Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Alums Excel in Middle School Ball

Kamryn Grant & Berry Wallace
From our experience, players who excel at our elite showcases go on to star for their respective middle school teams.  Case in point, according to Team Knockdown Coach Ron Bess, 2 of his best players, Kamryn Grant and Berry Wallace, both of whom made the finial all-star game and were selected for Top 5 Awards at our March elite showcase have enjoyed tremendous success with their respective middle school teams so far this season.  

Specifically, just last week, Grant went off for an eye popping 39 points in a game as her undefeated Berwick Middle School squad got by South Middle School.  In that game, Grant knocked down 4 treys.  In another game a week later, Grant went for another 22 points and 12 rebounds.  Wallace also has her Pickerington Ridgeview Middle School team undefeated, and she recently logged in an impressive performance with a 25-point outburst. 

This upcoming travel season, both Grant and Wallace will return to their highly successful 2024 Team Knockdown team, who we had ranked #3 in the state in our final Buckeye Prep Power Rankings last season.  Also, look for both players to make the roster for our 2019 Ohio North vs South All-Star game on March 9th!  As always, we are committed to following the success of our elite showcase alumni all the way through their basketball careers.

In addition, word has it that Jalen McElroy ( 5’8”/WF/2024/Canton) had a big time performance last night, as he led his Crenshaw Middle School team to a 56-30 win over North Canton Middle School with 41 points in only 18 minutes of play. According to his travel team coach, McElroy scored all of his points “…on drives to the bucket, in the midrange, and free throws. McElroy runs with Ohio Phenom Academy in the spring and summer.  Finally, we also heard that John Mobley Jr. went off for 40 plus points last week for his middle school team as well!  Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Shock Claims Title

5th Grade Cincy Shock 2018 Turkey Shootout Champions
This past weekend, Coach David Svoboda’s 5th grade Cincy Shock squad finished 4-0 on their way to the championship of the Turkey Shootout in Beavercreek, Ohio.  The Shock’s trek to the title included wins over Tip City (twice), Beavercreek Stars and Carroll.  Standouts for the Shock included Drew Duvall (5’5”/ WF/2026/Beavercreek), Grayson Davis ( 5’1”/SG/2026/Beavercreek), and David Svoboda (5’2”/PG/2026/Beavercreek). According to Coach Svoboda, the Shock’s success was attributed to “…ball movement and good defense.” It should be noted that the core of this Shock team runs with Dayton Metro during the spring and summer travel season. Congrats to Coach Svoboda, his players and parents for the win.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving From Buckeye Prep



The Buckeye Prep family would like to extend Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family. During the holidays it's important we all take the time to enjoy our loved ones. Oh yea, there should be a lot of great college basketball on TV today! God Bless!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Probound Goes Undefeated in COBA Preview

2026 Probound
As the winter basketball season approaches so does the season for preview type events.  On Saturday, Mike Daniels’ 5th grade Probound squad finished 3-0 at the Central Ohio Basketball Association’s annual preview event which was held at Worthington Kilborne High School near Columbus. Probound won each of their 3 games (against Grandview Navy, Berlin Eagles & Big Walnut) by double digits, 2 of which were by 20+ points. According to Coach Daniels, his team executed on their primary pre-event goals. “We came out real scrappy looking to take early leads. Our offense ran through our defense as we got a lot of steals and easy transition buckets,” said Daniels.

Probound has a high-powered roster which includes some of the top 4thgraders in the state including: Casey Brickner (4’9”/SG/2027/Galloway), Mike Daniels (4’7”/SG/2027/Hilliard), Tansai Davis (4’5”/SG/2027/Columbus, and Tony Cornett (4’8”/PG/2027/Columbus), all of whom are featured in our recently published 2007 Player Watch List, and also represent the nucleus of the Team Dose AAU team that was ranked 2nd in our final Power Rankings last season.  In addition to the 4thgraders, the Probound roster includes a group of 5thgraders including: Mitchell Wheeler  (4’9”/WF/2026/Gahanna); Cole Naegele (5’0”/PF/2026/Gahanna); Tayshon Smith (4’8”/SG/2026/Columbus); and Cole Shope (5’6”/C/2026/Columbus).  

