Elite 75 Showcase Recap
Ced Canty and Jacoby Davis, both Directors of the Team United AAU program have been running his Elite 75 Prep Showcase for a number of years. All though the North Carolina showcase hasn't really received huge recognition on a national level, the showcase has always been supported by some heavy national names. The Elite 75 showcase has been a breeding ground for talent to emerge onto the national scene. NBA players such as John Wall, Derrick Favors, Hasaan Whiteside, and Quincy Miller were all once unknowns before they came to the showcase, but after everything was said and done they had the scouts buzzing and this year was no exception. There was a great turn out with players from the surrounding southeast and east coasts states such as Maryland, New York, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Aggressiveness Stands Out
Many times when you go to showcase events there are a lot of players there that play outside of their element. They don't do a good job of showing off what they do well. 6'7 Dante Buford(Arlington Country Day) didn't have that problem at all. Coming into the showcase he was known as a dunker and he stayed true to his form. Buford played with his aggressiveness on ten for two days straight which lead him to have the best showing at the camp. Buford abused the rim every time he had a chance, while using his quick hops to be a tenacious rebounder and shot blocker. The combo forward was like a shark in the water that smelled his opponents blood and he attacked. The active forward has also been working on his touch as he showed a better looking perimeter shot that fell out to 16ft. With a steady year at Arlington, high major offers should be soon to follow.
And Then There Were 5
Kentucky, Indiana, UNC, Georgetown, and NC State all had in home visits with big man Kennedy Meeks(West Charlotte HS) leading up to the weekend event. The playful Meeks only participated in a couple of games on day one showcasing his trimmer, but still powerful body. The nifty passing big man played mostly facing the rim and showing off his nimble feet as he took big men off the dribble. One sequence he looked like vintage Antoine Walker as he caught the ball on the wing, gave a couple of crossovers, spun left and drained and off balance jumper. Meeks was great at using his big backside to keep opponents away from rebounds and once he has them secured in his mitts his outlet passes can spark any break.
Dwayne Morgan 6'7 Jr. WF St. Francis Academy(MD)
Morgan was the highest ranked player at the event and he played pretty steady throughout the weekend slashing and finishing well above the rim. I was very impressed with him out of the gate as Morgan meshed with his team really well, being very unselfish and giving maximum effort on defense. His ball handling is improving as he made a number of moves off 20 feet away from the basket. As of right now his game is at best from 12 feet and in where he uses quickness and length to score around the rim. In transition Morgan was good finishing above the rim with ease and even making jumpers off the pass. Morgan has transferred from Baltimore City College HS to St. Francis where he will face a tougher schedule that will push him and bring out his potential.
Che Bob 6'5 Jr. SG Arlington Country Day School(FL)
The North Carolina native is a very talented player, but has a tendency to coast often. He has good upper body strength and athletic ability coupled with a good first step. You cant leave him open on the wing as he proved that he will hit the uncontested jumper at a high rate. When Bob is in attack mode he's dangerous off the dribble and as a very nice in between game, where he can shoot over the top or post smaller guards.
Marcus Johnson 5'10 Jr. PG Evelyn Mack Academy(NC)
Johnson showed his explosiveness on a fast break as he leaned in for a shocking one hand dunk. When he wasn't in the air he was hard to stay in front of off the dribble. Johnson makes plays as he zooms past defenders either getting to the basket or he has a very nice pull up game. He was entertaining at times almost calling certain opponents out and going on mini runs of his own. We now what Johnson can do offensively and the asset he can be on the other side of the ball, now he must show and prove that coaches can trust him to run their team.
BJ Gladden 6'6 Sr. SF Olympic HS(NC)
The recent Akron commit played really well over the weekend. He has a chance to go into the MAC and get significant minutes as a freshman next year. To make this happen Gladden will have to make improvements on his body which shouldn't be a problem. Not the most explosive player on the court, but he's longer than he looks and he continuously was found hanging from the rim. At the small forward position he has a good shooting stroke, rebounds well, and finished at the rim equally with either hand.
Tariq Owens 6'8 Jr. PF St. Vincent Palotti HS(MD)
Owens was the surprise of the event. The long, thin forward played really well early on displaying a good touch from the outside with a knack for altering and blocking shots. Owens can run the floor with no problem and he was a decent finisher which should improve with added strength. Right now Owens is more of a hybrid forward rather than a power forward. Going forward he must develop a couple of go to moves to define where he fits in.
Giavonni Mack 5'10 Jr. PG Providence HS(NC)
A poised floor general is what we found when watching Mack play. He looked comfortable and commanded the respect of the players he was placed with during the event. Mack made tons of plays with his penetration where he made the defense collapse before kicking the ball out for open shots. When he was off the ball he nailed open jumpers with ease. After doing some asking around about Mack I found out that he is as solid as they come, with a quiet knack for scoring. Mack had a 40 point game last season.
Loyd Burgess 6'11 Jr. C The Christ School(NC)
Mid majors should plan on making a trip to catch Christ school this season to get a glimpse of Burgess. He's big and raw right now, but the good thing about it is he has two high school seasons remaining to develop. You can't teach size and that's what Burgess has, add in his 280lbs and you have a load on your hands. This camp environment wasn't the best evaluation setting to see Burgess with the guards playing at break neck pace, but after awhile the big man started to hell for the ball. Burgess has decent hands and he threw his weight around well on the block. When rebounding offensively he kept the ball high for immediate put backs and when grabbing defensive boards he got people off of him. When Burgess gets himself into better shape he will see more improvement starting with being more mobile and that much more lift in his game.
Sabeer Rasheed 6'3 Sr. SG Freedom HS(NC)
Showed range on his jump shot and the ability to score quickly. On his team he came in with the second unit and proceeded to put points on the board immediately each time he checked in. Rasheed drove baseline a lot where he would create space with snap back dribble or use the rim as a defender by laying the ball up on the other side.
Rashad Wattie 6'2 Jr. CG St. Francis Academy(MD)
The Maryland prospect looked like a defensive back on the hardwood as he got to the rim anytime he wanted to. Wattie's first step was a killer, once he got by an opponent and had them on his hip there was no way for them to recover. Although his shot selection was shaky at times Watti is wired to score. He can do more than get to the rim, his mechanics look good, seems as if he needs to get in a gym a put up shots.
Mike Henery 6'4 Sr. SG West Genesee HS(NY)
Got a good look at Henery on Day 2 where he had an outstanding game as full court play started up. He was successful by being active. The guard battled for rebounds and strapped up and guarded the ball really tough. It was if Henery was attracted to the ball, always finding himself in scoring position with his constant movement scoring a high percentage of his points off layups after receiving passes when cutting through the lane.
Kamau Stokes 6'0 Jr. PG Dunbar HS(MD)
Stokes attended John Carrol last year, but has made the switch to historic Dunbar High. Stokes was a showman without going overboard or doing things that weren't necessary. He broke down players with the ball on a string while being the most vocal point guard in attendance. Stokes is a play maker, when the shot clock ticks away you want the ball in his hands.