COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As we are heading into February, there are plenty of talented unsigned seniors still available in Central Ohio. As part of a multi-part series, we will take a look at the top available floor generals in the senior class.
Javohn Garcia (6'3 PG / Pickerington Central / 2019): A former Miami (OH) commit, Garcia put himself back on the board weeks before the season began by de-committing from the Red Hawks.
While it took roughly a month for Garcia to pick up his first Division I offer, the 6-foot-3 guard saw his stock rise quickly after a career-high 32-point performance against Trotwood-Madison at Flyin' to the Hoop. In the days following, Garcia picked up offers from Toledo and James Madison, while he was watched by Ohio five days later at the Scholastic Play By Play Classic.
A tough as nails guard that has greatly improved since he began his high school career at Independence, Garcia is one of the elite players in Central Ohio. At 6-foot-3, he is a great slashing guard that can change speeds, create separation and finish with athleticism at the rim. Garcia gets into the paint with ease and can make plays off the dribble, as he has improved as a passer, showcasing better vision to the strong and weak sides of the floor.
While he was a total non-shooter as an underclassman, Garcia has greatly improved in that area, as he is now a reliable shooter who can knock down catch and shoot jumpers, while being able to stop on a dime and hit the pull-up from mid-range. When attacking off the dribble, Garcia elevates and can finish with creativity, as he has a long wingspan that he puts to good use.
On the defensive perimeter, Garcia can defend guards and wings thanks to his size and wingspan. A versatile athlete that has a terrific motor and plenty of toughness, Garcia would be a great late addition for mid-major programs looking for a playmaker with size and defensive versatility at the point guard position.
Brandon Beavers (6'2 PG / Harvest Prep / 2019): Beavers has made some of the biggest improvements that we have seen from any guard in the area since coming over to Harvest Prep from Grove City prior to his junior season. He is one of the quickest guards that you will find anywhere in the entire state and it is evident when you take in a Warriors game against any opponent, but especially those of which in the MSL-Cardinal.
Offensively, he has the ability to perform most all tasks needed by a point guard. He does an exceptional job running the floor after getting a rebound and constantly creates open looks in transition for others and himself. He has the ability to let the game come to him in the half court as well and can get by defenders as well as shoot the mid-range pull up that he likes. He can knock down the catch and shoot three at an efficient clip.
Defensively, he is a pest on the perimeter and it’s clear with the big time steal numbers that he puts up on a nightly basis. He is tough to get by with quick feet and has very active hands to pickpocket defenders for a steal and get the fast break started. His blazing speed gives him a lot of leeway on that side of the floor, yet he still stays within the system of the defense. He shows good instincts jumping passes in the lanes as well which he does a great job of anticipating when his defender is outside on the perimeter.
Currently holding one offer from NAIA Division I Shawnee State, the senior's stock has yet to fully be realized. It will tough to find a better lead guard anywhere, as Beavers would be a great look for NAIA and Division II programs still looking for available guards. With good grades and an outstanding work ethic, Brandon is exactly the type of player that you want on your roster at the next level due to the fact that any molding with immaturity is not needed. Ask him to get to work, and he will. He is currently putting up 11.6 points per game while doing a little bit of everything for the Warriors and will be a key piece as they look to head back to the state tournament in Division III.
Jay Rodgers (6'0 PG / Pickerington Central / 2019): Transferring in from Springfield prior to this season, Rodgers has been forced to sit out the second half of this season due to new OHSAA transfer rules. In his time for the Tigers, however, he was excellent. Helping lead them to an 11-0 run in his time with the team, Rodgers did a great job as the point guard and lead ball handler and team that is loaded with a litany of college prospects. The lefty has an exceptional handle and an array of dribble moves that help him at this level to facilitate the Tiger offense.
Possessing smooth and versatile offensive game, Rodgers can knock down the three, the transition pull up, and finish inside all with relative ease and confidence. His offensive game is simply joyous to watch, as the smoothness of it is so pleasing to the viewer. He also has some of the best court vision around and has thrown many high level lob passes this season for Pickerington Central, a true testament to his ability to put the ball right where it is needed. He tends to be a score first guard which he is very good at, but is comfortable setting up teammates and creating other looks when the defense takes his shot away. His outside stroke is very smooth and he does not need a lot of room to get it off despite the fact that he is not the tallest or longest player out there on a nightly basis.
