NYBA Primetime Showcase Immediate Takeaways
The NYBA #PrimeTime Showcase was nothing short of amazing. Talent was wall to wall, and here are my immediate takeaways in the middle school division… Carlos Johnson (5’8/PG/’27/NYBA Team Tae) Instagram: carlosthenerdneck Carlos was a high-energy guy that was very productive…
The NYBA #PrimeTime Showcase was nothing short of amazing. Talent was wall to wall, and here are my immediate takeaways in the middle school division…
Carlos Johnson (5’8/PG/’27/NYBA Team Tae)
Carlos was a high-energy guy that was very productive in the opening outing of the tourney. He is extremely tough off the bounce and constantly was getting to his spots and getting to the cup. He is a multi-level scorer with deep range from beyond the arc. He finishes well in the paint as he showed a nice floater, and he finishes well at the rim. He got out in transition often and was an excellent finisher on the break. His skill set is still developing, and as he continues to hone his skills, he will be a talented high school level player capable of high production.
AJ Sawyers (5’10/PF/’28/Carlos English Elite)
Carlos is a listed PF, and for now, it is ok for him to put in work at that position. He is extremely physical and active in the paint on both ends of the floor. He was aggressive on the glass and was a presence on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively, he was tough to deal with on the low block as he was going thru defenders and their attempts to stop him at the rim. I was also impressed with AJ’s ability to pass the rock from the high post area. His passing ability was an added dimension he brought to the floor that caused problems for opposing teams. Now regarding his trajectory in the game, I encourage AJ to work on expanding his game beyond the paint and develop his guard skills as he looks to high school ball in another year, especially if he doesn’t grow much more.
Sean Goggins (6’2/Forward/’27/NYBA Stars Elite)
Sean was one of the most prolific, potent, and productive players in the entire tournament. He showed that he could absolutely get it done. He was dynamic on both days and was the best player on the court every time I saw him in action. He is a legitimate problem for defenders, and with his size and skillset, he is poised to make some noise early as he prepares to step onto the high school scene. There is not a lot of flash to his game, but there are a lot of straight-ahead onslaughts that he puts on defenses. He comes at defenders on a mission, and very few were able to slow him down because no one was able to stop him over the weekend. He gets it done in the half-court and in transition. He is a physical finisher in the paint and at the rim. Sean’s offensive prowess made him one of the best scorers I saw, regardless of division, the entire weekend.
Walker Redding (6’5/Forward/’27/TN Mojo)
Walker is a skilled front-court player that plays with finesse. He can score it on the low block and showed his ability to step out and knock down the trey ball. He has solid fundamentals on the offensive end of the floor and showed a lot of versatile position potential. He had some bright spots offensively in the paint and his ability to finish in multiple ways. He was active on the glass and found point production with put-back buckets off the offensive boards. Defensively, he was a shot-contesting presence. Walker’s game on the defensive end of the floor in the paint largely covers up for any perceived deficiencies elsewhere in his squad’s lineup. He has to continue to develop both areas of his game to be a player that can play in the front-court and the backcourt.
AJ Slaughter (5’10/PG/’28/Wildcats Elite)
One of the best iso scorers in the tourney was AJ. I believe opposing coaches woke up Monday morning still trying to figure out ways to stop him. He can score inside and out, is very agile and quick, and has the ability to penetrate into the lane using his great burst and solid ball-handling abilities. AJ is wired to score the ball, and he can score in a variety of ways. AJ is obviously a beast with the ball in his hands because he’s a threat to score every time he touches the rock. I rarely use the word elite in my middle school evals, but AJ had elite offensive performances over the weekend. The scary part when it comes to AJ is that he is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential.
Kingston McCrary (6’4/PF|C/’27/STARS Basketball)
I was going to put Kingston in my #GameChanger article, but I could not get his play out of my mind as I was going through my notes. He is a 6’4 interior player with length that helps him to impact the game on both ends of the floor. His activity in the paint defensively and on the glass stood out to me as I watched him in action. He was very energetic on the boards and had several put-backs after grabbing the offensive board. His presence in the paint clogged up driving lanes leaving teams out of rhythm. He showed a good feel and knowledge of the game, as he knows exactly where to be and how to move without the ball to maximize the potential for open offensive opportunities. There were times when I believe Kingston could have asserted himself more and been more dominant because he has the size to do so. Hopefully, he will come to an understanding of what he is working with and let it all out on the court and show his dominance.