COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hosting 24 teams from Central Ohio, the Ohio State team camp offered a unique chance to see a handful of the area's best players and teams. While we've extensively covered the top performers from the event, we wanted to take a look into each team that participated last week.
The Nubians played on both days, going through plenty of highs and lows. Africentric is once again one of the area's younger teams, however, the Nubians are not short on talent, especially in the backcourt. We came away impressed with senior Cali Davis, sophomore Dan Wagner and junior Eli Burke, while freshman Dailyn Swain is a potential rising star in the Nubians program. If this young squad can find a way to take care of the ball and find consistency on both ends, they could have a special season in Division III.
A team with a giant junior class and big aspirations in Division III, Bishop Ready was a treat to watch as the Silver Knights rolled over a shorthanded Dublin Coffman team on Friday. Junior guards Darius Parham and Azzan Daniels were two of the day's standout performers, while senior Brock Baker and juniors PJ Daniels, Garrison Budd and Keenan Johnston provided valuable contributions. Ready doesn't have a ton of size or shot blocking ability, however, the Silver Knights have a great coach in Tony Bisutti and four very capable ball handlers who can open things up for a seemingly endless array of shooters.
The Bruins spent Thursday on campus and went 2-1. Briggs returns most of last year's rotation and will look to make a rise into the top half of the City League South. Senior guard Domenic Farley sets the tone in the backcourt, while junior Javion Williams is a talented forward who really thrives around the rim. If Briggs can get consistent production from seniors Jacob Cash, Andrew Grubbs and Orlando Pratt as well as junior Mauricio Diaz, the Bruins should be able to compete in the division and win double digit games.
The majority of last year's successful squad returns, as senior forward Bilal Sow stood out this past weekend more than just about anyone. The front court is where Canal Winchester is strongest, as senior forwards Sow (6'5), Cole Metzler (6'5) and Zach Miles (6'6) provide length, versatility and toughness. Senior guard Avery Musick might be the x factor as the Indians will look to replace the scoring lost from the graduation of Brady Snyder.
The Comets played on Thursday and had a challenging day as Central Crossing is still finding its footing. We are big fans of senior guard Ant Lowe, who is one of the top floor generals in the OCC-Central. Senior forwards Jalen Coles and Devon Miller are two possible breakout players for the Comets this season, as both offer solid length and scoring potential around the rim. The challenge for Central Crossing will be in finding consistent scoring options to surround Lowe, as the Comets really struggled at times last year to put the ball in the basket.
The best team south of Central Ohio, Chillicothe has a special senior class led by Brandon Noel and Jayvon Maughmer. Noel is the best post prospect in the area, as the 6-foot-7 forward dominated in our viewing of the Cavaliers against Westerville North. Maughmer is as smooth as they come on the perimeter and is a high priority among Division II colleges in the region, while senior point guard Tre Beard is the glue on the perimeter. Keep an eye on sophomore guard Mikey Miller, who has what it takes to break out this winter.
After falling in heartbreaking fashion to Bishop Hartley in the district finals, DeSales was back on the hardwood playing like a team with something to prove. That started with no other player than junior wing Desmond Watson, who was a man among boys on Friday, dominating on the wing and in the paint. While senior guard Kobe Righter wasn't in attendance in our viewing of the Stallions, Watson was good enough to lead DeSales, as we expect him to have a major season. Keep an eye on juniors Austin Mann and Obed Achirem, as the Stallions should once again compete amongst the elite in the CCL more importantly Division II.
With a shorthanded roster that did not include its top two guards from last season, Coffman struggled in our viewing of the Rocks against Bishop Ready. Despite that, Coffman still has a skilled roster with plenty of outside shooting ability, even if the Rocks aren't the most experienced. We were impressed with senior guard Jesse Hains and sophomore guard Ajay Sheldon, while sophomore forward Daviyon McDonald (6'5) could be a potential breakout player this year. The Rocks have a talented freshman on its hands in Gavin Headings (6'3) who seems to fit the mold of the wings we have been accustomed to seeing in recent years at Coffman.
