Miami’s Mr. Basketball: Potential Candidates

High School
Florida

Posted On: 08/19/18 7:44 PM

Toru Dean, South Miami

After witnessing the exploits of recently-graduated Neftali Alvarez, the deft dishing guard at Miami Christian last year (Now at Fairfield) the city will once again be headlined by a dynamic guard. Dean, a First Team All-State selection last season, is uber-tough as an on-ball pest capable of creating all types of disruption. Similar to Alvarez, he knows how to read and pick apart a defense as a facilitator. After averaging 20+ points per game as a junior, anticipate him racking up countless double doubles this season with points and assists.

Battle-tested, the Class of 2019 Dean exemplified leadership during tense moments while playing for Team Autonation on the AAU circuit this summer. His toughness and gutsy play will propel him into the upper echelon of gritty unsigned guards in the South.

Dean’s yo-yo handle, shiftiness, and off the dribble scoring make him a real chore to guard. He’s also an underrated downhill scorer.

Lee Flenor, South Miami

Flenor, who was offered by Division-I Stetson recently, is the classic depiction of a no frills guy. He had multiple 20-points and 20-rebounds last season, providing toughness and durability and timely scoring throughout. Flenor has a Charles Oakley-esque quality to his game. While the 6-foot-6 Flenor is undersized for a small forward at the ensuing level, he knows how to bull his way to the rim and score it with efficiency. The cousin of Dean, Flenor has established a tremendous rapport with South Miami’s star guard, a factor which puts him on permanent lob watch when Dean is creating.

The muscle-bound Class of 2019 forward knows hot to fight through defenders and finish with contact. He’s also bouncy and consistently finishing around the rim. He’s not hesitant to take one dribble, explode into the lane and punch it on someone, either.

Toumani Camara, Chaminade Madonna

Camara exploded at the tail end of last season, showcasing all three levels scoring with several high-20s and 30-point games. He’s added on to his arsenal this summer, showing freakish athleticism and an incrementally improved above the rim game. More bouncy and more fluid in the open court, the Belgium-born Class of 2019 small forward has learned to finish with authority and really finish through traffic.

A crafty scorer with a newfound knack for putting the ball on the deck and scoring off the dribble, the 6-foot-7 lefty has improved with his physicality and defense. He holds offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Buffalo, GWU, Florida Atlantic, St. Francis N.Y., and a handful of others.

Expect Camara to prolong precisely how he finished this past season, scoring at will and creating matchup problems with his size and length and adroit shooting touch. Camara was widely regarded as a breakout prospect in July. His shot-blocking and shot-manipulating presence, along with his vastly improved aerial game had a big contribution to this acknowledgement.

Cyrus Largie, Mater Lakes Academy

Entering his senior campaign at Mater Lakes, the hard-slashing 6-foot-3 Largie has scored a whopping 2500+ points during his illustrious career under Juan Urbina. Hyper athletic and physically imposing as a well-built guard, the senior strongman can barrel to the rim and finish with relative ease.

He’s advanced his scoring arsenal by developing a pull-up game from mid-range. While he can score the ball in a variety of ways, his leadership and coach-ability have paralleled his rise from virtually unknown to one of the state’s elite.

Largie has the potential to be one of those under the radar and unheralded recruits to slip through the cracks. This will ultimately result in an impactful four-year career at a low to mid major Division-I program. He could very well lead the state in scoring this season, though Urbina has flanked his star with several serviceable pieces to take the pressure off of the highly decorated Class of 2019 prospect.

Chase Johnston, Westminster Academy

After hitting countless clutch shots as a junior, the Class of 2019 Johnston has become a veritable 3-point grenade launcher capable of dictating the offensive tempo with his touch.

While Johnston played the role of 3-point ace behind prolific scoring guard Zach Scott (now at FGCU) last season, he’s thrust into a prominent leadership role this season. While Dudley Blackwell is the team’s highest level prospect with his dazzling athleticism and versatility, Johnston is the sharpshooter with the veteran savvy and knack for the shot under heightened pressure.

