Winston Neal, our in-house college coach this spring travel season, is breaking down the top players he saw in the 17 and under division of hte 2014 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.
I'll start with the big men because I have already gotten multiple calls and emails from college coaches asking who played well. For the casual fan, understand that finding quality big men may be the toughest job for a college recruiter thus coaches at every level are ALWAYS looking for bigs.
John Collins (Florida Flash) – the big fella has skill and basketball IQ which is a combination college coaches love in post players. Not only can he create his own shot in the post, he’s a good passer that makes double teams pay. I would expect the young man to have a large number of HM offers by the end of July.
Kerry Blackshear (Q6) – the long, athletic, bouncy big man played well all weekend. He rebounds, blocks shots, and finishes around the basket. He has a good looking stroke from the perimeter so college coaches looking for a big with an inside/out game need to give him a call. HM coaches will all over the Evans HS product this summer.
Nick Marshall (Team Thad) – the athletic big man has the size and length to be a terrific shot blocker at the college level. He is still developing his back-to-the-basket moves but has no problem finishing around the rim. HM programs are already in hot pursuit of this Memphis talent.
Tacko Fall (E1T1/pictured) – the big fella with elite size put on a show for the fans this weekend. College programs that run a Hi/Low offense with their posts or are in need of a defensive post presence should recruit. Tacko is nearly unstoppable when he seals his defender up the paint and he took opposing offenses out of their game plan when he was defending the paint.
Daniel Giddens (E1T1) – the Georgia native and Wheeler HS product played well over the weekend. Rebounding – check. Block Shots – Check. Finish Around the Rim – Check. This talented big man already has a large group of HM programs in hot pursuit of his commitment. The only knock I had on him was that he looked like he had shrunk playing next to Tacko.
Alex Owens (E1T1) – the big fella from Orlando was solid over the weekend at Giddons. The young man has offers from UCF, Memphis, Tennessee, Missouri, Tulsa, Alabama, and Providence. I would suspect that offer list to grow as the summer goes on.
Doral Moore (ATL Xpress) – the big fella manned the paint for the runner-ups of Gibbons over the weekend and continued to show why the Elite HM Programs want him on their campus next year. He listed a Top 5 of Ohio State, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, and Louisville with Danny Manning and Wake Forest making a big push with the young man from Luella HS.
Montae Glenn (ATL All-Stars ) – Ben Miller has a big-tim e producing post player on his hands with Montae Glenn. He’s a little undersized for the HM programs to seriously recruit but expect an all-out MM recruiting war for this young man’s services. He can score 1-on-1 in the post, rebounds, plays physical, and doesn’t back down.
Devontae Cacok (ATL All-Stars) – this PF from Alpharetta HS is another player the MM programs will be recruiting hard by the end of July. He’s still developing his skills but you can count on this young to play hard, rebound, and finish in the paint.
Karl Gamble (Upward Stars) – the big fella from the Carolinas showed a variety of skills over the weekend. He has the length and athleticism to rebound and finish in the paint but also showed off a good stroke from the perimeter to go along with the ability to go by defenders off the bounce. I would suspect his offer list will grow as more college coaches see this young man in action during the July evaluation period.
Sy Khadim (Upward Stars) – the 2016 big man showed he could finish around the basket with both hands, rebound, and play physical. Considering he’s got another 2 years to continue to develop, the HM programs would do well to get in early on this talented young big.
Chad Brown (FL Elite) – credit UCF and Coach Donnie Jones for locking this one up early. He’s an athletic big that runs the floor well, finishes above the rim, blocks shots, and rebounds at a high rate.
Danius Chatkevicius (FL Elite) – the big fella from West Oaks always makes positive plays when he’s out on the court. A-10 and MM programs looking for a physical center who’s going to keep getting better need to start recruiting this young man early.
Josh Coleman (Ga Stars) – the big man from St Francis HS has played well the last two weekends and college coaches are starting to take notice. He lists a wide variety of offers from A-10 schools to Ivy League programs. He’s still developing his post moves but he has been doing a good job of playing to his strengths: rebounding, defending, and playing physical.