Dayton, Ohio — With the thousands upon thousands of basketball prospects in the Dayton area, there’s unfortunately going to be many that fall through the cracks, unrecruited and unnoticed.
This list makes up the top prospects in the city that have yet to receive any offers and have received minimal interest from colleges and prep schools in the 2023, 2022, and 2021 classes. These prospects have also had to receive quality varsity playing time.
A separate list is subject to be made for those in the 2020 class that have yet to commit or earn an offer as well.
These are 15 of the players we believe to currently be “the most slept on” in the city!
Starting Lineup (2021)
The 5’10”, Botkins guard, has stated, “I think I’m slept on but I’m going to get that offer somewhere sooner than later.” With this mindset, the undersized varsity guard doesn’t let his height get in the way of his impact on the court.
Botkins’ leading scorer was looking forward to teaming up with Parkway‘s Dylan Hughes for his upcoming AAU season with NW Ohio. But, as the months pass it looks less and less likely this deadly duo will happen.
Only receiving interest from Wooster & Defiance so far, his surprising jump on the scene with Botkins after transferring his sophomore season from Perry (Lima, OH) might’ve been an underlying reason. His transfer shortened his sophomore season with Botkins by reserving him their first eleven games.
After leading his team to an 18-7 season after a rough start caused by their lack luster defense, Jayden Priddy-Powell will definitely be on coaches radars “sooner than later.”
The Stebbins Indians will have to move on from their previous big three of Kelby Cox, Jalen Tolbert, and Jakob Reed, to a new big three of the returning star, Reed, alongside Ryan Hickey, and sophomore prospect Nate Keller.
After a 17-5 season, the indians received a #9 ranking going into the postseason. In the first round, backed by Jalen Tolbert’s 28 points, the indians took down #8 Franklin. Reed added on a clean 13 points and 5 assists.
In the second round, Jake Reed and his teammates showed their grit & grind by defeating #3 Sidney after going 0-2 against them in the regular season. Stebbins and Reed are known around the MVL for their scrappy, ‘go get it’ attitude on the court.
If you’re looking for that type of player, and someone who can use that to earn themselves 14.9 ppg, 3.6 ast, and 4.4 rpg, Reed is the player for you. Don’t forget about his 50% field goal percentage.
Stebbins finished their tournament run with a down to the wire loss to a #12 ranked Springboro team, 60-57.
Both teams fought hard to move on, as it would potentially be a majority of the players’ last high school game.
Reed started the game with an and-one. Both teams were hot offensively and traded bucket for bucket.
Going into the fourth quarter, Stebbins led 41-35. Tolbert battled with Boro’s Noah Moser throughout the quarter. With one minute left and down 5 after a Boro comeback, All-Conference 1st-Teamer, Reed, stepped up by grabbing a board and going coast to coast to bring Stebbins’ deficit to 3.
To end the game, the indians gained possession while down by 1. The ball was inbounded to Tolbert, and he was able to gain contact and head to the foul line for a one-and-one.
Unfortunately, Tolbert’s shot was too strong, and he missed, putting the nail in the coffin for Stebbins’ playoff run. Reed put up 11 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, and added in a steal.
Reed finished out his season 4th in conference scoring (15.1 ppg), 8th in assists (3.5 apg), and 7th in steals (2.6 spg), but received no offers or interests.
Reed still has one season remaining to prove all of his doubters wrong . . .
In A.J. Eller’s first three seasons at Brookville, he’s proved to be one of the best pure scorers in the Dayton area.
Eller’s 19.1 ppg has ranked him 11th on our Dayton area scoring leaders list. He’s one out of only six players in the 2021 class to rank in the top twenty of our list, and one out of only four players below 6’0″.
Even with Eller’s scoring abilities, it only resulted in the Brookville Devils finishing right above 50% this recent season. It was a down year for the Devils after finishing 21-4 in the 2018-2019 season, primarily due to the loss of then seniors Wade Turner and Josh Gudorf.
