GROVEPORT, Ohio -- With the 270 Hoops Fall League continuing on Sunday at Groveport Madison, let’s take a look at the standout performers from Week 2’s action.
Josiah Fulcher (6’4 WG / Lima Senior / 2020): Pro. Fulcher is a pro. Bowling Green is getting a gem in the 6-foot-4 Lima Senior wing as Fulcher has established himself as the best player in this year’s Fall League, joining the ranks of Indiana’s Jerome Hunter, Marshall’s Taevion Kinsey and Wofford’s Morgan Safford. Fulcher plays a complete game, as he gives as much if not more effort on the defensive end, guarding the ball at a high level, shutting off driving lanes, rotating correctly and on time, as well as cleaning the glass and showing the ability to lead and finish the break. While he showed flashes of his big time upside at Pickerington Central as an underclassman, Fulcher has really developed his all-around game since moving to Lima, becoming a bulldog on both ends. Offensively, Fulcher is a high level athlete who has gotten stronger, which allows him to finish through contact efficiently. He has always been a dead eye shooter that can now create his own looks with regularity. We are really excited to watch him for the next three weeks, as we think he’s the type of elite player that will lead his team to a title.
Elijah Hinton (6’6 PF / Newark / 2021): Hinton was one of the biggest stock risers in the gym on Sunday as he did a ton of dirty work for his North Carolina squad in two wins. He went for 15 points and five rebounds in a 59-50 win over Indiana where he showed that he can stretch the floor and knockdown the three-pointer as well as finish through contact. Hinton has an excellent motor and has improved with every viewing, both of which are things that you love to see out of a promising young big. We loved the way Hinton attacked the glass, as he was a vacuum on the offensive end. The 6-foot-6 junior is a player to keep an eye on, as he has a great feel, genuine toughness and a desire to win. Which when you combine that with Newark and coach Jeff Quackenbush, you’ll have a very good college prospect.
Dan Wagner (5’10 G / Africentric / 2022): Defenders that matched up with Wagner found themselves in a world of trouble trying to stay in front of him. He was blowing by defenders at will and finishing some tough shots at the rim. He knocked down two from deep, one of which went in off the glass, the type of shot that goes in when you’re just HOT. Dan finished with 16 points, three rebounds and a steal in a loss to Michigan State, moments after going for 18 points against North Carolina. Wagner has special quickness and finishing ability, as he was able to get by Sean Jones a few times in the game against UNC. We were intrigued with Wagner’s ability to finish really difficult attempts, showing soft touch and using all parts of the glass to convert. Off pure talent alone, there aren’t many guys better than Wagner in 2022.
Sammy Barton (6’3 F / South / 2020): Sammy picked up where he left off in Week 1, impressing once again. He continued to show off his improved range knocking down three shots from beyond the arc. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in Michigan State’s win over Kentucky. Barton plays with supreme confidence and has added a great deal of skill to his arsenal this offseason. The senior is the emotional leader of the Bulldogs, as he sets the tone for them and will be as big of a piece to the puzzle as anyone this winter.
Azzan Daniels (6’1 PG / Bishop Ready / 2021): Daniels is an elite point of attack defender and he has proven just that with the opportunity to defend some of the best guards in the area over the last two weeks. He has excellent lateral quickness and good hands on that end that allow him to frustrate opposing ball handlers. He also showed us his ability to finish around the rim and hit spot up shots from the perimeter in an eight point showing against Indiana. On a Ready team that is built to win now and in the future, Daniels might be the key piece to getting the Silver Knights where they’re capable of going.
Kobe Buford (6’4 WG / Worthington Christian / 2021): On a North Carolina squad that’s been on fire recently, Buford’s ability to play his role has been vital to their success. Kobe rebounded well, ran the floor, finished around the rim, defended hard and hit several three-pointers over the weekend. He also showed good vision and decision making on the offensive end by dropping off several nice passes in transition. We hope to see Kobe continuing to play hard and do his job, as he’ll be relied on as a secondary creator this winter for a Worthington Christian team with a ton of offensive firepower. We see Buford having the capability for some big scoring nights with the opportunities that DJ Moore will create for him.
Derrick Hardin (6’2 WG / Worthington Christian / 2020): Hardin did what he does best on Sunday, knocking down a handful of shots from beyond the arc in an 11 point showing against Kansas and a 10 point outing against Duke. Hardin picks his spots well and is very active off the ball, allowing him to create space and get his shot off. He’s shown the ability to score off the dribble as well as the lefty has deceptive quickness off the bounce. We are big fans of Hardin’s game and think he is due for a breakout senior year where Worthington Christian will have one of the state’s deepest lineups in Division III.
Tahleik Walker (6’2 G / Pickerington Central / 2020): Walker was the X-factor in Villanova’s 53-43 win over Kansas as he went for 13 points, four rebounds and three assists in the contest. Tahleik was impressive on both ends of the floor as he defended the opposing team's best player and created easy points for his guys on the offensive end. Tahleik was very tough around the rim Sunday as he finished through contact on a number of occasions and made several good drive and kick reads as well. Walker is one of the most well rounded players in the area, as he is good at just about everything. Soon to be a three-year starter for a Central squad that has won district titles in each of the last two seasons, Walker is a winner who Division II programs should take a chance on.
Bilal Sow (6’5 PF / Canal Winchester / 2020): Sow was really, really good in a 53-43 win over Kansas as he finished with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in the contest. Bilal proved to be a tough matchup on the interior as he used his length and toughness to alter opponent shots throughout. He also did an excellent job of finishing around the rim, running the floor and stretching the floor, all things that you love to see out of an athletic big. Look for Sow to put up some impressive numbers this season for a Canal Winchester team who will need it due to the loss of Brady Snyder. After breaking out as a junior, Sow could be a 20+ PPG, 10+ RPG, 4+ APG guy this winter. He’s a three and D guy with versatility, length and playmaking ability that would thrive at an elite Division III program.
