By Kurt Stubbs (JJHuddle Senior Writer)
Division I should be in for another solid season. In Ohio’s largest division, the field is usually wide open with a number of solid basketball outfits competing for a chance at a coveted state title.
However, in all situations, there are a few favorites and DI is not without its frontrunners. Columbus Northland returns all but one players from last year’s one-loss team, while perennial powers Lakewood St. Edward, Cincinnati Moeller, Shaker Heights, Gahanna Lincoln, Pickerington Central, Huber Heights Wayne, Garfield Height, Mentor, Cleveland St. Ignatius, and Mansfield Senior are just a few schools looking to be heavy in the mix.
TOP TEAMS PER REGION
*Columbus Northland (28-1/State Semifinalist)
Since Jared Sullinger’s arrival at Northland High School in the fall of 2006, there has been no equal outside of Dayton Dunbar to the success the Vikings have enjoyed over the past seven seasons (171-9). Sure, Northland has only one state championship in that time frame, but people often forget how hard it is to win a gold in any division let alone DI. Many believed Northland would come back down to Earth following the graduation of Sullinger and running mate JD Weatherspoon, however, the winning continued and it continued some more. Northland hasn’t lost more than two games in the past seven seasons, which includes three unbeaten regular seasons, a stint as the nation’s No. 1 team in 2010, seven-straight Columbus City League Championships, five regional appearances, and three trips to Columbus. Throw in an 106-game conference winning streak, two NBA draft picks, a college basketball national player of the year, and it’s fair to say the times have been good for the boys on Northcliff Drive.
Head Coach Sean Taylor will be entering his third season as the Vikings’ boss (50-3) following a highly successful stint at Columbus Eastmoor Academy. Taylor welcomes back the majority of his line up with the exception of departed senior Armani Towns (13.6 ppg./8.3 rpg.).
Senior point guard Shemar Waugh (5’9), an Ohio Dominican commit, returns after a solid junior year averaging eight points and nearly seven assists per game, while locking up the opposition’s best ball handler on many nights. Northland has talent coming out of its ear, but in our opinion, Waugh is the most important with the way he runs the team. He will be joined in the backcourt by Mr. ‘instant offense’ senior Ty Hairston (6’2), who averaged a shade over 10 points per game as a junior. The frontcourt will likely be made up of seniors Derek McKeithen (6’4) and Jaylen Tucker (6’7) along with highly sought after sophomore Seth Towns (6’7). The length and athleticism in the frontcourt should be a serious problem for most teams. All three can score the basketball as well with McKeithen (10.9 ppg.) and Tucker (10.8 ppg./5.4 rpg.) combining for nearly 22 points per game as juniors and Towns adding close to 10 points and 5.5 boards during rookie campaign. Towns’ holds offers from Dayton, Xavier, and Virginia Tech.
The bench will feature seniors Donte Smith (6’1), Kenny Sloan (6’1), and Jhustus Cornley (6’2) along with juniors Doug Taylor (6’8) and Seth McCoy (6’2), and sophomore Jordan Kinchen. Smith, Sloan, and Cornley are all glue guys, while Taylor (5.3 rpg.) should be provide a nice lift on the interior. McCoy transferred over from Canal Winchester after enjoying two successful seasons for the Indians. McCoy is a deadly spot-up shooter, which should be a nightmare coupled with the penetrating Waugh.
If there were a weakness for the Vikings it would be free throw shooting. Northland went to the line 612 times a season ago only making 57 percent of those opportunities. This needs to be fixed.
Bottom Line: Northland will have another stellar season, but we get the feel anything short of a state championship is going to be a bust for this group. The Vikings open up with Thurgood Marshall before trips to South Carolina for the Beach Ball Classic and a date with Roselle Catholic at the Flyin’ to the Hoop. We would be surprised if Northland is undefeated coming into tournament play, but that would certainly be traded for another gold trophy. The Vikings have the coaching, talent, athleticism, length, and depth to have a better than good chance at bringing home title No. 2.
*Gahanna Lincoln (22-6/Regional Finalist)
Gahanna Lincoln is quickly becoming one of the most respected programs in the state of Ohio. The Golden Lions are (105-21) over the past five season swith three regional showings and a state tournament appearance (2010). Gahanna came up a game short a season ago in its quest to return to Value City Arena after a (62-53) setback to Northland.
