What I liked at the City of Palms on Monday
We had a full day of basketball at the City of Palms on Monday and over the course of seven games, there were a lot of things to like. Justin Young unloads his notebook on the things he liked the most.
- Trevon Duval vs. Quade Green - while the match-up never got to the level that expectations may have held it at, the pairing was still quite fun to watch. When it came down to it, Duval made the plays that pushed his IMG squad to the victor’s side of the scoreboard.
- Montverde’s RJ Barrett as one of the best long term prospects in all of amateur basketball here in North America. But we knew that.
- I liked everything Norcross forward Rayshaun Hammonds did against Pace Academy. Despite being a top 40 national prospect, I still get the sense that he’s undervalued nationally. The 6-foot-7 forward should step into his role at the University of Georgia and be a day one contributor. He could be the best forward to suit up for the Dawgs since Trey Thompkins.
- Collin Sexton's ability to get to the foul line is as good as anyone I've ever covered at the prep level. Four of Memphis East's starters had four or more fouls. Sexton probably had to do with 70 percent of those calls.
- Everything Elias Harden did. The future Xavier guard played the best I’ve ever seen from him. And I’ve watched him a lot since he was a freshman.
- Malcolm Dandridge scored 14 loud points for Memphis East. The class of 2019 post also blocked four shots. He did all of his damage in 17 minutes of work. Don't be surprised to see his name all over the national rankings lists and a priority guy in the South.
- Montverde’s lineup of big men. And this was supposed to be a down year for Kevin Boyle’s club as far as frontline players are concerned. Grant Shepard and Sandro Mamukelashvili are intriguing available big men for Monteverde. Both are strong big men with good length and nice touch as a rebounder around the cup. Shepard could be an academic score in the late signing period and Mamukelashvili has high-major appeal.
- IMG’s junior wing Keyonte Johnson recorded seven points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals in his team’s win over Neumann Goretti. The 6-foot-4 native of Virginia is a producing high-major role player that brings some serious overall value to a talented lineup.
- St. Petersburg’s Serrel Smith scored 30 points on 10-15 shooting, hitting three three-pointers and made it to the foul line 10 times. He did turn it over 10 times, according to the official stat keeper. But the junior guard was on point in his game against Miami Christian and had one of the best offensive games we’ve seen from any player so far here at the City of Palms.
- Mariner (FL) big man Amari Haynes had quite a day, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Mae Jemison (AL). The skinny 6-foot-8 forward is a very good junior college prospect.
- Miami Christian junior point guard Neftali Alvarez is an intriguing floor general that plays with speed and annoyance on defense. Offensively, he’s quick to the rim and pesky guarding the ball. A high-energy guard that’s fearless? There’s a lot of programs that would love to offer him a jersey.