Author: Jordan Harbeck

Midwest Basketball Club Surging In Success!

Dayton, Ohio–NBA general managers and owners around the league weren’t the only ones hitting big recently due to obtaining new talent for their organizations. One of Ohio’s most eminent AAU programs, Midwest Basketball Club, hit the jackpot with commitments from three of the nation’s top prospects.

With the regular season approaching for the Winter, the buzz around travel ball had died down. But, that buzz saw a resurgence on November 12th. The club announced the following via their twitter,

“We are excited to announce that our program will be representing Ohio on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit. Excited to use this platform for the betterment of our MBC Student Athletes.”

The Adidas 3SSB circuit features an ensemble of some of the nation’s most prestigious programs and top-notch teams.

The news didn’t stop there, releasing huge announcements the next two consecutive days. The following day, MBC released the first prospect who’d be competing for their 17U Adidas 3SSB squad, none other than Centerville’s Gabe Cupps. An astounding pick-up that astonished me and my colleagues at first glimpse.

But, the excitement wouldn’t stop there. The next day, two more huge commitments were made public. Not only would MBC return Centerville’s Rich Rolf for their program, but would make one of the biggest additions in the club’s history.

London, Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard would rock the blue, black, and white for the Summer of 2021. Sheppard is a name that many Dayton locals have yet to learn, but it’s certain the arguably #1 player in Kentucky’s 2023 class will fit right in alongside this group of Ohioans. 

’23 Reed Sheppard shows out with The Leftovers AAU team, alongside Cupps and Rolf. (Source: Absolute Basketball Experience with Jamie Shaw)

The three have already built chemistry together, competing during last Summer’s AAU season for The Leftovers. The unit also consisted of Dayton’s Jacob Conner, Tom House, and Tristan Klumb, along with a batch of other top prospects from states aside from Ohio. They dominated and proved to be one of the toughest teams to beat, winning the Big Shots 16U Orange Title.

Take a minute to “Meet The Leftovers” . . . (Source: Big Shots Nation)

Not only are they building up their program for a big 2021 season, the Midwest Basketball Club is already coming off a successful year, reporting four NLI signees from their 17U team on November 11th.

Not only do they have a ton of talent on the court, but also an honorable array of leaders behind the scenes. Last season’s 16U coaching staff who’s expected to move up for 17U, consisted of Moeller’s Demarco Johnson and Lakota Easts’s Clint Adkins, among others. With the addition of an Adidas 3SSB team at the 17U level, it’s been rumored there will be some huge new additions to the club’s staff.

Through their 17U teams, MBC’s prospects will compete at some of the highest levels. . . especially their Adidas 3SSB team! MBC will go head to head in a league full of top tier talented teams. Here’s a few of the teams, and their top prospects:

Joe Johnson’s Arkansas Hawks & Arkansas Commit Joseph Pinion

(Source: CP3 Camp Mixtapes)

Compton Magic & Mikey Williams

(Source: qwik11hoops)

D1 Minnesota & #2 State Ranked Eli King

(Source: Fresh Coast Hoops)

Dream Vision & Baby Embiid Jeremiah Nyarko

(Source: BallerVisions)

Grassroots Canada & Elijah Fisher

(Source: OverTime NXT)

Wildcats Select & #1 State Ranked Isaac McKneely

(Source: Big Shots Nation)

Team Harden & Phenom Bryce Griggs

(Source: TexasHoops Television)

And the talent doesn’t stop there!

Who else could possibly be paired with the big three of Cupps, Rolf, and Sheppard? Who will be coaching this talented group? More announcements are expected to come in the near future, and we will be in close coverage with the Midwest Basketball Club program!

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Preble Shawnee’s Shrout & Singleton Shine In Pre-season + A.J. Eller & More

Dayton, Ohio–The Southwestern Buckeye League is looking more and more competitive as time passes. One of the leading causes to this is the addition of one of Ohio’s most praised 2024 prospects.

With the loss of Bellbrook stud, Ryan Chew, the SWBL finds an attractive replacement at the point guard position in Preble Shawnee freshman, Mason Shrout.

Shrout’s high school debut has been long awaited. He’s already been receiving media attention for years:

Fans and followers won’t have to wait any longer. After being sidelined due to having to quarantine, Shrout finally made his first appearance as an arrow.

On November 20th, Shawnee matched up in their third scrimmage, this time against the Brookville Blue Devils. This would be a tenacious first assignment, as Shrout would go head to head with one of the conference’s most respected scorers, ‘21 A.J. Eller. Although Eller and Shrout would be earning an abundance of the viewer’s attention, another elite prospect had proved worthy of the same.

Going into the Brookville scrimmage, Shawnee’s ‘21 Bryce Singleton was coming off a hot, 40 point game in a 27 point win over the CCC’s Ansonia. He also managed to add 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

After stuffing the stat sheet, Singleton stated, “Personally, I don’t look too much into my stats. All that matters is the win.”

He proceeded to say this when asked about the Blue Devils, “Brookville always has a good team. When you scrimmage them, you know they are going to play good fundamental basketball.”

Coming out the gates, both teams traded bucket for bucket, ending in a 12-12 first quarter. But, in the second quarter, even with Shawnee missing three starters and their sixth man due to contact tracing for COVID-19, Ville was having a difficult time on the defensive end of the floor, giving Shawnee a 14-6 run, and a 26-18 lead.

It didn’t help that their main scoring option, Eller, was a bit rusty from behind the arc, starting out the game 2-12 from the field. But, after hitting a few shots and forcing a handful of turnovers through their full court press, Brookville was not only back in the game, but going on a lead bound run.

Brookville’s ’21 AJ Eller being defended by ’23 Will Maxwell (Source: AJ Eller)

Brookville would go on to win four straight quarters, making it 69-48 heading into the 7th and final quarter. Shawnee wouldn’t go down without a fight, going on another 14-6 run in the final quarter. But, it wouldn’t be enough, Brookville ultimately winning 75-62.

Eller led the Devils on the offensive end with at least 17pts, but ultimately the win was due to a team effort on both ends of the floor.

Brookville full court pressed the arrows, and Shrout was primarily having to handle the ball through it. The press forced Shrout to make bad passes in transition, or try dribbling through multiple defenders, resulting in turnovers and points off turnovers. Their 1-2-2 defense in the half-court also seemed to give Shawnee some trouble at times during the game.

On the defensive end, Shawnee gave Eller a lot of easy looks early in the game from behind the arc, but he couldn’t capitalize. As the game went on, Eller seeped more into a playmaking role, while still hitting the occasional three. Even with this rough shooting day, I wouldn’t base my expectations for him on it. I still expect Eller to be one of the most lethal scorers in the SWBL, and have a top ten spot in Dayton’s ppg column.

“We were slow and just not ready it seemed like. So, pressing them gave us a ton of energy and we got easy buckets, leading to our success. I’ve been looking forward to matching up with Shrout, because I’ve heard so much about him. He’s got a nice game and is going to be a problem for the league for a long time. My shot wasn’t falling all night, but my coaches and teammates believe in me and I trust my team. I tried getting them involved and they started hitting shots, taking the pressure off of me.”

AJ Eller

Teammate, ‘21 Daniel Dominique works well in the mid-range, and is a huge supplement to the Devils’ defense, chipping in 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block.

Senior, Jack Stanoikovich proved to be effective from deep range, consistently knocking down shots around the arc. Don’t be surprised if he’s considered one of the conferences’ best shooters by the end of the season.

Preble Shawnee also managed to heavily impress me. Shrout stuck out as an incredible passer. He makes his teammates better on the offensive end. He has good height, and great length, sometimes using it to block shots. He comes off as an aggressive scorer and playmaker as well, especially for a freshman.

There were times when Shrout could’ve better managed Shawnee’s offensive pace and tempo. Often, his off-ball, and sometimes even on-ball defense came off as lackluster. But, Stamina could’ve easily been to blame though, being consistently forced to play through Ville’s full court press, having to then make a play in the half court, defending Eller’s quickness, and working with a small rotation.

But, it also has to be remembered that this is his first high school scrimmage and still has so much time to grow! It’s just a matter of time, depending on his progression, but I believe Mason Shrout’s on his way to become the best point guard in the SWBL.

“My mindset going into the scrimmage wasn’t to go score a huge amount. It was more that I need to find my angle on the team, understand my role, and figure out which position I need to be in to win games.”

Mason Shrout

Another impressive force to be reckon with was Bryce Singleton with 20+ points, 15 rebounds, and almost double digit assists. His last set of scrimmages, he’s performed not as a double double machine, but a triple double machine!

He can not only score, not only rebound, but his playmaking ability also surprised me. He consistently squares up with his defender, working well in the triple threat. He showed the ability to knock down shots, but his play suggested he’s not afraid of contact to the point where he seemed more attracted to it, resulting in multiple and-ones.

Singleton’s on track to be an SWBL player of the year candidate, hands down.

‘21 Xavier Adams illustrated his capability of stretching the floor, knocking down multiple threes in a row late in the game to not only put the Arrows on a run, but give his teammates a much needed increase in energy if they wanted to take this scrimmage.

‘23 Dylan Campbell is a name to learn. The sophomore showed his scrappiness, crashing the boards, turning in a handful of easy buckets off cuts, and forcing a few turnovers.

