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By Ryan Isley | Photos by Jeff Harwell

The playoffs are just a few weeks away, so now feels like a good time to break down the field of likely contenders for the 2021-22 Ohio Mr. Basketball award.

Saturday features not only the potential regular-season game of the year in No. 2 Centerville at No. 1 St. Vincent-St. Mary, but four players in that game are on this list.

Here's the potential field:

Michael Bova, St. Edward, senior, 6’2”

Was named honorable mention All-Ohio last season after averaging 18.8 points per game during the season. He raised his game in the postseason, averaging 26.7 points to help lead St. Edward to the regional semifinals. He is a two-time captain for the Eagles and has signed to play at Bellarmine University.

Drey Carter, Westerville South, senior, 6’8”

A versatile scorer who can create his own shot or score in the post. He has the skills of a smaller player in a bigger frame, which makes him a tough matchup against most players. As he has grown as a player, he has become a more aggressive defender.

Gabe Cupps, Centerville, junior, 6’2”

A first-team All-Ohio selection last season, Cupps averaged 15.2 points and 4.9 assists per game, while shooting 82% from the line and 35% on 3s. He is tough, poised and provides leadership for Centerville. He’s committed to play college ball for Indiana.

Nathan Dudukovich, Lakota West, junior, 6’3”

A pure shooter, he averaged 19.8 points per game as a sophomore and led the conference in scoring. After getting time on the varsity squad as a freshman, he made his presence known as a sophomore, garnering honorable mention All-Ohio. He started this season with 32 points against Franklin.

Rayvon Griffith, Cincinnati Taft, junior, 6’4”

A pure athletic wing, he can explode to the basket and has top-level ability as a finisher at the rim. He has worked on his shooting touch and now can be seen as a scoring threat on multiple levels. His athleticism allows him to guard multiple positions. He has drawn interest from a number of top Division I colleges.

Josiah Harris, Richmond Heights, senior, 6’7”

Averaged 17.9 points and 11.1 rebounds last season in helping lead the Spartans to the state final four in Division IV. A West Virginia signee, his coach calls him one of the top players in the state and a Mr. Basketball candidate.

Sencire Harris, St. Vincent-St. Mary, senior, 6’4”

An Illinois commit, Harris is a combo guard who averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and two steals per game last season. He was a second-team All-Ohio selection last season playing alongside Malaki Branham, who was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball. Coach Dru Joyce calls Harris “the best player in the state.” He can score at all three levels and is very hard to defend. 

Tom House, Centerville, senior, 6’5”

Averaged 17.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last season while garnering honorable mention All-Ohio honors. He shot 40% from 3. He is ultra-competitive and never afraid of the moment.

Elmore James IV, Brush, senior, 6’3”

A first-team All-Ohio selection a year ago, James was one of the most prolific scorers in the state with 29.8 points. He also grabbed 5.6 rebounds per game and dished out 3.1 assists. He has committed to play at Ohio University.

Sean Jones, Gahanna Lincoln, senior, 5’10”

Averaged 17 points, four assists and 3.5 rebounds last season in earning first-team All-Ohio honors. He is also a two-time conference player of the year. He’s a quick guard who can create for himself or his teammates and also defends the length of the floor. He is committed to Marquette.

Bede Lori, Caldwell, junior, 6’4”

Earned second-team All-Ohio honors as a sophomore last season by averaging 22.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Lori set the state single-season free-throw percentage record by making 180 of 188 attempts on the season. He scored 1,006 points in two seasons. 

Amani Lyles, Columbus Beechcroft, senior, 6’8”

A force in the middle with his size and physicality, he is an elite rebounder and defender who can protect the rim. Offensively, he can shoot from the perimeter or the mid-range and is a great finisher around the rim. His toughness and strength allow him to finish through contact. He can play either post position.

Jeff Harwell_St. Vincent-St. Mary_Moeller.4

Evan Mahaffey, Archbishop Moeller, senior, 6’5”

A first-team all-league selection last year, the Penn State commit scored 8.1 points per game last season and handed out 3.6 assists per game. Helped lead Moeller to a regional final.

Paul McMillan IV, Cincinnati Woodward, senior, 6’3”

After leaving Woodward for Hillcrest Prep in Arizona for a brief time, McMillan is back in Cincinnati and has already had an impact this season. A two-time first-team All-Ohio selection, he has now surpassed 2,000 career points. While he is a volume scorer, he also has the ability to create plays for his teammates and make the right pass.

Owen Murray, Walnut Hills, senior, 6’4”

A pure shooter, Murray shot 45% from 3 last season and averaged 12 points per game. He was first-team all-conference as a sophomore and a junior. He carries a 4.8 GPA and scored a 30 on his ACT. He was recently nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game.

Aiden Porter, Fairland, senior, 6’1”

Earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division III and District Player of the Year honors last season by scoring 23.9 points per game and grabbing 4.2 rebounds.

Ramar Pryor, St. Vincent-St. Mary, senior, 6’2”

An athletic wing who can score at all three levels, Pryor averaged 13 points per game for the Fighting Irish last season in helping win the Division II state championship. Pryor has signed with Cleveland State. ‘

Devin Royal, Pickerington Central, junior, 6’6”

Averaged 13.9 points per game as a sophomore and worked on his shooting this offseason, as his work ethic is unmatched. An athletic power forward, he now has better ball-handling skills to go along with his power game. He has already received more than 15 Division I offers.

Ajay Sheldon, Dublin Coffman, senior, 6’1”

Averaged 23.5 points per game last season in being named as a first-team All-Ohio selection. He is a versatile scorer who can shoot or take his defender off the dribble. Once at the rim, he is a good finisher. He has committed to play at Ohio University.

Daniel Young, Shaker Heights, senior, 6’2”

Averaged 25.4 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals per game last season in winning the Lake Erie League player of the year and garnering second-team All-Ohio honors. Had eight games with at least 20 points and four games with at least 30 points last year, including a 33-point performance against St. Edward, which was top-5 in the state at the time.

Meet SBLive Ohio’s 2021-22 all-star boys basketball team, chosen by fan votes