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.
West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman
Inside: 6’9 SR Emmanuel Onuama Outside: 6’2 JR Jon Mogbo
Both of these guys impressed at different events this past spring and summer. Onuama displayed a nice combination of length, effort, athleticism, and basic post skills. He rebounds well at both ends and keeps the ball high away from opponents trying to strip it away. Onuama is also quick to get offensive rebounds quickly back up and into the basket. Mogbo is a shooter with range that makes shots both off the catch and the dribble. He’s long, a versatile defender, and finishes well in transition.
Inside: 6’8 JR Gervon Dexter Outside: 6’1 SO Walter Clayton
Dexter is physically imposing and brings a toughness and no-quit attitude to the hardwood. He’s a threat to score from fifteen feet and in anytime he gets the ball. While not a bad jump shooter, Dexter is at his best when he takes the ball hard to the basket, whether from the wing or down low on the block. Clayton is the established leader for the Lake Wales team despite having just one season of varsity experience under his belt. He has excellent court vision, keeps his head up and continuously probes the defense to make plays. Clayton is a solid ball-handler that makes good decisions with the ball on the move. He’s a streaky shooter on offense but doesn’t shy away from taking the ball strong to the basket. Defensively he’s solid.
Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Inside: 6’9 SR Shane Hunter Outside: 6’4 SR Leonard Rocca
Hunter scores the ball well inside but he now seems more comfortable on the perimeter with the ball in his hands. Very effective from the high post and short corners, he can face up and knock down shots if the defense plays off or score after a couple of dribbles if defenders get too close. Hunter has also gotten stronger, allowing him to be a more effective rebounder at both ends. Rocca does more than just catch and shoot; he gets to the offensive glass and is active on the defensive end off the ball. A good athlete, Rocca is a guy that can score in different ways, and a reliable shooter from distance.
Inside: 6’8 JR Isaiah Elmore Outside: 6’2 JR Kobe Knox
TC will be a young team this year and the play of both Elmore and Knox will go a long way in determining the team’s success. Elmore contributes greatly on the defensive end as he is an active shot challenger and rim protector. He gets to the glass quickly to pursue shot attempts and has a quick second leap. Elmore’s offensive game continues to improve and he’s beginning to show some skills off the dribble. Knox has a well-deserved reputation as a solid shooter from deep, but as the summer progressed he showed an improved ability to get to the basket and score. Developing his decision making and other point guard skills have become a priority for him and he’s come a long way in those areas.
Inside: 6’7 SR Dakota Rivers Outside: 6’2 SR Dante Love
Rivers, committed to Florida Gulf Coast, is known more for his defense and rebounding thanks to his wing span and ability to get off the floor quickly. Rivers has shown great improvement on the offensive end of the floor as he is a more confident shooter, driver, and passer from the perimeter. Rivers also doesn’t’ take plays off and gives a great deal of effort on every possession. Love doesn’t force things with the basketball, looks to get and keep his teammates involved, and scores when the opportunity presents itself. He isn’t fazed by full-court pressure and is surprisingly quick to long rebounds and loose balls.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Anclote: 6’7 JR Jacob Hester; 6’2 JR Jalen Cooper
Delray Beach Atlantic: 6’8 R.J. Duhardt; 6’3 SR Kadeem Wilkes
Fort Lauderdale HS: 6’8 SR D.J. Warren; 6’5 SO Brandon Shorter
Orlando Oakridge: 6’9 SR C.J. Walker; 6’2 SR Emmanuel Adedoyin
West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy: 6’6 SR Dante Wilcox; 6’1 SR A.J. Cujaste
Gainesville The Rock School: 6’9 SR Zimi Nwokeji; 6’1 SR B.J. Greenlee
Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy: 6’10 SR Goran Milokovich; 6’2 SR Chase Johnston
Orlando West Oaks: 6’7 SR Alic Troutman; 6’1 SR Tyrell Jones