COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As we head into February, there are plenty of talented unsigned seniors still available in Central Ohio. As part of a multi-part series, we will take a look at the top available combo guards in the senior class.
For any college coaches interested in the players below, please DM Zach Fleer on Twitter at @ZachFleer270 for contact information and more.
Jeremiah Keene (6’1 CG / Westerville North / 2019): The only unsigned combo guard with Division I offers, Keene is the most accomplished of this group. A four-year starter and one of a handful of players in Westerville North history to surpass 1,000 career points, Keene has put together a terrific career for the Warriors. Playing both on and off the ball for the duration of his high school career, Keene has been as productive as just about any player in his class.
On the offensive end, Keene is the most talented player in this group. With elite quickness and top end to end speed, Keene is a terror in transition. The senior has quick feet and can really finish at the rim, while also having a knockdown three-point shot off the dribble. When he was in the same backcourt as Julius Brown, Keene played both and off the ball, really excelling as a spot up shooter and slasher.
The room for growth on the offensive end for Keene is with his in-between game. We’d like to see him develop into a better pull up shooter from the mid-range area and improve his ability to create separation for his shot. With his speed and handling ability, Keene has the tools to develop into a great drive and kick guy, as we’d like to see him improve at creating for his teammates.
On the defensive end, Keene is a quality on ball defender with his lateral quickness and length. Off the ball, Keene is solid despite not getting a ton of steals. With good athletic tools and a quality offensive skill set, Keene has what it takes to play at the low-major Division I level.
In order for Keene to reach his potential, he has to improve his motor and refuse to take plays off. Keene had a great 17u AAU season and proved to be coachable and a good teammate, which are two things that will determine how successful of a college player he will be. A top scorer in Central Ohio this winter, Keene is as talented a combo guard as you will find in the area but will have to improve at the aforementioned things in order to get to where we know he can be.
Tre Watkins (5’11 CG / South / 2019): At 5-foot-11, Watkins has a ton of appeal on both ends of the floor. He is a tight change of pace ball handler that can create his own shot in the halfcourt, and can take advantage of his tremendous open court speed in transition. His on ball offensive game is centered around his well balanced pull up shot, where he can extend his range out to well beyond the collegiate three point line. He does a good job playing off the threat of his shot and applies his change of pace handle to play off the threat on his shot. Watkins can be entrusted to make simple decisions as a passer as well. Such as executing dump offs and finding strong side spot up shooters.
The South guard can shoot exceptionally well off spot ups, along with off slight movement, flashing the knowledge to fade into corners and lift onto wings to generate open looks. He can also attack off the dribble and get into the lane spotting up with a quick first step.
He is a pesky on ball defender, despite not possessing elite physical measurables, the guard regularly shows off exceptional lateral quickness to stay in front of any speedy lead guard. Off of the ball he is very engaged as well. He can anticipate simple reads by an opposing player and come up with easy steals in the passing lanes.
Watkins probably best fits in a collegiate up tempo system, as we have seen him thrive in the open court for the South Bulldogs. Where he has shown value as a transition handler with his dynamic north/south speed on top of being able to fill proper lanes to knockdown corner threes in transition. He could really be an irritant as well on the defensive end, picking up the opposing ball handler three quarter court or could thrive in a zone trap where he has tremendous recovery speed to move from zone to zone and put himself in position for easy turnovers. Ideally, you would like to see him improve his passing vision and refine his decision making. Make no mistake though, Watkins should have every juco offer in Ohio with his role versatility on the offensive side of the ball and point of attack on ball defensive value.
Jordan McMillian (6’1 CG / Westerville South / 2019): As he has put up great numbers for Westerville South during his high school career, McMillan has slowly became one of the most sought after juco targets in Central Ohio. McMillan is a pure scorer who can put the ball in the cup at will, he’s currently leading the Wildcats by scoring 20.8 points per contest. He constantly puts pressure on the defense by playing aggressive, a trait he uses to score most of his points.