Probound’s season opener will tip off on December 1st.  Congratulations to Coach Daniels and his team for a fast start to the 2018/2019 winter season!  We intend to keep an eye on this year’s winter season and we invite coaches and parents to send us updates on their team’s progress so we can update our website. Please send information and team pictures to us at Buckeyeprep@yahoo.com.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

IBT Middle School Showcase Loaded with Talent

Mobley, Holyfield, Carter, Mills-Smith, Henson & Milton
On Saturday, we had the opportunity to spend a few hours at the 6th Annual IBT Academy Middle School Showcase at the Wellington School in Columbus. Renny Tyson and his staff did a fantastic job of attracting many of the top middle school programs in the central Ohio Area.  In fact, the event featured 15 games and 30 boys and girls 7th and 8th grade teams.  In terms of the format, each game consisted of two, ten-minute quarters and ran every 45 minutes. As has been the case every time we've attended the event, there was loads of talent with both the boys and girls teams.  Below are the team results and a list of the standout players we saw at the event.

In the 6 games we watched, Bexley's 8th grade girls deleted Mechanicsburg 15-8; Linden McKinney's boys got by Our Lady of Perpetual Help 24-8; Walnut Springs' 7th grade boys beat Reynoldsburg Waggoner 18-13; Marysville Bunsold's girls defeated Reynoldsburg 8-4; Reynoldsburg Baldwin's 7th grade boys beat Horizon Science 26-16; and Olentangy Orange's 8th grade boys beat London 22-14.

Standout Performers

John Mobley Jr.
Brady Carter
Sir Donald Milton
Shamar Mills-Smith
Rycheous McKinney
Abdiaziz Mohamed
Lloyd Kelly
Christopher Austin
Noah Smith
Nino Phillips
Kalen Boone
Simone Holifield
Mia Murry
Reason Cotner
Maddie Hanson



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Warriors Prepare for Upcoming Season


When the 2018/2019 winter basketball season tips off later this month, Coach Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors team will have several new faces.  In fact, this season, the Warriors will only return 3 players from last season’s squad, including Arness Lawson (2025), Mykell Murphy (2025) and Darius Graves (2025). New to the team this year are Jaylen Sims (2025), Brayden Torgrimson (2025), Amari Hodges (2025), JR Bates (2025), Laz Lawson (2025), Maurice Hamrick (2028), Deon Johnson (2027), and Jeriah Golden (2025). 

Because they’ve only had 3 practices to date, when asked what his team’s potential is for this season, Coach Bradley was cautious. “I don’t know.  We’re going to be competitive, but it’s not going to be like last year,” in terms of success, said Bradley. In addition, the addition of Westerville’s Jaylen Sims has Bradley a little more optimistic. “Sims is going to be good,” added Bradley.  

In addition to Sims, Arness Lawson’s play will be key to the Warriors success this season, as he has established himself as one of the best players in the state in the class of 2025. The Warriors will open their season at the Thanksgiving Shootout at the Kingdom Sports Center in Franklinton.  We intend to follow this Warriors’ progress this season so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Get Out and Vote on Tuesday!

We at the Buckeye Prep Report urges everybody to exercise their right to vote this Tuesday. The stakes could not be higher for our country!  

Buckeye Prep Stock Risers


Much like stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange, a player’s basketball stock often ebbs and flows throughout the course of a season, and from season-to-season. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, while providing broader exposure to the greatest number of players, we have decided to highlight a few players who we believe have the potential to see their stock rise over the course of the upcoming season.  

In terms of our methodology, we have considered several factors in selecting these players. First and foremost, these 64 players are not necessarily the most highly ranked players on our various top player lists, but rather players who have tended to fly a little under our radar; are on the cusp of breaking out, and/or have a chance to break into and/or rise up on our lists.  In addition, they tend to be players who we have not seen very much of, we may have only caught glimpses of during certain events, or heard positive comments about from credible sources.  With that said, some of the players we lis below are well known to us, but still see their stock rise.  Enjoy!

