Monday, October 16, 2017

Lawson Could be Another Star

Arness Lawson 2025 PG Columbus
The Buckeye Prep Report has a long and rich history of profiling young up and coming basketball players, and we believe Arness Lawson (5’2/PG/2025/Columbus) has a chance to be a star.  All ready blessed with quickness and an advanced skill set for his age, Lawson has a chance to be elite!  From what we’ve seen so far, Lawson is super aggressive, and although he can get his own shot, he’s most comfortable as a playmaker and getting his teammates shot opportunities.

We first caught a glimpse of him late this summer ballin with Coach Jason Bates’ All-Ohio Red squad, and we could not have been more impressed with the young floor general. Although he’s surrounded with a load of talent, including Jason Bates Jr. (4’8/PG/Pickerington), Jahmeel Wakeel (5’2/SG/Columbus) and Mikell Murphy (5’5/PF/Columbus), Lawson sticks out from the pack. When he excelled out our elite Showcase last month, where he made the all-star game then proceed to grab Top 5 honors, our initial thoughts about his talent were confirmed.  Right now, and it’s still very early, we have Lawson ranked among the top 10 in Ohio’s class of 2025.  That’s not all, as we found Lawson’s name on a respected national list as well.

Based on our conversation with Coach Jason Bates, it’s clear he loves Lawson’s contribution to his team.  “He’s explosive, is a do it all type of player and can score with the best of them,” said Bates. “Arness’ IQ is sky high and he really makes his teammates better,” continued Bates. Bates is also really impressed with Lawson’s defense.  “He’s a one-man press; we put him out front on our press and on the other team’s best player,” Bates said. “He’s also humble and affects every aspect of the game,” offered Bates.

The fact Lawson often plays up a grade with All-Ohio Black’s 2024 team would explain the mature feel to his game.  This winter, you can catch Lawson in action either in the COBBA League (Central Ohio Boys Basketball) with Probound or at the very competitive Barnett Recreation Center.  In addition to basketball, Lawson also runs track and plays flag football.  As we have done for over 18 years, we will track Lawson’s career over the next several years, and we fully expect to continue feature his progress and development.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Buckeye Prep 2017 All-Ohio Teams

Seth Wilson, Meechie Johnson, Chris Livingston, Paul McMillan IV, Marlon Barnes Jr. Jerry Easter Jr. & John Mobley Jr.
For only the second time, we have selected 50 players in each of 4 classes (2024-2021) for placement onto 1 of 10 “Buckeye Prep All-Ohio Teams.” Selection to these teams was very competitive and should be considered an honor. Our selection criteria basically included how players performed in elite events that we were present.  If there was any question between 2 players, we went with what we saw with our own eyes.  Simply put, the more we saw a player the greater chance they had of making one of our teams.

We did not select “Player of the Year” (POY) this season because, quite frankly, it was too close to call for a couple of the classes, and there were some players we simply did not see play enough in relation to the other potential POYs.  As is always the case, our primary goal for compiling these lists is to give these young players recognition for their hard work and success, and to serve as further motivation for them to work hard and to continue to develop. In addition, the motivation should work both ways.  If a player was not listed on any of the teams, or was listed on a team lower that they believe they deserve, then they should get back in the gym and continue to work and develop.

It should go without saying that we never intend to slight/disrespect any player, but inevitably, we know that we will miss some players who we did not get a chance to see very often, if at all.  If you are a player, parent or coach who cares about this type of early recognition, then we would suggest that you take advantage of the exposure opportunities that attendance at elite tournaments; camps and showcases have to offer.  If your son/player isn’t attending these types of events and consistently excelling, then you really can’t expect much exposure or recognition.  Finally, there may be a slight change or two to the lists short term as we get feedback an address obvious mistakes and/or omissions. As always, feedback, both positive or negative is appreciated ( Below is a list of the 2017 Buckeye Prep All-Ohio Teams.  Let the debates begin!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Livingston Captures #1 2022 Spot

Chris Livingston-6'3/WF/2022/Akron
A few weeks ago the question was posed, “Is Chis Livingston the top 2022 in the nation?” Well, whoever put out the recently released 2022 national rankings out for Coast to Coast Preps (CTC) has answered the question, and it’s yes! Among the top 30 players (and “Others”) ranked by CTC, Chris Livingston (6’3/WF/2022/Akron) was ranked #1.  Although the debate between Livingston, Bates, Griggs and Bradley will undoubtedly continue, for now, CTC has made their pick.

Having watched Livingston play at a number of Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases and other elite events over the past several years, it comes as no surprise to us that some in the business think so highly of Livingston’s game. The long, fluid and skilled wing has big time upside and easily projects as a high-major prospect in a few years.  We’ve certainly had him as the #1 guy in Ohio for several years, and in fact, awarded him our “Player of the Year” last season.

Also making the 30-player list was Paul McMillan IV (6’0/PG/2022/Cincinnati) who came in at #12.  This represents a tremendous move for McMillan who has logged in multiple standout performances at multiple elite tournaments, camps and showcases this past year.  McMillan’s meteoric rise up the national rankings demonstrates that if you attend elite events, excel at elite events, and embrace the match-ups with other elite players you will be rewarded with respect and recognition.  Cleveland’s Sonny Johnson Jr. (5’9/PG/2022) was ranked #25, reflecting his long-time national reputation.  Among the “Others” recognized by CTC were Sincere Harris and Khalil Luster.  Congratulations to the above players for receiving such well-deserved recognition.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Molton has been Consistently Elite

Adisa "Desh" Molton II-5'3" PG 2023 South Euclid
He may be diminutive, but pound for pound, Adisa “Desh” Molton II is one of the top 7th grade players in the state.  Not only has Molton consistently excelled at our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases, he has taken his talent across the country and excelled at a number of very competitive national events.  Molton is super skilled, quick, tenacious, and can both score and make plays.  His vision and passing skills are elite, as is his ability to shoot from beyond the arc and in the mid-range.

