This past weekend I attended my first ever Prep Hoops Top 250 Showcase event. Players from all over the state came to Winter Haven in hopes of catching the eyes of college coaching staffs. Division II, NAIA, Juco and Division…
This past weekend I attended my first ever Prep Hoops Top 250 Showcase event. Players from all over the state came to Winter Haven in hopes of catching the eyes of college coaching staffs. Division II, NAIA, Juco and Division III coaches came from all over the state, and we even had some from as far way as New York. These were some of the Guards who caught my attention (I could only watch 1 game at a time):
SG6-3 Gulf Breeze (2022)
When a player makes a trip all the way from Pensacola you can expect he can play. Bloomberg played with a chip on his shoulder all event long looking to prove to the bigger city players that he can play with anyone. I loved his competitive fire, I had only seen him play on film a handful of times. It was easy to tell he was really good based on film, but I have to say I undervalued him. The shooting guard has a beautiful jump shot and high basketball IQ, but that’s not all he has going for him. He also has the smooth athleticism required to play at a scholarship level, and had a fair share of moves off the dribble getting to the rack several times throughout the event. In one game he scored 21 straight point for his team catching fire from 3-point land, however the most impressive part of his showing was when he drove baseline and tried to crush a two handed dunk on an unsuspecting defender. He got fouled hard and missed the dunk, but the audacity he had to attempt the dunk leads me to believe that is something that he does often. Bloomberg is a high academic prospect who holds a 4.5 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT. After this showing I can confidently say that I see him as at the very least a Division II player.
SG6-4 Bishop Snyder (2022)
I was able to catch a game and a half of Walker at the showcase. In settings like this you often see trigger happy guards who try too hard to catch the eyes of coaches, ultimately having the opposite affect. That was not the case for Walker, he’s a knock down shooter but he made the right passes and shot when he was open and made it more often than not. He also woke the whole gym up when he drove right through the heart of the defense and crushed down a dunk.
SG6-2 Bishop Snyder (2022)
The Bishop Snyder boys all seemed to have solid showcases and Lowery was no different. The guard is a knock down three point shooter who really knows where to be on the court and when. He also showed more confidence putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket than I had previously seen from him. Last season he sat out the entire season with an injury, but he looks healthy and more than ready to have a huge senior season up in Jacksonville.
SG6-4 Titusville (2022)
Jenkins has been a kid I’ve been curious about for a while now, and I was excited to finally get to see him play live. In the games I watched, he quickly developed great chemistry with his teammates most notably 6-6(2024) and it seemed like they had been playing together for years. On one play McDole had a steal, put the ball between his legs throwing it off the backboard with Jenkins catching it for a ferocious alley-oop dunk that left spectators shaking their heads. The Titusville senior was very resourceful throughout the event using his length and athleticism to his advantage on defense getting steals, rebounds and blocks. In addition to thriving in transition and as a slasher, Jenkins also made a majority of his 3-point attempts. His jumper is not a thing of beauty but it goes in, and the fact that he shot over 40% from 3 as junior proves that. After offering a scholarship this past summer, Division II D’Youville’s head coach came all the way down from Buffalo to watch him play.
PG5-9 Evans (2022)
Another event, another strong showing out of the Evans guard. Melvin was constantly pushing the pace either scoring in transition or whipping passed to open teammates for scoring opportunities. He also made a few 3-pointers keeping defenders honest, and when they got too close he blew past them getting to the rim. His explosiveness, strong body and quick hands allow him to be great on defense in which he plays with an alpha mentality. One of the top point guards in Orlando, Division II schools are staying in contact with Melvin.
CG6-3 Windermere (2022)
On a few separate occasions college coaches walked up to me and asked: whose this kid? Hall’s length and smoothness on the court were on full display all showcase long, as well as his elite basketball IQ. He was able to get to the basket often, and had some creative finishes when he got there. Hall is young for his grade having just turned 17 years old, and has a 4.0 unweighted GPA and high test scores. With a whole year left to get stronger, he is a player college coaches should take a chance on because he is only going to get better.
PG6-1 Berkley Prep (2023)
I loved what I saw out of Kimble as a scorer and floor leader in both games I watched. His development is apparent over the past year and his ability to get to the basket, and find open teammates is what stood out the most. He has a strong body and the athleticism to play at the rim, which will help him greatly at the next level. Jacksonville and South Florida have both offered him scholarships and his play this weekend only helped his stock.
SG6-2 Immokalee (2023)
Making his way all the way from Southwest Florida, Pierre represented his area well at the showcase. On a team loaded with talent, Pierre showed that he can have an impact on the game both offensively and defensively without being the number one option. He let the game come to him, and when it was his turn to score he did just that. He had a few strong drives finishing through contact, and showed off his athletic prowess exploding to the rim for dunk attempts. Between Pierre and 6-4 SF(2022) Immokalee should be a top team in their area this winter.
G/F6-4 Immokalee (2022)
As far as run and jump athletes go there were few in attendance who could match the Imokalee star. He has a college ready body which makes him hard to stop when he drives to the basket, even when you foul him. The slasher seemed to live at the free throw line and he pulled down rebounds often. His athletic prowess alone make him valuable at the college level which he would fit in well as a multi positional defender.
G6-4 Durant (2023)
I had a “whose that kid” moment early on in the showcase when I watched Jackson. I had heard his name several times but had never had a chance to watch him play. The junior wing left a huge impression on me with his ability to score in so many different ways. He attacked the rim and finished some and-1’s, effortlessly dunked in traffic, and showed the ability to shoot off the dribble hitting a pretty step back 3-pointer. Based on this lone viewing I came away thinking “this kid has a chance”.
Taking one look at Torriente, I could tell he was another guy who may or may not hit his head on the rim. Physically you can tell he is no stranger to the weight room, and a few dunks in the short time I watched him backed up my original thought. The wing was tough attacking the basket, and thrived in transition. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on a Junior college roster at this time next year.