Balance. The legendary John Wooden stated this is one of the most important factors for basketball success. With the right mix of interior scoring and outside shooting, teams can make it a long night for opposing defenses. With that in mind, we look at some duos that should give opponents cause for concern.
Orlando Lake Highland Prep
Inside: 6’8 SR Jaxson Strates / Outside: 5’10 SR Nick Honor
Strates showed great improvement this summer. He has become stronger and more coordinated in is ability to handle physical play inside. While a bit limited athletically, Strates makes the most of his physical tools and fundamental skills. Honor was one of the better point guards in Nike’s EYBL this past spring and summer. Defenses find it difficult to keep him away from the basket and he can knock down open shots from beyond the arc.
Inside: Pick ‘em / Outside: Pick’em
This may be the Eagle’s deepest team since Montverde revived its basketball program several years ago. Between the 6’9 junior Mitchell twins and D-I bound Euros Filip Petrusiv and Alex Kotov, there is no shortage of players than can and will score around the rim. Top 100 seniors R.J. Barrett, Michael Devoe, and Andrew Nembard are just a few of the guys that can create points outside of the paint.
Inside: 6’7 SR Devonche Bryant / Outside: 6’3 SR Shawndarius Cowert
These guys made a big impression when they made it to Lakeland back in 2016 as sophomores. Bryant has broad shoulders and better than expected athleticism. He is active and effective around the rim at both ends of the court. While Cowert is a suspect three point shooter, he showed improvement this summer and his overall athleticism makes him a tough matchup for the vast majority of high school guards.
Delray Beach Atlantic
Inside: 6’7 JR Reggie Duhardt / Outside: 6’1 SR Rodwins Albert
A bouncy athlete with length, Duhardt has shown at various events this spring and summer that he can handle business around the basket. His scoring skills are improving and he can be a fierce rim protector on the defensive end. Albert is one of the better combo guards in South Florida and is expected to help lead Atlantic deep into the playoffs.
Melbourne Florida Prep
Inside: 6’11 SR Lahat Thioune / Outside: 5’10 SR Dejuon Small
Thioune is your typical African Import in that he is thin but long and athletic. He has a good touch around the basket and will step out to fifteen feet and make shots. Small is quick with the ball and gets to the rim with ease but also knocks down open looks behind the three point line.
Inside: 6’6 SR Emmitt Williams / Outside: 6’5 SR Antwaan Jones
A pair of national top 100 players, this talented duo will be tough to stop. Williams plays with off-the-charts energy and effort and may be the best inch-for-inch rebounder in the high school ranks. Jones has a vast array of scoring tools and will see playing time at a variety of positions.
Inside: 6’9 JR Omar Payne / Outside: 6’5 JR Isaiah Palermo
Key components to Osceola’s run to the Class 9A state title last season, Payne and Palermo impressed college coaches this past spring and summer. Payne continues to improve offensively and is now showing the ability to score from fifteen feet and in. Palermo has become a more consistent shooter from three point territory but will score in whatever manner the defense gives him.
Plantation University School
Inside: 6’9 JR Vernon Cary / Outside: 6’1 SR Trey Doomes
This tandem teamed up to lead Nike Team Florida to a Peach Jam bid this summer and are expected to compete for both state and national honors this winter. Cary is one of the best players nationally in the 2019 Class. He can score inside and out, dominate the glass, and shut down the lane on the defensive end. Doomes is quick to the basket, has a respectable shot, and understands to importance of giving Cary a steady diet of shot attempts.
Fort Lauderdale Westlake Prep
Inside: 6’9 SO Yusiff Basa-Ama / Outside: 6’2 JR Jeran Johnson
Yusiff made great strides as a freshman at Westlake last season and should make a big leap this time around. Still more of a force on the defensive end, his offense is starting to become more than just dunks and tip-ins. Johnson is a combo guard that can score and make plays for others with a high rate of success.
Inside: 7’0 JR Balsa Kaprovica / Outside: 5’10 SR Rahsaan Lewis
A native of Serbia, Kaprovica is one of the top players nationally in the 2019 Class. He scores well with either hand around the rim but can step away and make shots when facing the basket. Lewis is strong and speedy with the ball. He understands that getting the defense to concentrate on stopping Kaprovica inside will mean more opportunities for his teammates.