Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nike City Series-Final Day Results

Team Dayton Captures 9th Grade Crown

The 4th Annual Nike City Series Championships concluded on Sunday, and although the overall talent level was down this year, there was still a lot of individual and team talent represented at all levels. In the high school division, the championships were divided among Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland.

In the 12th grade division, Columbus Red defeated Columbus Gold 81-75 in a seesaw battle for citywide bragging rights.  Although Columbus Gold got out to a spirited start, Columbus Red got back on track and retook a lead they would never relinquish. Although Columbus Red was paced by Kevin Marsh and Wendell Davis in terms of scoring, Westerville North’s Adrian Cook helped direct his team to the win while rapping up MVP honors. Columbus Gold’s early success was due to the impressive play of Columbus South’s Omar Diop and his 14 first half points (20 for the game).  In the second half, Brookhaven’s DeAndre Martin took over and finished with a game-high 22 points.

Although I did not have a chance to catch the games, I understand that Cleveland defeated Columbus in the 10th grade division, while the junior crown was captured by Columbus over Cleveland. Shaker Height’s Esa Ahmed captured the MVP award for the sophomores, while Pickerington Central’s Jea’shon Tate claimed the honors for the juniors.

Rodrick Caldwell-9th Grade MVP

Fortunately for me, I arrived at Reynoldsburg High School just in time to catch the start of the freshman championship game, and what a game it was, as Columbus’ best faced off against Dayton’s elite. The game was nick and tuck the entire way, and required overtime before a champion could be crowned.  With the game all knotted up, Columbus had a shot to win it in regulation with time running out, but a last second shot had little chance of going in due to the heavy pressure that was exerted by a Dayton defender.  After a 3 minute overtime period, Dayton would go on to claim an 81-83 victory. Dayton was led by lead guard Rodrick Caldwell who virtually took over the game late in the second half on his way to 15 points and the MVP nod. Also playing well for Dayton were Trey and Terrence Landers and Derek Daniels. Although there were some questions with the accuracy of the individual scoring, Columbus was paced by Seth Towns, Terik Wright and Jeloni Rogers.

Esa Ahmed-10th Grade MVP

According to John Stoval, the following players were all standouts over the course of the weekend: (2013) Aaron Jackson (Gahanna Lincoln), Randal Clarkson (Brookhaven), Jeff Thomas (Norwalk), Austin Grimes (Cincinnati Aiken) Wendell Davis (Reynoldsburg); (2014) Jae’shon Tate (Pickerington Central), Javon Bess (Gahanna Lincoln), Rosel Hurley, Jaylen Tucker; (2015) Jordan Dartis (Newark); Esa Ahmed (Shaker Heights); (2016) Seth Towns (Northland), James Manns II (Marion Franklin), Derek Daniels (Thurgood Marshall), Rodrick Caldwell (Stivers), Willie Jackson (Garfield Heights), Tervell Beck (Cleveland Central Catholic) & Derek Funderburk (St Edwards).

Dayton captured their second championship of the event with a 44-43 win over Cincinnati. The all-tournament team included: Jaquel Freeman (MVP), Shamari Jamison, Matt Wilcox, Jaden Sayles and Keshawn Gamble.

Coryon Rice-7th Grade MVP

Because of a last minute scheduling change, I did not make it back over to the USA Sports Academy in time to catch the 7th grade championship game; however, I heard that Cleveland squeaked out a single digit win over Columbus. According to my source, it was a great game with great effort and passion by players from both teams. Bedford’s Coryon Rice was named MVP, and although no official all-tournament team was selected, the unofficial team may have included Ty Wiley, Juan Elmore and Yael Hill, all of whom are reported to have played well.

Jerome Francis III-6th Grade MVP

The 6th grade crown was contested by both Columbus teams. The Blue squad claimed the chip with a 62-53 win over the Red team. The All-tournament team included: Jerome Francis III (MVP), Gerard Reynolds, Tre Watkins, Jordan Mitchell and Gavin Blunt.

Cleveland took home a second championship with an easy 53-36 victory over Columbus Black (aka Hilliard Pumas). The all-tournament team included: Shamar Morrow (MVP), Omahn Dobbins, Meechie Johnson, Jalon Keith and Jack Pugh.

