Ohio HS Hoops Insider: Coaching vacancies filled, Big AAU travel weekend and latest verbals

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Boys Basketball News & Notes from around the state

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*Mark Hess was tabbed as the new head coach at Beavercreek last night. Hess guided Hilliard Darby the past two seasons and was an assistant at Olentangy Liberty before that.

*Jim Staley, former longtime boss at Centerville, has been named the new head coach at Tipp City.

*Sidney has a new head coach in former Tri-Valley High School standout, Andy Slaughter, who has led the Crooksville Ceramics the past two seasons. Slaughter will be moving from the Muskingum Valley League to the Greater Western Ohio Conference, which is quite the jump.

*Jamal Walker was named the new head man at Cincinnati Princeton.

*Lee Foster, an assistant at Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas the past two seasons, will take over at Doylestown Chippewa.

*Sean Van Winkle has left his post West Chester Lakota West to take over the reigns at Hamilton, a high school Van Winkle lives just a couple miles from.

Recruiting Notes

*Jordan Smith (6’2/2014) of Dayton Dunbar has committed to D2 Charleston University.

*Andrew Fleming (6’5/2015) of Ensworth HS in Nashville, TN committed to Iowa on Monday. Ohio State was one of Fleming’s six finalists, but he chose the Hawkeyes after a highly successful weekend to Iowa City. The Buckeyes were pretty much out of the running after landing a shooter last week in Austin Grandstaff.

*A kid Ohio State was seeking early was Fort Wayne, Indiana big man Caleb Swanigan, who just recently reclassified from 2016 to 2015. Swanigan is perceived to be a heavy lean to Michigan State.

Big Weekend on the Travel Circuit

The 3rd leg of the Nike EYBL will get going this weekend in Hampton, Virginia at the Boo Williams Invitational. All-Ohio Red and the King James Shooting Stars, 17-and-under teams, will be jockeying for position this weekend before next weekend’s trip to Minnesota.

King James, who is just (3-5), has some ground to make up needing to jump a couple teams to get in that coveted top four. In its division, King James is staring up at Team Final, New York Lightning, Howard Pulley, Team Scan, and the NorthWest XPress. The Shooting Stars, one of the prohibited favorites, have been dealing with injuries and absences. Big man Nate Fowler (Cincinnati Moeller) has missed both sessions due to injury and Duke commit Luke Kennard (Franklin) missed the trip to Dallas due to his sister’s graduation.

King James will face the Jackson Tigers, New York Lightning, winless Baltimore Elite, and The Family in Virginia. It will be interesting to see if highly regarded Malik Newman plays with the Jackson Tigers this weekend as the Adidas Gauntlet picks back up in Indianapolis.

Ohio State commit A.J. Harris (Dayton Dunbar) has been leading the way in scoring with V.J. King (Akron SVSM) being his top support. Kipper Nichols (Lakewood St. Edward) and Derek Pardon (Cleveland) have also contributed heavily.

All-Ohio Red (5-2) is currently in good position sitting 2nd in its division. AOR only trails Team Penny, a team the Ohio boys beat at another tournament. Red’s two losses (California Supreme and NTL Red Storm) are by a combined four points.

Business is about to pick up in Hampton and will ultimately tell us if AOR is a legit contender or not. Red will face Houston Hoops, the Oakland Soldiers, Nike Team Florida, and the Southern Stampede. It will be interesting to see how Red deals with the frontline of Ivan Rabb and Stephen Zimmerman of the Soldiers. Both players are rated Top 5 nationally and are at or near 7-foot.

Jalen Coleman (La Lumiere), Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights), Jordan Dartis (Newark), MaCio Teague (Walnut Hills), and D’Mitrik Trice (Huber Heights Wayne) have carried the scoring load. Noah Bramlage (Ottawa-Glandorf) and Ahmad Wagner (Huber Heights Wayne) have also been heavy contributors.

King James 16U enjoyed a big weekend in Dallas qualifying for the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in July by winning last weekend’s tournament. It was quite the week for Quincey Simpson as he was named new head coach at Lima Senior and then led his travel squad to a huge tournament championship.

KJ beat APBAS, the Arkansas Wings, Nike Expressions, Next Level, Texas Pro Skills, and the St. Louis Eagles to capture the gold.

The highly talented team consists of Xavier Simpson and Tre Cobbs of Lima CC, Anthony Christian (Akron Hoban), Tervell Beck (Cleveland CC), Derek Funderburk (Lakewood St. Edward), Derrick Daniels (Thurgood Marshall), D.J. Hoskins (Thurgood Marshall), Rico Stafford (Lima Senior), Ibi Watson (Athens), and Henry Baddley (Akron SVSM).

As we mentioned above, the Adidas Gauntlet will fire up again this weekend in Indianapolis. The Ohio Basketball Club’s 17U squad will try and improve upon its (2-3) mark at the opener in Dallas a few weeks ago. OBC’s 16U and 15U will also be in Indy.

In addition to the big shoe events, All-Ohio will be hosting its annual Super 16, which has some quality teams. All-Ohio Red and the King James Shooting Stars will have their younger teams in the event along with the Hidden Gems, the Columbus Mustang Ballers, Nova Village, Ohio Hoopsters, TNBA, VCC Warriors, DB Hoops, Ohio Varsity, All-Ohio Black, VJ Sports, King James (Bob), Queen City, Cincy Lakers, and the Ohio Gators among others. There will also be a handful of top notch out-of-state teams.

The Great Lakes Classic will take place in Michigan this weekend and that is where Team Work will be.

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