In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight contributor David Hendren discusses some of the top players who performed well at The Beacon Orthopaedics Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational, a nationally-renowned event held earlier this month in Kettering, Ohio:
The Beacon Orthopaedics Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational was a fantastic opportunity to see both nationally-ranked talent from around the country along with the top talent in Ohio. Below, we recount some event standouts after spending the weekend on the scene.
6’2’’ Guard | 2024 | Huntington Prep (WV)
The most impressive performance came from the 2024 product out of Huntington Prep, where he led his team to a close victory over the highly-touted La Lumiere (IN) squad. Jones stuffed the statsheet, finishing with 30p-5r-4a. Jones’s offensive skill set was on full display, especially his shot-creation ability from all levels of the floor. He hit numerous jumpers off-the-dribble, displaying his knack to create separation with side-steps, step-backs, and creative gathers that led to clean pull-up jumpers. He also did a great job of freezing defenders with hesitation-dribbles and keeping defenders honest with his ability to change speeds. Jones was unpredictable — right when you think he’s going to settle for a jump shot, he changes speeds and gets two feet in the paint to either to draw a foul or score, or dish out to open shooters. After a disappointing loss to St. Ignatius (OH) on Sunday, Jones looked determined to make a statement and lead his team to a victory, which he did against an elite team.
Silas Demary, Jr.
6’4’’ Guard | 2023 | Combine Academy (NC) *USC commit
The future Trojan excelled on both ends of the floor against Keystone Academy (PA), finishing with 27p-8r-3a-2s. On the offensive end, Demary found continuous success establishing himself in the paint off dribble-drives, resulting in finishes at the rim or getting to the free-throw line, where he finished 9-10 from the charity stripe. Towards the end of the game, Combine Academy played through him often in pick-and-roll or isolation scenarios, trusting him often to make the right play for himself or teammates. Demary also showed upside on the defensive end, whether it was via help-side rotations on the backside or using his lateral quickness to keep the Keystone guards in front. Demary also had a crucial steal while up five in overtime, which led to Combine sealing the win over Keystone. He also led his team to another victory against Lutheran East, finishing with a rock solid 17p-6r-4a-2s.
6’1’’ Guard | 2023 | Keystone Athletic Academy (PA) *Rutgers commit
The Rutgers signee was dynamic against the highly-decorated Combine Academy team in his lone contest Friday night, showing no issues handling the athleticism and size of their team despite being comparatively undersized. The dynamic lefty was electric in the open floor, whether it was finishing at the rim in transition or finding open shooters in the corner. Warren also displayed his prowess as a north-south threat, attacking the rim with a vengeance, which mitigates some of the size concerns. Where Warren was the most impressive was from an intangible standpoint and on the defensive end. As a competitor, playing with fire is putting it lightly regarding Warren. He was constantly bringing energy to the floor as a vocal leader and through his effort on the defensive end, getting into the airspace of ball-handlers and being active both on and off the ball. Furthermore, his tenacity defensively, especially his ability to guard multiple positions, is what really became his differentiator. He constantly rotated throughout the Combine Academy lineup, even guarding Trentyn Flowers often, who stands at 6’8’’. He did a great job of crowding his man and being active with both his feet and hands. He also defended two other 4-star guards in the contest, Silas Demary Jr., and Rakease Passmore. His defensive versatility and playmaking abilities should allow him to see the floor immediately at Rutgers.
6’4’’ Guard | 2023 | Western Reserve Academy (OH)
An under-the-radar prospect in the 2023 class, Carmelo Adkins was comfortable and reliable for the Western Reserve offense in a victory over Southern California Academy, finishing with 23 points and 7 rebounds, while also shooting an efficient 8-14 from the field and 4-7 from deep. Adkins’ ability to get to his spots all over the floor is what really stood out. He was comfortable behind the three-point line, knocking down multiple catch-and-shoot opportunities. He also displayed a knack for creating space in the mid-range, using body-bumps or separation moves before elevating to knock down shots. He was also relentless attacking the rim, not shying away from contact or defenders in the paint. Adkins seems to have a surprisingly quiet recruitment at the moment, but with more performances like this, that shouldn’t be the case for long.
