This past weekend, the Buckeye Prep Report Elite Showcase hosted
approximately 110 elite level players at The Hoop in Columbus, and the
competition level was very high for such a late season basketball event.
Although some players had already made the switch from the round ball to the pigskin, or were too busy admiring Michael Phelps’ run at eight gold medals at the Olympics in China to work on their game, for the truly die hard ballers, competitive basketball was readily available in Columbus, Ohio. This past weekend, the Buckeye Prep Report Elite Showcase hosted approximately 110 elite level players at The Hoop in Columbus, and the competition level was very high for such a late season basketball event.
Players from as far as Atlanta, Georgia and Detroit descended on Columbus for a full day of basketball, as well as one last chance to compete against top competition and to raise their stock with scouting services. In terms of exposure, several scouting services were on hand to take in the action, including: Chris Johnson (Hoop Scoop/Ohio Magazine), John Stovall (Prep Spotlight/Nike), Brian Snow (Rivals) and Chas Wolf (Insider Prep Sports).
Because it was a showcase event, the format included three league games followed by all-star games in each of three divisions. The level of competition was very high the entire day, and the day culminated in a very competitive 9th grade all-star game. In a game that needed overtime before a winner could be crowned, the stars of the game were a pair bigs. Both Elijah Macon, a 6’7 PF, and Jalen Robinson, a 6’6 PF, both from Columbus, put on a show. Macon was more of a factor in the paint where he finished with 15 points, while Robinson put on a shooting display to the tune of a game-high 19 points.
Also impressive were a pair of Michigan guards. Both Ray Lee, a 6’1 PG from Redford and Cameron Fowler, a 6’0 WG from West Bloomfield showed an advanced skill set and the ability to both handle and distribute the rock. In addition to the above players, KeChaun Lewis, a local product, had a “coming out party” of sorts, as he was much more aggressive than I have seen him in the past, which was evidenced by the multiple dunks he through down over the course of the day.
In just about every event I have covered in the past, I have always discovered what I call “sleepers.” My lists of “sleepers” include: Landen Gaulden from Cincinnati Aiken High School, Tyler Williams from Douglasville, GA, Dylan Kaufman from Hiland High School.
Although they did not make the “Top Five” cut, the Peachtree State sent solid representation in Tyler Williams and Nate Bucher in the 9th grade division, and Anthony Bagtis and Shamus Goss Jr, in the 8th grade division, all of whom balled their way into all-star games in their respective divisions.
Below is a more extensive list of players who had standout performances at this one-day event. Its important to note that all of the players listed below were all-star selectees.
Class of 2012 (“Top 5 Award” winners in bold)
Elijah Macon 6’7 PF Columbus, OH (Marion Franklin HS)
Jalen Robinson 6’6 PF Westerville, OH (Westerville South HS)
Ray Lee 6’1 PG Redford, MI (Dearborn Heights Robichaud HS)
Cameron Fowler 6’0 WG West Bloomfield, MI (University of Detroit Jesuit HS)
KeChaun Lewis 5’11 WG Columbus, OH (Northland HS)
Landen Gaulden 5’9 PG Cincinnati (Aiken HS)
Nate Bucher 5’10 WG Lawrence, GA (Providence Christian HS)
Tyler Williams 6’1WG Douglasville, GA (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)
Malik London 6’8 C Chillicothe, OH (Chillicothe HS)
Jermaine Davis 6’8 C Garfield Heights, OH (Garfield Heights HS)
Dylan Kaufman 6’3 WF Millersburg, OH (Hiland HS)
Erron Nicholas 6’3 WF Cincinnati, OH (Withrow HS)
Matthew Rhodes 6’3 WF Columbus, OH (Heritage MS)
Devonte Peterson 5’8 PG Hilliard, OH (Hilliard Davidson HS)
Spencer Kirksey 6’3 WF Reynoldsburg, OH (Reynoldsburg HS)
Jaquan Thompson 5’8 WG Reynoldsburg, OH (Harvest Prep)
Nick Thornton 5’7 PG Englewood, OH (Northmont HS)
Marques Greene 5’10 WG Wilberforce, OH (McKinney HS)
R.J. Raglin 5’11 WF Reynoldsburg, OH (Reynoldsburg HS)
Khalid King 5’10 WG Canal Winchester, OH (Harvest Prep)
8th Grade Division
Arguably the top long-term prospect in the entire showcase, Mark Loving, a 6’4 8th grader out of Toledo, Ohio, was nothing short of impressive. The kid is super smooth, can shoot, can handle the rock in the open court and plays really solid defense. I saw the kid bodying up bigs in the post, then step outside and hit a couple of three pointers. With that said, his long slender build and advanced skills has some people believe he may eventually be the best player to ever come out of Toledo. I’m not going that far just yet, but the kid’s upside potential is unmistakable.
