Posted On: 07/30/18 6:17 AM
Grassroots basketball is now a thing of the past for Ohio’s 2019 prospects. But for those who made a habit of taking care of their business this season, they don’t need to worry about one chapter ending. Instead, other doors will open up as this one closes.
Morgan Safford, 6’4” G/W, Nova (James) / Bishop Hartley
Safford provided immediate offense off the bench for Nova this weekend as a scorer. He’s a nightmare in transition with his above-the-rim athleticism and ability to change directions at full speed. Safford also shot triples confidently off the catch. He rebounds well in traffic for a guy who will play the 2 or 3 in college.
Nick Nakasian, 6’3” G, Ohio Hoopsters – Nakasian / Olentangy Liberty
Nakasian has provided consistent effort on both ends this season for the Hoopsters while being a shooting threat. He kickstarted their win over Indy Heat Red on Saturday by knocking down deep triples and playing physical ball-denial defense on help-side. Nakasian has the upper body to possibly defend the 3 in college.
Lunden McDay, 6’3” G, Nova (James) / St. Vincent-St. Mary
McDay is one of the most fundamentally sound and well-coached prospects in the class. Combining his basketball IQ with length and athleticism is a heck of a combination. This weekend, he was once again always at the right place at the right time against a 2-3 zone look. Consistently made the right decision off the dribble, whether it was a pull-up, dish, or layup attempt. McDay also impressed with his change of speed on his in-and-out move. The mid-range pull-up is nearly automatic these days too.
Jaidon Lipscomb, 6’2” G, All Ohio Black / Pickerington Central
In order to be an effective shooting specialist, you have to find your shot. For Lipscomb, everybody from the other bench is always yelling, “That’s the shooter,” when he checks in. So, there wasn’t a lot of easy catch-and-shoot opportunities for him in Fort Wayne.
Lipscomb adjusted to the defensive attention by going to the pump fake and hitting shots off a dribble. He also shot a couple quick-release ones off the catch from way outside. Very self-aware prospect who plays to his strengths. Lipscomb has capable lateral quickness as a defender also.
Jayson Woodrich, 6’5” G, All Ohio Black / Beachwood
Woodrich’s unrelenting confidence as a shooter this weekend was something else. He consistently pulled up for contested triples and his effectiveness from deep wasn’t really affected by the defense. He can hit with incredible range and doesn’t need to change his stroke to hit from nearly 30 feet out. Woodrich is also a solid rebounder. He often picked and popped in the half-court to get convenient looks from deep.
Brandon Rush, 6’2” G, TNBA Ohio / Warrensville Heights
Rush might be the most entertaining basketball player in Ohio. The dynamic athlete was scoring it in bunches on the drive or as a shooter. He’s really good with a ball screen, where he often splits the defense with his dribble and draws a foul at the rim. Really confident shooter. Very talented in transition too with his combination of explosiveness and ball skills.
Garrett Denbow, 6’5” W, Ohio Hoopsters – Nakasian / Ashland
Denbow showed all of the necessary improvements as a player this season to validate himself as a D-II prospect. Most of that development came as a playmaker off the bounce. Denbow is now a capable secondary ball-handler who morphs into a facilitator when he brings it up. He has a quick right to left crossover, a move he uses to get separation for the mid-range jay. Denbow can also defend multiple spots and is smart on help-side too.