Over the past several years, the arrival of fall has ushered in what has become a virtual camp and showcase, where aspiring young players can choose from an entire circuit of elite basketball events.  In fact, just in the midwest alone, there have been at least 8 such events, which all offered players both a high level of competition as well as extensive exposure opportunities.  Next up was the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, and by most accounts, the event was a complete success!

On Saturday, approximately 150 young ballers arrived at Fieldhouse USA in northern Columbus, Ohio ready to compete against other elite players from around the region and to display their talent in front of national media outlets and talent evaluators. In the gym were national brands such as MSHTV, Prep Hoops Next, Basketball Spotlight, Get me Recruited and of course, the Buckeye Prep Report. As advertised, there were a number of nationally ranked players in the building attempting to either solidify their current reputations or to establish burst onto the statewide and national scene. In addition, the event featured a great speaker who delivered a powerful and personal account of his life circumstances.  Basketball Spotlight’s Mike Melton’s presentation moved many in attendance and made a significant impression on players and parents alike!

Although the talent level was deep, as is the case with most events of this kind, there were a few players who’s level play separated them from the pack. Kameron Mercer (5’11″/CG/2028/Springdale, OH), was one such player that has used the fall camp/showcase circuit to boost his stock nationally and to solidify his place among the best 6th graders in the country.  We’ve profiled Mercer on a number of occasions and he has continued to perform at a very high level! Although we have not seen him perform on the camp circuit, we have seen Deloni Pughsley (5’1″/PG/2029/Columbus, OH) at numerous tournaments the last few years and his play has been very impressive!  Pughsley continued build his rep in Columbus on Saturday with an outstanding performance.  He’s already nationally ranked by several media outlets, but we think he’s under valued.  Pughsley is an elite PG with special talent!  Oh yea, the exact same thing can be said about his younger brother, Zander Pughsley (4’5″/PG/2031/Columbus, OH), who put on a show of his own in Columbus.  Watch out for this kid, he’s going to be good!

The talent in Ohio’s class of 2027 is absoloutly amazing! The best of the class balled out in Columbus on Saturday and took home a boatload of awards.  Joshua Tyson, Bryce Curry, Le’Shawn Hill, and Amir Phillips are all nationally recognized, and their play this past weekend more than justified their hype. He may not be on many national player lists, but Antwon Hinton (5’9″/PG/2026/Cincinnati, OH) played well enough to warrant some attention.  Henton is simply too big for most guards to defend.  He’s also a monster on the boards and always has the potential to put up big rebounding numbers. In 1 game, Henton dropped 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds with 3 steals. Now that’s production! New to the statewide basketball scene is Maxwell Joiner (5’10″/PF/2028/Cincinnati, OH), who continues to move up on our top player lists.  At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before the national media discovers his talent.

Other players that deserve a little more recognition include: Aiden Monroe, Kai Russell, Reece Crosby, Zymir Knox, MC Walker, Seven Allen, Damien Clay, Treyton Schroeder, Trey Brundidge, Dallas Stewart, Chief Cameron, Jayce Fisher, Chase Rabin, Joshua Anthony, Romell Salone, Carlos Lopez and Harmony Cooper. The event also gave the youngest guns a chance to compete and to start building their own resume.  A few of those standouts included Jedi Haynes -Lee, David Johnson III, Jordan Taylor and Jase Owens.  Expect to hear a lot more from these guys in the near future!  All in all, it was a great day of basketball.  Below is an extensive list of standout performers, including our evaluations.

Showcase All Stars and MVPs

Basketball Spotlight’s Coverage

Antwan Hinton

Cameron Mercer

Bryce Curry

Deloni Pughsley

Maxwell Joiner

Treyton Schroeder

Zymer Knox

Damien Clay

Jayce Fisher

Zander Pughsley

Le’Shawn Hill

Joshua Anthony

Mekhi Roddy

James Hannigan

Amir Phillips

Dallas Stewart

Michael Sellers Jr.

