Posted On: 09/7/18 7:26 AM
Ben Lubarsky, Benjamin
The 6-foot-5 left-handed guard has a well rounded offensive game underscored by his lethal shooting. After averaging 25 points and 12 boards for much of last season, Lubarsky has refined his interior scoring and crafty finishes. He’s got a natural ability in being able to finesse finger rolls, scoop-in layups, and shots that are generally hard to guard.
His deft long range shooting and ability to get hot in rapid-fire fashion are the key elements that give defenses fits. Lubarsky has a quiet assassin mentality ingrained in him. A high academic kid, don’t be surprised to see Columbia pursue the guard/wing the hardest as his recruitment picks up.
With his high-level shooting, IQ, and better than expected facilitating skill-set, Lubarsky will be one of the more entertaining players to watch in Palm Beach County this season.
Taelon Martin, Potter’s House
The smooth, hard-edged 2020 guard can really get above the rim. Similar to teammate and fellow heavily courted recruit, Class of 2020 prospect Keano Calderon, Martin has the ability to dunk from anywhere within two feet from the basket. He’s been entrenched in the role of scorer since he was a freshman. This season, on an oceanic-deep team with a number of highly-lauded recruits at guard, Martin will develop into more of a defensive presence.
He’s got the type of on-court awareness and ball-hawking ability that coaches tend to fawn over at the next level. With his springboard-bouncy and high major athleticism and innate nose for the rim, Martin has the potential to really prosper into an alpha dog on a star-spangled lineup. He’s able to elude defenders with his crafty finishing through traffic. Martin boasts one of the best pull-up games in the country, another factor which could heighten his scoring role in a guard-laden attack under veteran head coach Steve McLaughlin. The ball leaves Martin’s hands pretty smoothly from beyond the arc. Beyond his perimeter shooting, he’s been very effective at getting his shot off via the dribble and in transition.
Marsei Caston, Potter’s House
The hyper-bouncy guard has drawn a lot of Corey Sanders comparisons lately. He’s got similar instinctive style and dazzling athleticism to pull off some of the rarified plays Sanders routinely turned in while leading West Oaks Academy to an SIAA state championship four years ago.
Caston’s Eurostep, blinding speed, and nifty one on one really enables him to blow by defenders and get to the rim. He’s added on to his game by opening up a dependable 3-point stroke. He’s flourished as an open court finisher. Similar to the aforementioned Martin, he’s got the tools and the traits to be lethal for his spurt-ability and back-burning runs.
Vernon Carey, University School
The jumbo 6-foot-10 forward has the type of athleticism you simply don’t anticipate from a 250-pounder. He’s got some burst to him and can go rim to rim, an aspect which gives him major appeal to the Blue Bloods and barrage of high-majors recruiting him.
Now the no.1 ranked player in the country, Carey’s fluid left-handed touch and wing’s skill-set are intriguing components. Carey has become more comfortable putting the ball on the floor and making plays. He can step outside and drill the outside shot. He’s shown a craftiness in his ability to carve his way to the rim and has incorporated a stepback and a pull-up into his arsenal. It probably wouldn’t be an immense shocker if Carey ultimately winds up at Duke.
Scottie Barnes, University School
If Barnes can establish a dependable outside shot or a 15-18 footer, he’s got the chance to really ascend the ladder as the country’s best next season. Growing from 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-7 this past year helped with his recruitment, as Maryland and Miami and Villanova are just a few of the front-runners for the prized forward.
Barnes’ open court finishing ability is already that of a high level professional. He showed this on some massive national stages last year, most notably at GEICO Nationals in New York.
Barnes’ wingspan and wildly athletic dunking have given him visibility as a top-5 prospect in his class. Opening up a long range game or adding a steady pull-up would catapult him right to the nation’s upper crust this season. He’s defensively versatile and can shuffle his feet against guards and get that vital stop.
Balsa Koprivica, Montverde
The 7-foot-2 Serbian is a multi-layered scorer who has improved dramatically with his ability to switch on guards and contain them. Very few at his size can simulate what he does out there.
The pick-and-pop jumper is quickly developing into one of the most valuable tools he has to offer. He’s worked diligently at posting up, catching, facing, and knocking down the 10-footer. He moves exceptionally well, as well as any player in the country at his size. His inside/outside game and ability to get better on a day-to-day basis in the skill compartments of his game have many projecting him as a surefire lottery pick. Baylor, Florida State, and Gonzaga are currently working the hardest for him. Gonzaga appears to have the upper hand, since they have recently graduated Montverde star and Balsa’s tight friend in Filip Petrusev.
Toumani Camara, Chaminade Madonna
During his evolution as a prodigious all three levels scoring threat, The 6-foot-7 Class of 2019 forward has developed an explosiveness and wowing hang time. Camara, who closed out last year with several legitimate 30-point and high-20s performance, has become more bouncy and aggressive in his above the rim game. A crafty lefty who can score off the bounce and pocket elbow jumpers and 3-pointers, Camara will carry the scoring torch proudly for a Fort Lauderdale/Davie/Hollywood area containing a collection of young talent. While he’s got the opportunity to tip the high major scales this season, it is the local programs (FAU, FGCU, FIU) that should be in the most active pursuit.
Penning with one of those programs would give him the chance to come in and immediately get the touches. If he shies away from becoming too enamored with a bigger program, he could be a game-changer at the mid-major level should he pan out.
CJ Walker, Oak Ridge
The oft-soaring and wildly athletic 6-foot-7 Class of 2019 prospect had himself a sublime summer, one which witnessed him catapult into the upper percentile of the planet’s most sought-after products remaining on the recruiting market.
Walker’s 23-point performance during Each 1 Teach 1’s 80-75 victory over Team Loaded was emblematic of of his vastly improved scoring engine. His confidence in how he shot the ball and weaved into the lane and scored was instrumental in bolstering his stock in that one. Walker also scored 28 points during Peach Jam, before a sea of high major coaches who took in the action. He’s put a good deal of strength onto a once toothpick slim frame, which has also paid dividends in his recruitment. Now at Oak Ridge, Walker’s array of one on one moves and thorough slashes will be a necessity. The defending state champs loses a considerable amount of offensive with Emmitt Williams (now at LSU) and 3-point marksman Rob Perry now gone.
The stronger frame has allowed Walker to finish traditional 3-point plays through hard contact and thrive in the one on one game. Though his outside shot is still a work in progress, he’s improved in that category as well.
Tre Mann, The Villages
The dazzling Class of 2019 point guard made a loud statement when he chose Florida over North Carolina recently. Choosing the less popular route and staying in-state, Mann understands the direction Mike White is taking this guard-rich Florida program. A highly-skilled guard class, one headlined by former Montverde surgical passing wizard Andrew Nembhard, is providing a significant selling point for guards of Mann’s high-major fabric.