The Dayton Top 100 is all about great PR for the area kids
By Jim Dabbelt
It’s that time of year again. Girls’ basketball season is upon us as the regular season starts next week, the day after Thanksgiving around Ohio. Gyms will be full of teams with the dreams of making a trip to Columbus in March as they have been working hard in practice the past 3 weeks to prepare for the start of the season.
What that also means for the players, particularly in the Dayton area, is a chance to be recognized for your hard work not only kids who are returning from last year, but others who have raised the level of their game in the summer and fall, along with the incoming freshman.
This Sunday, the annual Dayton Top 100 will be released at 10 p.m. here on The Dabbelt Report, which has become a much-anticipated annual tradition that nowhere else in Ohio offers. While the Buckeye state remains among the elite three or four states in the country for producing college-bound basketball players, the Dayton area remains the epitome of online promotion of the sport throughout Buckeye land.
This will be the 13th year that the Top 100+ players will be recognized to fans of the sport here in Dayton, which also assists the college coaches in keeping an eye on the talent that comes through here every year.
Like I always try to do, it is about improvement and working hard to make sure everyone knows about the players in Dayton. Southwest Ohio is no secret to success, even as recently as a couple of years ago when all four state champions came from this district. It won’t change anytime soon, as the younger talent coming up, from the 2018-2021 classes, is among the best three year span of talent that has come through Ohio since I got into the game 32 years ago.
As far as the Top 100 goes, it is always a lot of fun to debate, and compare, mostly by parents and fans. Every year I miss a few, and every year I find some hidden gems that prove themselves throughout the season. But one thing remains constant and that’s the positive publicity these kids get.
Also, don’t confuse the preseason Top 100 to the post-season All-Area team. They are totally different. Many times, kids who are missed or not among the higher elite in the pre-season, lands on the post-season team in February because of having a great season. The Top 100 is a guess on who I think will do well, the All-Area team is based on results and body of work on the court.
One of the best examples I can give is several years ago, Brogan Berry, who later went on to play at Harvard, was listed on the fifth-team pre-season (at the time, I have them broken down to teams of ten), and I missed the boat on her. So much so that in February, she was named my Ms. Basketball winner in the Dayton area. Pre-season honors mean expectations, post-season awards mean results.
The Dayton Top 100 will be broken down into four categories. The Miami Valley Top 50 are the players who I feel have the highest ceiling in front of them going into the season…the ones who I expect to be the most talented overall. Those 50 kids are still a part of the Top 100, which is an overview of all of the top players in the area.
Also this will be the second time I will release a Pre-season Player of the Year in each division. Again this is based on past results and what I have seen in the summer/fall. This can certainly change in February for the post-season teams.
Finally, this year’s Freshman to Watch list will be the most extensive ever, as the 2020 class is very talented, one of the most talented incoming freshman classes coming through Dayton. Of course this is just a total guess since none of them have stepped onto the floor in a varsity game yet, but in the past, it has been a pretty good indication. This will be released at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
I always tell players and parents to remember that rankings and lists are just an opinion of usually one person.
It is time to begin your journey toward what will hopefully be a great season for your team. Not everyone will play for a great team, some of you will live up the expectation of being among the top players in the Dayton area, some of you won’t. I wish each of you a healthy season, and I hope to see many of you in the gym!!
Photos from last year’s first-ever Underclass All-Star Games at Urbana High School, hosted by The Dabbelt Report and Urbana High School.