As another week of excellent high-tempo basketball is in the books at Coach Vic's Open Gym, Jae'Sean Tate held down the fort as the lone Ohio State commitment in the house. Leading a young nucleus of players, including Pickerington Central teammates Jalen Tate and Rodney Culver, the small forward was again the top player in a gym full of talented hoopers.
Playing alongside Kansas State target Javon Bess last week, Tate was looked to operate in a role similar to the one he fills at Pickerington Central, attacking early and often. Getting the younger Tate and Culver involved early, Jae'Sean was a major part of his team's high-tempo offense, as the primarily Pickerington squad punished teams in transition. Jae'Sean's highlight moment of the day came in the team's second scrimmage, when the senior flushed down a one-handed fastbreak slam, causing the hoop to crash to the ground after hanging on the rim.
Other Notable Performers
Javon Bess (SG, Gahanna Lincoln / 2014):
Three days after receiving an offer from Kansas State, Bess continued to impress with a stellar showing at Coach Vic's. The Gahanna senior was a force on offense, finishing above the rim for the majority of Sunday's action, while showcasing deep range from behind-the-arc. Bess' highlight play came in the final scrimmage, when Gahanna guard Manny Powell hooked up with the senior for an electrifying two-handed alley-oop jam. According to Rivals, Bess is a 3-star prospect with offers from Kansas State, Texas Tech, Xavier, and many others.
Kipper Nichols (SF, Cleveland St. Edward's / 2015):
After an eye-opening showing in Columbus a week ago, Nichols continued an impressive summer with another solid outing for Team Cleveland. The King James guard-forward ran the court with Shaker Heights' Esa Ahmad, proving to be a solid one-two punch on the offensive end. In Cleveland's opening scrimmage, the St. Ed's junior scored a game-high nine points, in addition to two rebounds and two assists. Without much recruiting activity, Nichols might just be Ohio's best kept secret. Keep an eye out for one of Ohio's top prospects in the class of 2015.
Esa Ahmad (PF, Cleveland Shaker Heights / 2015):
Ahmad, an Ohio State target, is the model for consistency. The Shaker Heights forward was paired with Nichols once again on Sunday, and proved to be a mismatch for opposing defenders. Scoring from the block, the perimeter, and in transition, Ahmad had a greater offensive output on Sunday than the week before. In addition to his work on the offensive end, Ahmad rebounded at a high rate and played solid defense.
Jaylen Tucker (PF, Columbus Northland / 2014):
Improving leaps and bounds with his offensive skill set from the beginning of the AAU circuit, Tucker had his best showing since AAU Nationals on Sunday. Showcasing improved ball-handling, and a revamped jumpshot, Tucker scored a Sunday-best 12 points vs. Tate & Co., hitting from the mid-range area with consistency. As a vital part of a talented Northland unit, Tucker has been on the rise this summer after running with All-Ohio Red. Expect the 6-7 forward to pick up his first offer in the coming months.
Matthew Moyer (PF, Gahanna Lincoln / 2016):
One of the few players that I hadn't seen much coming into Sunday, Moyer was arguably the top post man in Columbus. Sharing the floor with Nick Ward for the upcoming season, Gahanna Lincoln has a chance to have the Ohio Capital Conference's top front court. Moyer's strength around the cup and aggressiveness on the boards stuck out the most on Sunday. The sophomore's highlight play came after Moyer rose above his defender, finishing with a two-handed dunk in traffic. According to 247Sports, Moyer boasts offers from Dayton and Detroit, while receiving interest from Lafayette, Michigan and Ohio University.
Kevin Vannatta (SG, Columbus Upper Arlington / 2014):
The Upper Arlington senior was a key component of his team's undefeated run on Sunday. Sharing the floor with Bess, Powell, Moyer and Westerville Central guard Eric James, Vannatta's court-vision was most impressive, as he hooked up his teammates with several flashy assists. In addition to his facilitation abilities, Vannatta also operated as a knockdown spot-up shooter, connecting on several threes off assists from Bess. According to Verbal Commits, the Team Work guard lists offers from Campbell, UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina.