Kenneth Lopez, Weston Sagemont: A 6’9 rising senior, Lopez has good size and is tough around the basket. He has solid if basic scoring moves and a soft touch on either side of the rim. Lopez is a good athlete but not explosive that will challenge and change shots more so than block them. He willingly runs the floor, sets ball screens, and pursues rebounds at both ends.
Dominic Issa, Weston Sagemont: A 6’6 rising senior, Issa is a high IQ player that performs well in his point-forward role. He is solid with the basketball, sees the floor well and delivers catchable and timely passes to cutters, open perimeters shooters and to players posting up inside. Issa can score when needed. He has a reliable three-point shot, is an effective straight-line driver, and can muscle the ball into the basket in a crowd. Defensively he is alert and works hard to stay in front of his opponent.
David Nealy, Weston Sagemont: A 6’1 rising sophomore, Nealy shot the ball very well from the perimeter. He didn’t score via penetration but Nealy is quick with the ball in his possession. He is an energizer for the offense coming off the bench. Nealy has quick feet on the defensive end and makes his opponent work for everything.
Stone Bureau, Riviera Beach Suncoast: A 6’0 rising senior, Bureau’s play seemingly elevates to another level every time we watch him. He has proven to be an effective scorer from all three levels. He gets high on his jump shot, can create space and separation off the dribble, and finish above the rim. Bureau is a steady distributor of the basketball as well, getting it into the post or to open shooters when the opportunity presents itself. His speed and quickness make him a disruptive defender both on and off the ball.
Ian Smikle, Riviera Beach Suncoast: A 6’9 rising senior, Smikle is big, strong and athletic. He can go “old school” and punish guys on either block or “new age” and step away from the basket, scoring on jumpers and short drives. Smikle grabs rebounds outside of his area, quickly gets the ball out to start the break and eagerly runs the floor in transition. He does a good job of protecting the rim as he challenges, changes, and blocks the shots of those who dare to challenge. Smikle also eagerly attacks smaller opponents when he has to switch out on ball-screens.
Lorenzo Cason, Lakeland Victory Christian Academy: A 6’3 rising senior, Cason was playing great in his team’s game against Suncoast on Sunday until he tweaked an ankle late in the first half and did not return. He is an incredibly versatile scorer with a variety of dribble moves, the ability to create space and separation to get off an accurate perimeter jumper, and a creative ability to finish in traffic on drives to the basket. Cason has a scorer’s mentality but he makes good pass vs. shot decisions on the move and will get teammates the ball when they are prime scoring position. Defensively, he constantly digs at the ball, forces his opponent away from where he wants to go, and has quick hands for steals, tips, and deflections.
Herbert Wilson, Miami Country Day: A 6’4 rising senior, Wilson is very athletic and is effective playing both on and off the ball. While more of a slasher than a shooter at this point, his shot isn’t bad. Wilson is quick to the basket and finishes well above the rim. He has great touch and body control in the air. If the defense is able to shut off his drive, Wilson has the court vision and ability to find the open teammate. His size and physical gifts allow him to guard various positions.
Hedrens Bartelus, Lake Worth: A 6’6 rising senior, Bartelus brings an entirely new definition to the term “athletic”. Explosive only scratches the surface when describing Bartelus. He pursues misses at both ends out of his area with passion, blocks shots, and comes out of seemingly nowhere to finish lobs and other plays at the basket. Bartelus easily had a double-double before halftime in the game we watched with half of those rebounds coming on the offensive glass. We didn’t see a perimeter shot from him, but to be fair he didn’t have an opportunity to use one. Bartelus uses his physical gifts well on the defensive end as he easily keeps up with smaller ball handlers and has the strength and energy to subdue bigger opponents inside.
Jeremy Innocent, Lake Worth: A 6’8 rising senior, Innocent is a long athlete with an improving perimeter skill set. He is a reliable ball-handler on the perimeter and his three-point shot is becoming more accurate by the game. Innocent most often makes his scoring impact around the rim as he runs the floor swiftly in transition, is quick to grab missed shots on the offensive end, and elevates for lobs in transition as well as set plays. Defensively he has switchability, can guard post or perimeter players, and does a good job of protecting the basket.
A.J. Ambrose, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: A 5’9 rising sophomore, Ambrose plays with a high hoops IQ. He looks to distribute the ball first but will surprise with a quick drive and score at the basket when the defense relaxes. Ambrose will knock down the three-ball when the opportunity presents itself. He gives a solid effort on the defensive end. Hopefully, a growth spurt will kick in sooner rather than later, given him more options for the next level.
Kyler Lamb, Williston: A 6’6 rising senior, Lamb made a living in the last game of the event Sunday afternoon in transition and via lobs to the rim. He sprints the floor, gets high off the court and has good hands to catch tough passes. Long and athletic, Lamb has good ball-skills and often initiates the offense. He covers a lot of ground quickly on defense, coming up with timely blocks on defense or getting steals, tips and deflections when getting into the passing lanes.
Aramys Rodriguez, Williston: A 6’1 rising senior, Rodriguez only played roughly half of a game on Sunday due to being under the weather. When he was in there, he made a big difference. A distributing point guard, he has good handles and court vision, getting the ball quickly to where it needs to go. Rodriguez does a good job of finding open teammates when getting into the lane but will score if the opportunity is there. He is a sneaky rebounder and defender that comes up with a great many loose balls and long rebounds during the contest.
Chris Cornish, Punta Gorda Charlotte: A 6’5 rising senior, it is seemingly impossible to keep Cornish from the basket whether or not he has the ball. He is very quick to the basket, has a rapid release, and a soft touch. Cornish is a terror in transition, whether it is running a lane scoring on a lob or pushing the pace himself and swooping by defenders. It is more common to see Big Foot or the Lochness Monster than a perimeter shot from Cornish but he made not one but TWO in the game we watched. They won’t be part of any instructional videos, but the form and fundamentals continue to show improvement. Cornish is one of the more unique yet productive players out there.