Xavier Simpson, King James – Fresh off a visit to campus on Thursday, Xavier’s top point guard target was in action with his King James team on Friday night. Simpson had six points and a handful of assists in an easy win for his squad over the Michigan Mustangs. Due to the big lead, he wasn’t required to play as many minutes as he typically does, and when he was on the court he didn’t need to be super aggressive on the offensive end. Instead he was in his distributing role early and often, showing his skill and understanding of how to pass, particularly when advance passing the ball up the court in transition.
Simpson holds offers from Xavier, Butler, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, and Iowa State.
Jarron Cumberland, King James – The big, powerful wing got in foul trouble early and played limited minutes, but had a stretch in the second half that showed what an explosive scorer he can be as he scored eight of his 10 points in short order. He used his strength and handle to get to the rim a few times in transition, and also showed off a nice mid-range game by hitting a few shots off the bounce. It’s taken him a few weekends to settle in with his new and more talented King James squad after playing the first open evaluation period of the spring with Ohio Basketball Club, but Friday during the second half against the Michigan Mustangs was the most comfortable he’s looked.
After the game he said he’s hearing from Michigan, Indiana, Miami, Texas, Michigan State, Xavier and Purdue right now.
C.J. Walker, Spiece – The quick and tough point guard helped lead his team to a blowout win over Chicago MeanStreets in the final time slot of the night. Like Simpson, Walker didn’t play as many minutes as usual and wasn’t needed in the same capacity that he normally is by his team because of the lopsided score. However, he still showed flashes of doing what he does best which is using his speed and strength to get to the rim off the bounce. Also, while he didn’t have a big night scoring, for the second straight weekend he made a pair of smooth looking jumpers.
Walker has recently received offers from Illinois and Missouri after previously being heavily courted by Butler, Florida State, Wichita State and Xavier following his decommitment from Purdue. He also has offers from Cincinnati, Memphis, Penn State, Texas A&M, Richmond, La Salle, and Ball State.
BJ Duling, All Ohio – The 6-foot-7 wing had the most impressive performance out of any player with Xavier interest on Friday night. He finished with a team-high 16 points in a win over Iowa Attack. Duling has an ideal frame for a wing, and he has a fun, aggressive style of play in the lane. Every time he gets the ball with some type of path to the basket he’s looking to dunk. Naturally, he’s a monster in transition. He also showed some touch and feel in the halfcourt when playing with the ball in his hands. Defensively, his length and activity level helped him make plays in the passing lanes. He’s an intriguing looking prospect that I’m looking forward to watching more of tomorrow.
Duling’s only offer right now is from Kent State, but he’s starting to receive interest from a lot of schools in the Midwest area.
Kaleb Wesson, All Ohio – The young and talented big man has a huge body that he still needs to get in shape, but the good news is that he already plays hard when he’s on the court. He puts in work when battling on the glass at both ends, and he gives good effort as a defender. His two best highlights on Friday night were a diving effort to corral a loose rebound after a scramble, and him sprinting the floor in transition to get back on defense and block a shot. On the offensive end, he showed great hands and good feet as he scored eight points. He also showed some understanding of how to play in terms of how he ducked in to seal his man, and the way he patiently surveyed the defense after catching the ball and found the open man when double-teams came.
Xavier was the first team to offer both Kaleb and his brother Andre, a 2016 recruit. While X is still his only offer, the younger Wesson has gained interest from Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Bowling Green and others.