St. Francis Summer League

June 3, 2015

St. Francis Summer League

Monday night kicked off the Toledo St. Francis Summer League, the league will be played on Monday evenings throughout June ending in a tournament in its final week. Fourteen teams make up the league; Scott, Waite, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Springfield, St. Francis, Toledo Christian, Bowsher, Genoa, Start, Central Catholic, Northwood, Anthony Wayne, and Bedford (MI). 
On the opening night I was able to see Bowsher, Start, Scott, Toledo Christian, Bedford, and St. Francis. Here's what stood out to me:
By now everyone knows the potential of Bowsher's two studs in Delonte and Rob Brown, each of who should find their way onto a D1 roster at the next level. Both owned the game I was able to catch in transition, and Rob was a man down in the paint corralling rebounds with force and taking opponents to the rim with ease. However, the X Factor for them this season may be fellow junior Jalen Elliott. Elliott, who stands around 6'3" will be a huge asset from them out on the perimeter. He showed flashes last season of what he could do, catching fire from deep and scoring in a flurry. Last night he had a high motor, was in tune defensively in a setting where defense usually lacks, and took the ball to the basket a time or two. The key between a good and great season for Bowsher will probably fall on the point guard position as they lack a true ball handler. It is extremely early still so we will see how that plays out in the coming weeks. 
Start was without the player who many believe they will have to rely on the most in Deonte 'DBo' Henderson, but a transfer stole the show for them last night in his absence. Ki'shawn Syph, who saw limited action this past season for Scott, will be making the switch to Start, and he looks to be right up their with Henderson as their go to guy. Syph was all over the place on both ends, causing turnovers, and getting to the rim. He showed off a pretty consistent jump shot as well. It doesn't look like he and Henderson will have much help this season but the duo should be good enough to pick up some W's. 
Chance Hawkins will be a name that should burst onto the season in the upcoming season for Scott. The bouncy athletic forward looked in form last night and should have an All-City League season on the horizon. Expect him to become a highly sought after JUCO prospect in the coming months.
Toledo Christian, while not having a standout or particular go to player just yet, looks to have quite a few pieces that will allow them to compete and have success in their league of smaller schools. Fundamentals and togetherness will be the key for TC as they continue to move in the right direction as a program. 
St. Francis looked out of sorts in the time I got to see them. Having lost Dontay Ellison to graduation, and senior Devon Beale to transfer (Whitmer), St. Francis saw virtually their two best players walk out the door and now must discover a new identity. They have some size and some guards that see the floor adequately, but it is easy to see they have some work to do in the coming weeks and months leading up to the season.

By: Ethan Knopp 

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