He was consistently scoring 20+ for Team Auto Nation this summer, hitting transition 3-pointers and shooting the rock at a scintillating clip. He’s developed into a very adept passer and his IQ is translatable to that nerveless poise he showcases in big performances.

Scottie Barnes, University School

The 6-foot-7 Barnes is as dazzling an open court finisher as you will find at this level. The West Palm Beach native is also a thunderous finisher, possessing the type of length and athleticism which blue blood programs prioritize. Miami, Villanova, Maryland, Florida, and Louisville are all in the most active pursuit of the multi-dimensional and multi-positional Class of 2020 prospect.

With his wingspan, defensive prowess, and ability to facilitate, he’s got the methodical game of a swiss army knife. This is what makes him such an enticing and unique prospect. It could also very likely propel him to a preps-to-NBA career, though he has said that he wants to pursue a collegiate career. You can bet your bottom buck that will result in a one-and-done. If he can develop a reliable jump shot and extend it to beyond the arc, he will become the best player in the country very shortly.

Vernon Carey, University School

It is rare that a player of Carey’s powerfully built 6-foot-10 size has a wing’s skill-set. That’s why beyond being a sheer matchup headache, Carey is the most complete player in the country. The top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2019, Carey has a freakish vertically explosive game. He’s able to put the ball on the floor and really manufacture points at all three levels. He’s flashed a nifty step-back and is methodical in picking apart a defense and scoring.

A southpaw with a smooth and fluid 3-point stroke, Carey also has the rim-run ability that aligns with today’s high major game. His athleticism is superior. The son of former Miami Dolphins offensive tackle and Miami Northwestern star, Vernon Carey Sr., the bulldozing forward surely has a football player’s physique.

Saintfilso “Saint” Vincent, Miami Beach Senior High

The high-octane point guard is not only one of the most prolific scorers in the area, he’s a major dual threat with his quarterbacking skill-set. He’s a shifty, cerebral guard who will be on constant double double watch next season.

He averaged 22 PPG and 10 assists per game at one point during the 2017-18 season, with his shooting percentage hovering around 60 percent. Despite being one of the lesser acclaimed players, he’s certainly earned the credibility by performing on some elite stages to earn a nod on this list. The 5-foot-11 lefty’s shiftiness, downhill attacking, and ambidextrous dishing ability create matchup difficulties for foes throughout Miami. His reads and ability to see the floor have always been beyond his years.

Dudley Blackwell, Westminster Academy

The 6-foot-7 high-riser is a high level athlete who can really finish in explosive fashion. While he’s got the ability to jolt a gym into a frenzy with his wowing above the rim game and dazzling dunking, the quality of his game that goes under noticed is his versatility.

Blackwell is a gifted passer who can really score it all three levels. He’s become more consistent from beyond the arc and his release time and form have been tuned up considerably these past few months. When he’s engaged for four full quarters and serving as the swiss army knife that he is, he’s a surefire high major talent.

Kentron Poitier, Palmetto

A freak athlete who literally glides to the rim and has immense bounce, Poitier has the chance to become one of the more highly-regarded prospects in the city this season. He’s got superior athleticism, a facet that makes him a reliable piece on the glass.

Beyond his thunderous finishes and hyper athletic plays at the rim, Poitier has incorporated a reliable outside shot to his arsenal. He’s got a funky slingshot release that gives him a bird’s eye view of the rim. With his length, it makes him very hard to guard.

Poitier’s ability to finish lobs with explosive dunks, fly in for stickbacks, and attack and throw it down on the baseline makes him the quintessential high percentage threat.

Jorge Becceril, Mater Academy

The point guard has always been an extension of the coach out on the floor. With his veteran savvy and beyond his years toughness out there, Becceril helps prove this concept prophetic. He’s an aggressive on-ball defender who leads by example out there.

