Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Local Program Offers PG Camp

Recognizing the need for more point guard centered development, 2 years ago Jason Dawson developed the PG 24 Primer Camp, a 3-day event designed exclusively to enhance the skills for aspiring point guards in grades 6th-8th.  Having run the point at the collegiate level himself, Dawson is well aware of the developmental needs of floor generals.

Where as other camps place a heavy emphasis on games and basic skill and drills, Dawson’s camp involves a significant amount of classroom work designed to enhance the player’s basketball IQ. “PGs need to understand the game,” said Dawson.  Also, campers were required to complete homework assignments as well, and were treated to several guest speakers, most of whom had enjoyed some success running the point at various levels.  Moreover, over the course of the 3 days, camp participants worked on various skill areas including, shooting, passing and dribbling, all in a very competitive environment.  

Although a majority of the participants live in the central Ohio area, Dawson hopes to draw players from across the state in the next few years.  As with any camp, there were several players who stood out, including Gahanna’s Sean Jones, DJ More, Derrick James, Noah Lawrence, Jeffery Schoney, Javo Jordan and Cory Hudson.  There were also a couple of 6th graders who stood out as well such as John Mobley Jr. Toledo’s Elvis Syroka and Isaiah Campbell-Finch. From what we saw the short time we were in the gym, Dawson has developed a great program, which will only grow going forward.

Akron's Edingburgh is Young and Talented

Mackenzie Edingburgh 5'5" SG 2024 Akron 
For the past two seasons, Mackenzie Edingburgh (5’5”/SG/2024/Akron) led her 7th grade middle school to an impressive 22-3 overall record. This past season, Edingburgh averaged 19 points, 5 blocks, 5 steals, 3 assists and 4 rebounds per game.  Also, Edingburgh had multiple games where she scored 24 out of 38 points in a win, and another 23 outta 36 points in a second victory in a single weekend.

Edingburgh is a dynamic two-way player that has the ability to play all 5 positions on the floor. In addition, she has a high basketball IQ, and is both fast and physical with solid passing skills.

Although Edingburough ran with Air Attack last season, she will be rolling with the Akron-based Diamond on the Hill program in 2018. This move will allow Edingburgh to better showcase her considerable skills. Edinburgh may only be a 6th grader, but she has already drawn interest from several area high schools. Edingburgh is also good in the classroom and routinely earns A's and B's. You can catch Edingburgh in action at the upcoming Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase!

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Parent/Coach Email

The following email was sent out this morning to all of the registered girls (boys to follow).  Please read and forward to those players listed on the "Committed Player List" who may not have yet registered/paid for the March 10th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.  This is going to be a great event!


This email should serve as an update for the upcoming Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.  First and foremost, words can't express how happy and excited I am for your participation in this event! Although this event will be the first to formally host girls, I could not be happier at the level of participation.  By the time the event tips off on March 10th, we could have 150 girls in the gym, many of whom are the best Ohio (and Kentucky) has to offer.  This will allow for an unmatched level of competition, while creating significant exposure opportunities. So you will have a better idea what will happen leading up to and during the event, I wanted to send this email with a little information.  By Monday night you should expect to receive (will also be posted on the website) an initial draft of the schedule, team assignment and rosters.  This will only be an "initial draft," as I will expect some changes (additions and deletions) prior to the event.  This information will provide you with more specific information about what to expect. 

It looks like we will be able to host a series of early morning all-star games to start the event.   Specifically, as it stands now, we will host Ohio North vs South all-star games in grades 6th & 7th as well as Ohio vs Kentucky all-star games in grades 6th-8th.  The rosters for theses games are almost finalized and will be published 1 week prior to the event.  Players selected for this game are widely considered to be the top 10-20 players in the state based on feedback and recommendations we received from the coaches of the top AAU teams. To be clear, we did our best to select the best girls we could find, but we had to rely on coaches feedback since this event will be the first time we get a look at girls.  Keep in mind, final all-star games will be played Saturday night and will be based solely on performance during the 3 league games.  There will be no automatic participation in the final games for the girls who played in the Saturday morning games. On another note, we are close to able to have at least 2 grade divisions (i.e., 7th/8th and 5th/6th), but it depends on our final numbers.  Worst case scenario, all 3 grades will be combined.  I should know by this weekend.