6’6’’ Forward | 2023 | Pickerington Central (OH) *Ohio State commit
The local product put on a show for the Ohio State fans in attendance, displaying his versatility on both ends of the floor. Royal finished with 23p-6r-1a-1s. Defensively, Royal has a college-ready frame, which enables him to guard multiple positions. For instance, he matched up often with Xavier Booker, a 5-star 2023 Michigan State signee, who checks in at 6’11’’. Royal’s strong frame and mobility allow him to guard up and down lineups, as he can move laterally to defend guards, or use his physicality to guard taller matchups. His versatility as a defender will allow him to see early minutes in Columbus, next season. Offensively, Royal was playing all over the floor, whether it was a screener, ball-handler, or scorer. Where Royal found the most success as a scorer was in the mid-range or in the paint. Royal can take advantage of mismatches thanks to his size and physicality. He also possesses the ability to face-up or drive from the mid-post, which makes him a difficult cover for forwards and guards. Another aspect that impressed about Royal was his ability to read the floor from an IQ perspective. He was constantly looking to make the right pass, especially when he noticed switches that were advantageous for his teammates. Overall, Royal’s physical profile, versatility and IQ should make him an immediate rotation staple in Columbus next season. Continuing to improve as a spot-up shooter from three and becoming quicker on his feet will be two areas to focus on at the next level.
6’8’’ Center | 2023 | La Lumiere (IN) *Wisconsin commit
The future Badger was efficient and productive against Huntington Prep, finishing with 23p-6r-2a-1b-1s. Yalden’s efficiency was especially evident on the offensive end, where he converted 10-14 FG. His ability to finish off dump passes, offensive rebounds, and post touches was impressive. He has a knack for finding angles to get his shot over taller players or to use fakes and footwork to evade defenders, as well. He is polished in the post and does a good job of patiently backing down his man to read the floor and to avoid charges. Continuing to evolve as a post-passer will make him even more dangerous on the block. He’s definitely provided encouraging flashes as a passer, but can tend to over-dribble or be too patient at times. Not only did Yalden show his effectiveness in the post, but also his ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shot. Yalden’s multifaceted offensive game will make him an ideal match with the Wisconsin offensive system and their ability to utilize skilled bigs. As Yalden continues to evolve as an athlete, the rest of his game will grow as well.
6’6’’ Forward | 2023 | La Lumiere (IN) *Louisville commit
The 2023 Louisville signee is a physical forward who continues to improve with each viewing. Glenn displayed some playmaking upside in Ohio, taking on secondary ball-handling duties and sometimes initiating the offense. He finished with 5 assists in the game, showing improvement seeing the floor, making kick-out passes on drives or skip-passes to find open teammates. However, he did have some issues on drives, sometimes passing up open threes to drive into traffic, resulting in turnovers. Continuing to gain reps as a secondary ball-handler will do wonders for his skill set, and even though he did make some mistakes, he has clearly improved seeing the floor and handling the ball. Where he really excelled on the offensive end was by imposing his physicality around the rim, whether it was driving and finishing through contact, attacking the offensive glass, or drawing fouls. Glenn is a physical straight-line driver who has a great spin and uses his frame to bump smaller defenders and manufacture space or to create a situation where fouling is his defender’s only option. Defensively, Glenn is intriguing due to his athletic profile, being very physically-gifted at this point of his development. He has the lateral quickness to switch onto guards as well as the physicality to guard up the lineup. Glenn is comfortable guarding 1-4 at the moment and can compete with some centers as well with his strong frame. Lastly, he was dominant on the glass, finishing with 10 rebounds. With his motor and athleticism, rebounding will never be an issue for him. He projects to infuse some exciting tangible production into the Louisville program, next season.
George Washington III
6’2’’ Guard | 2023 | Chamindade Julienne *Michigan commit
The future Michigan Wolverine put on a scoring display, flexing his knack of getting to his spots and his array of shot-types throughout the day. Washington finished with 26 points, with the majority of his points coming off jumpers, whether they were off-the-dribble or from catch-and-shoot opportunities. When shooting off the bounce, Washington’s pull-up game was spot-on, showing his ability to use both hands and combining that with different gathers or step-backs. Washington’s ability to shoot the basketball is clear and it will allow him to be a productive offensive player at the next level. Continuing to grow physically and as a defender will be the next steps to making him a more complete player.
6’5’’ Guard | 2023 | Southern California Academy *Providence commit
One of the more dynamic guards in the event all weekend, Dual was eye-catching due to his length, positional size, and his budding skillset. From a physical standpoint, even though Dual needs to add weight to his frame, his incredible wingspan and athleticism are top-notch. He glides in the open floor and is a bolt of lightning with the ball in his hands. He can easily elevate above the rim and finish with creativity around the rim. Also, he can create space with his handle and speed. Once he evolves as a start-and-stop handler, he will become even more of a difficult matchup for opponents. Dual also has upside as a shooter, showing the ability to hit pull-ups from the mid-range and catch-and-shoot opportunities from three. Defensively, Dual’s potential is sky-high due to his great anticipatory skills and physical characteristics. He has highly functional lateral quickness and mobility, allowing him to stay in front of defenders and rotate quickly. As an anticipator defensively, Dual reads passing lanes with ease and predicts angles of drivers, allowing himself to beat handlers to the spot. His quick hands allow him to steal the ball from handlers as well. Overall, Dual is a guard with pro upside due to his combination of skill and athleticism. Continuing to grow physically and as a shooter will allow him to blossom even more as a prospect.
