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Posted On: 10/16/18 12:35 PM
It’s not quite time for a full deep dive into the Flyin’ to the Hoop schedule. After all, there are still three full months until the event. But our quick gut reactions to the schedule? Bring them on!
The homecoming for Andre Gordon, who transferred from Sidney High School to Huntington Prep for his senior year. Just a 45 minute trip down I-75 South from his old stomping grounds, we expect a strong contingent of Gordon support on-hand Friday night at 8:15PM for an otherwise non-Ohio game.
Gordon is the type of electric player who will dazzle an excited crowd in the primetime slot. He’s the unofficial no. 2 player in our rankings if we were to include prep school prospects, only behind Alonzo Gaffney. Gordon has improved his game tremendously since last season, despite already averaging 23.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 4.6 RPG. He announced a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech last night.
A pair of fundamentally sound programs who will ware each other out with half-court sets are headlined by two mid-major/high-major prospects in Ben Roderick (no. 6 2019) and Mo Njie (no. 5 2020). Roderick is coming off of a torn ACL. Jan. 19 at 3PM is a nice half-way through the season checkpoint on his health. Meanwhile, Njie is an unknown commodity for those who aren’t grassroots season fanatics. Hopefully we’ll get the moment when Roderick tries to rise up with two hands on Njie after backdoor cutting his defender.
Meanwhile, seniors prospects like Centerville’s Ryan Marchal and Kaleb Mitchell and Olentangy Liberty’s Nick Nakasian and Mitchell Kershner will have their moment, also.
Cincinnati is sending Taft, Dayton sending Stivers for this inter-City-League matchup on Sunday morning. As long as Shroder transfer Nekhi Smith is eligible, Taft will have a trio of athletic collegiate prospects in him and seniors Demarco Bradley Jr. and Chris’seon Stringer. Although Taft’s two 2019 prospects are likely heading the football route, their collective athleticism on defense will be a handful for Trevon Ellis and Allen Lattimore, one of the best backcourts in Dayton.
This one is pretty simple: we’re excited about Chris Livingston, a 6’4” freshman guard from Buchtel. Before ever playing a high school game, Livingston has offers from Ohio State, Florida, and Akron. He’s a perennial top five national prospect in his class. And, this will likely be our first time watching the kid.
These are arguably the top two teams in the OHSAA Division IV heading into the high school season. Apologies if we’re really overlooking someone, but nobody else appears significantly better than either of these rural Northwest Ohio programs.
On top of that, Crestview has a pair of Division I prospects in the Etzler brothers. Miami (OH) commit Javin Etzler, 6’7”, will matchup with an unsigned senior in 6’9” Jarod Schulze, a massive post presence. Watching those two matchup with each other on either end of the floor could be fascinating as both possess an edge in either size or mobility over the other. Kalen Etzler, the 6’8” forward who just moved up to no. 3 in our 2021 rankings, will likely have to deal with a physical 6’7” senior forward Cody Frericks in his matchup.
Dueling big threes will take the floor right after that barn-burner of a small school matchup.
In one corner, you have Brush:
Then, Winton Woods:
Splash in Brush’s promising incoming freshman Elmore James and you have one of the most talented all-Ohio matchups of the weekend at 4:45 Sunday.
Besides both teams being contenders in Division III and IV respectively, we’re also excited for a fundamentally sound basketball to take place. The headliners: Nathan Bruns (Marion Local) and Joey Holifield (Stritch) have tough, two-way games that aren’t perfectly suited for a mixtape but are efficient and lead to wins.
Along with Holifield, Jordan Burton and Little Anderson give Stritch a backcourt laden offense. But a pair of 6’6” forwards in Ahston Caryer and Nolan Finch give the Cards a chance to slow down Bruns, a 6’7″ forward committed to Findlay.
Remember when this was supposed to be a short article? Anyways, the highest profile all-Ohio matchup of the weekend is 8:15 on Monday night. And you know what, you may not even need a coffee for your ride home folks, because this one should be electric.
Both of these teams are going to play an exciting brand of basketball, led by D-I primary ball-handlers and some bounce on the wing. Oh, you prefer your games to be played in the paint? We’ve got a 6’6” Justin Stephens against a 6’6” Coleton Landis going at it in an all-senior center matchup.
In summation, our quick reaction to Trotwood v. Pick Central: We’re definitely not leaving Trent Arena early!