We finalize our look at those players that caught the crowd’s attention at the 2017 Travel Team Jamboree in the 16U division.
Nike South Beach 16U
Messiah Thompson: A 5’9 playmaker from Pebblebrook out of Georgia, he has clearly learned his lessons well from going up against top caliber competition in both practice and the Peach State. Thompson was tremendous in finding teammates for buckets in every type of situation: transition, penetration, ball screens, or quick rotation to an open shooter. Both quick and fast, Thompson is also a shot maker from deep making him a threat to score as well as create for others. A high basketball IQ and great instincts help him at both ends of the court.
Mervyn Jones: A 6’6 jack of all trades from Pebblebrook, Jones rebounded, ran, and converted around the basket. He’s skilled enough to put the ball on the floor for a few dribbles and produce points but also dropped in some jumpers from inside and beyond the arc. Jones came off as a solid passer out along the perimeter and it’s likely he will move to the perimeter full time at the next level.
Joshua Gosler: A 6’5 product hailing from Tampa Spoto, he has a good combination of size and bounce. Though a tad undersized, he’s a volume rebounder and looks to dunk anything around the basket at the offensive end. Gosler runs the court well and defensively he is a good shot blocker coming over from the weak side.
CP25 Gauntlet 16U
Sam Griffin: The sophomore from Norland put on quite the scoring display in one game on Saturday. He caught fire from three point range, connecting on 6 of 12, and got to the rim when overplayed for the shot. Griffin has a quick release off the dribble and is also really good from mid-range. He’s solid with the ball vs. pressure and a good defender, which a player has to be if he wants to see floor time at Norland.
Isaiah Palermo: The 6’5 sophomore from Kissimmee Osceola is quite the competitor despite showing little emotion on the court. He contributes in a lot of different areas with his basketball IQ and skills. Palermo finishes well on the break, has a reliable shot to near the arc, and has a nose for the ball coming off the offensive glass. Defensively he’s quick to the ball, has good foot work and anticipates well.
Team Breakdown 16U
Antonio Daye: He impressed this weekend as he did last weekend at the Showtime Ballers Kick-Off. He excels at getting to the basket, both in transition and half-court settings, and has excellent body control and touch when in traffic. Daye didn’t shoot from the perimeter in the game we saw but he has good form on his shot and can make them out to the arc. He is both strong and fast, making him difficult to handle at both ends of the court.
Angel Smith: Yes, the 6’5 wing from Northeast is the one that shattered the backboard on Court One late on Saturday evening, but that isn’t what gets him this write-up. We simply love what Smith brings to the floor: competitive fire, energy, and his quickness off the floor to grab rebounds at both ends. He’s a top level athlete that finishes over, around, and through opponents. As his shooting and ball-handling continues to improve, Smith’s recruitments head to higher elevations.
A.J. Cajuste: With each passing outing, we become more convinced of his abilities as a point guard. First and foremost, he has a toughness about him at both ends of the floor: he’s going to do what he wants at the offensive end and keep the opponents from doing the same on defense. While his jumper has a bit of a low and slow release, it does find the mark frequently. Cajuste is a fine rebounder and scorer in transition.