TSF Global 86, Feltrim Academy 76
Carlos Lopez (6'2 CG, Feltrim Academy) - Carlos Lopez was one of the best players that I saw all day. He scored 36 points with five three-pointers and demonstrated a very poised and mature offensive game. Lopez's smooth lefty shooting mechanics allowed him to make jump shots on and off the ball, while his smooth handle and sharp decision-making skills enabled him to succeed in isolation and pick-and-roll scenarios. He also showcased great pace with his ball handling and good vision, making excellent kick-out and swing passes throughout the game. On the defensive end, Lopez was excellent in his ability to navigate ball screens, force steals with active hands, and close out under control. His steady demeanor on the court reflected a maturity and poise of a team leader, and his basketball IQ stood out on a court of potential college prospects.
KJ Vasser (6'2 PG, TSF Global) - KJ Vasser lit the scoreboard up from beyond the arc, scoring 24 points and drilling six three-pointers with great lift and consistency in his upward shooting motion. What I appreciated most about Vasser's game was his motor and communication. Every time he stepped on the court, he directed teammates to their spots, calling out plays and coverages and encouraging or offering feedback to his team. In addition to his shooting, Vasser showcased his ability as a floor general and made excellent outlet passes from rebounds and steals. He also had some good reads in the half-court, especially on swing passes and passed to cutters. Defensively, Vasser was constantly causing havoc in TSF's pressing defense and giving most of the ball handlers on Feltrim Academy trouble for the entire game, using his quickness and athleticism to assert dominance on the court.
Isaiah Lewis (6'4 SG, TSF Global) - Isaiah Lewis started slow but came alive in the second half with his aggression and slashing ability. He was excellent at making split-second decisions, ripping through out of the triple threat, and putting constant rim pressure on Feltrim Academy's forwards and centers. Additionally, Lewis' speed and handle allowed him to score multiple fast break opportunities against retreating defenders. Defensively, Lewis was also at the top of the TSF press, getting steals and deflections, which created fast break opportunities for his team. Lewis' attacking countered a late Feltrim Academy run in the fourth quarter and was integral to the TSF Global win.
Marcus Overstreet (6'9 F- Feltrim Academy) - Overstreet was the best big man on the court, using his size and strength to exploit mismatches on post-ups and rolls. He had some good kick-out passes to shooters as well, which is a great attribute for big men to have. Defensively, Overstreet did well in low post-isolation situations; however, a lack of foot speed hurt him in terms of getting back on the fast break. As the game wore on, Overstreet seemed to be battling fatigue at some points late, which is unsurprising given the amount of transition plays that come with a high-tempo game. However, he was unstoppable in the half-court, causing real trouble for TSF Global's forward corps throughout the game.
Payton Weemer (6'7 F, Feltrim Academy) had 12 points with two three-pointers, showing his ability to work an inside-outside forward combination with Overstreet. He also showed strength both in his inside scoring game and in his defensive rebounding. Jonathan Carroll (6'6 F, TSF Global) showed some solid fundamentals despite being at a height deficit against Feltrim Academy's frontcourt. Carroll grabbed offensive and defensive rebounds, made unselfish passes out of the paint, and scored on interior possessions throughout the game. He split his first four free throws but nailed a pair to create separation for TSF late in the fourth quarter.
TSF National 87, Bull City Prep 77
Khyelle Ingram (6'4 SG, Bull City Prep) - Khyelle Ingram had a sensational two-way performance for Bull City Prep. He only had five points in the first half but exploded for 21 second-half points (26 total) with a combination of explosive slashing moves along with some timely three-point shots. Ingram's size and skill are great, but his passion on the court and the way he rallied his teammates on the court through his play impressed me, despite the loss. I was impressed with Ingram's ability to recognize soft help coverage, shift defenders with his crossover moves, and then accelerate to the rim for his finishes. Ingram made seven free throws in the second half, which underscores the rim pressure that he creates. Ingram was also great on the defensive end, rotating with purpose and speed and getting on-ball and off-ball steals. He rebounded well from the guard position, showing excellent vertical bounce and second jump quickness. In the fourth quarter, Ingram had a highlight-reel two-handed block on an opposing center in the second half which sparked a late Bull City Prep run.
Myles Che (6'3 PG, TSF National) - Myles Che's quickness and shot creation caught my attention for TSF National. The University of South Florida commit made two early threes and began to get into his bread and butter of attacking the basket, ending the game with 24 points. Che demonstrated elite speed and lateral quickness with the ball, which allowed him to slash easily and counter with mid-range scoring moves if he got cut off. He also made some amazing passes in both transition and the half-court, showing elite floor vision. Defensively, he pestered opposing offensive players and was active in the defensive passing lanes. However, he got into heated exchanges with opposing players multiple times, ultimately leading to an ejection in the fourth quarter after two separate technical fouls.
