Coming Of Age: Vastly Improved SIAA Prospects

High School
Florida

Posted On: 06/15/18 12:13 PM

Bryan Greenlee, The Rock School

A 6-foot Class of 2019 guard with a motor, Greenlee eludes defenders with crafty moves and finesse finishing through traffic. He’s improved with his pull-up jumper and shooting. Developing strength and a tighter handle has been imperative in his day-to-day growth and production.

Greenlee has witnessed first hand the leadership and big game moxie required to win at this level, as he was once the unsung backup to Jamari Wheeler (now at Penn State).

Jahlil Melvin, Inspire Academy

The dish-first facilitator has all the fundamental tools to spearhead an offense. A quick 5-foot-9 point guard, Melvin sees the floor exceptionally well and can deliver bullet passes while facilitating the high-low game. He had a pair of double digit assists games this past season and has increased his workload this off-season.

Part of his ramped up grind involves establishing a mid-range game and 3-point stroke. He’s worked at a furious pace to become an all three levels scorer, which will come with the territory of being a leader next season.

Eduardo Peralta, Downey Christian

The mobile 6-foot-4 forward utilized a feathery 18-20 foot jumper and an improved face-up game this past season. Such was a necessity with prolific scoring guard Julian Newman constantly attracting double and triple teams, experiencing various types of junk defenses designed to minimize his impact.

Often forced to put a body on forwards/centers half a foot taller than him with Downey’s daunting SIAA schedule, Peralta averaged 15 boards at one point. He embodied the “Mr. Hustle” role, battling for supremacy in the post.

Noble Crawford, West Oaks Academy

West Oaks head coach Kenny Gillion continues to keep the tradition of gritty, tenacious guard play intact with the addition of the incoming senior guard. At 6-foot-5, Crawford is an athletic guard who can really create his own shot. His quickness and chock full of one on one moves tend to leave defenders guessing.

Crawford, who averaged 16 PPG last season, will help cushion the loss of recently graduated guards P.J. Person and Tyrieke Blakeney.

Person was a rugged defensive presence with a diverse offensive arsenal. He was routinely filling up every notable category on the stat sheet.

Blakeney spent his senior year at West Oaks shedding his image as a chucker. He developed a better shot selection and was able to carve out space for himself, hitting timely shots throughout.

He provided a dependable leg of scoring and bought into the team’s consistent high pressure attack, one employed throughout an unforgiving national schedule.

Khalyl Simmons, Inspire Academy

The 6-foot-1 guard averaged a program-best 21 points last season, displaying efficient spurt-ability. He developed an aptitude for dictating a game with his red-hot scoring, frustrating defenses when he seized the hot hand.

Simmons has spent this off-season increasing his strength and developing an improved aerial game, residual effects of his workload on the Vertimax. After leading the team with 3.0 steals per game in 2017-18, expect Simmons to emerge into a leader on both sides of the ball as a junior next season.

Ethan Williams, West Oaks

The 5-foot-8 combo guard has invested in the proper workload this off-season, tuning up his defensive acumen. A proven scorer with a knack for knifing into the lane and finishing with either hand, Williams has improved his vertical explosiveness this off-season.

His shot and shot speed should offer instant contributions on a guard-laden national team next season. Williams rebounds the ball notably well for a diminutive guard, bringing boundless energy.

He will have to transition from being a ball-dominant guard to more of a creator next season, especially with highly-touted prospects such as Tyrell Jones and A.J. Neal returning.

Jordan Smith, West Oaks Academy

The bolt-quick guard joins a lineage of Team Breakdown products who have gone on to culminate their careers at West Oaks.

Smith has the ball on a string with his deceptive and quick handle. He’s capable of taking defenders off the dribble and also triggering the souped-up attack. Smith, a transfer via Titusville, will provide another leg of scoring and add depth to a cadre of gritty guards.

Julian Newman, Downey Christian

In scoring 3,961 points throughout a decorated varsity career which began in the fifth grade (!!!), Newman has done the unthinkable and passed legendary 3-point assailant Teddy Dupay (3,744). With that, Newman becomes the all-time leading scorer in Florida high school basketball history–with two full seasons remaining.

With increased 3-point range and quicker handle, the Class of 2020 Newman averaged an SIAA-best 33.9 PPG.

Hoop Diamond recently labeled Newman “the most polarizing name in high school basketball.”

Newman, he of the deft handle, is constantly showered in a steady chorus of “overrated!” chants at opposing gyms. The rugged, hyper-focused guard relishes these moments. Newman actually takes a sense of pride and fervor in playing the antagonist –especially when he buries 3-pointers from damn near half court.

Despite constantly drawing double teams, Newman has been able to consistently put up eye opening numbers He had 35 points against IMG’s national high school team and showcased unlimited 3-point range at the John Wall Classic.