Posted On: 11/21/18 7:09 AM
Boys’ Latin hosted St. Maria Goretti last night in what was both teams’ season opener. The Lakers got off to a hot start connecting on half a dozen three’s in the first half. Once Goretti made adjustments at halftime, they outscored the Lakers 35-21 to come out with the 60-56 win.
Here are some intriguing prospects that we saw:
RJ Blakney | 6’5 | St. Maria Goretti ’19
Blakney finished with a team-high 17 points as he continued to prove why he is a top 2019 prospect in the state. He got off to a quick start by throwing down a one-handed dunk right off the tip. Along with a handful of dunks, Blakney connected on two three’s as well as a few pull up mid-range jumpers off the dribble. Blakney had a half of a dozen rebounds to go along with four assists. The combination of Blakney’s athleticism, frame and skill allow me to confidently say he is a mid-to-high major prospect. Many have made comments about his attitude. For the record, I’ve watched Blakney at least a dozen times (including wins and losses), and he has been one of the more even keeled players I’ve seen. He’s also a pleasure to talk to and interview.
Cam Watts | 6’1 | Boys’ Latin ’19
Watts recorded a game-high 22 points, which included five three’s. Watts was letting them go at a high volume, but made a huge impact with the shots he made. He was a big reason why Goretti had to get out of their zone defense and guard man-to-man. There were a few plays where Watts dove on the floor for loose balls, all of which he earned his team extra possessions. Look for Watts to be a major impact player for the Lakers this year, despite not being considered a Division I prospect.
Rahsaan Edwards | 6’0 | St. Maria Goretti ’19
Edwards played like a consummate point guard last night. In the first half, he was orchestrating the offense and being more of a set up guy. Once the third quarter came around, Edwards erupted for nine of his 15 points and was the main reason for Goretti’s comeback. Even when he wasn’t scoring in the first half, there was never a time when you looked at Edwards and he wasn’t communicating. Every second, he was communicating to his teammates on defensive coverages or offensive sets. It didn’t take me long to admire the way he plays.
Cam Spencer | 6’2 | Boys’ Latin ’19
Spencer followed Watts in the scoring column with 17 points of his own. Unlike Watts, Spencer nailed his five three’s on the minimal amount of shots. He played with great pace and despite Goretti’s length at every position, he took great care of the ball. Spencer is huge on utilizing the pump fake almost every time he catches. His match up can’t give him any room with his elite ability to shoot, so using a pump fake keeps them guessing. There were a few times where he gained an advantage after the shot fake and opened up driving lanes for himself or open shots for teammates by forcing help side rotations.
Abdou Tsimbila | 6’6 | St. Maria Goretti ’19
Tsimbila finished this one with 12 points. The Penn State commit had a couple of thunderous dunks after crashing the offensive glass. He was extremely active in that area. Where he struggled is making post moves with the ball. Tsimbila had four traveling violations called on him for improper footwork. I noticed that is a part of his game that is still very much a work in progress. He has the strength and size, but without footwork, he could struggle to be counted on in the future, especially once they play teams with multiple players his size and bigger.
Jake Nichols | 6’6 | Boys’ Latin ’20
Nichols made his presence known immediately by burying two three’s in a defender’s face. Those two shots accounted for six of his eight points, all of which came in the first half. He was limited the rest of the way, however he ran the floor well and worked extremely hard in the paint. He’s by far the tallest player on the roster other than the 6-foot-3 Spencer. He’ll have his hands full throughout the season, but with his ability to stretch the floor with his shot, his match up must be able to step out and guard on the perimeter.
Przemek Golek | 6’4 | St. Maria Goretti ’19
Golek tallied 11 points for Goretti. He helped keep them in striking distance in the first quarter by scoring eight points. The 6-foot-4 Poland native usually makes his impact felt from three, but last night he filled the lanes in transition well for easy lay ups. He was also the beneficiary of Blakney’s playmaking and moved well without the ball to find openings under the rim.