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Notables from the Flyin' L Pre-Season Shootout

By Rick Staudt, 11/28/17, 4:30PM CST

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Ronique Spencer: After a slow first half in which he only scored three points, the 6’5 senior forward from West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy came up big with 17 points in the final two quarters of the contest.  He used his strength and leaping ability to either score around the basket or draw fouls and finish off plays at the free throw line.  Spencer proved to be fast up and down the court in transition and finished well above the rim.  For most of the contest he looked like an undersized interior guy but he hit a three with confidence and a solid stroke, followed by a couple of drives to score in the final period. 

A.J. Cajuste: Looking every bit the part of a D-I point guard prospect, the 6’1 junior had no reservations about putting Oxbridge on his back against Northeast.  He impressed with a reliable three point shot as well as his ability to handle the ball vs. pressure and find open teammates for easy scores.  While Cajuste didn’t do it often, he did show an ability to get to the basket and finish in traffic.  He was also a staunch defender thanks to his excellent lateral quickness and anticipation in the passing lanes.

Solomon Uyaelunmo: The 6’8 Calvary Christian product and Towson State signee was pretty much unguardable in their game against Coral Cables.  He opened the contest working down low in the paint but as the double-teams started to come he gradually began to move out on the perimeter.  Uyaelunmo scores well from the high post and short corner areas of the court, either via jump shots or using a couple of dribbles to get to the rim.  A good but not great athlete, he rebounds his area well and is strong enough to withstand the physicality that comes with post play.

Ben Tal: Last year as a junior, the 6’0 Tal averaged 22ppg against small school competition.  Dropping 40 points on a team like Fort Lauderdale that has some very talented and athletic players speaks volumes about Tal’s talent.  While he certainly had the green light, Tal didn’t take absurd shots.  He knocked down shots from distance, both off the catch as well using ball screens to get space.  Tal finished creatively at the rim in traffic when he got into the paint and was quick to get into his lane in transition.  He also did a good job of running the offense when it came his time to do so.  Tal works hard on the defensive end and is alert for lazy passes in his area, which he usually converts to two points going the other way.

Antonio Daye: The 6’1 Daye played in the 16U division this past summer so we assumed he was a junior.  Turns out he is young for his grade but is in his senior year at Fort Lauderdale HS.  An explosive athlete, Daye is fast with the ball up the court, quick off his feet for rebounds, and will not hesitate to try and posterize defenders at the rim.  Daye hit at a 40% clip from three point range on Saturday.  Combine that with his ability to overpower smaller defenders or blow by bigger ones with the dribble makes him a more than challenging defensive assignment.  Right now, he’s better when given the ball and told to score rather than asked to be a traditional point guard.  At times high risk/high reward, there is no doubt that Daye is a talented, D-I level player.

Trey McCray: Talk about living up to your name!  The 6’1 junior from Gainesville The Rock School was a scorching 6-10 from beyond the arc against Miramar.  On one of those misses he was fouled and made all three free throws.  Admittedly most of those were off the catch and fairly clean looks, a player still has to knock those shots down.  While definitely a third option on the team, McCray is quick, a reliable ball handler, and a guy that understands his role on offensive and puts in work at the defensive end. 

Damion Miller: Miramar’s 6’5 senior is an athletic swiss army knife that does a little bit of everything for the Patriots.  He defends multiple positions, has the ability to grab rebounds and push the ball in transition on his own and then score himself or alertly dish to a teammate for an easy score.  A solid shooter from deep when given time and space, Miller is an effective straight line driver with the strength to score in traffic in close.  Much of the time Miramar’s offense ran thru him and he seemed to be a solid decision maker with the ball.