Shawnee contributors, Dylan Hatmaker, Anthony Monebrake, Bryant Morton, and Ethan Woodard were all unfortunately absent for the scrimmage. All four will return for their first official game on November 27th.

It wasn’t only the performances that made this game captivating at times, but essentially the spirit at which both teams play with.

Brookville’s team chemistry, Shawnee’s grit and grind, Eller & Singleton’s intensity . . . it all made the game that much more mesmerizing.

Even though it was a scrimmage, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Both squads’ emotions and energy represented as if it was an elimination game in the postseason!

This won’t be the last time these two programs receive our coverage. Brookville dueled with the GWOC’s Northmont on November 23rd in a scrimmage. While tonight, Preble Shawnee clashes in their first regular season game with arguably their toughest assignment yet, the Oakwood Lumberjacks.

Two immense match-ups will take place. Bryce Singleton will go head to head with a top five sophomore in the city, Will Maxwell. Adjacently, Mason Shrout will be challenged by Oakwood’s newest addition and one of the SWBL’s purest athletes, ‘22 Keon Wright.

According to Shrout, “It’s not going to be an easy game. Oakwood’s loaded, but this year we have a crazy amount of chemistry already. We’ve all found our roles. We have the talent and skill to beat them. We just have to execute plays, sit down, and play good defense. We have to keep a mild composer throughout the whole game.”

You can tune into the game via live stream at 7:45pm with the link below. Best of luck to both teams!

Missed out on the Preble Shawnee vs Brookville scrimmage? Watch it on demand below!

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The Team Flyght World 2021 Boys’ Tryouts, a review

Intro

Dayton, Ohio– On October 17th, 2020, twenty-four of Dayton’s best high school basketball prospects were gathered together in one gym, and battled it out for one goal . . . to represent Dayton overseas!

It all started on September 11th. The Wright Way Foundation announced through their social media, that the foundation, along with Chris Wright, would be taking “10 boys and girls from the Dayton area 2022 class and younger”, to travel “to Lausanne, Switzerland to compete against teams from all around the world in the summer of 2021 while also creating unforgettable life experiences.” These ten boys and girls would be determined through a tryout held at the historic HBCU, Wilberforce University.

The Wright Way Foundation announces the Team Flyght World experience. (via The Flyght Network)

16 days later, the tryout invitations were made public! The first draft of the invitations were put together by Prep Hoops’ senior scout and co-founder of the SWO Full Court Press, Tony Peters. Peters, having a very experienced, and respected eye for Dayton’s many prospects, saw many of his invites end up on The Wright Way Foundation’s final list on announcement day. Dayton’s state-wide recognized names would be in attendance, Jacob Conner, Lawrent Rice, Mekhi Elmore, and Gabe Cupps. But, some lesser known names would also be provided the chance to put their names on the map, including Jacob Pleiman, Layne Sarver, Lee Benson, and Kylan Tucker.

A week prior to tryouts, the Team Flyght World coaches were introduced to the public. Leading the boys’ side would be Dunbar’s Coach Dixon, Centerville’s Coach Cupps, Trotwood Madison’s Coach Rockhold, and Trotwood’s former coach during Chris Wright’s time at the powerhouse, Coach Thornton. Each coach was presented through a set of interview questions, along with their standalone interviews. The astounding quality of the interviews and other promotional material published by the Wright Way’s content creators, give the whole experience a docuseries feel. This is primarily thanks to a couple of the foundation’s essential personnel, Ro Grigsby, and Matthew Barnes, who you might know as “MC.HoopFlicks” on social media for his breathtaking photography in the Ohio hoops scene.

Four days following the coaches being announced, a new addition to TFW was introduced. . . Team Flyght World: Future Stars! It was explained in the following,

“We are watching throughout the tryout and this upcoming season for kids to be on our Team Flyght World Future Stars Roster. This roster will consist of players eligible to tryout for the 2022 Team Flyght World. The roster will join our 2021 Team Flyght World team during training camp next summer and will scrimmage the traveling team before leaving for Switzerland. This gives us healthy competition before heading to the tournament while also getting to see out future talent compete against the current 2021 World team.”

The Future stars team is expected to consist of the city’s top 2023-2026 prospects. This will give them a chance to be in the Team Flyght World environment, as well as early exposure to TFW coaches and directors. An abundance of Dayton’s up and coming stars will be on the WWF’s radar, including Trotwood’s Delamarr Blanton, Preble Shawnee’s Mason Shrout, Chaminade Julienne’s Jonathan Powell, and Miami East’s Wes Enis.

Preceding these announcements, the only thing left were for the tryouts themselves to commence! 

The Tryouts

It was the day, October 17th, 1:30pm, I approached the doors to the Gaston Lewis Gymnasium in Wilberforce, Ohio. Upon entering, I was immediately greeted and put through COVID protocols, including temperature checks and hand washing.

“Excited to show the youth from my city the world. International travel was a great educator of life for me. It taught me to understand the true definition of cultural awareness. So although I don’t have all the answers, I promise to take the steps I see necessary as a leader to help prepare the youth for the real world of sports and beyond!”

Chris Wright

Following check-in, I was gifted Team Flyght World apparel, and introduced to the Chatterbox Sports crew, who’d I’d be doing commentary alongside throughout the scrimmage portion of the tryouts.

I was able to finally, and formally meet Prep Hoop’s Tony Peters and Overtime’s Ethan Morris. A number of other public figures were in attendance for the tryouts including, Wilberforce’s Coach Mark Mitchell, West Carrollton’s Coach Anthony Parker, Orion Sports Medicine’s Coach Bobby Crawford & Dr.Phil Anloague, along with the Wright Way Foundation team, the TFW coaches, twenty-four of Dayton’s top high-school boys prospects, a handful of other behind-the-scenes contributors, and my partner, Rob Ellis.

The tryouts began with a few words from one of Dayton’s most influential leaders, Chris Wright, as the invitees sat in attendance.

Succeeding Wright’s words, the Orion Sports Medicine team, led by Dr.Phil Anloague, put the invitees through a warm-up routine, consisting of an assortment of stretches. Secondly, one of the area’s most respected and well-known trainers, Coach Crawford, led the prospects through a collection of ball handling drills, as the TFW coaches observed from the sidelines.

Next, the players were split up into four groups of six and put through an array of stations by the Team Flyght World coaches themselves, each with their own set of drills. These drills consisted of individual drills, two-player drills, and king of the court esc games consisting of 1v1’s, 2v2’s, and 3v3’s. On one side of the court, Coach Cupps and former division one basketball coach, Coach House, tested the invitees ability to score off screens, while Coach Crawford and Meadowdale’s Coach Sumlin assessed the prospects capability to handle the ball against pressure around the perimeter. While on the opposite side, Coach Dixon & Coach Parker examined their pool of possible TFW players going head to head in competitive king of the court esc games, meanwhile Coach Rockhold analyzed the players ability to attack downhill and score around the rim, as well as finding shooters around the perimeter.

Finally to precede the long awaited scrimmages, Crawford put the participants through an array of weave drills to test their ability to run the floor and communicate.

Lastly, it was time for the scrimmages. Here are a handful of players that stuck out from the boys’ Team Flyght World tryout! 

Player Performance Observations

‘24 Wes Enis – Miami East

Heading into the Team Flyght World tryouts, there were a handful of 2024 names to look out for. But, when it came time, only one arrived to put their talents on display.

Miami East’s Wes Enis silenced any doubters by the time five o’clock came around, including myself. I must admit, upon receiving Tony Peter’s first draft of tryout invitees, I was surprised, and even a bit bewildered to see Enis’ name on the list over some other more well known 2024’s.

Proving me wrong, Enis looked incredibly comfortable throughout the tryout, while being the youngest in the gym. He might’ve not been the most skilled or athletic in the gym, but he did what many others fail to do. Wes Enis stuck out!

He moved well without the ball in his hands, screening & cutting consistently. He gave some of the best effort on the defensive end, aggressively going at his opponents. And, hit shots when the opportunity was given. He never gave up on the play, boxing out and sprinting after loose balls.

I trust that Enis will be able to immediately come on and contribute at the varsity level for a promising Miami East team. I’ll be looking forward to seeing his teammate, Jacob Roeth, along with his other Ohio Stars’ teammates. To sum it up, I’ve learned to no longer question Mr.Peters. 

‘23 Gabe CuppsCenterville

’23 Gabe Cupps

High School: Centerville

Travel Team: Indy Heat

Height: 6’0″

2-Step Vertical: 32 inches

Standing Vertical: 29 inches

Shuttle Time: 11.85 seconds

Standing Reach: 95 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

The youngest of Centerville’s three invitees was 2023 stud, Gabe Cupps. Cupps natural ball handling stuck out as soon as the drills commenced. His playmaking skills also were on sight for those watching, finding gaps with ease, and setting up his dimes nicely with fake passes. He showed off his quick hands on the defensive end, forcing a few deflections and forced turnovers in result.

Cupps has made great strides with his athleticism, and I honestly believe he’ll be a problem for a handful of Dayton’s defenders. He showed that he had one of the most efficient shots in the building and had no hesitation when it came to racking the ball against more athletic and experienced varsity defenders.

After a year of competing in a competitive AAU scene with Indy Heat & The Leftovers, along with a tough varsity season under his belt, Gabe Cupps is going to be an extremely impactful point guard at the varsity level for the Centerville Elks.