Offensively, he initiates and really finds everyone in their spots. He can take scoring matters into his own hands and score during those tense, pressure-hiked moments. The 5-foot-10, Class of 2019 prospect will inherit more of the offensive leadership with teammate Seven Ferguson transferring to Westlake Prep and re-classifying to 2020.

With a youth movement at Mater and key underclassmen stepping into prominent roles this year, Becceril will be the calming influence with the ball in his hands. He’s got the witty playmaking ability and veteran poise working in legendary South Florida coach Marcos “Shakey” Rodriguez’ favor.

Sam Griffin, Westminster Academy

The Class of 2019 Griffin’s wild shooting spree against a star-spangled No.1 Montverde Academy team last season appears to have been a portent of things to come. After scoring 19 points during the 4A state title win over Masters, Griffin has proven his effectiveness as a multi-layered scorer this summer with Team Autonation.

Beyond his ability to spot up and knock down 3-pointers with consistency, Griffin has a growing pull-up game. He’s become more adept at scoring off the dribble and eluding defenders with crafty ball handling. One new component he’s flashed this summer has been his shot fakes and ability to get defenders to bite on them.

Tony Sanders, Gulliver Prep

The Class of 2020 prospect is now close to 6-foot-6 and has a downhill game, quickness, and all three levels scoring acumen. Having registered his presence on the high major market, Sanders recently visited Syracuse.

Florida State has offered and Florida now appears intrigued with his defensive versatility and ability to playmake in the open court and in the half court set. He’s got all the attributes of a high level athlete who can thrive in a souped-up offensive tempo. With Jamal Mashburn Jr. headed to Brewster Academy to play for Jason Smith and a traditional prep power, Sanders inherits a major scoring role and some ownership of this team as a junior.

Seven Ferguson, Westlake Prep

While Ferguson has been known for his motor and the unbridled energy he brings to the floor, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward has improved with his offensive game and player development. He’s more of an all around threat on offense know, developing a reliable 18-20 footer and beyond the arc shooting touch. He’s got the bouncy athleticism and open court finishing working in his favor.

Defensively, he’s confrontational and can really impact the game on both sides of the ball. With more time devoted to his skill components and an additional year to develop, Ferguson has the chance to join some elite company while simultaneously ascending the ranks as a Division-I prospect.

Thaddeus Franklin, Chaminade Madonna

The 6-foot-1 guard has the supreme man-child build, a facet that results in him being able to really power his way to the rim and score. He’s got the rugged defensive mentality, which results in his ability to poke balls away and instigate turnovers.

While the big bodied Class of 2021 Franklin has immeasurable intangibles with his toughness and work ethic, developing a consistent shot would go a long way in enhancing his overall quality. He will be a valuable supplemental piece to the aforementioned Toumani Camara this season, taking pressure off the prolific focal point with his fearless forays to the rim.

Julio Rodriguez, Champagnat

The Class of 2020 is quick, shifty, cerebral, and thrives at knifing into the rim and finishing with either hand. His scoring aptitude, which blossomed this summer, is the reason he’s the new addition to this list of elite company.

Rodriguez was a consistent 20+ points scorer on some elevated stages throughout the summer. He became a better outside shooter and mastered the trade of reading and picking apart a defense. He’s got a nifty ball handling ability and has transitioned into becoming a very reliable downhill scorer. He will emerge into one of Miami’s best high-scoring guards as a junior in 2018-19.

Richard Charles, North Miami Beach

It’s hard to keep the high-level 3-point dagger man off any list canvassing “who’s who” in the Miami area. Charles’ maniacal and maddening 3-point shooting stroke has given defenses fits this past season and summer. He’s gone from an offensive threat and specialist to a prolific scoring guard who can really break open a game once he catches fire.

Charles’ no secret reputation for lighting up big stages and veteran leadership will play a pivotal role in how the team fares. He will have to channel his inner Reggie Miller, taking the big shots and supplying that momentum roll by sparking runs with his downtown shooting and spurt-ability.