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Posted On: 07/13/18 9:32 PM
With temperatures in the American Sports Center in the 90s, it wasn’t the most comfortable of settings for opening day of the Double Pump Summer Tip-Off Tournament. But despite the steamy backdrop, Day 1 proved solid in terms of the prospects and teams on hand.
This is the first of several dispatches from the event, and we’ll start with under-the-radar guards who have a chance to make a splash in July.
Flowers was very strong in a losing effort against Tyler Johnson Elite, and is looking more and more like one of the biggest sleepers in our coverage area. Blessed with incredible length and a D1 frame, Flowers doubles effectively as a slasher and a playmaker for teammates off the dribble, and is a high-level perimeter defender. His court vision, especially in drive and kick scenarios, is very underrated. Flowers has a playable jump shot (solid pull-up), but needs to shoot it more consistently, as well as use shot fakes, to keep defenders honest.
Fastbreak Sports ran through its pool with a 3-0 record, and Rene’s performance was a big reason why. The 6-3 Long Beach Poly combo guard scored efficiently from all three levels, knocking down threes off the catch and off the bounce, as well as stopping on a dime and connecting from mid range. In transition, Rene made the right call on when to attack, when to feed cutting teammates, or when to pull out and run offense.
After struggling in his first game, McLachlan came alive in a win over Saints Basketball, scoring from each level and displaying some crafty playmaking off the bounce. The highlight of his outing came late in the game, where he used a step back and a ball fake to hit a critical baseline three. McLachlan has solid length, broad shoulders and a frame oozing with upside. He needs to get physically stronger to absorb contact on drives to the basket, but the upside is there.
McDonald was equally impressive in the win over Cali United, matched up most of the game with Flowers. At 6-3, 165, McDonald also has excellent length and a wiry frame, and utilizes his physical gifts on both ends. He plays with great pace, and uses hesitation dribbles and changes in speed to get into the paint, where, despite being slight of frame, does an excellent job finishing through contact. Much like Flowers, McDonald’s passing in the half court and open court is impressive, and it’s easy to see him transitioning to the point full time at the next level. Additionally, McDonald is an explosive athlete – he’s a Division 1 track recruit in the high jump.
The shifty, two-way point guard was the catalyst in the Truth’s win over Gamepoint IE. Offensively, he did a good job changing speeds in the halfcourt, getting into the paint at will. His decision making has improved since earlier viewings, cutting down on turnovers in the process. Additionally, he will knock down the open three off the catch, albeit he’s somewhat streaky. Defensively, he has very good lateral quickness and an aggressive mindset, turning over guards and getting steals in the passing lanes.