Boys Basketball News & Notes from around the state
*A “big” name is off the board in 2015 with Cincinnati Moeller’s Nate Fowler (6’9) pledging to Butler University and head coach Brandon Miller, a former assistant at Ohio State. Butler is getting a high IQ big man with great hands, soft touch, and range up to the three-point line. Fowler is an excellent passer out of the post, during a press break, and long outlets. The Bulldogs are getting a high academic kid that will thrive at Butler. Fowler averaged 12.4 points, 10 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks as a junior. He shot nearly 67 percent from the field, 48 percent from behind the arc (11-of-23), and 74 percent at the stripe. Look for his numbers to increase significantly as a senior with the graduation of shooting guard Grant Benzinger. The offense should run through Fowler, which would be a first in his playing career. Moeller finished (24-2) with a bitter ending to the season in the regional final.
*Blake Simpson (6’7/2014) of Cincinnati LaSalle has committed to Coppin State. Simpson averaged 4 points, nearly eight rebounds and three blocks as a senior. He originally committed to D2 Wayne State in Detroit.
*Joe Burrow (6’3/2015) of Athens HS committed to Ohio State to play football. Burrow averaged 16 points and a shade over eight rebounds a game for the Bulldogs’ basketball team as a junior. It will be interesting to see if graduates early next winter. If not, Athens should be loaded on the hardwood.
Coaching Carousel Continues
*Matt Rooks takes over at Lakota West after Sean Van Winkle left to take the Hamilton post. Rooks comes to West Chester after two seasons as head man at Cincinnati Wyoming. Rooks led Wyoming to a (22-4) mark this past spring and an overall record of (35-15) in his two seasons. Prior to Wyoming, Rooks was an assistant at Cincinnati Moeller from 2004-2012. The Cincinnati Moeller graduate will bring along fellow Crusader alum Bubba Walther, who helped Rooks at Wyoming.
*Audley McGill will take over his alma mater at Akron Garfield after coaching girls at Akron Firestone.
*Corey Britton takes over at Fort Loramie after a stint as girl coach at Riverside. Prior to that, he was the head boy’s coach at Reedsville Eastern for two seasons.
*Brian Shininger takes over at Walnut Ridge after Jason Bates left for Pickerington North. Shininger was the JV Coach at Upper Arlington.
*J.T. Bates takes over at Fostoria.
*Andy Marx was named the head man at Harrison.
*Chris Maul will be the next head coach at Hilliard Darby.
All-Ohio Red 17U finished the EYBL regular season with a (13-3) mark, which was tied for the 2nd best record in the entire league. Red won its division and will advance to the one and only Peach Jam in July. All-Ohio Red’s Jalen Coleman (La Lumiere, IN) was named MVP of the event in Minnesota. The other Ohio Nike Team, the King James Shooting Stars, fell short of making the Peach Jam following a disappointing (7-9) regular season despite lofty expectations.
All-Ohio Red 16U and King James Shooting Stars 16U were both Peach Jam qualifiers and will travel to North Augusta, SC in July. AOR made the final four this past weekend at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Atlanta, GA and King James reached the elite eight. Both teams were defeated by the eventual winner, the Georgia Stars.
OBC finished the Adidas Gauntlet in Orlando, FL over Memorial Day Weekend. OBC 17U finished fourth in its division at (7-9). Carlton Bragg (Cleveland VASJ), Craig Randall (Medina), Reece Dupler (Hebron Lakewood), and Maverick Rowan (Lincoln Park, PA) continue to shine for Mike Duncan’s club. Interesting to note, Jarron Cumberland (2016) of Wilmington played in a couple 17U games finishing with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting against a very good Game Point team featuring Bennie Boatwright.
OBC’s 16U finished the weekend unbeaten in Orlando, but due to travel issues, it had to leave early. Cumberland, Yavari Hall (Warrensville Heights), and Darius Harper (Springfield) were standouts according to Coach Tucker.
Team Work spent its weekend in Chicago and performed very well. The 17U and 16U teams reached the Gold Bracket final four, and 15U lost in the elite eight. The two younger teams were both knocked by talented Detroit Stars teams.