Monday, October 28, 2013
Ohio's best come together in Columbus
By John Stovall
Every fall the state of Ohio sends most of its elite players to Columbus, Ohio, for the All Ohio Battle of the Cities. The event has all of the major cities put together teams in each age group (8th grade through 12th grade) and come to the capital of the state to play to see which city is the king of basketball. Every year the event is competitive. It is one of the best events of the fall in the Midwest. Here are some of the best Division-I prospects who were in attendance.
Seth Towns (Columbus, Ohio/Northland)
2016, SF/PF, 6-7, 190
Towns is a skilled combo forward whose game is moving more and more to the perimeter. He has a solid handle for his size and is a good face-up shooter (though his release is a little low). He is already a priority for Big Ten schools.
ESPN 100 point guard Tyler Ulis could run the show at Kentucky in 2014.
Nick Ward (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln)
2016, PF, 6-7, 215
Ward is a low-post beast. The lefty is a good rebounder and inside presence. He knows what he is and rarely leaves the paint. He projects to be a mid-major masher.
Roderick Caldwell (Dayton, Ohio/Stivers)
2016, PG, 5-9, 150
Caldwell is a scoring point guard. He is very clever and crafty. He is a little small but is tough as nails and competitive.
Xavier Simpson (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic)
2016, PG, 5-10, 160
Simpson is a super-solid point guard. He can score but is excellent running a team. He has nice strength and toughness.
Anthony Christian (Akron, Ohio/Hoban)
2016, SG/PG, 6-2, 170
Christian is a lefty wing who is a great penetrator and an improving shooter. He is also an excellent passer and has a feel for involving his teammates. He could end up as a big point guard down the road.
Tervell Beck (Cleveland, Ohio/Central Catholic)
2016, SF, 6-6, 190
Beck has elite athleticism and potential. He has good size and is very skilled. The only question with him is the consistency of his motor and his outside shot. He can definitely be dominant is spurts.
Derek Funderburk (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward)
2016, PF/C, 6-8, 190
Funderburk is a big-time prospect. He has great length and improving skills. He is active inside and pretty productive. He needs strength and once it develops he should explode on the national scene.
A.J. Harris (Dayton, Ohio/Dunbar)
2015, PG, 5-8, 150
Committed to Ohio State
Harris was the MVP of the junior division. His quickness and tenacity are unmatched. The lefty can score and is great in transition. He is a very good defender with a streaky jump shot and impossible to keep out of the paint.
Ahmad Wagner (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne)
2015, PF/SF, 6-6, 205
Wagner is developing and improving quickly. He has been an athletic 4-man who was tough in the paint. He is expanding his game and could easily end up as a 3-man when it is all said and done.
Jordan Dartis (Newark, Ohio/Newark)
2015, SG/PG, 6-2, 175
Dartis is a solid combo guard who is best off the ball. He is a good catch-and-shoot wing who can penetrate. He can play some point guard and is good at running a team.
Ryan Mikesell (St. Henry, Ohio/St. Henry)
2015, SF, 6-6, 170
Mikesell is really coming on quickly. He has grown two inches since last season and has an improving body and jump shot. Mikesell will be recruited by mid-majors and beyond.
Xeyrius Williams (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne)
2015, PF, 6-7, 190
Williams is a high-post jump shooter who continues to improve. He has good length and athletic ability. As he continues to work his game inside to out his profile should keep rising.
Luke Knapke (Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local)
2015, C, 6-10, 190
Knapke is very long and thin. He is full of potential and upside. He scores off put-backs and tip-ins mostly. He does show the potential for a solid face-up game when he develops it.
LaMonta Stone (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green)
2015, PG, 5-6, 140
Stone is a smooth, pure point guard. His size is an issue but his game is not. He is always looking to create for others but can score when needed. He is the son of a current Bowling Green University assistant coach of the same name. He has been taught well.
Noah Bramlage (Ottawa, Ohio/Glandorf)
2015, PF, 6-6, 210
Bramlage is a strong high-post shooter. He has range to 20 feet and is big and strong enough to be effective on the low block. A definite mid-major priority.
Devon Andrews (Lorain, Ohio/Lorain)
2015, SF, 6-5, 185
Committed to Kent State
Andrews is a high-level athlete with developing skills. He is always attacking the rim and once he gets there he does a lot of damage. He needs to continue to improve his skill level but he has a chance to be a dynamic player.
Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights)
2015, PF, 6-6, 205
Ahmad is a versatile and dynamic player. He is a very skilled 4-man who can score from 20 feet as well as create havoc on the low block. He is a good rebounder who can grab the board and push the break himself.
Derek Pardon (Cleveland, Ohio/VASJ)
2015, PF, 6-7, 205
Pardon is one of the most improved players in the Midwest. He is a lefty post player with nice length and a solid motor. He has seen his recruiting really pick up in the last three months after his breakout play in July.
Jae'Sean Tate (Pickerington, Ohio/Central)
2014, SF/PF, 6-5, 220
Committed to Ohio State
Tate is easily one of the top five "effort" players in the country. He is a great scorer and rebounder and is ultra-productive. He is improving his perimeter game and should be a solid shooter by the time he reaches Ohio State.
Javon Bess (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln)
2014, SF/SG, 6-4, 180
Committed to Michigan State
Bess is one of the fastest risers in the 2014 class nationally. He began the summer as a mid-major recruit and recently committed to Michigan State. He has always been versatile, played hard and been productive. The new aspect of his game is his ability to make long range shots.
Eric James (Westerville, Ohio/Central)
2014, SF/SG, 6-5, 180
Committed to Duquesne
James is a long and athletic wing who is very good in transition. He plays well above the rim and seems to take extra enjoyment in posterizing opponents. His jump shot is improving though it is still streaky. He should be very good for Duquesne.
Tyler Ulis (Matteson, Ill./Marian Catholic)
2014, PG, 5-9, 150
Committed to Kentucky
Originally from Lima, Ohio, Ulis is the consummate point guard. The Kentucky commit controls the tempo and knows exactly when to score himself and when to create for teammates. He is a stud on the high school level and should have a good career at UK. He played his usual game, ran the show and led his team to the championship game of the Senior division.
Jeff Thomas (Norwalk, OH./Norwalk)
2014, SG, 6-4, 180
Committed to Georgia State
Thomas is a scoring wing with good size and athleticism. He has a solid and strong body and is a good slasher with a streaky jumper.