Time to take a look at some underclassmen that performed well in the 16U Division of the Travel Team Jamboree.
Tre Mann: The 6’2 sophomore from The Villages continues to grow in stature and skills. He seems to get taller or more athletic every time we see him. While his reputation has been built on his ability to score from deep, Mann was very good at getting to and finishing at the basket this past weekend. He also had a couple of nice assists on the move and showed good defensive instincts in disrupting the passing lanes.
Luke Anderson: A 6’7 sophomore from Lakeland, he may not have gotten a lot of minutes but he was highly productive when out on the court. An inside/outside threat, Anderson has a smooth stroke from deep and if overplayed for the shot can put the ball on the floor and score from mid-range or get all the way to the basket and embarrass defenders. He’s also a solid rebounder at both ends.
Ahren Freemen: Some might call the 6’5 sophomore from Jacksonville Providence a “tweener” but that is unfair. He’s tough as nails, scores well around the basket, has a nose for the ball on the offensive glass, and runs to floor for scores in transition. Freemen is comfortable with the ball out on the perimeter and scores well from fifteen feet and in.
C.J. Walker: While he didn’t score a lot, the 6’7 Orlando Christian Prep product made an impact with his rebounding and defense. Walker seemed to grab every defensive rebound while he was in the contest and worked his way for points off the offensive glass. He ran the floor well and had some loud slams in transition.
Team Knight 16U
Chris Bogle: A well-built 6’5 athlete from Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons, he got a lot done around the rim. If he didn’t score, Bogle earned trips to the free throw line. He’s bouncy and fast running the floor. While he didn’t show much in the way of perimeter skills, Bogle maximizes his time on the floor with energy and effort.
Cyrus Largie: A strong-framed 6’2 guard from Mater Academy, Largie bullied his way to points in the game we watched. Once he gets his body on the defender, Largie takes him for a ride all the way to the basket and he does a nice job of finishing once there. He’s also a pretty decent passer on the move. As you might expect, his strength allows him to battle bigger players under the boards for rebounds.
Max Demeus: The 6’0 sophomore from Boca Raton shot the ball well, going three of four from beyond the arc. The lefty’s shot doesn’t have much spin but it goes in. Demeus is solid with the basketball and excels at pushing the pace. When he did take the ball to the basket he completed creatively. His lateral quickness and wing span make him a solid defender on the ball.
Ben Lubarsky: A 6’5 wing from Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin, Lubarsky was quite impressive on Saturday. The wide-shouldered lefty knocked down open threes with consistency and if overplayed, showed an ability to put the ball on the floor and score at the basket. Lubarsky is solid with the ball and is active at both ends of the floor in chasing down missed shots.
Bailey Stephens: He may look like a “surfer dude” but Stephens plays with a bit of a mean streak and isn’t afraid to mix it up. The 6’2 guard from Jupiter (city, not the planet) has a quick release on a very accurate jumper that extends beyond the three point line. He’s also a solid athlete that is fast in transition and anticipates well on the defensive end.
Showtime Ballers 16U
Toru Dean: The 5’11 sophomore from Miami Southridge continues to improve and impress. He’s getting stronger which helps him deal better with physical defenders. Dean sees the court well and gets the ball to teammates where they can best use it to score. He is shooting the ball better from distance and overall has become more confident on the offensive end. Defensively he is solid and quick to balls in his area.
Marcus Niblack: A freshman from Wildwood, the 5’10 Niblack spent time with both the 15s and 16s this past weekend. What stands out right now is how crafty he is with the ball and his ability to get to wherever he needs to on the court. Niblack has very good court vision and makes timely passes that are catchable. He’s proving to be a consistent shooter from beyond the arc when given some time and space.
Reach 1 Elite 16U
Phillip Russell: The 6’4 wing out of Tallahassee Lincoln played multiple positions in the game we watched on Sunday. He handles and passes the ball well enough to play the point at times. The lefty also has a solid shot on the perimeter and also showed he can get to the basket and finish in traffic. He’s got length, is active defensively, and has the ability to push the ball after grabbing the defensive rebound.