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Shift Change? Central Ohio's young guards are the future

By Zach Fleer, 08/03/17, 8:00PM EDT

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In Central Ohio, 15 guards from 2018-2020 have Division I offers already

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- When you think of the top basketball talent to come out of Columbus in recent years, your memory may trigger images of towering post and wing players. Guys like Nick Ward, Seth Towns, Matt Moyer, Khalil Iverson, Kaleb Wesson, Sterling Manley and Jae'Sean Tate likely come to mind. 

The guard positions in Central Ohio, while talented in the last several years, haven't been nearly as deep when it comes to Division I talent. All of that is changing in the 2019 and 2020 classes, especially at the point guard position.

Lead Guards of the Future

In the classes of 2019 and 2020 alone, six point guards have already received Division I offers, most notably with Jeremiah Francis, who was offered by North Carolina on Wednesday. 

  • Jeremiah Francis (Pickerington Central, 2019/Several high-major offers including North Carolina and Ohio State)
  • William Mfum (Northland, 2019/Robert Morris and Youngstown State offers)
  • Jeremiah Keene (Westerville North, 2019/UT-Martin offer)
  • Javohn Garcia (Pickerington Central, 2019/Stony Brook offer)
  • Matt Allocco (Hilliard Bradley, 2020/Miami (OH) offer)
  • Dominiq Penn (Dublin Coffman, 2020/Stony Brook offer)

To put that in perspective, we broke down some data from the last seven graduating classes in the area. The results are somewhat staggering.

Since 2011, the following point guards have went on to Division I programs.

  • Trey Burke (Northland, 2011/Michigan)
  • Traevon Jackson (Westerville South, 2011/Wisconsin)
  • Stevie Taylor (Gahanna, 2011/Ohio)
  • Jordan Potts (Northland, 2012/UNC-Greensboro and Bethune-Cookman)
  • Kyle Molock (Dublin Coffman, 2012/Saint Joseph's)
  • Jack Gibbs (Westerville North, 2013/Davidson)
  • Jaylen Benton (Westerville North, 2013/Southeast Missouri State)
  • Danny Hummer (Upper Arlington, 2014/Air Force)
  • Seth Fuller (Dublin Coffman, 2016/Elon)

The rising sophomore and junior classes nearly match the last seven years already, while other prospects such as South's Treohn Watkins, Harvest Prep's CJ Anthony and Walnut Ridge's Qian Magwood each may have a chance to land at the Division I level.  In 2018, Hilliard Bradley's Braden Norris has several Division I offers, but is one of only a handful of lead guards in that class with scholarship options at the moment. In 2021, Upper Arlington's Kobe Buford, Olentangy's Andre Irvin Jr, Africentric's Alvin Glover,  and Thomas Worthington's Isaac Settles and Jalen Sullinger are other prospects to keep an eye on.

As Columbus continues to expand, so does its basketball talent, and that is evident with the guards coming up in the area. 

Combo Guards Coming on Strong

There's more talent to be spread around in the backcourt in Central Ohio. Outside of the rising point guard group, nearly a dozen wing guards have picked up Division I offers from 2018-2020. Those players go as follows:

  • Dane Goodwin (Upper Arlington, 2018/Notre Dame commit)
  • Jelani Simmons (Beechcroft, 2018/Youngstown State commit)
  • Taevion Kinsey (Eastmoor, 2018/Close to 10 low to mid-major offers)
  • Garrett Tipton (Bishop Hartley, 2018/Youngstown State offer)
  • Solomon Pierre-Louis (Wellington, 2018/Air Force offer)
  • Jejuan Weatherspoon (Northland, 2018/Stony Brook offer)
  • Josh Corbin (Gahanna, 2019/Akron, Toledo, Cleveland State offers)
  • Ben Roderick (Olentangy Liberty, 2019/Akron, Stony Brook and UT-Martin offers)
  • Josiah Fulcher (Pickerington Central, 2020/Kent State offer)

In 2019, players such as Reynoldsburg's Ben Fort, Bishop Hartley's Morgan Safford and DeSales' Kayin Derden have Division I potential as well.  Depending on who you ask, Upper Arlington's rising junior Max Martz could be considered a wing guard, as he holds offers from five Division I programs including Bowling Green and Toledo. In 2020, depending on how they develop, Pickerington North's Hunter Shedenhelm, Hamilton Township's Marquis Moore, Pickerington Central's Jamir Simpson and Licking Heights' Josiah Brown could each have a chance to reel in scholarship opportunities. In the 2021 class, Linden's Chance Groce and Northland's Makhale Massey are two prospects to keep an eye on going forward. All in all, Central Ohio is pumping out high-end talent at an incredible rate. 


Four of the five players pictured each have Division I offers already

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