final appearance last year (Tate scored 22 points in a 71-49 loss to Westrville South).  Undoubtedly, the Tigers will go as far as Tate leads them. Last season, Tate led the Tigers in rebounding and taking charges, and was the second leading scorer on his way to 2nd Team All-Conference honors. "Jae'son will have to take more of a leadership role this year," continued Francis. Although only a sophomore, look for Tate to make a major impact on a still young Tigers squad this season.

Monday, October 24, 2011

All-Ohio Nike City Series Tournament

Jack Gibbs-Sr. Westerville North

On Saturday I spent the day at Whitehall HS in Columbus checking out the action at the 3rd Annual All-Ohio Nike City Series.  As expected, most of central Ohio’s top players were in the gym.  In fact, 120 players and 12 teams of 9-12 graders participated in the 2-day event. At the conclusion of this weekend’s tournament, 10-player all-star teams will be selected in each grade of 4 grade divisions to participate in the statewide competition scheduled for next weekend.  All-star teams from Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, Dayton and Toledo will compete with each other for not only community pride, but some serious bragging rights. Undoubtedly, everybody recalls that Columbus swept all four divisions at last year’s event, and I’m sure the other communities are determined not to let that happen again.

Devin Scott-Sr Northland

Although I have broken down my top 20 players on day one of the event in the attachment below, there are a few kids I want to mention here, as they had outstanding performances on day one.  Westerville North’s Jack Gibbs had another monster day and continues to solidify his case as the top guard in central Ohio regardless of class.  As he does every time he steps on the floor, Gibbs dominates in just about every facet of the game (i.e., scoring, rebounding and defending). Northland’s Devon Scott was an absolute monster in game one of the day.  Scott tried to dunk everything in sight, and was successful more times than not. Not only did he score often in the post, his defense was relentless. Again, he tried to block everything in sight and he was successful more times than not.

Jalon Scott-Sr. Dayton Committ

Dayton commit Jalon Robinson had some bright spots of his own. I’m always impressed with Robinson’s footwork, but his mid range jumper appears to be improving.  Robinson is an elite motor away from doing some big things. Also, I have to think college coaches are eyeing Walnut Ridge’s Malik Dime.  The bouncy 6’9 center’s game is continuing to improve. He was very active around the cup on Saturday and is finishing at a high rate. I also have to mention Alasane Kah, a 6’8 senior from Walnut Ridge, as he logged in a solid performance as well. Hats off to coach Bates, as his front court has to be one of the best in central Ohio! There were several very good guards putting in work, including: St. Joe's Committ Kyle Molock, Westerville South’s Isiah Rogers, Mansfield South’s Keon Johnson, Brookhaven’s Randal Clarkson, Eastmoor’s John Draper, Gahanna’s  Aaron Jackson and Manny Powell and Canal Winchester’s Shemar Waugh.

Jae'son Tate-Soph Pickerington Central

One of the most dominating performances I saw all day was logged in by Pickerington Central’s Jae’son Tate. The 6’4 sophomore is a stat sheet stuffer, as he does it all, from scoring, to rebounding, running the offense and locking up guys on defense.  Tate is an explosive athlete who is always on attack mode. Another sophomore who really had a great day was little Rod "RJ" Mims, a 5’6 PG who displayed outstanding floor generalship. Every time I looked over Mims was making the right play; rather it was a creative pass or knocking down an open jumper.  Mims made great decisions all day and did what you want a PG to do, he created shots for others, scored when open, and he ran his team.

Rod "RJ" Mims-Sophomore Whitehall

I also like Dymiere Finch, a 6’2 guard from Walnut Ridge.  Finch already has good size for his position, he possess a solid handle and enough dribble moves to keep his defender guessing. Look for Finch to be one of central Ohio’s elite guards going forward. Also, keep an eye out for Eric James, a 6’3 sophomore from Westerville Central. Although I had not seen James before Saturday, I liked what I saw. Possessing good size and athleticism, James did a great job of finishing near the rim, and even stepping out and draining the trey.  From what I saw on Saturday, this kid has serious upside potential. Northland has another talented young guy on the way in Jaylen Tucker. The 6’5 wing demonstrated the ability to score in bunches, as he had a 20+ point performance in a game I watched.