6’2’’ Guard | 2023 | Centerville (OH) *Indiana commit
The first thing that stands out with Gabe Cupps is his feel for the game/BBIQ. Gabe’s father is currently the coach at Centerville (as well as for his AAU team, Midwest Basketball Club), and you can tell he has been groomed well and has plenty of big time game experience. In the victory Centerville earned against national power Southern California Academy, Cupps was consistently making the right reads on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Cupps was the engine that made Centerville run. He is willing to make the extra pass or the hockey assist and does a good job of getting into gaps and finding teammates. Cupps also showed comfort making a multitude of passes from different angles, showing his promising skill-set as a passer. He can pass with either hand and has a great feel surveying the floor and finding open teammates in both the half-court or in transition. Also, Cupps does a good job of advancing the ball as quickly as possible and does not let the ball stick in his hands long. From a scoring perspective, he was patient and played within the flow of the game, picking his spots from the mid-range and capitalizing on open looks from three. Defensively, Cupps was impressive, both on and off the ball. Southern California Academy has no lack of D1-caliber guards, and Cupps regularly kept the ball in front and walled up defensively. He was especially impressive when guarding AJ Johnson, a bigger guard with more athleticism. Off the ball, Cupps was locked in as well, whether it was on the backside of rotations or sliding over ball-side and taking charges. Cupps ended up taking two charges in the game and had four steals as a result of his activity in passing lanes. Overall, Cupps showed his stability at the guard spot on both ends of the floor and will bring legitimate translatable traits to Bloomington, next season.
6’6’’ Guard | 2024 | Centerville (OH)
The athletic guard put on a shooting clinic in the second half of a tight victory over Southern California Academy, knocking down numerous perimeter shots at the end of the game and finishing with 22 points. What stood out about Powell’s shooting was his court awareness and his ability to move without the basketball. Powell does a great job of relocating and coming off movement to find open shots. He has no problem coming off screens or drifting to certain areas of the floor to make himself available for open catch-and-shoot opportunities. Mechanically, Powell shoots the ball with good touch and constantly squares himself to the basket. He has a solid base, but would benefit him more if he got his legs into his shot more. However, the release point, arc and touch are there. Continuing to grow as an on-ball creator will allow his offensive game to round out even further. Defensively, Powell is a fluid athlete with good measurables. He moves well laterally and has the length to be disruptive defensively. Powell has all the traits to be an effective ‘3-and-D’ prospect at the next level.
6’6’’ Wing | 2023 | Combine Academy (NC) *Richmond commit
The future Richmond Spider seems like a seamless fit into any offensive scenario, as he showed his ability to make an impact offensively without needing the ball in his hands. Tanner finished with 19 points and scored in a multitude of ways off-the-ball: getting to the free-throw line off cuts, offensive putbacks, and catch-and-shoot jumpers from the mid-range and the three. However, he did show ability as a line driver, especially in transition, where he had no problem attacking the rim and finishing through contact. Tanner’s IQ on both ends of the floor make him a smart fit within Richmond’s system. Defensively, he presents stability as a defender with his measurables and solid athleticism. He knows how to read help rotations and is in-sync with his teammates on ball-screen coverages and switches. The next steps in his development are as a shot-creator and being more vocal.
6’3’’ Guard | 2023 | Wayne (OH) *Murray State commit
Rice put on a complete performance here, finishing with 33p-6r-3a in a hard fought loss to Garfield Heights (OH). Our staff has seen Rice multiple times over the past year, and his already impressive game has noticeably grown, especially from a shooting standpoint. The lefty hit numerous jumpers both from the three and the mid-range, finishing 5-11 from long range. What made these baskets impressive was the variety in which they came in. He hit some pull-ups, but also did a great job coming off pin-downs and curls to make shots off movement. Also, Rice was effective in getting to the rim, showing his unique finishing package with an ability to finish with both hands. He even hit some floaters with his opposite hand and made numerous passes with his off-hand, showing his advanced dexterity as a finisher and a passer. Defensively, Rice has the ability to guard up to three positions with his length and athleticism. He moves very well laterally and is pretty explosive as a leaper, which allows him to challenge guards at the rim. The Racers have a steal in Rice with his versatility and steadily improving offensive skillset.