Rodgers put up excellent numbers for the Tigers in his 11 games this season, which is no surprise to anyone who has seen him play. To our knowledge, Jay currently does not hold any offers, but he is considering postgrad prep options to enhance his recruitment after only playing half of a senior year.
Zach Sawyer (6'1 PG / Bishop Watterson / 2019): A major stock riser last season, Sawyer has continued his high level play into his final campaign. A 6-foot-1 guard with versatile scoring ability, Sawyer has improved off the bounce and is finishing at the rim better than ever before. Already a knockdown shooter with deceptive speed and athleticism, Sawyer can really create off the dribble.
Able to play on and off the ball, Sawyer would be a great addition for a college program looking for a tough, composed scoring guard with decent size. At 14.9 points per game, Sawyer is the only double-digit scorer on Watterson's roster this year.
We really like Sawyer's consistency, as he can play in slow tempo half court style games that are common in the Central Catholic League, while also having the ability to play at a faster pace, specifically in an early season matchup against Walnut Ridge where he went for an efficient 20 points.
Dallas Patrick (6'1 PG / Wellington / 2019): Patrick is arguably the most under the radar player in Central Ohio over the last four seasons, and I’m not really sure why. Despite not being the star on the dominant Wellington teams of years’ past, Patrick has always been a contributor to the Jaguars as a four-year starter. He is currently scoring an eye-popping 25.7 points per game, good enough to get him the number three spot on the Central Ohio leaderboards. Simply too athletic and too skilled for most MSL teams (with exception to Harvest Prep), Patrick can score in several different ways. He is a knock down shooter from the perimeter and the mid-range and shoots the mid-range pull up at an elite rate. He can get by defenders with ease given his above average speed, ball handling and length. When in the lane, it’s easy for Patrick to score because of his great leaping ability, a trait that it can never hurt to have at the next level.
On defense, he is a problem for anybody in the MSL-Cardinal. With great quickness and length, it is not hard to understand why Dallas is such an elite defender. He’s tough to get around due to his great lateral quickness and poses lots of problems when trapping. In our last viewing of Dallas, he scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with his five steals. He is a physically gifted athlete that any college program would be getting a steal in and I can not make this any clearer. With no offers (to our knowledge), Patrick would be a great look for any NAIA or junior college program in need of a good lead guard who can also play off the ball. Spending the last four years in a rigorous academic environment at Wellington, Patrick will be ready to thrive on and off the court from day one at the next level.
N’Keeley Elmore (5’10 PG / Northland / 2019): At 5-foot-10, Elmore is a dynamic scoring lead guard that showcases value and offensive role versatility both on and off the ball. On the ball, Elmore can take advantage of his blazing north south speed in an up tempo game as a transition ball handler, where he can finish at the rim and can consistently make decisive and simple reads as a passer. As a higher usage guard he should favor a system that emphasizes the spread pick and roll game. That way he can apply his burst off the dribble and pull up shooting stroke where he has flashed his shooting range to extended well beyond the collegiate three point line.
The senior guard could also thrive in a long term off ball role if he is paired with a larger wing/guard creator. On top of his pull up shooting, he is also a knockdown spot up shooter, and could hold major value in that creating his own low usage offense in spot up situations. Where he can attack a closeout with a lighting quick first step, and is another way he can get to his dangerous pull up as well. He primarily plays on the ball, so his experience working off movement may not be there, but this should be a skill that can be developed in the future.
Defensively, Elmore is an absolute irritant on the ball and one of the best point of attack defenders in the City League. With exceptional lateral quickness and quick hips, the guard as no problem staying with strong change of direction or pace lead ball handlers. Along with possessing some active hands on the ball that allow him to come up with on ball steals, leading to easy transition scoring opportunities.
Elmore has been a productive and pivotal player for Northland as a three year starter and four year varsity player for the storied program. Our staff raves about his leadership role and praises his character. Currently with only one JUCO offer, he demands much more attention. Elmore is a guard who can be a seamlessly fit in almost any offensive system on the offensive end, and a gritty on ball defend that can effectively guard an opposing team's lead guard full court the entire game.
