I have only been with HoopSeen a little over a year but during that time I saw some of the best basketball that I have had the opportunity to see in my time on the media side of the game. From our HoopSeen Tip-Off (the first event I covered as part of HoopSeen) to Atlanta Jam then to Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions until finishing it off in downtown Atlanta at The Best of the South.
Here is my take on the top-10 players that I saw at HoopSeen events this past year.
We had the chance to see Hall twice on our stage, first at The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions and a final peak at him during our Best of the South in downtown Atlanta in July.
The first thing that jumps out about Hall is his length and his scoring ability. He has an arsenal of moves that can break defenders down and his size allows him to easily get his shot off. He has the look of a future pro, he has put in a ton of work and after a season at NC State playing the grueling ACC schedule under Head Coach Kevin Keatts, will hear his name called in June of 2021 at the NBA Draft.
Sharpe was a man against boys at our HoopSeen Tip-Off this time last year. Every big that we had Garner Road matched-up against was not quick enough, strong enough or skilled enough to hang with the North Carolina signee.
He runs the floor like a gazelle in transition and he will take the rim off if you get in his way. He has big hands and a soft touch around the rim and will fit right in at Chapel Hill with the guys that Roy Williams loves in the paint.
The Florida guard may have been the most athletic and entertaining player that I saw all season. At 6-foot-5, Oquendo has size and a body that is ready for college basketball. On multiple occasions the gym would get really loud at a certain court and I knew it was because of an Oquendo dunk. Oquendo was named a top performer at
He was one of the most intimidating players that came through our gyms this travel season and he knew it. He will be spending a year at the junior college level at Florida Southwestern.
Driving up to the Suwannee Sports Academy for Atlanta Jam, I saw a familiar face as I was walking in, Murray State Head Coach Matt McMahon was there for the live period to see Dionte Blanch. He would be a fixture at Blanch’s games all the way through our Best of the South in Atlanta during the July live period.
Blanch shines the most with the ball in his hands and on the defensive side of the ball, helping him earn our HoopSeen independent team Player of the Year. His quickness when driving past. defenders and on occasion throwing down a one-handed jam after the race to the bucket, proved why he was in such high-demand.
It was my first time seeing Ruffin at our Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions and he put on a show. Swagger. Swagger. Swagger. That was and is still my first take after watching Ruffin with Team MEBO back in May. The 5-foot-10 guard is a master with the ball in his hands and doesn’t care who is guarding him because he knows he is quick enough to get by you and more athletic to get his shot off on you. He has similarities to Virginia Tech’s Jalen Cone with the quickness and the ability to get off the floor so high on his shots.
The bottom line on Ruffin is that he is pure entertainment and he gets into it with the crowd and those are the guys I like to watch.
At The Georgia World Congress Center, our Best of the South event for the July live period had 30 states accounted for and the Minnesota Fury brought a toughness and chip-on-the-shoulder that we had not see, at least to that extent at any HoopSeen event that I had been a part of until then.
6-foot-6 guard Charlie Katona did not care who you were, what ranking you had, what team was on the front of your jersey. He was coming at your throat. He battled for rebounds, dove for loose balls, he wanted to physicality that you expect in games like the Fury had on their plate for the Best of the South. I think kids in the mid-west, playing on independent teams get overlooked and Division II Minnesota-Duluth is getting one of the toughest players that I covered all season.
Besides Oquendo, Raynor was probably the next best athlete that came through our events this past season. Playing with Team Trezz, 6-foot-6 small forward that has signed with UNC-Greensboro has a college-ready body and has the athleticism to make an impact two months ago at the Southern Conference level.
Raynor proved over the past few months, helping Northwood Temple claim a NCISAA 1-A state title that he is ready for the next level and will be able to play at that level. After is was all said and done from our Best of the South, Raynor was named to the first team of top performers from our Georgia World Congress Center stop.
Talk about what playing well for an independent team on our HoopSeen stage is all about, enter the story of Keishon Porter. The 6-foot-5 raw athlete showed out during our HoopSeen Tip-Off, he was named one of the top three players from North Carolina during the event. He came into the travel season with zero offers and left after our Best of the South with an offer from SEC school Texas A&M.
Eventually signing with Radford, Porter is a guy from eastern North Carolina that correlates with the level of basketball happening down that way recently. Kyran Bowman, Devontae Graham, Brandon Ingram, Bam Adebayo, Dennis Smith JR., etc.
The CP25 Team Parsons forward was a mis-match for the opposition every time he stepped on the floor. The ability for him to knock down shots from the outside and still get buckets on the inside are what set him apart in my eyes to make this list. He is a producer. He rebounds, he blocks shots, he can score from all spots on the floor, the southpaw stretches the floor with smoothest of the smooth shooting touch from outside, coupled with an ability to get to the rim and UCF Head Coach Johnny Dawkins should be looking forward to having him on campus.
I like big-bodied wings that can make shots. Appalachian State Head Coach Dustin Kerns saw that in Michael Eads from CP25 Team Parsons and make him a priority after seeing him at The Best of the South.
The 6-foot-4 undersized wing can score from the perimeter and has the bulkiness in his game to get some points in the paint. What stood out the most from Eads was his ability to be so productive on the floor. He rebounds, he defends, he is an underrated passer and he is a winner.