6’6’’ Forward | 2023 | Africentric (OH) *Xavier commit
The rangy, athletic forward from Ohio showcased his natural mobility and athleticism in a win over CVCA, totaling 18p-11r-4a-2s-1b. Where Swain really popped was on the defensive end and in transition. Defensively, Swain moves gracefully and does a great job of keeping players in front of him, using his smart positioning and length to disrupt shooters and ball-handlers. Swain can switch onto guards with ease due to his great mobility and length, he has upside as a shot blocker and has shown his skillset as a hawk in passing lanes. He has all the tools to be an elite defender one day and will become an even better one once he spends some time in a college weight room. Offensively, the open floor is where Swain is at his best. He has great court vision and possesses a great handle, allowing him to get to different spots of the floor. He also has the athleticism to play above the rim and finish with authority. Continuing to grow as a shooter will allow Swain to be more lethal in half-court scenarios at Xavier, but for now he may be used as a utility forward on the offensive end, taking on secondary playmaking duties and finishing around the rim as a lob threat or driver.
6’9’’ Forward | 2023 | AZ Compass Prep *North Carolina commit
The UNC signee was effective on the offensive end both around the rim and on the perimeter, finishing with 12 points while hitting jumpers from the three and mid-range. High did a good job of relocating within AZ Compass Prep’s zone offense, finding gaps in the short-corners for catch-and-shoot opportunities, while also knocking in two threes. His high release makes it easy for him to get shots up over smaller defenders, presenting matchup issues for opposing defenses. High also displayed his mobility, whether it was running the floor or protecting the rim, finishing with two blocks. The next step for High will be to continue to grow from an IQ and physical standpoint. Adding some weight will allow him to deal with more physical bigs in the ACC and becoming a more disciplined defender in hedging and help-side rotations will help him reach his ceiling defensively.
6’5’’ Guard | 2025 | CVCA (OH)
5-star guard Darryn Peterson is ahead of the curve physically at this stage of development compared to others his age. He possesses long arms and is a tall guard with a frame that will fill out nicely as he progresses in the weight room. Athletically, he fits the bill as well, with good vertical pop and mobility. Offensively, Peterson is very comfortable from the mid-range as well as the paint. He does a great job in the mid-range of both using his height to shoot over smaller defenders and using his physicality to create space for his jumper. As a finisher, Peterson can attack in a straight line and use his athleticism to finish around the rim. Continuing to grow as a shooter and stretching his range beyond the three-point line will make him a more difficult matchup for opposing defenses. Additionally, improving his feel for the game as a playmaker will really open up his abilities as an on-ball creator, as well, making him even more of a matchup nightmare.
6’4’’ Guard/Wing | 2023 | Huntington Prep (WV)
The available senior shooter out of Huntington Prep did what he does best in Ohio: knock down shots. Johnson has a smooth release that he can get off in a hurry. His shot has great rotation and he is comfortable catching the ball off screens or setting his feet in catch-and-shoot scenarios. Johnson has some potential as a straight-line driver as well, attacking poor closeouts and using his solid athleticism to finish at the rim. What really stood out about Johnson last weekend was his leadership. He was constantly vocal on defense, encouraging his teammates on both ends, and bringing energy to the floor. There is no question can help a college program next season between his ability as a shooter and his leadership intangibles.
Kyle Greene, Jr.
6’2’’ Guard | 2024 | Pace Academy (GA)
The Georgia native has a different gear with the ball in his hands, constantly putting pressure on the defensive with his ability to blow by defenders and establish himself in the paint. Greene is an acrobatic finisher at the rim, with the ability to identify angles for himself to finish and contort his body in the air to create space from defenders at the rim. Combined with his speed and ball-handling, Greene is difficult to handle in both transition and in the half-court as a finisher. Expect high major programs to continue to get involved with his recruitment.
6’1’’ Guard | 2026 | Garfield Heights (OH)
The future is bright for the freshman, who’s already receiving offers and plenty of interest from Power 5 programs. The lefty is incredibly quick with the ball in his hands and does a great job utilizing unpredictability as an offensive creator, leveraging his multitude of moves, such as changing speeds with hesitations, in-and-out crossovers, and step-backs. Johnson was also equally comfortable both shooting and passing, confusing the defense when he would establish himself in the lane as he used dump-offs, layups, or different finishes to generate offense. The freshman has no problem playing up on the varsity level against upperclassmen due to his advanced skill-level and physical tools. It’s early, but his recruitment will certainly be one to track as his list of suitors should substantially grow, going forward.