|Jared Frey, Kobe Johnson, Vernon Smith, Marlon Barnes & Demarcus Rogers|
As are readers know, the Buckeye Prep Report is always on the lookout for new up and coming players who have been under exposed and flying under the radar. Well, this past weekend at the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown, we had the opportunity to see some new teams and evaluate players we had not seen previously. Each of the players we will spotlight below had breakout performances at the event, are now firmly on our radar, and have been added to our individual rankings.
As we have stated in previous stories, we were completely impressed with Jared Frey (6’1/SG/2022/Hilliard), who is the engine behind a good Artic Rush team. He played very well on Saturday, and then he followed up on that performance with spectacular play on championship Sunday. With his length, skill set, and IQ, Frey’s versatility allows him to play every position on the floor. We are so impressed with Frey that we intend to invite him to participate in the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-Star Game in September!
We finally had an opportunity to watch Kobe Johnson (6’1/CG/2021/Canton) ball out for his All-Ohio Phenom squad. Johnson is a supreme athlete who is at his best driving to the basket and finishing athletic plays. If Johnson develops a consistent jump shot, he has a chance to be special. Look for Johnson to make an impact on a high school program next season. MKU Athletics has several players worthy of attention. The 2 best are Demarcus Rogers (5’9/PG/2021/Akron) and Vernon Smith (6’4/C/2021/Akron). Smith is a strong and aggressive PG who excels at getting to the cup. He’s more of a scoring PG right now, but he has the ability to make plays as well. In his team’s over time loss to Extreme Heat Neon, Rogers dropped a gaudy 21 points. Clearly, Rogers is a player to watch going forward. Vernon Smith is long, athletic and is more of a rim protector than a scorer at this point in his development. With that said, Rogers could be a D-I prospect with continued growth and development.
|Donated Jones, Garrett Chapin, Mason Shrout, Michael Williams and Devin Taborn|
MVP Elite’s Marlon Barnes (6’2/PF/C/2023/Cleveland) is a big time prospect. He’s got great length for only a 6th grader and his upside potential is as good as any player in his class. Barnes got better and better as the event progressed, and he’s good both offensively and defensively. In a highly contested game against MVP Dynasty, Barnes showed he’s clutch when he converted buzzer beating mid-range jumper to give his team the #1 seed heading into bracket play. With out the services of Mekhi Elmore who suffered an injury on Saturday, Dontez Jones (5’10/WF/2023/Kettering) had to step up for the Dayton Wolves. Jones is a high-flying athlete who has the ability to finish at rim level. He also has a great motor and loads of potential.
We also liked Chris Smith (5’6/PG/2022/Orrville), Tyrin Strudivant (5’9/PF/2023/Dayton), Demarr Foster (5’1/PG/2024/Lima), Devin Tabor (5’5/SG/2022/Lima), Brady Hardewig (5’1/CG/2024/Cincinnati), AJ Campbell (6’1/WF/2021/Copley), Isaac Little (5’8/PG/2021/Piketon), Mark Stulley (5’0/PG/2022/Waverly), Derrick James (5’1/PG/2022/Canal Winchester), Mason Shrout (5’8/WF’2023/Camden), Michael Williams (6'1/WF/2022/Detroit), Garrett Chapin (6'2/PF/202/Norwalk), Jay Cradle (5'6/PF/2023/Massillon and Trey Robertson (5’0/PG/2022/Waverly). We intend to keep an eye on each of these players over the next couple of months and years. In fact, we hope to see each of these players at our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase scheduled for September 16th and 17th at Otterbein University.