WARREN, Mich. - He is the top sophomore in the state of Michigan, and his name and game has created enough buzz to inquire what all the hype is about involving New Haven's Romeo Weems.
Even for Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, who watched New Haven and Weems cruise past Warren Cousino 72-35, on Thursday night.
Weems stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 16 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, with three assists, three steals, and four blocks. Although, not against great competition, the night before, Weems had a triple-double with 16 points, 18 rebounds, 11 blocks, and eight assists.
"Myself, I think I did okay," said Weems. "I had a couple of lay ups that I should have made. Had a couple of turnovers. I could have played a lot better. We blew them out, but as a team, I think we played pretty bad. We could have done way better."
That is the beauty of Weems' game: the willingness to want to be better, win or not. The 6-6 swingman is ranked the No.21 player in the Rivals class of 2019 rankings, which is quite the honor. And although Weems is a highly rated player in the nation, he is still the ultimate team player. He said his best attribute is his unselfishness, which is evident once he steps on the court.
"He's so unselfish," said New Haven head coach Tedaro France. "Seeing him grow up from last year has been amazing. He always looks to get his teammates involved, and he's a leader out there on the floor.
That's amazing for a kid who is only 15."
Weems' game is very reminiscent of former Michigander and current Kansas forward Josh Jackson, who was the No.1 overall recruit in high school in 2016. They both are able to play multiple guard and forward positions, great rebounders, they look to get teammates involved, they command a lot of attention on offense, and defensively, are not just good defenders, but willing defenders.
Weems still has a long way to go to live up to the Josh Jackson comparison, but he has shown vast improvement already.
"Over the summer, he has improved his shot, and improved his ball skills," France said. "His knowledge of the game is so high to be his age. His defense is good, he's long, athletic, and he can do a lot of things with his size and height. The things he can do are just unreal. He plays like a fifth-year senior."
Weems has early offers from Detroit, Oakland, and Creighton, but is obviously on MSU's radar, with Izzo coming to watch his personally. It is a great sign when the head man of major university comes to see you in person, as a sophomore. He does not yet hold an offer from the Spartans, but it will come in due time.
"Coach Izzo said I played well, and that he likes my game," Weems said. "It was cool to have him out to see our team play. They have been on me a lot, along with a couple of others school, like Michigan, Xavier, and Kansas."