|Seth Wilson, Skyler Schmidt, Paul McMillan IV, Cameron Walker, Jyles Brandon & Anthony Mosley|
On Saturday, day one of the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase tipped off at Otterbein University and featured a series of intra and interstate rivalry all-star games. The opening day was mostly about the early all-star games, which served as a platform for elite players to shine. In terms of the North vs South games, the 7th grade South All-Stars dominated the North with an easy 78-32 victory. MVPs were selected for each team, and those went to Anthony Mosley who went for 13 points and Jyles Brandon who finished with 7 points. Desh Molton (2023/PG/Cleveland) had a big game as well and contended for MVP honors. Tyron Sturdivant (2023/SG/Dayton) put in work in the game and was his team's second leading scorer with 12 points. We got our first look at big Sam Walker who poured in 11 points in his Buckeye Prep Showcase debut. Walker has a big body and knows how to use his size and strength to score around the bucket. Based on their Saturday performances, both Walker and Mosley have earned spots in our top 2023 player list when we make our updates in a few weeks. Finally, Brady Hardewig finished with 9 points.
The 8th grade North vs South game was a little more competitive, but the South notched a second win with a 83-73 victory. Cameron Walker took home MVP honors with a team-high 14 points, while Paul McMillan IV exploded with a gaudy 36 points. Douglas "Trey" Dennis made his first trip to the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase and logged in an impressive performance with 12 points. Also playing well in the 2022 game was Jerry Saunders Jr. who finished with 10 points, Josiah Harris who added 13 points and Michael Bova who contributed 10 points. In the 9th grade North vs South game the North finally got on the board with a 75-73 squeaker. Seth Wilson led all scorers with a game-high 26 points on his way to the MVP nod. Right behind him in scoring for the North was Enavell Lighty who finished with 16 points. It was also Lighty's first trip to the event and he more than confirmed the good things we had seen from him in other events. Lighty is a good looking prospect and college coaches would do well to track his progress. Skyler Schmidt scored 13 points and dominated the boards and was selected as game MVP. Jakada Stone received serious MVP consideration based his team-high 19 points. We also have to give some props to Josiah Mobley who logged in a solid performance (10 points) in the North vs South game. Mobley has continued to develop and people are starting to take notice! Also new to the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase was Makiah Merritt, who mades some noise (8 points) in his debut. We plan to keep an eye on Merritt's development.
The two Ohio vs Michigan games proved to be highly competitive. Last September at this event, Ohio and Michigan split the series at 1-1. This year, Ohio won both games for the ultimate bragging rights. The 8th grade team Ohio got the 76-71 win on the strength of Sellers Littles III”s team-high 12 points and MVP performance. Sellers had the crowd buzzing with his elite handle, ability to score the ball while also creating for teammates. He may not have won the MVP award, but Khalli Luster deserves big time credit for controlling the game under pressure, creating opportunities for his teammates and adding some scoring as well. He's not the biggest player in the court, but Luster makes things happen! We would not be at all surprised to see luster running the show for a MAC school in a few years! Raymar Pryor did some nice things in the game and continues to build his reputation as a D-I prospect. Pryor finished with 10 points, Danny Young Jr, had 9 points and Cameron Walker contributed 8 points. Michigan’s Ashton Atwater’s dropped a game-high 20 points and secured game MVP, while Carmello Harris was the second leading score for the North with a respectable 17 points.
|Brandon Roddy, Dominique Aekins, Nino Nesbit & Gabriel|
In the 2021 Ohio vs Michigan game Team Ohio led by double digits for most of the game and was poised to extend the lead further until Michigan’s Keyon Menifield got hot from beyond the arc (hit 5 treys) late in the first half. Team Ohio would eventually pulled away in the second half on their way to a 92-81 win. Menifield finished with a team-high 18 points and garnered MVP honors. Also playing well for Michigan were Julian Roper (14 points), Pierre Brooks II (14 Points), Simon Wheeler (11 points) and Keon Henderson (10 points). Team Ohio had two players in double digits as Seth Wilson had another MVP performance, finishing with 24 points, followed by Jaden Hammed who finished with an impressive 22 points and Skyler Schmidt who added another 8 points. Dayton’s Alex Williams had a solid game, finishing with 10 points. Other all-star game standouts included Colin Albert (2021/SG/Cleveland), Khalil Luster (2022/PG/Lima), Tae Perie (10 points).
In addition to the all-star game standouts, we also found a few other players who played well on Saturday. A couple of young guys caught our eye late on Saturday including: Brandon Roddy (2025/PG/Columbus), Dominique Aekins (2024/PG/Columbus), Nino Nesbit (2024/PG/Columbus), Arness Lawson (2020/PG/Columbus) and Delemar Blanton (2024/SG/Dayton). We were also impressed with the athleticism and explosiveness of Gabriel Iruh (6’1/PG/2022/Lyndhurst), who was seen dunking on guys in traffic. Nate Houston (2022/SG/Toledo) had some good moments late on Saturday as well and demonstrated he's still one of the top players in the state in his class. Joey Batistda (2022/PF/Cleveland) was seen getting it done during the showcase games. Batsida is adept at scoring near the basket, hitting the mid-range jumper, putting it on the floor. We also heard some good things about Owen Lobsinger (2022/WF/Michigan) who played well during the showcase games. Lobsinger handles the well for his length and he can also handle the rock in the open court.