This scribe was able to get to only a pair of contests in the 15U division of the Spring Tip-Off. However, based on those two games alone, the future of basketball in the Sunshine State is quite healthy.
Chris Cornish, CP25 SWFL 15U: The 6’5 wing from Punta Gorda Charlotte is a quick slasher from inside the arc to the basket. He has a burst to his first step and will spin around defenders and score at the basket with flair. Cornish sprints the floor and with his long arms and quick leap corrals a lot of rebounds both in and out of his area. He is in the process of improving his perimeter shooting skills, which will make him that much more effective. On the defensive end of the floor, Cornish covers a lot of ground quickly, disrupts the passing lanes, and comes over quickly to block shots.
Ted Foster, CP25 SWFL 15U: A 6’2 freshman from Carinal Mooney out of Sarasota, Foster is a very good athlete at the point guard spot. He plays at a fast pace and is quick to the rim with the dribble in half-court sets. A solid ball-handler and distributor, Foster makes good shot vs. pass decisions on the move. He is very active defensively, especially when guarding the basketball.
Cayden Boozer, Nightrydas Elite 2025: The 6’3 8th Grader and his team played up this past weekend and were nothing short of impressive. He runs the point for the team and shows a lot of natural instincts for the point guard spot. He has his head on a swivel, gets the ball where it needs to go in quick fashion, and has a good feel for when to push the pace and when to back off. Cayden didn’t look to score much but showed he could with a couple of made threes and a few drives and floaters in the lane. Not only is Cayden an excellent athlete, he has a high basketball IQ.
Cameron Boozer, Nightrydas Elite 2025: Close to 6’7, Cameron spent most of his time tearing up the paint. He scores well inside with a variety of post moves and attacks the offensive glass. Cameron runs the floor well, finishes above the rim, and can step out and knock down perimeter shots when given the opportunity. Like brother Cayden, Cameron has a high hoops IQ and is an excellent athlete. It wouldn’t surprise if Cameron becomes a valuable “stretch four” at the collegiate level.
Jordan Tillery, A2 15U: A 6’3 freshman wing at Dr. Phillips in Orlando, Tillery continues to look like a solid collegiate prospect. He may not do any one thing great, but he is good in all facets of the game. Tillery is a very good athlete that rebounds well against bigger foes, finishes in traffic through contact at the basket and make plays for others when challenging the defense with the dribble. His perimeter shot continues to improve as does his ability to make plays coming off ball-screens. Tillery defends with a passion and doesn’t mind playing physical at either end of the floor.
Sammie Yeanay, A2 15U: A 6’6 freshman at Citra North Marion just north of Ocala, Yeanay cut an imposing figure around the basket. Well-built and athletic, he has good footwork in the post and scores through contact. Yeanay is also fast down the floor and finishes above the rim. His rebounding and defense are a bit ahead of his offensive game at this point in his development, which isn’t surprising. Yeanay challenges all comers into the lane and forces a lot of changed shots. He also ferociously rebounds at both ends of the floor.
Alex Lloyd, Nightrydas Elite 2025: The 6’5 8th grader shows unlimited potential but is already quite good. A winner in the genetic lottery, Lloyd has great size and athleticism for a wing player at an early age. To top it off, he is also quite skilled and smart on the floor. Lloyd has a reliable stroke from the perimeter, a quick first step to the basket, various finishing moves at the rim and has a nose for the ball on the defensive end. He also is a good ball-handler, passer and plays unselfishly.
Benny Fragela, Nightrydas Elite 2025: The 6’3 8th grader may be the best catch-and-shoot “artist” in the state regardless of class. What makes him special is that he seems to have mastered the art of catching the ball in his shooting pocket and getting the ball up quickly without having to stop, gather, dip the ball down and back up into his shooting motion. It got to the point this weekend that it was a shock if he missed a jump shot. Fragle isn’t just a shooting specialist; he fights for rebounds, moves the ball quickly and gives great effort on the defensive end.
Donte Allen, Nightrydas Elite 2025: A 6’4 8th grader, Allen is a multi-tool that fills a lot of different roles. He uses his thick frame to carve out space around the basket, whether to rebound or score. Allen outrebounds bigger opponents through positioning and strength. He is quick to outlet the ball or push it up the floor himself. Defensively, he is physical and loves to take on a challenge. Allen is the ultimate definition of “glue guy”, “catalyst”, and “winner”.
D.J. Wimbley, Nightrydas Elite 2025: The 6’5 8th grader may not be quite as skilled as his teammates yet but that should come soon. When it does, watch out! A good athlete with length, he impressed with ability to control the glass, run the floor, and make the most of his offensive opportunities around the basket. He plays hard at both ends and challenges drivers into the lane.