Chase Rabin

Aiden Monroe

Carlos Lopez

Trevin Rinck

Trace Short

Joshua Tyson

MC Walker

Name Hit/Pos Class City Evaluation Notes
Kameron Mercer 5’11″/CG 2028 Springdale OH Good size, athletic, smooth, lefty, 3-level scorer, can guard multiple positions, defends well, good motor, sees the floor well, willing passer, D-I college prospect
Antwan Hinton 5’9″/CG 2026 Cincinnati, OH Big, strong guard who excels at rebounding, athletic, goes strong to the cup & finishes through contact at a high rate, great in the open court, selected as “Mr Hustle”
Bryce Curry 6’0″/WF 2027 Cincinnati, OH Good length, athletic, versatile, can play multiple positions, defends well, handles well for his size, can score
Treyton Schroder 5’3″/PG 2026 Lewis Center, OH Highly skilled PG with solid court vision & passing skills, makes good decisions w/the ball, solid shooter
Amir Phillips 6’0″/PF 2027 Cincinnati, OH Good size, athletic, rebounds and runs the floor well, scoring wing, solid defender, soft touch around the basket
MC Walker 5’10″/PG 2026 Westerville, OH Strong, athletic, according to coach he can “do everything on the court,” top level scorer, can create his own shot and shots for teammates, strong, solid handle
Josh Tyson 5’7″/CG 2027 West Chester, OH Highly skilled, 3-level scorer, solid court vision & passing skills, makes good decisions with the rock, can score at 3 levels
Damien Clay 5’8″/CG 2026 Toledo, OH Solid defender, crafty, plays w/great energy, motor
Trey Brundige 6’0″/SG/WF 2026 Cincinnati, OH All around threat, can play inside and outside, solid IQ, athletic, driver of the ball, finishes strong at the cup
Trevin Rinck 6’2″/PF 2028 Portland, OH Grat size for his age, great footwork, highly skilled in the post w/ up & under & step throughs, rebounds at a high rate, tremendous upside, high IQ
Kai Russell 5’10″/CG 2027 Cincinnati, OH Can score in varsity of way & at 3 levels, athletic, smooth
Deloni Pughsley 5’1″/PG 2029 Columbus, OH Dynamic & highly skilled PG w/ a mature feel for the game, excellent ball skills, 3-level scorer & playmaker, changes speed & direction well, great motor
Trendon Flenoury 5’6″/PG 2028 Ontario, OH Solid skill set, excellent defender, athletic, high energy, loves to play
Dallas Stewart 5’6″/PG 2029 Pickerington, OH Great size for position, highly skilled, 3-level scorer, deep range on his jump shot, creates space, changes speed and direction well, confident, plays w/swag, leader, bucket getter
Maxwell Joiner 5’10″/PF 2028 Cincinnati, OH Long, lanky, solid handle for size, gets to the cup &  finishes well, athletic, can create his own shot, dominated the competition, college prospect
Carlos Lopez 5’2″/PG 2028 Camby, IN Highly skilled, high IQ, can score at every level, playmaker, solid court vision & passing skills, changes speed & direction well, consistent performer
Chris Poellintz III 5’7″/CG 2028 Toledo, OH Good length, athletic, slasher, solid scorer, high basketball IQ
Ethan Stewart 5’6″/CG 2029 Pickerington, OH Solid ball skills, can create his own shot or create for teamates, good length for position, unselfish, good attitude
Mekhi Roddy 5’6″/CG 2028 Columbus, OH Big, strong, physical guard, attacks basket, plays hard
Leo Laaper 4’5″/PG 2029 Coshocton, OH Very skilled, handles the ball well, great court vision, true PG, high IQ
William Peagler Jr. 5’0″/PG 2029 Dayton, OH Highly skilled PG w/ high basketball IQ, good motor, can create his own offense
Michael Sellers Jr. 5’3″/WF 2029 Delaware, OH Good size, handles the rock well, plays hard
Zander Pughsley 4’5″/PG 2031 Columbus, OH Electric, super quick, highly skilled, aggressive, 3-level scorer, elite defender, excellent court vision & passing skills, selected to All-Defensive Team
Jayce Fisher 4’7″/PG 2030 Reynoldsburg, OH Good size for his position, athletic, can score in several ways, gets to the basket, solid skill set, good court vision, good nose for the ball
Chase Rabin 4’7″/PG 2029 Powell, OH Solid ball skills, playmaker, solid court vision & passing skills, can score, creates space, high IQ, solid defender

