Full Court Press: Samari Curtis Decommits From Xavier, Alonzo Gaffney Impresses in Nike EYBL

By James Grega on June 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Samari Curtis

Welcome to Full Court Press, our basketball version of The Hurry Up. Full Court Press will appear weekly during the basketball offseason, with hoops recruiting in full swing.

The recruiting news for Ohio State has slowed a bit this summer, as many players are in the middle of their AAU seasons. However, there was some interesting news that came out during the week as Samari Curtis decommitted from Xavier on Tuesday. 

Curtis is the No. 4 overall player in the state of Ohio, the No. 12 combo guard in the country and the nation's No. 100 overall player according to 247sports. He committed to Xavier in February, but reopened his recruitment this week. 

The Musketeers underwent a coaching change during the offseason after longtime coach Chris Mack left the Queen City for the head coaching job at Louisville. The new head coach at Xavier, Travis Steele, was an assistant under Mack for nine seasons. 

Curtis, a Xenia, Ohio native, holds offers from Akron, Toledo, Kent State, Dayton and Cincinnati in addition to Xavier and while Ohio State has not yet offered him, they have shown interest. 

Curtis took an unofficial visit to Columbus the weekend of Ohio State's win over Penn State on the gridiron in late October. He was also in attendance to watch the Buckeyes' open practice (photo above) along with other top recruits including Alonzo Gaffney and Trayce Jackson-Davis. 

It wouldn't come as much of a surprise if the Buckeyes offered sooner rather than later. If Ohio State doesn't land DJ Carton, who is one of their top targets for 2019, Curtis would be a solid backup plan. 

Curtis has the ability to create shots for himself off the dribble and also create shots for others off the dribble penetration. His jumper could use a little work, but he has shown the ability to still knock down perimeter shots when needed. You can see his highlights from January's Flyin' To The Hoop event above. 

Gaffney Shines at Nike EYBL

Ohio State's lone commit in the 2019 class saved his best for last in the Nike EYBL circuit over the weekend. 

Gaffney, playing for All-Ohio Red, scored a a personal best 24 points in the season-finale against Team CP3, dropping in 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting in a 68-60 loss on May 27. The Cleveland native finished the tournament averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while also connecting on 40.9 percent of his shots from behind the arc. He also shot a solid 80.6 percent from the free-throw line throughout the Nike EYBL. 

The lone game All-Ohio Red won over the weekend came on May 26 against Drive Nation, which features Ohio State target Drew Timme out of Texas. Timme got the best of Gaffney in that contest, scoring 20 points and pulling in 11 boards, while Gaffney dropped in just three points on 1-of-7 shooting. However, Gaffney's team came away with a comfortable 86-64 victory thanks to a stellar performance from Josh Corbin, who dropped in 30 points. 

Corbin, a three-star guard and the No. 10 player in Ohio out of Gahanna Lincoln High School, averaged 13.7 points per game during the Nike EYBL. He holds multiple low-level offers including the likes of Robert Morris, Duquesne, Cleveland State and Akron, but is trending upward and could be looking at bigger offers coming his way. At 6-foot-4, he has good size for a shooting guard and has a proven ability to knock down shots at the offensive end. 

You can watch some of Corbin's highlights from a separate tournament this summer below. 

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