Offensively, he is about as fast as they come off the dribble and excels in the open floor when reaching top speeds. He uses this to get to the rim at will, changing directions by the second and also allowing himself to stop and hit a pull up if he needs to thanks to his body control. He’s the main creator for Westerville South on offense, as he finds himself in many isolation roles, and thrives in it, but can still make good reads within the offense. McMillian has arguably the best mid-range game in the area, as he is a consistent shooter from 16 feet and in. While McMillian still is improving as a three-point shooter, he has a good enough offensive game to play immediately at the next level.
Defensively, McMillan’s strong suit is on the ball. He carries over his aggressive offensive mindset to defense, as he is not afraid to get in your space when defending you. He shows good off ball potential as well, but could really start to mold his defensive game into being elite if he can improve it at the next level. McMillian has to improve at staying out of foul trouble to keep himself in games for a Wildcats team that needs everything they can get out of him.
A relentless scorer, McMillan is a no brainer for any JUCO in the state.
Kayin Derden (6’2 CG / DeSales / 2019): Derden is a slightly above average athlete at 6-foot-2, as he won’t blow your mind with insane leaping ability or elite speed. He does most of his work off the ball and that should be his calling card at the next level. The DeSales senior can knock down shots off movement in all three facets and has a quick, smooth, projectable release that any coach could feel comfortable with.
When working off movement, Derden does a great job of setting his defender up to create separation along with being able to read his defender as well. He has some decent passing ability off movement but nothing too crazy outside of simple dump offs and reads within the flow of an offense. I’d like to see him continue to tighten his handle so he could become an even better pull up shooting threat.
On the ball, Derden is a straight line slasher that uses his lengthy wingspan to finish at the rim through traffic and contact. Through his three years on the varsity level, Derden has filled multiple roles. As a sophomore, Derden was a terrific spot up shooting threat who punished teams in the corners. With the Stallions having talented players like Caden Sanchez, Luke Hipper, Ryan Peaks, Shawn Snyder and Abdul Kanu, Derden found plenty of open looks and made teams pay with his outside shooting prowess.
As a junior, Derden filled more of an on ball role, creating offense off the dribble and scoring on his own. Now as a senior, he is doing a little bit of both, as he truly makes this DeSales team go when he is in a rhythm. Derden is a terrific downhill finisher in transition, while still having the knockdown shooting ability that helped him log so many minutes as an underclassman.
Defensively, Derden is pretty good off the ball. Always engaged, you can usually find him in proper help side positioning and does have some anticipation skill in order to jump a passing lane. The senior should be a fantastic pairing in a half court offense where he can market his offensive prowess off movement and continue to develop his feel as a low usage passer. Along with working to try and become a better on ball defender and maybe gaining some lateral quickness and explosiveness once he continues to add weight onto his frame.
Elijah Thomas (6’1 CG / Gahanna / 2019): At 6-foot-1, Thomas is not an elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but it is not a weaknesses in his future game either. With an above average handle, and an unorthodox posture on his dribble moves, he does have some self creation chops, but should not be relied upon to carry this trait over to the collegiate game on a consistent basis. However, he does have tremendous value as an off ball scorer. Thomas is an exceptional and confident shooter that is capable of getting hot from anywhere on the court. He can knock down shots off spots up and slight movement, along with being able to flash some of that shot creation, carrying it over into low usage action where he can hit tough mid range pull ups, floaters, and the occasional step back. He also flashes the IQ to read the defense when working off movement as an off ball player, a skill that you rarely see from high school players. The senior can read his defenders reaction coming off the screen and adjust according in order to create space for a better look.
Defensively, Thomas has shown improvement over the course of the season an off ball defender. He is now much more engaged than he was in the beginning of the year, but still needs to refine his awareness in that area. A solid defender on the ball who should be able to stay in front of off ball guards and wings at the next level as well.
The Gahanna senior is one of the better off ball offensive prospects that you will find in the class. Possessing just enough shot creation ability to be a threat running off screens and DHO’s outside of just shooting the basketball. You’d actually like to see him become a little more consistent in his off movement shooting where he needs to continue to keep his momentum going and stay balanced.
Despite that, Thomas is still a very intriguing prospect if you are an NAIA school. Especially if you’re looking for a off ball player that can run a lot of read and react principles on the offensive end of the floor.
