Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nike City Series-Cincinnati Players


This past weekend various cities around the state held tryouts for the upcoming Nike City Series which is set to tip off in Columbus this weekend.  Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Dayton and Columbus will all field teams to participate in this annual event.  According to Paul McMillan, the organizer of the Cincinnati event, several of the younger age groups should be competitive this weekend. "I think the younger kids should be pretty competitive. I like the 5th grade group, and the 8th graders should be pretty good," said McMillan. McMillan also had some very nice things to say about James Burnett (PG/2025/Cincinnati), who he describes as "special." From what we hear about Burnett, he has the ball on a string, changes speed and direction like an older kid and can hit the trey consistently.  In fact, according to McMillan, some are comparing Burnett's game with his son's. "They calling him Baby Paul," McMillan said.  Burnett will be running with Carlos Davis' R4L squad this coming travel season. We certainly intend to keep an eye on this young man! Below are a list of players who made the Cincinnati rosters.

3rd Grade-Kameron Mercer, Braeden Myrick, Braylon Settelmayer, Brady Bowman, Gavin (LNU), Le'Shawn Hill, Kaden Baldwin, Joshua Tyson, Maximus Hays.

4th Grade-Jaylen Mercer, Brycen Johnson, Dylan Muchmore, Jordan Johnson, Avery Jordan, Grady Barber, Anthony Thompson, Duane Grigsby Jr., Austin Paige & Antonio White II.

5th Grade-Andy Johnson, Tyler Owens, Trey Perry, Roman Mason, Brayden Robinette, Michael Maldonado, Nathaniel Riep, James Burnett & Jordan Ruben (Davis Steel made it but is Hurt).

6th Grade-Gunner Mills, Tyler McKinley, JR Hays, Roman Mason, Deon Coulter, Isaiah Tyson, Michael Johnson, Jallen Morris, Tre Slater, Jerome White & Jeremiah Hughes. 

7th Grade-Craig Mercer, Jacob Bock, Thomas Williams, Christopher Walker, Alex Harris, Damarion Hughes, Jaylen Jenkins, Taylor Bacon, Mekhi Jewel, Ray Coney, Malakai Jones & Chalfontea Mims.

8th Grade-Joshua Kirby, Robbie Cass, Lebraun Berry, Bowen Hardman, Danny Trice, Andre Simmons, Gregory Kemp, Justin Williams, Jourden Hale & Preston Baggett.

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 (taylorobe@aol.com). 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 taylorobe@aol.com 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!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Middle School Hoops TV Camp Standouts


Ty Kish held his annual MSHTV Camp this past weekend in Westfield, Indiana and the talent level in the gym was significant. Below is a list of the standout performers at the event.

2021 - Terrence Clarke and Jonathan Kuminga were the most dominant players in the Class of 2021.  DJ Hughes represented his home state very well playing great on both ends of the floor and finishing with power around the rim.  Treyvaughn Williams, Randy Brady, and Khailieo Terry were elite athletes who had crowds around their court for every game.  Simon Wheeler was unstoppable off the dribble.  Jack Courneya came from Utah and made his presence known immediately.   Alexis Reyes and JT Thor are two of the best college prospects to attend the camp this year.

2022 - Emoni Bates, Chris Livingston, and Amari Bailey were the cream of the crop at this year's camp.  Christian Bowen-Webb put on an amazing shooting display from three point range over the two days in Indiana.  Paul McMillan used his combination of size and skill to dominate inside and outside during the camp.  Mark Mitchell and Taj Manning are two 2022's who have big time long term potential.  Aidan Mahaney used his heady game to compete at the highest level.

2023 - Elijah Fisher once again dominated the MSHTV Camp using his athleticism and passion to overwhelm opponents.  6'5 Rayvon Griffith from Cincinnati was the break out star of the camp.  Colin Porter built on his performance at D Rich Camp and had another strong showing in Westfield.  Floor general King-Jhsanni Wilhite did a great job representing the West Coast at the camp.  Nikita Tyukalo was a sharp shooter who had evaluators and spectators buzzing with his three point accuracy.  Malik Olafioye, Adisa Molton, and Kayden Lamebull Ingram were all very impressive throughout the weekend in Indiana.

2024 - Mikkel Tyne, Christian Jones, and John Mobley Jr were the 2024's who made the biggest impressions on evaluators during the camp.  Mobley used his smooth all-around game to keep defenders guessing.  Mikkel Tyne used his strength and intensity to dominate all comers.  Christian Jones used his slick ball handling skills and vision to create off the dribble.  All three guards brought different strengths to the camp but each was very impressive in their own right.  2026 Marcus Johnson played up two age groups and made many feel that he could be a top prospect in the 6th grade class as a 4th grader.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Player’s who’s Stock is on the Rise


Although the recent Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase attracted a majority of the state’s top ranked players, we were very pleased to discover a number of kids who had been flying under our radar.  In addition, we were fortunate to be a able evaluate players who were making their Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase debut.  Some of them we had either heard of from our network coaches and parents or seen at other elite events around the region.  For the players listed below, we believe their basketball stock is on the rise.

