Saturday, February 4, 2017

Royals Poised for a Big 2017 Season

2021 Cincinnati Royals
With a roster loaded with talent, Coach Gregory Johnson’s 2021 Cincinnati Royals White squad has the potential to make a big impact during the 2017 AAU season.  Although the Royals finished in 7th place at the AAU Nationals last year, we had them ranked just outside of the top 10 in our 2016 Power Rankings; however,  after watching them play late last season where we had the opportunity to evaluate their core group of players, it’s clear that we under appreciated just how good this team was.  Although we are well aware of Skyler Schmidt, who has excelled at out elite showcase and is currently ranked among the top 10 players in the state, we have not seen much of studs like Gregory Johnson Jr, Aiden Turner and Zyon Tull.

In fact, when we caught the Royals in action at Paul McMilliam’s End of Summer Showdown in late July of last year, we had this to say about the team and its key players, “We also liked what we saw with the 2021 Cincinnati Royals.  The Royals team is well built, with solid guard play, scoring and athletic wings, size in the post, a deep bench and team-oriented play. The Royals are anchored in the post by Skyler Schmidt (6’5/C/2021/Goshan), who is one of the best big men in the state. Although Schmidt is a big, he moves well, has good footwork, is deceptively athletic, and his soft touch around the rim allows him to finish at a high rate. We think Schmidt projects well going forward. Some of the other studs on that loaded team include Zyon Tulls (6’2/WF/2021/Cincinnati), Kelvin Turner (5’7/P/SG/2021/Cincinnati) and Aiden Turner (5’7/PG/2021/Springboro). We were intrigued with Tulls’ length and ability to score the ball.  We had not seen him prior to Saturday, but plan to track his progress over the next couple of years."

Skyler Schmidt & Gregory Johnson
Johnson is a key piece to the team and has primary PG duties. Last season, Johnson averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists and 5 steals for his father’s team. Johnson is a pass first PG with good court vision.  He also has good length, is athletic, and can score when the situation dictates.  Skyler Schmidt holds it down in the post where he rebounds at a high rate, protects the rim, and provides scoring. We also really like Zyon Tull, who has good length, surprising athleticism and a non-stop motor.  Aiden Turner, Tyler Montague and Kris McClure are all very talented and add to the Royals over all depth. 

The Royals’ complete roster includes Gregory Johnson (6’0/PG/Cincinnati), Aiden Turner (6’0/SG/Springboro), Skyler Schmidt (6’6/C/PF/Goshen), Tyler Montague (5’10/SG/WF/Vandalia), Kris McClure (6’3/W/PF/Cincinnati), Zyon Tull (6’2/SG/WF/Mt. Orb), Michael Ragio (5’5/CG/Cincinnati), Devin McKinnon (5’9/PF/C/Cincinnati), Oliver Wittenbaum (5’8/SG/Cincinnati), Robert Jordan (6’0/SG/Clayton), Jackson Wassler (6’4/C/Cincinnati), and Elise’e Grandison (5’6/SG/Cincinnati).  You can catch the Royals in action at the March 31st-April 2nd Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament.

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