With Brookville losing their second leading scorer, Manny Willis, they’re on track to have an even worse season, but Eller expects the opposite . . .
“. . . losing Willis will be tough but I think Dominique (Daniel Dominique) is ready to step up . . . we have some young guys that’re grinders and some shooters that can really contribute.”
Going into this coming season with the mindset of proving everyone wrong, Eller believes his teammates are ready to step up for the challenge. He believes the recent season was a rebuild season after their 21-4 contender season.
“Honestly, I see us as a contender for the league . . . I felt like this year some of the other guys were just getting their feet wet and now they really know how the varsity game is and what we expect from them”, Eller would go onto say about his team.
With every team in Brookville’s SWBL division having one or two key guys, it’s really going to depend on the role players surrounding each player to separate their team from the others.
“Everyone is going to expect a lot to come from me this year, but I really feel like they will step up and make my job easier”, Eller had to say about his teammates.
In Brookville’s last game to end their 2019-20, Eller finished out his junior season by outscoring the rest of his team by 10 points, putting up a career high 31 points! But, the devils would go on to lose the first round tournament game to the higher ranked, West Liberty Salem, 53-51.
A.J. Eller’s scoring would definitely be a nice addition to a college team, but he’s yet to pick up any offers or interest.
The 2x All-Conference 1st-Teamer, Jet Holiday Tournament MVP, 2018-19 SWBL Champion, D-3 All-Ohio Honorable Mention, Dayton’s 10th leading scorer, and the SWBL’s 3rd leading scorer, is sure to land on some scout’s radars his senior season.
After transferring from Ponitz, the West Carrollton newcomer rose above expectations in his first season with a new team, assisting the Pirates to a 17-7 record.
He was the cherry on top to arguably West Carrollton’s best team in the recent decade.
Shrivers’ 8 rpg (3rd in MVL), 2.9 spg (5th in MVL), 11.6 ppg (11th in MVL), and 5.7 apg (2nd in MVL) not only led his team to their first winning season since 2012, but also earned him his first All-Conference 1st Team selection, with an All-Southwest District Honorable Mention selection.
With Shrivers becoming West Carrollton’s first option next year and the exit of MVL star, Kalen McKinney, Shrivers will make a good case for MVL Player of The Year.
We can’t forget about MVL newcomer, Allen Lattimore. Lattimore was one of the Dayton City League’s best players, leaving behind his legacy at Stivers. While there, he received the 1,000 point accolade after only his junior season, helped Stivers to their first conference championship in 62 years and regionals for their 2nd time in school history, and back to back district championships. He will be joining Shrivers & Coach Parker’s already star studded team, along with Jefferson Township transfer, D’Shawn Ferguson.
After Shrivers’ breakout season, he was looking forward to picking up an offer with Dayton’s Team Flyght for his AAU season, alongside a star studded lineup of 2021 prospects, Damontay Raglin & Carter Mims (Trotwood), Chanze Amerson (Thurgood), Allen Lattimore (West Carrollton), Patrick Ivory (Northmont), Will Hill (Meadowdale), Jayson Hayes (Centerville), & Tyler Montague (Butler).
Shrivers & the pirates left it all on the court throughout the season and especially in a close postseason game to close out their year against a higher seeded Beavercreek, 64-63.
But, don’t expect the pirates to be going anywhere next season.
Although they’re losing their leader in McKinney and key role players Austin Jones and Zahir Hopkins, they’re returning Shrivers, alongside top 2023 prospect, Sam Walker, and one of Dayton’s best shot blockers, Aigbokhai Kadari (4.2 bpg).
Add in Jye’Ton Howard, Terry Green, and Tyron Darby stepping up, plus the swirling rumors of the pirates possibly gaining another transfer on top of their already confirmed transfers in Lattimore & Ferguson, and it doesn’t seem to be the end of the road for Shrivers and the West Carrollton Pirates.
