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Posted On: 09/3/18 4:15 PM
Elkins Uceta, Northeast
The traditional point guard has an insatiable thirst for winning. He’s shown a good feel for reads and knows how to trigger the high-low attack and spur a controlled uptempo game as well. The fearlessness and swagger Uceta brings is evidenced by the way he gets into the teeth of the defense and finishes. The hard-driving, hard-nosed Class of 2019 guard plays with fair. He’s able to get to the rim and really finish in crafty style.
Defensively, he’s a ball-hawk who brings boundless energy. Expect the senior to lead by example and leave his stamp on the program with a memorable last season.
Algenis Quintana, Miami Christian
The cerebral, tough 6-foot-1, 175-pound Class of 2019 point guard is a blur-quick scorer and facilitator who will inherit the leadership reins from the get-go this season. Miami Christian will buy into the themes of interchangeability and versatility, as many multi-dimensional options will adapt to playing different positions for the first time in their careers.
Quintana has a hard-nosed defensive approach and can really clamp down on other guards. Because of his instinctive style and quickness, his ability to elicit turnovers and pickpocket opponents helps pioneer the team’s vaunted transition game. He’s got a very talented and seasoned guard alongside him in veteran combo guard Diego Rivera, he of the all three levels’ scoring. Expect these two to form a radiant tandem from the embryonic stages of the season. If the ball movement and extra pass basketball continues and the heightened frontline develops as planned, expect the reigning state champions to 3-peat.
Issad Solano, SLAM Academy
The 6-foot-3 guard embodies the leadership role that runs hand in hand with being a point guard. He’s an emotional leader and kick-starts the communication. He’s also developed a savvy with how well he runs the system and gets everyone involved, understanding his teammates’ tendencies and initiating offense as a heady facilitator.
Playing for the 17U Florida Gold Coast this summer, Solano averaged 17 points, seven boards, and four assists. He’s got a well rounded offensive game, underscored by his ability to attack the rim thoroughly. He’s shown strides with his 3-point game. Solano shot 53 percent from the floor last season while averaging 11 points, five boards, three assists, and three steals. While he still needs to improve his free throw shooting and develop more consistency with his shot, Solano is the spirit of SLAM’s defense and really operates the offensive flow for the veteran senior.
He submitted 28 points and 15 boards during a marquee and memorable performance in last year’s state tournament. If those numbers are a harbinger of what is next, Solano will solidify himself as one of the city and the state’s elite guards.
Jose Luis-Benitez, Schoolhouse Prep
The smooth Class of 2020 guard knows how to facilitate and orchestrate the tempo. Similar to Solano, he’s got exceptional awareness and is cognizant of where the ball should go at the opportune time. He’s got a real opportunity to play the Dominican national team, which would give him a wealth of experience and battle-tested toughness to add to his game.
Luis-Benitez has shown he can make his teammates a beneficiary of his presence, a factor that enables him to consistently win the plus/minus sheet on the floor. He’s developed a knack for ball-hawking and enforcing pressure all across the court, cementing himself as a two-way threat.
Anderson Estime, Somerset
The bullish 5-foot-8 Class of 2019 point guard is a ball control guy who knows how to initiate and get everyone involved. He does a commendable job running the system and adapting to what the defense gives him. He’s shown a readiness in triggering the break and finding cutters in transition. Beyond this, Estime is able to bully his way to the rim and really manufacture points in a variety of ways. As the primary ball handler, he understands creating and orchestrating the system is first and foremost.
Point guards have long been tasked with being an extension of the coach on the floor and the pugnacious Estime buys into that philosophy. Defensively, he’s able to really provide on-ball pressure and disrupt passes, reading it like a cornerback.
Eddie Ramirez, Southwest
The 5-foot-10 Class of 2019 point guard is a staunch advocate of two-way play. He subscribes to the stopper role on the defensive end, taking it upon himself to routinely apply the clamp down operation on the other team’s best scorer. He’s shown out as a guy who can really cause disruption and make it ugly for prolific scorers, even when going against guys nearly half a foot taller than him.
Offensively, he’s got the speed and gear-changing quickness to orchestrate a breakneck attack. He’s got a sound all around game and loves to get into the nooks and crannies of the defense and whiz it to an open big near the rim.