Eric James-6'3 Sophomore Westerville Central

In any event there are always players who, though don’t necessarily have break out performances, do just enough to grab some attention while displaying enough talent to suggest they have upside potential. Some of these players included: Ronnie Williams (Brookhaven), Nate Jamison (Northland), Kalid King (Brookhaven),  Seth Anderson (Teays Valley), Seth Fuller (8th grader), Tony Anderson (Marion Franklin), Michael Simon (Hilliard ), Seth McCoy (Canal Winchester), Jon Elmore (South Charleston, WVa),  John Bradley Saxton (Grove City). I can't wait for next weekend, and the battle of the cities event that pits the top kids in each of the larger metropolitan cities against each other.  If it comes close to matching the action last year we are all in for a treat!

Top 20 Standouts

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Buckeye Prep to Sponsor 2012 6th Grade Team

Coach Ed Lyshe

This coming spring, Buckeye Prep will be sponsoring an elite, statewide 6th grade boys basketball team.  Although the team will play a very competitive schedule, the focus will center on player development. Coach Ed Lyshe, a long time and well respected AAU coach and Buckeye Prep supporter, will be putting the team together, and will be assisted by Jody Holms, a 10-year veteran coach himself, former OSU guard Troy Taylor and former Bowling Green football standout Kenny Rankin.  

In addition to weekly practices, Ed and his team of coaches will be providing individual skill development sessions to the Buckeye Prep players.  Open gyms and individual skill sessions are currently underway and will last throughout the winter basketball season.  For more information about joining the team you can contact Ed at 614-746-5537. Buckeye Prep would like to welcome coach Ed Lyshe and his 6th grade team to the Buckeye Prep  family!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Molock Headed to the A-10

Kyle Molock-6'2 Guard Dublin Coffman

The past Monday Dublin Coffman senior guard Kyle Molock gave a verbal pledge to Phil Martelli and  St. Joesph's University. As we reported a few weeks ago, Molock, since de-committing from Purdue, has been fielding offers from a number of mid-major programs. Although Molock did not list the Hawks as one of the schools showing interest when we talked to him, after returning from a visit to the Philadelphia area school earlier in the week, Molock felt that the A-10 school was the right fit.

I had a chance to speak with Molock's father, Karl, and he advised that "St Joe's was the first school involved early on, before Purdue. St. Joe's has always liked Kyle and they were the first school to call Kyle after he de-committed from Purdue. It meant a lot to Kyle and me as his father that St. Joe's stayed after us," stated the elder Molock. 

The Philly area is familiar to the Molocks, "We are from Wilmington, Delaware, about 15 minutes outside of Philly," added Molock. "His [Kyle's] grandparents are there, we still have friends in Wilmington," Molock said. "Kyle also liked the size of the school; there are only about 5000 undergrad students. Coach [Martelli] lets his guards play and he loves Kyle," offered Molock. Kyle will join former Garfield Heights standout Carl "Tay Tay" Jones in the Hawk's back court next season. Congrats to Kyle and his family!

Rossi Brothers Decide on NKU

Justin & Jacob Rossi-6'8 Forwards Franklin HS
Several weeks ago we featured the Rossi Twins, Justin and Jacob.  At the time, the pair of 6’8 forwards was just beginning to receive interest, mostly from low to mid major D-I programs.  Although the twins reported interest from programs like UNC Ashville, Belmonte, James Madison, Gardner Web and Dayton at the time, after a recent visit to NKU campus, the brothers chose division II Northern Kentucky University to play their college ball. Though the Norse are a D-II program presently, the program is in the process of transitioning to D-I, and could have the process completed by the time Justin and Jacob arrive on the Northern Kentucky campus.  Congrats to the Rossi Family for this significant accomplishment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TNBA Fall League-Look In

The second leg of my northeast Ohio trip led me to Garfield Heights High School to check out Jermaine Gay’s TNBA Fall Basketball League.  According to Gay, the 7-week league has over 300 players and 36 teams, and will finish up next week.  The best player I saw was Devon Andrews, a 6’4 freshman from Loraine High School.  I had heard a lot of good things about Andrews, and from what little I saw on Sunday, the praise was well deserved. Andrews is athletic, explosive and is surprisingly good at creating for himself and others. Also, Andrews has good length, a nice frame, good vision and solid passing skills.

