Covering Prospective Student-Athletes in the SouthEast US and beyond
Tallahassee, FL – With Hurricane Matthew approaching Jacksonville, we headed out Thursday to Tallahassee giving us a chance to catch practice Friday at Florida State and Chipola before catching the TCC Jamboree on Saturday.
Always a great experience seeing a college team practice, there’s always things to be learned especially when you see 2 of the best in Sue Semrau (and her staff is great too) and Greg Franklin (s/o to his crew too). One common factor between the 2 groups was professionalism from players attitudes (positive) to leadership (players led drills and talked) to effort level (everyone played hard without being told/asked to).
Florida State has a deep loaded team and could even be a potential final four team. Shakayla Thomas looked great, could possibly be the best 6th man in country, although whether she starts or not is of little consequence, she’s going to play 25+ minutes every game anyway. She could start on almost every team in the top 25. The rest of team is that good.
Chipola practice was great. Greg Franklin love him or hate him gets it done wherever he’s been. I have a ton of respect for that, and truly appreciate his abilities as a coach. Practice was a well oiled machine. Raven Baker-Northcross is a SG originally from Arkansas who was really the leader of the team. Franklin would say the drill and she’d get everyone organized and going. She also got everyone to talk/cheer for each other. In practice she shot the ball really well and from very deep (like the VBB lines). Barbara Johnson also really stood out. The 5’9 CG is going to be a top 5-10 recruitable player in juco this year. She’s not as vocal during practice but she goes hard and her abilities are amazing.
Insights from the Tallahassee Jamboree – Shelton State lost to Tallahasee and beat Chipola, in what were probably the best 2 games there. Gulf Coast coasted in 3 easy games, they have 8-10 legit D-1 prospects. NWF looked good but didn’t have a particularly tough schedule, they have a good 7-8 man rotation but not tons of depth. I have no idea how the other Mississippi teams are this year but Hinds has a enough good juco players this year to compete for the Mississippi Region in most of the years I’ve seen. The schools on the east coast of Florida missed out on 2 beautiful days in Tallahassee and could have moved their players away from the Hurricane for 2 days without spending significantly more money, and they would have had a chance to be seen by the numerous 4 year college coaches. Seems like a win-win. St. Pete was a real winner this offseason, moving from the South to Mid-FL. It appears like the South has gotten better from last season and Mid-FL is down significantly.
Having only seen these teams my early prediction is –
Gulf Coast #1
Chipola – Top 10 nationally
TCC – Top 10-15 nationally
NWF – Top 25 nationally
Hinds – Borderline top 25
Player Evals –
Emani Clough – 5’9 Fr. – Strong athletic wing player, Clough pushes the ball in transition and shoots it to 3 point range
Japonica James – 5’11 Fr. – One of the top freshmen players in the state/country…supreme athlete, jumps out of the gym…Aggressive, high motor at times…can’t take plays off…
Sabrina Banks – 6′ So. (Rs?) – Was listed as a redshirt, so not sure if she’s playing this year or not. Smooth shooter with a good frame.
Aryn Tarver – 6’3 So. – Huge upside, was able to guard on the ball, and defensively showed she can legitimately guard 1-5. Still somewhat raw offensively.
Lawriell Wilson – 5’7 So. – To me was and is going to be there best/go-to player this year. She can flat out score the ball and she’s athletic which she uses to her advantage defensively. Going to be a Power 5 caliber recruit this year.
Rosanna Jenije – 5’8 So. – Transferred from Indian River…solid frame, decent athleticism, good defensive player who can play the PG spot from a floor general, initiate your offense perspective.
Jas Hill – 5’7 Fr. – Good shooter, confident, good athlete
Janessa Murphy – 5’7 So. – Athletic SG, nice form on her jumper…fits in a pressing up tempo team.
Danielle Garven – 6’1 So. – Transferred from Minnesota…great athletic frame…nice mid range game, good turn around fade away…would prefer to face the basket. A high level recruit.
Alex Obouh Fegue – 6’3 Fr. – Not overly athletic or tough, Fegue has a chance to be really good. She’s got a typical European perimeter game, but Franklin has her working hard on an inside game.
Raven Baker-Northcross – 5’8 So. – Great athletic body with some strength. Really shoots it well and from deep…had a bad shooting day at the jamboree.
Barbara Johnson – 5’9 so. – One of the elite CGs in the 2017 Juco Soph class. Barbara is similar to Russell Westbrook, explosive, high scoring guard with handles. She could be a SG, but could she thrive without the ball in her hands most of the time?
Endia Jones – 6’3 Fr. – Super athletic leaper…finishes around the basket, raw but big upside.
Sydnee McDonald – 5’11 So. – Long framed guard with good range…a scorer, especially if she’s on from the perimeter.
Tiaera Phillips – 5’10 So. – A CG with great size for the position…tall and athletic with a strong body.
Gulf Coast –
Jhileiya Dunlap – 6’2 Fr. – Another top freshmen nationally. Dunlap originally signed at UNC. Athletic and runs the floor exceptionally well….finishes thru contact.
