Posted On: 08/9/18 5:01 AM
As always, it’s about the players. More specifically, the kids who played well. So, while we’re nine days removed from July, it’s never too late to shed light on the players who impressed during the Live Period.
Heads up: In this article and the 2020 version, we’re not including any players who received a season award or made an All Grassroots Team. Their seasons were reviewed elsewhere.
Alex Dotson, 6’4” G, RGB Unity / Purcell Marian
Dotson picked up legitimate interest from Malone and Ohio Dominican in July. He is looking to visit both soon, including one scheduled to ODU in September. Dotson is an athletic combo guard, most accustomed to playing the point guard and seeing over defenses with height. His ball security and shooting needs tightening up, but he scores with explosiveness and size on the drive. Capable of defending most perimeter players.
Milton Gage, 5’11” PG, Cincy Lakers / Chaminade Julienne
Gage seemed to attack the July Live Period with intention. He proved us wrong in our questioning of his ability to create offense, as he was rather consistent off the dribble with his in-between game. Mid-range jumpers and floaters provide a scoring element to go with his supreme defensive ability. At this level, Gage’s hops allow him to rebound and finish against shot-contesters.
Brice Hill, 6’5” G/W, Mid Ohio Pumas / Seven Hills
Hill was profoundly consistent from deep while even expanding on his shot creation ability. Often trailing the offense like a stretch four (he’ll play the 2 or 3, likely at the D-II level), Hill made a lot of shots on one-dribble pull-ups after defenders overcommitted on closeouts. He can also score with crafty back-to-the-basket shots, including a one-foot fadeaway. Although he doesn’t exude with on-court emotion, Hill competed on the glass against larger opponents.
CJ Karsatos, 6’8” W/F, Nova (James) / Upper Arlington
Karsatos came out of his shell. Playing with a new level of comfort opened up his offensive game within the arch, where he was more willing to attack the basket off the bounce. Karsatos protects his dribble with size and sees the floor well for a guy his size. He also played better defensively, particularly sticking with quickness on the wing with more regularity.
Jaidon Lipscomb, 6’0” G, All Ohio Black / Pickerington Central
Lipscomb is a flat shooter. He shot it really freaking well the whole month. That’s sort of the end of the story.
Important for all shooters though is showing an ability to insert yourself into the scoring column even though defenses are privy to your skillset. He side-stepped and pump faked his way into scoring opportunities better than usual.
Jarred Logan, 6’4” W, TNBA Ohio / Elyria Catholic
Logan looked like a D-II wing to us this month with the way he used his athleticism to defend, rebound, and score at the rim. He plays a team-first brand of basketball in the half-court offense and kept the defense curious with his capable outside jumper. Logan’s athletic build makes him a true 3 and he’ll shine more on the defensive end of the floor in college.
CJ Napier, 6’4” W, Shining Star – Price / Bishop Fenwick
Napier had a super steady July as D-II programs continued showing him attention throughout the recruiting period. More than anything, the sturdy 6’4” wing plays with toughness around the basket. He can get to either hand for a finish with his powerful and clever footwork in the post. Napier is also somewhere around a 35 percent 3-point shooter. The college that brings Napier in can expect him to play smartly and even provide rebounding as a 3.
On July 17, Christian Brothers became the first to offer.
Noah Pack, 6’7” F, Ohio Crossover Athletics / Georgetown
Pack jumped on several D-II radars from the first weekend in Indy and thereon. His package of scoring skills gives him great appeal as Pack can step away for triples, put it on the floor with fluidity and power, facilitate with the pass, and flat-out get buckets in the paint. While his foot speed may force him to defend 5s, his ability away from the basket poses a mismatch on the other end.
Garett Powell, 6’7” F, Apex / Springboro
Powell emerged as Apex’s best prospect due to his combination of physicality and ball skills. He rumbled into the lane from the perimeter and opposing forwards were either too slow or bounced off his broad shoulders. Powell also showed grace in short spaces while proving capable of pushing pace with the dribble off the defensive glass. The physical faceup 4 shot 40 percent on 56 3-point attempts as a junior.
Tim Smith, 6’7” G/W, JSBA / Lakewood
Smith’s offensive versatility at 6’7” should be really exciting for D-II programs across the region. He is a consummate facilitator capable of bringing it up the floor and surveying the set with his vision. Although we would’ve liked to see him be a bit more assertive, Smith is a proven set shooter with the body to handle contact inside.
JSBA played a 2-3 zone mostly because of their short bench. He can elevate for rejections but has a question mark on his ability to play quick guards on the outside.
Bryan Warah, 6’5” F, Ohio Ballstars / Purcell Marian
Warah’s rebounding and energy level was the team’s most consistent element in July. The athletically cut forward has much more fluidity than a year ago, allowing him to out-bounce and out-muscle opponents on the glass. The high-academic student isn’t going to create much offense, but we love what he brings as an energy guy.