Ryan Cutler (6’5 WG / Olentangy Orange / 2020): On an Ohio State team with elite talents like Fulcher and Woodyard, Cutler has been a huge benefactor from the feel and unselfishness of those guys, as he had his best performance yet of the fall league in a 73-68 win over Kansas, going for 19 points and six rebounds. The lengthy wing is one of the better under the radar prospects in the area and beyond, as Cutler offers a nice blend of size, skill, finesse and athleticism. He does a lot off the bounce, can finish at the above the rim and is a quality shooter. With Orange losing quite a bit to graduation, Cutler is a potential breakout player that should garner quality interest from NAIA and Division III programs.
Taquan Simington (6’2 WG / South / 2020): Simington was all over the floor in a tough loss versus North Carolina, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Though he’s more known for his freakish athleticism and ability to get to the rim and make highlight reel plays (he showed us that by dominating the glass), we liked the perimeter game that he showed off. He knocked down a three off the dribble and a mid-range off the dribble, showing an improved stroke and feel of what shots are good shots for him. He did an excellent job of defending the ball and staying in the passing lanes all game long as well, as he created a handful of easy buckets for his squad. If you’re a big-time junior college program reading this, Simington is a guy you need to recruit.
Dior Conners (6’1 PG / Pickerington North / 2022): Conners has a great ability to score with a nice quick, shifty step back jumper and he's not afraid of contact taking it inside. Conners is slippery when attacking the basket, finding his way to the rim where he scores it at a high level. The 6-foot-1 guard is due for a breakout year for a North team with a litany of offensive firepower. If the Panthers can get Conners for a full season, North will have a chance to advance to its first ever state tournament.
Keaton Turner (6’0 PG / Dublin Coffman / 2020): Although his short-handed Kansas squad didn’t pick up any wins over the weekend, Turner was excellent again, going for 17 points against Villanova and 15 against Ohio State. Keaton has an exceptional handle and a great idea of how to attack off the dribble. It seemed like he made it in the lane whenever he wanted to on Sunday and is a high level finisher around the rim. Turner is a true three-level scorer and one of the very best in the area at that. His offensive game translates, which is why William & Mary came away impressed with him after watching him work out last week.
Trey Woodyard (6’5 WG / London / 2021): Fresh off a visit to Cincinnati on Saturday, Woodyard was back to his highly productive self in helping his team remain unbeaten on the year. Woodyard and his Ohio State team have already gelled and a lot of that has to do with the connection that he and Fulcher have together on the floor. Helping move the ball and find good looks, Woodyard played a highly efficient two games on Sunday, picking his spots well, creating off the bounce and opening opportunities for his teammates. Already a knockdown shooter who does more off the dribble than what people think, Woodyard is primed to put up monster numbers and lead London to its’ second-straight 20-win season, something that hasn’t been done in decades.
Trevell Adams (5’11 G / South / 2020): Adams was unconscious from three, making five out of six attempts in a matchup against Jalen Sullinger and Michigan State. When he has it going from three he’s simply unguardable. He finished with a game high 17 points and two assists. Adams made his name last winter attacking the rim and using his athleticism to finish, however, if he can continue to shoot it from the perimeter like he did on Sunday, it will take not only his game but South to a new level. With a few Division II offers, Adams would be a great look for high level D2s that covet toughness, athleticism and motor at the point guard spot.
Des Watson (6’5 WG / Desales / 2021): Watson had a great game against Indiana. He put on a clinic for slashing finishing tough shots all game long. He finished with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Watson has really grown his offensive game this offseason, putting in a lot of work to become more of a guard than he ever has been. We like how Watson has tightened his handle and become a high-motor act on both ends, traits that will help his recruitment going forward.
VonCameron Davis (6’5 WF / Walnut Ridge / 2020): The always consistent senior forward dominated the paint finishing with 22 points and three rebounds. Most impressive was Davis’ ability to guard on the perimeter, as he took tough perimeter assignments all game and defended well. Davis will play as a pure wing at the next level and has made really great strides in the last three years to become one.
Quinn Corna (6’2 WG / Upper Arlington / 2022): Corna made the most of his possessions, as he knocked down two threes and scored a really efficient 12 points in our second viewing of him. Corna was on fire in the first game, scoring eight of his team’s first 11. The sophomore is a pure scorer with a great first step and finishing ability around the rim. Corna was dialed in from deep on Sunday which only expanded his game. We think Corna could be a guy who breaks out this season and lands among the leading scorers in the OCC-Central.
Sean Jones (5’11 PG / Gahanna / 2022): Jones was simply himself on Sunday, toying with defenders and getting where he wanted to with ease. He made several impressive mid-range shots off the dribble and showed the ability to know down the three off the bounce as well. Given the way that Sean already defends the ball and creates on the offensive end, if he continues to knock down shots the way he has been, phew. Watch out. We will say it again. We don’t give a damn if he grows another inch, Jones can play on the highest level of college basketball.
Jared Frey (6’4 WG / St. Charles / 2022): Frey has the platinum microwave badge, as he really jumped off the radar last winter with his ability to pour in shots from all over the perimeter. While he did that once again on Sunday, it was his passing ability that really stood out. At 6-foot-4, Frey has a tight handle and ability to create against pressure. We like the way he passes on the move and sees things before they happen, traits that only come with an advanced feel for the game. The CCL is in for a world of hurt for the next three years with Frey and the other weapons that St. Charles has on offense.