Top performers from South Central Challenge

Vantage Hoops

ROANOKE, VA -- The South Central Challenge was a nice event to end our fall showcase tour. Our friends at Vantage Hoops put together a group of players deep with talent. Here are the top performers from the event, from our Justin Young's evaluation chair.

 

Mamadi Diakite, PF, Blue Ridge (VA), 2016: Energy, motor, footwork, athleticism, active, fearless, aggressive and downright exciting. Those check marks were all taken care of by the 6-foot-8 motor man. Diakite started the camp with a baseline spin to dunk against another quality post prospect. He set the tone for what was a very productive day full of wow plays. Diakite has exceptional footwork, an amazing burst off the floor and a knack for chasing down a ball or getting to the iron. He was one of the most electrifying players we've seen this fall at the various day camps we've evaluated players at.
Matt Coleman, PG, Maury (VA), 2017: With speed, craftiness, confidence, passing, bounce and an incredible first step, the 6-foot-1 lefty was the trending player of the camp. The high-energy and positive play point guard was the guy everyone wanted to see in action. Coming into camp with a big reputation, Coleman did everything in his power to keep his name and game at the top of the conversation. As he progresses as a player, an improved jump shot and well-round attack from the perimeter will help continued separation. He shined in the camp setting and didn't shy away from making the simple play fun for those around him. It was quite the first impression for us.
Dajour Dickens, PF, Bethel (VA), 2017: From a long-term prospect perspective, remember his name. The 6-foot-10 big man has the tools, size, length, athleticism and raw ability to be a potential five-star guy in the class of 2017. There wasn't one particular play to single out from Dickens or a stretch of plays that would cement the thought home of him being an elite player but after three full games of watching him in action against other top quality bigs, Dickens showed enough to draw up memories of other players like him over the years. The list is few and far between. His uniqueness nationally is high and therefore his recruitment should take on the flavor of the national blueblood programs.
Jeremy Sheppard, CG, John Marshall (VA), 2016: Want to stand out in a camp setting? Hit jumpers. Hit lots and lots of jumpers. The game at all levels is craving shooters. Sheppard can thrive in this category. He's a smooth operator with the ball and finds his zone quickly from the perimeter. Sheppard was one of the best shooters at the camp and one of the better playmakers. Sheppard plays a very comfortable pace. He's confident in what he does and efficient in delivery.
JJ Matthews, PF, Millwood (VA), 2016: Built like a defensive end, the 6-foot7, 230-pound power man finished everything around the rim. He got what he wanted around the cup and exploited mismatches with strength around the cup. Matthews scored with simple baseline jumpers and ran the floor well for a player of his size and stature. He was as consistent of a post player there was on Sunday.
Marvin Cannon, SF, Highland Springs (VA), 2016: Long, bouncy and exciting, Cannon was one of the breakout players of the day. The 6-foot-5 junior was a mixtape favorite with his open court antics. Cannon was constantly on the prowl for transition buckets and took care of the magic when the opportunity presented itself. He did enough to play his way onto this list and will be an interesting prospect to watch develop this high school season.
Maliek White, PG, George Wythe (VA), 2016: Whether he was scoring or passing, the 6-foot-2 point guard was doing something to make an impact on the game. There was a lot to like from his body of work at the South Central Challenge. White was one of the top point guards in the event and has the size to get you excited for long term progress. He kept the plays somewhat simple. White was one of the few guards that can mix scoring with setting guys up effectively. This was our first time watching him play. White gave a nice first impression.
Brendan Newton, C, Faith Christian School (VA), 2017: At 7-foot-2, you immediately know where his value is at. He's a rim protector, a shot-blocker and shot-changer. Newton is very good in the defensive vertical game. What's striking about him, though, is his aggression and fearlessness to play physical against better and more athletic talent. As a sophomore with his size, Newton doesn't play timid like most underclassmen 7-footers. His confidence is growing, according to those who have worked with him, and his play at fall camps projects hope for long term development. A Shawn Bradley comparison would not be reckless.
Josh Good, SF, Luray (VA), 2016: The 6-foot-6 bouncy wing seemed to get better every game out. Athletically, Good was as good as anyone in the camp. He was a slasher supreme and made a name for himself at the camp with consistency. It was a breakout type of weekend for Good, who should be considered a nice mid-major sleeper.

 

Editor-in-Chief

Upcoming Events

Date
October 31, 2020
Venue
TOA Sports Performance Center
Who
Boys 9th-12th grades
Entry Cost
$165
Dates
November 21, 2020 – February 7, 2021
Venue
Suwanee Sports Academy
Who
Boys 5th-9th grades
Entry Cost
$950
Dates
February 13 – 14, 2021
Venue
Suwanee Sports Academy
Who
Boys 5th-8th grades
Entry Cost
$350