Ty Purifoy – 5’1 So. – One of the top PGs in juco, Purifoy is an intense on ball defender, great floor leader, and a great teammate. Coaches shouldn’t be turned off by her size because she more than makes up for it with her motor.
Shaterrika O’Neal – 5’8 So. – Lean athletic SG….nicknamed “Bird”…great defender, great scorer…going to be one of the top players on arguably the top team in the country.
Maria Morales Castro – 5’11 So. – Great size and footwork…quick release…power 5 caliber shooter.
Shayla Bennett – 5’9 Fr. – some of the longest arms I’ve ever seen…super athlete…does alot of things well. Going to be considered a high level juco freshmen.
Taylor Emery – 5’10 So. – Transfer from Tulane where she was AAC All-Freshmen team…big time scorer, great size at SG position..knows how to create her own shots. Has visits set up already with Power 5 level schools.
LaSonja Edwards – 6′ R-So. – Could have come out last year, but her stock should be up with another year of experience and not having to play behind King and Goudreau. She’s a physical post player who has some wing skills.
Janesha Green – 5’6 Fr. – Strong athletic on ball defender. Her name was new to me, but she showed alot of potential.
Fatou Diagne – 6’4 R-Fr. – Will probably come out after this year….amazing athletic strong frame…is a rebounding machine…huge upside
Twila Hill – 6’3 Fr. – Big, solid framed post player, uses her body well…gets easy baskets around the rim, good finisher.
Octavia Barnes – 6’1 So. – Perimeter player who is a combo 3/4. Great athleticism, leaper…uses the glass to finish…big upside.
Olivia Jorden – 6’2 So. – Great strong physical frame, rebounds and defends.
Arleatha Gipson – 5’8 So. – Athletic guard with solid build…crafty handles, gets dimes in transition
Northwest Florida –
Jade Lewis – 6′ Fr. – Former Miami commit, Lewis is a long wing with great range. She’s great in rebound and go situations…finding the open teammate or scoring on different occasions.
Naomi Bolasingh – 5’9 So. – Long PG, who likes to score herself…can make you pay for going under a ball screen or will turn the corner if you go over the top….good IQ…confidence…typical NYC PG.
Amber Thompson – 5’8 Fr. – Freshmen qualifier with good hands and good shooting ability. Was sick and didn’t play much. Going to be a high level prospect in Florida this year.
Jasmine Rhodes – 5’8 So. – Long athletic guard, gets in passing lanes & finishes in transition.
Berniezha Tidwell – 5’7 R-Fr. – Lefty athletic guard with some raw skill, shoots the ball to 3 point range.
Ashley Lee – 5’11 Fr. – Long, good frame for a perimeter player, slasher with a floater.
Nasheema Oliver – 6’3 R-So. – Huge frame, good footwork, finishes almost everything near the basket…rebounds anything near her and makes long outlets…2 time D-1 transfer…Georgia and Georgia State.
Ahyiona Vason – 5’4 Fr. – Tiny PG with handles…good motor.
Ta’Sheanne Armstrong – 5’4 Fr. – Another small high motor guard with good speed and athleticism…slasher…can score
Nia Johnson – 5’4 Fr. – Slasher…good athleticism, nice hesitation move, shoots the 3 ball, gets to the rim in transition.
Daijah Brown – 5’9 So. – Slasher with good athleticism. Probably their top returning player. Can score in bunches, good defender.
Mylashia Yancey – 5’9 Fr. – Super athlete, good upside.
Shelton State –
Cierra Johnson – 5’10 Fr. – Front runner for Freshmen of the Year in juco. Alabama was so smart for placing her at Shelton State which is right in Tuscaloosa. Going to be hard for other schools to have any chance of signing her. Arguably the best player in the gym on Saturday…created offense for herself and her teammates. Can score from anywhere….handles are spectacular…acrobatic finisher, smooth pull up J…range to 3.
Kendrea Dawkins – 6’1 Fr. – Great size for a 4/3 combo player….great range, can shoot the 3 ball…long athlete.
Madison Pierce – 6’2 So. – Great frame…tall and strong with lean build…finishes in transition…needs to get a little stronger catching the ball.
Ashley Scott – 6’3 Fr. – Huge upside…finishes in transition…blocks shots, good at walling up and not fouling…blocks shots….good rebounder.
Kimberly Parrish – 5’7 So. – Wasn’t the most impressive player, but finished a number of mid range shots and easy buckets…strong athletic frame.
LaTangellia Walker – 5’11 So. – You’d have a hard time as a coach watching Walker and not liking her. She’s not first glance big time, but she does so many good things you can’t help but like her. She’s a lefty finisher…good hands…gets the most out of her abilities. Mid Majors should be all over her.
St. Pete –
Daisha Terry – 5’8 So. – Super athletic lefty scorer…gets dimes in transition…probably the best prospect at St. Pete
Mikaela Jones – 6’2 So. – Has good size and looks like a player…not super confident with her back to the basket…made 15 foot face up jumper.
DeVona Stell – 6’2 Fr. – Good size and frame….decent upside
Cloe Lane – 5’11 So. – Easily their top scorer…one of the best shooters at the event…can score on drives too.