A true showcase displays all of the intricacies and nuances of those who participate. Out of the 10 teams that participated in Ohio’s Top 250 Expo there were a few players who shone very brightly. These guys are tough to match up against for anyone regardless of age, size, experience. Take a gander at the 2020 All-Expo Ohio Team.
#111 Javan Simmons – Javan has incredible bounce on the block and utilizes bully ball to the maximum. With a terrific second bounce and the ability to explode out of a standing jump, this man is a Tonka truck in the paint.
As a board collector, he often gathers himself forcefully, goes up strong and finishes through contact. His turnaround jumper is true as I am sure that he will continue to improve his dribble drive. It is incredible to see this man play amongst boys. As a paint hog that widens the lane, he is nimble in traffic and combines force with finesse. Javan passes well amongst the trees and has shown glimpses of back to the basket passing.
Most importantly, he is an animated leader, source of energy for his squad and endlessly contributes in regards to effort, synergy and team chemistry.
#30 Jayden Sims – Jayden is very quick and lanky. He has a great feel for when a defender shifts off balance and attacks with instinct. This man is tough to guard because his game is unpredictable with a vast array of moves. A “glue guy” like this is a must-roster because he plays tenacious defense with active hands and voice, thus making him very coachable.
Jayden snaps his wrist very well on the follow-through of his quick shot release. The form and strength in his Lonzo-type release allows for spectacular range as he can drain 25-footers with ease. This player provides great locker room presence, flair, and is clearly a big stepper.
#116 Jacob Pleiman – this big man has a fundamentally-sound basketball background. Adept at passing in the paint and getting second and third chances, Jacob is special. As a coast to coast big, he pushes the pace when needed. Most of the time, it is wise to tap into his post presence, though.
He is very composed on the block and gathers himself well en route to the rack. JP will often counter defenders with second or third moves/pivots causing fly by’s or whiffs altogether. His standing jump is impressive, he is great off the drive (esp. baseline) and finishes on defenders’ headtops.’ Pleiman means business.
#32 Tasos Cook – Arguably the most entertaining player of the Expo. His ability to rise and create separation off the dribble opened eyes last weekend. Tasos creates shot-making opportunities for teammates and himself. His hangtime in the air allows for seamless transition as he is often able to fight off contact in the air with a strong lower body and punch the rock through the rim with authority.
His lull-you-to-sleep crossover normally ends in one of two ways. Cook is going to catch you off guard, step back and splash a jumper from a well-grounded shot that sees him put his legs into it. Or he will have you slip up and blow right by you to send in an emphatic jam.
Tasos covers ground rapidly with his chasedown speed and closing ability in the air. He has an uncanny knack to scrape a rebound out of thin air, as well. His gym presence is a gem for any team as he can lead the break, throw 80 footers on a rope and complete the intangible tasks to put his team in the win column.
#40 Lawrent Rice – this man is a walking bucket. His punctual first step leaves defenders in their tracks as he can get to the rim like no other. He drives to the lane with control, force and purpose. His court presence provides fluidity and rhythm for any team.
This player abides by all of the small things that make a team great. A skilled passer too, Rice often spans the court in the knick of time prior to making a decision. Involuntarily, he feels for defenders’ shifts/movements and makes terrific horizontal strides through the air.
Lawrent has a mean in/out crossover and face-up move. He uses the face-up well to get to the cup or square away and knock down a mid-range J. Reliable from beyond the arc, poised under pressure and clutch in the waning moments, Rice will be a difference-maker at the next level.