* These are evaluations compiled in the past, most of whom have gradated and now play at the collegiate level.
2020 Zeb Jackson (Maumee Valley Country Day) – Jackson will be the next in line behind guys like William Buford, Marc Loving, and Nigel Hayes before him. Playing up in the High School division Jackson was the best player on the floor in many of the games. Flashy, with spectacular ball-handling, a consistent three point shot out to NBA range, a quickly developing high IQ, and a true passion for competition are just a few things that Jackson possesses. Jackson simply ‘gets it’ and is a true floor general even in the 8th grade. Playing for the King James AAU organization, Jackson is a virtual lock to land with a high-major college program in the coming years if everything continues to develop according to plan.
2017 G Darryl Robinson (Bowsher) – Robinson will be the clear vocal leader for this talented Bowsher squad. With good size and a good physical build he can power his way to the rim and get good separation on the perimeter. Needs to be more attentive defensively, Robinson is skilled and highly competitive. Hit big shot after big shot when needed throughout the League play. Doesn’t back down from the moment. Should make for a quality JUCO prospect in the near future.
2017 G/F James Harris III (Toledo Central Catholic) – Won’t necessarily impress you with his size, strength, or even athleticism, but he just flat out plays hard, smart, and always seems to be around the ball. He was active all over the floor, grabbing rebounds on both ends, getting put-backs, finishing around the rim, and bringing energy on defense. Should play a big part in the amount of success that Central Catholic has this coming season.
2017 PF Joe Ochoa (Toledo Christian) – At 6’7” Ochoa is without a doubt one of the most impressive big man in Toledo. His improvements from last season to now can easily be seen. Is much more polished offensively displaying a number of moves in the paint, and finishing strong around the rim. Corrals rebounds well in and out of his area. Can be a force defensively clogging up the lane. Improved coordination and athleticism. Will be one of the better talents in the TAAC this coming season. Should find a place on a college roster by this time next year.
2017 F Nick Witcher (Whitmer) – Was a solid contributor to the success of last year’s team, Witcher has really elevated his play since. Arguably the best athlete to participate in the League, the two-sport standout (football) showed his athleticism and bounce throughout play. Shot the ball well from deep adding another dimension to his offensive game. Opponents may have a height advantage on him from time to time, but his strength is apparent and he does a nice job of using it on the court. Can be a game changer when opposing his will in the paint, altering shots and physically battling.
2017 G Kenny Coleman-Graham (St. Francis) – He showed off and showed out in every game I saw him play. He’s lethal with the ball in his hands. Can stop on a dime and cross just about anyone up, it’s usually just a matter of time. His ability to finish through contact, score with creativity, and put the ball in the basket at the rim is on another level. Shot the ball from deep better than anticipated. Always in attack mode and always dialed in. Could be more attentive on the defensive end at times but that will come once the season gets going. Easily in the top tier of point guards in Northwest Ohio.
2017 PG Derrick Rayford Jr. (Whitmer) – After seeing Rayford quite a bit throughout the month of June his improvement and progress as a floor general is very apparent. He was special in the open floor making good, heady plays and getting to the paint. Was attacking and getting downhill throughout League play and especially on Tournament day. Finished at the rim with creativity while using either hand. Should be one of the better perimeter defenders in Toledo this coming season and did a fine job showcasing that side of the ball as well.
2017 G Brett Lauf (Napoleon) – Can get to the rim with the best of them, relentless when he sees a lane to the rack. Can knock down the three with consistency. Will out hustle you and win 50/50 balls. Isn’t afraid to get physical and bang on either side of the ball. Ability to lock in defensively and will show emotion and leadership out on the floor. High quality D2 prospect. (5/20/16)
2017 SG Anthony Masterlasco (Liberty-Benton) – A very versatile prospect with good size, Masterlasco competes on every possession. Possesses the strength to score inside out, and can take smaller opponents into the paint. Consistent mid-range jumper out to the three point line. Never have to question his hustle. Has good basketball smarts. Holds offers from Fairmont State and Findlay. (5/20/16)
2017 F Logan Jessing (Sylvania Northview) – Jessing won’t do anything to ‘wow’ you when you watch him play, but he does a lot of the little things well. He showed he can score from all levels, knocking down jumpers and finishing around the rim. Never have to question his hustle, competes and talks on both ends. Had a really solid weekend.
2017 G TQ Belcher (Toledo Rogers) – An above average defender, TQ brings energy and has a swagger about him out on the floor. Belcher can score from all levels, and is becoming more and more comfortable attacking the rim off the dribble. Makes shots from the perimeter with consistency and competes every trip down the floor. My preseason pick for Toledo’s City League Player of the Year.
