Scouting Report: Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson

In the ESPN National High School Invitational, LaLumiere Academy of LaPorte, IN (6th seed) took on 3rd seeded Montverde Academy (FL). As you may know, LaLumiere features two Purdue signees, Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson, so this game was an excellent chance to scout the future of Purdue basketball.

Both teams were stock full of talent as LaLumiere (ranked 23rd nationally by ESPN) also includes Indiana signee Hanner Perea, Southern Illinois signee Bobo Drummond, Illinois verbal Jalen James, high major prospect Jonathan Wilkins, and other players with D1 interest. Montverde (ranked 12th nationally by ESPN) features two Florida recruits, Kasey Hill and Michael Frazier, among other talented players.

Montverde won the game 62-54. For a full recap of the game and video highlights, see ESPN’s story. Below are the scouting reports for both Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson, along with some miscellaneous notes.

Rapheal Davis (#35):

  • First, his stats: he finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, although he took a lot of shots to arrive at that point total.
  • Davis is the go-to guy on LaLumiere. He’s the scorer that they look to as he averages over 20 points per game.
  • Davis was frustrated by Montverde’s pressure defense and committed more turnovers than usual. Still, as a wing/small forward he has a lot of experience handling the ball (he actually played PG on his AAU team at times) which will benefit him at the next level.  It didn’t seem like LaLumiere as a team was ready for Montverde’s aggressive defense. Instead, they played at a fast pace that probably is not to their advantage.
  • As a wing, Davis is tenacious on the boards. If he misses a shot in traffic, he has a knack for getting to the ball before others and turning the offensive rebound into a put-back.
  • Davis is an expert at drawing fouls. He draws over 9/game. This game was much the same as he took at least 8 free throws.
  • As much as I love how aggressive Davis is when attacking the rim, he will have to learn to be patient when the defense is stuffing the paint to prevent the dribble. Although he was able to draw fouls often, he also took shots in traffic that even Michael Jordan would have trouble converting.
  • Davis can go coast-to-coast. What’s most impressive is how he can attack the basket, take a hit, and still score after contact. Matt Painter described him as a “power guard.” That was especially evident in this game.
  • Davis did not score from behind the arc. It’s not that he doesn’t shoot the outside shot at all, but at this point he’s much more of a threat with the dribble drive and scoring off of offensive rebounds.
  • Davis had a scary moment when he attacked the basket, grabbed the rim after being fouled, and then landed hard on the floor and bumped his head. Fortunately, he was evaluated by the trainers and OK’ed to return. Aside from Davis’ break after the injury scare, he played almost the entire game.

Jay Simpson (#23):

  • Simpson’s stats: 8 points and at least 6 rebounds.
  • It is worth noting that Simpson only played about half of the game.
  • Simpson was not afraid to post-up his man. With his well built frame, he’s able to back his man down and spin to either side and score with either hand. He’ll be the most skilled big man on Purdue’s roster next year and he showed that in his game against Montverde.
  • Simpson has a very nice jump hook, although he may need to add some arc to that shot so that it’s not blocked at the next level. He was a very efficient for the first 3 quarters (4-6) and had some nice looks in the 4th quarter, but his shot did not fall.
  • Simpson had a great assist (although it didn’t technically count as one in the box score) to present and future teammate Rapheal Davis. Off a Montverde miss, Simpson secured the rebound and instantly relayed it down the court to Davis in transition who dribbled it in for an easy basket.
  • Defensively, Simpson has to learn to guard without fouling. The referees weren’t even calling it today, but Matt Painter will have to teach him to play defense with his feet, not his hands. In particular, he was called for a shooting foul at the end of the 1st quarter that resulted in two extra free throws for Montverde.
  • He is comfortable handling the ball, although he had his pocket picked in the paint when trying to post up his man. He has to watch out for help defense, but more than that, he probably just needs to learn to be stronger with the ball at all times.
  • Simpson’s conditioning has really improved from where it was last season and the year before.
  • Big Jay had a really good move around the basket where he avoided a block, took an extra dribble, and laid in a reverse layup. That will be much appreciated next season for Purdue.
  • Except for two outstanding outlet passes, this game didn’t show off Simpson’s great passing skills. For a 6-9, well-built forward, he is adept at finding the open man. He didn’t do that (or have a chance to do that) this game.

Miscellaneous:

  • Hanner Perea has NBA athleticism. There’s no doubt he’ll be playing in the league even if he’s only drafted on pure potential. Right now, he’s more of an athlete than skilled basketball player, but he made Montverde pay by not putting a body on him under the basket. If he gets a little space, he can explode for an easy dunk. Indiana fans will love to have him because he doesn’t just dunk, he emphatically dunks and will no doubt be a crowd pleaser in Assembly Hall for Tom Crean.
  • Bobo Drummond is a blur with the ball but makes some questionable decisions at times. Some of the shots he took really make you scratch your head and that’s an understatement. He does show glimpses of excellent passing, but he also must improve his decision-making dramatically.
  • Obij Aget is a 7 footer that will play for Steve Alford at New Mexico. He actually has an okay face up jumper. His frame is slight for his height, but he has the physical tools to be a great player for the Lobos. He might be getting more love from the scouting services if the 2012 class wasn’t stocked with so many talented big men.
  • LaLumiere was bothered by Montverde’s ball pressure, full court press, and frequent half court trapping. Montverde led the entire game. Montverde forced a lot of turnovers and created transition points with their suffocating defense.
  • The officiating was very loose in this game. The whistle wasn’t blown often and there was a lot of contact all over the floor. I’m not sure whether this officiating benefited one team more than the other, but it was frustrating to watch so many no calls which contributed to the sloppy play.
  • Players got their first taste of a shot clock. The ESPN National High School Invitational used a 35 second shot clock. This also contributed to the frantic pace of the game. *Note: Montverde played with a shot clock for at least part of their season. This was obvious as they looked a lot more comfortable setting up their halfcourt offense.
  • Lack of outside shooting: LaLumiere didn’t make a three pointer until three minutes left in the game.

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