Ohio State championships filled with potential prospects 

March, 30, 2015
Mar 30
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State High School championships were played this past weekend and, as usual, there was a lot of excitement and great basketball. 1. We are the champions In the small school division (Division IV), New Madison Tri-Village defeated Canal Winchester Harvest Prep. Tri-Village was led by 6-foot-3 senior SG Colton Linkous (Ashland commit) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Harvest Prep was led by PG/SG David Dennis (West Liberty commit) with 14 points. In Division III, Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph downed Lima Central Catholic. Villa Angela St. Joseph was led in scoring by 6-2 senior SG Brian Parker (Marist) with 17 points. Nortwestern commit Dererk Pardon added 15, and 6-9 Kansas commit Carlton Bragg added 12. Lima Central Catholic was led by 6-6 Jr. SF/PF Dantez Walton with 13. The Division II game featured upstart Defiance versus Cleveland Central Catholic. SF Katwan Singleton (Findlay) led Defiance with 18 while SG Antwon Lillard led CCC with 24. The big school (Division I) matchup featured Huber Heights Wayne against Westerville South. Wayne won the up-and-down affair behind 19 points from 5-11 senior PG/SG D'Mitrik Trice. Sophomore center Kaleb Wesson led Westerville South with 15 points. 2. Like father, like son(s) As Huber Heights Wayne was winning the state title with D'Mitrik Trice leading them on the court and Travis Trice Sr. coaching them to victory, oldest son and big brother, Travis Trice Jr. was leading Michigan State to the Final Four. The Trice family has been running all over the country following Trice Jr. and handling the Wayne basketball team. Now they can all be together in Indianapolis as the Spartans take on Duke and continue their quest for a national championship. Quite a year for the Trice family. 3. Signed, sealed and committed The Ohio State tournament featured a lot of big-time talents, many of which are signed/committed to various schools. 6-8 senior PF Xeyrius Williams (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton), 6-6 senior PF Ahmad Wagner (Huber Heights Wayne/Iowa), 6-5 senior SF Katwan Singleton (Defiance/Findlay), 5-8 senior PG Amos (A.J.) Harris (Dayton Dunbar/Ohio State), 6-9 senior PF Carlton Bragg (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Kansas commit), 6-7 senior PF Dererk Pardon (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Northwestern), 6-2 senior SG Brian Parker (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Marist), 6-1 senior SG/PG David Dennis (Canal Winchester Harvest Prep/West Liberty), 6-3 senior SG Colton Linkous (New Madison Tri-Village/Ashland), 6-2 senior SG Alan Vest (Dayton Chaminade-Julienne/Wright State) and 6-4 junior WG Trey Landers (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton commit) round out the list. 4. Unsigned talent There are a few hidden gems left around the country and a few played in the Ohio State Championship. Senior WF Kipper Nichols (Lakewood St. Edward), at 6-7, is a versatile forward that is skilled and gives great effort. He is a borderline high-major player that is going to make some coach very happy in the late signing period. SP/PG D'Mitrik Trice (Huber Heights Wayne) is a top-end shooter with a great basketball IQ. He is a combo guard that should find a home at the low- to mid-major level. Senior SG Antwon Lillard (Cleveland Central Catholic) is a solid athlete and a solid scorer that mid-major programs should be all over this time of year. PF Damion Cook (New Madison Tri-Village) is an undersized 4-man, at 6-3, but has a lot of toughness and productiveness. Senior PF Montel McRae is a great combination of size, length, athletic ability and skill. He is a bit of a project but the talent is unmistakable. He has enough of a package to at least play mid-major basketball. 5. Future stars The future is bright in the state of Ohio. Junior SG Frankie Hughes (Garfield Heights) had 14 points and 11 rebounds in his semifinal loss to Westerville South. He is a skilled wing and a very good shooter. Junior SF/PF Willie Jackson (Garfield Heights) is a mid-range dynamo. He had 20 points and nine rebounds in the same loss, dominating inside the 3-point line. Kaleb Wesson (Westerville South) just might be the next big thing in Ohio as he averaged a double-double (16 & 10) in two tournament games. Junior PF Derek Funderburk (Lakewood St. Edward) has a lot of tools and a lot of talent. He will be a high-major recruit in the 2016 class. Junior PG Roderick Caldwell (Huber Heights Wayne) is the straw the stirs the drink for Wayne. He is at least a mid-major talent. SF Dantez Walton (Lima Central Catholic) is one of the most improved players in Ohio. Sophomore SG Ethan Linder (Haviland Wayne Trace) is a super small-school sleeper with a great upside while 6-6 Jr. WF Andre Wesson (Westerville South) is a skilled up and comer that should be a Midwest mid-major priority.
Chicago -- The McDonald's High School All American game practice on Monday seemed fun for the players. The workout had great energy, effort and intensity as game preparation got into high gear. Here are five observations

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The culmination of the elite basketball players' high school career is just a few days away, with the McDonald’s All American Game taking place on Wednesday night (9 p.m. ET on ESPN). It’s not often so many of the nation’s best players are together in the same place: 22 of the top 25 players in the ESPN 100 will participate, with only one eligible five-star player not selected. We’ll have recruiting updates and more on the matchups over the coming days, but here’s a look at the recruiting storylines to watch in Chicago. Uncommitted players There are an unusually high number of elite prospects still on the board -- with eight top-25 players yet to choose a school. All eight will play in the McDonald’s All American Game. The intriguing thing is that most of the prospects are big men, and everyone seems to be waiting for the first domino to fall. Could that happen in Chicago? Or will we continue to wait until the late signing period begins (April 13)? If one five-star post player makes his decision -- especially if it’s Kentucky or Kansas -- we could start seeing some other decisions roll in. Who will be the first to go? That remains to be seen.