Simply put, Seth Wilson (6'1"/PG/2021/Akron) was a monster on day one of the showcase and was virtually unguardable! Using a combination of strength and skill, Wilson put up gaudy numbers in both of the elite all-star games on Saturday.  Just when some people thought his stock might have plateaued, Wilson proved he is as good as any player in the state, and that his upside is significant.  We’ve seen him a couple of times at other showcase events, so we were very happy to have Enavell Lighty (WF/2021/Cleveland) make his debut at our event.  Needless to say, Lighty was dominate at times and made a significant impact in the Saturday morning all-star games.  That’s not all; Lighty also excelled in the showcase games and earned a spot in the final all-star game on Sunday.  From what we saw of his game, Lighty is a definite D-I prospect who deserves some attention!

We’ve seen him a lot over the past several years and his development has been consistent, but his breakout performance on both days of the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase has put Paul McMillan IV (PG/2022/Cincinnati) on another level.  Never one to hide from the other top players in the state or to avoid key match-ups, which may be perceived as potentially hurting his “ranking” or status, McMillan is willing to take on all comers, put his reputation on the line; we respect that about him! As far as we’re concerned, you have to compete against the best to be the best!  In terms of upside potential, Raymar Pryor (WF/2022/Clevland) has as much as any player in the state. He's a fluid athlete who is at his best in transition and slashing to the basket.  He's been a little under the radar in the state and has no real reputation nationally, but's he's good and getting better everyday! I would suggest college coaches get him on their boards early!

In terms of guard play, Khalil Luster (PG/2022/Lima) and Sellers Littles III (PG/2022/Dayton) are 2 of the best in the state.  They’re not the biggest or the strongest, but they’re skilled and tough as nails!  Agonist the best in the state and Michigan, both took turns controlling the game, making plays and scoring when their team needed them to.  We fully expect both of these elite floor generals to be playing D-I college ball in a few years, and only size and continued develop will determine the level (i.e., low. mid or high major).  Michael Bova (PG/2022/Clevland) is right there with Luster and Littles in terms of skill set and toughness.  The more we've watched him play this year the more we have appreciated his game.  His stock is on the rise, and college basketball at some level is in his future. He did not make a huge splash at the showcase, but we still really like Jalen Wenger (WF/2022/Dalton).  An elite scorer, Wenger has good length, is skilled and can score on multiple levels. Now that he's playing with more talent, he can sometimes get lost in the mix, but make no mistake, this kid can play.  Wenger also projects as a D-I prospect in our opinion!

Not only was he new to our showcase, but Cameron Walker (SG/2022/Cleveland) is new to the state of Ohio. In fact, prior to moving into the Buckeye state this year, Walker was a resident of Georgia, where his talent garnered him a top 100 national ranking.  Based on his reputation alone, we placed Walker into the 2022 Ohio North vs South all-star game, where his team-high 14 points led to a MVP selection.  Walker’s play in that elite game suggests he deserves a spot near the top of our state rankings.  We plan to get a closer look at Walker as soon as we get a chance. Elmore James IV (PF/2022/South Euclid) continues to get better every time we see him. James is big and strong and represents a problem in the paint.  He rebounds at a high level and can put up big numbers around the basket.  He also handles the ball well for his size which could make him more versitile should fill to grow into his current position. In addition, James' position in a loaded class of 2022 continues to rise, and if he continues to grow, James could be legitimate low post prospect going forward.

We also got our first look at Gabriel Iruh (WF/2022/Cleveland).  Iruh is athletic and explosive, and he rode those physical gifts to a Top 20 All-Star Game appearance. A virtual unknown to most people in the state prior to our showcase, Iruh’s impressive play at the event has his stock on a steep incline!  Andre Simmons (5’4”/PG/2023/Cincinnati) was also new to the event and his team-high 12 points in the Top 20 All-Star Game caught our attention.  On top of making the final game on Sunday, Simmons grabbed a Top 5 Award as well! Expect Simmons to break our Top Player list.

