Monday, October 11, 2010

Hidden Gems Showcase Report

Stevie Taylor-Showcase MVP
Long known as one of the best resources for local division II and III talent, Lucious Jones’ Hidden Gems basketball organization has a history of connecting local talent with small college programs. On Sunday, approximately 85 players spent the afternoon at New Covenant Church on the east side of Columbus, Ohio competing for scholarships in front of about 28 D-II and D-III college coaches. As is the case with all Hidden Gem events, there was ample talent on hand. Some of the colleges I saw in the gym included: Ohio Dominican University, Ashland, Norte Dame College, Wittenberg, Ohio Valley, and Capital University. As evidence of the value of this event, 7 players in attendance received D-II offers before they left the gym! Also in the house was Ty Kish, so expect a few hot mix tape videos in the next couple of days.

Making his comeback after 2 months of recovery from a stress fracture in his right fibula, Gahanna Lincoln’s Stevie Taylor (Video),  logged in an impressive performance on his way to MVP honors. It was hard to tell that Taylor had been on a basketball sabbatical, as his usual speed and quickness were on full display, as was his ability to separate from his defender, score the ball and find open teammates. Taylor,  an Ohio University commit, was not the only player to grab some attention, as Westerville Central’s Kam Harris was straight balling. Harris is a strong physical guard who uses his size and strength to bully his way to the cup. He is not just big, he has a nice looking shot and is very active both offensively and defensively. In addition to Taylor, Gahanna Lincoln had several other representatives putting in work including Trey Warr, who made a number of very athletic plays and put up big numbers throughout the day. Jamal Morris, a 6’2 WG, played on a loaded team but managed to standout, as he continued to shoot the ball very well. For their solid performance, both Warr and Morris picked up offers from D-II Ohio Valley, and Warr received an offer from Glenville State University. While we are still talking about Gahanna, freshman guard Manuel Powell continued his solid play, while handling his business against the older guys and building his case as one of the top freshmen in the city.

Although a majority of the players at the event hailed from central Ohio, Cincinnati Hughes’ Ryan Green had a big day, as did his teammate Elijah Walker. Green is athletic, has good size for a guard, has a very active motor and is a nice looking prospect. A few of the guards I thought played well included Walnut Ridge’s Isaiah Brooks, Pickerington North’s Tyler Kelly (received an offer from D-II Ohio Valley)and Westerville South’s DeMarkio Lyshe. Northland’s Devon Scott had a good day and his extra work in the weight room continues to pay dividends. Although he did not put up gaudy numbers, Scott’s defense around the basket made it awfully difficult for his opponents to score. What I like most about Scott is his willingness to stay in the paint where his talent is most obvious. In addition, when he played in the paint (on a rare occasion today), Northland’s Jalen Robinson did a few nice things and showed flashes of his potential.

I also liked Whetstone senior Cameron Vines and Canal Winchester’s Kyle Schriml. By most accounts, Schriml was a human highlight reel and was clearly the most explosive player in the gym. I know for a fact, the coaching staff at ODU would love to see Schriml in the black and gold. Keep an eye out for Gahanna’s Aaron Jackson who had a few highlights of his own, as did senior Steve Bridgeman. Both Trey Burke and Rico Spears arrived at the event late but were both still able to make a little noise. The official Hidden Gems All-Tournament Team included: Kam Harris, Tyler Kelly, DJ Lightfoot, DeMarkeo Lyshe, Jamel Morris, Jordan Potts, Manuel Powell, Devon Price, Jalen Robinson, Devin Scott, Marcquice Taylor and Stevie Taylor (MVP). Too see the pictures I took at the event visit the Buckeye Prep facebook Fan Page. Check out the event mix tape.

1 comment:

  1. I love this event. I believe that Lucious does a tremendous service to the kids and the community with his relentless pursuit of recognition and opportunity for all of the players. Grat story on a great event!

    Coach Vic