Battle at the Beach – 17U: Rpt I

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We took in the first day of the Battle at the Beach event held at Mainland High School in Daytona.  It was a highly competitive event with a lot of good teams and players to watch.  Hopefully, this event will become a mainstay during the spring travel ball season as it was well-run and attended by many of the top teams in the state.

Giancarlo Rosado, E1T1: The 6’9 big man from West Palm Beach Palm Beach Lakes was coming off a solid EYBL session in Atlanta the previous weekend.  He scored well in the post as he has good footwork and the ability to finish around the rim with either hand.  Rosado moved up and down the court well, controlled his rebounding area and challenged all comers entering the lane on the defensive end. 

DeAndre Harvey, 1 Family: The 5’11 point court from Potter’s House in Jacksonville played well in running the team on Saturday.  He is strong and athletic for the position but played with a solid understanding of pace and tempo.  Harvey was quick to get the ball up the floor via the pass or dribble once on offense and also swiftly got the ball to open shooters for scores.  He was quick and shifty enough with his dribble to get past defenders and generally made good decisions with the ball after breaking down the defense.  His shot has good form but he finished just 1-4 from beyond the arc.  Defensively he was intent on making play difficult for the opponent.

Deon Early, Brevard Bulls: Early and the Bulls had a tough task, playing the second of back-to-back games against E1T1.  The 6’0 guard from St. Petersburg HS impressed by not backing down one inch, producing while the rest of his teammates found it difficult to get past their initial fatigue.  Early was making plays every which way possible: driving to the basket for scores, hitting jump shots from both the mid-range area and from behind the three point line.  He also did a nice job of pushing the pace and was aggressive in getting the ball into the lane. 

Gary Jones, Q6 All-Stars Elite: The 6’10 center from Tampa Sickles didn’t have many opportunities to score in the contest but he made quite the impact in other ways.  Jones is strong and solid with a sturdy frame.  He clogs the lane on defense, challenges opponents around the basket, and doesn’t shy away from physical play inside.  He rebounded his area well and doesn’t give up on balls after his first jump.  Jones may not be swift up and down the floor but he isn’t slow.  No doubt Jones will get deserved offers because of his size but he could be a real diamond-in-the-rough in the right setting.

DeShaun Osborne, GPI All-Stars:  A 5’11 junior from Orlando Evans, he stood out with his control of the ball and the pace of the game.  He advanced the ball quickly on offense, especially after turnovers.  Osborne consistently kept his head up coming off ball-screens, looking for cutters as well as reading the defense.  Offensively, he made the most of his opportunities, hitting a couple of shots in the lane, a mid-range pull-up, and a three.  Defensively, Osborne showed consistently active hands and feet.

Ja’Keese Kemp, TB 13: Kemp, a 6’3 wing from Lakeland McKeel Academy, did a little bit of everything for TB 13, which is sponsored by Tony Bradley, the former Bartow and North Carolina star now playing in the NBA (he was in attendance encouraging his team).  Slender but athletic, if there was a positive play made by TB 13 during the game, chances were very good that Keese had a hand in it.  He’s long and quick to the basketball, whether it be on rebounds or loose balls.  Kemp is a good decision maker and throws passes that are catchable and immediately usable.  He didn’t shoot much from the perimeter but the results were for the most part encouraging.  Kemp is definitely a player we hope to again in the not-to-distant future.

Pat Taylor, Team T-Mac: The 6’2 guard from Lakeland HS was quick out of the gate in the contest we watched, sandwiching a three pointer around a pair of driving scores in the games first few minutes.  Taylor then made plays in other parts of the game as the defense started to pay him more attention.  He used his strength and solid frame to grab rebounds from bigger players, continued to be active on the defensive end, creating a couple of turnovers, and then finding teammates for easy baskets in transition or when coming off ball-screens.  While Taylor wasn’t “great” at any one thing, he was certainly proficient in a lot of different areas.