Flyin’ to the Hoop: Friday Standouts

14 Jan

By: Corey Albertson

The 10 anniversary edition of the Flyin’ to the Hoop event in the Dayton suburb of Kettering began on Friday with a quick double-header of games. Both Ohio teams came away with losses as Christian Faith Center (NC) defeated Kettering Alter 69-61 and powerhouse Findlay Prep (NV) defeated Thurgood Marshall, of Dayton, 55-39; although the margin was only two at the end of the third quarter. Here are some of the Ohio prospects that stood out to us on Friday night at Trent Arena:

Jaaron Simmons

  • Jaaron Simmons– ’13 Kettering Alter PG: A unanimous top three junior PG in Ohio, Simmons showed major improvement in two key areas tonight that had the gym buzzing. The score sheet will highlight his 26 points but we were more impressed with how he got there then the actual number. First it was his shooting abilities; Simmons has always been more of a mid-range shooter early in his career, tonight he was hitting from deep as he knocked down three three-point shots off of screens. Secondly, his athleticism has taken a turn for the better as Simmons has found a new step on the vertical ladder. This increased explosion makes it easier for him to draw fouls and to finish plays around the rim over taller defenders. While Simmons has seen his recruiting stock go up and down over the last year he appeared to be at an all time high in this one; TDP talked with one high-major assistant after the game who told us that they’d be shocked if Jaaron doesn’t end up signing with a big time college next fall.
  • Mark Alstork- ’13 Thurgood Marshall SG/SF: One of the more talented wings in Ohio in 2013, Alstork is an under the radar gem. He has a 6’3 frame with strength and athleticism and more importantly he shoots the ball really well from deep. In the loss to Findlay Prep he had his whole perimeter game going as he led the Cougars with 16 points. Alstork is continuing to fine-tune his handle and that added confidence has improved his mid-rang game, where he hit multiple pull-up jumpers. By shooting 7/16 from the field he scored efficiently and caught the eye of scouts with the versatility of his scoring. Alstork is a classic “shot-maker” meaning he might take some shots that look like high degree of difficulty attempts but with his scoring talents he is able to convert them.
  • Ra’Chaun Martin- ’14 Thurgood Marshall PG: The consensus among scouts is that the 5’10 sophomore transfer is one year away from stardom; that being said Martin looked pretty good tonight. While he struggled at times playing against taller opponents, as Findlay Prep routinely used three players 6’6 or taller, Martin showed a natural feel for attacking holes in the defense and pushing the ball in transition. Starting in place of missing senior Joe Thomasson, Martin scored 4 points and dished out 3 assists in some valuable big game experience. TDP is marking Ra’Chaun as an up and coming Ohio PG in 2014 who we will continue to evaluate as he impressed us several times this year; including this fall at Buckeye Prep.
  • Jake Lavarie- ’12 Kettering Alter SG: The unheralded 6’1 senior hit three triples en route to 13 total points in the loss. Lavarie had already caught the eye of several Division III college coaches with his early season play but his performance in this one, against a highly regarded opponent, made him a priority recruit for those schools. One coach that TDP talked to mentioned his confidence, leadership, and floor IQ as reasons why he will be a very good D3 college player.
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