Posted On: 09/6/18 8:28 AM
From the first time we watched 6’4” guard EJ Farmer (2021) scoring a game-high 24 points against Beachwood in just his second high school appearance, it was obvious that he was special. Then our second viewing, the Lutheran East freshman dazzled Baldwin-Wallace’s gym with 26 points at the Play by Play Classic.
The offensive talent went on to average 13.3 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in his first season. But it was with All Ohio Red in the summer where Farmer drew interest from several Division I programs, including Youngstown State and Akron offers.
“I’ve been talking to Michigan State, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Dayton, Miami of Ohio, and Ohio State,” Farmer said. “I’ve been talking to them since the summertime.”
Farmer is taking the recruitment process seriously from the get go and has went on unofficial visits to Youngstown State, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, and Ohio State, with one to Pitt scheduled in the coming month.
Have any of the visits stood out so far?
“Definitely Michigan State,” he said. “I really like that school.”
The 3.3 GPA student who placed no. 200 in the Prep Hoops National Rankings hopes to identify a program where he both fits and earns playing time.
Whoever lands him is a getting a lefty with natural shooting ability. Last season, he did a lot of spot-up shooting and one-dribble pull-ups and it was super effective.
But now, he’s looking to take advantage of his height and twitchy quickness in other ways — slashing and defending. It starts with adding muscle to his frame.
“Right now, I’m just trying to get stronger,” Farmer said. “I don’t want to look the same as last year. So I’m just trying to getting bigger right now and working on my handle more to attack the basket.”
Farmer isn’t neglecting his core or lower-body, but he’s mainly focused on upper-body workouts this offseason. In the meantime, as one of three returning starters from their Regional Champion team, Farmer has blossomed into a leader for younger guys and transfers Colin Albert, Jalin Billingsley, and Sirr Hughes.
“Most of these transfers were the main players. So, me and Nehemiah [Benson], our role is to show these transfers how it goes at Lutheran East.
“I think we’re going to be just fine. I think we got the perfect team — like we know our roles, we know what to do. … We’re going to be pretty good,” Farmer said.
Farmer also hinted that the Falcons will play a full-court man-to-man defense all game every game under new head coach Sam Liggins. Although this is coach’s first year as the head man, Farmer already had a relationship with him being that Liggins was on staff last season.
One thing that won’t change are expectations. Lutheran East is poised for third-consecutive trip to the Final Four in 2018-19.