Coach Tony Staib invites back one of his best teams in his 11 years at the school. The Golden Lions return Michigan State signee Javon Bess (6’5) and his 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Bess, who won a state championship at Pickerington Central in 2012, is primed to lead a group of talented returnees. Joining the Big 10 signee will be senior point guard Manny Powell (5’10), senior guard Corey Howard (5’10), classmate Keith Scowden (6’5), and sophomore Nick Ward (6’8). Powell averaged 8.5 points and 4.5 assists as a junior and Ward was good for five points and five boards a showing.
Oh, and then there is 6-foot-6 sophomore Matt Moyer, a transfer from Columbus Whetstone. Moyers holds offers from Dayton, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Detroit along with interest from Ohio State, Michigan, and West Virginia among others. Joining Moyer will be varsity newcomers Dez Wright (5’10/Jr.), Chad Barrick (6’5/So.), Jenisys Battle (6’1/Jr.), and Alonzo Campbell (6’8/Jr.). Expect several other sophomores to be in the mix as well as the season progresses. Gahanna has an extremely deep and talented sophomore class.
Bottom Line: Gahanna plays in a great conference (OCC Ohio), which always has it battle tested for tournament time. The Golden Lions could be even better than last year with the continued improvement of Bess and Powell along with addition of Moyer. Staib believes this team has the size, athleticism, and shooting at the guard spots for another Central District title run. We agree.
*Pickerington Central (19-8/Regional Semifinalist)
Former Ohio State standout Jerry Francis arrived at Pickerington Central in the fall of 2010, and to say he has quickly turned the Tigers into a state power would be an understatement. PC made the district tournament in Francis’ first season before striking gold in year two behind 2012 JJHuddle Player of the Year, Caris LeVert (Michigan). Last year, not a state championship, but the Tigers did return to the regionals behind Ohio State signee Jae’Sean Tate (6’5/Sr.).
It’s now year four of the Francis regime, and the Tigers are once again talking state tournament. And why not with the return of Tate and fellow four-year mainstay Connor Kern (6’3/Sr.), an Arkansas State commit.
Last year’s campaign was eerily similar to the 2010-’11 season, which was a prelude to Central’s first boy’s basketball state title. That is bad news for the rest of the state.
Tate and Kern will be joined by returning sophomore point guard DJ Tyree (5’11) and classmate Jalen Tate (6’5), the younger brother of the Ohio State signee. Both players have progressed nicely over the past eight months, but maybe none more junior Rodney Culver (6’4). After nearly transferring, Culver has stuck around, improved his overall game, and should be a huge asset with his length, athleticism, and ability to knock down shots and attack the rim.
Newcomers Dajon Moore (6’3/Jr.), a Pickerington North transfer, and freshmen Parker Stewart and Derrick Rayford should also be key parts. Stewart, who already owns a D1 offer, is the son of Ohio University assistant Anthony Stewart. Look for football players Eric Marshall (5’10/Jr..) and Jaylin Bannerman (6’4/So.) to provide toughness upon their arrival.
Bottom Line: Pickerington Central owns the state’s best player in Tate, which gives the Tigers a chance every night. His ability to dominate a game in multiple facets is a huge bonus. Tate is a unique player in that it’s hard to define his position. He just gets the job done. The Tigers should be much better at the guard spots this season, which should release some pressure from Tate and Kern to focus more on scoring the basketball. PC’s conference with Gahanna and Newark is one of the state’s best, and it wouldn’t be crazy for one of those three teams to finish third in the conference and end up making a run at The ‘Schott. The Tigers will be a factor in March, without question. Tate will make sure of it.
*Lakewood St. Edward (19-6)
The Eagles are one of the state’s best and most talented teams year-after-year. This year will be no different. Ed’s returns six players from last year’s 19-win club.
Coach Eric Flannery has been busy in the offseason with USA Basketball, but don’t think for a second he isn’t prepared for this year following last season’s abrupt end in the districts to North Royalton. Losing in the districts is not something the Eagles or Flannery are used to.
“This team will go as far as the leaders will take them,” Flannery noted. “We bring back a wealth of experience, but need to develop some strong leadership to get through the difficult times. Talent will not be an issue, so taking care of the little things can be.”
