Monday, October 14, 2013
Florida Fall Festival recap
By Reggie Rankin
ORLANDO -- The Florida Fall Festival is a two-pronged event that consists of a tournament of excellent high school teams and an individual player showcase that features high-level talent from all over the Sunshine State.
Here are a few players who performed well this weekend:
Top ESPN 100 players
Dante Buford showed his explosiveness and rebounding ability at the Florida Fall Festival.
Dante Buford (Jacksonville, Fla./Arlington Country Day)
Power Forward, 6-foot-8, 209 pounds
Considering: Oklahoma, South Carolina, Miami
Buford never disappoints with his ability to finish above the rim with explosiveness, power and flair on the break and on clear paths to the rim. He rebounds well at rim level too. Buford also hits the open pick-and-pop and trail jumper in addition to short straight-line drives to the rim. Buford is clearly a high-major power forward with great upside who’s enjoyable to watch play above the rim.
D'Angelo Russell (Louisville, Ky./Montverde)
Shooting Guard, 6-4, 175
Committed to Ohio State The future Buckeye is a smooth operator. Russell is a lefty who can score from anywhere on the floor. He can hit 3-pointers, pull ups in the lane and floaters with excellent touch and body control. Russell also made good decisions with the ball. When he drew a second or third defender he consistently found an open teammate.
Adonys Henriquez (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep)
SG, 6-5, 185
Committed to Central Florida Henriquez is a smooth operator. He has a good feel for the game both in scoring and passing. He also handles the ball well and plays with his head and eyes up on the break. He is a rhythm in-the-groove scorer from beyond the 3-point arc, with floaters, and also get to the rim on the break. Possesses excellent versatility and upside.
Top ESPN 60 player
Antonio Blakeney (Orlando, Fla./Oakridge)
SG, 6-4, 170
Offers: Kansas, Louisville, Florida, NC State, Missouri, among others
Blakeney is a skilled and smooth scoring machine, a true point guard who has all the weapons. He shoots the 3 off the catch or dribble, has a pull-up jumper going both left and right, can get in the lane and elevate over smaller defenders and has the craftiness to finish at the rim with floaters. He’s called "Instant Offense" by coaches and friends for a reason.
Moving on up
Udoka Azubuike (Jacksonville, Fla./ Potter's House)
2016, Center, 6-11, 235
Offers: Florida State, Central Florida, Iowa State, Strong Interest: Florida, Kansas, among others
Azubuike is a strong, physical specimen. He attacks the rim with extreme power and aggression over, around or through defenders. He has a nice jump hook but prefers the simplified power-dribble-explode-and-find-the-rim method. He rebounds and blocks shots all over the floor. He is still gaining valuable playing experience. His game is still in the developmental stages mentally, but he has off-the-charts potential and is physically ready to compete in college right now.
Troy Holston (Tampa, Fla./Oldsmar Christian)
2014, SG, 6-4, 180
Committed to South Florida Holston made plays on the offensive end that consisted of knocking down shots coming off pin-down screens, getting to the rim and mid-post face-and-go moves that he has recently added to his game. Holston is an aggressive and confident offensive player who has continued to improve and been productive.
Matt Milon (Orlando, Fla./Oviedo)
2015, SG, 6-5, 185
Considering: Purdue, Davidson, Clemson, Stanford, Harvard, among others
Milon has continued to improve at a steady rate. He has noticeably added strength to go with his toughness. He is a lefty who can knock down jumpers beyond the arc, off the catch, or off the rhythm dribble in addition to the mid-range pull up that he sets up with a convincing shot fake. He is smart, unselfish, has an excellent basketball IQ and is fun to watch compete.
Prince Ali (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Sagemont)
2015, SG/SF, 6-3, 185
Offers: Miami, Nebraska, VCU, Vanderbilt and Illinois, among others
Ali is an excellent athlete who excels on the break, where he can finish on a consistent basis. His excellent first step allows him to slash by defenders and get to the rim. He can pass when he draws a second defender and is an excellent playmaker with the ball in his hands that has an improving mid-range pull-up shot. Ali is also a good perimeter rebounder and fast break starter and capable multiple position defender.
Anas Osama (Orlando, Fla./West Oaks Academy)
2014, PF/C, 7-1, 190
Considering: Cincinnati, Louisville, NC State, among others
Osama has only been in the United States a short time but has made his presence felt. He is extra long, athletic and skilled. His touch around the rim is special, as is his ability to pass. He is smart, poised and competes on both ends. He blocks shots and rebounds in his area. He must add strength and continue to gain playing experience in the United States, but Osama is fun to watch make plays, especially on offense.
David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence)
2014, C, 6-7, 280
Offers in football/basketball: Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, Central Florida, Florida State, South Florida, among others
Sharpe is a high major prospect in football but he also gets it done on the basketball court. This wide-body post runs well, has light feet and good hands to go along with his excellent touch and body control in and around the lane. He can screen, seal and finishes through contact with ease. He wants to attempt to play both sports at the major college level. I won't bet against that plan, although his day job might ending up being on Sundays with a future in the NFL. What a fun player to watch compete.
Best Previously Unknown Player
Christian Terrell (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence)
2014, SG/PG, 6-5, 175
Committed to Florida Gulf Coast Terrell is a tough and competitive attacking shooting guard who can get buckets in a variety of ways. This lefty is a very good athlete with touch and body control. He can get to the rim and finish above it on the break. He knocks down open 3s and pull-ups in addition to finding open teammates with his court vision and passing. Terrell works on the defensive end as well, especially being alert and in help position away from the ball. Florida Gulf Coast has landed a good one in Terrell, who could potentially start as a freshman.