EJ Smith (6'3 CG, TSF National) - EJ Smith had 17 points for TSF National, and his mid-range shot creation and slashing ability popped throughout the game. Smith has a very fluid handle and creativity in his footwork that allows him to create space on offense, and he also has an arsenal of pivots and step-through moves to eat space and score through contact. Defensively, Smith showed the ability to stay in front of his man and stay attached off the ball. While he did have a few reach-in fouls from being overaggressive, he has the tools to be a solid defender at the next level.
Abrahm Driver (6'7 F, Bull City Prep) - Abrahm Driver was matched up against taller forwards and centers on TSF National, most notably 7' 0 University of Saint Louis commit Bruce Zhang, and still dropped a 22-point double-double with rebounds. Driver has great speed and athleticism for his size, and he flashed ball skills with his ability to initiate offense in pass-to-screen actions and dribble handoffs. He had an impressive play in the first half where he dribbled to the left wing to set up a DHO, read the guard defender, and then faked the handoff to set up a beautiful two-dribble pull-up jumper from the left short corner, showing his speed, skill, and IQ all in one play. Driver scored most of his points in the paint over help defense and showcased good footwork and hands-on offense. Defensively, Driver was active in altering shots and protecting the paint, but he also did a great job in using his agility and strength to hold off TSF bigs from even catching the ball in the low post. Driver's shooting form is a little blocky and robotic, but the form is consistent, and he even drilled a three in the fourth quarter and made the majority of his free throws, which shows potential for improvement.
Honorable mentions: Bruce Zhang (7'0 C, TSF National) scored 9 points off the bench for TSF, and while he occasionally got caught behind the play because of the tempo of the game, he showed a silky shooting touch and the ability to shoot, dribble, and pass out of the post. TJ Hardy (6'2 G, Bull City Prep) also had 9 points for Bull City Prep and displayed noteworthy aggressiveness on defense and playmaking ability, which created driving lanes that he used to slash and finish through contact. The Saint. Louis commit also had some blocks and shot alterations that indicate his defensive talent as a rim protector.
TSF (GA) 106, Franklin Prep Academy 86
Jaxson Jones (6'4 W, TSF GA) - Jaxson Jones drilled five three-pointers as he scored 20 points in this game. Jones' effortless shooting mechanics speak to his preparation and dedication to being an elite shooter at the next level. Jones also showed a great ability to cut without the basketball, which perfectly countered FPA's high press defense. Jones seemed unsure of his defensive positioning, which put him at odd angles for closeouts, but he showed activity and effort on defense which will be a foundation he must build upon for the next level.
Destin Logan (6'5 W, TSF GA) - Destin Logan also showcased his shooting talent in this game, scoring 19 points and drilling four three-pointers, three of which were college range. Logan was also extremely active on the glass, which generated chances for him to flash his impressive fluidity with his handle. Logan's ball handling enabled him to attack the basket in transition and set up two or three drop-off passes for assists. Defensively, Logan made his mark by contesting shots and cutting off driving lanes, using his plus wingspan to his advantage. The only concern was that he seemed too emotional in the heat of the game, which caused him to give up frustrated fouls and argue with referees and other players. Logan is a highly skilled talent, but he can tap into another level of ability if he channels his emotion into on-court production.
Tamariz 'TJ' Owens (6'4 G, Franklin Prep Academy) - TJ Owens impressed me with his strength, size, and skill at the shooting guard position. He made four three-pointers and scored 19 points for Franklin Prep, and his inside-outside game was very balanced with his ability to rebound offensively and defensively as a guard. His handle was solid enough to get him past his defenders on his shoulder, and he also had excellent passes in transition. Defensively, he moved his feet well but lost sight of shooters, which is the weakness of Franklin Prep's aggressive man-to-man defensive scheme.
Gamar Powers (6' 3 G, Franklin Prep Academy) - Gamar Powers scored 16 second-half points (18 total), showcasing a great short jumper and slashing game, in addition to being a playmaking connector for Franklin Prep, moving the team from action to action. Powers was also active on defense, getting steals and grabbing defensive rebounds to initiate the fast break for Franklin Prep. Powers still needs work on his ball handling, but his motor is great, and he has a good feel for the game.
Donnary Fontenot (6'3 G/W, TSF) impressed me with his size and skill. Fotentot scored 16 points with four three-pointers as a big guard/wing, and he was very physical in attacking the offensive glass. He defended his position well and brought energy to TSF GA throughout the game. Defensively, he showed quickness and active hands as the high man of the FPA half-court and full-court presses. Jay Torrance (5'10 PG, Franklin Prep) splashed home four threes en route to a 13-point game and was an excellent playmaker in the half-court for Franklin Prep.
Contribution by: Caleb Smith