’23 Gavin GeiselKettering Alter

Another young piece in Alter’s new group of Knights, ‘23 Gavin Geisel did a good job of being in the right place at the right time throughout the tryout. Made it easy for ‘22 Anthony Johnson to find him off cuts, in transition, and spotting up around the perimeter for easy buckets.

He didn’t get many touches throughout the first couple scrimmages, but he did take advantage of his opportunities when they were made present. In the final scrimmage, Geisel started off with a tough air-ball, but proceeded to produce 12 of his team’s 18 points in a true leader’s fashion.

It’ll be interesting to see his adaptation to the varsity level, after spending his whole freshman year as a starter on junior varsity. I believe he’ll be able to produce for Alter at the level they need him to. If you need a player who will push through adversity and finish strong, Gavin Geisel is your player.

’23 Will MaxwellOakwood

’23 Will Maxwell

High School: Oakwood

Travel Team: All-Ohio

Height: 6’2″

2-Step Vertical: 28 inches

Standing Vertical: 23 inches

Shuttle Time: 11.84 seconds

Standing Reach: 99 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

Another super efficient shooter of the tryout was ’23 Will Maxwell. When he received his touches, he took advantage, consistently knocking down shots around the perimeter against elite varsity talent.

He didn’t look to get downhill much, but he did run the floor well, spotting up for knock down threes. A bit hesitant to shoot over defenders while behind the arc, even when he was given enough space to get his shot off. When left wide open though, Maxwell was automatic.

Another player who did the little things well, communicating and boxing out throughout the scrimmages. As a sharpshooting wing, he’s receiving notable division one interest and will be one of the SWBL’s most dominant prospects.

Even with the loss of SWBL Player of The Year, Darren Rubin, Maxwell will be paired alongside a lot of returning youth, and ‘22 transfer out of Kettering Fairmont, Keon Wright. This new addition should propel Maxwell and the Oakwood Lumberjacks into conference title contendership.

‘23 Sam WalkerWest Carrollton

Proving to be one of the strongest players in the gym, ‘23 Sam Walker was far from afraid to battle in the paint at the Team Flyght World tryouts.

Throughout the scrimmages, he posted up and finished on top prospects. He did a great job of screening, popping and rolling for touches from his scrimmage squads’ guards.

Predominantly setting on-ball screens, would’ve liked to see a bit more off-ball screening from Walker. Walker made up for a bit of lack of touch around the rim with pure strength.

One of the city’s most underrated in the class of 2023, Walker has the potential to be one of Dayton’s best scorers in the post. Expect Sam Walker’s name to blow up this season, potentially starting for a top ten team in the city, while only entering his sophomore year.

‘23 Lawrent RiceHuber Heights Wayne

’23 Lawrent Rice

High School: Huber Heights Wayne

Travel Team: All-Ohio

Height: 6’1″

2-Step Vertical: 35 inches

Standing Vertical: 30 inches

Shuttle Time: 12.06 seconds

Standing Reach: 97 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

Another natural with the ball in his hands, ‘23 Lawrent Rice showed spurts during the day that gave me the idea he could’ve been the most offensively gifted player in the gym.

Rice had an easy time using his handle to penetrate, finish around the rim and pull up off the dribble. His handle wasn’t the only thing responsible for Rice’s scoring, but also his elite footwork and change of speeds.

He sometimes dribbled a bit excessively, not creating any separation or opportunities off of it.

Off ball, Rice read his defenders coming off screens well, curling and popping for additional touches. He could certainly be a defensive nightmare this season.

Rice’s talents will be on display at the second biggest high school basketball showcase in the nation, Dayton’s own Flyin’ To The Hoop! Rice, a top five state ranked ‘23, will be going head to head with top ten state ranked ‘22 out of Gahanna Lincoln, Sean Jones. Jones currently holds seventeen division one offers, including Cincinnati, Kansas State, Houston, and Mississippi State. Meanwhile, Rice holds offers from Central Michigan, Ohio, and Purdue. He’s being heavily recruited by Dayton, Indiana, Louisville, Syracuse, and Ohio State. This match-up will be one of the most anticipated of the year!

‘22 Anthony Johnson – Kettering Fairmont

Heading into the tryout, I was very interested to see the match-up of ’22 Anthony Johnson with the city’s other top point guards in Mekhi Elmore and Ryan Chew. He certainly didn’t disappoint.

Johnson not only stuck out as one of the few players to have a natural handle during the drill sessions, but also stuck out as one of the best play-makers in the gym. He consistently made the right play, showing off his pass first mindset, but ability to score when needed.

To the naked eye, I couldn’t recognize how well Johnson stuck out, but re-watching his performance on Chatterbox’s live stream, I was amazed by his ability to read the defense perfectly each play. His quick reaction time and decision making resulted in a couple buckets at the rim, using his quick handle to beat his on-ball defender, then reading the help defender perfectly on the finish. He saw the floor very well in transition, boxed out, and showed his ability to still flourish off the ball, spotting up with his quick release.

Johnson got his name on the radar this off-season with the Midwest Basketball Club, attending local open runs, and at our Dayton Elite Run. Don’t expect his name to stop buzzing anytime soon.

‘22 Rich RolfCenterville

’22 Rich Rolf

High School: Centerville

Travel Team: Midwest

Height: 6’5″

2-Step Vertical: 28 inches

Standing Vertical: 27 inches

Shuttle Time: 11.73 seconds

Standing Reach: 103 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

‘22 Rich Rolf easily stuck out as the event’s most talented rebounder. Rolf repeatedly grabbed board after board on the defensive, and especially the offensive end!

Competing as one of the most impressive invitees of the day, he ran the floor and finished in transition with expertise. Not only contributing to many second chance points for his scrimmage squads, he showed off his ability to stretch the floor and shoot the ball efficiently from behind the arc. Whether it was wide open, or with a hand in his face, he was able to put the ball through the net consistently.

I can say without a doubt that Rolf will finish within the top five in conference rebounding, along with being top ten in points per game. If the board man truly gets paid, then ‘22 Rich Rolf will certainly live up to his name.

‘22 Ryan ChewKettering Alter

Alter’s newest knight, ‘22 Ryan Chew, is arguably the best passer in Dayton’s 2022 class. Chew did an impressive job of making the right decision each play, reading the defense exceptionally.

He wasn’t only an elite passer and play-maker, moving the ball without hesitation, adding his usual flash, but did an amazing job at turning his weaknesses into strengths. Chew has been known for hitting tough shots from around the perimeter, but sporadically settling in shot selection and shooting efficiency. But, Chew showed that he can play with a pass first mindset, and hit the occasional three when needed, playing super efficiently.

Another surprise was his incredible intensity and effort on the defensive end, which blended with his offense perfectly. He pressured his defenders around the perimeter with his quick hands and defensive sliding, to the point where they were forced to move the ball, and even left the tryout with a block on his stat sheet.

If Chew plays like this night in & night out this season, Alter will be very dangerous with him, Jacob Conner, Gavin Geisel, Anthony Ruffolo, and Coach Coulter at the helm.

‘22 Jacob PleimanBotkins

’22 Jacob Pleiman

High School: Botkins

Travel Team: Mid-Ohio Pumas

Height: 6’3″

2-Step Vertical: 30 inches

Standing Vertical: 27 inches

Shuttle Time: 12.58 seconds

Standing Reach: 104 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

The attention stealer of the day. Another name to make sure you know is ’22 Jacob Pleiman out of Botkins. The 200lb big showed that he can stretch the floor, shooting without hesitation. He showed off his consistent, nice handle, especially for a big, during the ball handling drills.

Pleiman was not much of an offensive threat down low throughout the scrimmages, settling for perimeter shots. But, he did box out well and crashed the offensive boards consistently.

Side note, he was easily the most aggressive dunker in the gym.

More importantly, Pleiman is one the most humble prospects you’ll meet. After our Dayton Elite Run, he was one of the only players to approach me in person and thank me for the opportunity.

In SWO Full Court Press’s interview with Matt Barnes & Chris Wright, Barnes stated that Pleiman reported he’d analyzed film on his potential match-ups going into the tryout!

Jacob Pleiman and the rest of the Botkins Trojans will be a team to look out for this year, and will be participating at this year’s Flyin’ To The Hoop Event. Keep an eye out for Jacob, his right hand man, ‘21 Jayden Priddy-Powell, and Jacob’s younger brother, ‘23 Carter Pleiman!

‘22 Adam DuvallBeavercreek

Beavercreek’s ‘22, Adam Duvall, did an amazing job at doing the little things, diving for loose balls, hitting the occasional mid-range jumper, and boxing out.

While playing with the ball, he was a good play-maker. Off-ball, Duvall read the defense well, finding open lanes and cutting for easy touches from ‘22 Ryan Chew. He also ran the floor well, resulting in easy, fast break possessions. He finished around the rim with some of the nicest touch and post-game of all the low-post scorers in the gym.

The question everyone is asking is how will Duvall’s performance and productivity be affected with the loss of Beavercreek’s two next-level guards due to graduation, Yousef Saleh and Chris Herbort?

Personally, I believe with Coach Pittman at the lead, and the Beavers’ length, Duvall will still find a way to produce a conference player of the year caliber season. He will still find ways to score, make plays, and most importantly . . . win games.

