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SPRING/SUMMER AWARDS -MOST SURPRISING TEAM

By Rick Staudt, 08/15/17, 7:30PM CDT

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Next up in our spring/summer awards is the Most Surprising Team category.  There could be many reasons that a team falls into this category: their success was unexpected; their overcoming of obstacles; a new team; or other reasons.  In the end, the programs highlighted in this category are ones to pay attention to in the future.

2018

At the beginning of the travel season, we liked the makeup of the Team MOAM squad.  There were some concerns about the team’s lack of size but individually and as a whole there was a lot of basketball IQ and work ethic on the squad. 

The team was solid but not spectacular in the events they participated in and the players were getting the looks needed from the level of colleges that best fit them.  Then came the final weekend of the July “live” period and the AAU Silver Showcase.

After surviving an OT win in the opening round of pool play, MOAM took their play to another level. They got solid perimeter play from the likes of Dante Treacy, Jordan Preaster, Keon Ellis, Sean Holloran and Jordan Clark while DeJuan Lockett was a tough cover on the perimeter and got help from Francis Agabata and Markel Hudson.  In bracket play they defeated the 17U National Champs in Team NLP and ultimately won the event with a solid performance against TMP out of South Carolina.

With no player of impact over 6’5, it was a big statement by Team MOAM out of Central Florida to take home a major title such as the AAU Silver Showcase. 

2019

A stand-alone program this season, Team Knight went out on a challenging Adidas circuit and performed well.  Using a system that emphasized players over positions, the squad become a challenging matchup nightmare as the travel season went along.  
 
Using perimeter players such as Max Demeus, B.J. Greenlee, Dudley Blackwell and Cyrus Largie to challenge the defense inside and outside the arc and guys such as Chris Spenkuch, Khris Bogle, and Josh Scott to play bigger than their size, Team Knight finished in the top four in the 16U division in 3 events, Dallas adidas Gauntlet, Bob Gibbons’ Tournament of Champions in Atlanta and the Adidas Memorial Day event in California. 
 
In July, the squad picked up Tavian Percy (California), Ahren Freeman (Providence), and Alex Rodriguez (Palmetto).  Each paid big dividends, as Percy lead the team in scoring with the departure of BJ Greenlee moving up to Team Knight 17U. The team played well in the Adidas Gauntlet finals and then won the Best of the South 16U championship the following week, then finished 3-1 in Las Vegas by losing a 2 point game to K-Low Elite in the Elite 8 of Adidas Summer Championships. 
 
While many of the team’s players may not have had much rep prior to the start of the travel season, the team’s success has given many of them a leg up in their recruitment.
 

2020

More times than not scouts tend to focus on the older age groups such as 17U and 16U.  We try to find the time to catch the youngsters in action but we feel like we can certainly catch them later in their high school career. 

When we had the chance to take a look at E1T1’s 2020 crop, we were pleasantly surprised.  With a solid complement of players on the perimeter in the form of Kobe Knox, Jadrian Tracey, Selton Miguel, and Alijah Harrison, the team didn’t have any issues when it came to scoring points.  Helping out on the boards were Isaiah Elmore and Jamile Reynolds

The team was solid in their play at the Orlando Hoops Festival and should continue the run of success that the E1T1 program has had over the years.