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Posted On: 11/4/18 9:53 AM
They say everything is bigger in Texas and it was prevalent at the Elite 14 Showcase where these big men rose to the occasion and performed at a high level. Here are the top big men at the event:
Shemar Smith 2019 Norman North
Smith is one of the best players in the state of Oklahoma and their are not many with his type of athleticism. Smith is a mobile forward who can handle the ball on the perimeter or seal his man down low and finish with contact.
The senior big used all facets of his game on Saturday where he went against some top notch competition.
Whenever had a lane to the basket, Smith was trying to dunk on whoever was in his way. At 6’6, he is a problem to stop already not to mention the great shooting he is surrounded by at Norman North.
Smith’s best quality is his ability to clean up the glass on offense and defense. At the Elite 14, Smith was snagging the defensive rebound and bringing the ball up the floor and putting pressure on the transition defense.
He also showed off his strength and vertical when was skying above defenders to grab the offensive rebound for a put back.
Norman North had a good performance at the Elite 14 and it all starts with Smith and his combination of great athleticism but he also has the great motor to allow him to fulfill his potential and produce.
Jalen Breath 2020 Booker T. Washington
Breath is the next big thing in Oklahoma basketball literally. At 6’8, Breath is loaded with gifts that most big men could only wish for. At the Elite 14, Breath made his debut at BTW and he did not disappoint.
Breath has a smaller frame but he is stronger than he looks which have caught the competition off guard. Breath did a great job of rebounding in or out of his area and using that long wingspan to secure the ball.
BTW plays a tough zone which is tough to penetrate but whenever an opposing guard would break through Breath was right there waiting for them.
The junior big man was the anchor of the Hornets defense and he made players think twice before attacking the lane.
Breath showed great timing when blocking shots that probably wouldn’t have been there if he did not have such great instincts on the defensive end.
Breath has some improvements to make but he is a top notch big man who has a ton of potential yet to be tapped.
Drew Timme 2019 JJ Pierce
Every now and then you run into a big man who is not only exciting to watch but who plays the game differently than everybody else.
Timme is one of those elite players who plays the game so effortlessly. The 6’11 big man is one of the best players in the country and at the Elite 14 he showed why he is a top notch D1 recruit.
He is a load to handle on the block because he has great strength but he has the finesse to use either hand when finishing.
Timme also has great basketball IQ to the point where JJ Pierce allows him to bring the ball up at times and set things up and then move to the block.
Your team usually is in good hands when your big man is the smartest guy on the court. So much so that can engage in some trash talking because he knows it won’t effect his game.
Timme dominated on Saturday when opposing teams threw their biggest and baddest at him. His size and versatility at the position is just not something you see every day.
Antonio Gordon 2019 Lawton Ike
Gordon is an emotional player who tries to leave it all out on the floor. On Saturday, Gordon played at a high level in a multitude of areas.
He is an excellent offensive rebounder and he used that to get himself going early in games. The 6’8 senior is also a very effective shot blocker around the rim.
Gordon got a ton of chase down blocks at the Elite 14 Showcase because of his great leaping ability. He would block the players shot and let them know about.
In one of the more intense games of the day, Lawton Ike faced off against Guyer who is loaded with D1 talent. Ike came in with a chip on their shoulder and Gordon led the way.
He immediately challenged their best player 2019 ESPN Top 100 ranked Jalen Wilson. Gordon held his own for the most part displaying his quick release and his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim.
Wilson eventually got the best of him but it showed that Gordon isn’t scared of the big stage versus elite competition.
That will bode well for Gordon and Lawton Ike in the future.
Harrison Young 2020 Prosper
Young was possibly the best offensive rebounder at the event and he is only listed at 6’4. The junior forward was relentless when attacking the glass when a shot went up.
He was undersized most of the day but he did not let that discourage him from playing hard.
Young displayed his great athleticism in other ways as well. One advantage of being an undersized big is that in transition situations you can run up the floor like a wing. He showed his natural ability in the open floor and finishing in traffic.
There were times when the opposing team looked as if they had an easy path to the lane for a layup but Young would come out of no where and swat it out of bounds.
Young has a great combination of athleticism and a motor that runs hot. He plays hard all of the time which is a skill unto itself and isn’t always there for other players.
Young will have to battle this season with some tough bigs throughout the year at Prosper but he has all the tools to hold his own in the painted area.
Kalib Boone 2019 Tulsa Memorial
Boone is arguably the best prospect in the state of Oklahoma right now. The 2019 big man has committed to Oklahoma State and doesn’t have anything to prove at this point.
Boone didn’t play in all three games due to a smart strategy from their coaching staff but when Boone did step on the floor it was felt throughout the gym.
There is no better shot blocker than Boone right now and he made that clear when he performed at a high level in their first game.
Boone is such a talented shot blocker that at this point he was basically baiting offensive players into rejections on Saturday.
Tulsa Memorial has turned out a ton of bigs who have frequented this list before over the years but Boone may end up being the best to come out.
You do not have to play crazy minutes at the Elite 14 to make your presence felt. Boone was efficient and imposing whenever he was anchoring the Memorial defense on Saturday.