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Travel Team Jamboree – Part I: 17U

By Rick Staudt, 04/03/17, 8:00PM CDT

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Travel Team Jamboree – Part I: 17U

Wow!  There was a LOT of talent on display this past weekend at the Travel Team Jamboree present by Source Hoops and the Hoop Exchange in Apopka.  There were some highly entertaining games and a variety of incredible plays, one a true showstopper that we will get into later.  For now, let’s take a look at a few teams and some of their standout performers.

Showtime Ballers 17U

Keyshawn Bryant: Evidently, the 6’6 junior will be returning to Winter Haven after spending his just-completed junior season at Huntington Prep in West Virginia.  A slender wing, Bryant is at the top of the charts when it comes to length and athleticism.  A terror in transition, he finishes well above the rim and is just as effective when putting back offensive rebounds or catching lobs behind the defense.  Bryant is very explosive off the floor and his second and third leaps are just as high and quick as his first.  His jumper is most effective out to fifteen feet.  His ball-handling vs. pressure and outside shot need to get steadier but once they do, look out!

Tyrese Williams: A 6’7 forward out of Tampa Bay Tech, Williams was quite active and effective in the rebounding department this past weekend.  A bit thin but bouncy, Williams found ways to get into gaps between teammates and opponents alike and convert misses into makes.  He also showed a nose for the ball at the defensive end and an ability to put the ball on the floor and start the break.  Offensively, Williams’ touches were limited and he got most of his points in transition as well as on offensive rebounds.  However, he proved to be comfortable handling the ball on the perimeter and connected on shots out to fifteen feet.

Naseem Khalid:  While it may not have been the best of outings for the 6’1 freshman out of Jacksonville First Coast, there is no denying that Khalid is a high major D-I talent.  He’s got strength and quickness with the basketball and is seemingly always in attack mode.  Khalid also doesn’t back down from a challenge at either end of the court.  There were times this weekend where his shot selection wasn’t the best but there were also times where he found teammates for easy baskets.  Khalid’s perimeter scoring tools continue to be a work in progress but he is showing improvement, especially in his ability to connect from beyond the arc.  That can only be bad news for future opponents.

Eli Cadet: On a team full of athletes, Cadet is one of the best. A 6’4 wing out of West Oaks Academy in Orlando, his mindset is to get to the rim and violently dunk the ball.  His quickness and ability to anticipate at the defensive end gets him a lot of points in transition.  Cadet is also a very good offensive rebounder, especially on free throws.  His jumper looks a bit odd but it is going down with more consistency with every passing event.  Soon, Cadet will become a more consistent threat out to the arc and become even more difficult to defend. 

Tyrick McKelphin: A senior from Plant City, the 6’3 McKelphin had a good outing this weekend.  His ability to make shots from the perimeter was consistent and he also did a nice job of mixing up his drives and jumpers to keep the defense off balance.  For a guard, he is a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive end.  Another bouncy and long defender, McKelphin is solid on that end of the court as well.

E1T1 United 17U

Emmitt Williams: A 6’7 punisher from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Williams picked up where he left off this high school season: crashing the glass, challenging shots and playing with great energy all of which led to a productive day.  Williams is one of those rare guys that gets points without plays being run for him.  While some might consider him undersized, he is still an excellent rebounder against bigger opponents and a guy that can protect the rim at the defensive end when challenged.  Offensively he didn’t showcase any increased ball-handling or shooting skills though he did have one nice drive from the high post that resulted in a successful “and one” play.

Will Richardson: A 6’3 lefty out of Liberty County in Georgia just south of Savannah, Richardson fit in quite well with the team.  While he showed to be an excellent scorer, particularly off the bounce, Richardson tossed some nice passes for assists and displayed court savvy and a high basketball IQ.  He’ll likely see time at both guard spots with the team.  Defensively he was solid with active hands and feet.

Nick Honor: A veteran from last year’s 17U team, the 5’11 junior at Lake Highland Prep is a tough-to-stop scorer.  He has a good touch from the outside, is crafty in getting to the basket, and makes tough shots in traffic at the rim.  Honor is solid with the ball and while not noted as a creative assist maker, he does make good decisions with the ball and finds open teammates for shots.  Defensively he does a good job of guarding the basketball as he is both strong and quick.

Antwaan Jones: There was a stretch in a game on Sunday where Jones had everything working: Two consecutive threes went down, he was actively rebounding on the defensive end, he was making good passes to teammates for scores and was engaged on the defensive end.  Once those stretches become longer and occur with greater regularity, the 6’5 junior at Oakridge in Orlando will challenge for greater national recognition.

Ball4Lyfe 17U

Chance Donovan: A wispy 6’6 with a pseudo-samurai ‘do, don’t let his looks deceive you.  He has a nice touch out to the arc, runs the floor for scores, and doesn’t shy away from inside play.  Donovan was active and effective in the rebounding department on both ends of the floor and had a couple of surprising blocks.  He needs to get stronger to be more effective on the inside at the next level as well as improve his ball-handling should he try to play on the perimeter full-time. 

Donte Moses: A 6’3 bundle of energy from Inlet Grove in Riviera Beach, Moses made quite the impression in our first viewing of him.  He was 5-7 from beyond the arc over the course of two games and also found ways to score around the basket.  Moses scored well in transition and also grabbed more than his fair shares of rebounds. 

Javonni Quince: A 6’2 guard out of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, he plays with ruggedness and a chip on his shoulder.  When taking the ball to the basket, he seeks out contact and looks to get “and one” opportunities whenever possible.  He shot the ball just okay from the perimeter but his form is good so there is hope that that phase will improve over time.  Quince is also a physical defender that backs down from no one.

Armani Haynes: Undersized at 6’5 but strong and tough, the junior at West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman was quite productive around the basket.  Haynes got a lot of points inside either by posting up, getting to teammate’s misses and putting them back or on short one or two dribble drives from out on the perimeter.  He more than held his own against bigger opponents inside on defense.

Game Speed 17U

Tyler Farmer: With the physique of a football player (not sure if he is one), Farmer over-powered opponents to a productive day.  The 6’2 guard from Tallahassee Lincoln was simply too strong for defenders when he put his head down and headed for the basket with the ball.  While he was 1-2 from beyond the arc, he’s much more comfortable when attacking the basket with the dribble.  Because of his strength and wide shoulders, Farmer rebounds well against bigger opponents. 

Trinton Bryant: A key contributor to Tallahassee Lincoln’s run to Lakeland, Bryant is a 6’2 guard with a solid frame.  He handled the basketball well and showed good decision-making when on the move.  The lefty has nice form and release on his jumper but it lacks consistency in terms of results.  Bryant did knock down a couple of mid-range shots coming off of ball screens which was a good sign.  He scored mostly on drives and in transition and made some tough shots in traffic at the basket. 

Wellington Wolves 17U

Shaq Peters: A long and rangy 6’6 athlete from Royal Palm Beach, Peters showed some solid qualities.  He has a nice touch around the basket, sprints the floor, and does a nice job pursuing rebounds out of his area at both ends of the floor.  His wingspan and leaping ability make him a decent shot blocker at this level.  Peters seemingly played with great energy every possession he was on the floor.

Javaris Chevelon: A 6’3 junior at Inlet Grove, he was simply too strong for the opponent to keep away from the basket.  He scored frequently on baseline drives to the basket and on offensive rebounds.  His physique is solid and he plays with great energy.