The tough times may include the schedule, which Flannery says is the toughest since he has been at Ed’s. Yeah, that is a mouth full considering the slate it lines up against on a yearly basis is anything but enviable.
Seniors Tony Vuyancih (6’4), Marsalis Hamilton (6’3), and Malcolm Walters (6’1/Sr.) along with junior Kipper Nichols (6’6) should help combat the difficult schedule. Junior Mike Ryan (6’6) and senior Will Meyer (6’3) will be major contributors as well.
Nichols is one of the state’s most underrated players with the ability to score, defend, and rebound, but perhaps the most talented kid on the Ed’s roster is sophomore Derek “DJ” Funderburk (6’8), who is drawing interest from several heavyweight D1 institutions.
Bottom Line: St. Edward’s is used a vigorous schedule, so we don’t see a few losses being an issue for this club. The Eagles will likely be inspired by the way last season ended, which is a big reason we believe this team has a great chance of returning to Columbus in late March. Vuyancih, Hamilton, and Nichols will be the backbone of this team, which are three kids with a ton of experience and toughness. Northeast Ohio is always cutthroat, but Ed’s is right there or better than all of the top teams in the region. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles in the state’s capital.
*Shaker Heights (20-7/Regional Finalist)
The Red Raiders enjoyed another stellar year finishing as regional runner-up in an always-tough Cleveland Regional. Shaker fell to eventual state champion, Mentor.
This season the Raiders will look to get over the regional hump and advance to the state’s capital behind one of the state’s best juniors in Esa Ahmad (6’7). The returning AP 2nd Team All-Ohioan averaged 20 points, 9.5 rebounds, and nearly 3.5 blocks per game as a sophomore. He currently holds offers from Clemson, Dayton, Cleveland State, West Virginia, Rutgers, and Xavier with many more to come. Ahmad is a rare combination of a kid with a highly skilled/old school post game that can step out and knock down shots and handle the ball.
Joining Ahmad will be four-year regular Rosel Hurley (6’6/Sr.). The Kent State commitment averaged nearly 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals per outing as a junior. Hurley’s play will be a huge key to Shaker’s success. He has the talent and scoring ability to put the Red Raiders over the top with his ability to be a match up nightmare. Junior Kaleb Roy (6’3) is another reliable returning after totaling 6.2 points a night as a sophomore.
Perhaps the biggest addition could be one of the smallest. Senior T.J. Steele will start at the point guard spot after spending the past three seasons at nearby Cleveland Benedictine. The 5-foot-5 Steele averaged over 18 points per game as a junior. Look for his scoring output to drop off a little this season with more scoring help around him, but the way he leads this team will ultimately tell the tale of Shaker’s season.
Coach Danny Young is counting on newcomers Ricky Stokes (6’6), Dex Hodoh (6’2), and Courtney Mays (6’5) to be integral parts to the Red Raiders’ core group.
“We have to focus on moving from being a good team to a great team,” Young said. “Often times good teams fall into complacency. We cannot allow that to happen.”
Bottom Line: The Red Raiders own back-to-back district championships, but for Young and his team, the goal for this year is a regional championship. Shaker certainly has the talent to take that step to the next level. The Red Raiders will entertain a brutal schedule that should have them ready by tournament time. It’s always hard to tell in the Cleveland area with some many talented and solid clubs who will represent in Columbus, but Shaker will be at the top of that list.
*Mentor (25-5/State Champions)
Years of success, under head coach Bob Krizancic, finally culminated with a state championship in 2013 following several years of regional tournament disappointments. The Cardinals unloaded on a very good Shaker Heights team in the regional before dispatching previously unbeaten Columbus Northland and upstart Toledo Rogers en route to the school’s first boy’s basketball state championship.
Mentor will have to replace graduate Jeff Foreman and Brandon Fritts, who will enroll early at the University of North Carolina to play football. Foreman was JJHuddle 2nd Team All-Ohio as a senior, and Fritts was a double-double machine.
The Cardinals do welcome back a solid group of returnees, and unlike most DI teams, Mentor’s impact players are standouts in other sports. Seniors Conner Krizancic (6’2) and Caleb Potter (6’4) lead the list of veterans. Krizancic, the coach’s youngest son, has committed to the University of Cincinnati for football and Potter will play baseball at West Virginia University. Both averaged 13.5 points per game as juniors.
