Columbus, Ohio — 275 Hoops was in attendance for Day one of Ohio State’s team camp. A solid collection of teams were in action on Thursday and we had the opportunity to get a good look at some Queen City prospects that rose to the occasion in the Schottenstein Center. Let’s take a look at our top performers.
Davion Mace (6’7 C/Woodward/2020): The Bulldogs got their first taste of competition on Thursday when they battled Columbus Northland. Immediately Mace would make his presence known as he cleaned up on the defensive boards and his length made things difficult in close for the Vikings. Mace did a fine job at altering shots all game including a massive block in the first half. Mace, widely considered one of the best big men in the city, showed off his ability to finish strong at the rim in both showings with quite a few dunks — two being off of lobs against London and he also offered up a powerful putback dunk to clean up a teammates miss in their opening game of the day. The senior will be vital to the Bulldogs success in the upcoming season and our initial viewing of Mace did not disappoint.
CamRon Mckenzie (6’1 CG/Hughes/2021): Despite only being able to catch Hughes in action one time on Thursday, Mckenzie put on a performance similar to his outing at the Hughes Summer Shoot-Out last weekend. Mckenzie got downhill and was able to finish at the rim. He also had continued success in the mid-range area and dropped in a few three’s from the right corner — which seems to be his favorite spot on the perimeter. He will likely be one of the best scorers in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference again and quite frankly, through the two events that we’ve covered so far, I can’t say that I’ve seen a better pure scorer in the area than Mckenzie.
Aaron Davis (5’11 PG/Woodward/2021): The defensive intensity and non-stop motor showcased in the initial contest against Columbus Northland was what drew our eyes to Davis. He had active hands all throughout the day which helped the Bulldogs get a few run outs and easy buckets. Davis also had his own fair share of success by pushing the pace and scoring in transition including a nifty up and under layup in their last game. Davis is one of those players that every winning team needs. Energy and effort can take you a long way in basketball and those are two things that were written all over his performance at Ohio State.
Paul McMillan IV (6’1 PG/Woodward/2022): It simply didn’t take long to see just how special the star in the Woodward backcourt is. There was a handful of times that McMillan blew by his defender and left him in the rear view with his first step, allowing one of Ohio’s best players regardless of class, to finish at the rim. However, he also showed the ability to throw the lob to the aforementioned Mace at times when the help would arrive. McMillan can get wherever he wants on the floor and is a tough guard when isolated thanks to some nice crossover moves. Furthermore, he can get a bucket from anywhere on the floor. He even drilled a shot from the mid-court logo to beat the halftime buzzer in an eventual victory. An impressive day for the Bulldogs leader was capped off by a brief conversation with Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann, who made his way down to the court after the victory over the Red Raiders — the Bulldogs final game of the night.
Rayvon Griffith (6’4 WF/Hughes/2023): Hughes got off to a slow start in the first handful of minutes against Canal Winchester. But it was Griffith who ignited the team, knocking down a three from the left corner and a dunk courtesy of a behind-the-back feed from Mckenzie on a fastbreak. He had 10 of the teams first 24 points and ultimately the Big Red would cruise leading by 17 at the end of the first half. The Indians would fight back in the second half and managed to cut the deficit to just 1. However, Griffith had a stretch late in the contest where he hit a pull-up three and sealed the contest with a steal in the open court that he would throw down to stretch the lead to 6. Through 3 games that we’ve seen from Griffith, we’ve seen his athleticism, pull-up jumper, and ability to knock down the corner three in both settings. Despite being the new guy for the Big Red, he will definitely be a big part of their offensive success. It was him and Mckenzie who poured it on in the win against Canal Winchester.
Kanye Moreland (5’10 CG/Woodward/2023): We were aware of Moreland prior to Thursday but we weren’t sure how much he would be used for Woodward. After an admirable performance that included his ability to drive to the rim, knock down contested shots, and help control the rock when McMillan was off floor tells me that he could very well play a big role for Coach Redden and the Bulldogs. The eye-opening display put on by Moreland was topped off when he put together a pair of filthy moves against London. One was a smooth baseline reverse layup. The other came when he pushed the ball up the floor after a made shot from the opposition and pulled a filthy euro-step out of his bag that sent the defender to the floor. What I saw yesterday makes me think that Moreland has a chance to be exceptional on the hardwood and it won’t take long for others to know about this kid.
Other Notable Performances
Kaleb Crawford (6’2 PG/Princeton), Bowen Hardman (6’3 WG/Princeton/2022), Montev Ware (5’10 PG/Woodward/2021).