|Cottingham, Walker, Carrico, Perie & Williams|
The 8th grade division of the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase may have been the most competitive division of the four. We’ve already featured the outstanding play of Makail Cottingham (6’0/PG/2021/Parma), and described him as a scoring machine, but his impressive performance warrants 1 additional mention here. Right behind Cottingham in terms of dominance was Brent Walker (6’6/C/2021/Huber Heights), who was absolutely unstoppable in the paint. Walker is a man-child who is big, strong and invites physical play. He is a big time low post scorer who also serves as a rebounder and rim protector. On Saturday, Walker put up big numbers on a consistent basis. If he gets 3 more inches, Walker has a chance to be something special! Not only is he one of the 2-3 best players in Ohio, Walker deserves some respect nationally as well.
Tae Perie (5’8/PG/2021/Cleveland) has continued to impress us over the past 2 weekends. Perie is a dynamic PG who loves to score the rock. Proficient out to the 3-point line, Perie always seems to be probing for a lane to the bucket, and if he finds one, it’s often a floater or a finish near the rim. From what we’ve seen of Perie, top 10 is a real possibility. We had not seen him in a while, but Alex Williams (6’2/CG/2021/Dayton) has gotten bigger, strong and is still a problem. Williams is a sturdy built guard who understands that his size and skill set are weapons to be used to punish smaller defenders. Williams is productive inside and out, rebounds well for a guard, and can knock down the 3-ball if not defended. Right now at his size and skill, college basketball should be in Williams’ future with continued growth and development.
Reid Carrico (6’2/WF/2021/Ironton) was a virtual unknown before Saturday, but his outstanding play clearly justifies a statewide ranking. Reid is a bruiser in the paint, where his strength and soft touch allows him to put up big numbers. He may have good size with the ability to absorb contact and score, but he’s also skilled enough to step away from the cup and still be productive. If Carrico can log in a similar performance at our fall event, where the talent level will be even greater, that would legitimize what we saw on Saturday. In terms of shooting, nobody did it better than Ethan Smith (5’5/SG/2021/Columbus). He may not intimidate anybody getting off the bus, but you better pick him up early unless you want to be sprayed with a three. The kid was money from beyond the arc all day Saturday. Any time you can shoot the rock the way Smith did there’s a roster spot available some where.
|Winfield, Ballard, Pugh, Macomb & Smith|
For the second consecutive week we’ve seen Anthony McComb (6’0/PG/2021/Dayton) log in stellar play. McComb already has good size for an 8th grade PG, but his skill set and athleticism set him apart from many of his peers. McComb shoots it well from beyond the arc, but he also attacks the paint with success. McComb’s stock has risen over the last 2 weeks , which will be reflected in our rankings and how we feature him going forward. The same thing can be said about Jayden Ballard (6’2/CG/2021/Massilon), who has impressed us over the past 2 weeks. Ballard has good size and ball skills, plays well in transition and can both hit the trey or find cutting teammates. Ballard also does well driving to the cup and finishing. We’ve heard some good things about Ballard and his play the last 2 weeks confirm what he heard.
Jaden Winfield (6’1/WF/2021/St. Louis, MO) has big time written all over him. Long, athletic, skilled and aggressive best describe his game. Winfield is a fluid athlete who runs the floor well and makes the game look easy. He’s also a solid on ball defender and plays with a good motor. In terms of long-term prospects, Winfield projects as a D-I basketball player going forward. Speaking of St. Louis ballers, we saw a lot of good things out of Markus Marshall (5’9/CG/2021/St. Louis, MO) as well. Marshall is strong, compact and physical, which allows for him to power his way to the basket. From what we saw this weekend, Marshall has a chance to be pretty good if he keeps working on his game. We also liked Dana Holmes (5’8/SG/2021/Flint, MI), who handles the rock well, is athletic, physical and always trying to attack the cup. There were several Flint’s Finest kids who came down and got busy. Owen Lobsinger (6’2/WF/2021/Grand Blank, MI) is one of those guys. Lobinsinger as good length and really handles the rock well for a kid his size. Lobsinger is one of those kids who could really blossom in a few years. We plan to keep our eye on him.
|Lobsinger, Creamer, Holmes & Shepard & Dominguez|
TJ Pugh (6’3/PF/2021/Attica) came to Columbus and served notice that he can play. We don’t think we’ve seen Pugh in the past, but from we saw on Saturday, we need to be paying more attention. Pugh has good size, strength, a sold frame and he finishes at a high rate near the cup. He left before the all-star game, but Wil Sizer (6’3/PF/2021/Cincinnati) looked good this past weekend. Sizer has alwys been known for his low post scoring and physical play inn the paint, but he continues to work on his perimeter game. In fact, we saw him knock down several treys over the course of the day. We also saw some flashes from Shad Creamer II (5’8/PG/2021/Mansfield), who showed us he had a solid handle.
Rounding out the list of standouts included Isaiah Dominguez (PG/2021/Indianapolis, In), who has continued to work hard and develop his game. Dominguez has attended several of our events in the past and it’s clear to us he’s in the gym working on his game. He’s not flashy, but Dominguez finds a way to get it done, which is exactly what you want in a floor general. We also have to keep an eye on Cameron Ray (5’6/PG/2021/Solon). We saw him last week in Cleveland, where he was also impressive and found his way into the all-star game. Ray is super quick and has the rock on a string. We think Ray is going to be really good by the time he gets to high school. Gavin Shepard and Griffin Shaver both had great days, and were both rewarded with all-star game selections. Juwan Coates and Elijah English both caught our eye on Saturday. English is a big who is still developing, but by the time he gets to high school he’s going to be a problem. We plan to keep an eye on Coates as well, as he seems to float just under the radar. Terrance Muex and Jordan Smith, both cashed in solid performances for all-star game selections. Stayed tune for more recaps.