MOP – A.J. Brown, Orlando Christian Prep: The 6’4 junior led the way with sixteen points in the title game. He went one of two from deep but most of his points came off drives, in transition, and attacking the offensive glass. Brown is wired to score but also puts in time at the defensive end. He has quick feet, long arms, and anticipates well in the passing lanes.
Defensive MOP – Jayden Hastings, Orlando Christian Prep: The 6’9 sophomore doesn’t get many plays run for him, so he gets his points on hustle plays like putbacks and beating his man down the floor in transition. He won this award because of his ability to protect the basket as well as play “traffic cop” in the back of the OCP man-to-man defense. He communicates well on ball-screens and is able to keep up with smaller players when part of the double-team.
Ven-Allen Lubin, Orlando Christian Prep: The 6’7 junior is productive and efficient. His stat line in the title game consisted of 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. On one possession, after three different teammates tried and failed to convert an offensive rebound, Lubin finally gained possession. In near unison, the media table said out loud, “now it’s a bucket”. Lubin proved us prophetic. Keep in mind he is the reigning Class 2A Player of the Year.
Runner-Up MVP – Jared Berry, Orlando Lake Highland Prep: The 5’9 junior was the only player that could find any type of offensive success in the title game against a suffocation OCP defense. He finished with 13 of the team’s 34 points, seven coming from the free throw line. Berry attacks the basket repeatedly, putting pressure on the officials to call fouls. Physically and mentally tough, Berry is willing to do whatever it takes to get a “W”.
Miles Stewart, Orlando Lake Highland Prep: The 6’7 senior and Howard signee had success throughout the Battle in knocking down perimeter shots. He also used his size to grab rebounds at both ends of the floor. He finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds in the title game.
Quinn Jackson, Jacksonville Paxon: The 5’9 senior delivered 19 points in the third-place game. Despite his size, Jackson challenged the defense at the rim on a consistent basis, usually ending up with free throws. He shot 3-6 from beyond the arc and also grabbed five rebounds, a high amount for a small guard. Jackson is tough, handles the ball well, and is quick to push the pace of the game. After the game, his coach commented to the media table, “Just think what he could do if he were over 6’0”. Hopefully, Jackson will get a chance to play on some collegiate level.
Devin Knowles, Jacksonville Impact Christian: A 5’6 junior, Knowles does a more-than competent job of running the team and knocking down open shots when the opportunity presents itself. He has good speed and quickness, knocks down floaters in the lane, and is alert defensively for any 50/50 balls. ICA made the state finals last season and if they are to get back to that game Knowles will play an important part.
Charleston Ponds, Lake City Columbia: The 6’4 senior was impressive with his perimeter shooting in the consolation championship, dropping three of five from beyond the arc on his way to 23 points in the contest. He also spent quite a bit of time at the foul line and was a perfect 7-7. He plays with a high motor, is successful when attacking the basket, and is works hard on the defensive end. Ponds is also solid in the ball-handling and passing departments.
Dallan Coleman, Callahan West Nassau: There isn’t much remaining to be said about the 6’5 Georgia Tech recruit. He scores in a variety of way, thanks to a solid frame, solid shooting mechanics, and crafty ball-handling that allows him to get to the basket and score or visit the free throw line. He finished with 24 points in the contest, 17 coming in the second half. Whether he plays point or off the ball for the Ramblin’ Wreck, he should be an early contributor.
Kiael Kelly, Tampa Gaither: A 6’2 senior, Kelly did a little bit of everything to help his team avoid last place. He went 3-5 from deep, scored on the break, and made the most of his opportunities at the foul line. Kelly also finished with 7 rebounds to go along with his team-high 17 points.
Von Issac, The Villages Charter: A 5’11 freshman, Issac used his speed and quickness to get into the lane and score or get to the foul line for nearly all of his 10 points in the seventh-place game. He played at a very energetic pace and worked hard on the defensive end. He will be one to track in the Class of 2024.