We took in the Team Parsons’ Spring Jam at Rollins College this past Saturday. It was a good chance to catch some high level basketball before players head back to their high school teams for the June Team Camp season.
Team Parsons (CP 25) 2019 Gauntlet
Omar Payne, a 6’9 forward from Kissimmee Osceola, is the “featured attraction” for the team and considered a top fifty prospect nationally in the Class of 2019. He is fast up and down the floor and gets a lot of lob dunks in transition. With long arms and the ability to leap quickly, Payne is a terrific rim protector. His ability to score from fifteen feet and in, whether on quick drives, catch and shoot jump shots or post moves continues to improve.
Dakota Rivers, a 6’7 forward from Windermere, was quite impressive on Saturday. Known more for his defense and rebounding thanks to his wing span and ability to get off the floor quickly, Rivers showed much more this time around on the offensive end of the floor. He connected on a couple of long jumpers, converted a baseline drive, and made a couple of nice passes on the interior. Rivers also doesn’t’ take plays off and gives a great deal of effort on every possession.
Jordan Mitchell, a 6’8 forward out of Montverde Academy, didn’t play for the Eagles this past season due to injury. Not yet fully healthy, he still looked to be one of the better players on the 2019 Class. He handles the ball well for a guy his size and can grab rebounds and push the ball up the floor without having to get it to a guard. A good passer in the half-court, Mitchell works well with the other bigs on the team in high-low offensive situations. He didn’t look to score on Saturday but when presented with the opportunity he converted at a high rate.
Showtime Ballers 17U
A.J. Neal, a 6’1 freshman from Orlando West Oaks, looked very comfortable playing up a couple of levels. He caught fire from deep, ringing up six threes out of eight attempts for the game. Though the outside shot is his calling card, Neal continues to improve his ability to score from inside the arc. He’s also a pesky defender that doesn’t back down from a challenge.
Dexter McKenzie, a 6’2 guard from Pensacola Catholic, scored in bunches on Saturday. He hit a couple of perimeter jumpers but was most impactful when going hard to the basket as he either scored thru contact or visited the charity stripe. Long arms as well as active hands and feet made him an impact defender in the game we watched.
Antrell Charleton, a 6’3 combo guard from The Rock School in Gainesville, displayed versatility at both ends of the court. He guarded multiple positions and used his length and lateral quickness to disrupt passing lanes and cut off players attempting to take the ball to the basket. Offensively he pushed the ball in transition, made good shot vs. pass decisions, and scored in a variety of ways.
Team Knight Gold 17U
Niven Glover, a 6’5 wing from Orlando Oakridge, shot the ball well from the perimeter on Saturday. That has been a questionable part of his game up to this point. He’s one of the more explosive athletes you will find and when he gets out in transition there is just a feeling that you might see something you haven’t before.
Ahren Freeman, a 6’5 guard/forward from Jacksonville Providence, is one of the more versatile players in the state. He shoots, handles, and passes the ball well enough to play comfortable as a “two” or “three” and has the strength, frame, and rebounding ability to succeed if the team decides to play “small ball”. Also a versatile defender, Freeman was a key part of Team Knight’s success this past weekend.
Toumani Camara, a 6’6 wing from Hollywood Chaminade, continues to rapidly improve and elevate his recruiting profile. A quick leaper and productive rebounder, Camara is quick to run the floor and beat the defense down the court to score in transition. His jump shot is improving but the lefty scores best by moving without the ball and getting open for quick shots in the lane. Defensively he moves well and took a pair of charges in the game we watched.
Yussif Basa-Ama, a 6’9 center from St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton is in the 2020 Class and played up this weekend with Team Knight. He acquitted himself well, rebounding the ball at a high rate, protecting the rim, and making the most of offensive opportunities around the basket. He needs to add strength but that should come in time.
Team Knight Mix 17U
Josh Scott, a 6’5 forward from Pompano Beach Ely, was simply incredible in his production and efficiency when viewed on Saturday. In previous viewings, he was an effective but undersized “four”. After going 4-4 from beyond the arc, that notion is pretty much washed away. He still plays bigger than his size, grabbing rebounds by the bushel and taking on bigger players in the post. Scott can and will guard all five positions and his winning pedigree is just the icing on a very tasty cake.
Tre Gilliam, a 5’10 sophomore point guard from St. Petersburg Gibbs, has done a solid job of switching from a scoring mentality with his high school team to a distributor on a talented travel ball club. He still scored quite a bit, but he also excelled at getting past opponents, collapsing the defense and getting the ball to the right teammate for a shot.
Ivan Reynolds, a 6’4 sophomore point-forward from Coral Springs Charter, isn’t much of a creative individual scorer but he makes the most of his opportunities. Solid but not spectacular, he looks to make the right pass or the right play at the right time and usually succeeds. Also a solid defender and rebounder, Reynolds comes across as the ultimate “glue guy”.