Hunter Antritt (6’1 CG / Liberty Union / 2019): A bit of a journeyman, Antritt has found his fit at Liberty Union after spending the last three seasons at a handful of different programs in Licking County. Providing great energy to a Lions program that has been totally revitalized by Antritt and his two-way ability in the backcourt, the senior is arguably the MVP in the MSL-Buckeye. A high motor guy with plenty of flash and bravado to his game, Antritt is playing with elite confidence right now. Knocking down eight threes in a 28-point performance this past Monday against Newark Catholic, Antritt showed the type of offensive upside that he possesses.
Defensively, Antritt is a physical defender who takes pride on that side of the floor. Always a threat in the passing lanes, Antritt takes Liberty Union to an entirely different level. The former Newark reserve player is a quality on and off ball defender that plays just as hard on the defensive end as he does offensively. Preferring an uptempo style, Antritt has thrived for the Lions, as Liberty Union is 8-3 since he entered the lineup.
Offensively, Antritt is Liberty Union’s best ball handling and scoring threat off the bounce. An athletic guard with good size, Antritt can knock down jumpers at every level off the dribble, while also serving as a terrific drive and kick guard with good vision. The senior has good length, long strides, a quick first step and a great feel to make the right decisions when he gets into the lane.
Antritt would be a great look for low Division II, high Division III and NAIA programs looking for a high motor guard with scoring ability and athleticism.
Javon Miller (6’3 CG / Groveport / 2019): A senior breakout player in the OCC, Miller has waited his turn and is playing at a high level for Groveport off the ball. A lengthy wing guard at 6-foot-3, Miller is a knockdown shooter on spot ups and off movement. Miller has range out beyond the collegiate three-point line and can play both on and off the ball, but is best served running off screens where he can knock down shots.
A full qualifier with great grades and work ethic, Miller is a tough kid who has been through his fair share of personal tragedy this year. Losing his father to a heart attack on the way home from a recruiting trip this past fall, Miller has persevered in the months since, despite such hardship. We love Miller as a player and person, as he has a terrific attitude, lifts up everyone around him and will work as hard as anyone at his craft.
Receiving interest from several regional NAIA programs, Miller is a good look at that level, as he is a versatile player with a great motor and two-way potential. With his academic prowess, Miller would also be a quality look for high academic Division III programs in the state.
Take a flyer on this kid. He’s worth it.
Ryan Greggs (6’2 CG / Westerville South / 2019): At a long 6-foot-2, Greggs possesses ideal height for a lower leveled collegiate two man. He can thrive as a ball handler in transition where he has solid open court speed, finish at the rim despite his frame, and make simple passing reads to find trailers and spot up shooters. Along with being able to occasionally find weak side shooter in much more spacious open court settings. He’s also a solid change of direction ball handler which allows him to get to the rim in halfcourt settings and to his pull up shot.
Like many of these combo guards, Greggs is best serviced off the ball where he can shoot it exceptionally off movement and spot ups with great range. He can also improvise his own off ball movement by being an instinctual cutter. The Westerville South senior also has a great understanding for the weak side off the floor off as a low usage passer when working off movement as well.
Defensively, Greggs is a decent lateral athlete, but he does have quick hips and that allows him to defend change of direction handlers more effectively, and really be hard to drive on in straight lines attacking off spot ups. I’d like to see him carry out his court awareness as a passer to the defensive end as well. Where he often misses rotations off the ball and can be a little indecisive when the team defense breaks down.
Greggs needs to continue to prepare himself physically for the next level, but you can see the potential in him. With his own ball prowess he should develop into a quality secondary creator who can thrive in the occasional on ball role, but also off of it. He does flash a great feel for the weak side of the floor, but does need to improve his decision making as a passer and off ball defender before you can regularly trust him on both ends of the court. Greggs would be a good fit for a Division III looking to add a potential long term player with some upside or a JUCO that is prepared to develop him.
Bodie Eberhart (6’3 CG / Marysville / 2019): Standing at 6-foot-3, Eberhart has great athleticism and is an exceptional slashing guard. Holding multiple football offers, Eberhart is a quality three-sport athlete, as he excels on the baseball diamond as well. However, on the hardwood, Eberhart has been a standout in the OCC-Central since his sophomore year, putting up double digit scoring numbers and carrying a load of the Marysville offense.
