Sometimes, you just have to say something. In our super-secret Source Hoops Command Center, we track what the “national guys” say about Florida players at various events around the country, They aren’t going to tell us anything we don’t already know, but it often helps to get a different perspective. However, it boggles the mind when players over the years have received positive attention over the course of a “rankings” period and then are either under-ranked or, worse yet, unranked. When that happens, we feel a need to make it known they are missing the mark. Such is the case this year.
2022 Deserving Player: Ven-Allen Lubin, Southeast Elite/Orlando Christian Prep
No less than thirteen separate articles have been written by the national pundits on the 6’7 Lubin over the course of this spring and summer. Yet somehow he remains unranked by both ESPN and Rivals, and a mere 142 on the 24-7 Sports Composite Ranking. This is nothing short of inexplicable. Lubin produces at a consistently high rate he has been described as a “tactician with plenty of versatility”, “attacks the game like an absolute dog”, and “a much better player than his (offer) list indicates”. At the uber-competitive Adidas 3SSB event in July, Lubin, with SE Elite missing “three of their best players” (their words), he was a “20 and 10 machine the entire weekend”. At high profile individual events such as the Pangos All-American Camp and The NBAPA Top 100 Camp, Lubin was just as impactful (and overlooked). At Pangos, his numbers were clearly better than those of at least five players of the same size and playing the same position that made the Top 30 Game (Lubin made the Top 60 Game) and his numbers at the Top 100 Camp were identical to a player that is nationally ranked in the Top 25. Hopefully, the national guys will get it right in their respective next rankings go-around and give Lubin more than just passing consideration for a top hundred spot.
2023 Deserving Player: Anthony Robinson, NIghtrydas Elite 16U/Tallahassee Florida High
We get it. Underclassmen don’t get much notoriety unless they either play up on the 17U team itself or their 16U team plays up on the 17U level and makes some noise against older competition. Even with the Nightrydas playing in Nike’s EYBL, the talented group got scant notoriety. With the help of box scores from the EYBL’s Peach Jam, we get a sense that the 6’2 Robinson is a player that should be more highly regarded in the next set of national rankings. Over the course of seven games against a high level of competition, Robinson averaged 16 points per game, shooting 45% overall and 37.5% from behind the arc. He also contributed five rebounds and 2.6 steals per contest while also tossing out 24 assists compared to only six turnovers. Those numbers dwarf other more notable guards in the class for that event. Every time we have watched him play, whether at individual events or in a team setting, Robinson has always been impressive with his command and control of the game.
2024 Deserving Player: Isaac Celiscar, Tony Bradley Elite 16U/Winter Haven
It’s too early for the national guys to have a grasp on the 2024 Class and rank them with any kind of accuracy but the 6’6 Celiscar is a player that should at least get some consideration. He was most impressive at the Grassroots Summer Basketball Championships the last live weekend in July. In that event, he led his team, a group of rising sophomores (15U) playing up on the 16U level and getting to the championship game of that event, defeating the likes of the fabled NY Gauchos in the process. Celiscar has the length, athleticism, and energetic playing style (mixed together they create “upside”) to get the national guys to take notice.