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Xenia’s Samari Curtis, a one-time Xavier recruit, wants to be more than a scorer


Samari Curtis sounds more interested in improving his game this summer than figuring out where he will take it in 2019. 

The Xenia basketball standout committed to Xavier in February but reopened his recruitment in May

In an interview Monday, he said the Musketeers have remained in touch while Dayton, Cincinnati, Louisville, Missouri and Indiana are also recruiting him. 

That’s not a top six, though. 

Curtis says he doesn’t have one of those. 

He’s not in a rush to commit again, but he didn’t rule out making a decision soon, either.

“I’m gonna make the decision when I feel the time is right for me,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter. If I find the perfect program tomorrow or two months from now, that’s when I’m going to commit.” 

Curtis and several other Dayton-area standouts are playing together for C2K Elite on the AAU circuit this spring and summer, and he said he’s enjoying the experience. 

“Everything’s going good this summer. I’ve just been working a lot and my coach is pushing me a lot, so that’s all I can ask for,” he said. 

After leading the GWOC in scoring the past two seasons, there are few questions about Curtis’ ability to put the ball in the basket. 

>>RELATED: High-scoring Curtis wants to be program-changer for Xenia

The 6-foot-4 four-star prospect said he is trying to develop every part of his game this summer with an eye on a different role in college. 

“My best role to me is point guard,” Curtis said. “Most of the colleges want me to play point guard. My size makes me look like I play off the ball, but I’m more of a point guard than anything.” 

 

He may have some work to do to make that a reality. 

Brian Snow, a recruiting analyst for 247Sports, said he still sees Curtis as a pure shooting guard. 

“I saw Samari this past week in Atlanta and he played well,” Snow said Tuesday. “In the two games I saw, he especially shot the ball well, and he shows significant potential as a defender as well as with his ability to get to the rim. 

“Right now his game is much more suited to being a secondary ball-handler who is a scorer first and makes plays from the wing as a scoring guard as opposed to a floor general who dominates the ball and is asked to run a team.” 

While Curtis is unquestionably The Man when he dons the Blue and White at Xenia, he is surrounded by talented players who can score on his AAU team (including Trotwood-Madison’s Amari Davis, Springfield’s RaHeim Moss and former Sidney standout Andre Gordon). 

>>RELATED: Area’s best basketball players teaming up this summer in AAU

C2K Elite coach Quincey Simpson can also offer some personal expertise when it comes to becoming a college point guard. His son, Zavier, is the starter at that position at Michigan (though Curtis and the younger Simpson have different types of games). 

“He’s always getting on me. I like it,” Curtis said of the elder Simpson. “He’s just always getting on me about little stuff a point guard has to do to be good at the Division I level, so I’m just taking it all in and using it every game.”

There are two more events left for C2K Elite this summer — one in Grand Rapids this weekend and the UAA Finals in Las Vegas the weekend after that — then Curtis can begin to look ahead to his senior season at Xenia. 

The Buccaneers went 11-12 last season against a brutal schedule, and Curtis is sure to be the focal point again this fall for his last go ‘round in X-town. 

“We were doing good and then I got a concussion so that kind of ruined our momentum,” Curtis said of last season, when he averaged 30.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

“I feel like this year I won’t have to worry about injuries so we should have a good year. I just know we’re gonna shock a lot of people.” 

  


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