Pelican State Extravaganza Recap
Clockwise for Top Left – ’19 Tiara Young of Evangel; ’20 Erica Lafayette of McKinley; Juco Fr. Natasha Mack of Angelina; Juco Fr. Jayeida Neal of Angelina; ’19 Mahoganie Williams of Ouachita; ’20 Dijone Flowers of Live Oak
Denham Springs, LA – The Troy Giordano Pelican State Extravaganza took place on Saturday October 28th at the Denham Springs HS and MS complex. The location located just east of Baton Rouge, LA featured 42 of the best Louisiana has to offer, only missing a few of the top teams in the state. 5 D-1 Juco’s joined in to make the event one of the top pre-season scouting events in the country. Numerous D-1’s were in attendance including, LSU, Alabama & Ole Miss.
Ranking the teams & players –
- John Curtis – Clearly the top team at the event and arguably one of the top teams in the state, Curtis has a number of D-1 caliber guards but lack any real size. This missing component may not hurt them as they play so well as a team and really get after it full court, helping them turn teams over and keeping them from setting up half court offense.
- McKinley – A really fun team to watch, McKinley has a solid group with guards and bigs. They play hard, share the ball and really put a beating a Southwood team who just didn’t have the talent to stay in the game with them.
- Ouachita – Was overwhelmed in the beginning of the game by John Curtis and got down big by almost 20. Never stopped playing and showed signs of being a really good team. They have a few nice pieces down low and their guard play while not spectacular is good enough to consider them one of the elite teams in the state.
- Warren Easton – Even though their top player, center Dene Mimms (Tulane commit) is out for the year, Warren Easton is athletic enough and still has 6’ athlete Kiana Anderson inside to be in the conversation for top teams in the state.
- Captain Shreve – I didn’t get to see too much of Captain Shreve and they maybe a surprise pick here, but the few minutes I saw of them, they looked the part. They have decent size and looked capable. They have a few pieces and some good athleticism.
- Angelina (TX) – They were clearly the top juco team in attendance, they have a nice combination of feisty guards and 6’4 Natasha Mack who is without question the top freshmen juco player I’ve seen this year. Have heard they will likely give Trinity Valley a run for their money this year.
- Holmes (MS) – One of the better Holmes teams I’ve seen in the past few years, they also have a good combination of inside/outside play. They should be in the conversation for top Mississippi juco teams this year with East Mississippi although they maybe a notch below Jones County.
Top Uncommitted Players –
- Natasha Mack – 6’4 F – Juco Fr. (qualifier) – Angelina College – Was without question the top player at the event. 6’4 athlete with the ability to face the basket and make plays. She blocks shots without a ton of effort and scoring, even on some tough shots didn’t seem too difficult. The word in the gym was that the only thing holding her back is herself, could easily be a pro if she can get it together and stay focused on basketball.
- Tiara Young – 5’10 PG – 2019 – Evangel Christian – Long wiry guard, she was great in transition, good handles and displayed some nice bounce. Would have liked to see her with and against some better talent, but there was little question that she’s a Power 5 caliber player.
- Jerkaila Jordan – 5’9 W – 2020 – John Curtis – Really good body control and a nice athlete with a solid build, Jordan found ways to finish acrobatically around the basket. While she was great from 10 feet and in, I would certainly like to see her develop or show her perimeter game a little bit more.
- Erica Lafayette – 5’10 SG – 2020 – McKinley – Arguably the break out player at the event. Loved her enthusiasm and competitive spirit. Physically Erica is a really athletic guard with long arms and great motor. She can shoot the 3 ball and finished well in transition.
- Dijone Flowers – 5’8 PG – 2020 – Live Oak – Like many players at the event, she didn’t have a ton of help on her team. The thing that I really thought was special was the way she passed the ball. Her ability to find open teammates, sometimes far from her and deliver a pass on the mark was impressive. She was a adequate scorer, had good body control and finished some tough drives. Didn’t see much of a perimeter shooting game, but perhaps it wasn’t needed in this game.
- Kiana Anderson – 6’ F – 2019 – Warren Easton – Superb athlete with a great strong body. Somewhat a tweener at 6’, she’s got a post player game with a wing players body. Really elevated to rebound and score. Has some big upside especially if she develops more of a perimeter game.
Honorable Mention –
Jayeida Neal – 5’5 CG – juco Fr. – Angelina
Kate Thompson – 6’1 WF – 2020 – Denham Springs
Vaquela Pimpton – 5’8 CG – juco So. – Holmes (Miss.)
Salma Bates – 5’6 SG – 2019 – John Curtis
Makya Spears – 6’5 Post – 2020 – Lee Magnet
Kenyal Perry – 6’7 Post – 2020 – McKinley
Jolie Williams – 5’8 SG – 2018 – Natchitoches Central
Destiny Rice – 5’8 CG – 2019 – North Caddo
Lafeadria Green – 6’1 PF – 2020 – Ouachita
Mahoganie Williams – 6’2 F – 2019 – Ouachita
Jazmyn Womack – 5’11 WF – 2018 – Pontchatoula
Cabria Lewis – 5’7 PG – 2019 – Warren Easton