St. Louis is the latest program to offer a full scholarship to Scotland Campus guard/forward Jayson Woodrich.
Instrumental in the Knights’ sizzling 34-2 2019-20 campaign, Woodrich has been a high level scorer who rebounds it with a tenacity and can yank boards over bigger interior players in the trenches.
Stony Brook, Bryant, Fairfield, Cleveland State, and of course St. Louis, have now offered the Ohio native. Washington State, West Virginia, UMBC, and Kent State appear intrigued by the Class of 2020 prospect.
“It’s an honor and I am extremely humbled to receive a scholarship offer from St. Louis,” Woodrich said. “I like the program, I like what they have to offer. I definitely am interested in taking a visit.
“Right now, I’m just wide open. I’m looking to play out the season and give coach (Chris) Chaney and all my teammates the chance to get better all the time, as we emphasize. I will ultimately make a decision based on which school best fits me and will utilize me the best way.”
When Woodrich arrived at Scotland Campus Sports, following an illustrious career at Beachwood (Ohio) that ultimately saw him break the 1000-point barrier and cement his legacy as a 29PPG scorer and First Team All State nod, many questions followed.
Though a known, proven commodity at Beachwood High, could he replicate these kind of numbers and shooting sprees at a traditional and national prep power?
Would his floor-spreading 3-pointers continue to drop against star spangled teams hell-bent on neutralizing the 6-foot-7 trigger man?
Proving Himself, Gaining Confidence
“Coach Chaney, he really gave me the confidence to realize I could play very well at this level. He gave me the trust to have a green light with him and I knew I could really impact the game with my shooting and my overall scoring. My rebounding and defensive versatility were also parts of my game I wanted to improve on and prove people were key elements of my game. We compete with each other every day in practice, I think that translates to our success on the court.”
Woodrich, the top uncommitted shooter remaining on the recruiting market, has not only proven himself but increased his overall portfolio. While he’s had numerous games of 7+ 3-pointers and hit tape measure shots and NBA 3-point shots on elevated stages, it is Woodrich’s evolution as an off the dribble scorer and newfound mid-range game which now have numerous Division-I programs trying to use their powers of persuasion to get him.
He scorched the nets to the tune of 21 points in Scotland’s first game of the season, a 114-63 pounding of KOA Prep. Spotting up from NBA range, Woodrich drilled four consecutive 3-pointers in the first half as the Knights opened up an electrifying offense that features a barreling 6-foot-9 behemoth in Abou Ousmane.
Ousmane also entered Scotland unknown and unsigned, having recently decommitted from Cleveland State following the firing of then-head coach Dennis Felton. Working tirelessly to better his body and overall game, Ousmane dropped 25 pounds while emerging into a unique back to the rim scorer who has been on constant double double watch this season.
This was not your typical post grad national team, as longtime prep Pioneers of the highly decorated Chaney’s magnitude tend to stock their lineups with already signed and already committed guys and highly touted recruits looking to take advantage of that gap year.
A Reliable Source on the Boards
The Ohio native continued to shoot his way out of obscurity, piling up 13 3-pointers in two games during the exposure-heavy Prep National Showcase in New Haven, Conn. Beyond displaying his unparalleled 3-point range and efficiency and all around scoring (he finished the event averaging 27 PPG in two games against national powers Vermont Academy and Putnam Science of Connecticut), Woodrich proved he could be a reliable force on the boards and crash with the rest of him.
In the Vermont Academy win, Woodrich scored a game-best 31 points. Woodrich has had 21 or more points during seven different games throughout the season, including 22 points on a scalding 6-for-6 from 3-point range in a win over Capital Christian (MD).
The workload here at Scotland has helped Woodrich shed the label of 3-point ace and refine all areas of his game.
Competing Each Day Adds to the Arsenal
“I think competing against our teammates each day has had me add a lot of different things to the arsenal as they say,” Woodrich said. “The skill development here every morning has bettered my ball handling. I feel more comfortable with that. Getting stronger, with the help of (strength and conditioning coach Travis) Scott has helped me rebound better. Right now, I’ve been establishing a mid range game. Defenders are flying out on me at the 3-point line, which is opening up lanes for me to make more plays happen off the dribble and hit mid range shots.
Woodrich’s shot-making ability and range was a bit of a revelation following the Connecticut tournament. Bryant University and Fairfield both offered scholarships right there on the spot, their first time going to recruit him.
Cleveland State’s assistant Dru Joyce, who played alongside Lebron James on that memorable St. Vincent/St Mary’s High School team has also been in steady pursuit of Woodrich.
“I just look forward to choosing a program that fits my playing style the best,” Woodrich said. “The program that I feel will give me the best chance to succeed not just on the court but off the court as well.”
Zach Smart is Director of Sports Media Services at Scotland Campus Sports