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Starting Five: Bossi's Forum tipoff takeaways

SOUTHPORT, Ind. -- Five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford stole the show at the Forum Credit Union tipoff classic over the weekend. national basketball analyst Eric Bossi was on hand provides takeaways in this week's edition of the Starting Five.

More: Romeo Langford talks recruiting



During the spring and summer, big time shooting guard Romeo Langford wasn't at his best. Many times, he didn't play up to his lofty ranking. On Saturday, Langford played to that No. 6 national ranking and then some while teaching a master class in shooting guard play and racking up 42 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Langford shot deep jumpers, attacked off the dribble, showed some post game and was equally dominant on the defensive end. Langford never seems sped up but has extreme quickness in his first step and how he gets off the floor. He's probably not quite the pure shooter that Brad Beal was when I saw him at the same age, but he's probably a little quicker. Overall, though, Langford has a game that reminds me a lot of Beal when I saw him in high school.

Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew was on hand with an assistant and it seems the Commodores and Kansas are starting to open up some distance between themselves and Langford's other finalist, Indiana. There's always time for things to change and even though Langford says he doesn't feel pressure to stay home, he has to be feeling it some. But, it looks like Archie Miller may have landed the IU job a little too late to keep Langford home.


Trayce Jackson-Davis
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Jordan Wells/

For a while, combo forward Keion Brooks has been considered the best prospect in Indiana's junior class. After seeing Brooks and Trayce Jackson-Davis on Saturday, I would go ahead and give that edge to Jackson-Davis from Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove who now ranks No. 28 overall in the class of 2019.

A slender 6-foot-8 southpaw with length, Jackson-Davis is a proficient rebounder and attacker off the dribble while facing the rim. He's also particularly outstanding when catching the ball on the move. He had 33 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a tough overtime loss but he's on track for serious consideration as a five-star prospect. If he becomes comfortable with the mid-range jump shot, that elevation to five-star status will be a certainty.

Jackson-Davis seems to have Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State really making him a priority right now. He's also got offers from programs like Creighton, Butler, Iowa, Ohio State and Clemson where his father Dale Davis played his college ball. However, in a class where some elite level big men need to pop up, Jackson-Davis is the kind of guy that basketball powers from all around the country are going to want to get involved with.

Brooks, from Ft. Wayne (Ind.) Northside, played in the nightcap against Langford and though he rallied to put up some numbers late, Langford took him out of the game early. Brooks had Michigan head coach John Beilein and Purdue's Matt Painter among those in the crowd. Painter was also on hand earlier for Jackson-Davis.


Indiana fans had a chance to see 75 percent of their 2018 recruiting class on Saturday and they had to have liked what they saw. For the most part, so did I.

The standout was top 50 wing Jerome Hunter. I've always seen Hunter as more of a combo forward and small ball four man who could stretch the floor. He will play some of that role, but he's a legitimate wing. Hunter has feel, a nice big frame -- very similar build to NBA player Andre Roberson -- and he's a sneaky athlete. He's got a good chance to play in the NBA one day, especially if he improves his ball handling. NBA or not, he looks like an impact player as a freshman in Bloomington.

The lowest ranked of the trio that played on Saturday, Robert Phinisee was an eye-opener. I've never really seen him play that well but I loved his toughness, explosion off the floor and ability to create space via the dribble. He's got some bulldog in him and his pull-up jump shot is a legitimate weapon and he seems capable of getting it off whenever he wants.

For a while, it looked like it was going to be a pretty bad day for four-star wing Damezi Anderson. He was pretty much ineffective through three quarters but played great in the fourth quarter and overtime -- making a series of clutch shots -- as his South Bend (Ind.) Riley team came back to beat Hunter and Pickerington (Ohio) North. He's going to have a Big Ten body pretty early and like Hunter could probably play some small ball four. The key for him will be making sure his motor is always running.


In the age of the early offer, I was very surprised when sophomore shooting guard Trey Galloway told me that he's only got one scholarship offer at this point. IUPUI is going to have company when it's all said and done.

A nice looking athlete and skilled all-around two guard at Culver (Ind.) Military Academy, Galloway sure looks like a potential Big Ten player. He has to do a bit of everything for his team and he did so nicely. Butler recently had a really good player in Kellen Dunham and Galloway reminded me a lot of when I first saw Dunham. If what I saw Saturday was any indication of what to expect, Galloway is a potential top 100 type in the class of 2020.

Galloway mentioned that he grew up an Indiana fan and that the Hoosiers along with Purdue, Michigan State and Bradley have been showing early interest.


Last but not least, Purdue-bound Eric Hunter had a very nice day scoring 25 points, leading his team to a win.

I had not seen the type of improvement from the summer of 2016 to summer of 2017 that I had hoped to see from Hunter. For that reason it was important to see him take over and make things happen for his high school team. He carried the load offensively in the second half and looked quite comfortable shooting threes over a 3-2 zone. When he had to, he did a nice drive of attacking the rim to score or make plays for others.

The most important thing moving forward for Hunter is that he hit the weight room. He's quite skinny and is going to really need to bulk up before he plays int he Big Ten. Overall, though, a very positive day for him and he's a guy that Purdue fans should be excited about.