I also had a chance to watch Brandon Peters, a 5’7 eighth grader from Bedford.  Because Peters played up in the 9th grade division at my Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase a couple of weeks ago, he flew a little under the radar and did not get an all-star nod. With that said, Peters is consistently mentioned among the best 8th graders in the state.  Although only 5’7, Peters is a strong, physical guard who knows how to play the game. Peters is not overly flashy, but his game is efficient, and because he regularly plays up a grade, his instincts are a bit advanced relative to his competition. Look for Peters to have another solid middle school season.

I also got a glimpse of a couple of bigs with upside potential. Calvin Calhoun, a 6’2 center from Cleveland Heights, moves well and is very active in the post for a kid his size. I really liked Calhoun’s aggressiveness in the paint, and it was clear someone is working with the big man.  Also keep an eye on Jordan Davis, a 6’2 center from Garfield Heights.  Like his big brother, Jermaine Davis, a 6’9 center who recently committed to LaSalle, Davis is big and takes up a lot of room in the paint.  Although he still has a lot of work in the skill department, you can’t teach size. According someone close to the Davis family, the young Davis is already better than his older brother was at the same age.  Coach Sunny Johnson could have another D-I post player in his program in a few years.

I also got a glimpse of Mikael White, a spunky 5’5 guard from Milkovich Middle school in Maple Heights. White, thou a little undersized, is strong, quick, and is at his best when he is attacking the cup. The kid played hard, showed leadership and really willed his team to the win. I was also impressed how the kid carried himself and communicated with his teammates, particularly these days when so few kids talk on the court.

Although we don’t often report on elementary aged kids, I got a kick out watching a 3rd grade game featuring the next generation Cleveland ballers. Garfield Heights coach Sunny Johnson has a son, Sunny Jr, and a nephew, Demetrius Johnson in the backcourt of a Garfield Heights-based team.  On Sunday, a  team sponsored by King James and featuring  Delvon Roe’s little brother, out muscled the home team to claim the victory.  Remember those names folks. Finally, thanks to Jermaine Gay and TNBA for their assistance on Sunday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DB Hoops Fall League-Look In

Look out northeast Ohio, there is a new force in the area in the form of Dwight Blair and his DB Hoops organization. Armed with a newly minted contract from Under Armor, Blair intends to grab “A seat at the table with the big boys.” This coming summer basketball season, Blair plans to suit up 31 boys and 7 girls (up from just 17 teams last year) teams in his new Under Armor gear.  On Sunday, I hoped in the car and drove up to the NEO Sports Complex in Canal Fulton to check out middle school aged kids at Blair’s 36-team fall basketball league.  The 8-week league has drawn about 300 plus kids from grades 5/6th through high school.
One of the best young prospects I saw at Blair’s league was John Williams, a dynamic 5’6 PG from Barberton Middle School. Although Williams is highly skilled, has the rock on the sting, and has a full complement of dribble moves; I was most impressed with his defense, both on and off ball, as well as his ability and willingness to pass the ball. Despite his ability to take his defender off the bounce at will, Williams is unselfish, and allows the game to come to him  From what I saw on Sunday, Williams has a claim as one of the top young 7th graders in northeast Ohio.

Josh Williams-6'4 Freshman Barbeton HS

As proof that genetics is often a factor in sports, Williams’ brother Josh has a lot of game in his own right.  The elder Williams, a 6’4 freshman at Barberton High School, is widely considered as one of the top guys in northeast Ohio as well. Although Williams played his way into the all-star game at my recent Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in September, I did not get a chance to see him play. Still juggling basketball and football, and thou his jumper was a bit off on Sunday, Williams’ creativity off the bounce and his ability to get to the rack were proof positive that the kid can ball.