‘22 Jacob Conner Kettering Alter

’22 Jacob Conner

High School: Kettering Alter

Travel Team: Wildcats Select

Height: 6’7″

2-Step Vertical: 32 inches

Standing Vertical: 29 inches

Shuttle Time: 11.85 seconds

Standing Reach: 95 inches

Photo via Matt Barnes

The face of Dayton’s stock rise Summer, ‘22 Jacob Conner managed to pull in thirteen division one offers by the end of this off-season.

At our MVHV Dayton Elite Run, we saw a new side of Conner, a score-first Conner, after seeing him being a pass-first playmaker for the Knights. This was evident in his 3.3 assists per game.

Fast forward to the Team Flyght World Tryout, and we saw neither of those sides of Conner, but instead a shot blocking machine. Defensively, he acted as his teams’ post defender, while offensively Conner shifted over to the wing, occasionally spotting up for a three.

In the final scrimmage, we saw why he was a top five rebounder in the GCL. Alongside ‘22 Rich Rolf, they almost doubled their opponents shot attempts, due to the duo’s offensive rebounding. It’s safe to say, Jacob Conner’s biggest offer has yet to come!

‘22 Tom HouseCenterville

During the weave drills, Coach Crawford pointed out a minor detail, with major impact. There was a lack of communication among the invitees. A surprising observation, that could’ve been the difference maker for if some prospects made the final roster or not. But, ‘22 Tom House took advantage of the absence, and ran with it.

House stuck out perfectly once scrimmage time came around, communicating loud and clear, boxing out, and being in great defensive positioning. He was one of the best help defenders in the gym. He was one of the many invitees that showed that they truly wanted a spot on this team.

He consistently pointed out & directed where his teammates should be on defense, resulting in forced turnovers & easy points off turnovers. Not only was he excelling at the ‘little things’, his handle has improved immensely over the off-season.

This will open up so many more opportunities in his game. Expect House to not only be deadly from the perimeter, but also the mid-range. Tom House’s off-season improvement is going to be a huge bonus for the Elks, and for the fans viewing.

‘22 Kylan TuckerChaminade Julienne

Going into this season, Chaminade Julienne will be an interesting team competing in an unpredictable conference. ‘22 Kylan Tucker will be expecting a role increase, after serving as a key role player for the Eagles as a sophomore.

Not the most attractive player, but Tucker finds a way to make an impact on the floor, whether it’s sinking an open mid-ranger, boxing out & crashing the boards on both ends, or making the right play.

He made multiple nice passes during the scrimmages, recognizing the open teammate and getting it out of his hands quickly and accurately, even through narrow passing lanes.

Re-watching the tryout, Tucker was one of the most intense players on both ends, giving it his all.

‘22 Dasan DoucetKettering Fairmont

One of the tryout’s most aggressive slashers, ‘22 Dasan Doucet, showed no hesitation in going into contact on the drive. This is just one of the many assets appealing to colleges recruiting the up & coming wing.

Rising his stock this off-season with his contribution to the Hopson Elite AAU Program, he rounded up interest from several colleges including Ja Morant’s Murray State.

Some missed finishes through contact, but might receive a foul call on the majority of his takes once the season rolls around. Played with a ton of intensity on the offensive end. He has grown tremendously in his skillset and with his athleticism. When he wants something, he goes for it.

Doucet is one of the more raw and promising prospects in the Dayton area, and will be a player to keep an eye out for his remaining two seasons.

‘22 Keon WrightOakwood

Heading into tryouts, Oakwood’s newest addition, Keon Wright, was coming off an unfortunate playoff loss the night before to Olentangy Liberty’s football team, while still playing for Kettering Fairmont. This didn’t seem to have a huge effect on Wright’s productivity on the floor, but it might’ve impacted Wright’s score first mindset that we’re used to seeing in previous matchups, and at our MVHV Dayton Elite Run.

But, Wright did do a successful job of compensating with some eye-catching playmaking. He looked like he fit in very nicely working the combo guard, alongside Centerville’s Gabe Cupps, with Rich Rolf stretching the floor. Wright consistently & effectively found ‘23 Sam Walker down low, and off the screen, as well as Rolf in transition, and Cupps around the perimeter.

He showed intermittent spurts of effort on the defensive end, closing out aggressively and sporadically pressuring his on-ball match-ups. Also being one of the tryouts’ best athletes, Wright used his above impressive vertical to occasionally grab a rebound. He had good speed, first step, and change of speeds.

He forced three’s a handful of times, but is known to be a shooter. Wright also showed to be good at creating separation off the dribble.

After having one of the best performances at our Dayton Elite Run, Keon Wright became one of Dayton’s biggest stock risers. Don’t expect his name to go away anytime soon, looking to instantly make a case for a SWBL Player of The Year Candidate. Wright, alongside Will Maxwell will compete as one of the city’s most competitive duos.

Measurement Leaders

Height (feet, w/out shoes)

  1. ’22 Jacob Conner (Alter) – 6’7″
  2. ’22 Adam Duvall (Beavercreek) – 6’5″
  3. ’22 Rich Rolf (Centervile) – 6’5″
  4. ’22 Tom House (Centerville) – 6’4″
  5. ’23 Lee Benson (Meadowdale) – 6’4″

Photo via Miami Valley Hoop Vault

By The Numbers

NBA Draft Combine Average (Guards): 6’1″ – 6″4″

NBA Draft Combine Average (Forwards): 6’5″ – 6’8″

NBA Draft Combine Average (Centers): 6’10” – 7’0″

Comparisons: Stephen Curry (6’3″), Dwayne Wade (6’4″), James Harden (6’5″), Zion Williamson (6’6″), Kawhi Leonard (6’7″), LeBron James (6’8″)

Lane Agility (seconds)

  1. ’22 Keon Wright (Oakwood) – 11.68
  2. ’22 Ryan Chew (Kettering Alter) – 11.72
  3. ’22 Rich Rolf (Centervile) – 11.73
  4. ’22 Kylan Tucker (CJ) – 11.78
  5. ’23 Will Maxwell (Oakwood) – 11.84

Photo via Gene Peters

By The Numbers

NBA Draft Combine Average (Guards): 10.8 – 11.2

NBA Draft Combine Average (Forwards): 11.3 – 11.6

NBA Draft Combine Average (Centers): 11.7 – 12.1

Comparisons: Devin Booker (10.27), Draymond Green (11.01), Damian Lillard (11.15), Kawhi Leonard (11.45), Stephen Curry (11.07), Russell Westbrook (10.98)

Standing Reach (feet)

  1. ’22 Jacob Conner (Kettering Alter) – 8’8″
  2. ’22 Jacob Pleiman (Botkins) – 8’8″
  3. ’22 Rich Rolf (Centervile) – 8’7″
  4. ’22 Adam Duvall (Beavercreek) – 8’6″
  5. ’23 Lee Benson (Meadowdale) – 8’6″

Photo via Matt Barnes

By The Numbers

NBA Draft Combine Average (Guards): 8’0″ – 8’5″

NBA Draft Combine Average (Forwards): 8’8″ – 8’11”

NBA Draft Combine Average (Centers): 9’1″ – 9’4″

Comparisons: Tacko Fall (10’3″), Bol Bol (9’8″), Anthony Davis (9’0″), LeBron James (8’10”), James Harden (8’8″), DeMarcus Cousins (9’5″)

Standing Vertical (inches)

  1. ’23 Antaune Allen (Dayton Dunbar) – 31
  2. ’22 Kylan Tucker (CJ) – 31
  3. ’23 Lawrent Rice (Wayne) – 30
  4. ’22 Keon Wright (Oakwood) – 30
  5. ’23 Dayjuan Anderson (Ponitz) – 30
  6. ’22 Tymier Blanton (Trotwood) – 30

Photo via Kylan Tucker

By The Numbers

NBA Draft Combine Average (Guards): 29 – 31

NBA Draft Combine Average (Forwards): 29 – 32

NBA Draft Combine Average (Centers): 28 – 30

Comparisons: Donaven Mitchell (37), Zach Lavine (34), Aaron Gordon (33), Jimmy Butler (32), James Harden (32), Stephen Curry (30)

2-Step Vertical (inches)

  1. ’23 Antaune Allen (Dayton Dunbar) – 36
  2. ’23 Lawrent Rice (Wayne) – 35
  3. ’23 Dayjuan Anderson (Ponitz) – 34
  4. ’22 Kylan Tucker (CJ) – 33
  5. ’22 Keon Wright (Oakwood) – 33
  6. ’22 Anthony Johnson (Fairmont) – 33

Photo via Matt Barnes

By The Numbers

NBA Draft Combine Average (Guards): 35 – 38

NBA Draft Combine Average (Forwards): 35 – 38

NBA Draft Combine Average (Centers): 33 – 36

Comparisons: Donaven Mitchell (41), Devin Booker (35), Zach Lavine (42), Draymond Green (33), Kemba Walker (40), Klay Thompson (32)

Outro

In the end, there could only be ten players given the chance to represent Team Flyght World in Switzerland, along with two alternates. It would be a tough decision, but ultimately up to the coaches.

The event genuinely felt like a tryout. It didn’t feel like a showcase or have an all-star game environment. It was great to see Dayton’s top prospects actually going at it on both ends, playing defense, sharing the ball, running the floor, screening & cutting, communicating, and COMPETING!