The final championship of the day pitted Columbus #1 versus Cleveland in the 4th grade division. Cleveland took it 50-41. The all-tournament team included: Seth Wilson (MVP), Manny Hill, Sonny Johnson Jr., Josiah Mobley and Sean Jones (3rd grader). It should be noted the Wilson led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Hill with 16 points and Johnson with 11 markers.

All in all it was a good weekend of basketball and an excellent tune up for the upcoming high school and middle school season. The event was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it represented a good opportunity to get in some quality work.  Also, it gave me the opportunity to see a lot of young kids I had not yet seen. Look for many of the standout players to participate in our spring Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase currently scheduled for March 3rd. Finally, click on the links below to see the championship team pictures, all-tournament teams and the day two standouts; plus day 2 pictures. Also, I will provide some misc comments about mu observations this weekend in our new "What's Happening Around Ohio" feature.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nike City Series Championship-Day One Report

On Saturday I spent the day at USA Sports Academy in Columbus checking out the young guns at the Nike City Series Championships.  For the first time in the 3 year history of the event, Jerry Watson added divisions in grade 4-8th. One of the things I noticed on Saturday was the overall strength of the northeast Ohio.  The Cleveland and Akron/Canton regions bought down some really strong teams in most of the divisions. The 6th & 7th grade teams, made up of mostly Murphy AC kids, boasted many of the top kids in their respective classes.

Logan Hill-6'3 C Jackson Twp

Although there were a number of young talented kids in the gym., there were certainly a few players who really stood out.  Jackson Township’s Logan Hill logged in another solid day of play. The 6’3 post had his way all day and put up big numbers in the games I watched. Although there were a lot of the top 8th graders at the event, Hill was clearly the top representative of the class. Both She’mari Jamison and Jaqual Freeman-Parks represented the class of 2017 and Dayton  with impressive performances as well. I got my first real look at Loraine’s Naz Bohannan (6’1 WF) and I liked what I saw.  Bohannan has good length, blocks a lot of shots and finishes well close to the bucket. His team was not that talented, but Bohannan was the unmistakable bright spot and should be a good college prospect going forward.

David "DJ" Dials-5'3 PG Cleveland

With the Murphy AC kids, some of 2018’s top guys did work at the event. Dwayne Cohill Jr. and Coryon Rice both had big days, as did Juan Elmore, Ty Wiley and PJ Jones. I was really excited to see the new crop of 6th graders and evaluate some kids I had not seen.  Of course the top guys like Jeremiah Francis Jr., Jordan Mitchell, Jaiden Lispcome and Gerard Reynolds all performed as expected, but a few less heralded guys had big days. I could not have been more impressed with David “DJ” Dials, 5’3 PG from Cleveland.  Dials is a dynamic little guard who has skills and an IQ beyond his years. Watching him play on Saturday, there wasn't really anything he could not do. Dials’ handle is tight and creative, his change of speed is advanced and his shot mechanics look good for a kid his age.  Very impressive! Also liked little Tevin Jackson, a 5’3 PG from Maple Heights. Although he is small, the kid is a little pit bull with a serious motor. Don’t leave him open because he will take the deep trey and knock it down more times than not.

Shamar Marrow-5'9 WF Aurora

Keep an eye on Shamar Marrow, a 5’9 WF from Aurora.  This kid was clearly the top 5th grader in the gym and has a chance to be a star down the road.  Morrow, a lefty, has tremendous size and athleticism for his age.  The kid runs the floor well and finishes at a high rate. Morrow is not just productive around the cup, but his shot looks good and he defends the paint very well. Not only did Morrow create a buzz in the gym, he has motivated me to track his progress.  The kid just looks like a stud, and you could be reading a lot about him on Buckeye Prep over the next few years!

