Nearly two years into Ohio's 2016 class, one thing has been established; this class has size, versatility, and potential. Earlier Thursday, that potential was cemented, as three prospects from the Buckeye State appear in Scout.com's newest rankings.
Spearheading Ohio's sophomore class is sensational wing guard V.J. King. Rated at No. 6 by Scout, King features one of the longest offer sheets out of any of the nation's top sophomores. A consensus top ten prospect across all recruiting services, King has NBA potential and a polished skill set to match. A master of scoring the "college bucket," King scores points in a way that most high school players just are not capable of. Excelling on and off the court, King is an attractive prospect for not only his exploits on the court, but for his performance in the classroom, as the sophomore maintains a 3.85 grade point average in honor's courses.
King is rated as the third-best small forward according to Scout, just a few spots below St. Louis native Jayson Tatum and Detroit wing Josh Jackson, all of which are Ohio State targets.
Twenty three spots below King is lengthy Lakewood St. Edward's forward/center Derek Funderburk, at No. 29. Funderburk's appearance in the top 30 comes just days after suffering a season-ending broken foot in practice, which is a huge blow for a St. Ed's team that was regarded as the best in Ohio's Division I. At 6'9 and 205 pounds, Funderburk has limitless potential and is one of many talented sophomore wing-forwards across the state. Funderburk is one of the most agile big men in the 2016 class, a quality that hopefully will not be affected by his latest injury. The sophomore is ranked as the fifth-overall center according to Scout.
One spot below Funderburk is bruising North Royalton power forward Omari Spellman at No. 30. Enjoying a breakout season in Northeast Ohio, Spellman has terrorized opposing defenses with his efficiency around the basket and improving ability to stretch the floor with mid-range jump shooting. At 6'8 and 215 pounds, Spellman is a wide-bodied post with extremely broad shoulders, which help him shield taller defenders while finishing around the rim. According to Cleveland.com, Spellman has averaged 26.8 points per game through 15 games.
Some players to watch for:
As recruiting databases expand in the coming years, look for an additional number of Ohio prospects to join the ranks of the nation's best.
Xavier Simpson (5'10 PG / Lima Central Catholic):
One of those players is the Lima Central Catholic point guard Simpson. Undoubtedly, Simpson is Ohio's top point guard, and has every element to his game that college coaches desire from a lead guard. Just this past weekend, the 5'10 Simpson combined to score 58 points in games vs. Bloom-Carroll on Friday, and Elida on Saturday.
Tervell Beck (6'7 SF / Cleveland Central Catholic):
Another player in the athletic mold of King is Cleveland Central catholic wing Tervell Beck. At 6'6 and 180 pounds, Beck is one of the state's top athletes, and is a highly-skilled wing. Regarded by Prep Spotlight as Ohio's second overall prospect in the 2016 class, Beck is a player with worlds of potential and increasing production.
Willie Jackson (6'5 SF / Cleveland Garfield Heights):
Another athletic forward in the sophomore class, Jackson might just be the most explosive. A terror around the basket, Jackson's perimeter skills are improving by the day. Through 15 games, Jackson is averaging 17.3 points per game for Garfield Heights.
Anthony Christian (6'2 SG / Akron Archbishop Hoban):
One of Ohio's more undervalued sophomores, Christian has hit his stride lately, leading a talented Hoban team. A skilled left-handed guard, Christian excels a slasher, while also having the ability to hit with improving consistency from the field. One of the state's most complete players, Christian exploded for 17 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals in a win on Tuesday.
Yavari Hall (6'3 SG / Cleveland Warrensville Heights):
A long-armed guard with great explosion, Hall has improved his production in his second year with Warrensville Heights. The Tigers' leading scorer at 13.3 points per game, Hall adds 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. In a class filled with scoring combo-guards, Hall is as good as anyone.