Senior Kade McClure (6’7) played a pivotal role as 6th man a season ago averaging over nine points and five rebounds a game. McClure will play baseball at the University of Louisville. Senior Kyle Hagey (6’0) tallied over seven points per game as a junior, and should see a significant increase in minutes this winter.
The largest addition to the team will be sophomore Micah Potter (6’9 ½). The 240-pound youngster has the attention of several D1 schools already and will give the Cardinals a legit big man, which is something they aren’t used to having. Senior Michael Ours (6’4) and juniors Joey Zaugg (5’11) and Ian Tenkku (6’4) will provide Mentor with depth.
“My players don’t care how much I know until they know how much I care,” Krizancic noted. “We believe in developing strong relationships.”
Bottom Line: We would be hard-pressed to find a better overall program than Mentor. Krizancic coached teams play hard, fast, tough, together, and will usually lead the state in three-point makes. This team shouldn’t be any different, and could be even more talented than last year’s club. Mentor’s ability to put five kids on the floor at all times with good skill level is a huge advantage in most high school games, which is a big reason for a lot of its success. This team should have a lot of those same qualities. Replacing Foreman’s ability to score and handle the ball and Fritts’ toughness will be a must. If Mentor can do that, another deep tournament run will be in the works.
*Garfield Heights (15-7)
It’s a new season, but some things remain the same. Garfield Heights has a plethora of talent, which seems to be a yearly occurrence.
Coach Sonny Johnson, who earned Mr. Basketball in 1998 at Garfield, has done a tremendous job restoring a program that barely had a heartbeat. Not only has he restored the program; he has given kids at Garfield endless exposure to be in position to earn athletic scholarships. Johnson is not just developing basketball talent at Garfield; rather he is changing the entire culture.
He will have weapons at his disposal once again with the return of David Bell (6’10/Sr.), an Ohio State signee, and sophomores Willie Jackson (6’5) and Frankie Hughes (6’4). Johnson believes Bell needs to continue to play with more effort, but pointed out the kid hasn’t played much basketball in the grand scheme of things. He is a kid that will show onlookers flashes of brilliance, but quickly disappear. If the light finally stays on, Bell could be a major force.
As for Jackson, the Garfield boss is waiting on him to take the next step. Jackson, who has offers from Penn State, Wisconsin, Cleveland State, Kent State, and St. Joseph’s, has all of the physical tools to be not only one of the state’s best player but nationwide as well. Hughes will be the x-factor for the Bulldogs with his ability to knock down shots. He is another kid that could take flight any day.
Johnson continues to marvel at recent transfer Chelvonte Montgomery (6’2), who averaged 18 points per game as a junior at Cleveland Central Catholic. The lefty doesn’t do anything great, but does everything well. He will give the Bulldogs a potent scoring threat.
The fifth starter will likely be junior point guard Kyle Stergis (5’10). Senior JaBraun Cox (5’10) is another nice option at the point.
Branden Johnson (6’7/Jr.), Raymel Franklin (6’4/Jr.), and Shamar Glover (6’3/Jr.) will give the Bulldogs size and depth. Also, keep an eye on sophomore Jordan Davis (6’7) and freshmen Mareon Jackson (5’7) and Shawn Christian (5’9).
“We’ve got everything we need to make a run,” Johnson believes. “We can go ten-deep. Putting it all together and getting team chemistry together is our main key.”
Bottom Line: The Bulldogs are always one of the more talented teams in Northeast Ohio, but for whatever reason, have a tough time advancing in the tournament outside of their 2011 final four appearance. To their defense, Garfield’s district and regional are as good or better than any in the state. Johnson would be the last guy to make excuses, and he knows winning in the tournament is essential. That is why the Bulldogs continue to amp up the regular season slate with likes of Prime Prep (TX) and others. The addition of Montgomery takes Garfield from a pretty good team to a very good team. If Stergis can handle his business at the point guard spot and Bell, Jackson, and Hughes take the next step, the Bulldogs could make some noise.
