Posted On: 04/23/18 9:03 PM
Tasked with revitalizing a previously ailing program at Florida Atlantic University, freshly hired head coach Dusty May explained during his initial press conference the incoming staff planned to “put a fence around Florida.”
Cognizant of the hoops hotbed that Palm Beach County area and beyond has evolved into, May and the newly-acquired staff has wasted zero time in prioritizing local products.
FAU tapped into the JUCO market in garnering a commitment from rugged 6-foot-2 Indian Hills guard Richardson Maitre, who starred alongside Illinois commit Andres Feliz at West Oaks Academy in Orlando.
The Owls followed this up by gaining a commitment from 6-foot-1 prolific scoring combination guard Mike Forrest, out of Pompano Beach heavy hitter Blanche Ely High School. The Owls’ staff will continue to recruit mid-major caliber local products such as deft dishing Class of 2019 Boca High point guard Maxime Demeus.
Given how quickly Lane Kiffin propelled the football program to national visibility, it’s clear May and company have the potential to do the same.
It is hard to ignore the positive draws of FAU. The school has a highly competitive education, a scenic campus located smack in an evolving hoops hotbed, and the no-secret reputation of scintillating women.
The Palm Beach County lifestyle is comfortable and the athletic department has shown no hesitation in shelling out big ticket salaries, especially at an institution where the money is flowing and being spit around like water.
And so there is enticing potential in building up a promising program and installing a basketball culture that’s been so lacking these past few years.
Here’s a look at a steady crop of multi-dimensional Florida area talent which has the advanced skill set and physical requirements to play at the Division-I level.
Jadrian Tracey, Riverdale High
Long and athletic and bouncy, the Class of 2020 prospect has all the tools to transition to the Division-I level of play. Knowing how much rim to rim athleticism and above the rim finishing ability is prioritized at the Division-I level, Tracy also has a versatile approach to his game.
He’s capable of operating offense at 6-foot-6 and has developed into a reliable knockdown man.
Toumani Camara, Chaminade Madonna Prep
The 6-foot-7, 200-pound guard has evolved into a surefire mid major prospect this past winter. Camara was recently offered by a Buffalo program which shined in the 2018 NCAA tournament and has ramped up its recruiting class with OCP point guard Renaldo Segu and 6-foot-7 Prolific Prep (Ca.) forward Jeenathan Williams coming in.
A versatile and skilled stretch four, Camara erupted as a monstrous scorer during the tail end of the 2017-18 campaign, posting multiple 30-point performances. With length, an adeptness at slashing, and a smooth left handed stroke all over, the Class of 2019 prospect is beginning to blossom.
Brandon Garcia, Cypress Bay
The 6-foot-1 Class of 2020 prospect is a consistent and smooth scorer at all three levels. He’s got an advanced skill set for a sophomore, creating his own shot and freeing up space on pull ups and one on one sequences.
Garcia doesn’t shy away from big moments and has proven he can hit shots under amplified pressure. This summer should be a memorable one for Garcia, who will assume a leadership role as a junior next season.
Raymond Dieng, Inspire Prep Academy
After showing promise as a high-rising and crafty finisher his freshman year at the Conrad School in Orlando, the 6-foot-7 Class of 2020 prospect has gained significant upper body strength while transitioning to the interior banger role.
Duncan Demuth, Seminole
While the stretch four/wing is really more of a high major talent, versatility is his biggest weapon. In adapting to today’s game and the value in being multi-positional, Demuth can create his own shot and put the ball on the deck exceptionally well for a 6-foot-8 guy. He’s got a knack for knifing into the teeth of the defense and scoring.
Nick Backer, American Heritage
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound off guard has a smooth and efficient catch and stick game. Shifty and creative off the dribble, Backer can get into the lane and score with either hand consistently. He’s added some bounce and a knack for scoring in the open court.
Tyler McMillion, Taravella
The 6-foot-5 lefty forward is a creative slasher and facilitator. He’s evolved into a reliable three-point threat, possessing a funky slingshot jumper. His handle, crafty scoring ability, and versatility as a guard/forward are attributes which make him appealing at the next level. He’s not afraid to throw it down, either.