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Travel Team Preview: Team Knight 17U

By Rick Staudt, 04/17/17, 9:00PM CDT

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Next up in our look at some of the top travel teams in the state in the 17U division is Team Knight, sponsored by Brandon Knight of the Phoenix Suns and Adidas.

“This team will surprise everyone but themselves”, says High School Director Marcus McGee.  “This group of players fit very well together without egos. Our guys are hungry as they are relativity unknown, and that translates to playing hard every single possession.”

The team will have seniors Michael Akuchie (6’7, St. Thomas Aquinas) and Alex Oguinn (6’8, Oldsmar Christian) during the April live period.  Both are looking for additional opportunities at the next level.  Also seeing time on the interior will be 6’7 Jamel Myers from Cape Coral Mariner, 7’0 Abraham Makumator from Naples St. John Neumann, and 6’8 Mame Niang of Calusa Prep who will join the team in May.

Akuchie is a guy that can score from all three levels”, stated McGee.  “He also rebounds well and is a solid athlete.  Oguinn is a bit on the thin side but his runs the floor well, is bouncy, and is a good rebounder and rim protector.  Myers can play inside and out.  He is ambidextrous and scores well with either hand around the rim, up to eighteen feet and in, and is an under-rated passer.  Makumator is a work in process but he rebounds his area and challenges shots.  Niang will impress people come May.  He’s a guy that can play the three or the four, post up, hit threes, and defend inside and out on the perimeter.

The backcourt features an excellent combination of size, skills, speed, and strength.  Jacob Tracey, a 6’4 guard out of Southwest Florida Christian is expected to make an impact as is Berrick Jean-Louis, a 6’5 wing from Fort Myers Canterbury, 6’2 Nathan Mepandy of Miami Calusa Prep, 6’2 Ricardo Jackson of Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons, 6’2 Cade Long from Boca Raton HS, 6’4 Caleb Catto of Southwest Florida Christian and 6’0 Akeil Shakoor from Oldsmar Christian.

Tracey is a strong bodied lead guard that has really improved his shot”, McGee said.  “However, he is at his best when he takes a mis-match down inside.  Jean-Louis is an explosive athlete, a tremendous open court player and solid defender.  He has also greatly improved his ball-handling and outside shooting.  Mepandy is a combo guard that simply knows how to get the ball into the basket from all three levels.  Jackson is an elite on-ball defender that can score and run an offense well.  Long has range to the arc and is mistakenly considered just a shooter, but he is more of a pure scorer then shooter.  Catto is an athletic wing that scores out to the three point line, and excellent defender.  He has the potential to be one of the big breakout players of the spring and summer.  Shakoor is a quick ball-handler that can score from deep.  He is also a solid distributor when running the point guard spot.”

Playing on the Adidas Gauntlet Gold circuit, Team Knight will be in Dallas and Atlanta in the April live period.  Come July, they will be in Spartanburg, Las Vegas, and an event to be determined.