Northwestern State Team Camp: Players to Watch

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Louisiana

Posted On: 06/20/18 5:26 PM

The team camp hosted in Natchitoches by Northwestern State saw action from teams at all classifications. Schools from Louisiana’s I-49 corridor and east Texas worked on team chemistry in this two day event. Through the team play, some individual players stood out. Prep Hoops Louisiana will showcase what players made and impression during Father’s Day weekend at NSU.

Sadarionne Ellis / Southwood / 6’3″ / CG

During this month of team camps and summer league play, Ellis has made steady improvements week after week.  At Northwestern State, he continued to show that growth.  During games against Red River and Deridder, Ellis displayed a knack for playing the passing lanes well on defense which had been one of his weaknesses.  On offense, he has learned to when to settle for his jumper or take it all the way to the basket.  His improved handle has helped that.  Earlier in his career he would continue to dribble without making a real basketball move.  Now he understands how to get his defender off balance to increase his chances for taking an uncontested shot.  Ellis has rounded off some edges to his game and it has served him well.  Look for this 2019 player to make moves up the rankings as the season begins.

R. J. Hill / Ouachita / 6’3″ / CG

The Lions from Ouachita have been on a roll this month.  Senior guard Paul King has been a big part of that success.  Equally as important has been the play of R. J. Hill.  This 2019 guard has used his improved ball handling to spell King at the point without the offense missing a beat.  His ability to drive from different areas on the floor and finish at the rim has been his best offensive asset.  Against Southwood and Byrd, Hill used his athleticism to beat defenders and finish with layups which could have easily been dunks.  Hill’s defense is another great advantage of his.  With Hill’s ability to guard three positions, he allows his teammates to pressure constantly for turnovers.  R. J. gives the Lions a defensive dimension that allows them to break the will of other teams.  If his perimeter offense continues to improve , Hill has a chance to help Ouachita achieve all of their goals.

Chrisitan Caldwell / Southwood / 6’6″ / Wing

One of the team camp surprises at NSU was the play of Christian Caldwell.  This 2020 forward/wing finished last season as a starter for the Cowboys when they made their quarterfinal run in 5A.  Now that he is firmly planted in the starting lineup, he has taken his game to a different level.  Even though he is still perfecting his perimeter game, he has learned how to put the ball on the deck.  Because he was either guarded by slower big man or a smaller guard, he used his athleticism to score.  He either drove past someone for a dunk or shot mid-range jumpers over defenders.  On defense, he displayed the ability to guard five positions.  Caldwell can switch on other players without the defense missing a beat.  His long arms allowed him to block shots on ball or from the weak side.  With his offensive game gradually improving and his overall athletic ability, Caldwell will make a splash in class 5A with the Cowboys.

Demontae Edwards / Carroll / 6’7″ / Post

On Saturday, Carroll played at the NSU team camp and routinely beat teams up on the backboards.  Demontae Edwards led the way in their rebounding effort.  His 6’7″ frame an long arms gave this 2020 forward a distinct advantage.  When a shot was attempted, he went to the boards to get it.  Along with his rebounding came his defensive ability to play post players at different levels.  If an opposing big faced him up, he guarded them man-to-man with no help.  Consequently, if the opposing player posted up, Edwards used his body to make his post shot difficult.  Offensively, Carroll ran a box-to-box screen set which allowed him to catch the ball and lay it up.  He is still working on his perimeter game within 15 feet.  However, a person can see that Edwards is athletically gifted and can handle himself in the paint.  Carroll will be set up for another deep playoff run if Edwards can strengthen his offensive game to go with his defense.

Jourdain Dishmond / Menard / 6’6″ / Post

Dishmond was the most impressive of the underclassmen big men during the NSU team camp.  The 2021 player from Menard has an offensive game that is very impressive.  He is a lefty who can post and score over either shoulder.  Dishmond can face up and shoot short jumpers or take big men off the dribble driving left.  This young player also has an intensity that is hard to match.  He feels that players can not stop him when he make offensive moves and he works tirelessly for rebounds.  On the defensive end, he can block shots and alter them as well.  For an underclassman, Dishmond shows an offensive maturity that is comforting to see.  Menard will rely heavily on him to do his thing in the post and he is skilled enough to do so.  With this young man on the floor, Menard will make waves next season.

Jamarkus Wilson / Rayville / 6’5″ / Post

There are a plethora of things that Jamarkus Wilson does for the Rayville team.  His play at Northwestern State accentuated all of those.  Wilson is a 2019 post player who can defend big mean, switch on a pick, and guard a smaller player.  He can also rebound the ball and play point forward on every position because he handles the ball so well.  Jamarkus is more of an offensive threat because he is more consistent  with his outside shot from 15 to 20 feet.  When the opposition makes a bucket, his ability to take the ball out and find outlet players streaking down the floor with baseball passes is unreal.  Wilson has the most complete game of any player at the camp.  As one coach said, he does everything well.  A player that has his all around skill is hard to find in today’s game.  If this play continues, Jamarkus Wilson may indeed help Rayville to another championship season in class 2A.