The Williams brothers were not the only ballers I saw on Sunday, as there were a number of other players in the gym worth mentioning. Below is a list of kids who flashed some game on Sunday: Elijah Porter (5'8 7th grader from Canton), Emanuel Burton (5'9 7th grader from Crenshaw MS in Canton), Andrew Earnest 
(5'10 7th grader from Medina MS in Canton), Tevion Cleveland (5'5 7th grader from Edison MS in Perry), Matt Carrick (6'0 7th grader from Edison MS in Canton), Derek Koch (7th grader from New Salem), Zane Reece (6th grader from Barbeton), Covar Chapman (6th grader from Glen Oak), Cody Johnson (5th grader from East Canton), Chris Fonres (5th grader from Canton South), Justis Burton (6’3 9th grader from Canton McKinley). Thanks to Dwight Blair and his staff for their hospitality on Sunday.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stars Shine All-Ohio Slam & Jam

Keon Johnson-Junior Mansfield Senior
Last week before I shot down to Cincinnati to cover the Queen City Superstars Showcase, I spent a little time at Jerry Watson’s All-Ohio Slam & Jam event at Whitehall High School.  Before I left, I noted that the gym was chalked full of talent. Roughly 150 players from as far as Toledo made the trek to Columbus to compete, and from what I heard, there were a number of standout performers. 

Maurice O'Field-Junior Cleveland Heights

Apparently, Keon Johnson, a 5’6 junior PG from Mansfield Senior, stole the show. Because of Johnson’s dead eye shooting (someone told me he may have gone 25 of 27 on the day), he led his team to a 4-0 finish, and he could be considered the event’s unofficial MVP. Also, Cleveland Height’s Maurice O’field reportedly had a big day and impressed onlookers with his power and athleticism. Louisville commit Terry Rozier’s play solidified his place atop the PG list in the state, while Dayton Dunbar’s Teddy Hawkins shot lights out all day long.

Marc Loving-Junior Toledo St. Johns

In addition to the usual standouts, there were a few sleepers who emerged from the event, Jack Thome, a 6’6 junior from Chagrin Falls made some noise, as did 6’6 junior Trey Fletcher and AJ Ireland, both from Ironton. Also, keep an eye on 6’5 Rasheed Brooks from New Lexington. Some of the other standouts included: Elijah Macon, Marc Loving, Devon Scott, Wendall Davis, Malik Dime, Matt Rhodes, Zeek Rogers, Jalon Robinson, Jack Gibbs, Jae’son Tate, JB Best, Randal Clarkson Jr. and Christian Gaines.

Noah Bramlage-Freshman Ottowa Glandorf

There were several young guys who stepped up their games on Sunday and more than held their own against the big boys. Some of the top young guns included: Ottowa Glandorf’s Noah Bramlage, Tony Anderson, JaQuan Harrison and Brandon Peters (8th grader). Look for many of the above players at the 3rd Annual All-Ohio City Series event in a couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lemons is a Lion

Josh Lemons, a 6'1 PG from LaSalle High School in Cincinnati, hinted to us on Sunday that he was close to making his college decision, and two days later Lemons announced his decision to attend Southeastern Louisiana State. The D-I program is a member of the Southland Conference and finished just above the .500 mark last season. After taking home several post season honors last year for LaSalle, Lemons attracted attention from several programs such as Morehead State and Elon while running with Orlando Berry's All-Ohio Purple squad.  Congrats go out to Lemons and his family! 

5 Star Profiles Ohio High School Basketball

Picture by Kelly Kline
Below is a link to a 5 Star story that profiles the upcoming Ohio high school basketball season.  In their "50 States in 50 Days" series, author Russell Steinburg profiles Ohio's top players, high school teams and key games while offering a few predictions as well.  Enjoy!

5 Star Article

Monday, October 10, 2011

Queen City Superstars Showcase Classic Recap

On Saturday I had a chance to shoot down to Cincinnati to catch some of the action on day #2 of the 3rd Annual Queen City Superstars Showcase Classic.  The 3rd year event was hosted by Annie and Lanis Timmons, and was held at Woodward High School.  The high school showcase featured about 129 of southern Ohio’s top 9th-12 graders. In terms of the format, each of the 3 divisions contained 4 teams, and each team played two games over the course of the weekend; one game on Saturday and either a championship or consolation game on Sunday.