2017 G DJ Triplett (Toledo Central Catholic) – If the event had an MVP it would be hard for my vote not to go to Triplett. Known as one of the better offensive threats around, DJ was on a mission all day long filling it up from all over the floor. Can be a bit of a streaky shooter at times, but on Sunday that wasn’t an issue. Attacked the paint and had his mid-range game working, got teammates involved. Competed on the defensive side of things and took his matchups personal. Should be poised for a big season in the always talented and competitive TRAC.
2017 Alontay Gould (Toledo Rogers) – One who is never too shy to talk and have fun on the court, he backed it up more times than not all weekend. Has the potential and showed flashes of the gifted scorer he can be, but ultimately needs to be a play-maker first for his teammates and a scorer second. Brings it on the defensive end and was really impressive rebounding the ball from his guard position. Has a good handle on the ball and can create his own shot against most defenders. Needs to cut out over-dribbling at times and get teammates involved more often, but the talent is certainly there.
2017 PG Harrison Riggs (Toledo St. Johns) – A heady guard who’s game is flashy but efficient. Does a nice job of creating for teammates and making the right play. Effort is never in question with Riggs. Has a nice stroke from deep and is not afraid to let it fly. Committed to Lake Erie College.
2017 F Delonte Brown (Toledo Bowsher) – The young sophomore has the potential to be very special. At 6’5″ he still looks to have room to grow. Good length and bounce allow him to be active around the rim, especially the offensive glass. A nice looking jump shot, with the ability to knock it down out to three point range. Can handle the ball pretty well. A very raw talent thus far with room to grow into a very nice D1 player down the road. Committed to the University of Tennessee-Martin.
2017 G Hunter Sieben (Ottawa Hills) – He is special with the basketball in his hands, and can just about create a shot for himself on every possession. While his outside shot was off for the majority of play last night, he showed he can knock it down with ease at times and has great rotation on the ball. The clear leader of the team only as a soon to be junior, Sieben has many of the tools to produce at the D1 level someday.
2017 G Jalen Elliott (Toledo Bowsher) – While some guys early in the day took a bit of time to get things going and their energy up, Elliott wasn’t one of them. He was special from start to finish, competed at a very high level, especially for showcase play, and very much looked the part of a quality recruit at the next level. Standing around 6’4” Elliott has the length to get to the rim and finish over and through contact, while also being a valued defender. An above average athlete, he used that to his advantage throughout the day. Shot the ball at a very efficient rate as most are accustomed to him doing on a consistent basis.
2016 F Alex Arellano (Paulding) – Has a tall sleek build that will make him a quality 3 or 4 at the D3 college level. His strength is his shot from outside as he has proven to be a very consistent scorer from there. Was active in the paint at times, will need to bulk up some and work on his quickness. All in all has a very well rounded skill set with above average basketball IQ.
2016 F TJ Munn (Start) – An intriguing prospect, Munn was impressive throughout play on Sunday afternoon. He can score from all levels, is an active and creative wing with bounce and athleticism. Lets his play do the talking. Will be one to keep an eye on in City League play this season. Signed with Lorain County Community College. (5/20/16)
2016 G Daijour ‘DayDay’ Whittington (Woodward) – Whittington could very easily be worthy of the event’s MVP award as he maintained spectacular play both Saturday night and all throughout Sunday afternoon. A versatile and athletic wing, Whittington can slash to the basket with ease, and is consistent from the outside. He can be something special in transition, and has bounce, as he was the Slam Dunk Champion for the event. The one thing that separated him from virtually the rest of the field all weekend was his ability to make everyone else around him better, as he did that time and time again. Signed with Westmoreland County Community College. (5/20/16)
2016 PG Xavier Simpson (Lima Central Catholic) – The point guard has reportedly been putting in the work over the past few months, and it is very evident he has. Has always done a nice job of running the offense but he seemed more mature in his decision making. Very scrappy on defense and can be disruptive in the backcourt. Not afraid to attack and makes the right play on offense, high basketball IQ. Signed with the University of Michigan. (5/20/16)
2016 PF Omari Spellman (North Royalton) – You could tell from the start of the weekend that Omari was out to prove that he can be a versatile forward at the next level, maybe developing into the new ‘stretch four’ position, and he most certainly did that. Hit the three ball with consistency Saturday night, while finishing with authority in the post. A strong rebounder on either end, has the makings of a very special player. Committed to Villanova University.