While at Northmont, Patrick Ivory unfortunately hasn’t seen much success. In his first three varsity seasons with the thunderbolts, they’ve struggled with a 19-51 record and never made it past the second round of the postseason. They’ve finished at the bottom of their division each year, nor finished with a winning record.
Ivory was just a year late to Northmont’s success in 2017. Led by class of 2017 stars, Rodney Richardson (Edison St.), Vinson Walker (Miami-Hamilton), and Christian Wilson (Dayton), Northmont finished with a 20-5 record.
Richardson was the team’s point guard & statistical leader, placing 5th in the conference for apg (4.7), 3rd for spg (2.8), and led the team in scoring (12.0 ppg). He went onto play for Edison St. where he averaged 5.5 ppg, on 52.4 fg%, 1.4 rpg, and 1.2 apg in his freshman season. He was quoted as having very impressive “speed and agility to get to the rim.” It’s unknown where Richardson is now, but it’s not believed he’s still playing basketball at the collegiate or professional level. He left Edison St. for his sophomore year.
Walker has been excelling while at Miami-Hamilton. His senior season at Northmont, he placed 6th in conference rebounding (9.0 rpg) and took home Athlete of the Year for his division. This recent year at Miami was special for Vinson Walker. Walker led his team in rebounding (9.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (57.1%). He had many eye-opening games, including one where he put up 28 points and 19 rebounds. His IQ has also been a weapon on the court, backed by his 2018 selection to the National Society of Leadership & Success. As a 6″5′ wing averaging a double double and shooting over 40% from deep, we can expect to see Vinson Walker transfer to a bigger team sooner than later.
Christian Wilson was a four-year varsity member while at Northmont, along with being the team captain. Although Wilson’s Northmont team received much success, he didn’t receive much recognition around the city. During his four years, Wilson never received even a special mention on the All-Conference selections. His senior year with the thunderbolts, he placed in the top 25 in assists (2.7 apg) and 7th in steals (2.4 spg). Even while being the third option on his Northmont team, he went onto walk-on for Dayton’s basketball team his sophomore year. This recent year, he made it into 15 games, putting up 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Ivory’s high turnover rate might be one cause for his lack of recruitment, ranking 10th in conference for highest total turnovers. Turnovers were a big problem for the thunderbolts as four of their top contributors all placed in the top 12 of total turnovers during the 2019-20 season.
With a majority returning team, Northmont is on track to have a better season now that their young players have gotten their feet wet at the varsity level. Ivory will have his returning forward in Jordan Smith, along with Michigan football commit, Markus Allen, and decorated freshmen, Tyrin Sturdivant.
Ivory so far has received quite amount of recognition, but not from where he might seek most, colleges. Highly respected basketball media site, Prep Hoops, has frequently praised the Clayton guard and featured him on their top prospect lists.
He finished out his season securing an honorable mention selection on the 2020 All-SW District Teams, as well as his first All-Conference 1st Team selection after being named a special mention his sophomore season. Ivory placed 5th in conference scoring (13.6 ppg).
Northmont also closed out their season in a respectable fashion. In an expected blowout, the thunderbolts surprised everyone by putting on a show in their first round tournament game.
As the 19th seed, they competed with #5 Wayne Warriors until the final seconds. After a close first quarter, Wayne built a decent lead. At halftime, it looked like the favorites would begin to run away with it. But, Northmont turned it up the second half and brought the game within two with the clock running down.
With 16 seconds left in the game, they fed the ball down low to Jordan Smith. Smith looked to kick it back out to Northmont’s senior guard, Andrew White. Before the ball could meet the hands of White, top 2023 prospect, Lawrent Rice, ended the thunderbolts’ hopes at making it out of the first round with a game ending interception.
Rice ended the game with an exclamation point by topping his steal off with a dunk that was met with a loud reaction from the crowd. Northmont’s turnovers once again came to haunt them. Ivory ended the game with 20 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Patrick Ivory has yet to land an offer, nor much interest, but has stated that he’s communicating with colleges. Colleges such as San Diego St. at the division one level have shown interest, while prep schools like the Illinois Prep Trojans have also been in contact with the 2021 guard.
