I usually do not put out a lot about post players when I am covering the young ballers, but there was some good post play at #PepsiNationals that I could not allow to go overlooked, so I had to put…
I usually do not put out a lot about post players when I am covering the young ballers, but there was some good post play at #PepsiNationals that I could not allow to go overlooked, so I had to put some ink on a few players that made significant impact in the paint and here they are…
Nehemiah Davis (6’1/F | C/’29)
Team: Level Up Elite
Nehemiah is a young post player that showed a lot of promise as he was productive on both ends of the floor. Defensively, his length caused problems as he contested and altered shots throughout the game in which I saw him play. His shot-blocking threat could clearly be seen
affecting ball-handlers decision to test their options in the paint. Offensively he was a force as he was efficient and productive with his post touches which brought about double teams. He handled the doubles well as he made good decisions, showing his understanding of the game at a young age. His length impacts his play in the paint as he often shot over smaller defenders. He is already a versatile young post player that can play in the paint and on the perimeter, but in the paint is where he did most of his damage. He is quick to advance the ball up the floor in transition off of defensive boards, which impacts the game significantly at this age. His development is one that needs to keep eye on because he has a lot of potential as a rising 6th grader.
He handled the doubles well as he made good decisions, showing his understanding of the game at a young age.Terry J. Drake
Hayden Monroe (6’0/PF|C/’28)
Team: Elfrid Payton Elite
Hayden is a lengthy post player that fits the mode of what to expect with players at this age that is taller than most in his age group. We are all aware of what happens with the taller kids, and that is they are put in the paint, and little development is put into their game during the early years, and if someone does not catch them soon, they get stuck without truly developing their post game and expanding beyond the paint. I hope this will not be the case with Hayden because he showed potential and what could be with extra work. Currently, his defense is ahead of his offensive game. He is a shot-blocking threat and was dominant on the glass due to a large part of his height and length. Offensively his production was done primarily on the offensive glass and put-backs. If Hayden stays in the gym and begins to develop his toolkit, this will not be the last time you will hear his name, as he has not even scratched the surface of what could be with his game. Currently, he is a threat because of his size, but I look forward to the day that Hayden is a threat because of his skills and what he has in his toolkit.
He is a shot-blocking threat and was dominant on the glass due to a large part of his height and length.Terry J. Drake
Skyler Garrison (6’1/PF|C/’28)
Team: Elfrid Payton Elite
I had an opportunity to watch Skyler play a couple of times throughout the weekend as he led his team to the 2028 division championship game, in which they fell short as an opposing player hit a game-winning three-point shot. I know it was a heartbreaking loss, but Skyler had no reason to keep his head down as he had a fantastic showing at the #PepsiNationals. He is a stout post player that really knew how to use his size and, at times, bullied his way around in the paint. He threw his body around and initiated physical play that the majority of his opponents had no answer for at this age. He isn’t the most skilled front-court player, but he is extremely gritty and intimidating on both ends of the floor. He proved that his production is sustainable throughout the weekend, so we know he can provide point production as well as production on the boards. He provided space-eating interior defense without being a major shot-blocking threat. As I do with all players this age, I encourage Sky to continue working on his overall game, and I challenge him to continue expanding his game outside of the paint.
He threw his body around and initiated physical play that the majority of his opponents had no answer for at this age.Terry J. Drake
Jordan Lewis (6’2/C/’27)
Team: Memphis Bulldogs
Jordan caused some serious damage in the paint over the weekend. His play in the post would normally go into my game-changer article as he impacted the game on both ends of the floor with tenacious effort and determination. I often speak of players who were productive on the glass as dominant, but when talking about Jordan, his activity on the glass was not just because of his height and length, but he was agile, worked to establish position, and went after the ball in the air and did not just wait on the ball to land in his hands. It was because of his aggressive nature on the glass that led to so many put-backs. Defensively, you can already guess that he protected the rim, so I will not spend much time on what he brought on that end of the floor. I was impressed with a play in the second half of the game I was watching as he grabbed the defensive board, started the break, went coast to coast in the open court, and dropped a dime at the other end. He showed a lot of promise, and we will definitely be monitoring his game and his growth over the next year. As he enters the eighth grade and high school ball is on the horizon, I encourage Jordan to start working on his strength (which can easily be done with bodyweight exercises), continue honing his handles, and show that he can produce with a perimeter jumper.
It was because of his aggressive nature on the glass that led to so many put-backs.Terry J. Drake
James Thompson (6’3/PF|C/’28)
Team: Memphis Bulldogs Elite
James has good size as a rising 7th grader and should have a dominant upcoming school year. He plays with a lot of energy and effort and is developing as a front-court player. He was active on the glass throughout the weekend at #PepsiNationals. He showed his ability to score in the paint as he manufactured points by hitting the offensive glass, getting easy put-backs, and scoring off low block touches. He is a hard-working player in the paint and, at points in games, just simply out-played opponents post players. If he can continue to bring that work ethic to games and, more importantly, the lab, he will see his game take some jumps. As I mentioned, JT has good size, and I encourage him to expand outside of the paint as he has the capabilities to be a young versatile player that can get it done inside and out.
He is a hard-working player in the paint and, at points in games, just simply out-played opponents post players.Terry J. Drake
Kortarrein Malone (5’10/PF|C/’29)
Team: Memphis Heat
Kortarrein is a rising 6th grader who stood out in his age division with his height and length. Truthfully his game is still in a very raw state, and it is going to take continued commitment to the gym to continue his development. The raw talent is there, and this is prime time to not just work with him on post-play but skills that would cause him to become an inside-out threat. His dominance right now is a sheer result of his height and length, as he is still figuring out how to play. He competed at what would be a high level for his age, and if he can keep that competitive fire going and continue to work on his game, he has an opportunity to see some significant jumps in his game over the next couple of years.
His dominance right now is a sheer result of his height and length, as he is still figuring out how to play.Terry J. Drake