Who’s Next: Top 15U Grassroots Teams


Posted On: 05/10/18 5:00 AM

Just a peak behind the curtain to start, we’ve been doing a lot of 2021 research over the past couple of days. Our 2021 Watch List is fully up to date, although it won’t go public until June. There are upwards of 80 sophomores-to-be on the list, which will be shifted into a class ranking after the grassroots season.

Also, the Grassroots Team Rankings are updated. Again, unreleased. But we have them in a spreadsheet with columns detailing team records, tournaments won, signature wins, etc. Those will also premier at the beginning of June; so, you have at least a couple more weeks to decide how you’re going to berate us on Twitter for not ranking your team no. 1. We’re looking forward to that.

With all of that being said, there’s five teams in particular who are very well represented on our 2021 Watch List and Spring Team Rankings. Given our lack of 2021 content thus far, it’s about time we show those teams some love, in alphabetical order.

All Ohio Red

Red had their best weekend since NY2LA in Fort Wayne at the Run N’ Slam. They played in a super pool, went 3-2, and finished in the round of 16 at a premiere tournament.

This team has quickly been noted for their guard play. Villa Angela-St. Joe’s 5’11” point guard Jaden Hameed continues to impress us with his poise, selflessness, and shooting ability. Meanwhile, point guard Ramelle Arnold is more of a dynamic playmaker because of his quick handle. He’s shown improvements as a passer throughout the spring.

They also added a couple reliable forwards this past weekend. Another VASJ prospect, Evanell Lighty, joined the team. He’s a skilled 6’5” athlete with a ton of upside. Alongside 6’8” wing/forward Kalen Etzler, Red can now trot out lineups with legitimate size in E15 action.

Cincy Royals – Blue

Although this SW Ohio collection of talent dropped a pool game, they showed resiliency in wining the Gold Championship and finishing 5-1.

Wyoming 6’3” guard/wing Isaiah Walker has as much upside as anyone on this team. Once he’s moving a bit more fluidly and has figured out his body, Walker could be a special slasher. Bishop Fenwick 6’6” forward/center AJ Braun also has a chance to be a scholarship-level player in a few years.

Mid Ohio Pumas Elite

This Pumas group has left every weekend with a first place finish: both adidas Silver Indianapolis sessions, Bearcat Classic, Mid Ohio Classic, and the Run N’ Slam. Most recently, they dropped a couple pool games in Fort Wayne, but ended up avenging both on Sunday.

Pick Central 6’4” wing Garner Wallace, Moeller 6’8” Logan Duncomb, and Pick North 6’5” forward Jack Sawyer all have major upside. Wallace and Sawyer seem to be building a two-man chemistry, as Wallace delivered numerous assists to his Pickerington counterpart this weekend. Meanwhile, there’s every indication that Duncomb is the top post in Ohio’s 2021 class. Meanwhile, 5’11” point guard AJ Mirgon has been a revelation this spring. Mirgon has proven capable of running a team and being a playmaker.

NEO Tru Game

Ohio’s second E15 affiliate is absolutely loaded with talent. Although we only caught them on just one weekend, they’ve been a force on the grassroots scene. A signature win over All Ohio Red and a 3-1 record in E15 action is impressive.

A pair of St. Vincent-St. Mary prospects, Seth Wilson and Malaki Branham, lead the way as an inside-out combination of top prospects. Meanwhile, their frontcourt is extremely stable with 6’6” forward/center Jainaz Cameron and 6’5” forward Skyler Schmidt. On the wing, Thurgood-Marshall guard Anthony McComb uses quickness and craft to get buckets.

Ohio Hoopsters – Tillman

The Hoopsters are another big and skilled team. They tout some of the top prospects from the Columbus area and have been a win away from several first place finishes this season.

Licking Heights 6’5” post Tyrese Hughey is an explosive athlete. As their catalyst, Hughey dominates the paint most days and is even able to switch onto guards or hit a mid-range jumper with his feet set. Hughey’s toughness is complimented by the activity level and length of 6’6” wing/forward Elhadji Thiam of Pick Central. Guards Isaac Settles and Peter Prodrozo provide a balance of ball-handling, passing, and shooting on the perimeter.