Posted On: 01/1/18 9:33 PM
P.J. Person, West Oaks Academy
West Oaks did a commendable job playing the role of spoiler, staving off a top-tier Mount Zion Christian Academy (N.C.) program during an 86-84 thriller. With the win, they took the championship of the annual Bull City tournament, which was hosted on Mount Zion’s home court.
Person scored 20 points, grabbed eight boards, and dished out six assists. It’s been quite the senior campaign for Person, who had an impressive summer that he’s prolonged into a massive role under head coach (and his AAU coach) Kenny Gillion. A two way threat and a bullish, hard-driving guard, Person is cognizant that the onus is on him to set the tone for this guard-laden West Oaks team.
In quarterbacking the offense and turning in crucial plays during pivotal junctures, Person has epitomized the leadership role.
Tyrieke Blakeney, West Oaks Academy
After averaging 20 points at Agape last season, the transfer has provided instant scoring punch. He’s been key in West Oaks’ 94 feet of consistent pressure and smothering defensive tactics on each possession.
In the championship win over Mount Zion Christian Academy (N.C.), Blakeney submitted a double double of 17 points and 10 boards. West Oaks has given itself some national visibility these last few games, especially with an upset of 6-foot-11 Charles Bassey and Aspire Academy (K.Y.) during a recent Grind Session event.
Braxton Bartlett, Oldsmar Christian
The 6-foot-5 combo guard is as pure a shooter there is in the SIAA. Bartlett is a knockdown threat from beyond the arc and is proficient in creating his shot off the bounce. He’s spent this season, a topsy-turvy one at the start for traditionally potent Oldsmar Christian (a deep roster purge occurred just prior to the 2017-18 campaign), orchestrating offense and hitting timely 3-pointers for Oldsmar. While the program lost highly-lauded USC-bound guard Elijah Weaver (who transferred to Rockledge) prior to the season, a guard-laden core has shown promise.
Ricardo Clouden, Oldsmar Christian
Explosive athleticism and a prominent above the rim game have been central components of the underrated Tampa native’s game. The passion and ferocity that he plays with are also immeasurable factors that make the 6-foot-4 transfer via Lennard an intriguing and underrated prospect.
An adept off the dribble scorer and hard slasher, Clouden has a swagger to his game. His ability to create for himself and split defenders on thorough drives have earned notice, despite the fact that the Class of 2018 prospect remains rather overlooked. A crafty handle also is an integral facet of Clouden’s game, as he’s known to put the ball on the deck and score off the bounce.
Akiel Shakoor, Oldsmar Christian
One of the lone remaining members of the 2017 SIAA state championship Oldsmar team, Shakoor’s wealth of experience has paid dividends for a team entrenched in transition mode for much of season’s embryonic stages.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Class of 2018 guard is a stout on-ball defender who creates turnovers and employs blanketing pressure. A key supplementary scorer with an adeptness for reads, Shakoor is low to mid-major Division-I prospect.
Julian Newman, Downey Christian
Though he was inconsistent shooting the ball, Newman’s augmented range and NBA 3-point shooting aptitude was a promising factor for the Class of 2020 guard at the John Wall tournament in North Carolina.
Showered in a steady chorus of “Overrated!” chants from the Broughton crowd, Newman hit pull-up 3-pointers from just a few feet inside the half court mark. He would finish with 12 points.
Newman, who has scored 3,000+ points in a career he began as a jarringly undersized fifth grader, scored 26 points (though he shot an irregular 5-for-17 from the field) during a loss to Greene Central.