There is a lot more to get to in covering this past weekend’s Prep Hoops 250 Expo.
James Henderson, Miami Westminster Christian: Strong, athletic and bouncy, the 6’9 senior was one of the more dominant players in attendance. Henderson displayed good footwork on his post moves and a soft touch around the basket with either hand. While he did surprise with knocking down a three-pointer in one contest, Henderson is most effective when operating close to the basket. He runs the floor, rebounds, and block shots with a high level of energy and is also a vocal presence at both ends of the floor.
Joshua Blazquez, Orlando Christian Prep: A 6’0 senior, Blazquez was ablaze in the game we took in. He pushed the pace at every opportunity and made good decisions and passes when moving at a high rate of speed. In the half-court, Blazquez proved to be an outstanding driver and finisher, either scoring, earning a trip to the free throw line, or both. He also got the ball out quickly to open perimeter shooters if the defense collapsed on his drives. Blazquez made a lot of “hustle” plays on both ends of the floor, playing with a competitive fire few could match.
Jaythan Bosch, Orlando Downey Christian: A 5’11 junior, Bosch displayed a subtle yet solid all-around guard. Solidly built, Bosch was a reliable shooter from behind the arc but also was crafty with his dribble to drive to the rim and get points that way. He made some good passes on the move and appeared to have a point guard skills if not yet a point guard mentality. Defensively, he has quick hands and is alert for passes coming into his area.
Joseph Brown, Miami Florida Christian School: The 6’3 senior was even more impressive in our viewing of him this weekend. A lefty, he consistently knocks down perimeter shots off the dribble and has range extending past the three point line. Brown once again proved to be a strong driver, finisher, and passer when heading to the basket. He garnered several assists in the final game of the day, some in impressive fashion. A good athlete with a solid frame, he rebounds well for his size and quickly transitions from defense to offense. Brown doesn’t hesitate to play physically on the defensive end of the floor and had little issue defending bigger players this past weekend.
Asa Newell, Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee: A 6’6 freshman, Newell showed a lot of potential this weekend. He has good size and length, a soft touch around the rim, and finishes off putbacks in a crowd. Newell also has a soft jumper that extends to the three point line. As his body matures and he gets stronger, no doubt he will make an even greater impact at both ends of the floor.
Ven-Allen Lubin, Orlando Christian Prep: The 6’7 junior made the game look very easy on Saturday as he has become a high-level, all-around player. His perimeter jump shot is very reliable and his ball-handling and passing skills have greatly improved. Lubin continues to run the floor for scores, chase down misses at both ends, and make all the hustle plays that coaches appreciate. With length and a high hoops IQ, Lubin is able to defend most any position on the floor.
Sean Stewart, Windermere: Somehow, the 6’8 sophomore was placed on a team with and played against lesser players this weekend. The result was that he was nothing short of dominating during his time on the floor. That being said, there is no doubt that he would have produced similar results had he been playing with and against players of his caliber. An excellent rebounder and floor runner, Stewart more often than not finishes off the break with a flourish. Quite agile and bouncy, he is an effective shot blocker. When the game slows down, Stewart can make shots inside the arc but is at his best when driving the ball from the high post of short corners. No doubt he has high-major potential.
Bennie McDuffie, Mandarin: At some point early in his game, the opponent “upset” the 5’7 junior, which was a big mistake. McDuffie started blowing by defenders and making help defenders at the basket look silly as he continually scored with great body control and circus shots over and around them. The opponent finally got the message, but McDuffie didn’t back off. Tough and fearless, he plays with confidence and swagger.