2016 PF Derek Funderburk (Lakewood St. Eds) – The big man really showed a lot of potential throughout the weekend, and is beginning to put that to good use. Really impressed with his passing ability on offense, and finishes with consistency. Could use being more physical in the paint. Defensive activity is solid as he is quicker than most he matches up with. Committed to the Ohio State University.
2016 PG Gabe Kynard (Toledo St. Johns) – The lefty has a good looking shot from deep to go along with good strength around the basket. While his jump shot could use some more consistency, Gabe has always done a nice job of making the right play. Plays the game smart, with great effort, and has good leadership ability. Lateral quickness isn’t great, but he can flat play the game of basketball. Signed with Lake Erie College. (5/20/16)
2016 PG Roderick Caldwell (Wayne) – Caldwell can run an offense with the best of them, making the right decision while displaying the ability to score at the basket and have a good shot from outside. Plays hard on either end virtually every position. Will be one of the state’s most highly sought after guards in the coming years. Signed with Bowling Green State University. (5/20/16)
2016 G Devon Beale (Whitmer) – Beale has put in a lot of time this past off-season and it is beginning to show and pay off. He has been shooting the ball with greater consistency from the outside, and has been more comfortable and aggressive at taking the ball to the basket. His decision making at times needs to be better, which should come with more experience and a continuing maturation out on the floor. Signed with Defiance College. (5/20/16)
2016 F Montrece Collins (Whitmer) – Collins has all of the potential you can ask for with a very physical build. When he is totally engaged in a ballgame he can be a force in the paint. Finishes well around the rim and through contact. Needs to be more determined to get loose balls and rebounds but has it within him to do so. He can be a big time performer when he wants to be. Signed with Lake Superior State University. (5/20/16)
2016 G Sam Hickey (Whitmer) – The kid is tough as nails every minute he is out on the floor. Plays with as much passion as I’ve seen from anyone yet this season. The term gets overused at times but Hickey can literally do a little bit of everything to help a team win, and he does all of those things at a quality level. Can impact a game while having 3 or 30 points; willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. Signed with Ohio Dominican University. (5/20/16)
2016 G Larry Green (Toledo Scott) – Green has in my opinion, the best handles in the area at the guard position. Has become much more consistent shooting the ball from the outside as he is knocking them down with great efficiency. Has always been solid on the defensive end, scrappy and not afraid to make the hustle play for his team. Could do a better job at seeing the floor at times on offense and needs to finish around the rim better. Signed with Oakland Community College. (5/20/16)
2016 PG Cam Copeland (Toledo Rogers) – One of the best floor generals in Northwest Ohio that doesn’t get enough recognition. Is lethal in transition as he can push the ball up the floor as fast as anyone and make the right play. Plays the game with good energy and leadership. A more consistent jump shot and greater consistency on the defensive end are areas that need work, but his talent is something special. Signed with Cleveland State Community College. (5/20/16)
2016 F Chance Hawkins (Toledo Scott) – Hawkins is having an impressive season thus far. Known as a high-flyer he is something special around the rim and in transition. Has good length that benefits him on both ends of the floor. Has a consistent shot from the outside. Turning into a pretty nice prospect. Signed with Cleveland State Community College. (5/20/16)
2016 G Jaden O’Neal (Lima Shawnee) – O’Neal has the most lethal stroke from deep as he can pull up from virtually anywhere on the floor from the outside. Very dialed in defensively. Has good length for his size, needs to bulk up a bit physically however. High basketball IQ, does a nice job of communicating and leading his team out on the floor. Signed with Capital University. (5/20/16)
2016 F Dantez Walton (Lima Central Catholic) – Length and athletic ability set Walton apart from others at his position. Has developed a consistent shot from mid-range out to the three point line and can make defenses pay if they don’t respect it. Very active around the rim on both ends and is strong in the paint. Can finish through and around contact. A very high ceiling; Walton could end up at a major conference program when all is said and done. Signed to Northern Kentucky University. (5/20/16)
2016 PG Keith McClure Jr. (Toledo Christian) – the senior point guard has shown flashes that make me believe he can be one of the best in the area this coming season. The coaches son sees the floor well and does a nice job of setting up teammates. Correct decision making every possession should be a priority area of improvement. A very disruptive defender, who carries himself with a certain swagger on the court make him a fun one to watch and one to keep an eye on for the upcoming season. McClure would be a quality get for one of the many area D3 programs in Ohio or Michigan. Signed with Defiance College. (5/20/16)
2016 G Deonte Henderson (Toledo Start) – Henderson has shown maturation on the court of late and made the right play more times than not. One who needs to be respected as one of the better scorers in Toledo, Henderson forces the defense to be disciplined allowing his teammates to get open looks at the rim and from the outside. A natural leader. Signed with Heidelberg University. (5/20/16)
2015 F Jeremiah Roberts (Sylvania Southview) – A well polished all around player Roberts has a lengthy frame that would be an ideal fit to play the three at the collegiate level. Possessing a nice jump shot with nice agility around the basket Roberts has the edge in most matchups he will see throughout a game. While he doesn’t appear to be very built physically he is deceptively strong and does more than hold his own in the post. Understands the game and gets teammates involved. Would be a nice get at the D2 level. Signed with Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
2015 G/F Kaleb Vaughn (Toledo St. Johns) – ‘KV’ has good size and length for a shooting guard at the next level. Runs the floor well and is good in transition. A streaky shooter from deep but can knock them down in numbers. Defensive awareness needs improvement; good rebounding the ball on either end. Getting attention from JUCO programs. Signed with Louisberg College (NC) JUCO.
