BEXLEY, Ohio -- Thanks to the new NCAA recruiting changes, Capital was the host to the inaugural Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Division I Recruiting Showcase (a mouth full, isn't it?) on Saturday. With 100 players from all over the state, hundreds of college coaches on all levels filed into the gym in Bexley to take a look at the next era of prospects in Ohio.
With 17 players from Central Ohio taking part in the action, we take a look at the standout performers from the one day event.
Desmond Watson (6'5 WG / DeSales / 2021): Watson continued what has been a very impressive month of June with another terrific showing on Saturday at Capital. The 6-foot-5 wing was in attack mode from the opening tip, taking defenders off the bounce and showing great strength when finishing at the rim. Watson showed more capability on the perimeter than what we saw last high school season, knocking down a catch and shoot three, while connecting on two impressive mid-range pull up jumpers. The DeSales junior has one of the best jab steps in the area, which he put to use early and often at Capital. We enjoyed seeing Watson with the ball in his hands and were impressed with the energy he brought on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-5 wing is beginning to hear from Division I programs, as Saturday's showing will only lead to more recruiting calls for Watson.
CJ Anthony (6'0 PG / Harvest Prep / 2020): We've probably said everything good there is to say about Anthony over the last three years, however, we just continue to be impressed with the type of winner he is. It doesn't matter if you throw Anthony in a state championship game or a pick up game at the corner of Livingston and James, he's going to bring the same energy, toughness and leadership ability to the game. That was the case once more on Saturday, as he led his team to an impressive afternoon, knocking down shots, using his strong frame to get to the rim, delivering accurate passes and locking up on the defensive perimeter. Anthony has really worked on his body this offseason, getting into great shape, while his pull up jumper has definitely improved. We wrote at the end of the HS season that Anthony needed to develop an in-between game and he has done just that, which means danger for the rest of the area. This kid has the grades, the game and the attitude to be a big-time success in college. Recruit him if you need a leader at the point guard spot.
Not even five minutes after this was typed, Anthony received an offer from Robert Morris.
Garner Wallace (6'5 WG / Pickerington Central / 2021): Fresh off a state track championship, Wallace transitioned over to the basketball court today and looked like he didn’t lose a step at all. The junior picked up right where he left off after generating some prospect buzz halfway through the season for the Tigers.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Wallace is much more of a wing than a guard at this point in his career. A phenomenal distance runner, Wallace used that to his advantage today in the high paced action as he sprinted the floor and consistently finished at and above the rim in the open court. Typically not know for his halfcourt offensive prowess, the junior knocked down multiple threes, looked more comfortable as a ball handler, and had a beautiful low usage pass attacking off a stagger screen to the weakside of the floor.
Defensively, Wallace is an ultra switchable defender as he is able to cut off dynamic lead guards or bigger wing ball handlers at the point of attack with ease using his long strides and tremendous lateral speed.
I really like Wallace’s long term potential as a prospect. He continues to develop his shooting consistency and ball handling along with always flashing IQ plays on both ends of the floor each game. He’s another player that will need an uptempo setting in order to have success at the next level. All low majors and high D2’s should know about the wing. He will have a significantly larger role for the Tigers this year and we are eager to see how he handles the load especially in the halfcourt offensively.
DJ Moore (6'3 PG / Worthington Christian / 2022): In an event villed with a vast majority of upperclassmen, not too many 2022 prospects filled the floor. Moore was an exception and he was terrific in our viewings of him, physically competing and running the show at the point guard spot. The 6-foot-3 lead guard prefers the uptempo style of basketball, as he once again flashed his ability to drive and kick, creating opportunities for himself and others. Moore's physique has improved and he put this to use, as his first step is as good as they come and he has the strength to finish through contact. Moore was one of the better off the bounce creators that we watched on the afternoon, muscling his way to the rim with toughness and finesse. We even got to see Moore knock down a few jumpers, which is the part of his game that will take him to the next level as a prospect since he's already so good at everything else.
Cali Davis (6'0 CG / Africentric / 2020): After watching the Africentric and seeing their talented young guys dominate it was a nice surprise to see Davis play so well at this event. The senior guard played hard on both ends and was efficient all day long.
Standing at 6 feet tall, Davis thrived in the up and down open court setting that was provided to him today as a transition handler where he made several quality looks to open teammates running the floor. Davis has a full shot profile where he can knock it down effectively pulling up, spotting up, or off movement. Including a no hesitation shot off movement on a DHO Pitch which was very impressive.
He built on his performance on the defensive end, always exerting maximum effort, pestering his man on the ball and had a solid down rotation to challenge an easy look at the rim. His true value though, is as a point of attack defender.
Davis had one of the better outings I saw today. He can take and make shots at a high level. He would fit best within an up tempo system, where he can look to take and make open three pointers in early offensive actions. Along with being able to apply his motor with a team that implements ball pressure in the backcourt. This was a huge step forward for the senior guard and we hope he can continue to boost his stock throughout the summer with Hidden Gems and at Africentric.
