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Posted On: 08/24/18 3:22 PM
The north Louisiana representation at the Top 250 was top notch. The best player of the day along with other top level guards made a genuine impression on the staff at the event. Right here on Prep Hoops Louisiana, we will review the standout guards of the day from north Louisiana.
LaDamien Bradford / 6’4″ / Jonesboro-Hodge / 2020
This young man was the MVP of the Top 250 Expo in my opinion. His team might not have won every game; however, Bradford put his stamp on each and every one he played in. It is a luxury to have a player who can take the ball off the backboard, push it up the floor, and find the right player nine times out of ten. Not only can LaDamien do that in the open floor, he can do it in the half court. Running an offense is like second nature to him. Small guards are too light and bigger guards are too slow in guarding him. The no-look, alley-oop pass he made in the open floor was phenomenal. Just as outstanding were the skip passes and hand-offs he made to find shooters and scorers in and out of traffic. Bradford also finished above the rim with several dunks. LaDamien can pretty much do everything on the floor and for that reason I believe he was the best player during the day.
E’mareyon McDonald / 6’1″ / Red River High / 2021
McDonald was the most exciting guard of the day. He can not dunk over guys and he is not stronger than everyone else; however, he can flat out score. The variety in his offensive game is not usually found in a sophomore. McDonald began the day with three threes from deep that left me and others shaking our heads. He has the quick crossover step back, the hard dribble pull up, and the crossover drive to the lane. All of these moves were very effective. He kept defenders off balance the whole time he was on the floor. Whether it was from deep or probing the lane, E’maryeon made every time he touched the ball a must see possession.
Brayden Thompson / 6’5″ / Airline / 2020
During the Expo, Thompson was a throwback to what post players did before this era of shooting threes. He was a banger and solid post defender. When the ball hit the backboard, he either gathered the rebound, tipped it to himself, or made it hard for the defender to block him out. He has a great deal of lower body strength which helps him anchor his post position on offense and defense. Taller defenders were able to shoot over him but they were always contested. His wing span threatened layup attempts by guards and post. Thompson had blocks against who he was defending no matter the size. Because he is 6’5″ (and plays taller) is the reason these things standout. If Thompson plays this way during the high school season, he will be a definite asset to Airline’s district and playoff chances.
Chance Williams / 5’7″ / North Desoto High / 2020
Some would ask how could a 5’7″ guard standout in a talented field such as this. I will tell you how. When a player causes several turnovers and drives the lane repeatedly, that’s how they would standout. Chance Williams did just that during the course of the day. He had the knack to get lower than the guard he was defending and basically take the ball from them. This happened several times when wings were bringing the ball up the floor. Williams was quick enough to take the rock from them, head towards the other end, and shot his mid range jumper. Chance also showed that smaller guards can run the wing as well. He was on the receiving end of several passes from my MVP LaDamien Bradford. His ability to create turnovers is what helped his standout performance during the day. Look for this to continue when North Desoto plays during the season.
Standout players like these preps were truly all over the gym on Saturday. Each one of these players had games where their individual skill sets took over. During the high school season, we will look to see if their great play from the Top 250 Expo continues.