With Northmont on track to have a more successful season, and Ivory at the front of it, we can bet that he’ll be reeling in his first offer very soon.
The 2021 class is entering their final season. With the delay and possible cancellation of their 2020 AAU season, prospects are taking a big hit. These five prospects especially were looking forward to their 17U AAU seasons, expecting to build some more interest and pick up a few offers before their last dance at the high school level.
Another one of Botkins’ top performers, Jacob Pleiman, is one of the top forwards in the 2022 class.
Pleiman was on track to have a big off-season, committing to play for the Mid-Ohio Pumas for his 16U AAU season. He had previously played for the Lima Gators alongside Kettering Fairmont‘s Anthony Johnson, and Sidney‘s Devin Taborn.
The Pumas’ program has developed talent such as top prospects Rich Rolf (Centerville ’22), Carson Seemann (McNicholas ’21), Cam Harrison (National Trail ’21), and five-star OSU football commit, Jack Sawyer (Pickerington North ’20).
The 6’6″ center is not your average sophomore and the SCAL knew that, adding his name to the All-Conference Second Team. Pleiman was the youngest player to be on the list that included the SCAL’s seventeen best players through three lists, first team, second team, and honorable mentions. Pleiman also earned his way onto the District 9 Coaches Second Team.
Pleiman’s name began being mentioned along with Ohio’s top 2022 prospects when going into his breakout sophomore season, he made the decision to attend 270 Hoops’ 2019 Fall League. Pleiman used his overwhelming size and footwork to dominate in the paint on one side, while sending shots into the bleachers on the other side.
Jacob Pleiman currently has zero offers or interests. But, this is certain to change with him on track to be the best player in the SCAL by his senior year and the contributions he will make with the Mid-Ohio Pumas.
The SWBL‘s young duo of Ryan Chew and Gabe Pavlak are looking to bring back Bellbrook to a time similar to their golden age in the mid 2000’s, when they took home seven straight division championships between 2004-2011.
Chew and Pavlak will have to step up in a big way as they’re set to have only two other returning players who received varsity playing time, Ashton Ault and Caleb Fugate. But both are up to the task and ready to give it their all, backed by their All-Conference selections following their sophomore seasons.
Chew is one of the most talented guards coming out Dayton’s 2022 class. His height might look like a disadvantage, but just look at his 14.8 ppg (8th best in conference), 2.5 apg, 2.0 spg, and 2.0 rpg.
Reducing turnovers will also be a big task for the golden eagles this upcoming season, supported by Chew’s 3.9 turnovers per game.
He’ll need to work on his efficiency from the field, as he put up a field goal percentage of 35.8%. This was one of the lowest percentages when compared to the other top scorers in the SWBL.
But, he’s also shown he’s able to adjust in games. In a match up against division rival, Brookville, Chew shot 0-5 from the field, but proceeded to put up a career high 7 assists. If Chew can just improve his consistency, eagle fans are in for a show.
Down low, Gabe Pavlak is known for being one of the hardest competitors in the area. He’s “exactly what a coach wants in a low post defender and a low post scorer”, MVHV’s Rob Ellis quoted after Pavlak’s game against Badin.
Pavlak’s shot blocking was definitely a show for the spectators this season. If you don’t believe me, just look at his 1.4 bpg that ranked him 5th highest in the SWBL. Gabe’s 11.4 ppg was a nice compliment as well.
So far, Chew has yet to gain any looks from coaches and scouts. But, Pavlak has received interest from Marietta.
With both on track to be four year contributing varsity members, and hitting the road with one of Dayton’s best AAU teams, they’re on track to be earning their first offer very soon.
