To find out what most of the area’s best basketball players are up to this spring and summer, one needn’t make many phone calls.
Quincy Simpson has the scoop.
Fans in northwest Ohio know Simpson as the head coach at Lima Senior, but he’s pulling double duty as the director of the C2K Elite AAU program.
That roster happens to include a handful of the top senior-to-be prospects from schools in the Cox Media Group Ohio coverage area, so we gave Simpson a call to get an update on their progress.
Here’s what he had to say:
Samari Curtis, Xenia guard
“Samari is kind of like a bully, but in a good way,” Simpson said of the GWOC’s two-time leading scorer. “He’s a guy you need on a team that is going to challenge the other team’s best player. He’s gonna challenge anybody on the team verbally He’s gonna do all those things.”
Curtis is a four-star prospect and the top-rated player in the area per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
"Samari can score at all three levels — he can get right to the basket, he’s got a nice mid-range and he can shoot the 3-ball. There’s a lot to his game,” Simpson said.
Curtis committed to Xavier during his junior season but re-opened his recruitment in May.
“He’s gonna have a lot of interest coming in July,” Simpson said.
Simpson identified Dayton, Ohio State, Florida and Virginia Tech as schools who have shown interest recently.
“I’ve taken a lot of calls on him,” Simpson said. “Those teams haven’t watch him a lot because he was already committed, so now they’re looking forward to seeing him in July. I think if he plays well, which I believe he will, he’s gonna have something very special for himself.”
Before committing, Curtis had offers from Akron, Toledo, Kent State and Cincinnati along with XU.
Amari Davis, Trotwood-Madison guard
“He is a left-handed kid that can finish really, really well in transition,” Simpson said.
“I like coaching all the guys, but he’s very coachable. Extremely coachable. That’s just kind of what he brings to the table for our group. Left-handed, transition guy, can finish well around guys bigger than him.”
Davis has already displayed a strong midrange game, but he is working on adding the 3-pointer to his arsenal before his senior season for the Rams.
Andre Gordon, Sidney guard (transferring to Huntington Prep)
“He constantly amazes people with what he can do at his size,” Simpson said of the 6-foot-2 combo guard. “He can shoot the ball, he’s tough, he’s athletic and he can score at all three levels.”
Simpson also praised Gordon’s ability to handle the ball, his shooting and his competitiveness and coach-ability.
Next season Gordon will suit up for Huntington Prep, a school in West Virginia that attracts some of the country’s best players and faces squads made up of the same.
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“Huntington Prep will do wonders for him just from a competition standpoint,” Simpson said. “That school is going to have some of the best players there, so you’re playing against those guys every day. That means you have no choice but to get better.
“Not taking anything away from Sidney, but he needed to go where he could improve as fast as he can.”
RaHeim Moss, Springfield guard
“He’s kind of another Samari when it comes to toughness and an edge,” Simpson said.
He compared Moss to former high school teammate Danny Davis, a four-year starter for the Wildcats who is a receiver at Wisconsin.
Although Moss led the Wildcats in scoring last season (14.9 points per game), his ceiling is likely higher in football, where Cincinnati, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky and Bowling Green have already offered.
He has dual offers (football and basketball) from Cincinnati.
“Whatever he chooses, he’s gonna be fine,” Simpson said.
Sam Towns, Springfield forward
Towns wasn’t a primary option for a loaded Wildcats team last season, but he’s an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-7.
“He’s very skilled,” Simpson said. "He shoots the ball well. He’s long and agile — wiry.”
The coach praised him for being willing to attack the glass and noted he will have to play on the perimeter at the next level.
“Strength is his No. 1 factor,” Simpson said. “If he gets stronger, he’s gonna be a hell of a player at the collegiate level.
Aside from those five, there’s one more player on Simpson’s roster who might be of some interest to local basketball fans.
Jeremiah Davenport signed a letter of intent to play at Wright State, but requested and was granted his release after helping lead Cincinnati Moeller to the state championship in March.
With his stock on the rise, he decided to reclassify as a member of the class of 2019 and spend a year in prep school.
“He was probably by far the kid that improved the most during the season. He made a big jump and people got an opportunity to see what he could do,” Simpson said. "I think he kind of wanted to play at a higher level. It was nothing at all against Wright State. They’re a tremendous school, but he’s young age-wise, and he felt another year of developing, another year of getting better could only enhance his chances to play at that higher level.”