*Mansfield Senior (21-4)
The Tygers enjoyed another sensational year in what seems to be a yearly occurrence. Mansfield seems to fly under the radar amongst Ohio’s big boys. Senior lost three regular season games a year ago to Dayton Dunbar, Massillon Perry, and Columbus Northland. All three games were settled by eight points or less with one ending in overtime. The Tygers once again reigned supreme in the Ohio Cardinal Conference going (14-0). The bad news for the OCC, the Orange and Black welcome back all but two players from last season’s roster.
One player that will need replaced is Winthrop freshman Keon Johnson, who was AP 3rd Team All-Ohio. However, look for the Tygers to be much more balanced in his absence.
Leading the group of returnees are Robert Jones (6’6/Sr.) and Donovyn Benson (6’5/Sr.). Both were integral parts of Mansfield’s (11-1) football team. Jones is a player with a ton of upside with tremendous length. He impacts the game in multiple ways. Benson (15.5 ppg.) is a fundamentally sound big man that is a winner and just gets the job done. Benson travels with All-Ohio Red in the spring/summer on arguably the best team in Ohio.
The inside is well kept, and the guards should be solid as well led by senior Mario Davison (5’10/Sr.). Combo guard Jalen Reese (6’3/Sr.) is another nice option. Reese, who is son of head coach J.T. Reese, was also the quarterback on the football team.
Providing depth will be seniors Marquez Cobb (6’2/Sr.), Malon Samuel (5’10/Sr.), Chekiah Washington (6’1/Sr.), and Naradain James (6’4/Jr.).
Seniors Jameel Butts (5’9/Sr.) and Everett Rucker (6’1/Sr.) along with junior Asante Wilder (5’8/Jr.) will give the Tygers even more numbers at Reese’s dispense.
Bottom Line: Mansfield Senior should be the alpha dog in Northwest Ohio this year with 11 of its 13 varsity players returning. The Tygers won 21 games a season ago and could be even better this year despite losing Keon Johnson, who was a tremendous player. Look for Mansfield to get more scoring balance this season with Benson and James owning the paint on the defensive end. The strong suit of this team is the interior, but if the guards can step up, this team has a legitimate chance at a run to Columbus. NW Ohio will be slightly down this year in comparison to the past couple seasons in DI, but that certainly doesn’t discredit the type of team the Tygers should possess.
*Cincinnati Moeller (23-3/Regional Semifinalist)
The Crusaders do it big in all the sports, and basketball is no exception. Coach Carl Kremer has turned Moeller into one of best basketball programs in Ohio consistently winning 20-plus games. In fact, the Crusaders have won 20-plus games nine of the past 10 seasons and own three state titles since 1999. Impressive!
There is no reason to believe, with the talent Moeller returns, another 20-plus wins could be in the works. Moeller hasn’t had a kid average over 15 points per game since Quinn McDowell (15.1 ppg.) did so in 2007. Wright State commit Grant Benzinger (6’2/Sr.) could change that this season. The lefty, who is the son of former MLBer Todd Benzinger, averaged nearly 13 points per game as a junior. He has a quick trigger and a short memory with the ability to knock down shots with confidence.
Benzinger will be joined by one of the more undervalued players in Ohio, Nate Fowler (6’9/Jr.). He averaged nearly seven points and a like amount of rebounds as a sophomore. Look for more offense to go through “Big Nate” this season. He is the most fundamentally sound big man in Ohio. We look for Fowler to bust out in this his junior season following a spring/summer/fall being recruited by Butler, Dayton, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue, and Vanderbilt.
The improvement of point guard Tre’ Hawkins (5’9/Sr) could be the deciding factor in Moeller’s overall success. Hawkins averaged nearly six points and five assists per game as a junior. His ability to run the team will determine whether Moe’ is a good team or a great team.
As always, the Crusaders will have depth in the size department. Senior Jack Anton (6’7), an Elon commit, and classmate Adam Gigax (6’6) are two of those kids. Though, Gigax is more of a perimeter-based player. Senior Trey Stacey (6’3), Austin Morrow (5’11), and Gus Ragland (6’2) will give the Crusaders their usual depth along with juniors Chris Bucher (5’9), Noah Able (5’9), Kevin Kerley (5’11), Brad Munz (6’1), and Grant Pitman (6’2). Ragland was a star pitcher on Moeller’s state championship baseball team and the quarterback of the Crusaders’ football team questing for a state title.
