More from the Super Showcase that took place this past weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.
Major applause goes out to Team M.O.A.M 17U as they won the Super Showcase Silver Division. They faced some hurdles along the way but came up big when it counted.
One of those hurdles came in the opening game against a team from Michigan. A double-digit lead slipped away in the fourth quarter and MOAM had to go into overtime to win.
Jordan Preaster, a 6’3 rising sophomore, played up with the group and acquitted himself well. He tallied a team-leading sixteen points in the game we saw, mostly by getting to the basket and either finishing or converting his free throws.
The perimeter trio of Keon Ellis, Sean Halloran, and Dante Treacy had an excellent weekend as well. Ellis has become a reliable jump shooter off the bounce, using step-backs to create space to get off his shot. His length was also a plus on the boards and at the defensive end for a team that lacks size. Halloran played both guard spots. He shot the ball well from beyond the arc and was also effective at getting past his defender and into the lane to make plays. Treacy did his usual fine job of running the team, getting others involved, and scoring when necessary. All three should certainly see a bump in their respective recruitments after this past weekend.
Doing all the dirty work inside for Team MOAM was 6’5 Dejuan Lockett. He plays bigger than his size and has become tough to contain when he puts the ball on the floor from either the high post or short corner. His two free throws in OT sealed the deal in the team’s first game of pool play.
We also came away intrigued with some of the players from Ball4Lyfe United out of South Florida in the 17U Silver Showcase. At the top of the list is 6’5 rising junior Ben Lubarsky. Built like a football player with wide shoulders and a big frame, Lubarsky is a sniper from beyond the arc. However, he’s more than just a catch-and-shoot specialist. He’ll surprise over-playing defenders by putting the ball on the floor and either pulling up from mid-range or challenging the defense at the basket. Lubarsky is also a solid rebounder as well as a physical defender.
Rodrevious Reaves, a 5’11 point guard out of Fort Pierce Lincoln Park, was very solid in running the team. He kept the ball moving, found open teammates for easy shots, made excellent decisions on the move with the basketball, and was very active on the defensive end. While he didn’t score much in the game we watched, it wasn’t because he can’t. Reaves’ jump shot looks solid and he’ll score when necessary to help the team win.
Also playing well for Ball4Lyfe United was 6’1 rising senior Marques Spann. A vocal leader, he also paved the way with his all-out effort at both ends. Spann has good lateral quickness and active hands when playing defense and more than once he caused a turnover and dove on the floor to get the ball. He’s a good rebounder for his size, is a smart passer on the move, and solid finisher at the basket.
Team MOAM 16U played up in the Gold Division of the Super Showcase. They had a tough go of it, especially in the game we watched against Team Charlotte, which ultimately won the Gold Showcase. The most notable player for MOAM in that game was 6’5 Kaleb Coleman. It took a while but he finally got untracked, scoring all twelve of his points in the second half. Once he got a couple of long jumpers to fall, he staring to mix in drives to his scoring arsenal.
Moving into the 16U Showcase, we saw a dominating performance by 1 Family. The score was 31-0 before the opponent scored in the first quarter and the team established a running clock to start the second half.
Isaiah Turner was arguably one of the bigger surprises. The 6’7 rising junior will play the following season at Lincoln Academy in Atlanta. He opened the contest with a pair of three pointers early on and things blossomed from there. He was 3-4 from beyond the arc, made his presence felt in the rebounding department, and showed a solid skill level when it comes to handling the basketball.
Taylor Trudeau, a 6’2 shooter with beyond-NBA range, rang up four threes in the first quarter. He’s not shy about letting it go if he thinks he can get it off. While not the swiftest guy on the court, Trudeau’s ability to make shots keeps defenders anxious to the point where they bite on shot fakes, giving him an open driving lane to the basket.
Zimife Nwokejwi, a 6’8 combo forward, did his damage on the defensive end in the first half and the bulk of his scoring in the second half. He denied several shots at the basket and when he grabbed a rebound he was either quick to outlet it or push it up the floor via the dribble on his own. Offensively Zimi gave just a glimpse of his full repertoire as he knocked down a three, scored on a drive from the high post and drew a foul driving along the baseline.
D’Marcus Purcell, a 6’1 combo guard, opened the game with a three then a quick steal to post five points in less than fifteen seconds. He tallied four steals in limited minutes due to the blowout and scored on each one of them. Tack on a couple of assists and even a block and it’s easy to see how Purcell stuffs the stat sheet.
We also got another chance to check out Nike Team Florida 16U. After a dreadful first quarter that saw NTF down 13-5, the team got things in gear. In fact, that gear was quite high and the team ended up winning by 20+. At the top of the list of guys to make that happen was 6’0 rising junior Montez Leath. He got things going with a pair of threes early in the second quarter and things opened up from there. Between Leath’s hitting shots, pushing the ball on the break, and harassment on defense, NTF got the juice it needed to take over the game.
Justyn King didn’t score much in the contest but he certainly made his presence felt on defense and in the rebounding department. Wherever the ball was, he seemed to be and once he got ahold of it the ball was going nowhere else but to his teammates to speed up the court.
Toru Dean overcame a slow start and got better as the game progressed. His jumper wasn’t falling as often as we have seen in the past but he was able to penetrate the defense and either set up teammates or earn a trip to the foul line.