Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase-6th/7th Grade Recap

Miles, Luster, Duvall, Benton & Smith
Although the 6th and 7th graders at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase were combined into 1 division, several 6th graders found a way to grab some attention Cameron Miles (5’11/SG/2022/Lima) had a big day on Saturday and put up big numbers throughout the day. Miles is strong, athletic and is at his best slashing to the basket. Once he gets up a head of steam he’s hard to stop. Although Miles uses his solid frame and strength to get to the cup, he also is a nifty passer.  For his standout play, Miles grabbed both an all-star game bid and Top 5 honors.

A crowd favorite, Khalil Luster (5’1/PG/2022/Lima) had the gym buzzing with his ball handling magic.  Luster is a speedy little guard who always has total control of the rock, and is always looking to make his defender look foolish.  He’s also equally adept at scoring and/or playmaking. He’s diminutive, but he has all the tools necessary to run a team, and he’s also a pesky defender, which is a must for undersized guards. His eventual size will determine his level of play at the next level, but we would not be surprised to see Luster in the MAC in a few years. Right now, he’s awfully fun to watch!  Cecil Benton Jr. (5’8/PG/2022/Lima) just keeps getting better and better every time we see him.  He has good length for his position as only an 8th grader, and is highly skilled.  Benton runs the floor well and does a good job of finding open teammates.  Benton should be a nice looking prospect going forward.

We were not really familiar with his game before Saturday, but Chris Smith (5’6/PG/2022/Orville) impressed us.  Smith is strong to the cup, plays with poise and does a good job of changing speed and direction. His on-ball defense is solid as are his ball skills.  We also liked his aggressiveness and his attack mode approach.  We hope to see more of Smith, as he has a chance to get more love on this site.  Adam Duvall (6’4/PF/2022/Beavercreek) has prospect written all over him.  Duvall has great length at an early age, excellent hands, solid footwork, and soft touch around the basket makes him an effective low post scorer. Duvall also rebounds the ball well and is solid defensively in the paint. With continued growth and development, Duvall has a chance to be big time.

James, Littles, Wenger, Pryor & Battista
He’s still flying just under the statewide radar right now, but Elmore James IV (5’10/PF/2022/South Euclid) is starting to assert himself as a force to be reckoned with. James has a good combination of size and ball skills that make him versatile and able to play multiple positions.  He doesn’t have to outlet the ball after a rebound, as James has the ability to handle the ball in the open court and push the rock all the way to the rim.  He’s a beast in the paint and does not mind physical play.  He rebounds well and finishes at a high rate.  James is another good-looking prospect long term. 

One of our favorite players in the class is Sellers Littles III (5’4/PG/2021/Dayton), who handles the rock as good as any player in the class. Littles has the rock on a string and has all the dribble moves necessary to live in the paint.  We’ve seen no other player in the state with the court vision and passing skills Littles possess.  He sees everything, is extremely unselfish, and always makes the right pass.  There is no doubt this kid has college ball potential as long as he stays in the gem, stays humble and continues to develop. 

Bowen, Brown, Hester, Burden & Carter
Any discussion about elite scorers has to include Jalen Wenger (5’11/WF/2022/Dalton).  Wenger is a scoring machine.  He put up gaudy numbers the entire AAU season and he did the same thing on Saturday.  Wenger is a threat to shoot it from deep, but he’s also proficient at getting to the rim.  Wenger also has good length and is likely to grow several more inches.  We were also really impressed with Raymar Pryor (6’0/WF/2022/Canton). He was just coming off of an injury, so he was nowhere close to being full speed; however, he showed us he’s a player to be reckoned with.  He’s athletic, runs like a deer and works well in transition.  We hope to see Pryor again once he fully recovered.

Joey Battista (6’2/PF/2022/Youngstown) had a good day on Saturday and continues to move up on our board.  Battista plays well both inside and out.  He shoots it well out to the 3-point line in catch and shoot situations, but he’s also surprisingly athletic and goes strong to the rack.  Other 7th grade standouts include: Brody Gowen, Elijah Brown, Raymell Hester, Cyrus Burden and Amir Carter.  

Greenlee Jr., Woodard, Blanton, Rice, Allen & Brown
In terms of the top 6th graders at the event, Michael Greenlee Jr. (5’4/PG/2023/Toledo) more than held his own.  Because Greenlee has good size for a 6th grader and doesn’t mind physical play, he fit right in with the older and bigger players. In addition, Greenlee’s spin move in the lane is a thing of beauty, and often results in a bucket.  The same thing could be said about Delmarr Blanton (5’3/SG/2023/Dayton).  Blanton is big and strong with excellent ball handling shills.  He’s aggressive and loves to attack the basket.  Blanton also does a good job of scoring the ball and is a solid defender. Some of the other standout 6th graders included: Paul Woodard (PG/Dayton), Lawrent Rice (PG/Dayton), Tyren Brown (PG/Dayton) and Antone Allen (SG/Dayton).  It should be noted that Greenlee, Blanton, Rice and Woodard all made the all-star game.

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