Buckeye Prep Stock Risers

Lawrence Rice-2023
Mason Shrout-2024 
Gwen Jenkins -2024
Brayden Fogal-2026 
JaVaughn Jones -2023 
Demarr Foster-2024 
Kamryan Grant-2025 
Derek Whitfield-2026
 Brandon Rose-2023
Willie Williams-2024 
Kelly Ernest -2023
Mali Pearson-2026 
Josh Jones-2023 
Lee Bruner IV-2024 
 E'moni Finch-2023
Rasheed Reed-2026 
 Tyler Williams-2023
Jarred McCoy-2024 
 Kendall George-2023
 Nate Mile-2026
 Ramone Jones-2023
 Shared Barnes-2024
 Taylor Haynes2024
 Levi Davis-2026
 Anthony Benard-2023
 Durrell Brooks-2024
 Cici Green-2024
 Cantrell Hughes-2026
 Nick Williams-2023
Stewart Hamilton-2024
 Zhieyah Rolack-2024
Athens McCillis-2026
 Najih Wright-2023
Arness Lawson-2024
Ann Hurst-2024
Brayden Fogal-2026 
 LA Hayes-2023
Jahleel Wakeel-2024
Tristen Williams-2026
Treyton Schroeder-2026
  Kellen Smnith-2023
Jaylon Rigdon-2024
Taylor Haynes-2024
Tejuan Barbour-2026
 Kaden Stephens-2023
Jordan Johnson
Sparkle Leigh-2021
Drake Ahrens-2026
Gavin Geisel-2023
Jeremiah Hughes
Sole Williams-2023
Shane Foster-2027
Sam Brown-2023
Karl Burroughs-2025
Gigi Bower-2024
Elijah McCree-2026
Sean Jones-2022
Joseph Boddie-2024
Grace Thomas-2024
Khani Thomas-2026
 Mike Bova-2022
Isaiah Robinson-2024
Madison Greene-2023
Ayden Snuder-2026


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pearson Determined to Make Impact

Malsi Pearson 4'8" PG 2026 Akron
He prides himself on making an impact every time he steps on the court, and from what we saw at our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in September, and his 2018 highlight video featured below, Malsi Pearson (4’8”/PG/2026/Akron) is true to his word! What’s also extremely clear from what we’ve seen of Pearson’s game so far is his elite skill set, which includes an ability to shoot, pass and dribble at an elite level.  Let me be clearer; this kid is a wizard with the rock in his hands, and his ability and willingness to find open teammates and deliver pin point passes is nothing less than impressive.  

Moreover, Pearson is a 3-level scorer who can both light up the score board while also making teammates better with his ability to break down defenders and to get into the paint for drop off passes and easy layups.  That’s not all, he changes speed and direction at a high level, he has a high basketball IQ, he drains deep treys off the bounce or in catch and shoot situations, and he is brimming with confidence and swagger. 

Although he has not decided where he will play basketball when the 2019 season tips off in March, Pearson was a standout for the Columbus based Miller Factory and several other big-time programs, such as Mac Irvin Fire and Louisville United, last season.  According to Pearson’s coach at the Miller Factory, Pearson has a chance to be good going forward.  “I think he has a chance to be a top 5 point guard in his class in Ohio,” said Coach Wallie.  Pearson is not just a basketball standout, as he also wrestles and plays soccer at an elite level.  That’s not all, from what we’ve heard, Pearson is an excellent student as well.

With his all-star performance at our last elite showcase, Pearson is easily among the top 5 players in the state in the class of 2026.  With his talent and the number of games he has logged over the past few years we’re a bit surprised that Pearson’s name is not yet listed among the best nationally, as we can’t believe there are 25 better 5thgraders in the country than the Akron product.  We look forward to seeing more of Pearson at our March 9thelite showcase.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Buckeye Prep Ohio 4th Grade/2027 Player Watch List Released

Foster, Tyson,  Harris, Ehirim, Crane & Daniels
We had so much success and support for our initial 5th grade/2026 list when we released it back in July, that we decided to keep the momentum going and get a big head start with our 4th grade/2027 list.  Because it’s still very early for the class of 2027 we relied heavily on feedback from coaches in this class to help us compile our list.  However, with the start of the 2019 travel season we will attempt to rely more heavily on our own personal evaluations by scouting our events and others in order to better fine tune our list.  Because a majority of the top Ohio teams and players will attend our Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament (March 29th-31st) and elite showcase (March 9th), we will have the opportunity to evaluate the kids both listed and not list more closely.

We may have only just started paying attention to the players in this class, but there are already a few players who have already grabbed attention and have the potential to be future top 50 players. Some of those potential players include: Shawn Foster (4’10”/PG/Lima); Amir Clark (5’5”/PG/Columbus); Joshua Tyson (4’7”/PG/Cincinnati); Woo Crane (4’7”/PG/Dayton); Braden Myrick (PG/Cincinnati); LaShawn Hill (4’8”/PG/Cincinnati); Keeran Stokes (PG/Toledo); Chris Washington (PG/Cincinnati); Tony Cornett (4’8”/PG/Columbus); Landon Evans (4’9”/PG/Columbus); Mike Daniels (4’7”/SG/Columbus); Darius Dennis (WF/Dayton); and Dion Johnson (5’2”/WF/Reynoldsburg).