“We have an experienced team with excellent size and skill,” Kremer said. “We must develop a great team chemistry to be great.”
Bottom Line: Moeller lost three games a season ago by a total of 12 points with Springboro ending its hopes at a fourth state title in regional play thanks to a 57-56 setback. We look for the Crusaders to be dialed in for this season after last year’s abrupt ending. On paper, Moeller is the best team in Cincinnati, but paper has never won a state championship. The Blue and Gold haven’t been to the final four since being drubbed in the title game by Massillon Jackson in 2010. We know Moe’ is chomping at the bit to return to Columbus, and this team definitely has the pieces to do so.
*Huber Heights Wayne (21-5)
If there weren’t any actual games played and we just picked a winner based on the talent written on a paper, the Wayne Warriors would be a heavy favorite. Though, Coach Travis Trice knows as well as anyone, what matters are the results on the court.
The veteran Wayne boss is currently waiting on a handful of players that are currently starring for the football team, but when they return, the Warriors will possess one of the most talented teams in Ohio.
Four-year regular Juan Ford (6’2/Sr.) leads a fabulous group of returnees. Ford has seen the highs and lows at Wayne, and should be the leader of this team along with junior D’Mitrik Trice (6’0). The younger Trice is currently breaking records on the football field as Wayne’s signal caller. Ford averaged 14 points and five assists as a junior and currently holds an offer from Northern Kentucky. Trice was good for 10 points and 5.5 assists, while countering with offers from Toledo, Kent State, Ohio, Harvard, Penn, Cleveland State, Kennesaw State, and Lehigh.
Trey Landers (6’3/So.), a combo guard, should explode in his second year on varsity. He averaged six points and five boards as a frosh. He is getting plenty of D1 interest as well.
Wayne’s solid backcourt will be joined by a frontcourt of Ahmad Wagner (6’6/Jr.), and Xeyrius Williams (6’7). Wagner and Williams are two of the state’s most improved players. Look for Wagner (12 ppg./10 rpg.) to really breakout this season and be a statewide name. He has offers from Toledo, Kent State, Penn, Ohio, and Cleveland State. Williams (11 ppg./6 rpg.) owns offers from Toledo, Ohio, Kent State, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Penn, and Lehigh, and hasn’t even scratched the surface of his ability to become a dominant wing.
Three terrific athletes in Hadith Tiggs (6’1/Jr.), Tyree Kinnel (6’0/Jr.), and Devin Reed (6’1/2015) should all be huge factors. Trice is hoping to get Reed back soon, who suffered a severe concussion during football. Kinnel has verballed to Michigan for football and Trice speaks very highly of the improvement Tiggs has made.
Senior Tyler Murphy (6’4) and sophomores JT Dozier (6’3), Demond Parker (6’2), and Kenny Couch (6’1) will all be in the mix as well.
“I love my team’s camaraderie and togetherness,” Trice mentioned. “We are preaching mental toughness, which I couldn’t be more happier about at this time. Defense and running the floor will be keys to our success.”
Bottom Line: The Warriors have talent stacked upon talent. What is even better? Most of the talent will be back next year outside of Ford and Murphy. This is bad news for the rest of the GWOC, which Trice believes will be better than it’s been in a long time from top to bottom. The Warriors will play Findlay Prep (NV) and HCYA (TX) in mid-January along with several other acid tests. It’s no secret Dayton teams have struggled in the tournament against the often more physical Cincinnati teams, but Wayne may be the team to put an end to that streak. The Warriors are trying to become the first Dayton-area Division I team since 2006 (Trotwood-Madison) to make the state tournament. This team has the right ingredients, but several teams have thought that before and fell short. Wayne’s opportunity is as realistic as any Dayton DI team we can remember in recent memory.
More Top Teams by Region:
Dublin Coffman, Groveport-Madison, Grove City, Reynoldsburg, Olentangy Liberty, Upper Arlington, Newark, Westerville South, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Marysville, Delaware Hayes, New Albany, Dublin Jerome, Zanesville, Tri-Valley, Walnut Ridge, and Licking Heights.
Cleveland St. Ignatius, Medina, Massillon Jackson, Cleveland Heights, North Royalton, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Akron Green, Youngstown East, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Uniontown Lake, Bedford, Medina Highland, Canton Timken, Cleveland East Tech, Cleveland Glenville, Berea-Midpark, Wadsworth, Nordonia, and Warren Harding.
