Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Young Guns Get Their Turn At Open Gym

I spent most of session three watching some of central Ohio's up and coming 9th graders (pictured). In addition to the 40 varsity-level players who showed up, 22 freshmen had a chance to get in some quality work. Of course there were some of the usual suspects such as Gahanna's Manual Powell, Northland's Ronnie Williams and Nate Jamison, but a couple of new kids caught my eye. One of the best 9th graders in the gym was Dymiere Fitch, a 6'2 combo guard from Walnut Ridge. This kid has game! Fitch has good length, is very fluid, has a nice handle and a few nifty dribble moves which he uses to beat his man off the dribble and get to the cup. I also liked the the fact that Fitch was a willing and able passer and did a good job of communicating with his teammates. Also playing well was Jaeson Tate, a 6'2 PF at Pickerington Central. Tate is aggressive, has decent size and benefits from good genetics. Northland continues to attract local talent, as evidenced by the play of Octavius Luke, a 5'6 point guard. Luke shot the ball well and made several other nice plays. I also got a chance to watch an entertaining matchup of undersized point gurads, as Manuel Powell and Xavier Holston-Sims (8th grader) went at it. I also caught a little of the high school action, and noticed that Northland's Devin Scott was still getting it done. Scott flashed a nice mid-range jumper, finished around the cup more times than not, and might might be the most improved player I have seen this fall. I also thought Westerville North's Matt Rhodes shoot the ball well. Ohio State's Jarred Sullinger dropped by the gym for a run and looked every bit the high major player we have watched play for years. To see some of the pictures I took on Sunday, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday Hoops Rolls On

For the second straight Sunday many of Central Ohio's best high school ballers made their way to the USA Sports Academy for a full afternoon of competitive hoops. This week Victor Dandridge's open gym brought in roughly fifteen 9th graders to go along with the 35 varsity level players in some highly contested games. Although the usual suspects were there, a few less heralded players stepped up this week. Michigan bound Trey Burke had another good day, as he often made the game look a bit too easy while putting up consistently big numbers most of the day. Although Cillicothie's Malik London did not bust the score board by any stretch, he did rule the paint as he preceded to throw shots into the stands on a regular basis. London is more of a defensive threat right now, but he did show signs of a developing offensive game. Westerville South's Isiah Rogers had a big day. I really liked Roger's aggressiveness and the way he pushed and distributed the rock. Not only did he lead his team, Rogers knocked down shots when open. I had a chance to check out Westerville Central's Kameron Harris for the first time, and I was really impressed with his overall game. Harris has good size and strength and call really score the ball. From what I understand, Harris sat out last high school season, and is poised to have a big year for Central. Northland's Devin Scott's games is continuing to develop, as he was almost dominate in some of the games I watched. Scott appears to be bigger and stronger and much more aggressive around the bucket. This could be a breakout year for Scott, and he may push Jalen Robinson for more minutes this coming season. Miami pledge Brian Sullivan also had a solid day as he continues to turn heads with his play. Dublin Coffman's Eric Wisenbach made a little offensive noise and the 7 footer may be turning the corner. With the loss of Michael Green to graduation and Kyle Molock to an injury, Coffman can use all the good news they can get right now. Keep an eye out for Westerville North's Jack Gibbs Jr. this season. Although it was Gibbs' first time out, he showed no signs of being intimidated. Gahanna's Jamel Morris continues to show signs of improvement with his jump shot and Tre Warr's athleticism should pay dividends for Gahanna Lincoln this season. To check out some pictures I took on Sunday, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stars Shine at Central Ohio Open Gym

For the most part, basketball is between seasons, as the AAU season rapped up in late July and the 2010/2011 high school season does not get started until November. However, elite level basketball players must continue to seek out competition in an effort to hone their game as they prepare for both the upcoming prep season as well as college basketball this time next year. This past Sunday about 30 of central Ohio's top players met at the USA Sports Academy for a day of competitive hoops. Victor Dandridge, affectionately known as Coach Vic, worked the phone lines and assembled a group of elite Columbus-area players for a very competitive run. It's not a formal fall-type basketball league, but competitive basketball was in the house as invitations were made to a number of the area's top players. For about 2 hours, and on 3 seperate courts, players competeted in 5 very competitive games. Some of the players who participated in the first of 5 scheduled sessions included: Northland's Trey Burke, Jalen Robinson (Pictured), Devon Scott, Jordan Potts; Westerville South's Isiah Rogers & DeMarkio Lyshe; Marion Franklin's Elijah Macon, Dwayne Bazemore, Austin Traylor & Isiah Brooks; Gahanna's Tre Warr & Jamel Morris; and Upper Arlington's Brian Sullivan. Word on the street says Northland's Jalen Robinson had a big day as he dominated every other post player in the gym. Devon Scott reportedly played well, as did Walnut Ridge's Austin Traylor, Dwayne Bazemore & Isiah Brooks and Northland's Trey Burke. When asked about his motivation for facilitating these series of elite open gyms, Dandridge indicated he is "only interested in helping players to develop and while providing a chance for the kids to have fun in a safe and competitive open gym setting. If you want more in depth coverage of Dandridge's furture open gyms, visit Buckeye Prep next week.