Brady Synder (6’0 PG / Canal Winchester / 2019): Synder has grown into a marquee player for a rolling 16-1 Canal Winchester team. The Indians leading scorer does some work on the ball as a heady ball handler that can run their offense with exceptional feel. However, his real collegiate value is off the ball. The guard is an exceptional shooter in all three facets being spot ups, off the dribble, and off movement. All these shooting attributes tie into his team value as a low usage passer that has an exceptional feel for the weakside of the floor and can make low usage passing reads attacking off the dribble on spot ups and off movement.
On the other side of the floor, Synder is a serviceable defensive guard on the ball where he is not the most fleet of foot laterally, but does have a good initial reaction to his matchups first step. He’s also a very quick reactor off the ball, applying his IQ to add team value as a player who can execute proper rotations.
Synder applies his high IQ to become a valuable team offensive player which is his calling card. His low usage passes and advanced feel initiate ball movement for an offense. He would thrive in a collegiate program that runs a lot of read and react concepts that emphasizes off ball movement. Along with being a lead guard that can control the ball, make smart decisions, and limit your teams turnover margin. The senior guard should be receiving loads of Division III interest, and if not, NAIA’s should be chomping at the bit to offer the high IQ guard.
Delavontae Jackson (5'11 PG / Liberty Christian / 2019): A breakout senior in small Christian school ball, Jackson is a college prospect point guard who was the best perimeter player in Liberty Christian's matchup on Monday against Bishop Ready. Jackson is a quick lefty who can get by defenders off the dribble and finish around the basket.
While Jackson is a talented ball handler with a good feel, we were blown away with his jump shooting off the dribble. Hitting seven jump shots off the bounce, Jackson's mid-range game was relentless. The senior guard hit a two dribble pull up from 12 feet, showed a great crossover that he turned into a step back jumper from 16 feet, hit a 14 foot jumper off movement from the foul line extended, hit another left to right crossover from the baseline, hit a turnaround jumper from just inside the three-point line and ended the game with a mid-range jumper from the baseline, also off the bounce.
The 5-foot-11 guard plays with great pace, gets good elevation on his pull up jumper and can hit it with a hand in his face. On a team with zero college prospects, Jackson still plays within the system and does not show any signs of selfishness or being a bad teammate, which is impressive when you consider the drop off between him and everyone else on his team.
A good student with a great attitude and work ethic, Jackson would be a no brainer look for Division III and NAIA programs, as he has a smooth offensive game and reliable mid-range skill set that is not so common anymore. Able to get by defenders off the dribble and make good decisions on the move, Jackson is a good passer with vision and touch.
The senior guard is an under the radar prospect that can play at the next level and is receiving interest from NAIA Taylor University, where Harvest Prep alum CJ Penha currently plays.
Nakhi Taylor (6'0 PG / Groveport / 2019): A breakout senior who has taken great advantage of his opportunity this year, Taylor is in the midst of a strong season. His highlight came last Friday when he went for a career-high 26 points and led Groveport over previously undefeated Canal Winchester.
A talented scorer who has shown pull up shooting ability from mid-range, while also showing an ability to hit catch and shoot threes. Taylor can get by defenders and into the lane where he's a quality playmaker. Receiving some strong Division III interest from programs in the region, Taylor is a tough kid with plenty of ability at the lead guard position.
Taylon Cofer (6'0 PG / Whitehall / 2019): There's one word to describe Cofer - scrappy. A tough senior guard that plays with intensity on both ends of the floor, Cofer has improved from being a junkyard dog guard a year ago to a guy who is now Whitehall's top scoring threat while also providing excellent energy on the defensive side of the floor.
Cofer's quick first step helps him get into the lane where he finishes consistently. The 6-foot guard is still growing his outside shooting game, however, Cofer is a warrior of a lead guard that would be a great look for junior college programs in need of toughness at the most important position on the floor.
Victor Mwamba (5'10 PG / Dublin Scioto / 2019): A powerfully built point guard with great quickness, Mwamba has been on the radar in Central Ohio since last season where he broke out as a junior. Mwamba is a quality change of pace guard that can play both in a slow paced half court setting while also having transition handling ability where the senior can make plays for himself and others.
The 5-foot-10 guard is a capable outside shooter with takeover scoring ability. On the defensive end, due to his quickness and physicality, Mwamba is a quality on-ball defender that can disrupt an offense. Mwamba would be a good look for junior college and Division III programs looking for a tough lead guard with plenty of experience.
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