With two teams at Ohio State on Friday, we only got a chance to see the Warriors JV squad. Despite that, freshman guard Anthony Lowery was impressive in that viewing, showing an ability to create offense off the dribble. Graduating a lot of talent from last year's roster, the Warriors will be led by senior guard Julian Binford, who has been a figure in the Eastmoor backcourt for the last three years. If senior post Da'lon Keaton (6'7) can make strides from last year, Eastmoor should be back to competing among the elite in the City League South.
Friday was the Sean Jones Show at Ohio State, as Gahanna was led by masterful performances from its star sophomore. Jones was not alone, though, as junior forwards Maceo Williams and Jarious Jones were really impressive in our viewings of the Lions. Gahanna is blessed with one of the best point guard talents to come through Central Ohio in the last 10 years in Jones, as the sophomore dazzled with his elite IQ, handle and passing ability. Jones and senior Nate Staib form a tough backcourt for the Lions, as Gahanna is looking to catapult back into the top three of the OCC-Ohio.
Heath was one of two teams that we didn't get a chance to see this past week, however, we have a strong idea what to expect from the Bulldogs. Sophomores Brandon McLaughlin and Keylan Williams are two of the best prospects in the Licking County League and will be relied upon heavily this season and for years to come. McLaughlin, at 6-foot-7, is a skilled big with plenty of upside and figures to be one of the elite post prospects in Central Ohio. If those two can take strides from last season and show capable of carrying the load, Heath should be able to compete among the LCL's elite.
Bradley was at Ohio State on Thursday only, dominating in two of three games as the Jaguars rolled over Centerville and Cincinnati Princeton, while its only loss came on a buzzer beater against North Central (IN). The story for the Jags was the improved outside shooting of senior Matt Allocco, who looked like the area's best 2020 prospect this past week. Senior forward Chris Mayfield continued to make winning plays, while junior Keaton Norris and sophomore Tayshaun Mayfield showed flashes of the major impact that they can make this season. It's regional title or bust for Bradley this season.
Spending two days at Ohio State, Lancaster turned heads with a win over Africentric. The Gales are led by longtime area coach Kent Riggs, who has clearly made an impact on the program, as Lancaster ran some of the best offensive action that we saw all week. We were impressed with senior guard Tanner Roush, while sophomore guards Dylan West and Kolson Pugh are two names to remember.
London spent as much time at Ohio State as any team, playing in the first session of games on Thursday and wrapping up in the final session of games on Friday. Junior wing Trey Woodyard was OUTSTANDING, impressing with his shotmaking and playmaking ability in nearly every game. The Red Raiders picked up two big wins in our viewings of them, taking down Canal Winchester and Northland. Fellow junior Jainaz Cameron is an important part to this team and provides length and athleticism while junior Ethan Minner is a potential breakout player for London after being the best player on the JV team last season.
Northland is looking to defend its City League North title and the Vikings look to be in good position to do just that. It all starts in the backcourt for Northland as senior Devan White and sophomore Rob Dorsey will push the tempo and create a lot of offense. Junior wing Makhale Massey has the potential to be the top prospect in the City League, as he showed flashes of that at Ohio State. A key role player who played well in our viewing of the Vikings was senior forward Eldon Boateng, who joins Northland after spending the last two and a half years at Reynoldsburg.
Fresh off making a run to the district finals where the Pioneers upset top-seeded Dublin Coffman, Orange debuted its new look roster at Ohio State on Friday. We were blown away with senior wing Ryan Cutler in our viewing of Orange against Cincinnati Hughes, as Cutler dominated both ends of the floor and led the Pioneers to a comeback win. Cutler and junior guard Andre Irvin scored it at a high level all day, as Orange will heavily lean on the duo this winter. Keep an eye on junior forward Jordan Bethel, who had a few solid scoring moments in our viewing of the Pioneers. Coach Anthony Calo will coach these guys up and you can expect them to be drastically improved by the end of the season.
The Tigers were missing a few key contributors this past week but that was hardly noticeable with the way the young Pick Central squad played on Friday. A team with few seniors, veteran guards Tahleik Walker and Conner Maciag really set the tone and will have to develop into leaders this year. Junior post Elhadji Thiam is one of the highest upside players in the area and seemed to grow up a bit this past week. A potential breakout player for Central is junior Zakai Alexander, who will provide athleticism, toughness and outside shooting ability in a vital secondary role this year. Keep an eye on sophomore guard Josh Harlan, who played well on both days the Tigers were at OSU. Freshman wing Sonny Styles has all the makings of being the next star at Central.
