Posted On: 01/31/18 4:15 PM
The Ferndale-Frederick Douglass was the opening game of the Prep Ball Classic at Voyageur Prep on Saturday afternoon. A quality opening act with talent at various levels.
A relatively even matchup in the first quarter saw both teams get a bit sloppy with turnovers and missed shots as they eased in to the flow of the game. During the second quarter, Frederick Douglass took control of the game and opened a 10 point lead behind PJ Brooks’ strong play before a Ferndale run to end the second quarter would cut the deficit to 30-24 entering halftime. It was all Hurricanes in the third quarter, forcing several Ferndale turnovers and converting in transition as they went up by 20 points. Ferndale would make a furious comeback midway through the final period to get within single digits, but missed several open threes and a few layups as Fred D took home the 66-55 victory.
Here are five items that stick out in the aftermath:
It was an impressive day for the freshman guard, dropping 18 points and 8 rebounds. The first thing you notice about Brooks is physical stature, standing a legit 6’3 and in the 180-195 pound range. He has the appearance of a senior, and has superb size for a lead guard with room to grow. In terms of skillset, P.J. displayed a solid handle and gets to his spots on the floor off the dribble. While his jumpshot isn’t consistent just yet, he did knock down multiple pull-up jumpers from the midrange area while flashing the ability to connect on triples off the catch. Brooks absorbs contact quite easily when he has the ball and that strength translates on the boards too, where he came down with a few rebounds in traffic. The best thing about P.J. at this point is upside, as he has prototype size for a lead guard, the ability to create shots off the dribble and a solid perimeter shot. It will be interesting to see his development in the next 3 years.
Deondre isn’t a well-known prospect at this point, but he has produced at a high clip on a consistent basis this year. Saturday was no different, as Bonaparte poured in 18 points and 4 assists. Deondre is a high-level shooter with NBA range with his feet set, as he knocked down 2 shots from 23+ feet away. He has a plus handle and showed the ability to get some separation against his defender by changing speeds and direction at times. Perhaps most impressive was the combo-guard’s playmaking ability and vision. Bonaparte got into the paint on multiple occasions before drawing a secondary defender and finding teammates for dumpoffs and kickouts to shooters for assists. Deondre isn’t a well-known prospect at this point, but he has the look of small college prospect that can space the floor from distance and handle secondary ballhandling duties as a combo-guard.
The Hurricanes aren’t quite where they want to be right now, but they have some pieces in place to make a leap next year. In addition to the aforementioned Brooks, Fred D has a juniors Davon Allen and Markise Brown. Filling the center spot is Allen, an ultra athletic 6’3 prospect that has tremendous versatility on the defensive end. Davon switches on to guards and can stay with them for 3-4 dribble while having enough verticality and motor to overcome any size disadvantage on the glass. He displayed an improved offensive arsenal against Ferndale, knocking down several midrange jumpers and a few floaters off the dribble. Markise is a lightning quick point guard that is nearly impossible to stay in front of. Brown repeatedly got in the paint off the bounce versus Ferndale, where he showed some surprisingly good finishing ability at roughly 5’9. If he can make his jumper a bit more consistent, he really has potential to be one of the best guards in the PSL. If the Hurricanes can add a legit center to the roster and slide Allen to the 3/4, that would be ideal. As of right now Fred D’s biggest weakness is size, if they can solve that then their defensive versatility and flexibility on offense will make them a tough matchup next year.
This 2019 prospect definitely caught my eye against Frederick Douglass. The 6’4 point guard is oozing with potential. Teonta is all of a legit 6’3 and no more than 160 pounds, but he has skill. He runs the point guard spot, displayed some shiftiness and had a very good looking stroke when taking quality shots. McKeithen can be a bit wild with his shot selection at times, though part of that is a function of limited help. Teonta needs to add 25 pounds of muscle mass, but his combination of size, length and skill make him an extremely desirable small college prospect.
Can’t say enough about the 1st annual Prep Ball Classic, it was hit a hit for sure. A ten team field at various levels with evenly matched teams made for competitive games and a great day of hoops. While Voyageur Prep (formerly Consortium) may be an obscure school to a certain extent, it was a perfect venue for an event like this. The gym had adequate seating (all sideline seating I might add), clean facilities and a diverse crowd in the heart of Southwest Detroit…………………all at the price of $3 per adult. Prep Hoops will definitely be in the building next year at the 2nd edition.