Ohio prep hoops: Javon Bess and Manny Powell shine at Gahanna open gym

Scarberry Media

Michigan State target Javon Bess had an impressive performance in front of Spartans associate head coach Dwayne Stephens.

Playing in a sparkly renovated gym at Gahanna Lincoln High School, senior combo-guard Javon Bess was one of several talented players for the Lions during open gym Tuesday. Let's take a look at the top performers from Tuesday's action.

Javon Bess (6'5 SG, 2014):

The main attraction on Tuesday, three-star guard Bess was as solid as ever during open gym. While he was struggling a bit from the perimeter, Bess found additional ways to put the ball in the basket. Attacking the offensive glass, Bess pulled down a number of rebounds for put-back finishes. Handling the ball for a great deal of Tuesday's action, Bess has continued to improve his handle and facilitation of the offense. Matched up with versatile forward Matt Moyer for a majority of Tuesday's open gym, Bess also showcased great on-ball defense, often times limiting Moyer's ability to drive. Seeing Bess for the first time Tuesday, Michigan State looks to increase their pursuit of the Gahanna combo-guard, while Big Ten rival Michigan has also inquired about his services.

Matt Moyer (6'7 SF/PF, 2016):

The star of our Coach Vic's Open Gym recaps, Gahanna's Moyer continued to elevate his stock on Tuesday. The springy forward impressed coaches in attendance with a posterizing two-handed slam on a defender in the second scrimmage of the day. Moyer has an extremely high motor, and is not afraid to rise up over opponents for electrifying finishes. The sophomore is also great at fighting for rebounds and maintaing position on the block, a trait that helps him secure a high number of offensive boards. While his jump shot is still coming along, Moyer has had great success shooting from the left wing over the course of the last month.

Nick Ward (6'8 C, 2016):

While Ward isn't cleared to play until October, the sophomore center took part in a series of non-contact drills on Tuesday, showcasing improved ball-handling and footwork in the post. Ward looks to be an inch or two taller than his previous height during his freshman year, a trend that should continue until he stops growing. Working a great deal on his left-handed hook shot, Ward showcased a great drop step post move during drills, one that will punish opposing centers this season.

Junior Arrey (5'11 CG, 2016):

Seeing Arrey for the first time just a week ago, I have grown more and more impressed with the sophomore guard. Arrey is tough as nails, which greatly accommodates his high motor and nose for the ball. The 5'11 combo-guard is an active defender, often getting right up in the grill of the ball-handler. Like Moyer, Arrey's jump shot is his biggest area for improvement, but the guard is great at slashing to the basket, and proved that he can finish with either hand. As Gahanna graduated talented seniors Aaron Jackson, Ronnie Stokes, and Troy Mundy in 2013, Arrey will be one of several talented underclassmen to contribute this season.

Manny Powell (5'9 PG, 2014):

Arguably the top performer on Tuesday, the lightning bolt Powell put on a scoring clinic. Scorching the nets from behind-the-arc, Powell's quickness, coupled with his quick release proved to be a matchup nightmare for defenders. The 5'9 senior has a fundamentally-sound shot, and is an incredibly shifty ball-handler, which keeps most defenders off balance. Shooting effectively both off the dribble and on the catch-and-shoot, Powell has an ability to turn up the heat in an instant, and did just that on Tuesday. After falling one game short of a state semifinals appearance, look for Powell and the Lions to come roaring back in the guard's senior year.

Corey Howard (6' CG, 2014):

After being named as one of the top performers from Coach Vic's on Sunday, Howard had another impressive outing two days later. While Arrey and Powell will give you great levels of flash within their skill sets, Howard plays a game well-suited for the half court game. The senior shoots very well from mid-range and beyond, and has an ability to finish at a high rate on over aggressive closeouts. In addition to his shooting ability, Howard has good court vision and a high quality basketball IQ that should pay dividends for the Lions this season.

Keith Scowden (6'6 PF, 2014):

Keith Scowden wins my Tyler Hansbrough Award after Tuesday's open gym. The 6'6 forward is a tough competitor that brings a lot to the table from a defense and rebounding standpoint. The senior will find ways to get involved offensively, showing underrated touch around the basket, in addition to setting punishing screens for Gahanna's talented guards. Having his biggest performance of his career in a district final win over Newark last season, Scowden has improved in all aspects of his game.

Alonzo Campbell (6'10 PF/C, 2015):

The tallest player on Gahanna's roster, Campbell arguably has the softest touch out of any Lion shooter. Playing a finesse style of basketball, the lanky junior forward used his long arms to alter a number of shots on Tuesday. While Campbell isn't much of a factor from the low post, the forward can stretch his defender out to the perimeter with an impressive mid-range jumper.

Jenisys Battle (6'3 SG, 2015):

It's not a coincidence that this junior combo-guard has the last name "Battle," because on Tuesday, that's all that he did. Arguably Gahanna's most vocal player, Battle is another gritty guard on the Lions roster. Showcasing a nice floater, and above-average jump shooting from the corner, Battle is a solid offensive player that should contribute from a reserve role this season. On a team with seemingly endless talent at the guard position, look for Battle to be a catalyst on a deep Gahanna bench.

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