6’7″ Adam Duvall makes up one part of Beavercreek’s dynamic sophomore duo. The other. . . 6’7″ Gabe Phillips. Duvall, despite his height, is a guard with a good handle and shot to fit the position. Phillips on the other hand, plays the center position perfectly for Coach Pittman‘s Beavers.
But, his contributions don’t always show up on the stat line, senior leader Chris Herbort saying, “Gabe might go into a game and have two blocks, but it doesn’t show that he altered 15 shots.”
Gabe might not receive the same recognition as seniors Yousef Saleh, and Chris Herbort, or sophomore Adam Duvall. But, it’s safe to say the Beavers wouldn’t have had the historic season they had without having his presence in the paint. “Every single game, Gabe made an impact, whether it’s how many points he scored or how many shots he altered”, Herbort would go onto say.
Gabe’s 2.4 bpg (2nd in GWOC) and ability to shoot 63.4% (3rd in GWOC) might not have secured him any offers or interests, but it did earn him an All-Conference Honorable Mention and helped lead his team to a district final versus top seeded, Lakota East, who they lost to by a single point in a controversial ending.
Speaking of district finals, Phillips has also showed that he can prosper in clutch situations. With 20.2 seconds left in Beavercreek’s first district final’s match-up in twenty years, Gabe Phillips headed to the free throw line with the Beavers down one to the heavy favorites, the Lakota East Thunderhawks.
Phillips preceded to knock down both free throws in the tense tournament atmosphere in the Cintas Center, putting the Beavers up by one. Gabe Phillips was only shooting 43% from the free throw line before this . . .
Herbort stated before discussing Phillips, “Gabe Phillips . . . he’s not really that talked about”. I think it’s safe to say if Phillips continues improving on how he played this recent season, Gabe Phillips will be talked about.
Much like Bellbrook, the firebirds also have a turnover issue. To finish out their season, they put up 19 turnovers in their first round loss to Sidney. Wright had 6 turnovers that game, while Johnson averaged 2.6 throughout the season.
Johnson, a shifty guard with a good all-around game, was one of Fairmont’s leaders this season, even though he was only a sophomore. He’s on track to be the team’s only current four year varsity member.
His ability to rebound for his size and position is also a plus for the firebirds. He’s 1 out of only 7 players in his conference under 6’0″ that placed in the top 50 for rebounds per game.
Anthony’s field goal percentage is also elite, placing 8th in 3ptfg% (40.0%), 3rd in ft% (84.1%), and top 30 in fg% (46.3%). Not only was he an elite shooter and rebounder, but passer as well, placing 10th in apg (3.2), and 9th in total assists (67).
Johnson earned himself an All-Conference Special Mention selection, but no interest or offers. We expect that to change very, very soon.
At Fairmont’s two position, combo guard Keon Wright is the definition of a shooter. He lit up the field in his first year on varsity.
Wright placed 15th in made three pointers throughout GWOC (24). He was 1 of only 3 underclassmen in the top 15.
Much like Johnson, Wright is someone you don’t want to send to the line if you’re the opposing team. He placed 6th in ft% (77.8%).
If Wright improves on his recent season, he’s on track to be Fairmont’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Wright surprisingly did not earn any All-Conference honors, but did earn a placement as one of Triple Double Prospect’s honorable mentions on their 2022 Player Rankings list. He neither earned an offer or any interest for basketball.
The two Kettering guards accomplished a lot for the firebirds in only their sophomore season. They defeated the Springfield Wildcats for the first time since 2015. They defeated the stars of Overtime’s “Chopping Wood” with Gabe Cupps, the Centerville Elks, for the first time since 2013. They capped off the 2nd biggest high school basketball showcase, Flyin’ To The Hoop, with a win over Cincinnati Hughes, coming from 2022 prospect, Malachi Parker.
If Johnson & Wright can lessen the turnovers and keep moving up the statistical leader board, they will be two of Dayton’s most unstoppable guards.
Journell could definitely make a case for OHC‘s most improved player of the year. The Greenon guard was one of his conferences best players in only his first season with varsity.
