At the alma mater of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, head basketball coach Travis Trice Sr. has himself quite the hoops squad. With a talented nucleus of players in the 2015 and 2016 classes, Wayne looks to wreck havoc in the Dayton area this upcoming season. Let's take a look at the top players from Thursday's open gym.
Trey Landers (6'3 SG/SF, 2016):
After a solid showing at last weekend's Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, Wayne's Landers was an absolute force from behind-the-arc on Thursday. Scorching the nets for several threes, both in transition and in the half court set, Landers was deadly offensively during open gym. In addition to his shooting ability, Landers is a standout defender, while being great on the offensive glass. The 6'3 combo-guard is also a tremendous athlete, showcasing an impressive vertical leap, which helps him adjust to contact and finish well at the rim.
Ahmad Wagner (6'6 SF/PF, 2015):
Following up a successful summer running alongside Esa Ahmad and All-Ohio Red in 2013, Wagner had a performance similar to his prep teammate from Shaker Heights. Similar to Esa, Wagner has a thick build, which helps him shield defenders when scoring from the block. Wagner is a highly athletic forward that runs the floor like a guard, and can finish with either hand at the rim. While his perimeter shooting is still coming along, Wagner has an effective right-handed hook shot that he uses quite often around the rim. According to NY2LASPORTS.COM, Wagner holds offers from Kennesaw State, Robert Morris and Toledo.
Xeyrius Williams (6'7 SF/PF, 2015):
Built like Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, Williams had a performance reminiscent to the Indiana rising star. Long and athletic, Williams is a matchup nightmare for defenses, as his height is too much for guards to handle, while his quickness overpowers most forwards. The 6'7 wing runs the floor very well, while also being an acrobatic finisher in transition. Away from the offensive side of the floor, Williams is also a patient defender, which helps him stay grounded on pump fakes to block a higher percentage of shots. The junior is a prospect with a great deal of upside, and is only scratching the service of his potential. An incredible student in the classroom, Williams has heard from the likes of Butler, Harvard, Penn, and Stanford, among many others.
Juan Ford (6'2 CG, 2014):
One of Wayne's few seniors, Ford is another tough matchup for defenses. The 6'2 guard has a thick body, which he puts to great use on both ends of the floor. Shielding defenders on the drive, Ford is an above-average finisher at the rim. At 6'2, Ford is able to guard bigger defenders, highlighted by the fact that Ford dealt with the lengthy Wagner for a great deal of Thursday's action, and had good success. The senior is also a streaky shooter in transition, knocking down several threes when he was unguarded. Ford is one of many aggressive slashers that Trice has on his roster, and should be a key contributor on a team with major expectations.
Hadith Tiggs (6'2 CG, 2015):
A quality role player, Tiggs has an impressive showing on Thursday. With good size for a guard that can either play on-ball or off the ball, Tiggs is the ideal reserve player for a competitive team like Wayne. The junior is an above-average shooter in the open, and can really handle the ball when he is needed to. Tiggs also is great at getting out and facilitating the break, choosing to either take the points for himself, or dish it off to a cutting teammate.
D'Mitrik Trice (5'11 PG, 2015):
Although Trice didn't take part in Thursday's open gym, D'Mitrik is Wayne's starting quarterback, the junior is another Wayne star that needs to be talked about. Elevating his play to unbelievable levels over the summer with All-Ohio Red, Trice went from a role player to arguably Red's top player as the AAU season wore on. A very quick and shifty guard, Trice is an excellent jump shooter, and has great court vision and touch on his passes, no coincidence considering his position on the gridiron. As his older brother, Travis, is looking to resume a larger role with the Michigan State Spartans this upcoming season, the younger Trice will help lead a team that has a chance to go places at the end of the year.
Kenny Couch (6'2 SG/SF, 2016):
Another talented sophomore on Wayne's roster, Couch had a quality showing on Thursday. Doing all the dirty work that a coach would ask out of a role player, Couch did a little bit of everything during open gym. Playing physical defense, Couch also shot the ball decently well when left open, showing more versatility in his overall skill set.