Posted On: 06/23/18 7:34 PM

Saturday night in Smyrna, Tennessee Dem Boyz 15u overcame early sloppiness to pummel Tennessee Grizzlies, 68-38.

Instead of unnecessarily criticizing missed layups, this article will attempt to dissect Team Tae’s 15u players.  Team Tae formerly resided in the 15u Team Rankings, but fell out at the end of May.

Seven players ran with Dem Boyz 15u.  Grab your forceps while we dissect these young talents.

Jason Amsler (Franklin)

The Class of 2021 power forward displayed soft hands.  Decent court awareness. Jason had occasional mental lapses like forgetting to block out or flashing crisply.  The soft hands and relatively light feet could serve Amsler’s ascendance within the Franklin basketball program.  He also plays football, thriving at right tackle.    Basketball and football shape are completely different and frankly they might work against each other a little bit.  Jason gets more lean deeper into basketball season, but football blocking demands more body to block the road.

Amsler’s court awareness wanes a touch, but he has strings of play with excellent positioning.

Jason Amsler and Antonio Anthony fit together like a couch and chair set.  They feed off the energy of the other and Anthony dutifully feeds postman Jason Amsler in dangerous areas.  Amsler plays his best when he is flashing and waving for the basketball.  It can be tough for any big to maintain enthusiasm during AAU as guards tend to hog opportunities.  It is wonderful to see Antonio Anthony and Jason Amsler teaming so well together.

Jalen Qualls (Stratford)

Qualls is 6-foot-3.  He plays forward truly now.  The lithe forward should be able to develop more wing skills going forward.    Darting around the floor can be Qualls’ identity.  The lean wing guard projects as an open floor scoring delight with sporadic catch-and-shoot sprinkles.

Of all seven players running with Team Tae this weekend Jalen might have the most ideal size and body type for his eventual position.  Sabino will benefit from a little more height.  Jason Amsler also could use 1-2 more inches.  Qualls is already perfectly tall at 6-foot-3.  The skills are coming along nicely.

Shooting off the catch is solid.  Shooting off the dribble needs work even though there are glimpses of greatness here too.

Martise Jackson (Siegel)

Martise is clearly a talented basketball player.  That said his Saturday evening game against TN Grizzlies was anything but impressive.  Jackson needs to get lower on defense.  Too often he relies on superior athleticism at this stage in his development.  Like all strong young athletes Jackson will arrive at a point where his athleticism will not be suprerior.  Higher levels of basketball include flocks of exceptional athletes.  Athleticism must meet devotion for success to follow.

For Martise Jackson the shooting is coming along.  In this particular game he didn’t hit the three-pointers.  Thankfully Martise’s form is pretty fluid though he needs more lift off the hardwood.  Taller guards can get stuck in a rut of releasing without lift as defenders fail to challenge at lower levels.  When Martise hits varsity basketball this winter he will meet taller defenders and those taller defenders will close out faster and higher.   Shooting over quality guards requires both a quick release and formidable elevation preceding a high release.

Sabino Otira (JP II)

Sabino Otira (pictured on right of cover photo) currently plays as a speedy forward.    Sabino uses his athleticism wisely.  There are few frills to his efficient game.  He runs the floor with purpose and rarely finishes with a slurping of rim punch.  Sabino wants to be an outside shooter.  Maybe he will be.  Someday.

Sabino’s desperation to be a guard will be an asset.  While he is a tad ungainly and shoots inconsistently now perhaps he will determinedly improve the relevant guard skills.

Of all required guard skills Sabino’s handle appears the most developed.  When he corrals a rebound the blossoming wing is competent starting his own fastbreak.  The competition Saturday night hardly compared to high school varsity level and better guards will make that adventure less smooth, but Sabino shifts his feet pretty well and the touch with the basketball off the deck holds promise.

Otira is a fun watch.  Enthusiasm and effort dripping off Otira’s game seep in to all teammates.

Antonio Anthony (Pearl Cohn)

Antonio Anthony is a wonderful athlete, but needs a lot of polish to his basketball game.  He moves so effortlessly around the court.  One redeemable point guard trait is the ability to get where you want on the floor.  Anthony has this oozing out of his game.

Beyond his offensive escapability, Antonio Anthony usually defends wonderfully too.

He stands with impeccable balance.  Guards struggle to get around Anthony with the dribble.  For a sophomore-to-be Antonio Anthony thoroughly embraces the physicality of basketball.  He sticks his strong chest in the way and never cowers.

Most young basketball players gradually grow in to this confidence.  Some never do.  It is encouraging to see how imposing Antonio Anthony is already willing to be.

Outside shooting lags behind the rest of his skills.  Even without a knockdown outside shot Antonio projects as a college prospect.  Elite defending and speed/poise with the basketball go a long way for coaches.  They directly contribute to winning basketball games.