The hospitality of the tryout was also on point. The players and other personnel were provided with merchandise and food. Personally, I enjoyed every moment of it and was blessed to be given the opportunity.

For the players, these events are really more than just a tryout. There’s so much more that can be extracted from these then just a roster spot. The ability to network and meet other top prospects in the area, and experienced coaches and media personnel. The fact that you’re getting your measurements taken and provided to you (height, vertical, shuttle run). And, so much more. I hope more invitees take advantage of this opportunity in the future, as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In an interview with SWO Full Court Press, Chris Wright announced a handful of countries that would have teams representing them in Switzerland, to compete with Team Flyght World. These countries included Brazil, Italy, Austria, Iceland, Serbia, Switzerland, Lithuania, Germany, Israel, and Qatar.

Finally, here is your Team Flyght World 2021 boys’ roster . . . See you in Switzerland! 

Even though the Team Flyght World rosters have been announced, the TFW Future Stars rosters are still highly anticipated and awaiting release.

All photos via Matt Barnes

Dear players & coaches, if you come across any misinformation about you or your players, be sure to let me know by contacting me on one of my social media platforms!

Kebba Njie Leaving Centerville To Join Nationally Ranked Team

Centerville, Ohio— Coming off two straight district finals appearances and multiple close outcomes against nationally ranked Moeller, the Centerville Elks were looking to have historic seasons for the next two to three years. Sharpshooter, Tom House, has been one of Dayton’s many faces of this year’s stock rise Summer, along with 6’7″ stretch, Rich Rolf. Add in nationally known sophomore, Gabe Cupps, and the Elks were set to be a top contender to finally defeat Ohio’s most dominant team in recent years, the Moeller Crusaders.

Centerville’s 2019-2020 Varsity roster. Pictured is (back row, left to right) Jayson Hayes, Tom House, Kebba Njie, Mo Njie, Tre Johnson, Rich Rolf, Ryan Keifer, Cam Smith, (front row, left to right) Eman Deng, Max Knauer, Reese Clark, Drew Thompson, Gabe Cupps, Andre Zimmerman, Bing Lambert, & Quinn Hafner (Source: Centerville)

The depth doesn’t stop with House, Cupps, and Rolf. ’21 Jayson Hayes is one of the city’s top guards. Varsity role players, Max Knauer, Tre Johnson, and Ryan Keifer, are all ready for role increases. JV starters, Irmuun Mandakh, Tristan Klumb, Quinn Hafner, Cam Smith, and Eman Deng all have the ability to contribute at the varsity level as well.

Possibly the biggest name throughout the Centerville program going into this upcoming season, was 6’8″ Kebba Njie. Njie was already a key contributor during the Elk’s 2019-2020 season, but would have to step up even more, with the graduation of his older brother, and former Centerville starting center, Mo Njie.

Kebba Njie in his new threads, after enrolling at La Lumiere Academy (Source: La Lumiere)

But, Kebba shocked the city when he decided he would be taking a different route to get to his division one dreams . . . La Lumiere Academy.

Lumiere is a profound prep school in La Porte, Indiana, located four hours away from his home. The perennial powerhouse has received six consecutive invitations to the GEICO Nationals, along with finishing the recent season with a MaxPreps ranking of 8th nationally, and a preseason ranking this year of 3rd nationally.

But, why would Njie leave an already stacked Centerville program with much to offer? There’s one simple answer. He simply wanted to take his game to the next level . . .

“Whether it’s from the competition in practice and games to developing my skill as a basketball player, I feel the need to take it all a step further. I chose La Lumiere because they are great school when it comes to what I was looking for. They have great players on their team so the competition in practice will be on a whole different level. This will give me the opportunity to show my skills everyday against D1 athletes,” said Njie.

Njie competing with the Indy Heat Gym Rats this Summer for AAU in Indiana. (Source: Indy Heat Gym Rats)

Kebba Njie has managed to stack up an abundance of division one interest, but has remained under the radar when it comes to offers, yet to receive his first. With his transfer to Lumiere, we can expect to see one of his many interests to come forward and offer the 6’8″ forward. Will it be a native program like Dayton, Xavier, Cincinnati, or Ohio State? Or could it be a powerhouse away from home like Wisconsin or Purdue?

This is a huge gain for Lumiere, but an even bigger loss for the Elks. With the loss of Njie, they lose their key defensive presence down low, and a key contributor on the offensive end. He can rebound, run the floor, and catch & face to score around the perimeter, mid range, and down low. He was the unanimous lock-in for their starting center position. Even with the loss of two of the three Njie brothers, they certainly don’t lack in height with House at 6’6″, Rolf at 6’8″, and possibly their next in line at the five slot, Tre Johnson at 6’9″.

Possibly Centerville’s next starting center, ’21 Tre Johnson (Source: Tre Johnson)

’21 Johnson had this to say about the loss of Njie, “When I found out Kebba was officially leaving, it sucked. He played a huge role. He went into every game with high expectations for us. He was my accountability partner, so we talked about everything from basketball to other things. Everyone respected him on the team.”

Johnson spent last season between Junior Varsity and some time contributing at the Varsity level. He’s had a big Summer, performing well in the AAU scene, participating in the Coach Render Rec Runs, and even earning an invite to our MVHV Dayton Elite Run. His raw talent and build combined with his work ethic could result in a huge role increase now with the loss of Njie.

“I feel like I’ve been ready for this role. Knowing the guys that will be returning for this season, I’m positive with our talent we will go far.”

Njie leaving is not only a sizeable loss for Centerville, but the Dayton basketball scene as a whole. He is the 26th player to transfer from or to another school that we cover in the Dayton area, just during this off-season. He’s only the 3rd Dayton player this off-season to transfer to a prep school. Belmont‘s Shawn Phillips decided to team up with arguably the best player currently in high school basketball, Emoni Bates, at Ypsi Prep in Michigan. And, GCL Co-ED‘s Larry Kocisko was the only prep transfer to stay in Ohio, heading north to ISA.

With Mo Njie reclassifying and heading to Florida, and Kebba Njie transferring to Indiana, Dayton has lost two of their best big men. Thankfully, Mo & Kebba aren’t the last of the Njie’s we’ll see suit up in the black and yellow.

Baboucarr Njie pictured above alongside his brothers, Kebba (right) and Mo (left). Also pictured is Beavercreek‘s Chris Herbort and Alter‘s Anthony Ruffolo. (Source: 937 Hoop Dreams)

The youngest of the three, Baboucarr Njie, will be enrolling at Centerville for his freshman season this upcoming year. Unlike his older brothers, he has yet to hit his growth spurt, only standing at 6’2″ and playing the guard position. It’s safe to say once he does hit his spurt, he will be a major threat, having Mo’s height, Kebba’s ability to stretch the floor, and his own ability to shift defenders off the dribble. Could Baboucarr be the best of the three Njie’s?

With Mo possibly returning to play in Ohio at the collegiate level, Baboucarr enrolling as an Elk, and Kebba hopefully suiting up for La Lumiere at Flyin’ To The Hoop, we’ll still be seeing a lot of the Njie’s dominance on the court.

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 !

Dayton Alumni Possibly Joining Beavercreek Staff

Beavercreek, Ohio— Coach Steve Pittman has turned the Beavercreek program in a full 360 after only his first year with the Beavers. The former Beavercreek and Dayton grad, led the Beavers to their first winning season since 2016 and first district finals game in twenty years. But, now Pittman might not be the only former Dayton basketball player leading the way . . . former A-10 All-Defender & Sixth Man of The Year, Kyle Davis, could also be joining the team.

“The position came about while I was playing in the TBT Tournament. Coach Pittman texted me and asked if I was around Dayton, and able to help out the team . . . I look at Coach Pittman like an uncle, and he sees me as a nephew.”

Davis played four years at Dayton where he was Coach Archie Miller’s first recruit out of high school. In his freshman season, he played in 35 games and earned himself Dayton’s best team defender award, along with two SportsCenter Top 10 Plays.

One of Davis’ two plays that made SportsCenter Top 10 Plays during his freshman season at Dayton. (Source: Alex Ghilani)

Sophomore year, Davis started all 36 games for the Flyers, and forced Big East Player of The Year, Kris Dunn (Chicago Bulls), into 4-13 shooting and seven turnovers in the second round of March Madness.

His junior season, Davis was named a co-captain and once again started every game. Throughout the season, Davis was a game changer for UD, hitting two game winners, and making the Flyers 10-1 when he scored in double digits.

For his last dance as a Flyer, Davis posted career highs in six categories, along with being named to the A-10 All-Defensive Team and earning Sixth Man of The Year.

Davis’ senior season highlights while at Dayton. (Source: Dayton Flyers)

His basketball career wouldn’t end there. Davis would go on to play his 2017-2018 season in the NBA G-League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the G-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets. He saw the floor in sixteen games, where he averaged 5.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, and 3.4 apg. He received 18.9 mpg.

Davis has spent his last two seasons professionally in Argentina. He put up 8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, and 3.1 apg, last season with Comunicaciones Mercedes.

Davis’ highlight reel from his most recent season in Argentina. (Source: Meitay Sports Highlights)

Most recently, he starred in the popular TBT Tournament, with Dayton’s alumni team, The Red Scare. Davis helped lead his team to the final four as a starter, before falling short to Marquette’s alumni team, and the chance at $1 Million.

