In our final report on the CP25 Spring Jam, we’ll take a look at some of the “young guns” that made their mark this past weekend.
Who turned Van Wilkes of CP25 into Bill Russell? The 6’5 freshman wing out of Winter Park tallied seven blocks by our count in their game against Heart & Hustle. He also excelled on the offensive end, knocking down shots from beyond the arc and getting the ball inside for easy baskets by teammates. Wilkes has a solid body for a freshman and puts it to good use in the rebounding department.
A sophomore out of Tallahassee, Alic Troutman of Showtime Ballers is an imposing physical specimen. With broad shoulders and a thick upper body, he puts the power in power forward. He runs the floor well and is an active rebounder at both ends of the court. Troutman has a nose for the ball in the passing lanes on defense and is a physical post defender.
While we didn’t focus on a contest featuring Game Speed Elite’s 16U group, it seemed every time we got to sneak a peek at them, 6’6 Jones sophomore Keenan Blackshear was doing something good. On one occasion he ripped down a defensive rebound in traffic, pushed the ball up the floor via the dribble, and seeing no resistance, took the rock all the way to the rim for a resounding dunk. Another time, he delivered an assist while driving the ball to the basket. Blackshear will be an interesting guy to watch over the next couple of seasons.
Another solid performer for CP25 was 6’5 Edgewater sophomore Xavier Ade. He pretty much managed the rebounding department while on the floor and showed a soft touch around the basket. Ade scored thru contact on several occasions and is improving when it comes to putting the ball on the floor for a dribble or two and attacking the lane.
Though just finishing his sophomore season at Downey Christian, it seems like we’ve been watching 6’1 Zavian Smith for quite a while. That’s not a bad thing, as he’s a productive player. With a deserved reputation as a sniper from deep, Smith showed a bit more to his game on Saturday. He did a good job of getting to the basket, made wise pass vs. shot decisions, and was solid on the defensive end. Smith has a scorer’s mentality but is starting to show that he can get shots for his teammates as well.
Also playing well for Game Speed Elite 16U was Malik Dixon, a guard out of Lake Highland Prep. He’s got a nice frame with good athleticism, a reliable jump shot out to the arc, and solid ball-handling skills. Dixon made some tough shots on the drive a couple of times that we looked over that way as well knocked down open threes.
With teammates yelling “lay up” every time he launched a three, CP25’s Zahar Vedischev usually proved them right. Given time and space, he hits threes at a rate that most (good) players convert free throws. He has expanded his game on the offensive end and is now a threat to put the ball on the floor and score. The Montverde product plays hard and doesn’t shy away from battling bigger players for rebounds.
Tyrell Jones of Showtime Ballers 16U gets a lot done thanks to his physical gifts of athleticism and strength. He is most effective on the offensive end when attacking the basket or running the lane in transition. Jones generally takes care of the basketball and looks to move it to open teammates. For a guard, he rebounds well at both ends and is always alert for lazy passes and loose balls in his area.