The senior division championship game featured the Orlando Berry Jr. led Pistons vs a Jalean Lowe led Bulls. The Pistons quickly jumped out to a 17-0 point lead.  After a couple of time outs, insertion of Jalene Lowe and Josh Lemons, and the stellar play of 6’11 Rozelle Nix, the Bulls fought their way back and were up by 1 point when the Piston’s Djantae McCommons  hit half court heave with time running out to claim the 62-61 victory. Orlando Berry Jr. was the consummate floor general as he orchestrated his team’s offense, abut also played pressure defense the entire game. Jalean Lowe was the catalyst in the comeback with deep treys and determined drives to the cup.  Big Rozelle Nix was money around the basket and was pretty much unstoppable. Leading scores for the Pistons were Berry and Floyd Lee, both of whom finished with 15 points. Lowe paced the Bulls with 18 points, followed by Nix (14) and Josh Lemons (10).

The junior division featured a close game as well, as the Spurs defeated the Mavericks by a score of 66-63. In that game, Summit CD’s Kevin Johnson had a monster performance, finishing with 25 points.  Johnson, a 6’4 combo guard, was pretty much unguardable as he knocked down jumpers and got to the cup whenever he wanted.  His backcourt teammate, Withrow’s Tim Coleman, a 6’1 PG, did his own damage and finished with 9 markers. For the Mavericks, Withrow’s Devin Williams was a monster, and his dominance made it clear why he is so highly recruited. With his size, strength and ability to handle the rock, Williams is a matchup problem for just about anybody.  He is too quick for most post players and too big for guards and wings.  Williams finished with a team-high 16 points, followed by Colrain’s Kane Thompson (13 points) and Princeton's Dorian Jordan (9 points).

In the freshman/sophomore championship game the Magic defeated the Rockets 51-42. The leading scorers for the Magic were Trey Lampley and Martin Jones II, both of whom finished with 10 points.  The play of the game involved a breakaway dunk by 5’9 Trey Lampley that was simply nasty. After his poster dunk, the gym was till buzzing 15 minutes later.  Lampley is surprisingly explosive and made several plays that featured his athleticism.  Meadowdale’s Aaron Harris also played well in the win, as did Myo Baxter and Kiere’ Bennie. For the Rockets, Turpin’s Zach McCormick demonstrated surprising athleticism as well, along with a creative handle and an aggressive streak.  McCormick finished with a team-high 10 points.  I was also really impressed with Ronnie Rousseau, a 5’10 PG from Winton Woods who is cat quick, crafty, explosive and excels at finding open teammates with creative passes. In addition, North College Hill’s Latrell Tidwell logged in a solid game as well and finished with 8 points.
In the senior division consolation game, the Nuggets defeated the Thunder 70-66 in overtime. North College Hill’s Jamal Ivery had a huge game as he exploded for a game-high 33 points. Right behind Ivery in point production was Malcome Smith, a 6’2 shooting Guard from Princton, who scored 24 points in the first half, and 32 points for the game. Other standouts in the game were Rick Robby (10 points) and Andrew Mitchell (10 points). For more results of the showcase click on the link below.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nike Fall League-Week 1

Last week I had the chance to check out some of the action at Jerry Watson's Nike Fall League.  This year, the league will feature 160 kids on 16 teams.  Each teams plays 2 games per day in this 5-week league. During the short time I was there, there were few young players who caught my eye. I was most impressed with Isaiah Keene, a 6'4 SG from Worthington Christian.  Keene has a nice frame, good size for his position and is aggressive to the cup.

Some of the other standouts included: Jack Gibbs, Jalon Robinson, Brad Smith, James Mann II, Austin Armwood, Deonte Williams, Esa Ahmed, Kevin Marsh, Mason Baich, DeMarko Cannon, Deonte Williams, and Kalid King.

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Highlight Video

Below is a link to a highlight video developed by Steve Jackson and Future Stars Prep. Enjoy!