In addition to Loving, there were several other 8th graders who logged in solid performances at the showcase. I had my first opportunity to see Demonte Flannigan, a 6’6 PF from Richmond Heights and Deiondrary Martin, a 6’1 WF from Lima, both of whom were very athletic, strong, and played with a lot of intensity and passion. Both players represent solid prospects worthy of attention over the next couple of years.
One of the biggest benefits of participating in this type of event is the opportunity it provides for players to perform on a big stage and to build a reputation. Well, Columbus’ Jalen Beton a 5’9 PG did just that. Benton demonstrated his ability to handle the ball and to lead a team. Benton also showed good vision and the ability and willingness to find the open man.
Although he was injured on the day of the event, C.J. Bussey, a 6’0 WG from Toledo, Ohio showed a lot of talent. Widely believed to be one of the top players in the state in this class, his play at the showcase solidified his place among his peers in the state. Keep and eye on this kid, he could be good.
Class of 2013 (“Top 5 Award” winners in bold)
Mark Loving 6’4 WF/PF Toledo, OH (Deveaux MS)
Deiondrary Martin 6’1 WG Lima, OH (Lima West MS)
Demonte Flannigan 6’6 PF Richmond Heights, OH (Richmond Heights MS)
C.J. Bussey 6’0 WG Toledo, OH (Deveaux MS)
Jaylen Benton 5’9 PG Columbus, OH (Heritage MS)
Tyler Ulis 4’11 PG Lima, OH (Shawnee MS)
Dave Brown 4’10 PG Toledo, OH (Deveaux MS)
Anthony Bagtis 5’8 PG Union City, GA (Renaissance MS)
Shamus Goss Jr. 5’4 PG Lawrence, GA (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)
Jack Gibbs III 5’5 PG Columbus, OH (Blendon MS)
Austin Adams 6’4 PF Medina, OH (Highland MS)
Domininque King 5’11 WF Maumee, OH (Maumee MS)
Ty Solivan 5’9 WG Painesville, OH (Heritage MS)
Tony Kynard 5’6 WG Toledo, OH (Deveaux Jr. High)
Sterling Gilmore 5’3 PG Cincinnati, OH (Walnut Hills MS)
Kyle Turner 6’2 WF New Albany, OH (Columbus Academy)
Theo Williams 6’1 WF Reynoldsburg, OH (Harvest Prep)
Hayden Adams 6’2 WF Willard, OH (Willard MS)
Zach Higginbotham 6’0 WF Fairfield, OH (Wilmington MS)
Tony Harper 6’0 WF Toledo, OH (St. Johns Jesuit)
Class of 2014
Shamar Waugh 5’1 PG Columbus, OH (Co-MVP)
William Green III 5’8 WG Dayton, OH (Wogaman MS) (Co-MVP)
Jordan Cooper 5’7 PG/WG Bardstown, KY (St. Joseph MS)
Ronnie Williams 5’10 WF Columbus, OH (Columbus Spanish Emersion)
Dwayne Chestain 5’3 PG Dayton, OH (Fairview MS)
Chris Moxley 5’8 WG Columbus, OH (St James The Lss)
Jaylen Freeman 5’6 PG Dayton, OH (Edison Elementary)
Nathen Jameson 5’9 WF Columbus, OH (Arts Impact MS)
Cameron Ball 5’8 WG Reynoldsburg, OH (Bishop Hartley)
Alex McCoy 6’1 WF Canal Winchester, OH (Canal Winchester MS)
Manuel Powell 4’10 PG Gahanna, OH (South MS)
D.J. Tyree (2016) 5’0 PG Columbus, OH (School Unknown)
For more information about future Buckeye Prep Report events, see their website at www.BuckeyePrepReport.com