Posted On: 04/20/18 1:09 PM

The Live Period starts today with action in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Louisville mostly. Other than the shoe circuit teams, Ohio’s teams will be at one of those three locations.

Having watched some grassroots action over the past couple of weekends, here’s a quick heads up on what to look for at the 17U level.

Let’s start with the teams playing at the Pitt Jam Fest

TNBA Ohio: Division I colleges are going to stop by for the backcourt tandem of Brandon Rush and Davin Zeigler, two prospects who should be evaluated by LMs and D-IIs this summer. Additionally, this TNBA group carries a couple interesting prospects in the frontcourt. Although he didn’t have a major role for VASJ this winter, 6’7” post LaTrace Jackson impressed us with his physical tools. Nigel Martin from John Hay is a large wing who gets to the rim also.

Others on the roster: David Marbury, Trent Williams, Shaun Dunnings, Jarred Logan, Jaylen Pachel, Jack Maxwell 

TNBA Flash: This group carries significant D-II level talent, including early Fairmont State commit Mike Bekelja. He commands defenders to stay glued from way deep, which could open up the lane for forwards Sam Emich and Tommy Sala.

Others on the roster: Bryce Harvey, Zion Kolodynski-Darby, Jake Maranville, Jacob Snyder, Jordan Soyers, Tyler Stephens

All Ohio Gold: Gold’s 2019 group is full of collegiate level talent, anywhere from the potential LM level to the D-IIIs. The Toledo-area squad carries a skilled 6’7” post Jackie Harris, who can score inside or out. They also have a trio of capable point guards in Alek West, Tyson King, and high-academic prospect Trey Syroka.

Others on the roster: Sam Clear, Jacob Plantz, Drew Bench, Leon Hughes 

Nova (Russell): Not many AAU teams have the type of chemistry that you’ll see with Russell’s squad. Penn commit Max Martz leads the team. He’s flanked by toughness and a variety of talent. Payton Collins, Jacob Drees, and Owen Hazelbaker combine for a trio of bigs that will likely land at D-II or NAIA programs.

Others on the roster: Soul Hines, Mitchell Kershner, Josh Russell

Nova (Morgan): This Nova team’s talent level is mostly of the D-III variety, other than early West Liberty commit Evan Conley. They’ve got sleepers at every position, including a high-motor 6’8” big Phil Hughes. Also, Lima Shawnee 6’4” wing Sheridan O’Neil made various plays on the drive last weekend in Grand Rapids. He plays with good poise.

Others on the roster: Mario Morgan, Ethan Stearns, Charles Collins, Kayin Derden, Kyler Black

The Circle City Shootout is another quality Midwest tournament that has attracted a pair of talented 17U teams from Ohio.

Cincy Lakers: Although unsigned 2018 prospect Kameron Gibson will be on a visit to Western Carolina this weekend, the Lakers still have plenty of talent worth checking out. Rising Lakota East wing Bash Weiland received offers from Fairmont State and Christian Brothers this week. Also, small active guards Milton Gage and Ryan Marchal bring a lot to the table in terms of defense, skill, and intangibles.

Others on the roster: Zubi Nwankwo, Ibrahima Athie, AJ Garrett, Ryan Hill, Bryant Johnson, Rashad McKee, Devon Pennington

Northwest Ohio Basketball Club: Marion Local two-sport prospect Nathan Bruns is the clear headliner for NWO. Although he’s been pegged by various D-IIs in Ohio this summer, the tough wing may have D-I versatility, shooting, and athleticism. He’ll lead a team that also carries 6’9” center Jarod Schulze, a massive post player who is healthier than last season.

Others on the roster: Jared Wurst, Levi Seiler, Payton Moyer, Nate Place, Mike Ketner, Ryan Nunn, Aaron Good