Of course, we are well aware that not all of the top kids are represented on our initial list; however, the kids we have identified so far are kids that coaches from the top teams have put forward.  In the future, we will be adding to and modifying the current list as we see and hear about other kids.  As a matter of fact, we will get our first real opportunity to evaluate 2027 kids at our March 9th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, where the class of 2027 will be featured for the first time.  We will be going a step further by adding an Ohio North vs South all-star game in that class, which will feature the top 4thgraders from all over Ohio.  Invitations are currently being extended to the top 24 players in the class.  We did the same thing for the class of 2026 in September and it was a smashing success!

It has always been our hope that our top player lists serve as both recognition and inspiration to players who are talented, and who are working hard to develop their games with the future goal of playing high school and college basketball.  As always, we invite feedback.  If you want to provide any input, suggest corrections or make general comments, please feel free to email us at Buckeyeprep@yahoo.com.



Saturday, October 27, 2018

Jackson Commits to Michigan

Zeb Jackson 6'3" PG Maumee HS 2020
As our followers well know, the Buckeye Prep Report takes great pride in the success of our elite showcase alumni, and we continue to track their progress well after they have moved on to high school, college and the pros.  One of our most consistent and long-term supporters, who started attending our elite showcases when he was in the 3rd or 4th grade, is recent Michigan commit Zeb Jackson (6’3”/PG/Maumee HS/2020).  Jackson, much like current Michigan standout Xavier Simpson, attended every session of our elite showcase from the 3rd grade through high school, and was a consistent standout almost from day one.  

According to media reports, Jackson committed to the University of Michigan last week.  Although Jackson held offers from several high major programs, including Ohio State, Jackson, a Toledo, Ohio resident chose the Wolverines.  Not only is Jackson projected to play early at Michigan, some people close to the dynamic guard beleive he's a future pro! Congrats to Jackson and his family for reaching such a major goal!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pair of Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Alums Commit to HM Programs

Wendell Moore Jr. & Scottie Lewis
As most people know by now, the alumni list for the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase is long and elite.  In fact, we have a number of pros, high major, mid-major and commitments from numerous smaller programs among our alumni.  In terms of the class of 2019 (currently high school seniors), 2 of the top players in the country have recently made their college decisions.  

North Carolina’s Wendell Moore Jr, and New Jersey’s Scottie Lewis have committed to Duke and Florida, respectively.  Both players were all-stars at our 2013 fall elite showcase, have continued to develop, and have gone on to attract interested from many of the top college programs in the country.  We always keep track of our alumni, and we are thrilled to see both players reach their goals. Congratulations Wendell and Scottie; we’re proud of you!


Easter Tops National 2025 Rankings

Jerry Easter, Jr. 5'10" PG 2025 Toledo
Recently, the Naismith National Youth Report undated their class of 2025 individual player rankings to include 3 Ohio players.  Number 1 on their list was Jerry Easter, Jr. (5’10”/PG/2025/Toledo), who has garnered national attention for several years now. Of course, we are well aware of Easter’s talent, as he has participated in our Buckeye Prep events for a number of years and has excelled each time we’ve seen him play.  Moreover, last travel season Easter led a very talented 2024 Super Friends squad that notched some big-time wins.  Next season, Easter will split time between a 2024 and 2025 Super Friends team.  We can’t wait to see Easter and his Super Friends team at the March 21st-31st Buckeye Prep Invitational!

Most recently, Easter participated in our elite showcase where he demonstrated an advanced skill set.  Specifically, Easter displayed a tight handle, an ability to score at all 3 levels, while also creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.  Additionally, Easter is also crafty, is great in transition, can create his own shot, and his court vision, IQ and passing skills are impressive.  In addition to being a scoring machine, which includes a consistent 3-point shot both off the bounce and in catch and shoot situations, Easter is a willing defender as well.  When he’s not getting it done on the hardwood, Easter is lighting up the gridiron as well, where he dominates on both sides of the ball.

Also ranked were Cincinnati’s Jaiden Arnold (5th) and Paul Rusinko (12th). Although we’ve seen Arnold play on the circuit and can confirm his talent, we have not yet been able to evaluate Rusinko. What we do know, however, is that Arness Lawson (5’0”/CG/2025/Columbus) has established himself as one of the top kids in Ohio, and is more than worthy of national recognition, in our opinion!  In any case, shout out to the 4 Ohio kids who made the list.  As an advocate for Ohio and Midwest basketball, we will continue to serve as a platform for exposure.