Photo: Matthew Cletus Gallery

Posted On: 11/5/20 2:25 PM

The NEO Top 20 combine, included some of the top 2022 and 2023 players in the state of Ohio to compete against one another in one gym. In this article I’m going to be spotlighting some of the top 2023 performers from the event.

Lance Hayes Lance Hayes 6'3" | CG St. Vincent-St. Mary's | 2023 State OH , 6’3 GC STVM 2023: Looked great on-ball defensively, hands are lightning quick to strip opposing ball-handlers. Looked the part physically and athletically in a gym full of talented athletes. Jumper is still inconsistent but his ability to finish at the rim against the type of length that was at the basket is promising.

Jesse Hayes Jesse Hayes 6'7" | C Padua | 2023 State OH , 6’6 PF Padua 2023: Night and day improvement physically from December when I watched him as a freshman. Incredibly long wingspan and frame makes his physical upside obvious. Finished through contact multiple times throughout the day, still a non-factor outside of the paint on offense. Making steady improvements which is encouraging.

Khoi Thurmon Khoi Thurmon 6'1" | PG Akron Buchtel | 2023 State OH , 6’0 PG Copley 2023: Finished with both hands impressively. Really nice touch on floaters and layups, puts nice spin on the basketball. Plays at his own pace, doesn’t seem to be sped up by opposing defenders. With Thurmon and Lance Hayes Lance Hayes 6'3" | CG St. Vincent-St. Mary's | 2023 State OH , 6’3 GC STVM 2023: Looked great on-ball defensively, hands are lightning quick to strip opposing ball-handlers. Looked the part physically and athletically in a gym full of talented athletes. Jumper is still inconsistent but his ability to finish at the rim against the type of length that was at the basket is promising. Jesse Hayes Jesse Hayes 6'7" | C Padua | 2023 State OH , 6’6 PF Padua 2023: Night and day improvement physically from December when I watched him as a freshman. Incredibly long wingspan and frame makes his physical upside obvious. Finished through contact multiple times throughout the day, still a non-factor outside of the paint on offense. Making steady improvements which is encouraging. Khoi Thurmon Khoi Thurmon 6'1" | PG Akron Buchtel | 2023 State OH , 6’0 PG Copley 2023: Finished with both hands impressively. Really nice touch on floaters and layups, puts nice spin on the basketball. Plays at his own pace, doesn’t seem to be sped up by opposing defenders. With Thurmon and Amire Robinson Amire Robinson 6'3" | SF Buchtel | 2023 State OH , Copley has a nice duo to build around in their 2023 class. Darius Stratford Darius Stratford 6'9" | C St. Vincent-St. Mary's | 2023 State OH , 6’9 C STVM 2023: Stratford has one of the most mature frames for a young big in the state. His broad shoulders allowed him to really make an impact on the glass as he was grabbing a ton of rebounds. Needs to improve hands on the offensive end but he finished well around the paint. Should start to see serious varsity minutes for STVM this season. Devin Royal Devin Royal 6'6" | SF Pickerington Central | 2023 State OH , 6’4 SF Pickerington Central 2023: Royal knows how to impact winning, he’s a plus rebounder for his size, can really see the floor and pass it and defends well both on and off the ball. His basketball IQ really shined at an event like this playing with teammates unfamiliar to him. If Royal becomes a knockdown shooter from the outside his stock will go through the roof because his intangibles are what sets him apart from others. Austin Parks Austin Parks 6'9" | C St. Mary's Memorial | 2023 State #154 Nation OH , 6’9 C St. Mary’s Memorial 2023: Parks was the best 2023 big at the event. Parks was scoring over his left shoulder and getting the job done pretty much every time he caught the ball on the interior. Despite being a small-school prospect, this kid can compete with anybody in the state at his position. Boosted his stock significantly with his performance at this event, big time prospect that coaches will want to keep an eye on.

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