On Saturday afternoon at Tree of Life High School in Columbus, the annual Hidden Gems Fall Showcase took place. Once again there was plenty of talent in attendance as year after year we become accustomed to. While much of our focus was on the few Northwest Ohio guys on the floor, there were plenty of others that stood out:
2022 F Brock Makrancy (Findlay) – In multiple viewings of Makrancy throughout the day, it was evident why he is considered to be among the best in his class in Northwest Ohio. He’s very intelligent out on the floor, constantly moving without the basketball, cutting to the rim, and making himself open to teammates. Really stretches the floor from his position with his ability to make shots from all over. Finished around the rim, and fought for rebounds on both ends. Had a nice showing and was recognized for having one of the best performances on the day.
2021 G Kyle Swiergosz (Cardinal Stritch) – Should be a key piece this season for a very talented Cardinal Stritch team, and looked up to the challenge with his play on Saturday. Has a nice looking shot from the outside where he spaces the floor. Hustles and competes, makes winning plays. Should have a strong senior season ahead of him.
2022 PG Sean Jones (Gahanna Lincoln) – Having heard and seen a lot about Jones in the past few months, it was exciting to finally have a chance to see him, and he did nothing to disappoint. Jones is so shifty, explosive, and a constant threat with the ball in his hands. A tremendous athlete at his position, he uses it to make plays all over the floor. Shots the ball well from the outside. Sets up teammates, sees the floor, and attacks the rim with vengeance. Gets the job done on the defensive end and creates turnovers. Has multiple offers from many high-major programs, and certainly looked the part. Won’t be surprised to see him leading a Big Ten program someday.
2021 G/F Chance Groce (Linden-McKinley) – Was a surprise participant on Saturday, and delivered one of the best performances of the day. Has good length, bounce, and upside. Made things look easy throughout much of competition. Has a good stroke from the outside, can create for others, and can certainly play above and around the rim. Competed and was a joy to watch on Saturday. Definite scholarship worthy prospect.
2021 PG Andre Irvin Jr. (Olentangy Orange) – The saying has become a cliché in basketball circles, but Irvin is truly a heart over height point guard. Competed at a high level all day long, scrappy, and doesn’t back down. Really shot the ball well from deep, and displayed the ability to score it over bigs in the paint. A threat in transition, gets others involved, made good decisions with the basketball. Isn’t afraid to get after it on defense where he competes and takes his assignment personally. Going to make a small college basketball program happy in the future.
2022 G Sohn McGee (Westland) – Caught our attention at last year’s showcase and looks to have grown both physically and in his game since. A good athlete, got to the rim and is solid in the mid-range. Handles the ball well, has good size in the backcourt, and has a nice feel for the game. Doesn’t try to do too much. Quietly had a nice day on Saturday.
Others who stood out: Josiah Mobley (Reynoldsburg), Deondre Mitchell (Penn Hills, PA), Landon Tillman (Westerville Central), Eljae Deas (Gahanna Lincoln).