Posted On: 11/28/18 12:49 AM
It was a tight first quarter between McLain and Tulsa Central but since that point, the Braves dominated to the finish. 2019 Tulsa Central Wing, BJ Jefferson led all scorers with 24 points. It was a sloppy game between both squads. The press Tulsa Central brought in the half court and at times full court gave McLain fits all night long. McLain struggled to handle the basketball under pressure situations. An interesting fact of the night is Tulsa Central only starts one senior. Below I give you the five big takeaways from the night.
Jefferson is the clear leader
BJ Jefferson is looking to make his mark at Tulsa Central in his junior year. He did a great job of getting off to a fantastic start tonight from the tip. Shortly after the game began with Jefferson snatched a steal and delivered a thunderous slam. Jefferson is flying under the radar when you look at his skill set at 6’4. Jefferson can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim with deceptive speed, hesitation moves, and great strength or pull up from 20 feet hitting the bottom of the net. If Central is going to hit their full potential this year Jefferson will be the key ingredient. He looked scary good on Tuesday night.
Central is young and talented
Jackson Skipper and Caylen Goff-Brown lead the charge for Central as two young prospects looking to have an early impact. Skipper is a sophomore with great length at the Forward spot. Standing around 6’7 Skipper was super active for Central going hard after loose balls, blocking shots, and bringing down rebounds. He is still adjusting to his body, which stands out immediately but when he does get used to being so tall and lanky he has some potential to be dangerous. Skipper will serve the role as the great energy guy for Central this season. He found his stride on offense in the second half scoring inside in traffic and even finding the bottom of the bucket with a mid-range pull-up jumper. It will be fun to see how quickly he can progress.
Goff-Brown hung around the three-point line for the majority of the night showing off his shooting stroke. He was not afraid to put the ball on the floor either. As the game went along Goff-Brown gained confidence in taking the basketball to the cup. He was great at drawing fouls. Starting as a freshman puts Goff-Brown right in the fire ready to make a big impact.
Jaylen Thomas will be a kid colleges wonder how did we miss this guy? The long and lanky build of Thomas gives him so much upside as a Wing/Forward. At 6’7 Thomas brings shot blocking to the equation, snagging steals in the passing lanes, bringing down rebounds, and so much more. The ability for Thomas to drive or slash finding creative ways to finish is impressive. Thomas would be a great fit for any level of small college but particularly could really develop into quite the player at a JUCO for two years. NCAA Division II programs would be wise to scout him and see if he fits what they do. Thomas has also added a jumper to his game. The more consistent Thomas gets with his jumper the higher level of player he will end up. This young man is a 2019 prospect to keep a close eye on this season.
McLain needs a leader
After hanging around in the opening quarter McLain fell apart. They have some nice pieces who could turn out to be good players for McLain this year. However, after losing a great senior class McLain desperately needs someone to step up and lead the way. It was evident they lost confidence in the second quarter and never regained their footing. John Williams could be a guy I think McLain is lead by over time as he had his moments tonight. They went away from him in the second half. If McLain can find a leader they could be a team you do not want to see in March with the athletes they have on their squad.
Glue Guys shine brightly
Brandon Jones was a guy for McLain that had a very up and down night. He would make some super positive plays followed by a few head-scratching moments. Overall he made way more positive plays for his squad with his energy and hustle grabbing rebounds, putting up shots around the basket, and blocking shots. Jones will be a guy we keep tabs on as he has some length at 6’5 and could turn into a prospect to know small college wise.
A glue guy to know for Tulsa Central is 2020 Guard Trae Washington. He nearly brought the house down with an incredible dunk in the second half, but that was hardly the best thing he did all night. Washington did a great job of trapping the opposing guard turning steals into easy transition basket. It is hard to tell if this was just one game for Washington or if we could see more bright performances from Washington. It is clear he is still learning in some areas however under Coach Brown Washington will learn a lot in his role with the Braves this season.
For more information email Matt@prephoops.com