Findlay, Toledo St. John’s, Perrysburg, Toledo Bowsher, Anthony Wayne, Holland Springfield, Lima Senior, Ashland, and Toledo Central Catholic.
Fairfield, Lakota East, Lakota West, Centerville, Beavercreek, Springfield, Middletown, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Cincinnati La Salle, Walnut Hills, Winton Woods, Kings, Miamisburg, Cincinnati Withrow, Wilmington, and Trotwood-Madison.
Returning All-Ohio List
1st Team: Jae’Sean Tate- Pickerington Central (JJHuddle) and Esa Ahmad- Shaker Heights (JJHuddle).
2nd Team: Jae’Sean Tate- Pickerington Central (AP), Esa Ahmad- Shaker Heights (AP), and Chelvonte Montgomery- Garfield Heights (AP/Division II/Cleveland CC).
3rd Team: Vince Edwards- Middletown (JJHuddle) and Evan Bailey- Massillon Jackson (AP)
Player Watch List
Ahmad Wagner (6’6/Jr.)- Huber Heights Wayne
Alex Brown (6’0/Sr.)- Berea-Midpark
Alex Stewart (6’5/Sr.)- Westerville North
Alex White (6’7/Jr.)- Lakota East
Angelo Cugini (6’7/Sr.)- Cuyahoga Falls
Anthony Bell (6’2/Sr.)- Warren Harding
Anthony Glover (6’0/Sr.)- Toledo St. John’s (Chicago State)
Austin Gutting (6’3/Sr.)- Findlay
Austin Marciniak (6’2/Jr.)- Akron Green
Austin Recker (6’1/Sr.)- Centerville
Avery Williams (6’7/Sr.)- Tri-Valley
Babe Murphy (6’4/Sr.)- Licking Heights
Brogan Scott (6’4/Jr.)- Medina Highland
Caleb Potter (6’4/Sr.)- Mentor (WVU BB)
Caleb Tregre (5’10/Jr.)- Cincinnati Walnut Hills
Charles Holland (6’3/Sr.)- Columbus West
Chelvonte Montgomery (6’2/Sr.)- Garfield Heights
Colton Bachman (6’2/So.)- Piqua
Conner Krizancic (6’2/Sr.)- Mentor (Cincinnati FB)
Connor Brown (6’6/Sr.)- Miamisburg
Connor Kern (6’3/Sr.)- Pickerington Central (Arkansas State)
Craig Randall (6’2/Jr.)- Medina
D’Mitrik Trice (6’0/Jr.)- Huber Heights Wayne
DaeShawn Jackson (5’11/Jr.)- Springfield
Danny Hummer (5’11/Sr.)- Upper Arlington
David Bell (6’10/Sr.)- Garfield Heights (Ohio State)
Derek McKeithen (6’3/Sr.)- Columbus Northland
Devin Pike (6’6/Sr.)- Cincinnati Elder (Louisville FB)
Devon Andrews (6’5/Jr.)- Lorain (Kent State)
Dezhontae Bennett (6’2/Sr.)- Trotwood-Madison
Donovyn Benson (6’5/Sr.)- Mansfield Senior
Eric Black (6’7/Sr.)- Cleveland St. Ignatius
Eric James (6’5/Sr.)- Westerville Central (Duquesne)
Eric Meininger (6’5/Sr.)- Centerville
Esa Ahmad (6’7/Jr.)- Shaker Heights
Ethan Boose (6’6/Sr.)- New Philadelphia
Evan Bailey (6’6/Sr.)- Massillon Jackson (College of Charleston)
Gary Williams (5’10/Sr.)- Cleveland Glenville
Gavin Skelly (6’8/Sr.)- Westlake (Northwestern)
Grant Benzinger (6’2/Sr.)- Cincinnati Moeller (Wright State)
Herman Brunis (6’1/Sr.)- Fairfield
Isaac White (6’0/Jr.)- Ashland
Isaiah Walton (6’3/Sr.)- Elyria (UC Davis)