In terms of the schedule and format, registration will open at 7:30am and will continue until the showcase games tip off about 2:00pm.  For those of you who will participate in the specialty all-star games, you need to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of your game.  For everybody else, unless you want to watch the early morning all-star games, you don't need to arrive until about 1:00pm.  After the all-star games we will have a coach's meeting, followed by opening remarks and the showcase tipoff (about 2:30pm).  For my coaches, please click on the link below and take a few minutes to read my letter.  I may still have a spot or 2 for coaches if your interested.  Coachs will not have to pay the entrance free, will receive a free t-shirt and will have access to the coaches/media room where they can eat ands drink (non alcoholic beverages lol) throughout the day.

Although all of you have registered (hence this email), there are still a few of you who have not paid the registration fee.  You need to do so as soon as possible before I finalize the rosters this weekend.  Also, there are a number of players who are listed in the "Committed Player List," who have not registered or paid.  Those players will not be placed on a roster unless they register/pay. If you need to send the payment by mail, make out to Rob Taylor and send to 585 Tall Oaks Dr. Gahanna, OH. 43230 ASAP! I tell you guys this so you can help spread the word to your friends and teammates.  Finally, because the Buckeye Prep Report is new to girls basketball, we hope you all will help spread the word about the event and our website.  Word of mouth is powerful to friends and teammates. If you could, if you could share the attached flyer on your social media platforms (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc) to help us get the word out;  that would be very helpfull!  Again, I hope you are as excited as we are!  Rest assured that my staff and I are working hard to make your experience a positive one!  If you have any questions or concerns please email or call me at 614-203-2929.  

Rob Taylor

Friday, February 23, 2018

Buckeye Prep Girl’s 2024 Player Watch List Released

Becca Sanders, Rayanna Howell, Emily Baer, Berry Wallace, Alyssa Horsley, Kendall Braden &Gigi Bowers
A week ago we released our initial “Watch List” for the class of 2023.  Below is our initial list for the class of 2024.  Although the list is not extensive as 2023, and there are still a lot of talented girls we have not yet identified, we think the list is still solid for our first shot at it.  With that said, we fully understand there are a number of other girls who deserve to be mentioned on this list, and we will do our best to identify them going forward.  To reach our goal, it’s vital that we receive feedback and input from the top coaches in this class.  We always invite credible and non-biased information from those who are closer to the action, rather that’s from coaches or parents who follow the class closely and can provide us with specific information.

From what we can tell, right near the top of this class are girls like: Becca Sanders (5’9”/WF/2024/Cincinnati), Emily Baer (5’1”/PG/2023/Bowling Green), Alyssa Horsley (5’4”/SG/2024/Teays Valley), Paris Reed (5’5”/SG/2024/Cincinnati), Berry Wallace (5’7”/WF/2024/Pickerington), Rayanna Howell (5’5”/CG/2024/Columbus), Gigi Bowers (5’3”/SG/2024/Powell), Kendall Braden (5’6”/SG/2024/Milbury) Kamryn Grant (5’7”SG/2024/Columbus), Grace Jackson (5’4”/PG/2024/Cleveland), Aby Garcia (5’9”/PF/2024/Dayton), Jada Mosley (5’4”/SG/2024/Cincinnati), Aniya Trent (5’10”/PF/2024/Cincinnati), Riley Smith (5’11”/C/2024/Dayton), Hailei Henderson (5’4”/PG/2024/Cincinnati), Taylor Angielski (5’7”/WF/2024/Cleveland), Jayden Tucker (5’3”/SG/2024/Columbus) and Ava Schiff (5’3”/SG/2024/Teays Valley).

Fortunately for us, we will get a chance to see most of the top girls at our March 10th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase here in Columbus.  Also, because many of them will be participating in the prestigious Ohio North vs South and/or Ohio vs Kentucky All-Star Game, they will get a chance to go head to head with the state and region’s best!  As always, if we have inaccurate information in out list, please email us at: with the correct information and we will make the update.  Let the debate begin!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sanders is one of 2024’s Best

Becca Sanders 5'8" WF 2023 Mason
The mark of any elite player is to lead their team to championships.  Such is the case with Becca Sanders (5’8”/WF/2024/Mason), who, after averaging 16 points per game, led her 6th grade Mason Select team to an impressive 17-3 overall record and a first place finish in the very competitive Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League.  The other standout for Mason was Kaelyn Burley (5’11”/C/2024/Mason). With the regular season championship all rapped up, the #1 seeded Mason Select will get a first round by to the league championship, which tips, off this coming weekend.

