Jun 11, 2012

Kevin Johnson chooses the Bearcats

They say that, “Home is where the heart is”; those words must really sit well with 6’2 Summit Country Day point guard Kevin Johnson. After a heavy recruitment, sparked by several standout performances over the spring on the AAU circuit, the athletic guard decided that he’ll stay in his hometown as he committed to the University of Cincinnati. Sunday night just hours after returning from an unofficial visit to Butler, Johnson went to his parents and told them that he had made his decision.

After initially being concerned that Kevin might have jumped the gun a little too early in his decision, the elder Johnson’s quickly became excited by the news. The ability to see all of Kevin’s home-games, as well as having him stay less then 5 miles from their home on the western side of Cincinnati all intrigue the family, and helped factor in to the decision.

“My dad always is going to play devil’s advocate with me. Once I let him know that I was really serious then they supported my decision the whole way.”

Monday morning, the day of his 17th birthday, Johnson informed the Cincinnati coaching staff of his decision.

“Coach Cronin was excited to hear the news. I told him I was trying to make it happen and we set the press conference up immediately.”

It wasn’t just proximity and hometown pride that led Johnson to his decision. A strong relationship with Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, the intensity with which the Bearcat staff recruited him, the opportunity to play in the Big East conference, and the style of play at Cincinnati all contributed to the decision.

“The family image and the choices that UC gives me just made me think that there’s no reason to go hours away when I can stay in my own city.”

“I feel like Coach Cronin and I will have a great relationship. He’s a great person, a great father, and he’s always been real with me.”

One of the most improved players in the Midwest over the last season, the three-star guard (who falls in at number 146 in the latest Rivals150, and who will most likely move up further in the next set of rankings) has attracted the interest of several of the nation’s elite programs. In choosing Cincinnati the point guard spurned offers from Minnesota, Illinois, Seton Hall, DePaul, Xavier, VCU, Cornell and several others. An explosive athlete, Johnson has the ability to leap out of the gym and also has tremendous quickness in his first step.

Johnson is known as a lock-down defender who uses his length, and tenacious attitude, to eliminate the opposing team’s top perimeter player. Offensively he is a versatile playmaker that can play either guard spot. Johnson shoots the ball well from the perimeter, including pull-up three-pointers off the dribble. He has an elite handle, can play off the pick and roll, and is deadly in transition as either a score or a distributor.

While he’s made a significant amount of progress in the last year by improving both his jumpshot and his overall point guard floor game Johnson doesn’t feel like he’s done improving yet. In fact he says that playing for the hometown Bearcats will give him even more motivation.

“Playing in my own city isn’t going to distract me it’s going to make me work harder. Everyone in the city wants me to do great, and that’s pressure. But, I feel like it’s a good kind of pressure.”

After leading his Cincinnati Summit Country Day team to a 27-1 record and an Ohio Division III State Championship as a junior the 6-foot-2 athlete plans on helping the Bearcats build on the recent success, most notably their recent Sweet Sixteen performance.

“To win you have to work hard. A lot of those guys at UC have done that to get to the Sweet Sixteen. With what I’ve learned in winning the state championship I kind of know what it takes on a smaller scale.”

Johnson is the second 2013 prospect to verbally commit to Coach Cronin; joining Virginia combo guard Troy Caupain who committed to the Bearcats on June 8th.

Jun 7, 2012

Updated Player Rankings

CPHR has taken a hard look at our Cincinnati area player rankings, which for about the last year have been posted on our partner site Triple Double Prospects, and has made some changes to the list.

Aside from changing the rankings for the classes of 2013 and 2014, we've also introduced our first position based rankings for the rising sophomore class of 2015. 

Stay on the lookout in the next week for a complete honorable mention list of all three ranked classes, as well as a 2016 watch list which will highlight some of the top rising freshman that we have had a chance to see so far. 

As always, the rankings can be found on the tabs at the top of this page, and we'll also link them at the bottom of this article. 

Comments, questions, and concerns are more then welcome and will be responded to at cincyprephoopsreport@gmail.com; comments posted on the bottom of this post may or may not be responded to. 