Seth Wilson-5'2 PG Loraine

While I’m talking about up and coming young talent, I have to say a few things about Meechie Johnson, a 5th grade floor general from Cleveland Heights. This kid has a crazy handle and a great feel for the game.   Also, Johnson has a bag full of dribble moves which he uses very effectively to either score or set up a teammate. This kid is just fun to watch.  Keeping it in the family, Sonny Johnson Jr. continues to follow in the family tradition of elite ballers.  Another smaller point man, Johnson already possesses the skills and IQ required of an elite PG. The future should be brought for this young guy.  I also like Seth Wilson, a 4th grade scoring machine.  Someone told me to keep any eye on this kid, and when I did, I saw what makes the kid special, he can get buckets!  Some other players to watch include: Chase Wells (8th), Garner Wallace (4th), Jerry Higgins (6th),  Yael Hill (7th), Josiah Hitchens (6th), William Henry (7th) and Darius Moss Jr. (6th). Below is a link to the other standout performers on day #1.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Feature Added to Buckeye Prep Website

In an effort to keep track of all things basketball around the state of Ohio, I have developed a new feature I'm calling, "What's Happening Around the State." With this link, I will periodically publish tidbits of information I receive that I think our readers might find interesting.  This information does not rise to the level required for a full story, but it may prove interesting to our readers.  In addition, some of the information will be hard fact, while some of what I publish may be pure rumor, or just my random thoughts or updates/addition to stories I have already published. The reader will have to decide to what extent the information has value.

I will also be highlighting players and teams I see from week-to-week and will provide information about upcoming events that may be of interest to our readers. The link is located on the right hand side of this site. If you have some news worthy information you would like to get published, feel free to email me at buckeyeprep@yahoo.com. So, every time you visit the site, make sure you checkout the new feature so you can see what’s going on!

What's Happening Around the State Link

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Time to Shift Focus to Class of 2019

Jordan Mitchell-6'0 WF Blacklick

 Every year about this time I look forward to turning my sights towards the new crop of 6th graders. Now that the 7th and 8th grade classes have begun to take shape, Buckeye Prep will begin the task of identifying the young up and coming players in the class 2019 around the state. Starting in the fall and continuing with winter leagues and tournaments, we will begin to develop a solid list of the top 100 players in the class.

Because I have kept at least a partial eye on this class over the past 12 months, some of the class’ top guys have already begun to surface with standout performances at various elite tournaments, showcases and camps.

Anyone who follows this class even on a casual basis recognizes that several of the elite players could be found on either All-Ohio Red (AOR) or All-Ohio Purple (AOP); the top 2 teams in the state over the past several years. Also, it stands to reason that any team that has captured an AAU National Championship, or has competed with other top teams from around the country has to be loaded with talented players.

Before I go any further I need to acknowledge the fact that AOR and AOP will look vastly different when the season tips off next year, as the two organizations have merged for the upcoming season, and will play as either All-Ohio Elite or All-Ohio Red. According to DeMarko Bradley and other sources, the new team will combine several of AOR’s top players with the top guys at AOP. Coming over from AOR are: Jordan Mitchell; Jeremiah Francis Jr.; Jaidon Lipscome and Gerard Reynolds. From AOP, DeMarko Bradley Jr.; Greg Tribble Jr., Joey Edmunds, Chris’Seon Stringer, Omari Davis; Christopher Payne, Kendall Matthews and Malachi Matthews will fill out the roster.

Although the new team will be the preseason “team to beat,” you might want keep an eye on Murphy AC, as Coach Kevin Jackson appears to be putting together another talented squad from northeast Ohio. Some of Jackson’s top guys include: Darious Moss; Alonzo Gaffney; David Dials Jr.; Tevin Jackson; and Alex Feelings. According to Jackson, his team is loaded with talent.

De'Zion Taylor-4'10 PG Mansfield

Of course we understand that there are other quality teams and players around the state who do not play on any of the aforementioned teams. Some of the other players we intend to keep an eye on include: Matt Allaco (Upper Arlington); N’Keely Elmore (Columbus); Noree Uloho (West Carrolton); Payton Harris (Springfield); Chase Harding (Mason); De’Zion Taylor (Mansfield); Jaron Smith (Dayton); and Anthony Byrd Jr. (Garfield Heights).

Below is a partial list of some of the other top 6th grade players in the state. This list is only a starting point and will be updated weekly based on what we see on the circuit. I’m always on the lookout for updated player information; therefore, please email me at buckeyeprep@yahoo.com if you are a coach in this class with either updated information for a player already listed or you have information about a player you think deserves to be listed.

Finally, I’m trying to reach out to all of the coaches in this class so I can start the process of building my network of coaches and begin to secure week-to-week information about the players. So, please email with contact information for you or your son’s coach so I can make contact with him/her.

