06 Nov 2023

2023-24 South Florida Preview

We finalize our regional previews with a look into South Florida.


Miami Christopher Columbus (Class 7A, Region 4, District 16): Two down, two to go.  The Explorers have won the last two 7A titles in squeakers and are looking for their third.  The team has been dominant in the “off-season” taking the title at Section 7 in Arizona during the live period and recently going toe-to-toe with pre-season #1 Montverde in the Border League a few weeks ago.  The “national pundits” somehow decided that 6’9 junior Cameron Boozer is no longer the top prospect in all of high school basketball and now #2 in his class after a reclass by A.J. Dybansta.  All Boozer did was DOMINATE in their matchup at the Border League.  Cayden Boozer, a 6’4 junior, is rapidly on pace to being the top lead guard in the national 2025 Class.  He has proven to be much more than just a complement to his twin and has shown he can take over games.  Malik Abdullahi, a 6’7 senior and Princeton commit, returns with his energy, defensive versatility, and improving offensive game.  Benny Fregella, a 6’1 junior, will continue his sharpshooting ways to space the floor.  A pair of newcomers, 6’4 senior Jase Richardson and 6’5 sophomore Jayden Richardson, both national ranked in their respective classes, increase not only the talent level but the basketball IQ of the team.  This group will start off highly ranked, face a challenging national schedule, and are all but locks for another state title.

Lake Worth (Class 7A, Region 2, District 8): The Trojans lost three highly regarded seniors from last season but still have enough talent and fire power to be the top school in Palm Beach County.    A pair of seniors, 6’5 Hedrens Bartelus and 6’8 Jeremy Innocent will lead the way.  Bartelus is an athlete on a completely different level.  His burst to rebounds and the rim is unmatched and he is a highlight waiting to happen.  Innocent is long and athletic with skills to play inside and out. Ryan Coby a 6’2 junior, looked very capable in leading the team at the point this summer.  He also has a deadly perimeter shot.  Chaison Wilson, a 6’4 junior and 6’2 Tyriq McLeod a 6’2 sophomore, will make contributions as well.  Sean Standifer, a 6’4 junior, provides a long-range presence on the perimeter.

Miami Norland (Class 5A, Region 4, District 15): The return of 6’6 senior Marcus Allen from AZ Compass Prep for his senior year returns the Vikings to the upper echelon of high school hoops in the region.  His versatility and improvement as a scorer was on display in both the EYBL for the Florida Rebels and when playing for Norland at team camp events.  He will make life easier for the likes of 6’6 senior Tristan Wilson and 6’3 senior Jamal Ware.  Wilson picked up much of the scoring slack last season in Allen’s absence and will certainly continue to do so this year as Allen is a very unselfish player.  Ware does a little bit of everything and is not just a “glue guy” but one that can go on a scoring binge at any time.  Kenneth Johnson, a 6’1 senior guard and juniors Oneal Norelus (6’4) and Kalanji Taylor (6’1) are certain to contribute.

Pembroke Pines Charter (Class 6A, Region 4, District 15): Pines Charter looks to be a strong challenger in Class 6A.  A pair of bookend senior forwards, 6’7 Josh Harris, a North Florida commit and 6’8 Jeremy Elyzee, who holds multiple D-I offers, will be tough matchups for opponents.  Harris is a proven inside and outside scorer.  He is also a tough rebounder and physical post defender.  Elyzee is long, athletic, a skilled ball-handler and passer, and disruptive defender.  Ramez Zayed, a 6’1 senior, is solid at the point guard spot.  He will push the pace, get the ball to teammates where they can score easily and quickly, and make the most of his shot opportunities.  David Nealey, a 6’2 junior, is quick off the bounce to attack the glass and moves very well defensively.  It is a tough road to Lakeland in 6A but the Jaguars have the capability of getting there.

Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (Class 6A, Region 4, District 14): STA was one of the more surprising teams last season, starting a bevy of underclassmen enroute to the regional semis as a #2 seed.  It is still a very young team.  Matt Andreopoulos, a 6’1 senior, returns.  He provides toughness and fire power from the perimeter.  STA started a pair of freshmen in the backcourt last year and their success should give them quite a bit of confidence this season.  D.J. Sandi, 6’1, runs the team well from the point, can score or distribute at a high rate of success, and knows how to take advantage of what the defense gives him.  Ayden Ambrose, 5’10, has a great feel for the game, makes plays that don’t show up in the box score and can fill it up from deep.  Carson Jones, a 6’7 junior, will need to be active on the boards at both ends to help the team overcome a lack of size.  It didn’t bother them last year.


Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian (Class 4A, Region 4, District 13): After a year of playing as an independent, the Eagles return to the FHSAA and bring enough firepower with them to be immediate contenders for a state title.  Sean Abaev, a 6’7 junior, was one of the best players on the Adidas circuit this past spring and summer.  He can light up the scoreboard with his outside jumper or on drives to the bucket.  A trio of transfers elevates the Eagles chances this season.  Stone Bureau, a 6’1 point guard, gets others involved but can score it on his own at a high rate when necessary.  He is used to playing on talented teams so he should easily fit in.  Collin Paul, a 6’6 sophomore, is a multi-skilled perimeter player.  He can facilitate, is a grab-and-go rebounder, and is quick to the ball.  Cayden Daughtry, a 5’10 freshman, averaged twenty points a game as an eighth grader on the varsity level last year at Somerset Academy, earning all-Palm Beach County honors.  Already holding an offer from FSU, Daughtry was quite impressive this summer.

Hialeah Mater Lakes (Class 4A, Region 4, District 14): This group plays at a fast pace and if teams aren’t ready, they will find themselves in a hole early in the contest.  Anthony Knowles, a 6’0 junior point guard ignites the attack with his ability to penetrate, make good reads and great decisions with the ball, and either knocks down shots if the defense plays off or gets to the rim and finishes in a crowd. Braylon Burbridge, a 6’1 senior benefits greatly from the system of play.  He is an excellent catch-and-shoot artist but that is not his sole forte.  He has become very effective off the dribble, whether pulling up from mid-range or driving hard to the basket. Clarence Burts, a 6’3 senior, is another player that will put points up quickly.  Aside from his scoring ability, he is valuable on the defensive end with his ability to steer the opposing ball-handler and disrupt the passing lanes.  Christian Reid, a 6’5 senior may be under-sized in the traditional since but he is actually quite overpowering.  Using strength, aggression, and relentless energy, he scores well in a crowd around the basket, chases down rebounds and loose balls at both ends of the floor, and more than holds his own when defending bigger players inside.  Ian Pascal, a 6’4 senior, has the ability to finish on the break, rebound the ball at both ends, and cover a lot of ground quickly on defense.  Teo Martinez, a 6’8 junior, has some inside/outside skills.  Khanye Moss, a 5’11 freshman, has speed to spare but is another Mater Lakes player than makes shots from the perimeter.

Miami Riviera Prep (Class 3A, Region 4, District 16): The reigning Class 3A champs, Riviera Prep has no seniors on the roster so their reign could last a while.  Dante Allen, a 6’4 junior, played well this spring and summer.  In short, he’s just a baller.  Highly skilled, great hoops IQ, a non-stop motor and a fierce competitor, Allen makes high-level, winning plays on a consistent basis at both ends of the floor.  Complementing Allen on the interior is 6’11 junior Gustavo Gumaris.  He seems to play best against other guys his size.  Gumaris controls his rebounding area, is a shot changer in the lane, and scores effectively around the basket.  He isn’t very bouncy in terms of athleticism but he is good enough.  Mason Fuentes, a 6’0 sophomore, and Myles Fuentes, a 6’0 freshman, are a tough tandem in the backcourt.  Mason is a hyper-aggressive scorer with both his drive and his jumper while Myles is a bit more of a traditional point guard but can also score when given the opportunity.  Jeremy Jenkins, a 6’7 freshman shows plenty of potential for the next level.  He moves well, has a solid frame, scores okay around the basket and plays with great effort.

Weston Sagemont (Class 2A, Region 4, District 15): The defending Class 2A champion, Sagemont is in the mix for best school in the FHSAA playoffs regardless of class (Montverde, IMG, and some others are FHSAA members but do not partake in the playoffs).  Jordyn Kee, a 6’3 senior, has transferred back to Florida and has assumed the point guard role.  He’s a dynamic athlete, has an attack mentality, and continues to develop as a perimeter shooter.  Ricky Liburd, a 6’6 junior and Kevin Thomas, a 6’7 sophomore, are bookend wings that play a similar style.  Both are long, athletic, and very good at going strong to the basket and finishing through contact.  Each has versatility on defense with the ability to switch out on smaller defenders and get them from the basket.  Dominic Issa, a 6’6 senior, plays a point-forward role for the team.  A good, not great athlete, Issa excels at finding cutters in the lane for easy shots, tossing skip passes to open perimeter shooters and feeding the post.  He’ll score on drives and open perimeter shots when the opportunity arises.  Inside, 6’9 senior Kenneth Lopez has some basic scoring tools.  While he may not yet be a threat to step away from the paint and make shots, he runs the floor, catches lobs for scores, and challenges any and all shots in the lane.

Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy (Class 3A, Region 4, District 14): A young but talented group, Westminster Academy will be one of the favorites to win the Class 3A title this coming season.  Their top four players are as good as any you will find, not only in their classification but the FHSAA overall.  Jeremiah Police, a 6’6 senior, aggressively attacks the basket and consistently comes away with positive results.  That aggression carries over to the defensive end where he constantly harasses ball-handlers and disrupts passing lanes.  Alex Lloyd, a 6’4 junior, often finds himself running the team from the point guard spot.  He handles the chore well but seems better suited off the ball.  A skilled and athletic wing, Lloyd makes a lot of tough finishes in traffic.  He is a reliable three point shooter and covers a lot of ground quickly on defense.  Dwayne Wimbley, a 6’6 junior, plays with a ton of energy.  A grab-and-go rebounder, he pushes the pace until the defense stops him.  He then finds open teammates for easy scores.  Wimbley continues to improve as a perimeter shooter.  We’ve been impressed with his vision and passing ability this off-season.  Alex Constanza, a 6’8 sophomore, proved to be much more versatile this spring and summer.  He is a quality perimeter shooter but showed improvement as a rebounder and defender.

Top Five Players

Dante Allen, Miami Riviera Prep: The 6’4 junior is the son of a former NBA player and current NBA assistant coach, so his basketball abilities should come as no surprise.  He is a physically tough, cerebral playmaker at both ends of the court.  More than once this past summer we saw Allen nail game winners against tough competition.  He finishes well in a crowd at the rim, makes contested perimeter shots, rebounds well, and is simply a winner.

Marcus Allen, Miami Norland: A smooth 6’6 wing, Allen would most likely be the top candidate for Mr. Basketball this season if not for the return of last year’s winner Boozer.  A versatile playmaker at both ends of the floor, Allen can play multiple positions and guard a variety of opponents.  His improved offensive skills will force attention his way and that will allow him to get his teammates in the flow.

Cameron Boozer, Miami Christopher Columbus: As mentioned earlier, the 6’9 junior is considered by some to be the best prospect in high school basketball regardless of class.  He has an abundance of skills, smarts and athleticism. It won’t surprise if he is a three-time Mr. Basketball as well as an NBA draft pick right out of high school.

Cayden Boozer, Miami Christopher Columbus: The 6’4 junior was impressive on the EYBL this summer and at various team events in June and this fall.  A high basketball IQ to go along with a solid skill set make him one of the better guards in the 2025 national class.  Boozer has great size for the position, makes excellent pass vs shot decisions, and is a solid defender both on and off the ball.

Alex Lloyd, Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy: The 6’4 junior is a high-level athlete as well as skilled baller.  He has a smooth stroke from deep, a quick first step to attack the rim, and can step in a run the team from the point if necessary.  It seems like once a game, Lloyd will make a steal in the open court and finish with a breakaway dunk the wows the fans and changes the momentum of the game.

#1 SR: Marcus Allen (see above)

#1 JR: Cameron Boozer (see above)

#1 SO: Alex Constanza, Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy: It is very rare to see a sophomore of his size and skill level. Constanza casually drains three point shots, elevates quickly for rebounds at both ends of the court, and covers a lot of ground quickly on the defensive end.  He will score on one and two-dribble straight line drives, finishing over the rim if given the opportunity.

#1 FR: Cayden Daughtry, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian: As mentioned, the 5’10 Daughtry lit up varsity competition as an eighth grader.  Seeking greater competition, he has moved over to Calvary and will no doubt find it.  He drew raves at the FSU team camp in June, earning an early offer from the Seminoles

Senior Sleeper: Rey Daniels, Miami Southridge: The 6’0 senior plays hard, fast and with determination.  He pushes the pace, attacks the basket, and makes shots in a crowd at the rim.  His jumper is improved and he makes good shot vs. pass decisions with the ball.  Southridge has a great chance of getting to Lakeland and Daniels will be a key component.





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