Posted On: 11/25/18 5:00 AM
Identifying Division II and NAIA prospects is maybe the most challenging task on the recruiting trail. Think about it: The D-I players jump off the court immediately and most have a lot of name recognition even by the time we see them. People just kind of know who the D-I players are and same with D-III players, who are easy to identify also. Not sure how to totally explain the D-III thing, but it’s not hard.
Division II players are the sweet spot. Since it’s tough, we’ve decided to publicize our list of who we believe to be D-II prospects in the 2019 and 2020 class today. It’s not really a detour from preseason coverage, because we hope it’s useful for all the D-II coaches checking out games over the next several months. Also, if you’re one of those coaches and are searching for contact information of more insight on any of these players, email me at email@example.com.
There are short blurbs on notables throughout the list, but mainly we’re just listing names in descending order according to the 2019 Prospect Rankings.
Jackie Harris, 6’6” F, Toledo St. Francis
Harris recently de-committed from Cedarville’s recruiting class. Since he had verbally committed, he reported an offer from Oakland on Twitter. Therefore, he’s a player with that sort of upside. Also, Harris continues to extend his game to the arch, mostly shooting spot-up jumpers and making plays via the pass when we saw him in a scrimmage last weekend.
DJ Dial, 5’9” PG, Brush
Dial received a couple of local Division I offers in his underclassmen years but an Urbana offer in the early fall is an indicator to Division IIs that he may be open to that level now.
Kevin Davet, 6’9” C, St. Ignatius
Na’Elle Simmons, 6’7” F, Beechcroft
CJ Karsatos, 6’8” F, Upper Arlington
Although he remains in our Division II tier, Karsatos’ only offers are from a pair of D-Is — UT-Martin and Air Force.
Philip Alston, 6’5” F, Westerville North
Eddie Colbert, 6’6” F, Whitmer
LaTrace Jackson, 6’7” F/C, VASJ
A criminally underrated rim-protecting prospect who jumps quickly and very high. Jackson will need to hone his craft but the raw physical abilities are certainly there.
Garrett Powell, 6’6” F, Springboro
This article is to bring awareness to guys like Powell, who blew up in July. There’s going to be several times in the next few months where a coach hits me up looking for size in this class and I’ll point them to an underrated Powell who, with a big 6’6” frame, can handle the ball, shoot it, and rebound like a traditional big.
Chris Boyle, 6’5” F, Columbus Academy
Athletically built stretch forward who rebounds well when he’s around the rim. Boyle has several high-academic football offers but would also like to explore basketball options if the academics lineup.
Drew Bench, 6’5” F, Genoa
Garrett Denbow, 6’5” W, Ashland
Damion Williams, 6’7” F, Willoughby South
At a 2.5 GPA, Williams just needs to raise his ACT score over the next several months to avoid the JUCO ranks. If he does end up going to a two-year junior college, keep Williams on your radar as a high-upside prospect.
Kayin Derden, 6’2” G, Columbus DeSales
Derden wouldn’t have been in this tier maybe six months ago. However, he has really improved in terms of efficiency and playmaking ability off the bounce. Smart ball player.
CJ Napier, 6’4” W, Bishop Fenwick
Jarred Logan, 6’4” W, Elyria Catholic
There’s always a few (OK, more than a few) players we regret ranking where we placed them. For example, Logan is just a better prospect than a lot of the players who are higher than him. So, keep a close eye on him this season if you’re in search of a wing.
Brice Hill, 6’5” W, Seven Hills
Demetrius Terry, 6’0” G, St. Edward
Derek Van Vlerah, 6’5” W, Dublin Coffman
Trey Syroka, 5’10” PG, Whitmer
Alex Dotson, 6’4” G, Purcell Marian
Brett Martin, 6’4” W, Massillon Washington
AJ Garrett, 6’5” F, Purcell Marian
Nigel Martin, 6’6” W/F, Cleveland Heights
The switch over from John Hay to Cleveland Heights could really do wonders for Martin’s recruitment. Playing at a Division I power alongside the state’s no. 1 prospect organically brings more eyes. Also, the style of basketball may help showcase different aspects of his ability.
Chris Painter, 5’11” PG, St. Vincent-St. Mary
Michael Knoll, 6’7” F, Buckeye
Erik Painter, 6’2” PG, Bay Village
Milton Gage, 5’11” PG, Chaminade Julienne
Zach Huffman, 6’6” F, Lebanon
Huffman suffered an unfortunate knee injury in early July that sidelined him for just enough time to miss the entire Live Period. So, keep an eye on him to check on his health. The high-effort rebounder and physical forward can play at the D-II or NAIA level if he’s at full-strength.
CJ Charleston, 5’11” PG, Gilmour Academy
Bodie Eberhart, 6’2” G, Marysville
Ibrahima Athie, 6’5” F, Deer Park
Athie is another guy with a plethora of physical tools who hasn’t quite reached his potential as a basketball player. We hope the graduation of teammate Jalen Rose at Deer Park opens up opportunity for him to show scouts his skills. Regardless, we know he can make an impact at any program who likes to play fast in college.