Underclassman Show Up at South Florida Showcase
South Florida is primarily known for the football prospects that they produce on a yearly basis, but basketball fans don't be fooled the area is rich in talented players that choose the hardwood instead of the gridiron. Coach Tony Perkins has seen a ton of talented players during his time on the sidelines as an AAU coach as well as a high school coach in the area. Perkins has directed the Comin For That #1 Spot Showcase for five years now and has been able to help players such as Tony Mitchell(N. Texas), Tim Hardaway Jr.(Michigan), and Charles Hankerson(Alabama) gain exposure. This years one day event gave CourtCred.com a chance to get a good look at the future of South Florida, coaches get ready to make that trip down and I'm not just talking about to the beach.
Talented Back Court
If Pines Charter didn't make any noise during the high school season last year than this year they should be seeing a different song with the 2015 back court of 6'4 Hannif Cheatham and 6'3 Prince Ali. This is and should be at the end of their high school careers a Division I back court. Cheatham is regarded as one of the states top prospects after an impressive freshman campaign, but Ali is quickly nipping at his heels after gaining confidence with a steady performance at this summers Super Soph Camp. Both players are similar in stature and length with Ali being the more aggressive, most likely stemming from his New York roots.
Cheatham is a wing that after you strip him down might be more suitable for the point position. He was very unselfish with the ball often bringing up the basketball using quick feet to get around defenders then hitting the open man in the chest with a pinpoint pass. At 6'4 and a wing span that his mom mentioned was around 6'7, Cheatham can see over the defense when operating offensively, his reach was a factor on the other side of the ball as he came up with deflections and steals from behind or in the passing lane.
On to Ali, the more aggressive and simply raw talent at the moment was electric on the break where he banged a couple dunks home in the morning session. As he went through the drills you could really see how good he was at getting to the rim, during 5 on 5 play he was a handful off the dribble. Ali is the type of player that can make something out of nothing, he's the guy you want with the rock when the shot clock is running down. In his game after lunch, he started to cook with a flurry of mid range jumpers after slicing through the defense from the wing. This kid competes, and says he already has a hit list of the guys he wants to match up against this season.
Saved Their Best For Last
The last thing on the day was the Top 20 game, which can be seen being replayed on CourtCred.com. Pretty much every player on the list got our cosign, but 6'7 PF Peter Buckley(Pine Crest) and 6'5 SG Rodney Simeon(Miami Central) surprised us in a big way, both players stood out for the right reasons. Buckley had done a consistent job on the glass all day, but really didn't show much of an offensive game. In the finale, the power forward played above the rim finishing mostly everything in the paint with a two handed jam. Buckley showed hustle, toughness, and good hands along with decent speed when running the floor.
Rodney Simeon has a chance to see his stock go through the roof if he can duplicate performances like his last one on Saturday. He has legit shooting guard size at 6'5, and he's not afraid to break down and play some good on the ball defense and deny players at the rim as a good shot blocking guard. Simeon showed a nice mix of athleticism and range as he played with a natural scorers mentality bombing away from the three and delivering some effortless dunks.
Keyshawn Evans 5'10 So. PG American Heritage HS
The quickest guard on the floor had a great day in every aspect of the game on Saturday. No one could stay in front of him and his low dribble. He took a page out of Russel Westbrook's note book by driving full speed straight at defenders, once he had them backing up he would pull up on a dime right around the free throw line area. Evans shot the ball exceptionally well off the catch from different spots on the floor. A pesky defender, his lateral quickness caused problems for every guard he stepped up to guard big or small.
Cedric Wright 6'6 So. PF Dillard HS
Wright showed up late in the afternoon and only played two games, but that was enough to see what he could do. The Dillard sophomore is a terrific rebounder, both offensively and defensively. He gets it done simply with effort. Wright did nothing special to catch your eye, but he muscled home shots in the paint with his back to the basket against bigger defenders. The sophomore needs to polish up his game and develop a got move, but right now he will most definitely impact the game on the glass.
Kyle Brown 6'1 Jr. CG Winter Park HS
The most unselfish but effective player on the day had to be Mr. Brown. After watching his team one thing was constant and that was him breaking down the defense and making an array of passes. Brown has a certain burst of speed after his second dribble that he used to get in the lane, once he got there the guard showed some tremendous vision. When defenders started laying off of him he calmly knocked down the outside shot which mad him even harder to contain.
Dewan Huell 6'8 Fr. F/C Miami Norland HS
You can't teach height, so when coaches stumble upon a young player with Huell's size they love it. Like tons of young big man, Huell must continue to improve on footwork, strength, and just being comfortable with his body. What the freshman showed he can do right now is keep up with the pace of the game easily with his long strides and score at the rim with either hand. He wasn't the best shot blocker, but he didn't commit many fouls as he did a good job of making a wall with his hands straight up and not swatting down when offensive players were in the paint. Whats in the future for the young Huell will only be determined by his work ethic on the floor and in the weight room.
Marvin Jean Pierre 6'4 Jr. G Boyd Anderson HS
As soon as the whistle blew this guy made his mark on the camp by not being great at one thing, but good at everything. Pierre is a player, the type you just throw in the game and turn him loose. The guard finished through contact showing good body control and nice hops off of two feet. He was probably the best rebounding guard at the camp and was versatile on defense able to guard all three guard spots. Every game he showed something different from moving without the ball to creating space by utilizing ball and shoulder fakes. Pierre was particularly good on the baseline where he used upper body strength and the rim to shield defenders to score on numerous possessions.
**Seniors Ben Antoine(Cypress Bay) and Prince Foster(Miami American) were the best of the 2013 class. Both guards are very different players with Antoine being the more physical of the two with what seemed to be the better looking outside shot. Foster is a quick and extremely long guard with a frame like former Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur. More athletic than the former All American, Foster's long lean body was a plus when trying to score over bigger opponents.