Both the event format and our own time constraints prevented us from seeing every player at Sunday’s Best of the Best Elite Florida Showcase. However, we feel confident enough in what we saw to pass along who we thought were some of the better performers in the 2022 Class (seniors) and 2023 Class (juniors).
Krishen Atwal, Orlando Trinity Prep: The 6’6 senior has one thing on his mind and that is getting the ball in the basket. He has impressed with his perimeter shooting ability in the past but this time around it was his improved ability to put the ball on the deck and score at the basket. Atwal has put on some muscle since the end of last season and that added “heft” had made him a more effective rebounder. He will be a guy Trinity Prep relies to get points in a loaded Class 3A this coming season.
Karmello Branch, Tampa Catholic: The 6’5 junior used his ability to score on drives to force defenders to back off him early in the contest we took in. That just allowed Branch to drop in a pair of behind-the-arc bombs, making him that much more difficult to defend. We also came away impressed with his work on the boards, especially at the offensive end, and his disruptiveness in the passing lanes. Expect Branch to be a key part of an expected Tampa Catholic trip to Lakeland in Class 3A in 2022.
Elton Paige, Miami Southridge: The 6’7 senior used his length, bounce, and constant activity to impact the game at both ends of the court. Paige will knock down mid-range perimeter shots when given room but is best scoring off putbacks and beating the defense down the floor in transition. He challenged shots on the defensive end and did an admirable job of keeping up with ball-handlers when forced to switch on ball-screens. Southridge got in some high-profile transfers this off-season and look to make some noise down in Miami-Dade.
Nicholas Mate, Miami Florida Christian: The 5’11 senior put on a shooting clinic for the ages Sunday. He drained 8-13 shots from deep, including his first five in succession. Most of those came off the catch but Mate also showed some good ball skills as well, lifting defenders with a ball fake and either scoring at the basket or dropping off a nice pass inside to a teammate for an easy score. He was certainly one of the more pleasant surprises of the day.
KeAndre Kindell, Broward Elite Academy: The 6’0 senior was one of the top point guards in attendance thanks to his speed with the ball and court vision. Kindell dropped in enough perimeter shots to keep the defense honest. He was most effective in pushing the pace after misses and making the right reads in transition. Kindell routinely got by defenders and either scored in the lane over bigger defenders or got the ball to teammates for good looks inside.
Zyier Beverly, Orlando West Oaks Academy: The 6’7 junior is quite thin but is long, bouncy, and plays with energy and enthusiasm. His lack of heft doesn’t impact his ability to rebound the ball in a crowd and he is a proficient offensive rebounder. Beverly routinely finishes above the rim in transition and is seemingly always available for drop-off passes for scores. There is some work to be done in regards to perimeter skills but Beverly’s ceiling is very high.
Carl Devon Parrish, Miami Norland: The 6’2 junior did a little bit of everything on Sunday. He took care of the basketball, found teammates for scores, shot reasonably well from the perimeter, helped out on the glass and was solid on the defensive end. Parrish is tough to pigeon-hole into a specific position. He’s just the kind of guy you wind up, tell him to go play, and gets things done.
Koree Cotton, Miami Southridge: The 6’5 junior continues to develop into one of the better players in Florida’s junior class. The lefty has a reliable and smooth stroke past the three-point line but has become somewhat of a shifty driver and finisher through contract in traffic. Cotton has a solid frame and somewhat sneaky athleticism. He will be a key cog in a revamped Southridge lineup this coming season.