Remember that, as always, these rankings are created solely by CPHR staff and are made to reflect what we believe the long term college potential of a player is; not necessarily their current production level now. 

Here are the updated rankings:

Moving Season

Devin Williams
Florida has always been a popular travel destination, over the last few years its become a popular high school destination from top players from all over the country. Schools like Montverde Academy, Arlington Country Day, and IMG Academy have all put together basketball teams that are competitive against the top competition that the country has to offer.

Now with these coaches scouring the nation to find talent for their teams southwest Ohio has become a target area. In the last three days there have been three transfers to report between SW Ohio and Florida.

First is 2015 SG MaCio Teague, who is returning to his native Cincinnati and will be enrolling at Summit following his freshman year at IMG Academy. A lights out shooter with an all-around scoring game the 6'3 Teague should be a valuable asset on the Silver Knights team next season. Teague has early collegiate interest from DePaul, Miami (FL), and Xavier among others.

Next we have 2014 SG Justin Bibbs, formerly of Dayton Chaminade Julienne. Bibbs had a breakout season at Dayton CJ in his sophomore campaign, rising from unknown to a #2 ranking at his position in Triple Double Prospects 2014 list. Earlier this week the 6'4 Bibbs announced that he will be attending Montverde Academy for his final two years of high school ball. Bibbs is already being heavily recruited by Xavier, Dayton, Cincinnati, Michigan, and several other high major schools.

After securing the services of Bibbs coach Bales, a legendary high school coach who made his mark in the New Jersey scene, didn't stop there. On Thursday afternoon Montverde earned a commitment from 6'8 power forward Devin Williams, who just finished his junior season at Cincinnati Withrow. Williams, a consensus top 100 recruit and the #1 PF in Ohio in Triple Double Prospects rankings, cited individual academic attention and being around, "like-minded players who are focused on the same goals of playing major college basketball" as top reasons for his transfer.

With Williams and Bibbs any high school team should be successful, but Montverde doesn't stop there. They also feature one of the top 5 nationally ranked players in the 2014 class in 6'9 center Dakari Johnson, one of the top PG prospects in the nation in the 2013 class who is committed to Florida in Kasey Hill, and Louisville native D'Angelo Russell who is also ranked in the top 25 prospects nationally and plays the SG position.

Jun 4, 2012

Sunday's Results from the State Championships

By staff writer Daniel Watkins

Kevin Johnson

Sunday wrapped up an exciting weekend for the Ohio AAU state championship. No area teams were able to capture any state titles but a lot of good area talent was on display in full force. Here are the top performers and the weekend results 

Kevin Johnson- PG Martin Wolverines: One of the best PG in the state suited up for the Wolverines this weekend. Johnson showed his athleticism and quickness while using his ability to get shots off the dribble to knock down long jumpers.

Tim Coleman- PG Queen City Prophets: The prophet guard came out to play on Sunday showing numerous aspects of his game. Coleman scored at will all afternoon while making plenty of clutch shots. His defensive toughness has stepped up as of late as he came up with some crucial steals and defensive stops Sunday afternoon.

Jaaron Simmons- PG All Ohio Red: One of the main reasons why AOR was able to capture the 17U state AAU title was from the play of Simmons. Playing a steady game all weekend with limited turnovers. Although not putting up huge numbers this weekend AOR offense flows smother while he is on the floor.

Other Weekend Top Performers

Monty Boykins- SG Ohio Phenoms
Terry Cook- PG Shinning star
Louis Maniacci- PF/C Shinning Star
Austin Grimes- SG Queen City Prophets
Devin Williams- PF Queen City Prophets
Marquez Carpenter- SF Queen City Prophets
Isaiah Johnson- PF Cincy Lakers
Milt Davis- PG Club Ohio
Antonio Campbell- PF Club Ohio
Dontonio Wingfield Jr- SG Martin Wolverines