There were several Dayton area kids who made their first trip to our annual event and ended up maximizing their opportunity. That would include Anthony Mosley (SG/2023/Dayton) who led all scorers in the Ohio North vs South game on his way to a MVP nod, then he balled out in the Top 20 all-star game on Sunday, where he grabbed a coveted Top 5 Award. With his outstanding debut at our event, it’s safe to say Mosley deserves a spot among our top 10! Big Sam Walker (PF/2023/Dayton) was part of the Dayton crew who made all that noise.  Walker dominated the boards and used his big body to score in the lost post at will.  As his team’s leading scorer (11 points) in the Top 40 all-star game, Walker took home MVP honors.  We will be adding Walker’s name to our 2023 Top Player list very soon!

Marcus Johnson (PG/2026/Cleveland) only attended the 2nd day of the event, but he put in enough work to not only make the Top 20 all-star game in a combined division of 4th, 5th and 6th graders, he also was selected as a Top 5 Award recipient. As he did at Mike Melton’s event the week before, Johnson, only a 4th grader, dominated against older players. With his body of work over the past several weeks, it’s clear to see why some have him slotted as the #1 player in the class of 2026! There were several other younger players who really burst onto the scene during the event including: Daviawine Crim, Arness Lawson, JR Bates, Jonathon Powell, Dominigue Aekins, SirDonald Milton, Michael Smith, Jeremy Hughes, Christian Dunn, Isiah Tyson, Joseph Boddie, Chalfonte Mills and David Steel Jr..  Crim was not on our radar before the showcase, but his impressive play has vaulted him into our potential top 20 players list.  Jonathan Powell may have been the best young shooter in the event, as he knocked down at least 6 consecutive treys in a showcase game.  JR Bates, a high school coach's son, was very impressive at the event, and although he was plating up a couple of years, He more than competed.  Like many young players before him, Bates is likely to get a lot of attention form the Buckeye Prep Report. Arenas Lawson could be the next great guard coming out of the Capital City.  He's dynamic, highly skilled and already seems to know how to play the game. Dominique Aekins is another PG with a big time future. He's young, but his ball skills and IQ are elite.

Other players who’s basketball stock is on the rise include: Michael Bova (PG/2022/Cleveland), Sonny Johnson Jr. (PG/2022/Garfield Heights), Carmello Harris (2022/Michigan), Joseph Serre (2022), Artrell Saunders (2022), Mekhi Elmore (WF/2022/Dayton), DeMar Foster (PG/2024/Lima), Ken Hilbert (2021), Taevion Rushing (2021), Justin Wypasek (2023), Deshawn Crim (2023), Jyles Brandon (PG/2023/Cleveland), Mason Shrout (WF/2023/Dayton), Josiah Harris (PF/2022/Cleveland), Douglas "Trey" Dennis (WF/2022/Dayton), Kellon Smith (WF/2023/Cleveland), Nate Houston III (SG/2022/Toledo), Desh Molton (PG/2023/Cleveland), Najih Wright (4’10”/PG/2023/Lorain), LA Hayes (SG/2023/Cleveland), Danny Young Jr. (PG/2022/Cleveland), Bedi Lori (WF/2023/Caldwell), Chane Cerone (2023), Cody Head (WF/2023/Cleveland), Marlon Barnes (PF/2023/Cleveland), Mason Docks (PG/2022/Michigan), Keon Henderson (PG/2021/Michigan), Sean Jones (PG/2022/Columbus), Rico Colter (2022),  Robert Lee (2022), Adam Duvall (WF/2022/Centerville), Tyrin Sturdivant (WF/2023/Dayton), Brady Hardewig (SG/2023), Tyron Barnes (PG/2023/Dayton), Tyrell Thompson (2023), Juwan Turner (PG/Columbus), Delmarr Blanton (WF/2024/Dayton), Jayvion Moore (C/2023/Cleveland), Chandler Starks (PF/2023/Cincinnati), Xavier Peterson (2023), Gabe Cupps (SG/2023/Beavercreek), Nick Williams (2023), Jerry Saunders Jr. (PG/2022/Columbus), Julian Roper (WF/2021/Michigan), Keyon Minefield (PG/2021/Michigan), Pierre Brooks II (WF/2021/Michigan), Skyler Schmidt (PF/2021/Cincinnati), Jared Frey (SG/2022/Columbus), AJ Braun (PF/2021/Cincinnati), Dana Holmes Jr. (SG/2021/Michigan) Makiah Merritt (WF/2021), Jakada Stone (SG/2021/Cincinnati), Jaden Hameed (PG/2021/Cleveland), Greg Johnson Jr. (CG/2021/Cincinnati), Ashton Atwater (2022/Michigan), Collin Albert (CG/2021/Clevland), Jerry Easter Jr. (PG/2024/Toledo), John Mobley Jr. (PG/2024/Columbus), Samuel Johnson  and Tae Perie (PG/2021/Akron).