Players to Watch

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Teams to Watch in 2013

Although it’s only October, many of Ohio’s top AAU teams are busy building and upgrading rosters for an AAU season that will not start for another 5 months. So far this off season, no organization has worked harder to retool their roster than All Ohio. George Howard, All-Ohio’s top recruiter, has been working the phones and fall events, and has put together arguably the best collection of talent in the class of 2017 (8th grade).

Based on reports from Howard, only a few of the players who ran with the squad last summer will be returning, as the team will feature some of Ohio’s top players in the class. If reports are true, All-Ohio's 2013 roster will include: Tommy Schmock; Garcia Dixon; Jaylen Harris; Matt Davet; and Logan Hill. With the new additions, All-Ohio should compete with the 2 other elite teams in this class.

Next Level, Buckeye Prep’s #1 ranked 7th grade team last season has not overhaul their roster, but Brook Hall’s team has upgraded with the addition of Ethan Bradds and Floyd Scott, both of whom will provide more size and athleticism in the paint. According to Hall, the team will return Daniel Davis, Keegan Seban, L’Christian Smith and Ryan Profitt. With the returnees and upgrades, look for Next Level to remain as one of the top 2-3 teams in the class.

A potential wildcard for next season may hinge on where DB Hoops' top players land. As most of you know, DB Hoops-Martin featured Kelvin Calhoun IIJohn Williams and Derek Koch. According to Jerry Williams, who appears to be handling the group, he is confident he can keep his son, Calhoun and Koch together. If they form another team, and add some quality role players, the team could be solid. If the trio joins forces with one of the elite squads mentioned above as a package team, that squad could be special. I’m sure William’s phone will be blowing up in the near future.

In the 7th grade division, Buckeye Prep’s #2 ranked team last season was the Ohio Hoopsters. Although Tony Freeman’s creation will be joining Mike Duncan’s Ohio Basketball Club organization, they will retain the services of most of their top players, including: Tyrell Ajian, Trey Pugh, Antwon Smith Jr.; Dylan Dupler; and Grant Denbow. In addition, Tyler Knetch will reportedly be running with OBC full time next year. According to Freeman, the team will upgrade with the addition of 1 or 2 additional players, but he elected to keep their names a secret for the time being. In addition, there has been some suggestion that Ryan Peaks may be looking to change teams as well, and may be moving to All-Ohio. With their roster of returning players and the new additions, Freeman’s squad should compete for the top spot again next year.

Speaking of power moves, Kevin Jackson’s Murphy AC squad was already tough to beat last season, but with the return of all 5 starters (Jerry Higgins, Coryon Rice, Tyree Harris & Dwayne Cohill Jr.), plus the addition of Yael Hill from King James, and Derrick Veasley from Mr. Basketball Academy, Murphy could wrestle the #1 spot away from All-Ohio Purple. This team should be a monster next year, both in the state and on the national scene.

Lamonte Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters’ roster will remain intact, as Ty Wiley, Cory Baker, James Madison, David Fitzgerald and Juan Elmore are all set to return to a team that was once considered the top team in the class. The addition of Hilliard’s Isaiah Speelman from the Pickerington Wildcats should add depth to the post.

From what I understand, and despite their success last season, the Pickerington Wildcats’ roster will look vastly different next season if they actually field a team. According to some of the people I talked to, Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors will be fielding a summer team, which will include Seth Goodson, Paul “PJ” Jones, Garrett Tipton and possibly Antwuan Johnson. Although Jordan Mitchell and Jeremiah Francis Jr. will be playing up with Bradley’s team in the winter, it’s unclear how long into the spring and summer the two 6th graders will be with the team. Most likely, one or both players may split time between Bradley’s team and All-Ohio Purple’s 6th grade squad. If both players stick around the entire summer, the Warriors could be a tough out.

I have received no word from Gene Ready about his SMAC squad. Most likely, he will return Sincere Carry, Cooper Crawford and Jaret Pallotta to a very solid team. Also, it is unclear if Kings James will be able to find a replacement for Hill, or whether they will suffer more defections.

