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Posted On: 10/17/18 11:34 AM
On my trip to Ft. Myers this week, I made a stopover to Lehigh on Tuesday for a stretch of eight games on the day.
Here is a look at the top performers by team from the slate.
—I came away impressed by the 2019 duo of Keyshawn Rowe and Nelson Smith. Rowe is a pure athlete who fights in the paint for buckets and serves as a vocal leader. Smith is a finesse shooter and a lengthy guard/wing type who has the looks of the top scorer this season.
—2021 forward Tyrone Baker had some bright moments. The 6’8″ forward is awfully skinny, but he has good footwork and when he focuses, he is all over the boards and blocking shots. The upside is there if Baker can put the work in.
—2021 guards Alan Cedeno and Chase Garrett are the most dangerous ballhandlers and shooters for this Canterbury squad. Cedeno is a pure point man who can hit from outside at a high clip. Garrett is making the move from forward to guard and it has been so far so good. Defensively, he’s strong due to his length and athleticism.
—2019 forward Simon Wilbar is good when he puts his head down and goes. Settling for 3’s won’t help his stock as a 6’10” big man. Wilbar has improved his inside slashing game and he impresses you with his effort level.
—Perhaps the best passer from any team on Tuesday was 2019 guard Taylon Hutchins. He anticipates plays before they happen and can make bounce passes or even one-handed side passes look simple. His finish at the rim was there at times, but his floor-stretching ability is a huge asset.
—Sitting out the first game but playing the next, 2020 guard Kyle Bethel battled through an illness. He was a slow starter in that game, but he got going, especially from outside where he’s most dangerous. Bethel’s shot selection is smart and he is a proven commodity from deep.
—Moving to Cape Coral from up north, 2019 forward Darius Sparks was the most energetic player on the day for Mariner. He made one ridiculous block back in transition and it got his side going. Sparks is a tough-nosed defender and an active player.
—A 2021 duo stood out to me the most for Naples. Guard James Cone has shown a true ability to shoot from outside well and draw contact as a mid-range and on the ball shooter. Cone has plenty of length and a high IQ already. The other sophomore was Tony Green. A transfer from St. John Neumann, he is a physical specimen who has all the tools to be a reliable wing player in due time.
—A well put together Bishop Verot squad is led by 2020 forward Israel Torres. The 6’10” big man doesn’t have the quickest feet in the world, but he’s constantly putting himself in good areas down low. He can hit the mid-range jumper at times and is dangerous with his hook shot and floaters.
—The guard play from 2019 Tom Rene and 2020 Charles Smith was very strong. Rene, a transfer from Gateway Charter is a floor leader who takes intelligent shots. Smith is an elusive guard who can make tough passes look easy with his speed and vision.
—2021 forward Ronnail Tape had a couple of really nice moments in the paint and as an attacker. He is also an underrated shot blocker who loves to put his body on the line for his team. Tape has plenty of upside.
—2019 guard Preston Urbancic has been a polished outside shooter for quite a while now. It was no different on Tuesday as he was knocking down 3’s routinely. During one sequence, he buried three triples in a row from just left of the top of the key. His 2019 counterpart Isaiah Stewart proved to be a well balanced ball handler. He hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer against Lehigh to tie things up.