Posted On: 09/5/18 5:00 AM

Reasons a player lands in the Something to Prove series: playing time/opportunity in past seasons doesn’t match their potential, they’re coming off injury, or there’s a lack of college recruitment despite talent.

None of those reasons include being a poor player, because nobody here is bad at basketball. However, these kids should attack senior year with a chip on their shoulder, and here’s why.


Senior Guards with Something to Prove

Junior and Sophomore Guards with Something to Prove

– Come back later in the week for Junior and Sophomore Wings, and Junior and Sophomore Forwards


Na’Elle Simmons, 6’7” F, Beechcroft

Last season, Simmons was mostly a defensive-minded role player who produced as a rebounder and lengthy rim protector. Then his role with C2K Elite was mostly the same. Now he enters this season as the most talented senior on a less complete team. There’s a promising talent alongside him in sophomore transfer Chance Groce, but Simmons will need to be unusually assertive as a scorer for Beechcroft to compete in the Columbus City League. So, really, the question is: will he play with a fire on a nightly basis?

Abba Lawal, 6’11” C, Withrow

Lawal was a tenth of a point away from averaging a double-double last season — he can play. However, consistency as a competitor and finisher remain questions surrounding Lawal, who hasn’t received an offer since March. The near-seven-footer may need to show improvement in his shooting touch around the rim to remain a priority for colleges, although his raw talent and size will always be appealing for Division I programs.

AJ Garrett, 6’5” W/F, Purcell Marian

Garrett is a young senior with a ton of promise. He’s a tall, bouncy kid that rebounds well on the offensive end and seemingly has what it takes to be a very versatile defender. Yet, Garrett has attracted no offers to this point and isn’t consistently productive off the dribble. Although he’s more of a prototypical athletic 4, Garrett seems twitchy enough to beat guys off the bounce, yet most of his points come on athletic put-backs and quick interior moves. Expanding his package of skills could open up collegiate opportunities over the next several months.

Sam Towns, 6’7” F, Pickerington Central (Springfield transfer)

Towns’ stock rose tremendously during his 16U season with Pro Bound. Then last year with Springfield, he didn’t follow it up with a breakout junior year. And the same could be said about his 17U season. Although his production has been fleeting lately, Towns is still a 6’7” stretch 4 who can put it on the floor a little bit. We hope he gets his confidence back where it needs to be and proves capable of rebounding against size in the Columbus area next season.