Open Gym Report: Jefferson Democrats

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Oregon

Posted On: 09/29/18 12:47 AM

PrepHoops Oregon will be hitting up open gyms in the Portland Metro area this next month to get an early look some of the top teams. Friday’s stop was at Jefferson, but most of the team was not there. But all was not lost as there in the gym were three young talents that will be a key part of Jefferson’s future. Anthony Atherton of the Rose City Rebels was there working out these young pups, two of which may very well find themselves with varsity playing time as soon at this season.

Since there were only three guys, the focus was on one-on-one drills. Because of that we couldn’t see things such as passing but we certainly got a good look at what each player currently brings to the table in terms of their offensive and defensive skills. Here’s what we observed:

Lamar Washington (2022)

Washington’s reputation is as possibly the top player in the state in the Class of 2022 and it didn’t take long to figure out why – the freshman can flat out shoot the ball. A lefty, Washington has a very quick release on his shot and has deep, deep range. In the one-on-one drills, he wasn’t afraid to launch from as deep as 35 feet out – and by our estimation, over 50 percent of his shots went in. At one point he really got on a roll and was hitting shot after shot, completely flustering his defenders. Washington’s shot has a little bit of a funny sideways rotation, but it definitely doesn’t work against him at all.

But as gifted the 6-foot-3 Washington is as a shooter, he also showed some shot-making ability. While he still has a bit of baby fat, he is able to utilize his girth to make physical drives to the hoop where he can finish with either hand. Jefferson head coach Pat Strickland says that Washington will play varsity, so it will be interesting to see what kind of role he plays his freshman season – if anything he for sure can be an effective zone buster.

Trejon Williams (2022)

We got a look at Williams when he played with Jefferson during June summer ball and were impressed then with his mature body for his age along with his athleticism. In this open gym session, we got a great look at the 6-foot-1 guard’s motor. On both ends, Williams played all-out, especially on defense as he was constantly having to match up with someone either bigger or taller than he was.

On offense, it is clear that Williams prefers to drive to the basket where he finishes well at the cup but he also has a rock-solid pull-up J. He does not appear to be a true long range shooter at this time, but he hit a few threes and while his shot is a little flat, he has solid form and good rotation on the ball. Like Washington, Williams is set to play varsity minutes according to Strickland. His playing time will depend on how well he is able to run the point when Jefferson’s older point guards are getting some rest.

Marquis “Mookie” Cook (2023 – Sabin Middle School)

Like Williams, Cook played with Jefferson in June and showed signs of potential then. Fast forward three months and it appears the eighth grader has grown a few inches to 6-foot-5, and is gaining more confidence in his game. In the one-on-one play, he showed off a confident dribble drive and pull-up jumper. His shot release and the way he goes up and through opponents is reminiscent of the form of NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Cook didn’t consistently hit shots but he looked good even with the misses.

Defensively, Cook was a terror with his length and either blocked or altered several perimeter shot attempts. In a way it’s too bad that the state of Oregon doesn’t allow younger players to play varsity high school basketball as given Cook’s current physical attributes and skills, there’s no doubt he could play on Jefferson’s top team – even as deep as it is. Instead, we’ll have to wait a year before the young man – who is probably still growing taller – becomes potentially the next superstar from the state.