2015 G Craig Kirkwood (Toledo Woodward) – What he lacks in stature he makes up for in his fiery competitive play. He doesn’t back down from anyone and is relentless getting to the rim when he wants to on the offensive end. Defense needs to be valued more at times, but there is no denying Kirkwood is one of the better guards in the City League.
2015 G Chris Darrington (Toledo Scott) – Darrington is scrappy and a hard-nosed competitor on both ends. He can score in numbers, in multiple ways, such as knocking down mid-range jump shots and finishing many plays in transition. Darrington is another one who is smooth on the basketball floor. One coach told me while watching with a smile ‘how his game looks like he’s from Toledo,’ that’s a compliment to the young man. Virtually all area JUCO programs are all over him. Signed with JUCO powerhouse Vincennes University.
2015 F Myles Copeland (Toledo St. Johns) – Being a Toledo guy I’ve had the chance to watch Copeland on a number of occasions but on Thursday he showed some things I had never seen before. Copeland showed a consistent jump shot, while also flashing some nice ball handling as well. He has always hustled and been active on both ends, which was the case Thursday, but he really played well and proved that he will make a solid piece for a D2 program in the future. Has improved his consistency scoring the basketball around the rim. Signed with Siena Heights University.
2015 G Jaevin Cumberland (Wilmington) – Cumberland is a scorer, plain and simple, but he will need to be more unselfish going forward. While going off for more than 30 points in one game on Thursday, it wasn’t as impressive as it should have been, stained by bad shot selection and poor decision making. He is a bit undersized to play a two guard in college, so he will need to focus on setting up teammates and making plays for them, while looking for his shot when available.Cumberland is committed to Oakland University.
2015 C/F Caleb Mitchell (Bellefontaine) – Mitchell is one of Ohio’s fastest rising big man in many circles and it should only continue. Holding an offer from Urbana, Mitchell played very well on both ends. He finished nearly every time he gets his hands on the ball in the paint while also possessing a nice mid-range jump shot. On defense, which some could argue is his strong suit to this point, he mans the paint and will reject a number of shots throughout a game. Mitchell is committed to Urbana University.
2015 C/F John Miller (New Albany) – Miller is a very nice post prospect and does a solid job of playing within himself, something that can be hard to find. He can knock down the baseline jumper to 18 feet, and finish with either hand in the paint. He talks well on defense and is active in the paint. He runs the floor very well and you can never question his hustle. Miller is about all but assured to end up at a high-academic D1 program, he would be a nice fit in the Ivy League, coaches from Yale and Cornell were on hand. Miller has signed with Army West Point.
2015 G Devon Andrews (Lorain) – Andrews, who is already committed to Kent State, is one of the best wing players in Ohio and has been for quite some time. His recruitment would be at a BCS program level had he not already given his verbal to the MAC program. He can shoot from the outside consistently, and can attack the basket just as well. Plays strong defense in a good stance and is active on nearly all possessions. On Thursday, he played as expected, a compliment to him.
2015 F Mitch Loomis (Malvern) – The big man has a nice skill set and showed flashes of it in the game I watched. He does a lot of the little things right, reads the defense, sets hard screens, and communicates well with his teammates. Loomis needs to continue to improve on scoring the ball from the inside out, but he should make a nice player at the low D1 to upper D2 level.
2015 G/F Austin Adams (Cardinal Stritch) – Adams is a gritty kid who plays hard and will fly all over the court. He doesn’t shy from contact on either end, and has a nice basketball IQ. Can score from many areas on the floor as well as attack the rim. Committed to Urbana University.
