LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- We wrapped up the regular season of the 270 Hoops Fall League on Sunday. Let's take a look at the top performers from Week 4 before the playoffs begin this weekend.
Cole Landis (6'6 PF / Pickerington Central / 2019): Landis was the day's best performer, going for 46 points in two games for North Carolina. The Pick Central senior is playing the best ball of his career, showing more toughness, while also featuring a few new tattoos that seem to have given him a new identity on the floor. Playing with great toughness and confidence, Landis has been a key piece to his UNC team, as they will need more performances like Sunday's to make a run in the tournament on Sunday. Landis is a target for regional Division II and NAIA programs, as he has scholarship-level abilities and is now producing at a rate to match up with it.
Derek Van Vlerah (6'5 WG/WF / Dublin Coffman / 2019): Van Vlerah has all the athletic tools in the world and a reliable jump shot. For him up to this point, it has been about putting all of those tricks out at once on a consistent basis. Van Vlerah took a step in that direction on Sunday, playing two great games for Ohio State, scoring from all over and using his elite-level athleticism and length to make a difference on both ends. In my opinion, Van Vlerah has as much upside as any prospect in the class and is only going to get better. If Van Vlerah takes the next step in the process and plays at the level he did at the Michigan team camp in June (where John Beilein watched closely for every game), you could see a late explosion in his recruitment and a deep run in the tournament for Coffman.
Dior Conners (6'1 PG/WG / Pickerington North / 2022): We are a huge fan of Conners and think he has all the tools to be a stud. Conners played his best ball of the season on Sunday, going for double figures in both games and showing off his elusive speed and quickness with the ball. Conners has the ability to change speeds and direction, can really finish at the rim and is a skilled passer on the move. The freshman guard pushes the tempo and constantly puts pressure on the defense. We see Conners receiving immediate time in the rotation for Pick North this winter, as he could greatly help the Panthers right this moment.
Jake Warinner (6'3 WG / Upper Arlington / 2020): A transfer from New Albany, Warinner will be a big boost to Upper Arlington if he plays like he did on Sunday. The best player for Kansas in two tough losses, Warinner was aggressive in both games and scored the ball at a nice rate. Has decent size and athleticism on the wing, is a skilled shooter and understands his strengths and his limits. Warinner should fit in nicely in Upper Arlington's system and give the Golden Bears another reliable wing scorer aside from Max Martz.
Max Martz (6'6 WF/PF / Upper Arlington / 2019): Leading right into Martz, the Penn commit was at the top of his game on Sunday. A multi-level scorer who has great polish and skill to his game, Martz was a tough matchup for both of Duke's opponents on Sunday. Martz can straight stroke it from anywhere, but has really developed as a scorer off the bounce and has in between scoring ability on offense, proving to be a consistent mid-range shooting threat. With Dane Goodwin off to Notre Dame, Martz becomes the focal point in the Upper Arlington system and should have the Golden Bears competing once again for OCC and district titles.
Morgan Safford (6'3 WG / Bishop Hartley / 2019): Safford has owned the 270 Hoops Fall League this year and is the unanimous MVP. He was back to his normal tricks on Sunday, going for 29 points in the opener and slamming the door shut on Kansas in the second game of the day, locking down a perfect 8-0 record for Kentucky in the regular season. Safford has been in attack mode the entire season, scoring it at will and making shots from every spot on the floor. More impressive than his league leading scoring, however, has been his defense, as Safford has really committed on that end, which has led to easy transition buckets. With Safford leading the charge, look for Kentucky to be the top threat to win a league crown on Sunday. Safford deserves more Division I attention, as he has outplayed every top player in the league up to this point.
Sean Jones (5'9 PG / Gahanna / 2022): Missing the first two weeks of the season to attend national camps where Jones really picked up a ton of exposure and name recognition for his elite talents, Jones wasted no time in making his mark on the league in Week 3 and 4. Placing among the top ten players in points per game since his arrival, Jones has formed a daunting backcourt duo with CJ Anthony of Michigan State. Able to get anywhere off the dribble, Jones has really excelled in the half court setting, creating plenty of looks for himself and especially others, as Jones has a special ability to deliver pinpoint passes on the move. Some players just have the "it factor" and Jones is definitely one of those guys. We obviously only cover Central Ohio and haven't seen the nation's top talent, but we would be hard pressed to find 10 better guards than Jones anywhere in the 2022 class.