Oh, that’s not all, as Sanders also led her Cincy Thunder travel team to a perfect 10-0 record and a first place finish in the Southwest Ohio Basketball League, where they were playing up in the 7th grade division.  Sanders averaged 12 points per game for Thunder.  Sanders was joined on the Thunder by standouts Paris Reed (5’6”/SG/2024/Cincinnati), Shelby Neat (5’9”/WF/2024/Cincinnati) and Hailei Henderson (5’4”/PG/2024/Fairfield).

Because of her long and lanky build, Sanders is able to play and defend multiple positions.  She’s great in transition, has no problem get into the paint and dishing to open teammates. Her skill set also includes the ability handle and the shoot the ball at a high level.  Although she at her best shooting from 15-18 feet, she is developing range out to the 3-point line.  Sanders is also a vocal leader on the court and her high basketball IQ allows her to understand sets and plays from multiple positions.

Sanders is also a straight A student and plays basketball exclusively. Sanders has obviously garnered national attention, as evidenced by selection to the Elite Girls Basketball All-American Game in Columbus in March.  Sanders is only 1 of three Ohio players invited to this exclusive event.  We look forward to catching Sanders in action this spring and summer.

Monday, February 19, 2018

McMillian Nearing High School Decision

Paul McMillan IV 2022
Although Paul McMillan IV didn't play a single game in middle school this season, he is still one of the hottest young players in the state of Ohio, and the country has to offer. According to his dad, his son’s level of interest is supported by the hype surrounding what High School his son will attend next year; his now 170 pound 8th grade frame; the fact the he is now dunking with ease; he regularly holds his own versus high school players & former pros; and the interest Paul is starting to receive from college programs.   

When we talked to McMillan's dad, Paul IV was just leaving a college game where The University of Cincinnati played Wichita State (two of the top 20 teams in the country). The elder McMillan also said that they plan to attend several NCAA conference games, and some NCAA Tournament games in the upcoming weeks along with taking some unofficial visits this spring.  

Buckeye Prep is the only source that has Paul's high school list!! So here it is, hot off the press! Paul's dad said some of the schools on the list are going to surprise some folks this upcoming season! 

McMillan's High School list: 

Deer Park 
Covington Catholic 
Hughes Center
Walnut Hills

Buckeye Prep has followed McMillan's progress for several years, and plans to be present for his high school decision. Finally, you can catch McMillan in action at our March 10th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.

All-Ohio Takes Presidents Day Tourney

2023 All-Ohio 2018 Presidents Day Tournament Champions
The 2018 travel ball season is barley underway, but already, Ramone Humphrey’s 2023 All-Ohio squad has a championship under their belts.  This past weekend, All-Ohio 2023 went 4-0 on their way to the 7th grade championship of the 2018 Presidents Day Cup Tournament at Sports Plus in Cincinnati.  

On their trek to the championship, All-Ohio squeaked by a Margo Matts-led All Saints to the tune of 41-40.  Although Mattes dropped a cool 17 points, All-Ohio was able to get the opening pool play game win.  Next up was the Junior Lady Knights, which All-Ohio defeated by over 30 points.  Game three included a 61-21 blow out win over the Southern Kentucky Knights.  In the championship game, All-Ohio squared off against their 5th grade cousins, All-Ohio 2025, and notched a 46-26 victory on their way to  their first tournament championship of the season.

Although All-Ohio was led by a trio of players, which included Abby Riddle, Mari Bickley and Shelby Humphrey, Riddle was the driving force, most consistent, and leading scorer.  Over the course of the tournament, Riddle averaged 18 points per game, rebounded at a high level and used transition scoring to propel All-Ohio to the win. Joining All-Ohio for the first time was Akron’s Mari Bickley who logged in a standout performance as well.  Shelby Humphrey also played well and exploded for 21 points in one of the games.  We look forward to seeing several of these players at our March 10th elite showcase.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

