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Saturday Standouts at the Fall Festival

By Rick Staudt, 10/11/17, 7:00PM CDT

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Along with the Team Challenge portion of the event, the Fall Festival had a separate individual showcase both Saturday and Sunday.  Here’s a brief look at some of the standouts from Saturday.

Jimmy Bean: A 6’5 senior wing now at Jacksonville Potter’s House, he was a dynamic scorer as we mentioned in an earlier report.  With his wide shoulders and upper-body strength, one would think that Bean would be the type to overpower defenders on the way to the basket.  He can do that, but it was his ability to knock down shots off the dribble, both from mid-range and deeper, that was mesmerizing.

Joe Stubbs: A 6’2 sophomore guard from Lakeland Sante Fe Catholic, Stubbs reminded us a bit of Lakeland native Corey Sanders, now a senior at Rutgers, with his high-level of athleticism and ability to burst to the basket.  While we didn’t see much in the way of a jump shot, he finished above the rim in transition and displayed an ability to finish in traffic thru contact.  His development will certainly be one to watch over the next year.

Tyrus Jackson: A 6’4 junior wing at Sarasota Riverview, we would have liked to have seen him get more touches in the game we watched because he was generally productive and efficient when Jackson had his chances.  He shot the ball well from beyond the arc and was alert as well as quick to find open teammates in transition for easy baskets.  Jackson has a solid frame and is a good run/jump athlete.  Expect him to move into a primary scoring role at Riverview this season.

Crisnel Francois: The 6’1 sophomore guard from Riviera Beach Suncoast pulled double duty this past weekend, playing in both the team and individual events.  An athletic player that looks to get to the basket, he’s got a solid build for a young player and knows how to use it to finish thru contact.  Though not a point guard, he is an alert passer on the move and is generally pretty solid with the ball in his hands. 

C.J. Walker: Another player that pulled double duty, the 6’7 junior wing out of Orlando Christian Prep has begun to separate himself from the pack as one of the better juniors in the state overall.  Walker plays hard, has a quick leap for rebounds and blocks, and swiftly transitions up the court.  He will step out and hit perimeter shots on occasion but for now is best when going full throttle to the basket.  It wouldn’t surprise if he makes a quantum leap next year in the way OCP teammate Nassir Little did this past summer.

Tre Mann: Listed at 6’3, the junior at The Villages Charter is becoming one of the premier guards in Florida regardless of class.  Mann is a player with the rare ability to score from all three levels as well as create openings and opportunities for teammates to score.  He may not look it but he is quite the athlete and surprises with his ability to finish with creative dunks in the open court. 

Marcus Niblack: A 6’1 sophomore at Wildwood, Niblack is a crafty ball-handler that finds ways to get into the lane, force the defense to react, and then makes a play for himself or a teammate.  A very willing passer, Niblack seems to enjoy the assist as much as a score.  His jump shot continues to improve as does his on-the-ball defense.

Jaylen Haynes: A 6’7 sophomore from Fort Lauderdale Dillard, Haynes is best when the game is up-tempo and he can run the lanes and get easy shots near the basket.  He’s got some length and bounce and that helps him around the rim.  He’s young so there is still some time to work on his ball-handling and shooting in order for him to get the most out of his physical talents.  To his credit, he took part in both days of the individual sessions at the Fall Showcase.

Zimife Nwokeji: The 6’7 junior from Tallahassee Maclay is a guy scouts love to watch because of his skill level as well as potential.  “Zimi” can step out and score as well as get points by putting the ball on the floor and challenging the defense at the basket.  He has the ability to grab the defensive rebound and push the ball up the floor on his own to start the break.  Nwokeji can play either forward spot and that versatility makes him a tough matchup when projecting him on the collegiate level.

Michael Forrest: Don’t let the googles the 6’1 senior from Pompano Beach Ely rocks fool you: Forrest can go.  A quick guard with the ability to push the pace and find open teammates on the move, Forrest had the defense on skates much of Saturday.  It appears he only unleashes his jump shot when necessary but when he did it looked solid.  Like all Ely players, he digs in on defense and makes life tough for the opposition.

Isaiah Adams: A 6’6 sophomore forward at Jacksonville The Paxon School, Adams showed he can do a little bit of everything.  A solid ball-handler, he sees the court well and generally makes good decisions on the move.  He’s long and covers a lot of ground quickly on the defensive end, getting a lot of tips and steals.  Adams will knock down open threes when he gets in a rhythm but we’d like to see him raise the release point on the shot to make it more of a true jumper.

Ricardo Wright: A 6’3 sophomore at Eustis, Wright’s jumper is picturesque: great arc, backspin, follow through, just the right release point, and more importantly, consistently positive results.  Thankfully he is not just a catch-and-shoot specialist.  He battles for offensive rebounds, runs the floor in transition and will attack the rim if given the opportunity. 

Emmanuel Adedoyin: The 6’1 junior from Orlando Oakridge continues to expand his offensive arsenal.  He’s always been a solid long-range shooter but now he has really become a threat on drives to the basket.  Defensively he moves well laterally and has good instincts for where the ball is heading which usually results in a tip or a steal.  Adedoyin’s ball-handling is okay but he is more of a scoring point than a traditional set-up point guard.