When asked about if he’ll make the decision to join the staff full time, Davis stated, “If Beavercreek has a season, and I don’t sign to continue playing professionally. I will be apart of the coaching staff. I haven’t fully decided yet, but with everything with the pandemic going on, if I can help a kid take their game to the next level, and learn something new, I’m willing to help. I love the game so much that I want to help the players that want to get better.”

Beavercreek will be a losing a lot in Chris Herbort (Florida Coastal Prep), Yousef Saleh, and Mali Harris-Strayhorn. But, will be returning a lot as well in Adam Duvall, Gabe Phillips, Siloam Baldwin, and Braden Grant.

Duvall is one of the city’s top junior prospects, receiving calls from Robert Morris, Wright St, Air Force, & Miami (OH), on the 2022 contact day. He already holds an offer from Youngstown St. Expect him to be a double double machine next season with the Beavers. Duvall had this to say about Davis joining the staff . . .

“He’s been great. He knows a lot about the game and has been everywhere through basketball that I want to go.”

Another noticeable returner is stretch big, Braden Grant. Grant has been one of Dayton’s many stock risers this off-season, earning himself a spot on our top 2021 prospects list. Lighting it up with the Mid-Ohio Pumas this Summer, Grant has gained interest from Miami (OH), Wright St, Ashland, and numerous other D2, D3 programs. It’s almost certain we’ll see the 6’7″ forward at the next level after this season. Grant was especially looking forward to the program’s newest addition. . .

The 2019-2020 Beavercreek varsity roster, minutes before action against Centerville (Souce: Claydot)

“I’m super excited to have a guy like Coach Davis, with his experience and knowledge of the game, added to the Beavercreek staff. I think he’ll especially help level up our guard play along with what our coaches have already been doing.”

On the defensive end, look no further than ’21 Siloam Baldwin. When needed, Baldwin can also step up in offensive situations, dropping a career high in points (13) and assists (6) in their post season game against Lebanon. He is as excited as the rest of his teammates when it comes to their possible new coach . . .

“He’s cool. He tells us about his experience coming from Chicago and going against big name division one athletes every game. He just brings a whole new perspective to our team.”

Davis indeed did play some tough basketball during his time in Chicago. In 2013, for his senior season at Morgan Park, he averaged 21 ppg, 5 apg, and 3 spg. He was named to the All-City 1st Team, Southtown Star 1st Team, All Area Team, All-State Team, and Team MVP, while leading Morgan Park to their first state championship since 1976.

This earned Davis a four star rating and multiple offers coming out of high school. Davis won’t be the last basketball stud to come out of Morgan Park, Ayo Dosunmu is a projected 2nd round pick, currently playing for Illinois.

NSFW: Davis details how his tough, trash talking, play style originated from growing up in Chicago. (Source: Eight Nations)

Beavercreek is not going to get handed a conference championship this year, even after their historic season. The Beavers are going to have to once again work to earn everything they want, playing in a competitive GWOC, filled with tough teams in Centerville, Wayne, Fairmont, Miamisburg, and an interesting Springfield team led by new head coach, Shawn McCullough.

“For the time, we’ve just been doing conditioning and I’ve just been getting to know the players. My expectations for the team is to just help them get better each year.”

With their newest addition, there’s no telling how far it could take the program these next few seasons . . .

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 !

Same Friday Knights, New Faces

A preview of Ryan Chew in his new threads!

Kettering, Ohio — At 1:15 on Saturday, August 8th, Miami Valley Hoop Vault broke the news of elite Dayton point guard, Ryan Chew, officially transferring to Kettering Alter. The 2022 prospect, and former Bellbrook stand out, has been contemplating the decision for a while now . . .

“I’ve been playing on and off now with Jacob Conner for a couple of years throughout the AAU scene, and in open gyms. We’ve always had great chemistry on the floor. I’ve known Alter is an amazing school with a great tradition. I just wanted to be apart of it”.

Chew isn’t wrong, Alter’s tradition and past has been filled with an abundance of one simple thing . . . winning.

Even as recent as the Knight’s 2019-2020 season, they continued their winning tradition with a conference championship and deep tournament run with wins over #17 Northwestern, #11 Ponitz, #4 Kenton Ridge, and #1 Wyoming before their run was cut short due to Covid, fueled by seniors Conor Stolly (Thomas More), Brady Uhl (Cumberlands), and sharpshooter, Jack Smith.

Chew has proved to be one of the best point guards in the city. He’s set to be a four year varsity player, and finished his sophomore season 1st Team All-Conference and 8th in conference scoring (14.8 ppg).

Chew is not only a lights out shooter, but can pass with consistent accuracy as well. The Alter guard posted a career high, seven assists, in a game last season against A.J. Eller & the Brookville Devils. He also had a pass that went viral over social media during AAU season recently, receiving a repost from OverTime that received 475 retweets and 2,800+ likes.

Chew’s viral pass to Miamisburg’s Anthony Coppock while playing with Midwest Basketball Club this Summer. (Source: OverTime)

“I’ve never seen someone actually do the pass in a game. After I did it, I was like, wow. I didn’t think it was going to make it.”

His new teammates had this to say about the season altering addition . . .

“I was really excited when I first heard the news, because I know how good of a player Ryan is. I think he’ll make our whole team better overall. I know he’ll push us harder in practice everyday,” said ’23 A.J. Leen.

Chew driving downhill with ’23 Randy Latham (Dunbar) on his hip, during one of Coach Render’s Rec Runs (Source: Matt Barnes)

“I’ve known and played against Ryan since we were little. He reached out to me a week ago, saying he was considering transferring. I was so excited. Adding a player like Ryan will not only make our team better but having him around will make everyone else work harder in practice,” replied ’23 Anthony Ruffolo.

“Ryan coming to Alter will only make our team stronger, and our depth at the guard position will be even deeper. I’m eager to see what he brings to the table, because I’ve heard good things but never actually seen him play in person,” stated ’23 Gavin Geisel.

All three 2023 prospects spent their freshmen seasons on junior varsity for the Alter program, but are expected to have a huge role increase for the upcoming season. All three are expected to make a case for a starting position at the varsity level.

A.J. Leen has been lighting it up on one of Dayton’s best 15U teams, Team Flyght. The team is highlighted by top five sophomore, Antaune Allen (Dunbar), along with Lee Benson (Meadowdale) & Emmanuel Deng (Centerville), just to name a few. Leen, along with Team Flyght, recently went 9-2 on the Midwest Circuit and finished runner up in the finals.

937 Hoop Dream AAU team, featuring Chew’s new teammate, Anthony Ruffolo (middle right), and former teammate, Eli Brooks (exact middle). (Source: Wade O’Connor’s Instagram)

Meanwhile, Anthony Ruffolo has been hooping with 937 Hoop Dreams, coached by one of the most well-known trainers in Ohio, Wade O’Connor. The team consists of Collin O’Connor (Tecumseh) and Eli Brooks (Bellbrook), who will be having a huge role increase with Chew’s departure. In Ruffolo’s first tournament, he put three twenty plus point games, leading his team to the elite eight where they lost against Indiana Elite. Most recently, he guest played for Midwest, where he went 5-0 and won the Bearcat Classic with big wins over Louisville Magic, Mid Ohio Pumas, and Cincinnati Royals.

Gavin Geisel continues to contribute at a high level for one of the most decorated AAU programs in the state, All-Ohio. The program currently consists of two of the top three ’23 players in the Dayton area, including Lawrent Rice (Wayne) and Will Maxwell (Oakwood). Geisel is also recognized as one of the top ’23 prospects in the city. Many have yet to take notice though, being shadowed by Alter’s deep senior class last season. Expect that to change for the 2020-2021 season, due to his role increase in the program and ideal work ethic.

Ryan Chew in his new threads alongside Jacob Conner, Dayton’s newest duo.

Not only will the Alter Knights be a top contender for the GCL Co-Ed title this upcoming season with their deep 2023 class and newest addition, but also with division one prospect Jacob Conner leading the way.

Out of the thousands of prospects we cover in the state, Jacob has hands down had the hottest Summer. Conner went from a single offer from Bryant, to now holding ten division one offers heading into his junior season.

The 6’8″, guard, has managed to add thirty pounds to his frame and received calls from at least ten schools including West Virginia, Virginia, Wright St (offered), Northern Kentucky (offered), Marshall (offered), and Ohio (offered), following his performance at our Dayton Elite Invite-Only Run.

“It’s a big time pickup for our team. It’ll help our team, experience wise, for this year. I’m excited to work with him”, said Conner.

Chew has been one of the city’s many Summer stock risers. He spent the first half of the off-season with Team Flyght, who he committed to back on February 25th. But, he’d go on to leave for Midwest Basketball Club along with former Bellbrook right hand man, Gabe Pavlak.

When asked about his reaction to Chew’s departure, Pavlak responded, “I wasn’t expecting it because we were a duo, even since freshman year. We were the only two freshmen on varsity and both had big sophomore years. The next two years for us were going to be big. We were going to win a conference championship and make a big tournament run together. Chew was a big part of our team. But, it’s going to make me and my team work that much harder.”

