With the high school season in Central Ohio nearing its end in a few weeks, it's time to take a look at the area's top juniors. First, we will take a look at the top five players regardless of position, and then take a look at the top players at each spot. Let's see what Central Ohio has to offer.
The Top Five
1. Jordan Dartis (6'3 SG / Newark):
A consensus top ten prospect in Ohio's class of 2015, Dartis has been an instrumental part to a Newark team that won a share of the OCC-Ohio division. An excellent shooter, Dartis can score in a variety of ways, but is best served killing teams with spot-up and pull-up jump shooting. At 6'3, Dartis can play either guard position while defending really well on the perimeter. Dartis is averaging a team-high 17 points per game in 2013-14.
2. Khalil Iverson (6'5 PF / Delaware Hayes):
Arguably the most dominant performer of all on the list, Iverson is having a breakout season for Delaware. Averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds per game on 55 percent shooting, Iverson was the dominant factor for a Pacers' team sitting at 20-3 on the season. Excelling most around the rim, Iverson is a terror in transition, and always seems to be at the right place at the right time. Showing improvement with his perimeter skills, Iverson looks to be a definite mid-major plus prospect at this point.
3. Rodney Culver (6'4 SF / Pickerington Central):
Another breakout performer in Central Ohio, Culver is the third piece to a Pickerington Central "Big Three" that combined for nearly 60 points per game before Ohio State commit Jae'Sean Tate underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. At 6'4, Culver is a lengthy and athletic wing that plays with a high level of energy and athleticism. Picking up the load since Tate's absence, Culver and senior guard Connor Kern have been one of the area's two duos as of late. Rising to the occasion in the biggest games for the Tigers, Culver is primed for a major summer leading into a crucial senior season.
4. Doug Taylor (6'8 C / Northland):
Northland's prized product in an underwhelming junior class, Taylor has emerged as Northland's go-to option in the post. At 6'8, Taylor has incredible length and is one of the more aggressive posts around the rim. Showing improvement with his mid-range game and free-throw shooting, Taylor looks to really explode onto the scene this summer in the AAU season. Paired with senior Jaylen Tucker and sophomore Seth Towns, Taylor and Northland feature one of the state's most athletic front courts, which the Vikings hope translates into success in the state tournament.
5. Jaquan Harrison (6'3 SF / Africentric):
The top junior in the Columbus City League South, Harrison leads an Africentric team that hasn't lived up to the hype so far this season. Averaging 15 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game, Harrison is an athletic specimen that is best served attacking the rim and picking up offensive rebounds and putbacks. At 6'3, Harrison plays much bigger than his listed height, and has improved in all facets of his game. Paired with junior center Ulmer Manzie and sophomore wing Houston Smith, Harrison and the Nubians have a solid core that looks to win a district title in Div. IV this season.
The rest of the class
Let's take a look at the top players by position in the 2015 class in Central Ohio.
1. Lloyd Chatman (5'10 Reynoldsburg)
2. David Dennis Jr. (6'0 Harvest Prep)
3. Xavier Holston-Sims (5'10 Eastmoor Academy)
4. Austin Armwood (5'11 Westerville North)
5. Jimmy Gundling (5'10 Olentangy)
6. Alex Sparks (5'11 New Albany)
7. P.J. Wilkes (5'11 Mifflin)
8. C.J. Saunders (5'11 Dublin Coffman)
9. Curt Armstrong (5'10 Brookhaven)
10. Jenisys Battle (6'0 Gahanna Lincoln)
Players to watch:
Eric Johnson (5'10 Pickerington Central), Deshawn Nelms (5'10 Marion-Franklin), Jalon Lewis (5'11 Eastmoor Academy), Khayle Woods (5'11 Newark), Shawon Wilson (6'2 Africentric), Chase Brown (5'9 Africentric), Jordan Clark (5'11 Hilliard Darby), Jeilani Jeilani (5'8 Franklin Heights), Robert Martin (5'10 Beechcroft).
1. Jordan Dartis (6'3 Newark)
2. Nic Bapst (6'4 Grove City)
3. Reece Dupler (6'2 Lakewood)
4. Shadrick Kimble (6'2 Brookhaven)
5. Dalton Laster (6'3 East)
6. Chris London (6'3 New Albany)
7. Tyrone Cherry (6'2 Groveport)
8. Dez Wright (6'1 Gahanna)
9. Javon Watson (6'4 Westland)
10. Niejel Young (6'3 Bexley)
Players to watch:
Seth McCoy (6'1 Northland), Jerome Godsey (6'0 Briggs), Kyle Ogleby (6'1 Eastmoor Academy), Josh Williams (5'10 Franklin Heights), Isaiah Napper (6'1 Central Crossing), Jesean Johnson (5'11 Walnut Ridge), JQ Henry (6'2 Westland), Maleek St. Valle (6'2 Northland), Anthony Slappy (6'1 Centennial).
1. Rodney Culver (6'4 Pickerington Central)
2. Jaquan Harrison (6'3 Africentric)
3. Robert Banks (6'5 Brookhaven)
4. Zac Asher (6'4 Big Walnut)
5. Alex Arck (6'4 Mount Vernon)
6. Stanley Jackson (6'4 Mifflin)
7. Jackson Murphy (6'4 Hilliard Bradley)
8. Khalil Wade (6'5 Eastmoor Academy)
9. Evan Duncan (6'3 Dublin Coffman)
10. Rodney Willis (6'3 Briggs)
Players to watch:
Jett Swetland (6'4 Highland), Kovien Dominaus (6'5 Independence), Drew Bapst (6'4 Grove City), Avery Janning (6'3 Bishop Watterson).
1. Khalil Iverson (6'5 Delaware Hayes)
2. J-Saun Davis (6'5 Brookhaven)
3. Mike Simon (6'6 Hilliard Davidson)
4. Hasan Varence (6'7 Linden-McKinley)
5. Joseph Thomas (6'4 Centennial)
6. Noah Vollmer (6'5 Dublin Coffman)
7. Josh Chellars (6'4 Beechcroft)
8. J'Air Whelwright (6'4 Bishop Hartley)
9. Carmearl Thomas (6'6 Groveport)
10. Johnny Wordlaw (6'4 Worthington Christian)
Players to watch:
Maliek Gore (6'3 Briggs), Major Henry (6'4 Lakewood)