Centennial has always been one of the Columbus City League's most competitive teams. As great guard play in the past has led Centennial to the top half of the City League North, the Stars are on a mission to get over the hump in 2014-15. In the first open gym of the fall, Centennial looked sharp behind the play of senior stud combo-forward Joe Thomas, and a cast of talented juniors. Let's take a look at what coach Roosevelt Osborne has at his disposal for 2014-15.
Joe Thomas (6'5 SF/PF / 2015):
Arguably the most underrated player in Central Ohio, Thomas looked the part of a man on a mission on Thursday. A broad-shouldered 6-foot-5 forward, Thomas returns to Centennial after a breakout junior season, in which he averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game, with a season-high 26 points and 19 rebounds vs. Beechcroft on Jan. 17, in just three quarters. In Thursday's open gym, Thomas did much of the same, attacking the glass, and showing off impressive touch inside for points in the paint. While Thomas is a brute force around the basket, the senior forward also has the ability to step out and shoot from 18 feet and in, but given his success on the block, jump shots aren't a major part of his shot selection. Receiving interest from Division III schools in Bard (NY) and Bluffton, Thomas is a high-quality forward that understands how to play the game, and should help catapult the Stars back to the top three of the City League North.
Angelo Moore (6'3 SG/SF / 2016):
Reminding me of Huber Heights Wayne guard Trey Landers, Moore is a stocky-built combo-guard with tons of strength. Teaming up with Thomas for the majority of the session, the duo absolutely dominated the paint, as Moore was able to bully his way to the rim on several occasions, in addition to relentlessly attacking the glass for offensive rebounds. A difficult matchup for defenses, Moore has his way with smaller defenders, and also showed to be a capable shooter from the field. Looking to have a breakout junior season, keep an eye on the bulldozing 6-foot-3 Moore.
Gimmy Martinez (6'4 SF / 2016):
The son of former Kentucky standout big man Gimel Martinez, the 6-foot-4 Gimmy is a lengthy combo-forward with some upside. Running the floor effectively, Martinez knocked down several shots from the perimeter, and showed an ability to mix it up inside. A solid athlete with good intangibles and feel for the game, Martinez will be a major part to what the Stars hope to accomplish if he can knock down the type of shots that he hit on Thursday.
Gabe Elder (6'5 SF / 2015):
The lone senior outside of Thomas on Thursday, Elder is another intriguing wing prospect for the Stars. With good length at 6-foot-5, Elder has above-average athleticism, and made some key plays in transition. A capable shooter from the perimeter, Elder is the ideal role player that will do everything asked of him. A solid rebounder underneath, Elder gives Centennial more length out on the wing as well.
Jeremiah Fair-Harris (5'10 PG / 2016):
After receiving a decent amount of action on varsity a season ago, Fair-Harris is Centennial's most-experience ball-handler, and certainly played like it on Thursday. A shifty guard with good vision, Fair-Harris rarely turns the ball over, and consistently makes the smart pass, in addition to controlling the tempo and pace of the Star offense. Quick on his feet, Fair-Harris is a solid perimeter defender, and looks to be paired in the backcourt with senior guard Anthony Slappy, who is one of the City League's top shooters.
Gary Elder (6'0 SG / 2018):
Tabbed by coach Osborne as the "next Bucky Chenault," Elder has some big shoes to fill in a Centennial program that has produced some talented guards over the years (see: Chenault and Boo Osborne). A long-armed 6-foot freshman guard, Elder is a natural scorer that can create for himself. Showing flashes of brilliance in transition, Elder finished through contact on multiple occasions, while showing quality ball skills.
Dmitri Warner (5'8 PG / 2016):
Transferring to Centennial from St. Charles, Warner is the type of scrappy, hard-nosed guard that every coach just loves to have. With a fearless approach to the game, Warner is as tough as Shannon Sharp's jaw line, and showed to be a capable scorer, knocking down several open threes and finishing difficult drives inside. A welcomed addition to the Centennial backcourt, look for Warner to be one of the City League's top newcomers.