Highlight Video 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recruiting Update

Just today, Jermaine Davis, a 6'9 center from Garfield Heights, has committed to LaSalle. Davis is ranked as the # 6th best center in the state by Prep Spotlight. Also, Garfield Heights' Mike Davis, a 5'11 shooting guard, has committed to Northern Illinois. Mike Davis is ranked as the # 12th best shooting guard in the state by Prep Spotlight.  Congrats go out to Coach Sunny Johnson, both players and their families!

Myles Hamilton committed to Kennessaw State today. Hamilton balled with All-Ohio Red this past summer and picked up his play toward the end of the season.

Northland’s Scott Still Evaluating Interest

Devon Scott-6'8 Senior

As most people know by now, Northland’s Devon Scott originally issued a verbal commitment to the University of Cincinnati back in May of this year shortly after an unofficial visit to the school. What some people may not know is that Scott withdrew his commitment from the Big East school about mid-September, after the lines of communication became frayed. Since that time, the 6’8 center, widely considered as one of the top bigs in the class of 2012 in Ohio, has been sifting through several offers from mid to high major programs.

Right now, Scott claims offers from Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson, Dayton, Ohio, Kent State, Cleveland State, UNC Greensboro, Detroit, Toledo, St. Bonaventure and Oakland. According to sources close to Scott’s recruitment, Ohio and Dayton may be the favorites for Scott’s services. Apparently, Ohio’s John Groce has visited Northland on a regular basis in an attempt to close the deal on Scott. Not to be out done, Coach Archie Miller has also been to the school on several occasions to meet with Scott and his family.

Both Ohio and Dayton seem to fit some of Scott’s requirement, in that both schools are close to home. According to Scott’s father, distance will be a factor in his son’s decision. Ohio may have an edge at this point, because guard play may be another factor. When asked what his son will be looking for in a program he responded; “A guard like Stevie Taylor,” referring to freshman guard from Gahanna Lincoln who will suit up for the Bobcats this season. “Devon is looking to play with an unselfish guard. He is unselfish himself and he wants teammates who are unselfish. He wants to play with a guard who is confident in himself, has nothing to prove and will get him (Devon) the ball,” said the elder Scott. In terms of a time frame for his decision, Scott’s father thinks it will come soon.

According to Victor Dandridge, who is handling most of Scott’s recruitment, Scott may pull the trigger on a school within the next month. In addition, he has counseled Scott to “pick a program that will allow him to reach his full potential; a program that will allow him to play through mistakes and to develop.”

I did get a chance to interview Scott as part of the story, and he shared his thoughts about schools, goals, and a time frame for his decision. "I'm evaluating a lot of schools. Right now,  I don't want to put any schools ahead of the other."  In terms of what he wants in a school, "The best basketball situation that can help me achieve my dreams," (NBA) said Scott. I want a school that has a history of putting guys in the league. I'm looking for a forwards coach that can help me get to the NBA," added Scott.  I asked him about OU and Dayton, and Scott replied, " I like OU and Dayton, but I'm keeping everybody on a level playing field." In addition, although he like both programs, after a visit from Alabama the night before last, that school has risen on his list. "Alabama just left (Associate Head Coach Dan Hipsher) and they like me more than I thought," said Scott. "They have moved up (on his list) to me mentally," offered Scott.

It does not appear that Scott is in a hurry to make the call, and it appears doubtful he will select a program before the high school season tips off. "I will make my decision (on a college) when it feels right," said Scott. The only visit Scott has planed is to Ohio on October 15th. "I want to focus more on academics than visits right now," continued Scott.  Look for Scott and his Northland squad to do big things this season.

Devon Scott Video

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Moore to the A10

Willie Moore-6'3 Guard Cincinnati Aiken

During an official visit earlier today, Cincinnati Aiken guard Willie Moore gave a verbal pledge to coach Ron Everhart and  the Duquesne Dukes. In an earlier piece we did on Moore, although he he listed offers from from several MAC schools as well as, Tulane, James Madison, Iona State and Wichita State, Duquesne was one of Moore's favorites.  Long considered a guards league, the A-10 represents a good fit for the 6'3 guard.  Congratulations to Willie, his family and the Duquesne coaching staff.

Highlight Video