In the 6th grade division, you know what they say; “The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.” Well that would appear to be the case with DeMarko Bradley’s All-Ohio Purple squad, as the team has reportedly inked the services of Jordan Mitchell and Jeremiah Francis Jr. from All-Ohio Red. Already blessed with a loaded roster with players like DeMarko Bradley Jr., Greg Tribble and Chris’Seon Stringer; Purple should retain their # 1 spot next season.

Unfortunately for All-Ohio Red, “The rich got poorer,” as their roster may be depleted by the time the season tips off in March. Despite all the success this team enjoyed over the past 3-4 years, it apparently was not enough to keep all of the talent satisfied; consequently, parents looked for greener pastures elsewhere. Although it is unclear where guys like Jadien Lipscome and Gerard Reynolds will end up, right now, it’s safe to say, it’s unlikely Red will retain or acquire enough talent to retain their place as one of the top teams in the nation.

In closing, what has been reported in October may not transpire in March; therefore, none of what I have predicted may come true, as parents may be hedging their bets, “double booking/promising” or may simply change their minds completely relative to where they place their child for next year. Stay tuned; it should be another exciting season come March!

Below is a link to my list of the top middle school teams including a list of the team’s top players. I will be updating the list day-to-day as more information surfaces. You will be able to follow the updates by clicking on the logo on the right side of the face page. If you are a coach or parent of one of the teams listed, and you can provide information about the roster, please email me at Taylorobe@aol.com so I can update my information.

Teams to Watch

Friday, October 5, 2012

Buckeye Prep Report 2018 Top 30 Player List

Coryon Rice-5'8 SG Bedford

As I have done with previous classes, below is a link to the Buckeye Prep 2018 Top 30 Player list.  Although I have been sitting on the list for several months, I was able to complete some evaluations at my elite showcase 2 weekends ago.  Since a majority of the elite 7th graders participated in the event, I had the opportunity to see most of them go head-to-ahead in the same setting.

Although there do not appear to be a lot of bigs in this class so far, the class is blessed with several quality guards. Right now, those guards include Jerry Higgins, Sincere Carry, Kane Cooper, DeShan Parker, Brian Miller Jr., Ty Wiley and Chase Rankin. The class has several solid shooting guards including: Coryon Rice, Yael Hill, Seth Goodson, Paul “PJ” Jones, Derrick Veasley and Isaiah Payton. The top wings include: Dwayne Cohill Jr., Antwuan Johnson, Cory Davis, Greyson Green, Cooper Crawford, Dane Goodwin, David Fitzgerald, Davis Madison, TK Robinson and Kristian Pachec. The bigs are: Ernest Williams, Juan Elmore, Jordan Coovert, Terry Durham, Jackson See, Isaiah Speelman and Jack Cravaak.

As I always say, it’s still very early in the game for these kids, and there are many more kids who have not yet been discovered.  Also, my rankings do not represent predication of future success. Some of the kids listed will not continue to grow, will not continue to work to develop their games and will be caught and passed by kids reaching puberty and kids with a solid work ethic. These rankings are just a snapshot in time and will be updated from month-to-month, as new players are discovered. If you made the list, I would suggest you continue to work on your game, as there will players who will be motivated by the fact their names are not listed.

Hidden Gems Fall Showcase Standouts

Last weekend, Lucius Jones held his Hidden Gems Fall Showcase, and as usual, it was loaded with talent and college coaches with offers ready to hand out.  Below are some of the standout performers at the event.

Showcase MVPs

HIGH SCHOOL MVP: Randall "Poonie" Clarkson
Class of 2013 MVP: Austin Gardner 
Class of 2014 MVP: Anthony Glover
Class of 2015 MVP: Esa Ahmed 
Class of 2016 MVP: Rodrick Caldwell

H.S. Hidden Gem of the Day: David Dunnigan 


#1 - CJ Bussey
#2 - Esa Ahmed
#3 - Ty Robertson
#4 - Jaquan Harrison
#5 - Anthony Glover
#6 - Dymiere Finch
#7 - Devan Williamson
#8 - Devon Price
#9 - Omar Diop
#10 - Lance Leslie

Class of 2017 MVP: Jalen Garrett
Class of 2018 MVP: Juan Elmore
Class of 2019 MVP: Gerald Reynolds
Middle School Hidden Gem of the Event: Byron Patrick

Jalen Garrett
Craig McGee
Dawson Tillman
Dylan Young
Chase Rankin
Byron Patrick
Juan Elmore
EJ Thompson
Avonti Duncan 
Gerard Reynolds

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stock on the Rise

As is the case at every showcase, a few kids come in under the radar, perform above expectations, and raise their stock so to speak. Below I will highlight a few players who did just that with their play at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.