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A closer look at Malik Newman 

March, 30, 2015
Mar 30
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video The late signing period for the 2015 class is drawing near. In the coming weeks, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each of the uncommitted players in the top 25 of the ESPN 100. Next up: Malik Newman 6-foot-3, 175 pounds | Shooting guard Jackson, Missisippi | Callaway High School No. 4 overall (No. 1 SG) Recruitment so far Potential schools Kansas Kentucky LSU Mississippi State NC State Ole Miss While Newman has been among the top prospects in the 2015 class since his early days of high school, he has actually slow-played his recruitment for the most part. He has yet to take an official visit and has in fact postponed some scheduled trips in the past. Moreover, he has never officially announced his list -- with the aforementioned six schools establishing themselves as the ones definitely in the mix. Newman said recently he was ready to dive into the process soon, in terms of taking official visits and whittling down his list to a couple of schools. This could be one that doesn’t end for several weeks -- especially with a recent coaching change at one of the schools on his list.

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HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- The second annual Metro Challenge hosted 60 of the best prospects from the greater Baltimore/Washington D.C. region at DeMatha Catholic High School on Saturday for a day of competition and exposure. Here were some of the biggest takeaways: 1. Fultz keeps on coming ESPN 60 guard Markelle Fultz was the best player on the floor from start to finish. He opened with 22 points on 11-15 shooting from the floor and got even better with each passing game, finishing with 81 points on 34-48 shooting including a 35 point performance in the nightcap. Fultz’s story is well known at this point, going from playing JV at DeMatha as a sophomore to winning WCAC Player of the Year as a junior and collecting high-major scholarship offers with almost every passing week in the process. While Fultz reiterated on Saturday that he remains wide open in his recruitment and won’t start to think about cutting down his list until the summer, he did talk about how his game has evolved within the last year. “My athletic ability really changed a lot, but so has my mindset and my motor,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on trying to get better elevation on my jump shot so I can score over people if I need to.” While Fultz may be best known for his length, athleticism and an effortless feel for the game, the progression of his jumper, or perhaps re-emergence, was a clear theme on Saturday. “When I was younger, I could shoot the lights out,” he said, “but when my hands got bigger it really hurt my shooting.” It appears to be coming back now, as does his confidence from that range as he could be heard yelling, “I’m feeling it today,” after his first 3 of the day (he shot 6-12 from that range). With his game only continuing to evolve, it’s clear that schools like Arizona, Maryland, Georgetown, West Virginia, NC State, Miami and Washington will only have more competition before the summer rolls around.

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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Gonzaga and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G Josh Perkins G Silas Melson F Kyle Wiltjer F Domantas Sabonis C Przemek Karnowski

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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Louisville and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G: Quentin Snider G: Terry Rozier F: Deng Adel F: Anas Mahmoud C: Chinanu Onuaku

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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Notre Dame and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G: Demetrius Jackson G: Steve Vasturia F: V.J. Beachem F: Zach Auguste F: Bonzie Colson

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videoTo return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Arizona and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G Gabe York G Parker Jackson-Cartwright G Allonzo Trier F Ryan Anderson C Dusan Ristic

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Recruit and return: Oklahoma Sooners 

March, 28, 2015
Mar 28
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videoTo return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Oklahoma and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five: G: Jordan Woodard G: Isaiah Cousins F: Buddy Hield F: Ryan Spangler C: Khadeem Lattin

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Recruit and return: Utah Utes 

March, 28, 2015
Mar 28
12:07
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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning and incoming players. Here's a look at Utah and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G Dakarai Tucker G Brandon Taylor F Brekkott Chapman F Jordan Loveridge C Jakob Poeltl

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video ESPN 100 No. 7 overall and McDonald's All-American center Diamond Stone ended his recruitment on Friday by committing to the Maryland Terrapins and coach Mark Turgeon over his home state's Wisconsin, along with Oklahoma State and Connecticut.

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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at NC State and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G: Anthony Barber G: Trevor Lacey F: Caleb Martin F: Kyle Washington F: Abdul-Malik Abu

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Recruit and return: UCLA Bruins 

March, 27, 2015
Mar 27
9:20
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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at UCLA and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G: Bryce Alford G: Isaac Hamilton F: Tony Parker F: Jonah Bolden C: Thomas Welsh

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video To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Xavier and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G: Myles Davis G: Remy Abell F: Trevon Bluiett F: James Farr C: Jalen Reynolds

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