Chris Poellnitz

Ryan Durkin

Gavin Grant

Benny Rodriguez

Cardel Brown

Anthony Burns

Jedi Haynes-Lee

David Johnson III

Jordan Taylor

Jase Owens

Harrison Parker

Cameron Cooper-Parker

Carson Vincent

JaBrae Bowers

Turk Washington

Jack Shaker

Michael Thomas

Chris Blalock

Triden Flenoury

Kamar Rainey

Ta’vyon Wright

Jacen Uptgraft

Reece Crosby

Kai Russell

Trey Brundidge

Name Hit/Pos Class City Evaluation Notes
Michael Thomas 4’3″/PG 2028 Columbus, OH Great court vision, passes well, solid handle
Chris Blalock 4’11″/CG 2031 Pickerington, OH Good size for position, solid ball skills, athletic, motor
Jason Uptgraft 6’0″/C 2028 Loudon, VA Great size for his age, rebounded at a high level, dominated the post w/his size, feasted on putback buckets, good teammate
Romell Salone Jr. 4’10″/PG 2030 Cincinnati, OH Solid handle, stayed in attack mode, pesky defender, finished drives well, selected to All Defensive Team
Cameron Cooper 4’8″/CG 2030 Columbus, OH Good size, finished well
Jordan Taylor 4’5″/PG 2032 Blacklick, OH Excellent defender, both on ball and helpside, quick hands, gets around people w/ease, ball skills, IQ, motor, can score
David Johnson III 4’6″/SG 2032 Worthington, OH Good size for position, solid ball skills, aggressive to the basket, can shoot if left open, solid defender
Jase Owens 4’6″/WF 2032 Columbus, OH Good size, has a good nose for the ball, shot maker
Jedi Haynes-Lee 4’6″/PG 2032 Columbus, OH Highly skilled, creates space, solid ball skills, can knock down the 3 ball, solid defender, mature game, plays w/ swag and confidence
Carson Vincent 6’3″/PF/C 2026 Toledo, OH Very skilled big, strong, rebounds at a high rate, great footwork, finishes well around the rim, can put the ball on the floor, very aggressive, attacks every rebound
JaBrae Bowers 4’11″/PG 2030 Columbus, OH Good size, lefty, good court vision & passing skills, tight handle
Trace Short 4’5″/PG 2030 Louisville, KY Great scorer, passes & defends well, mature game, gets teammates involved, plays w/ good pace
Turk Washington 5’1″/C 2030 Columbus, OH Good size, strong w/ the ball
Jack Shaker 4’4″/PG 2031 Columbus, OH Skilled, solid ball skills, active on both ends of the court, solid defender, hit catch & shoot treys, good court vision & passing skills
Seven Allen 5’5″/PG 2027 Mansfield, OH Scrappy, defends well, motor
Joshua Anthony 5’0″/PG 2031 Louisville, KY Good size for position, athletic, excellent ball skills, aggressive to the cup, can create his own shot or make plays, 3-level scorer
Kamar Rainey 5’4″/PG 2028 Cincinnati, OH Great 1st step, solid ball skills, can score the rock, smart, crafty, finished through contact, nice jump shot, patient scorer, gets teammates involved, was straight ballin before injury
Tavyon Wright 5’7″/PG 2026 Columbus, OH Goes strong to the basket, shoots it well, lefty, finishes w/ both hands
Le’Shawn Hill 5’3″/PG 2027 Cincinnati, OH Dynamic PG w/ excellent skill set, 3-level scorer, great court vision, can score or make plays for teammates, shifty, creates space, good hands
Lester Caruthers 4’7″/PG 2030 Louisville, KY Pure PG, quick, tight handle, gets to the cup & finishes
Reece Crosby 5’4″/CG 2027 Columbus, OH Solid defender, motor
Brody Hatfield 5’7″/PG 2026 Sunbury, OH Strong guard, good off the dribble, very tough defender, all around game
Gavin Grant 5’4″/C 2031 Chagrin Falls, OH Great size for his age, finishes well around the basket, makes shots, significant upside potential