As an example of Molton’s consistent play this fall, his resume includes standout performances at the following events: CP3 Middle School Camp in LA (Top 20 All-Star); NEO Camp (Top 20 All-Star); D-Rich TV Camp (Top 20 All-Star); Basketball Spotlight Camp in D.C. (Top 20 All-American Game); Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase (Top 20 All-Star & Top 5 Award winner); and MSHTV Camp (Top 20 All-Star).  In addition, We have Molton ranked among the top 10 players in Ohio, selected him to participate in the prestigious North vs South All-Star Game and selected him First Team All-State last year.

Molton not only excels on the hardwood, he also gets it done in the classroom.  In fact, last year, Molton was selected to the Buckeye Prep All-Academic Team (First Team). Time will only tell how much Molton continues to grow, but with only modest growth, Molton should be able to play college basketball at some level. To get a look at Molton in action, check out his highlight video below.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Buckeye Prep Player Rankings Updates

In the wake of the most recent Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, we’ve started our process of making updates to our player rankings.  This is an on-going process, as we make changes/additions on a week-to-week basis based on what we see at various events.  For the younger kids, we rely heavily on coaches in the various classes to help us identify their top players.  With that said, we invite coaches to contact us (614-203-2929) in order to share information about their top players.

In particular, we are just now putting together our 2025 list and need information from the coaches in that class to help us complete our list.  Also, if we have a player’s information incorrect, we invite parents to email us at and provide us with the correct information.  Finally, we know that that there are a lot more players who deserve to make our list and we do our best to identify those players.  However, if you care about your son/player being on our lists then it’s important you get him to elite level tournaments, camps and showcases where they can be evaluated against the best in the state and region.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Buckeyes Excel at MSHTV Event

Chris Livingston, Paul McMillan IV & Khalil Luster
This past weekend, a number of Ohio-based players traveled to Ty Kish’s ultra-competitive MSHTV Camp and logged in standout performances. Making an all-star game in any event is difficult, but being selected to the all-star game at Kish’s event represents a national statement.

As was the case at our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase a few weeks ago, Paul McMillan IV (PG/2022/Cincinnati) established himself as one of the best players in the gym.  As an example, in the event’s Spotlight Game, McMillian went off for over 30 points.  For his efforts, McMillian was selected to the 2022 all-star game. He missed our event this year, but Chris Livingston (6’3/WF/2022/Akron) has been a perianal all-star at Buckeye Prep Events for many years, so it comes as no surprise to us that he dominated in Indiana.  Livingston’s play last weekend confirms that his game has continued to develop, he is clearly one of the top 5 players in the country in his class, and he has high-major potential going forward.

Lima’s Khalil Luster (PG/2022) had another great weekend and played his way into the 2022 all-star game.   Luster’s skill set, IQ and ability to make plays for others or score has garnered him national respect.  A wizard with the rock, Luster’s ability to find open teammates and deliver pinpoint passes is elite.  He also shoots it well off the bounce or in catch and shoot situations and his ability to lead a team is impressive. 

Desh Molton, Michael Greenlee Jr. & Jyles Brandon
Adisa “Desh” Molton travels the country attending competitive events as much as any player in Ohio and he always finds a way to standout amongst the best.  It started at Mike Melton’s Basketball Spotlight Camp where Molten made the all-star game cut, then he followed that up with a Top 5 Award at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, and this past weekend against the best in the country Molten found himself in the final game on Sunday.  This kid is under-sized, but he’s tough as nails, fearless, and knows how to play the game.

He turned heads at our event last month with a MVP performance, and to prove it wasn’t a fluke, Jyles Brandon (PG/2023/Cleveland) made the all-star game while competing against the best players in the country.  Highly skilled and aggressive, Brandon’s stock is on the rise. We haven’t seen him play, but word has it that Cincinnati’s Rayvon Griffith (6’5/WF/2023) could be the next big thing to come out of Cincinnati.  We intend to get our eyes on him ASAP!  Michael Greenlee Jr. (CG/2023/Toledo) has established his reputation at our Buckeye Prep events, so his standout performance at Kish’s event comes as no surprise.  Easily a top 5 player in Ohio, Greenlee is now making a name for himself nationally.

John Mobley Jr., Demar Foster, Jyles Brandon & Marcus Johnson
 John Mobley Jr. (PG/2024/Columbus) has long been considered one of the top players in the country, so his all-star game selection on Sunday is expected.  One of the most skilled players in the nation, Mobley pretty much does anything he wants to on the court.  If Mobley gets anywhere near his father and uncle’s size, he’s going to be a problem, and he’s going to be playing high-major basketball for an elite program! 

We’ve become more and more impressed with Demar Foster (PG/2024/Lima) over the past several months as he just keeps on logging in impressive performances.  He excelled at our event last month and he put it down again in Indiana.  Foster is a dynamic floor general with a bright future.  Marcus Johnson (CG/2026/Cleveland) has been a monster at every event he has attended this fall.  Big, skilled and aggressive, Johnson has established himself as one of the best in the nation with his consistent performances. Other Ohio-based standouts that we can recognize include Amaree Pickens and Joseph Boddie.  Congrats to all of the above mentioned players for representing Ohio basketball!