6th Grade COBBA Playoffs-Day One Report

Rayanna Howell, Alyssa Horsley, Gigi Bowers, Berry Wallace & Ava Schiff
We had the opportunity to spend some time at Reynoldsburg High School on Sunday while covering our first girl’s basketball event.  We caught some very competitive games at COBBA’s 6th grade playoffs.  Early in the day we watched Coach Ron Bess’ Pickerington Purple squad take down the Dublin Rocks 24-23.  Pickerington was led by the inside/outside duo of Berry Wallace (5’7”/PF/2024/Pickerington) and Rylee Bess (5’0”/PG/2025/Pickerington).  Bess is a dynamic little floor general who excels at both play making and scoring, while Wallace is a rebounding machine and an elite scorer.  Later in the day, Pickerington advanced to the third round with a 30-26 thriller over Olentangy. Barry Wallace led all scorers with a game-high 15 points, while Rylee Bess poured in another 9 points.

We also watched a slugfest between Teays Valley and Olentangy Liberty.  This was a very tight game right from the tip and included multiple lead changes and ties.  Teays Valley would ultimately prevail and go on to collect a 37-30 win to advance to the second round. There were a number talented players in this game including Alyssa Horsley (5’4”/CG/2024/Teays Valley) who exploded for a game-high 16 points.  Horsley was the best shooter we saw all day and her ability to shoot from beyond the arc is her gift. We also really liked Ava Shift (5’3”CG/2024/Teays Valley), who is tough as nails and always in attack mode.  Not only can she score the ball, she’s an elite defender and plays really hard.  She’s still developing her low post skills, but keep an eye on Kennedy Younkin (5’10’C/2024/Teays Valley), who already has big time size at a young age.  As her skill catches up with her length, Younkin could be a good one long term!

Rylee Bess, Jayden Tucker, Olivia Owens & Emma Karagheuzoff
Another contender for the 6th grade title is Westerville United, who is led by dynamic Rayanna Howell (5’3”/CG/2024/Columbus).  Howell is an elite scorer from all three levels.  She can knock down the 3-ball, get to the rack and hit the midrange jumper as well.  With that said, she’s more the a scorer, as she defends and rebounds at a high level, and she plays extremely hard and impacts the game at a high level. From what we saw, Howell is a star in the making!  Oh yea, she went for a game-high13 points in the 39-23 win over the Grove City Jammers.  We also saw some good things from Jaden Tucker (5’2”/PG/2024/Columbus), including the ability to handle the rock and get to the cup.

There were several other standouts on Sunday including Emma Karagheuzoff (4’8”/PG/2024/Powell), who has significant ball skills, Kadence Conley (5’1”/PG/2024/Dublin), who scored a team-high 9 points against Pickerington Purple. Based on what we saw with Olivia Owens (PG/2024/Olentangy), her name will be added to our 2024 statewide “Watch List.”  We look forward to seeing many of the above-mentioned players at our March 10th Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.

R4L is all about Development

There are numerous youth basketball programs in the state, but few are true grassroots organizations committed to developing young players for future success.  Carlos Davis’ R4L organization is one such program and has been in the business for over 16 years.  Having started R4L more than a decade ago, Davis merged with the Cincinnati Lakers organization for 5-6 years before returning to his own R4L brand.
“Our goals is to keep kids together and intact to move into high school ball,” said Davis. “We’re all about teaching kids how to play ball; running sets and we work with kids based on their ability,” continued Davis.

Currently, Davis’ program works with boy’s team in grades 3rd-6th.  His teams are “very competitive and are playing up this winter,” Davis said. Because R4L is all about development, the organization offers more than just games. “We provide all services including training,” offered Davis. Although the program is “pay to play,” R4L tries to hold funding raising and secure sponsorships where they can. 

In terms of their philosophy, Davis handpicks the kids he wants to work with.  “We don’t do tryouts. I recruit kids; I target the kids I want to work with. I look for support systems first and who will get them to practice.  Players and parents have to be committed,” Davis said. “We focus on long-term development; we don’t do trophy chasing,” continued Davis.

In the winter, R4L teams play up in order to find competition.  In the spring and summer Davis’ team will travel far and wide in search of the best competition they can find.  Their season will tip off in early March and will include the April 13th-15th Buckeye Prep Invitational.  Because Davis and his organization has supported the Buckeye Prep Report for over a decade, we’ve seen up close and personal his dedication, passion and how he works with the kids.  We would like to wish Davis and his players much success this season!

Buckeye Prep Invitational Information Page