Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase: Ohio’s Top 8th Graders? Who are they…

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Derek Funderburke

The 2012 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase took place Sunday at Central
Crossing High School and lead man Rob Taylor once again put
on a fantastic event. Well over 200 kids
showed up to highlight their talents. JJHuddle was on hand to get a peak at some of the state’s top 8th graders, and we weren’t disappointed.


The 2012 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase took place Sunday at Central Crossing High School in Grove City. Lead man Rob Taylor once again put on a fantastic event along with his trusted staff. Well over 200 kids showed up to highlight their talents. The prospects ranged from grades 6 through 11.

JJHuddle was on hand to get a peak at some of the state’s top 8th graders, and we weren’t disappointed.

Here is a look at some of the camp’s top future prospects.

Derek Funderburke (6’6/2016/Bedford): Funderburke is a great looking prospect. The youngster has a terrific feel for the game for a young big. He is long and explosive, and has a little bit of nasty in him. He didn’t knock down many jumpers when we were present, but the mechanics look good. Funderburke handles the ball very well for his age and size. Coordination is far from an issue. He has a great feel around the basket and shows good aggressiveness on the glass. If he continues to progress, the sky is the limit for the future Lakewood St. Edward Eagle. On a side note, his father is 6-foot-9.

Derrick Daniels (6’5/2016/Dayton): If Funderburke was the best future prospect at the camp, Daniels wasn’t far behind. Daniels has bounce comparable to a young Joe Ballard (Thurgood Marshall). He is very active around the rim, scoring at will off offensive put backs. Daniels produced the play of the day off a lob pass from a teammate. Daniels caught the lob two-handed and powered the ball home over a helpless defender. He has a nice looking jumper from 10 to 12 feet, but there is still room for improvement in this area. Like Funderburke, he is very long and gangly, but is deceivingly strong. Daniels will likely attend Thurgood Marshall High School.

Drew Grombacher (5’9/2016/Toledo): A heady wing that can play the one or two. Grombacher has a real good basketball IQ and possesses good strength for a youngster. The lefty can knock down shots and get into the lane and score. He plays the angles very well. Grombacher will likely be attending Toledo Central Catholic and should fit in quite nicely in head coach Jim Welling’s system.

Xavier Simpson (5’7/2016/Lima): Simpson will be a household name around the state before his career is over. He is one of the better young floor generals we have seen. Simpson has good muscular development for his age, and should continue to grow. His dad is over 6-foot. He won’t wow you with athleticism, but he knows where the ball needs to be at all times and does a good job of directing traffic on the floor. He shows the ability to be a pass-first, true point guard, which is rare in today’s basketball society. His basketball IQ and knowledge of other players is as good as we’ve seen in a long time. Simpson will attend Lima Central Catholic along with some other very talented kids.

Tre Cobbs (5’9.5/2016/Lima):
Cobbs is a running mate of Simpson at their Lima middle school. Simpson thinks pass first, while Cobbs has the ability to be a deadly scorer. Some kids just know how to get buckets, and he is one of them. He scored in a variety of ways on Sunday, and thrived in transition. To think, Cobbs came off the bench for his junior high team, which is very hard to believe. Cobbs will also be attending Lima Central Catholic High School.

Chris “CJ” Hedgepeth (5’11/2016/Evansville, Ind.):
Dynamic young guard from Indiana. We had heard a lot about Hedgepeth prior to the event, and he mostly lived up to the hype. He didn’t make a ton of shots, but was extremely effective taking the ball to the basket. He was able to finish through most defenders using his strength. Hedgepeth is deceiving with the basketball. He will put you to sleep and then go by you en route to the basket. He was very unselfish with the basketball, and probably could have scored a lot more than he did. Was very good in transition as well and showed the want to defend. Would be surprised if there were many guards in Indiana better than him in his class.

Anthony Christian (6’1.5/2016/Akron): Very good athlete. Christian was all over the court making plays and getting his hand on almost every loose ball. He was able to use his athleticism and length to score around the basket. At this point, he is mainly an athlete, as he struggled to show consistency with his shot outside the paint. Regardless, a kid to keep an eye on.

Henry Badley (6’2/2016/Akron):
Badley is a sensational athlete, which makes plays everywhere. He showed the ability to finish above the rim on numerous occasions. His shot mechanics need a lot of work, but he can really impact a game by making plays that can’t be coached. Badley will be going to Akron SVSM.

Trey Landers (6’0/2016/Dayton):
Landers has an old-school feel to his game. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but used his body very well to get buckets. He hit a couple long range shots and even a step-back triple, which was pleasantly surprising. This kid is going to be an elite scorer in the state for years to come if he continues to get better. He has the rare ability to score baskets in many ways. Landers will be attending Huber Heights Wayne High School.

Terrance Landers Jr. (6’2/2016/Dayton):
Terrance Landers Jr. not to be confused with Trey Landers is also from the Dayton-area. The good news, Landers is a great looking wing prospect. The bad news for everyone else, he will be going to Dunbar High School. Landers just has the feel of a kid that is really going to explode when he reaches high school. He oozes with potential, and we don’t think he has come close to tapping into his potential.

Algevon Elchelberger (6’5/2016/Saginaw, Mich.): The most polished prospect at the camp was Elchelberger, who hails from Saginaw (MI) where he will attend Saginaw High School in the fall. If you want to get a good picture of this youngster, think a young Jared Sullinger. Elchelberger has tremendous foot work and post skills along with great hands. The kid is far advanced from his competitors in terms of a polished low post game. He isn’t a great athlete but not bad, but his ability to get position more than makes up for it. Keep an eye on this kid in the future.

Other future prospects we saw: Rodrick Caldwell (Dayton), Ruben Flowers (Lima), Jalani Rogers (Westerville), Andrew Homer (Cincinnati), Michael Jakob Prall (Tipp City), Clay Gullozet (Greenville), David Barnett and Messiah DeWeaver.

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