|Dane Goodwin and Amari Davis|
We were able to catch some of the Friday night action at the Nike Grassroots Tournament in Columbus last night. First up was a 7th grade match-up between Dayton’s MVP Dynasty and All-Ohio Southeast. By the time we got there, MVP Dynasty was already in control of the game, and would go on to get the win 89-63. Darryl Duverglas (5’8/SG/2020/Dayton) was the high man with a game-high 28 points. Keshawn Hugley backed him up with a 21-point performance, while Zierin Exon (6’2/C/2020/Dayton) added 16 points. For All-Ohio, Zack Loveday (6’7/C/2020/Gallipolis) scored a team-high 19 points in the loss. We first saw Loveday earlier this month at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase and were very impressed with his potential then. What we saw on Friday revealed more production as Loveday was tough to handle in the post. He is still very slender, but his length and footwork allow him to score on shorter defenders. Loveday also rebounds at a high rate and gets his hands on a lot of shots. We still believe his long-term potential is significant.
We finally got our first look at All-Ohio’s 2019 team as they faced off against Buckeye Prep-Goodwin, a 9th grade team. Our first question was to what extent All-Ohio Red had upgraded, as they did not return for a third season with the NYBL and people were wondering. Other than Tailor Currie (6’6/C/2019/Worthington), Trenton Gillionson, a 6’3 freshman from Pickerington Central High School, Tanner Holden (6’1/WF/2019/Wheelersburg) and Cameron Curry, the core of the team is still intact. Of course Jordan Mitchell is running with King James and Gerard Reynolds and Greg Tribble Jr. have moved on. The starters appear to be Jeremiah Francis, Andre Gordon, Amari Davis, Chris’sean Stringer, Demarco Bradley Jr. and Tailor Currie. The fact that All-Ohio went toe-toe with arguably the top 9th grade team in the state suggests they are still a quality team despite the defections from last season.
For the record, Buckeye Prep won the game 56-55. Is should be noted there was a bit of controversy as most in the crowd believed the game went into overtime after Amari Davis drained a deep three with time running out. The problem, although the scoreboard read 57-57, the official score book reflected 56-55. Game over. Despite the drama, the big story of the game was the big time performances of Dane Goodwin (6’3/WF/2018/Upper Arlington) and Amari Davis (6’2/WF/2019/Trotwood), both of whom displayed high major talent. Goodwin, an Ohio State commitment, confirmed why Thad Matta offered the freshman a scholarship before he played his first high school game. Goodwin is super smooth, is a lights out shooter from beyond the ark, has deceptive athleticism and can score at the rim. Goodwin finished with a team-high 27 points. Not to be outdone, Amari Davis was as impressive as we have ever seen him. Davis has always been considered somewhat of a sleeper, but his game has awakened. Deep threes and drives to the basket is how Davis got it done on Friday, as he hit big shot after big shot. He’s young, but Davis may have the highest ceiling of any player on his team. College coaches should be tracking Davis as college ball is definitely in his future. We plan to stick around for day 2 to see if we can find some more standout performers.