Conrad Foss Memorial – Day One Standouts
WESLEY CHAPEL, FL - The inagural Conrad P. Foss Memorial tipped off this weekend at Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus. Teams from all over the South came to town for the event.
Conrad Foss was one of the giants in the grassroots scene long before the big shoe companies took over. Even then, he was instrumental in getting a great number of student-athletes recognized and recruited to the next level. He was taken all too soon by cancer in 2022. He has been and will be very much missed by all in the sport.
DAY ONE STANDOUTS
Isaiah Medina, Team TMac Spartans 17U: A 6’11 junior at Lakeland Kathleen, Medina has great size, physical tools and upside. He has great length and a frame that should fill out nicely as he physically matures. He runs the floor and gets from end to end quickly. Medina moves his feet well on the perimeter and stays in front of smaller ball-handlers when defending ball screens. Despite hitting a three during the game we watched, there is still work to be done when it comes to scoring the ball. That should come in time. Medina does a good job of protecting the rim and getting the ball out quickly to start the break.
Ransom Soles, South Florida Elite 17U: A 6’’5 junior from The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach, Soles was one of the top perimeter shooters at the event. His range is well past the high school arc and he knocks those shots down off both the catch and the dribble. Soles will also get on the glass, get the ball into the post and knows where to relocate to receive a pass out for the shot. He quickly covers a lot of ground on the defensive end and is disruptive in the passing lanes.
Jeremy Innocent, South Florida Elite 17U: A 6’8 junior at Lake Worth High, Innocent is anything but in the lane. He has a nice touch around the rim, makes shots out to mid-range, and can put the ball on the floor to score with a straight-line one to two-dribble drive. Innocent rebounds the ball at a high rate pursues and grabs rebounds out of his area, and is quick to go back up to score once securing missed shots on the offensive end. He runs the floor well and challenges/changes shots in the lane.
Kentrell Martin, Jr., Skills Center Elite UA 2025: A 6’6 sophomore out of Strawberry Crest in Dover, just west of Tampa, Martin has good size and skills to play either on the perimeter or in the post. On the perimeter he is a fundamentally sound ball-handler and passer that finds open cutter and perimeter shooters. Martin generally makes good shot vs pass decisions on the move. Right now, he shoots better inside the arc but his shot has good mechanics so it should just be a matter of time before Martin is a consistent three-point threat. In the post he scores quickly after posting up or receiving the ball in the lane. Martin has the ability to grab defensive rebounds and push the ball up the floor without passing out to a guard.
Chris Cornish, SWFL Hoops Red 17U: A 6’5 junior from Punta Gorda Charlotte, Cornish is somewhat of a “ ‘tweener” but is very effective. He operates best on the offensive end from the high post and short corners where he uses a quick first step, good footwork, and gets the ball up quickly before the defense can react. Cornish understands how to create space using pivots and ball fakes and rapidly rises to get the ball into the hoop. He is more of a straight-line driver than a change-of-direction guy. Cornish is fast up and down the floor in transition and easily finishes above the rim. He has a nose for the ball when it comes to rebounding at both ends. Cornish works hard on defense and is quick to turn steals into scores.
Caleb McAbee, Above Academy 17U: A 6’1 junior from Jacksonville Providence, McAbee may have had the shooting performance of the day. He dropped in seven out of ten from deep, each looking picture perfect. He did more than just catch-and-shoot. He was solid handling the ball at the point guard spot, understood when to push the pace and when to pull back, and was surprisingly active and effective when it came to grabbing offensive rebounds.
Jack Sullivan, Above Academy 17U: A 6’9 junior from St. Augustine Nease, Sullivan epitomizes the new age “stretch four”. He is very effective in pick-and-pop situations where he can get off an open jump shot or move without the ball and knock down catch-and-shoot threes from the corners. Sullivan also proved to be a skilled passer out of the high post, hitting cutters back-door for scores. He rebounds his area, is quick to get the ball to the guards to start the break, and will challenge drivers in the lane at the defensive end of the court.
Dior Evans, SWFL Hoops 10th Grade: The 5’10 sophomore from Punta Gorda Charlotte was incredibly disruptive on the defensive end, unofficially racking up seven by our notes. Either picking pockets or picking off passes, Evans either scored or assisted on buckets. Offensively, he was solid in terms of handling the ball, pushing the pace, and looking to run offense instead of forcing shots. While he missed the only three he took in the game, he did hit a nice mid-range jumper off the bounce. Once his perimeter shot becomes a consistent weapon, Evans will be even more difficult to defend.
Jordan Taylor, SWFL Hoops 10th Grade: A 6’7 sophomore at Punta Gorda Charlotte, Taylor is just scratching the surface of how good he can be. Though not a jaw-dropping athlete, Taylor is good enough. He scores well around the basket, runs the floor, and is active on the offensive glass. Taylor handles the ball reasonably well on the perimeter and doesn’t try to do more than he is currently capable of. He catches lobs and finishes above the rim, both in transition and in half-court sets. The next step in Taylor’s development will be his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter.
Nicholas Chang, Treasure Coast Warriors 2024: A 6’1 junior from South Fork in Martin County, Chang has an extra gear that many other guards simply don’t have. He’ll burst by defenders in the blink of an eye and either score at the rim and get a teammate an open shot. Chang is both quick and fast with the ball, pushing the pace at every opportunity. By nailing a couple of three-pointers, he made it tough for the defense to back off and play him for the drive. Defensively he is quick, harasses the opposing ball-handler, and will suddenly appear in the passing lanes to pick off a pass and go the other way for points.
Fritz Obige, One Way Lions 10th Grade: A 6’6 sophomore from Lehigh, Obige is a strong, mobile, and active interior presence. He has a nice touch around the basket, is quick to balls coming off the rim, and re-routes shots on the defensive end. Oh, he can also step out and knock down threes. He runs the floor a bit stiff-legged and we couldn’t tell if that was his natural gait or if he was nursing on injury. Because the game we watched was very much up-tempo, we never really got to see him post up and score and get engaged in ball-screen action. Still, based on what he did show, Obige is an intriguing prospect.
Jalen Robinson, One Way Lions, 10th Grade: A 6’2 sophomore at Lehigh, Robinson ticked off a lot of boxes in the game we watched. Drive and hit the floater; check. Score on a baseline drive; check. Hammer one home in transition; check. Handle the ball vs pressure; check. Force turnovers or come up with steals; check. We didn’t see him attempt any shots from deep so that will be one thing to look for later. Robinson is a steady and confident player that gets a lot done without forcing the action.
E.J. Horton, Team TMac Spartans 10th Grade: A 6’2 sophomore at Bartow, Horton plays an efficient and fluid game. He handles the ball well and gets into the lane with a minimum number of dribble moves. The lefty scores well in a crowd at the basket and also has a nice stroke from the perimeter on either side of the arc. Horton is capable of playing either guard spot but looks most comfortable off the ball at this time. Defensively he is solid as he harasses ball-handlers and is alert to double the ball or shoot the passing lanes to come up with steals.