Breakout Seasons: 2019

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Posted On: 02/22/18 11:25 AM

Junior season can be a crucial benchmark in a prospect’s journey. The recruitment usually kicks in between the winter and end of summer, as colleges move past the class above. So, in many cases, it’s time to transition from potential to production. At the least, you need to show signs.

Just in time for the most important season of grassroots basketball, many of Ohio’s juniors put a (good) target on their back during the winter months. We’ve spotlighted those kids, along with a couple sleepers you may not have heard of yet.

Evan Bainbridge, 6’8” F, Stow

After showing flashes during a July grassroots tournament in Louisville, Bainbridge officially turned a corner this season with Stow. Routinely dropping in spot-up 3-pointers, running the floor, and rebounding at a high level, Bainbridge should be considered one of the top D-II stretch-four prospects in Ohio’s 2019 class this summer.

Eddie Colbert, 6’5” W/F, Whitmer

Colbert has shown flashes of perimeter skills while impacting each game as a rebounder and finisher for the Whitmer Panthers. Playing for either the Michigan Mustangs or All Ohio Black this summer, it will be interesting to evaluate Colbert’s abilities to create away from the basket. Regardless, he’s a hard-nosed emerging prospect with a knack for scoring points in the paint who can defend a few different spots.

Payton Collins, 6’7” F/C, Bishop Hartley

Collins has been the third piece for a solid Hartley team this season as their anchor in the paint. The low-post specialist can control stretches of games with his physicality and finishing ability.

Samari Curtis, 6’4” G, Xenia

Without any doubt, the Xavier commit is moving into the top five of our 2019 Prospect Rankings at season’s end. While Curtis’ sophomore numbers actually weren’t too far off from the 30.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds (!!!) averages he tallied this year, he’s still made a considerable leap in recruitment and skills. He’ll enter senior season on the short-list next year’s Mr. Basketball candidates.

Milton Gage, 5’11” PG, Chaminade Julienne

Following the graduation of two guard prospects from the CJ backcourt, there was a vast void for Gage to fill. The high-motor junior guard has impressed in the role, scoring 16.7 points and grabbing 6.0 rebounds per game. While Gage still has steps to take in efficiency and shooting, his stock as a prospect has risen considerably this year.

Kyle Goessler, 6’1” G, Brunswick

The primary guard for a 16-5 Brunswick team, Kyle Goessler, has thrived as a scorer and ball-handler for Brusnwick. Either a stud at the D-III level or potential NAIA player, Goessler should be tracked closely by in-state schools at those levels in the spring/summer. He’s more than a 3-point specialist, showing the ability to create and handle at times.

Sean Marks, 5’10” PG, Olentangy

One of the top scorers in Columbus this season, Marks is a highly efficient scorer. His jumper, off the catch or dribble, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the defense. Given his feel for the game, expect Marks to command a few offers at the Division II level this summer, despite his size disadvantage.

Lunden McDay, 6’3” W, St. Vincent-St. Mary

Just as far as skills go, McDay has become something of a different player for STVM this winter. Instead of being uncomfortable on the perimeter, McDay is confidently knocking down shots and handling the rock a bit. While maintaining his effectiveness as a hybrid defender and rebounder, McDay has answered questions about his offensive game.

Ra’Heim Moss, 6’4” W, Springfield

Now in a featured role, Moss’ athleticism is making a major impact on both ends of the floor for Springfield. Moss also thrives when the tempo picks up, where his speed and frame are a nightmare for shifting defenses. He’s shooting 59 percent from the field, which speaks to Moss’ refusal to settle for low-percentage shots. Also, he has improved his scoring average from 6.2 to 14.9 points per game.

Demetrius Terry, 6’1” G, Lakewood St. Edward

Ohio’s sixth man of the year, Demetrius Terry provides an immediate spark when he checks in for Eds. After this season, we feel confident saying that Terry has a D-II floor and legitimate D-I ceiling as a combo guard. He has the requisite athleticism, jumper, defensive ability, and handle to play at the highest level.