On Saturday, I headed north to Lima, Ohio to cover Quincy Simpson’s Tier 1 Sports Middle School Showcase. By the time I got to Lima Central Catholic High School, the roughly 160 kids in attendance were still participating in skill and drill sessions. According to some of the parents I talked to, the skills portion of the showcase was top notch. Later in the afternoon, the games began, with each team playing 3 games. The format did not include all-star games. In addition to the Buckeye Prep Report, there were several other scouting services in the house including: Ty Kish, Ethan Knopp, Straight A Athletics and Zack Fleer.
|Andre Gordon-2019 Sidney|
Although the showcase featured kids in grades 4th thought 8th, for the most part, I concentrated on the younger guys. The best kid I say all day was Andre Gordon (2019) a 5’10 PG from Sidney. I’ve seen Gordon before, and have always been impressed with his game, but on Saturday, he was even better than I remembered. A bigger guard who is skilled, handles the ball very well, and does a great job of attacking the cup and finishing. I hear he is a fantastic football player and well, and his athletic and strong play is translates well to the hardwood as well. He is still flying under the radar right now, but once people really get a chance to see him play, he will take his rightful place among the top 2019 floor generals in the state. Trotwood’s Amari Davis (6’0 WF) was having his way in the 7th grade division. Davis has good length and can score in bunches. Davis is often over shadowed by all of the talent on All-Ohio Red’s 2019 team, but he can ball with the best of them.
|Zeb Jackson-2022-PG Toledo|
I really enjoyed watching some of the younger kids at the event. In the 6th grade division, Toledo’s Zeb Jackson Jr. was very impressive. The 4’11 PG has the ball on the string, excels at beating his defender off the bounce, and either getting to the rack or dropping a sweet dime to an open teammate. Oh yea, he has some flash to his game, but he’s still productive while giving his team a chance to win. I've had my eye on Jackson for several years, and he is still developing and is still one of the top lead guards in the class of 2021. I also liked Isaiah Kennedy, a 5’3 guard from Beavercreek. A big boded guard who is more about muscling his way to the basket right now than tricking his defender with dribble moves. But make no mistake, Kennedy can handle the rock, and he can shoot it as well. With his play at the fall Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases in September as well as Saturday’s event, it’s safe to say that Kennedy is among the state’s best. Some of the other standouts included: Joey Holifield (5’5 WF Toledo), Tahleik Walker (5’0 PG Columbus) and Kole Whitney (4’10 PG Sandy Hook, KY). I can’t forget about Tavion Harris (5’6 PG Mansfield). Quality player who can score.
|Grayson Green-2018 Cleveland Heights|
The 8th grade division had some gems as well, and one of the best was Trotwood’s Devon Baker, a 5-10 PG with size, athleticism and a solid jump shot. I had not seen Baker previously, but I plan to keep an eye on him going forward. Also, Cleveland Heights’ Grayson Green (6’0 WF) has been on my radar for a couple years now, and he just keeps getting better every time I see him play. Not only does his physical play standout in his play with King James, but you can see his talent in showcase-type events as well. Green does most of his damage in the paint where he is big and physical enough to bang and finish with contact. Green is an all-around good looking prospect. I also like Tyler Slash, a 5’5 PG from Roanoke, VA. Slash has a tight handle, great vision and is an excellent passer. In addition, Teas Valley’s Garret Tipton did several nice things on Saturday, and although I did not see him play, a scouting colleague told me that Diego Gray 5’11 SG/WF Oklahoma City, OK) had a big day as well. Explosive and strong was how Gray was described. I’m sorry I missed him! Also, I did not get a chance to see Keion Brooks (2019 PG Indiana), but someone I respected said he played well on Saturday.
|Derrick James-4th Grade PG|
When I say young guys, the event had some really good kids starting from the second grade. We don’t often write about kids below the 6th grade, but I have to mention a few kids who really caught my eye. Look out for Derrick James, a dynamic little PG with a game beyond his years! This kid can really handle that rock! I watched him put a couple of moves on his defender and was amazed with his skill set. I also like Sean Jones (4th grader), John Mobley Jr. (2nd grade) and Fred Wilkes (6th grade).
Other players to watch: Darius Quiszenberry (8th), Devin Meyers (7th), Josiah Hutchins (7th), Parker Vanarsdalen (7th), Caleb Rogers (7th), Ian Bull (7th), Soul Hines (7th), Jordan Moore (6th), Ketaan Wyatt Jr. (6th), Dai’Sean Saka (6’1 C Toledo), Khalil Luster (4th), Deuce Blake, Eearion Brooks and Reece Badgett.
All in all, it was a quality event, but of course I would expect nothing less from Coach Q!