Chew alongside former teammates, Gabe Pavlak and Caleb Fugate, two of Bellbrook’s three returning players with consistent varsity experience. (Source: Ryan Chew’s Instagram)

Since Chew’s announcement, Pavlak has been bombarded with questions of whether he’ll transfer like his fellow Eagle . . .

“It’s not on my mind. I’m sticking with Bellbrook through high school. I’m still excited for this season. It’s going to be a test for us, losing our leading scorer. But, we’ll push through and compete none the less.”

Chew had this to say about his relationship with Pavlak, who he made aware of his transfer just the night before making it public . . .

“Well . . . Me & Gabe have surprisingly become really close over these past two years. We used to hate each other, until about mid-season of our freshman years. He will always be my brother. I see big things for him in the future.”

He also had no love lost when it came to the Eagles’ coaching staff, who he made aware of his transfer only hours before being announced . . .

“It’s going to be hard leaving the Bellbrook staff. Coach Tate and Coach Chitty always pushed me to be the best me I can be. I love both of them for that. It’s also going to be hard leaving Coach Short. It was his first season, last year. He came in and really helped the team in a lot of ways. I’ll always love Bellbrook.”

Chew receiving guidance from his coaches, including Coach Tate who is pictured.

A lot of questions still remain after the new announcement. Will Chew be Alter’s newest Knight in shining armor? Will Alter be able to compete with a small ball lineup in a physical GCL Co-Ed conference? How will Bellbrook recoup from losing their leading scorer? Will Pavlak truly remain an Eagle?

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 !

Where Are They Now: Kendall Moore

In his final run with Belmont, with the combination of his sharp shooting, scoring ability, speed, and vertical, Kendall Moore proved to be one of the best players in Dayton’s stacked 2019 class.

Kendall Moore pictured on his visit to Thomas Moore University (NAIA) in Kentucky (Source: Kendall Moore’s Twitter)

Moore showed up big throughout his final season, including scoring 31 of his team’s 46 points against a state ranked, Taft. He also had multiple colleges attend his Beechcroft game in Columbus, including Cleveland State, Walsh, and Capital University.

His elite talent not only could be seen by the area’s spectators, but also by college scouts. Moore went on frequent visits throughout his high school career to division two and division three schools, including to Point Park, Quincy, Heidelberg, and Thomas Moore.

The results of his hard work was not only big time performances and college interest, but also being recognized with the honor of conference player of the year.

The 2018-19 All-Dayton City League‘s 1st Team (Left) 21’ Allen Lattimore, 20′ Trevon Ellis, 21′ Will Hill, 21′ Anthony McComb, 22′ Mekhi Elmore, & 19′ Kendall Moore (Right) (Source: DPS)

But, in the end, Moore chose to go the DII route and spend his freshman year in LaPorte County, Indiana. Kendall Moore had committed to the Purdue Northwest Pride.

Although it might seem Moore had a ton of options to choose from heading into college, he didn’t. “Recruiting was pretty tough for me. I was stuck . . . which didn’t help my anxiety . . . They always went with the other option.”

This brings up the low-profile problem in high school sports of negative mental health effects on players, stemming from balancing the work load of being a student, athlete, and other factors like maintaining a job or one’s at home life. Unfortunately, the majority of these athletes are afraid to seek the correct help.

Moore in his new threads on Purdue Northwest’s media day (Source: Kendall Moore’s Twitter)

The Purdue Northwest program hasn’t seen much success these recent years, going 32-83 over the span of the last four seasons, including a 2-26 season three years ago.

This recent season, with Moore tagging along, the Pride went 10-18, including a loss against Saginaw Valley State, 87-74. Saginaw was led by Trotwood-Madison alumni, Myles Belyeu, who punched in 32 points and 8 rebounds on just under 50% shooting.

The Pride are looking to turn the school around, as they haven’t had a winning season since becoming a D2 program in 2016. After the unfortunate passing of their former head coach, Matt Bush, they went young by hiring Coach Boomer Roberts for the 2018-2019 season.

Roberts’ resume already showed that he had the ability to turn programs in full 360’s, engineering the largest three-year turnaround at any level of college basketball from 2014 to 2017, bringing Trinity International University from five wins in 2014 to 30 in the 2016-2017 season.

Moore’s profile picture for his Purdue Northwest player profile (Source: PNW)

You might think with Purdue’s losing record and attempting to find “their guys” with a rebuilding program, Moore would’ve seen the floor a frequent amount. But no, in his first season at Northwest, Moore unfortunately didn’t see the floor for a single second.

“I red-shirted this year . . . partially because I broke my ankle going into the school year. . . plus being a freshman with two juniors and a fifth year senior at the same position didn’t help.”

In result, the Dayton City League’s 2019 Player Of The Year is currently looking for a new home, by entering the transfer portal for his second season.

Recently this off-season, Moore worked out and participated in invite only open gyms with other Dayton natives who’re now playing at the collegiate level. Moore battled alongside and against some of the city’s best, including Trey Landers (Dayton | Wayne), P’hariz Watkins (Heidelberg | CJ), D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin | Wayne), & Andre Yates (Cleveland St | Dunbar).

The former Huber Heights Wayne stand out and James Madison guard, Deshon Parker, recently made the decision to transfer to Appalachian State in North Carolina. The division one prospect had this to say after seeing Kendall Moore in action this Summer . . .

“He’s a very quick and poised guard . . . can score and get others involved. You can tell he loves the game and wants to be great at it. Whichever school decides to take a chance on him . . . he will NOT disappoint! I believe he will find the right fit soon.”

Moore bringing up the ball in a match-up against a young Northmont squad, including a sophomore Prop Johnson & Patrick Ivory (Source: OK3Sports)

So far, the former Belmont guard has seen interest from Wright State, Corbin, and Capital, along with a couple other JUCO’s and NAIA schools.

Hopefully, we can see Moore make the jump from the division two, to the division one level for this upcoming season. Kendall Moore is listed as 6’0″ foot and 185lbs. He’s a red-shirt freshman withholding a 3.1 GPA. His contact information is listed below. Help Moore find a home . . .

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 !

Did Jacob Conner prove he’s the best in Dayton’s 2022 class ?

Dayton, Ohio — Players around the area have been busy these past weekends as basketball has made its long awaited return, with AAU. But, besides practice and training, players haven’t had much to do during their week days.

We decided to change that by teaming up with Corey Albertson of Triple Double Prospects to present our first Dayton Elite Open Gym on this previous Wednesday, July 15. There was an abundance of talent at Flyght Academy the evening of the event, from all over the city.

With almost a hundred colleges and prep schools tuned in to the stream of the open gym, and a handful of media in attendance, the participants had a chance to earn the exposure they deserved.

A lot of players made names for themselves, but none other like Alter small forward, Jacob Conner, did. The 2022 prospect might be 6’7″, but he can play the guard position with ease. His versatility had already caught the eye of many college coaches at the division one level prior to our event, including Bryant, Youngstown State (offers), Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier, and Lehigh (interest).

22′ Jacob Conner rising up to flush one in, in our Dayton Elite Run (Source: Matt Barnes)

Conner came out of the gates in the first game of the night playing with something to prove, while keeping an unselfish mentality. He showed his ability to finish down low with his powerful dunks, along with stretching the floor with his knockdown shooting.

“Coming in I wanted to just come out and play my game. I wanted to show what I can do and overall just get my team some wins.”

Conner was teamed up with 21′ Jayson Hayes (Centerville), Justin O’Neal (Meadowdale), Tyler Montague (Butler), 22′ Rich Rolf (Centerville), Sam Feldman (Springboro), Ryan Chew (Bellbrook), and 23′ Antaune Allen (Belmont).

Shortly after the event, he received texts and calls from numerous division one schools about his stellar performance, including Wright St, Valparaiso, Belmont, Liberty, Appalachian St, Marshall, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky.

“After the open gym I felt like I’d played well. I was just happy to have been able to play some against good competition.”

The biggest contacts had yet to come . . .

Conner bringing up the ball as he plays the point guard position at 6’7″ (Source: Matt Barnes)

Four days later, on the morning of July 19th, he was contacted by a college that had been keeping an eye on him for a while. Robert Morris was calling to offer the young stud. Morris is Conner’s third division one offer, and certainly won’t be the last.

“Robert Morris has been a school I’ve been talking to for a while. I was very happy and humbled to be given that opportunity.”

The same day, Conner was contacted by his biggest school yet . . . The University of Virginia. The Virginia Cavaliers are the defending national champions after defeating Texas Tech in the 2019 NCAA finals. The Cavs expressed their interest with Conner and stated they wanted to keep in touch after seeing his performance at the Dayton Elite Run. Connor described his reaction as “surprised” and “grateful”.

The Dayton Elite Run standout also gave us the word that he was contacted by West Virginia after his above average play in the open gym.

Conner is currently ranked the #2 small forward in the state for his class (Triple Double Prospects), behind Moeller’s Evan Mahaffey. But, Centerville’s Tom House and Cincinnati’s Aboubacar Cisse are following close behind.

