Samuels: One Cold Piece Of Work

Leader Johnson shares his perspectives on incoming Villanova Freshman wing, Jermaine Samuels ...

Jermaine Samuels is the country’s most slept on High School star.  The No.1 player in Massachusetts, a top 40 player in the nation, a high flyer with an all-around game … to sum up his talents: he has the athletic ability of Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, he can shoot it from the 3, he can get to the line, and he is very hard to stop one-on-one.  Duke was the next team in heavy pursuit of him and Kentucky also showed strong interest.  Villanova, Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, and Kansas rounded out his final 5 - a very good 5 - big time programs with great history in college basketball were front and center for the Phenom out of Weston, Massachusetts.  Samuels played at Rivers High School and 24/7rated him the 8th best small forward in the 2017 class. He was a high 4-star across the board - a borderline 5 star … but what separates this guy from being a 5 star?  Is it where he played?  In the summer of 2016 at the EYBL circuit playing for the Expressions Elite on the Nike EYBL Circuit.  Samuels averaged almost 13.4 points a game with nearly 7 rebounds a game, and shot 47 percent from the floor going up against some of the best competition in the nation.  In one high school game against Vermont Academy, Samuels came off the bench and scored 20 in the first half finishing the game with 30 points - mind you its only 16 minute halves.  Rivers High School blew Vermont out 85-66 and one writer said “exploded” might not be the accurate word for Samuels performance  using the phrase “methodically picked apart” describing not only a dangerous performance but a dangerous player.

When you see Samuels highlights or see his games he exceeds the rating you see of him.  He is a game changer.  He is the kind of player that wants the ball in his hands when it is clutch time or when his team needs a basket.  He is fearless and you can use the phrase that Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson used to describe his self “killer” because that’s what Jermaine Samuels is on the court he is “the killer”.  At the age of 13 Jermaine Samuels displayed skills way beyond his age being able to dunk and display above the rim moves on the other side of the court.  Samuels is a great defender - many times taking the ball from the opposing team and turning it into points or aggravating the opponent with lock down defense and making them miss or turn it over blocking their shot in traffic.  He has equally good court vision - making passes  while penetrating or bringing the ball up court like a point guard and making the assist.  When you are watching Jermaine Samuels you are watching the total package.  I looked at the guys above him at the small forward position in 24/7 and there are only two I consider better than him and that is Kevin Knox and Michael Porter Jr.  I watch the great talents of Jarred Vanderbilt and compare them to Samuels and I get a much more aggressive and electric player than Vanderbilt in Samuels  The other guys above him are good but don’t come close to Samuels evolution as a player. 

Off the court, Samuels loves to draw and paint.  He is a perfectionist.  He has said he holds himself to the same standard on the court when he plays.  He wants to perfect his craft and he compares basketball  to art - a great interpretation.  A two-day official visit to Villanova is what sealed the deal.  Samuels said he was already in awe after having going home and talking with his parents on August 27th 2016.  Jermaine Samuels officially committed to the Villanova Wildcats in 2016 … the year in which Villanova not only won the championship but won the services of a top talent.  Samuels said that the Wildcats play exactly the way he likes to play - team oriented … and he will do whatever they want him to do to evolve into the player he wants to be - a great all around basketball player.  Ever since his commitment, he has evolved even more - looking stronger and quicker than ever, he was recently chosen, along with his 2017 class teammates Collin Gillespie and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, to play in the Jordan Brand Regional Classic and in the game, he did not disappoint.  He scored 14 points hitting 6-7 from the field with 4 rebounds and two vicious dunks including one off the glass from his future Villanova teammate Gillespie.  When Samuels committed to Villanova, he said it felt like more than basketball to him … it felt like home to him and there is no point in waiting when you know where you want to be.  

Jermaine Samuels … the man, the ball player, the artist, the perfectionist he is on a mission for success when he steps on that court.  He looks to affect the game and dominate the court.  He is a winner and a clutch player.  If Jermaine Samuels was a piece of art - he would be “one cold piece of work”.


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