Perhaps the most talented team in Central Ohio, Pickerington North was very impressive in our viewings of them. The Panthers were without standouts Jack Sawyer and Chris Scott in our first viewing of them, but it didn't matter as sophomore guard Jerry Saunders, junior guard Casey George and senior wing Hunter Shedenhelm led North over Thomas Worthington in a rematch of last year's district final. Sawyer and Scott ended up joining them to end the week, making North that much tougher to defend. This might be the time for North to make its first run to the state tournament on the hardwood.
Featuring two new transfers in juniors Tyrese Hughey and Omari Effiong, Thomas Worthington was intriguing as the Cardinals showcased more length and athleticism than before. Hughey makes a huge impact in the front court on both ends, as he and junior Jalen Sullinger will form one of the area's best pick and roll attacks. The x factor for Thomas is junior wing Isaac Settles, who has length the athletic tools to be a major problem. If Settles can come into his own this year, Thomas Worthington will be a threat to win a district title and more.
Despite losing several key contributors to graduation, Upper Arlington is still talented, deep and tough as usual. Sophomore guard Quinn Corna is one of the best players in the area in his class, as he really stood out in our viewing of the Golden Bears against Cincinnati Hughes. A potential breakout player for Upper Arlington is junior center Magnus Entenmann (6'7), who has the skill, athleticism and toughness to give the Golden Bears a major boost inside. Keep an eye on senior guard Fred Wilkes, as he figures to set the tone on the perimeter for this team.
After falling to Pickerington Central to open the day on Friday, Walnut Ridge struck back with an impressive win against Cleveland Heights in our viewing of the Scots. Walnut Ridge has one of the area's elite trios in seniors Von Cameron Davis, Kaveon Ross and Qian Magwood. That trio played at an extremely high level in the win over Cleveland Heights, punishing them in transition in the second half. If Walnut Ridge can find some consistent production outside of that trio, the Scots should compete for a district title and more. Junior guard Eric Bagley could be that guy for the Scots, as he played an important role in the win over Cleveland Heights, providing strong ball handling to give Magwood a break.
In an OCC-Buckeye that will be as wide open as ever this year (all 12 first and second team all-conference players were seniors in 2018-19), Westerville Central will have a chance to compete at the top. We were very impressed with the Warhawks in a big win over Zane Trace. The junior class leads the way for this bunch, as point guard Quincy Clark is the primary ball handler and playmaker for this team. We were impressed with the motor and athleticism of juniors MJ Davis and Tasos Cook, who figure to have a chance to break out this season. These guys will play hard, make shots from the perimeter and defend, which should make 2019-20 a major upgrade from a year ago.
While Westerville North has graduated a large amount of talent over the last two classes, the Warriors are still talented and will still be a threat in the OCC-Buckeye. The guy who sets the stage for them is sophomore Noah Lawrence, who really impressed with his tight handle and outside shooting ability. Lawrence is not alone as senior forward Charles Perkins, sophomore forward Caleb Iheukwu and freshman guard Semaj Council were all impressive in our viewing of the Warriors in a win over West Branch. If the Warriors can take care of the ball and shoot it from the perimeter like they did on Friday, they should be able to compete against everyone in their division.
In a win over reigning Division III state runner up Lutheran East, Worthington Christian played at an insane pace and quite frankly was extremely fun to watch. Powered by star sophomore guard DJ Moore, the Warriors pushed the tempo and got up a ton of threes. When you factor in senior guard Derrick Hardin and junior guard Drew Faieta, who are two of the better shooters in the area, Worthington Christian has the ability to put up a bunch of points in a short amount of time. Junior transfer Kobe Buford comes in from Upper Arlington and will fill an important role this season as a secondary playmaker who brings length and versatility. Make no mistake though, it all begins with Moore, who showed a great ability to run the show and put pressure on the defense with his size, speed, scoring prowess and pinpoint passing ability. Worthington Christian might enter next season as the team to beat in Division III.