Jaaron Cumberland (6’3/So.)- Wilmington
Jae’Sean Tate (6’5/Sr.)- Pickerington Central (Ohio State)
Jaevin Cumberland (6’2/Jr.)- Wilmington
Javon Bess (6’5/Sr.)- Gahanna Lincoln (Michigan State)
Jaylen Tucker (6’7/Sr.)- Columbus Northland
Jimond Ivey (6’4/Sr.)- Cleveland Glenville
Joey Weingartner (6’2/Jr.)- Centerville
John Miller (6’8/Jr.)- New Albany
Jon Teske (6’9/So.)- Medina
Jordan Dartis (6’2/Jr.)- Newark
Jordan Michael (6’1/Sr.)- Fairborn
Jordan Stock (6’5/Jr.)- Massillon Washington
Juan Ford (6’2/Sr.)- Huber Heights Wayne
Kei’Vante Tanner (6’2/Jr.)- Fairmont
Kevin Vannatta (6’3/Sr.)- Upper Arlington (UNC Asheville)
Kipper Nichols (6’6/Jr.)- Lakewood St. Edward
Kyle Prunity (6’5/Sr.)- Wadsworth
Lamont West (6’7/Jr.)- Cincinnati Withrow
LaMonta Stone (5’9/Jr.)- Bowling Green
LePear Toles (6’4/So.)- Canton Timken
MaCio Teague (6’2/Jr.)- Cincinnati Walnut Hills
Malik Jacobs (6’3/Sr.)- Fairborn
Marco Colombo (6’3/Sr.)- New Philadelphia
Marsalis Hamilton (6’4/Sr.)- Lakewood St. Edward
Mason Baich (6’2/So.)- Dublin Jerome
Matt Beech (6’2/Sr.)- Stow
Matt Fox (6’3/Sr.)- Anthony Wayne
Matt James (6’6/Sr.)- Kings
Matt Moyer (6’6/So.)- Gahanna Lincoln
Mike Deleon (6’5/Sr.)- Olentangy Liberty (Ohio Dominican)
Mitchell Spotleson (6’5/Sr.)- Uniontown Lake (Malone)
Nate Allen (6’4/Sr.)- Toledo Bowsher
Nate Axelrod (5’7/Sr.)- Dublin Coffman
Nate Fowler (6’9/Jr.)- Cincinnati Moeller
Nate Harris (6’7/Sr.)- Toledo Central Catholic
Nick Moschetti (6’4/Sr.)- Perrysburg
Nolan Gerrity (6’9/Jr.)- Berea-Midpark
Omari Spellman (6’8/So.)- North Royalton
Patwaun Hudson (5’10/Sr.)- Trotwood-Madison
R.J. Hutcherson (6’7/Sr.)- Westerville North (Fairmont State)
Robert Jones (6’6/Sr.)- Mansfield Senior
Rosel Hurley (6’6/Sr.)- Shaker Heights (Kent State)
Ryan Badowski (6’3/Sr.)- Brunswick
Ryan Bricking (6’2/Sr.)- Cincinnati Princeton
Seth Fuller (5’11/So.)- Dublin Coffman
Seth Towns (6’7/So.)- Columbus Northland
Shemar Waugh (5’10/Sr.)- Columbus Northland (Ohio Dominican)
Shondell Jackson (6’4/Jr.)- Warren Harding
T.J. Steele (5’5/Sr.)- Shaker Heights
Tanner Houska (5’10/Jr.)- Medina Highland
Teddy Metzen (6’6/Sr.)- Newark (Ashland)
Terrell McClain (6’6/Sr.)- Youngstown East
Tim Fleming (6’0/Sr.)- Fairfield
Timmy Tupa (6’2/Sr.)- Brecksville-Broadview Heights
Tommy Bolte (6’0/Jr.)- Chillicothe
Tony Vuyancih (6’4/Sr.)- Lakewood St. Edward
Ty Hairston (6’2/Sr.)- Columbus Northland
Tyler Williams (6’2/Sr.)- Lakota West (Brown)
Vince Edwards (6’7/Sr.)- Middletown (Purdue)
Willie Jackson (6’5/So.)- Garfield Heights
Xeyrius Williams (6’7/Jr.)- Huber Heights Wayne
Zach McCormick (6’2/Sr.)- Cincinnati Turpin (Miami OH)
Zach Rower (6’8/Sr.)- Beavercreek