Jahvon Garcia (6'3 PG / Pickerington Central / 2019): The rise Garcia has made as a point guard and overall playmaker in the last three years is pretty remarkable. Garcia is playing at an elite level right now, evolving as a near impossible matchup on the offensive end. The rangy guard has a great first step and constantly gets by defenders, while also having a special ability to hang in the air and finish difficult shots at the rim. Garcia's outside shooting game has improved, which has opened up everything for him offensively. On the defensive perimeter, Garcia stays in front of everyone, taking pride on that end of the floor. Garcia is a great get for Miami (OH), who has really landed some top talent in this area as of late between him and Pickerington North alum Eli McNamara.
Luke Bartemes (6'3 WG/WF / Dublin Coffman / 2019): We aren't sure if we have seen anything in the last few years like Bartemes' recruiting rise this fall. Coming off the bench as a junior, Bartemes then didn't play big-time AAU, but in the process, changed his body and became a much better player. Blowing it up at Coffman open gyms with his elite-level shooting from everywhere on the perimeter, Bartemes has brought that marksmanship to the fall league. Sunday was arguably Bartemes' best day yet, as he was nearly impossible to cover in Kentucky's second win of the day, knocking down four threes and going for 16 points. Fresh off a visit to Lincoln Memorial last weekend, Bartemes' name has been hot on the Division II recruiting trail, as teams covet shot-makers with size.
CJ Anthony (6'0 PG / Harvest Prep / 2020): Anthony has been an MVP in each of the four weeks, playing his best basketball and showing great consistency each time out. The physical guard has his way with opposing defenders, can knock down perimeter shots with consistency and is a flat out competitor that brings the best out of the people around him. The icing on the cake for Anthony is the fact that he is an elite student as well, which is part of why he is so well-rounded. Alongside Jones, Anthony has Michigan State in a position where it can make a deep run in the tournament on Sunday. Look for Anthony to lead Harvest Prep back to state in Division III if everything goes according to plan this winter.
Dapreis Owens (6'3 WF/PF / Dublin Scioto / 2019): Owens is a workhorse and makes the most of the opportunities that he gets on the floor. Because of that, he has been one of Ohio State's most consistent and productive members up to this point. Owens works hard around the basket, competing for offensive and defensive rebounds, showing more of an ability to handle the ball and score from mid-range and in. A standout for Dublin Scioto the past two seasons, Owens is looking to have a breakout senior season, which should help him attract plenty of recruiting attention at the Division II, III and NAIA levels.
Jay Rodgers (6'0 PG / Pickerington Central / 2019): Rodgers is back at Pickerington Central and seems to be feeling like he's back at home on the hardwood, as he has played some of his best basketball in recent weeks. A confident scoring guard who has the ability to put up points in a hurry, Rodgers has excelled in that role for Villanova, which features another standout guard in Dominiq Penn. While Rodgers has the ability to score on multiple levels, the next step in his maturation as a player is to become a better distributor and prove that he can do more than just get buckets.
Tyrese Hughey (6'7 PF / Licking Heights / 2021): Hughey has some of the best upside for any of the state's big man prospects in 2021 and showed some flashes of the player he is becoming on Sunday. Dominating on the defensive glass and running the floor in transition, Hughey was a problem for opponents, showing great toughness and grit. Hughey is a superb athlete who is showing more explosiveness around the rim and on the boards. Hughey seemed to settle for too many jumpers as a freshman, but seems to have addressed that issue and is now imposing his will more around the rim. We really like the improvements Hughey has made as a player and we see him being a double-double machine in the Licking County League this winter.
Jacob Singleton (6'2 PG/WG / Westerville South / 2019): A standby list addition on Sunday, Singleton took great advantage of his opportunity and aided Duke to a win. A knockdown perimeter shooter who has been a priority recruit among Division III programs in the region, Singleton brought his Ed Calo-taught toughness to the floor on Sunday and should help this Duke team in the tournament this Sunday. Singleton can create off the dribble, has a good feel and can hit shots from all over. Between Singleton and fellow seniors Jordan McMillian and Ryan Greggs, Westerville South has an experienced and hungry backcourt that is looking to get back to the district finals.