I'm not sure anybody burst onto the state and national scene more than North Royalton's Omari Spellman (6'6 PF). As some of you may recall, I featured Spellman in a story I wrote before the showcase.  Although I was not surprised at how well he played, I could not have imagined just how well he would be received by the scouts in attendance.  With his standout performance at the showcase, Spellman not only made a case as the top big man in the state in 2016, he may have played his way into a top 50 spot nationally. With good size, a soft touch, a solid skill set and great shot blocking ability, Spellman's upside appears to be significant.

Carlton Braggs 6'9 PF Clevelamd

Right behind Spellman in terms of raising his stock, was 2015's Carlton Braggs, a 6'9 PF from Cleveland VASJ.  Braggs was a dominate force in the paint the entire weekend and showed a lot of aggression defensively. Long and athletic, Braggs is quick off his feet, and has excellent timing when swatting shots. After last weekend, Braggs has solidified himself as one of the top guys in a nicely stocked 2015 class. I have to give a shout out to Gahannas Javon JB Bess (64 SG/WF) who has continued to develop his game.  Bess has continued to stretch out and his size and ball skills allow him to play multiple positions which makes him a match up problem for guys. Look for Bess to be a key cog for Tony Stiabs Golden Lions this upcoming season.

Seth Towns 6'7 WF Columbus

Northland's Seth Towns really raised his stock after the showcase with his superior play in both the Ohio North vs South and Ohio Michigan challenge games. With a recent growth spurt to about 6'7, Town's length is catching up with his skill set, which now makes him a serious high major prospect. In Saturdays Ohio vs Michigan game Towns went head-to-head with nationally ranked Josh Jackson, and more than held his own. Last weekend, Towns showed the ability to handle the ball on the perimeter and knock down shots when left open.  As Towns gets more physical and tougher, look for his national reputation to expand.

Keith Griffin 5'9 PG Shaker Heights

The battle for the top 2016 PG crown has always been highly contested; but after his breakout performance at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, Shaker Height’s Keith Griffin has may have tilted the scale a bit. The 5’9 floor general wowed a lot of folks with his attacking, aggressive and physical brand of basketball. Not only did Griffin haul away a lot hardware over the weekend (i.e., NBC4 All-Skill Team, Most Skilled, Top 20 and MVP), he raised his stock portfolio as much as any kid at the event. Right now, Griffin is a pure scorer who excels at bulling his way to the rack. Griffin refuses to allow his defender to relax on defense by exerting constant pressure when he has the rock. Although he is not a big guard by any measure, he is very effective using his body both offensively and defensively. Griffin possess a superior handle and creativity which helps him get a step on his defender then creates havoc. If I were looking to invest, I would buy stock in Griffin right now!

Nick Ward 6'4 C Gahanna

I liked what I saw and heard about Gahanna's Nick Ward (6'4 C). According to one of the referees, Ward "has some of the best post moves," of any big at the event. Ward continues to slim down, and has some of the best footwork of any big in the class. If Ward can get a few more inches, he has a chance to play the post at a high level. With his MVP performance in the 2016 Ohio vs North game, St. Xaviers Hunter Lampley 60 PG Wyoming) was introduced to a state-wide audience. Lampley has been around for years, but I dont think people really appreciated his game until he logged in a solid performance at the showcase. Columbus James Manns II (65 WF Marion Franklin) made his first trip to the showcase and finished the weekend with a solid showing.

Tommy Schmock 5'7 PG Middleburg

 In terms of the middle school guys, Middleburgs Tommy Schmock (5'7 PG) did as much as anybody to raise his stock. Before the showcase, everybody knew the kid could play, but after his stellar play at the point, Schmock left Columbus as the top floor general at the state. Not only can Schmock shoot the rock, he has a creative handle and a hand full of dribble moves that he uses quite successfully to defeat his defender on a consist basis.  Although there are a couple more quality guards in this class, Schmock appears to be the guy for now.