Angel Rivera- PG King James Shooting Stars
Vincent Edwards- SF King James Shooting Stars
Blake Simpson- PF Ohio Phenoms
Martin Jones- SG Ohio Phenoms
Jaevin Cumberland- PG Cincy Lakers
Jeff Larkin- PG Cincy Lakers
Ronnie Rousseau- PG Queen City Prophets
Roderick Mills- SF Queen City Prophets
Kevin Daniels- SG Queen City Prophets
Aaron Oden- SG Shinning Star

Luke Kennard- SG King James Shooting Stars 
Nate Fowler- PF King James Shooting Stars
 AJ Harris- PG King James Shooting Stars
 DaJuan Sherman-PG Queen City Prophets

Championship Results

Semifinalist – Queen City Prophets (3rd), Shinning Stars (Moman)
Runner Up- Martin Wolverines 
State Champions- All Ohio Red

Semifinalists- Ohio Varsity White (3rd), Ohio Phenoms
Runners Up- Shinning Star (Price)
State Champions- All Ohio Red

Semifinalists- King James Shooting Stars (3rd), Queen City Prophets
Runners Up- All Ohio Black
State Champions- All Ohio Red

Jun 3, 2012

Saturday at the Ohio AAU State Tourney

By staff writer Daniel Watkins - 

Day 2 of the Ohio AAU state tournament had plenty of talent. Here are some of the standouts.

Maverick Morgan-C Martin's Wolverines: The 6’10 big man dominated early and often for the Wolverines on Saturday. Displaying his discipline low post game and finishing with a few monster dunks. 
Austin Grimes

Isaiah Johnson-PF Cincy Lakers: Playing with an injury for the most part of the day Johnson still was able to produce when the ball was in his hands. Whether he was involved in the play or not his presence affected the outcome.

Austin Grimes-SG Queen City Prophets: For the second straight day Grimes played well on both sides of the ball. Finishing with a game high 33 points in the prophets second pool play game and giving a good effort all afternoon.
Angel Rivera-PG King James Shooting stars: Considered one of the best pure passers in the state showed CPHR why with his crisp passes. Being his teams only real pg the ball is always in Rivera hands allowing him to make the right pass to find the open man or knock down the jumper.

Blake Simpson-PF Ohio Phenoms: One of the big men for the talented Phenoms showed his outstanding overall strength in the paint grabbing and putting put back crucial rebounds. His inside interior game has improved and is becoming more aggressive on defense.

Ronnie Rousseau-PG Queen City Prophets: Leading the way for the prophets, another stacked 16u team is pg Rousseau. Know as a flat out pure scorer he put the ball in the basket all day showing off his mid range and ability to take defenders off the dribble. The shifty pg loses defenders with his quick first step getting into the lane and finishing.

Jun 1, 2012

Friday Night at the State Tournament

Jaevin Cumberland is one
of the best freshman guards in Ohio

By: Staff writer Daniel Watkins 

The battle for the AAU boys basketball state title began Friday night in Cincinnati.  Here are a few of the standouts CHPR got to watch:

Austin Grimes- SG Queen City Prophets: The 6’4 guard who is known as an aggressive slasher showed off his off the dribble mid range jumper tonight knocking down plenty of jumpers. His strength showed on defense coming up with crucial blocks that lead to his team getting out on fast breaks. Grimes will need to continue his good play for his team to make a deep run in the tournament.

Monty Boykins-SG Ohio Phenoms: One of the best pure scorers in the state played a good all around game Friday. His ability to score showed as he hit shots from all parts of the court. His crisp passing skills in transition were shown also tonight as he always seemed to find the open man for the score.

Joe Cossins- PF Queen City Prophets: The big man in the middle for the Prophets dominated the paint all night long. His low post turn around game has improved tremendously laying the ball in with his soft touch.


Roderick Mills-SF Queen City Prophets: Mills had the height advantage all night and took advantage of it. A versatile and underrated wing ran the court tonight allowing his point guard to find him for the easy buckets. His soft touch from midrange is something that he will use to his advantage all weekend for the Prophets.

Jaevin Cumberland- PG/SG Cincinnati Lakers: A freshman playing up a grade level showed us why with his intelligence on the court. His ability to go the length of the court and make the right decision was key in his teams blowout win. Cumberland shot the ball well and showed his ability to switch gears and get into the lane.