Five Takeaways: Kenston vs. New Day Academy

High School
Ohio

Posted On: 12/3/17 11:47 AM

Kenston’s 63-52 victory over New Day Academy gives them two victories at the Great Lakes Classic, after beating Rhodes yesterday.

Let’s check out the five takeaways from a weekend of watching the Bombers.

Ryan Kooser is a strong Division III prospect
Kooser is a stretch-4 prospect who has the ultimate green light for Kenston. He’s a solid 3-point threat with his feet set. On straight line drives, Kooser squares his shoulders to the basket and absorbs contact. We have questions about the 6’5″ senior’s rebounding ability, but he’s good enough at boxing out for position. In the fourth, Kooser was the key in closing out the game with his crafty post moves and free throws. He finished with 16 points and 31 total on the weekend.

Kooser’s future coaches will need to work with him on decision making as a passer while finding a spot where they feel comfortable playing him on defense.

Pair of Kenston seniors
Both Ben Batista, a 6’5″ forward, and Michael Swartz, a 5’11” shooting specialist, looked like players who could develop into Division III players.

Batista put up 20 against Rhodes almost entirely on points in the paint. He’s also a scrapper on the glass. However, Batista struggled with New Day’s size.

Swartz set the tone in Sunday’s game, scoring eight points in their dominate first quarter. He’s a shooting specialist who showed off a nice floater. Swartz led the team with 21 points against New Day.

Kenston inability to close games early
When starters exit the game in the first quarter, their opponents cut into deficits in both games this weekend. Kenston lacks an elusive and reliable ball-handler in general, but especially with the second unit. Again on both days, a full-court trap or press has stifled them. Their lack of guards takes away 6’7″ junior post Ryan Long, whose size they need to be a factor with that group.

Upside of Jamal Cole
The 6’5″ sophomore prospect still isn’t fully coordinated as an athlete, which shows with his awkward jumper. It doesn’t hurt Cole’s leaping ability and interior defense though. Cole had the dunk of the weekend coming straight at the basket from the right wing where he finished over the top for an and-one. Equally impressive was another coming across the lane with a running hook shot against perfect defense.

As Cole continues to improve his ball-handling, which isn’t bad already, he could develop into a scholarship-level prospect.

New Day’s struggles
Besides Cole and a strong third quarter from 6’2″ guard Cameron Hall (2018), New Day didn’t show too much promise on Sunday. The loss of DJ Haggins to graduation leaves them without a reliable ball-handler and someone to put their guys in ideal situations. There was just a lot of offensive scrambles and one-on-one moves.