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Posted On: 04/29/18 10:54 AM
PrepHoopsTn evaluated Team Thad 17u (6-2) twice in Greater Indianapolis. The players delivered classic Team Thad 17u Coach Norton Hurd’s classic defensive pressure and uptempo outlet passes.
The jewel in the crown for Team Thad 17u was a late morning 76-65 victory over Team Rio (6-2).
These are their stories.
Damion Baugh is playing with an elevated confidence. His speed with the ball reminds of a young John Wall. Team Thada 17u is teaching Baugh to play with frenetic defensive pressure. Already long, lean, and quick this style of ratcheting up the defensive pressure made him better.
The year away from Cane Ridge did his body well. Damion had very little baby fat, but he has no unnecessary weight now. Lithe, strong Baugh now plays with his greatest quickness.
Frankly Luke Howard gets very small minutes for Team Thad and generally only sees action as a post presence. A natural face-up four, Howard might be better served on another AAU program.
The strengths of Howard’s game are shooting touch and length. Neither of those are truly showcased on the Team Thad 17u team. Canadian-born, Howard can look timid for stretches.
He did display calm, effective post defense when attackers moved laterally or tried soft, floated offerings. Late in the Sunday game Howard really moved his feet and knocked away frail layups. The defensive instincts and gifts might be his most marketable skill.
The Kentucky guard had a great weekend. Always considered one of the top 3 players in the the state of Kentucky’s 2019 class, KyKy frequently showed off horrific shot selection. He settled for three-pointers when he is stronger and quicker than nearly every player in the Bluegrass State.
This weekend Tandy sprinted through the thick woods and finished among the trees. As the defenders grow each year smaller guards like Tandy face bigger and bigger obstacles. Based upon his play Sunday against an extremely long Team Rio 17u squad, Tandy has the strength and bounce to finish at a high-major college program.
Onlooking Team Rio 16u players predicted Tandy would go for 30 as his second quarter explosion commenced.
With a reputation as a dead-eye shooter, Nicholas occasionally struggled with speed of play this weekend. With two reclassed 2018’s back (Baugh, Christian Jones) the need for guards is low.
Nicholas doesn’t have the handle to play point guard and Team Thad has taller, more agile shooters.
Antonio Thomas is shorter than KyKy Tandy, but plays a completely different brand of basketball. Powerful. Focused. High Basketball IQ. Thomas does get bit by the height differential in the lane sometimes. He is a pass-first point guard at the highest levels. His quickness can get him to the rim, but he will find it harder to finish against 6-foot-8 monsters. Antonio is a decent to plus outside shooter, but typically defers when he is running with Team Thad 17u, a very deep wing team.
Antonio Thomas is a natural leader. he likes keeping teammates in the right positions or sharing the coach’s plans. You can’t play casual around Thomas.