Posted On: 11/17/18 12:21 PM
Rogers welcomed Toledo St. Francis and Spire Institute from Geneva into a packed house this morning. In the most spirited environment one could imagine for an early morning scrimmage, these eight prospects stood out:
Rocket Watts (2019), 6’2” G, Spire Institute
The hype around Spire might be about teammate Lamelo Ball, but this is Rocket Watts’s team. At least on Saturday morning, Watts ran the show as a ball-dominate guard who didn’t see a shot he didn’t like. A high-level volume scorer, Watts is capable of hitting contested jumpers with range or showcasing his body control on the attack. He challenges shot-blockers and finishes from seemingly awkward angles after taking contact. Finally, Watts is so quick side-to-side with his dribble and in passing lanes defensively.
Myron Gardner (2019), 6’6” W/F, Spire Institute
Gardner, another Detriot native, affects the game in several ways. A long and physical athlete, Garnder impressed crashing the boards and blocking shots. He’s not one of these guys who just seeks help-side rejections either, rather Gardner gets deflections against his matchup which speaks to his lateral quickness and defensive versatility. Gardner is capable of pushing pace off the glass and can flat-out handle the ball in general. Most of his points were scored at the rim with emphatic dunks or and-ones in traffic.
DaSean Nelson (2020), 6’6” F, Rogers
Nelson took advantage of the video tape spotlight on hand in his home gym this morning. The ever-improving athletic forward recorded several chase-down blocks, caught a couple lobs, and out-boarded opposing Division I athletes. The most encouraging thing, though, was Nelson’s outside jumper. Although he air-balled one forced attempt, his mechanics are entirely more consistent. Nelson is uber-aggressive both as a shot-blocker and scorer; he needs to learn how to pass out of the post when the shot isn’t there. The junior did show an ability to facilitate in the high-post against a 2-3 zone, though.
Isaiah Jackson (2020), 6’8” F, Spire Institute
There’s really not a ton to say about the high-major recruit other than that he’s an elite shot-blocker. His verticality and second-bounce ability is exceptional. Jackson doesn’t lack intensity around the rim, either — he’s looking to embarrass opponents. Finished through contact on several occasions as a screener in the pick-and-roll.
Lamelo Ball, 6’4” G, Spire Institute
More than anything, Ball was unselfish in their two-round scrimmage. He makes quick decisions in getting rid of the ball, often lasering passes that setup his teammates for a quick shot. Ball rimmed out on a couple triples in the waning moments but showed a soft natural touch around the basket. Although he’s pretty inactive off the ball on offense, Ball’s length and quickness is disruptive in passing lanes. Very poised performance, too, considering the attention, which including a couple “boos” and “overrated” chants.
Ketaan Wyatt (2020), 6’2” PG, Rogers
Wyatt showed flashes of the player he will hopefully become at the college level. Amidst a lot of noise and excitement, Wyatt came out of the gates calmly initiating their zone offense against the 2-3 look. He has really nice ball skills as a finisher and ball-handler. But when he began trying to split double teams with his dribble or shoot 25-footers, Rogers struggled.
Jamiya Neal (2021), 6’4” W, Toledo St. Francis
Neal just ain’t the same guy we saw last year at the high school level. The sophomore has naturally progressed physically and as an athlete, most notably adding mass to his lower body. The weight room gains proved relevant in rebound battles and his explosiveness to the basket on a couple of transition dunks. Other than the athletic development, Neal is much better off the dribble in the halfcourt. His patience with the ball and efficiency as a mid-range shooter off the dribble are promising signs for Neal. Uses his length defensively and plays intelligently on that end.
Jackie Harris (2019), 6’6” F, Toledo St. Francis
Harris appears eager to start a run at the conference championship while also gaining steam late as a recruit. The senior, who recently decommitted from Cedarville to reopen his recruitment, was very aggressive as a spot-up shooter throughout the scrimmage. Whether it was catching and turning from the elbow or sneakily back-peddling into the corner as a teammate drove, Harris found enough space to catch-and-shoot. He has trimmed down a little bit, also. It appears St. Francis will rely on his playmaking skills also. They put the gifted passer in positions to survey the court and find the open man against a full-court trap.