On offense, he is a natural finesse scorer who uses his quick first step to get by defenders. When he gets by his man, he can finish comfortably with either hand in the lane and also can knockdown the mid-range pull up, which he loves. He can change speed and directions in the open floor very well and handles the ball well. He can knockdown shots off movement and off of screens extremely efficiently, which rounds out his offensive marketability pretty well.
Eberhart is a high IQ player that plays within himself and doesn’t make many mistakes. Between he and sophomore Jack Christian, Marysville has a high scoring backcourt that can combine for 45+ points on any given night.
On defense, he will not wow you by any means by does a great job of playing his role and can come up with big plays due to his athleticism. As long as he defends well enough to stay on the floor, his scoring ability can keep him there at any level. An elite scoring guard who can handle it, Eberhart could be a good look for any NAIA, Division III or low Division II school. However, don’t be surprised if Eberhart chooses football, as he has a handful of high Division II offers.
Tronny Keaton (6’0 CG / Marion-Franklin / 2019): The top guard scorer in the City League for two years running, Keaton has put up big numbers for Marion-Franklin on a consistent basis. A guy who can play both on and off the ball, Keaton is a multi-level scorer with terrific shooting ability off the dribble. The focal point of the Red Devils’ offense, Keaton can fill it up, as he is currently averaging 22.2 points per game.
Keaton is a tough southside kid that has worked hard to become one of the elite scorers in the City League. Behind his scoring ability, Marion-Franklin is much improved this season, as Keaton and the Red Devils have won three league games, which is triple the amount from last season. The senior plays with a good motor, has big-time confidence and is not intimidated of anyone he goes up against.
With one junior college offer from Columbus State, Keaton is a great student with a qualifying GPA and ACT score and could be a great look for jucos and Division III programs at this point.
Zach Wilson (6’1 CG / Worthington Kilbourne / 2019): A four-year player at Kilbourne, Wilson is as experienced as any guard on this list. Scoring in double figures every year since he was a sophomore, Wilson is in the midst of his best season yet as a senior. The 6-foot-1 senior is a knockdown shooter, despite an unorthodox release, which has helped him in his career-high 16.7 point per game average this season. Wilson can play either guard position in the backcourt, as he can serve as a spot up catch and shoot guy, while also being able to create on ball as a lead guard.
Wilson is a fearless competitor who plays with a ton of confidence, not missing a single game of the 270 Hoops Fall League in the last two seasons. The Kilbourne senior can play in a slow tempo half court offense, while having the athletic ability to get up and down the floor in a higher tempo setting.
With plenty of experience and offensive ability, Wilson would be a great look for Division III programs late in the process.
Ar’mon Mackey (6’0 CG / East / 2019): A breakout senior for the East Tigers, Mackey had a hot start to his senior year. Posting up several big scoring performances, Mackey has become the top option on the wing for East. A tough kid who can knock down shots from all over while defending with plenty of passion and intensity, Mackey would be a great look for juco programs in Ohio who are in need of toughness and grit. Mackey was the only player on the East roster ready to play when the Tigers took on Pickerington North last month, as he scored 12 points in the first quarter and knocked down a trio of threes. That performance alone sold me on Mackey, as his confidence, toughness and motor were where they needed to be against an elite opponent.
Jaishan Norris (5’11 CG / Bishop Ready / 2019): Powerfully built 5-foot-11 combo guard that has evolved into a primary scorer for Ready as a senior. Scrappy, tough defender that plays with a chip on his shoulder. Norris has improved as a perimeter shooter and is more versatile offensively than ever before. The senior is a double digit scorer for the first time in his career at 10.3 points per game highlighted by a career-high 21 points against Cleveland Holy Name in December.
A standout football player, Norris brings that physicality on the hardwood, while also playing with great confidence right now. Norris can put the ball on the floor as a straight line driver who uses his strong frame to finish through contact. Norris would be a quality look for Division III programs for basketball if he doesn’t end up playing football in college.
Tag(s): Home Conferences Central Catholic League DeSales Bishop Ready Columbus City League North East South Marion Franklin South Ohio Capital Conference Buckeye Westerville South Westerville North Capital Groveport Cardinal Worthington Kilbourne Central Marysville Ohio Gahanna Mid State League Buckeye Liberty Union