Jerry Higgins-5'6 PG Wickcliff

While I'm talking about guards, I could not be more impressed with the play Wickcliffs Jerry Higgins. Already considered as one of the elite guards in the class of 2018, Higgins impressed a lot of onlookers at the showcase.  In fact, a coach from one of the top AAU teams in the state thought Higgins "was the best kid I saw all weekend." Every time I had a chance to see Higgins play he was slashing to the bucket and either finishing or getting to the free throw line.  Higgins is a physical guard with a great motor, and he does not mind contact. Higgins had to have made the play of the showcase when he drained a shot while sitting on his butt. Higgins is not the only quality guard in the class, but he has to be considered among the best! 

Dwayne Cohill Jr 5'8 WF Brookpark

Some of the other guys that logged in impressive performances included Cincinnati's Demontez Kane Cooper. He's small, but the kid really impacts a game. One of the things I liked most about his game is the fact he keeps pressure on the defense, and if you let up defensively, he will get in the paint and create a scoring opportunity for somebody. Also, you might want to keep an eye on Brookpark's Dwayne Cohill Jr., a long and athletic wing who has a chance to be one of the top kids in the class by the time it's all said and done. Cohill is a great looking athlete with loads of potential. 

With his MVP performance in the Ohio North vs South game, Springfield's DeShawn Parker muscled his way into the top PG discussion. The 5'4 guard is more of a scorer right now, but that could change down the road when his high school coach determines his role. In addition, Ernest "EJ" Williams had a big weekend as well, and for now, there is nobody bigger or anybody who is as effective guarding the paint.

Kelvin Calhoun II 6'5 C South Euclid

He's a local guys that Ive watched play since the 5th grade, but Gahanna's Seth Goodson really impressed me at the showcase. I know his athleticism will give him options on the gird iron, but the kid could be nice on the hardwood as well if he chooses that path. Although it was his first trip to the showcase, South Euclid's Kelvin Calhoun II (6'5 C) raised his stock over the weekend. At this point, other than Lima's Riley Gough (6'6'C), Calhoun has more size than any big in the class.

Logan Hill 6'4 PF

Jackson Township's Logan Hill lived up to the hype at the showcase. Not only is he described as a nice kid, his game can be described as nice as well. His play in Columbus keeps him in the discussion as top guy in the class along with Jaylen Harris and Tommy Schmock.  I have to mention Sego's Dylan Duplar, who's play over the weekend made him a favorite with the scouting bunch.  Although I did not get a chance to see him in action. several guys I talked to loved the kid. Cincinnati's Matt Sichterman got a bump in his portfolio as well, as the 6'3 PF did some damage over the weekend. Although Sichterman does not possess great size for his position, he brings his lunch pail to work and is very productive around the basket.

Jordan Mitchell

Over the next couple of weeks I will begin to focus a little more attention toward the class of 2019. In terms of the showcase, Gahanna's Jordan Mitchell met expectations, as his performance resulted in an all-star appearance, despite the fact he was playing up against 7th graders. Mitchell has been profiled on this site many times in the past, but he continues to meet the challenge and expand his reputation as a player to watch. Pickeringtoin's Jeremiah Francis, Mitchell's All-Ohio teammate, also played his way into the 6/7th grade all-star game, as did Jaiden Lispscome. I have not devoted much space for this class just yet, but when I start turning my attention to these young guns, look for these guys to be mentioned among the best in their class! 

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase-What are They Saying

When we promise EXPOSURE, we deliver! According to our media sign in sheet, there were over 25 scouting services in the gym this past weekend covering the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, not evening mentioning the various VIPs and the "eyes" for college coaches who can not attend events this time of the year. Below are links to some of the post-event write-ups and videos generated since the event.  We will continue to add links below as they are published. Enjoy

Post-Event Reports & Videos:

Ty Kish Video #3


Court Cred Video

Slam Magazine Article

More Pictures


Court Cred.com #1

Court Cred.com #2

E-Hoops Ohio

E-Hoops Ohio #2


Ty Kish Video #1

Ty Kish Video #2

NBC4 Video

Nations Elite Prospects

Triple Double Prospects



Look Inside (Video)

E Hoops Video #2

 JJ Huddle Article