2015 G Brandon Austin (Toledo Rogers) – Decision making on the floor isn’t always the best. Streaky scorer, but when he’s on he can fill it up fast. Solid defensively, needs to learn to compete on every possession and trust his teammates. Will land with a JUCO program.
2015 G Elijah Pughsley (Lima Senior) – His high energy and motor on the defensive end is something special. Pughsley takes shutting his man down on D very personal, and it is certainly fun to watch. He is a capable scorer on the offensive side of things as well, especially from deep. One of the most intense guards you will see in the state of Ohio. Committed to Western Carolina University.
2015 G Nic Bapst (Grove City) – Nic has played well in showcase formats for the past few years and he did the same on Saturday. Displayed the ability to attack offensively and did so well. Has always had a nice shot from the outside. Plays well defensively, communicates well. Signed with Ashland University.
2015 PG Amos ‘AJ’ Harris (Dunbar) – The Ohio State commit did his thing in all-star game play on Saturday. Did a nice job of attacking the paint off of the dribble, and as you become accustomed to he distributed the ball well. He active hands on defense and improved consistency on the outside shot stood out.
2015 SG/SF Kyle Ahrens (Versailles) – One of the fastest rising players in terms of recruitment, Ahrens showed up ready to compete as always and most certainly did not disappoint. That sweet stroke from deep impacted play early as he did a nice job in transition and coming off of screens. What stands out about Kyle as soon as you watch him is his toughness and effort. Sees the floor as good as anyone on both ends. Ahrens signed with Michigan State University.
2015 PG LaMonta Stone II (River Rouge (MI) – What he lacks in size he makes up for in heart and awareness on the floor. Can finish with either hand off the bounce in the paint, and finds the open man for the easy basket more times than not. Gained consistency with the jump shot. Can get the ball down the floor as fast as anyone in Ohio. Signed with Eastern Michigan University.
2015 SF Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights) – Developing nicely into a high major prospect. Doesn’t force the issue as can sometimes be the case with others, plays well in the ‘flow’ of the game and can rebound on either end with force. Ran the break well. Ahmad signed with West Virginia University.
2015 PF/C Demajeo Wiggins (Holland Springfield) – Has developed into one of Ohio’s best big men. Added strength in the paint, with better ball handling and a solid mid-range jumper have made Wiggins see a big change in his recruitment. Athletic enough to alter many shots on the defensive end and finish with a bang down low offensively, runs the floor better than most his size as well. Signed with Bowling Green State University.
2015 SF Ryan Mikesell (St. Henry) – Really showed out in Sunday morning play with a pair of big time slams on the break as he fills the lanes better than most. Nice awareness on both ends. Fights for rebounds on either end. Improvement in the jump shot should come along as he develops into one of the state’s nicer prospects. Signed with the University of Dayton.
2015 G Craig Randall – Randall is one of the more intriguing prospects the state has to offer. He is a long, bouncy point guard who can knock down jump shots with more consistency than perhaps anyone else at his position in Ohio. He is active on defense and deflects many passes with his length. The problem however is his decision making at times. He tends to play selfish offensively in spurts, something he will need to clean up for the college level. That being said when he shares the ball with his teammates and plays within himself he is certainly one of Ohio’s top point guards. He is a priority for area mid-major programs and might secure a high-major offer by the time AAU is all said and done. Late signee to Memphis University.
2015 F Khalil Iverson (Delaware Hayes) – Iverson is one of the most underrated talents in central Ohio. The Delaware Hayes product has great bounce and activity on both ends. He has worked on his jump shot and it shows, needs to focus on not taking any plays off and his potential is very high in the future. Committed to Wisconsin.
2015 F Carlton Bragg (Cleveland VASJ) – The national top 20 prospect didn’t disappoint as he played with great energy all weekend, scored in a plethora of ways, and altered shots all weekend on the defensive end. The thing that stands out when you watch the young star play is how he makes everyone around him better and plays with great leadership and communication on both ends. Signed with Kansas University.
2015 PF David Dunnigan (Cleveland Midpark) – Dunnigan is one of the more up and coming post players in his class and deserves the attention. Plays smart, and knows what his strengths are. Has nice hands in the paint, and an ability to finish strong.
2015 G/F Katwan Singleton (Defiance) – Singleton is a intriguing prospect. He won’t wow you with much flash and goes unnoticed at times, but the Defiance product does it all and always seems to be in the right place. He can hit the three, create his own shot in the lane, and attack the rim on the offensive end. One of the purest mid-range jump shots you will see. His length on the defensive end makes him a nightmare for opposing players. Committed to the University of Findlay.