Journell swung between varisty and junior varsity his freshman year. After gaining a few inches and increasing his athleticism, he earned the varsity spot his sophomore year.
By improving his overall game, Journell passed up players who previously were in front of him and received a big role improvement. He became the team’s leading scorer, and lock-down defender.
Journell stated, “Coach would usually put me on the other team’s best player”, backed by his 2.2 spg (5th in conference).
He placed 8th in scoring (13.7 ppg), 15th in 3-pointers made (26), while not being able to miss from the field, finishing 4th in fg% (55.9%) and 7th in 3ptfg% (41.3%).
Could Journell bring Grennon their first conference championship in decades?
Much like receiving his first offer and interests, only time will tell for the young star.
Alongside upperclassmen Jared Baldock, Nate McMillan, and Dustin Davis, Andre Simmons and #4 Purcell Marian gave Dayton powerhouse, #1 Trotwood-Madison, a challenge for their fourth round postseason game.
The Cavaliers held a 40-23 lead at halftime. The cavs held onto the lead after the third quarter, but after the rams outscored Marian 51-27 in the second half, Trotwood finished out on top, 74-63.
Arguably Dayton’s best player from the 2019-2020 season, Carl Blanton, was held to only 7 points at halftime. He proceeded to drop 22 in the second.
The story was different for Jared Baldock, scoring 18 in the first half, and only 2 in the second. Davis’ leg cramps limited him to only 18, while Simmons added 14.
Since head coach Rocky Rockhold took the program over in 2011, the Trotwood Rams have won their *reported* post season games by an average of 33 points and on top of that, won 86% of their postseason games (43/50).
Don’t forget the ruthless result of their game against the Northmont Thunderbolts this season, beating them 153-67.
Taking all of this into consideration, if the cavs could’ve limited turnovers in the second half, the end result might’ve been different. But, Purcell Marian’s performance was very praisable.
Their coach summed it up perfectly, “they fought like hell all year. A couple shots here or there and our record would look a lot different.”
It was a shaky year for the cavaliers after winning the GCL Co-Ed championship and finishing 24-5 in the 2018-2019 season.
After not seeing much varsity playing time his freshmen year, the Cincinnati Hughes transfer, Simmons, placed 13th in conference scoring (10.7 ppg), 8th in 3-pointers made (31), and 2nd in ft% (81.8%) .
The 5’9″ sophomore guard placed 15th in rebounding (3.9 rpg). Simmons is the shortest player in the top 30 for rpg (at least 3.0 rpg). Simmons placed in the top 20 in apg (2.0), but 11th in total turnovers (55).
He’s not only an offensive threat but plays both sides, placing 11th in spg (1.4).
Simmons could be debated as GCL’s best player in the class of 2022, being the only sophomore to make the All-Conference 1st or 2nd team, while Jacob Conner and Logan Broaddus were respectfully selected as honorable mentions.
With the return of an improved Simmons, alongside Dustin Davis, Purcell Marian could compete for a top spot in the GCL Co-Ed next season.
Andre Simmons currently holds no offers or interests, but that is definitely subject to change with him becoming Purcell Marian’s first option over the course of these these next two seasons.
Dayton’s 2022 class is filled with young prospects with tons to prove. These seven prospects are going into their junior year, already leading contributors at the varsity level, and ready to pick up their first offer.
The 2023 class serves as an “honorable mentions” for our list. These two young prospects still have three seasons to pick up an offer and with how these freshmen played in their first year of varsity, we can fully expect them to pick up more than one. But, Walker and Allen have both yet to pick up any offers or interests.
Junior Varsity (Special Mentions)
Our special mentions list is a group of guys who equally deserve a spot on this list. As MVHV increases our coverage over the Dayton area, we expect our list to increase in accuracy. Thank you for supporting our mission.
Dear players & coaches, if you come across any misinformation about you or your players, be sure to let us know by contacting us on one of our social media platforms !