AJ Clayton (6'6 PF / Philo / 2022): After seeing Clayton perform so well at Battle for the City, I was excited to see what the sophomore could do today, and he did not disappoint at all, continuing to round out his game and put together another great performance.
Standing at 6-foot-6 Clayton is continuing to develop both his shooting and ball handling ability, looking more comfortable on the perimeter than ever. He knocked down several pick and pop threes and ran the floor out in transition which allowed him to get easy looks at the rim and go to the free throw line.
Defensively, Clayton made a couple of nice rim rotations to challenge layup attempts. I would have liked to see him work a little more out in space and get a feel for how he would be able to defend against all the dynamic ball handlers at this event.
Clayton’s stock will continue to rise and has already picked up an offer from Ohio University. The sophomore will thrive on the perimeter as a floor spacer and if he continues to grow his perimeter game he will be able to attack any closeout off the bounce and I feel confident that he has the IQ to eventually make great decisions with the basketball off the bounce in those situations. We anticipate a dominant season from the high IQ forward and are excited to see his continued development.
Tyrese Hughey (6'7 PF / Thomas Worthington / 2021): We've already talked about Hughey quite a bit this month and even as recent as last Wednesday, however, he had another strong showing on Saturday running alongside Anthony. The 6-foot-7 forward is the ideal rim running big with pick and pop capability that has become popular in this era of hoops. Hughey did that and then some on Saturday, running the floor hard, showing off quality hands, hitting a few jumpers and competing on the glass and as a rim protector. Hughey has broad shoulders and an intriguing frame. We think a big month of July AAU ball could help him land his first Division I offer.
Keaton Turner (6'1 PG / Dublin Coffman / 2020): Turner appears to have grown an inch or two since his junior season. The Iead ball handler continued to play his game that got him here even against high level competition.
Standing at 6-foot-1, Turner is a lightning quick lead guard. He thrives changing directions which allows him to get into the lane. Once into the lane. Turner made some quality simple decisions as a passer on dump offs and corner to corner to create open shots for his teammates. Along with a pair of simple decisions out on the break as a transition handler. A capable shooter both pulling up and off the catch, Turner struggled a little bit shooting the ball today but it was not because he was unable to create separation. Defensively, Turner had a pair of nice steals. Both came off the ball as he utilized his speed and quick reaction time as an off ball defender.
Turner is a high quality player that’s probably a mid/low D2 prospect. Offensively, he’s going to have to step into an initiating role which will be hard for him to do immediately with such a slight frame. However, he does have the handle, speed, and pull up shooting ability to become a threat in high usage actions off the bounce. Defensively, Turner’s frame hurts him again, limiting him to one position making him unswitchable when switchability has almost become a necessity. He has the potential to be a quality on ball defender though. Most of Turner’s concerns come from his frame, shooting consistency, and decision making. He’ll get plenty of reps in two of those three as we anticipate him to step into a primary handling role in his senior season at Dublin Coffman.
Jayvon Maughmer (6'5 WG / Chillicothe / 2020): Maumghner was one of the Central Ohio guys that I had seen the least up until this point, so I was excited to get eyes on him. The wing didn’t have a huge game, both times when I saw him, but showcased his collegiate value on both sides of the floor.
Standing at 6-foot-5, the lengthy wing thrived in transition as well, whether that was running the lane and finishing at the rim or pulling and as handler where he frequently looked for hit ahead passes. In the halfcourt, the senior flashed his fluid handling ability, but mainly thrived in a low usage role knocking down spot up jumpers, and making a pair of great backdoor cuts.
Defensively, Maumgher’s length and movement ability will allow him to guard 3-4 positions effectively at the next level. He still needs to continue to make strides as an off ball defender where he gave up a couple open looks getting caught ball watching.
Maumgher already has a few offers and I would be shocked if he didn’t obtain more. The wing is a versatile player on both ends of the floor. He probably fits best offensively within a team that already has an established high usage playmaker, so his role can be simplified as a guy who can attack closeouts and will have the occasional action ran for him that will allow him to get downhill, and a defense that prides themselves on being extremely.
Sean Jones (5'10 PG / Gahanna / 2022): Jones left with an injury before the conclusion of the event, but was strong in our viewings of him. Jones showed his special ability to handle and pass, but was stuck off the ball for a large chunk of the day. The rising sophomore is clearly best served on the ball where he is capable of running a team and creating consistent offense. One of the elite two way players in the area, as Jones can guard the ball as well as anyone. We love his toughness and the way he competes.
Marcus Stewart (6'3 WG / Wellington / 2021): The rising junior from Wellington took advantage of Saturday's exposure event and delivered as one of the day's better perimeter shooters. Stewart knocked down every shot that we saw him take in our viewing of him, stretching the floor and providing solid length and versatility. With the graduation of Dallas Patrick, look for Stewart to step into a major role for Wellington this winter.