A few of Alter’s young prospects pictured with the varsity team during their postseason run. 22′ Cade Ryan (#3), 23′ Anthony Ruffalo (#4), A.J. Leen (#34), and Gavin Geisel (#21) (Source: Gavin Geisel’s Instagram)

Conner’s Kettering Alter squad will be graduating the majority of their 2019-2020 contributers in Brady Uhl (Cumberlands), Connor Stolly (Thomas Moore), Rich Kolb, Austin Brogan, and Jack Smith. But, they have a bright future with a nice set of players ready to step up in Brian Shane (21′), Cade Ryan (22′), Gavin Geisel, Anthony Ruffalo, and A.J. Leen (23′). Add in returning star, Jacob Conner, and Alter could potentially go back to back as conference champions.

“We’re just looking to figure out the best ways for us to compete in the GCL Co-ED, and make a run in the postseason. I’m just trying to make sure we’re all on the same page as a team, so we can carry out what we want to do this year.”

The point forward is definitely putting in his part with looking to carry out what the team wants to accomplish this year. He has improved even more on his already division one skill set and versatility over this off-season, not letting COVID-19 get in the way of him reaching his goals.

“While I was at home I started to eat a lot more and add weight to my body. I was working out 4-5 times a week, trying to add muscle. I’ve been able to put on about 30 pounds since the end of the season. It gave me more confidence getting to the rim and playing with contact.”

Jacob Conner celebrating after Alter’s win in their district championship game (Source: Jacob Conner’s Instagram)

Not only has Conner been putting in work on his own time, but also with one of the most well respected trainers in the Dayton area, Bob Crawford.

“Working with Bob is amazing! He takes little details in your game and enhances it so you can understand why they’re important. He was very helpful in my transition to a point guard last year and has helped me a lot so far by working on my overall game up to this point.”

With Jacob Conner only going into his junior year at Alter, and Virginia already calling, who knows what big things are in store for him these next two years. Or even after our next open gym . . .

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 !

The Beginning of the End For Thurgood Marshall . . .

Springfield, Ohio — When the phrase ‘Dayton high school basketball powerhouse’ is said, what teams come to mind? Is it the defending division two state champion Trotwood Rams? Or maybe the school that’s put out countless division one athletes like Trey Landers and Xeyrius Williams, in Wayne. Could it be the emerging powerhouse led by Coach Cupps in the Centerville Elks?

Well, the topic of this article surrounds the powerhouse program of Thurgood Marshall. Unfortunately, the Cougars might be losing their ‘powerhouse’ title this season . . .

Here’s a timeline . . .

Former Springfield head coach, Isaiah Carson (Source: Springfield News-Sun)

In January of 2020, the unfortunate news broke of decorated Springfield basketball coach, Isaiah Carson, being placed on administrative leave after being arrested on domestic violence charges. This was right before their long awaited game against former Wildcat, and at the time, Spire Academy athlete, Ra’Heim Moss. Assistant coach, Matt Yinger, took the role of interim coach during Carson’s absence.

Two months later, in March, Springfield’s season came to an end in the third round of the postseason at the hands of the Beavercreek Beavers. Coach Carson had yet to make his return. During the same month, Carson was found guilty at his trial and ordered to serve 60 days in jail, with 120 of the 180 days suspended, to be on probation for a year and to have no contact with the victim.

In April, Coach Carson made an attempt to request an early release . . . his request was denied.

Coach Shawn McCullough leading Stivers during Dayton’s Flyin’ To The Hoop showcase (Source: Dayton 24/7 Now)

A month later, in May, we began to receive the word that Thurgood Marshall’s head coach, Shawn McCullough, would possibly be heading to Springfield to become the wildcat’s new head coach.

The next month, in June, not only were the rumors of McCullough possibly leaving confirmed by a statement released by Springfield’s athletic director, but we also got word on Thurgood Marshall’s assistant coach, Tony Dixon, leaving the elite team to become the head coach at Dunbar.

Springfield AD, Mike Dellapina (Source: Springfield News-Sun)

The statement from AD, Mike Dellapina, read that there were more than 25 applicants to take over the vacant coaching job at Springfield. But, the program was able to narrow it down to the five final candidates. On June 9, the final five were released and included, Matt Yinger (interim coach), Greg Waits (Grove City), Jamie Pearson (Dublin Jerome), Mohammed Khaliq (Richmond, Ind.), and . . . Shawn McCullough (Thurgood Mashall).

Then, the week of June 21st, we privately received confirmation that Coach McCullough would be leaving the Thurgood Marshall program to accept the coaching job at Springfield. But, it wasn’t until July 1st that Springfield, along with McCullough, made the move public.

McCullough has spent the last three seasons at Thurgood, and been able to paint their program’s image as a dominate one. He’s been honored with multiple coach of the year awards, while serving as an assistant at Sinclair, Middletown, and the former head coach at Stivers. As head coach at the school of arts, he led Stivers to their first district title in nearly 30 years.

Springfield’s 22′, Da’shawn Lynn-Bray (Left) & 23′, Tryon Barns (Right) (Source: Barns’ Instagram)

With this hiring, you can expect Springfield to bring on a transfer or two, which we’ve already caught rumor and near confirmation of. They also had the top Junior Varsity squad in their conference, so they’ll be developing a nice group of young talent, especially in 23′ guard, Tyron Barns. According to Dayton Daily News, “He (McCullough) has already been in contact with several of them (Springfield’s players) and told them to be patient”. Expect McCullough to take the wildcat program to the next level.

The wildcats will have to fight for a top spot in a competitive GWOC, facing a tough group of teams in Wayne, Fairmont, Beavercreek and Centerville. Miamisburg will also have a majority returning team after finishing 16-8 last season.

Thurgood Marshall’s 19-20 core, (Left) 22′ Mekhi Elmore, 21′ Kamari Williams, Dontre Brown, 21′ Anthony McComb, 21′ Prophet Johnson (Right) & 21′ Chanze Amerson (Back) (Source: MT Productions)

Marshall was on track to have all of their contributers return, and to run the Dayton City League. With the loss of two of Thurgood’s key leaders on their coaching staff, it’s almost certain the all-star cougar roster will be breaking up.

Will they follow Coach Dixon to Dunbar? Or, will they follow McCullough to Springfield? Will they join another powerhouse program like West Carrollton and Trotwood? Or, could they start their own dynasty elsewhere . . .

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 !

Where Are They Now: Amari Davis

Amari Davis capped off his last dance with Trotwood-Madison by making school history in 2019.

Alongside Justin Stephens (Toledo Football), Malachi Matthews (Edison State) and 2020 standouts, Carl Blanton (Eastern Arizona) & Sammy Anderson (Cincinnati Football), the loaded rams team brought Trotwood their first division two state championship for basketball.

Trotwood-Madison celebrating after a win over Columbus South (77-73) in the division two finals to earn the rams their first basketball championship in school history (Source: Dayton Daily News)

Davis finished out his senior year with not only a state championship, but also earned many individual accolades that we will cover throughout this article.

Davis’ state championship and stellar season wasn’t the end of the road for the division one prospect, but actually just the beginning of a new one. He would go onto commit to the University of Green-Bay Wisconsin.

Unlike most newcomers, Amari Davis stepped up as soon as he joined the phoenix. He showed that he can step up against top programs, having big performances against Wisconsin, UCF, and Purdue. Davis exceeded everyone’s expectations, earning Horizon League Freshman OTY. He is the first player in Green Bay’s history to earn that honor.

Davis earning his first ‘Freshman Of The Week’ award this past season (Source: Greenbayphoenix.com)

He was also named to the All-Horizon League Third Team, the leading vote-getting on the league’s all-freshman team, earned a record breaking 10 league freshman of the week honors, broke Green Bay’s all-time freshman scoring record, and was named to the league’s all tournament team.

Davis was rumored to be entering the transfer portal for his sophomore season, after university fired their head coach due to Green Bay’s under performance. Coach Darner was very high on Davis coming out of high school and during his time with Green Bay, so the firing definitely had an effect on Davis.

He put these transfer rumors to rest with a tweet stating, “Green Bay has been good to me . . . I told my brothers we’re going to eat no matter who’s coaching us . . . I respect everyone’s decisions on leaving . . . We lost a real one in Coach Darner, but we’ve got to move on . . . With that being said, I’m staying at Green Bay and looking forward to next season.”

With Davis’ return, he’s expected to be Green Bay’s first option offensively and be a front runner for conference player of the year.

Davis’ right hand man at Trotwood, Malachi Matthews, took his talents half an hour away to Edison State Community College.

Matthews’ player profile for Edison State (Source: Edisonohio.edu)

While at Trotwood, Matthews proved to be one of the most elite shooters in the Dayton area, earning a 2nd team All-Conference selection.

He wasn’t the only Dayton native to commit to Edison State. Wayne‘s starting point guard, Ronnie Hampton, lit up the JUCO in his first season. Hampton put up a light 16.7 ppg on an efficient 48.4 fg%, 2.0 spg, 3.6 apg, and 5.1 rpg.

Matthews spent his freshman season as a redshirt, not seeing the floor at all during his first season. “It was a tough transition going from high school to college for me honestly . . . I wanted to really take a year off and develop my body more.”

Matthews showing his hustle, getting on the floor after a loose ball against Xenia (Source: Dayton Daily News)

Fortunately, if Edison State doesn’t suspend its 2020-2021 season, it looks like it’ll be a different type of season for the former ram, and we’re excited to see it.

Both prospects will be returning to the colleges they spent their freshman seasons at for their second year. We’re excited to see the results of both players receiving role increases, and we’ll be here to cover it.

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 !