Top plays from friday night games of the 2012 Fall Finale AAU tournament at Coretta Scott King H.S. in Atlanta, GA. Teams reppin' are the W.P. Celtics, FBC Southeast Elite and the Big South Dream Team.
In the fall, many of the stars of the past summer, particularly seniors, are home sorting out their offers which leaves the stage to younger players trying to establish their reputations and older players trying to get some more recruiting buzz. In Atlanta, the talent level was high but spread out at five different metro events, making it difficult to see more than a few players at once. However this allowed some deserving second looks of a few 13s and 14s as well as the discovery of some young fresh faces.
Players discussed below should get some level of BCS offers and were seen at the Fall Finale at Coretta Scott King Academy in Atlanta and the Stars of the South Super Select 200 in Marietta GA. The most exciting talent finds of this weekend were in the Classes of 2016 and younger (see below). Two very special young club teams (Team Elite Pointer and FBC Southeast Elite Mo) will be discussed in a separate piece later this week, so stay tuned.
A word to the wise for parents…
One of the biggest problems that exists in team events is a player’s data missing entirely from the rosters, or even worse, a player wearing a different number from what's listed in the coaches’ tournament information packets. Accuracy in these books is critical as college coaches do not have the time to find out that two girls decided to swap jerseys at the last moment and thus will be contacting a player they're really not interested in -- while ignoring the one they are..
Parents need to make sure sure their daughters are on a team soon enough so that names and numbers will be accurate on the submitted roster -- and equally important, take the time to make sure the team coach submits the roster on time. Better, reach out to the colleges that your daughter is interested in, and tell them directly where and on what team your daughter can be found. Finally, make sure the team uniforms have easily read numbers. It's great to look cool, but the new ‘in thing’ (should be illegal) is to camouflage numbers (blue on black for one) so opponents can’t scout the team via film. That's fine, but the problem is these numbers can’t easily be read in person thus defeating the purpose of having college coaches know who the players are. After all, what's more important? A college coach scouting players, or an opposing coach doing film work?
The Fall Finale
Miah Spencer, 5-8 point guard, Columbia High School, Decatur GA (W.P. Celtics Black)
Some players work to get better. Some don’t. Spencer is one who appears to be in the former category and she has always played hard as part of Columbia’s Georgia State 3A championship team, which is well known for its pressing style. Now she has added some style to her game with a nifty hesitation move, freezing the defender as she drives to the basket. She has good vision on the break and is in control of running her team in the quarter-court setting. She plays with passion but has a smile on her face in doing so, willing to take what knocks come the way of her medium-built frame. Her outside shot still needs to become more consistent but given the point guard shortage, BCS programs are now stepping up with offers.
Brielle Blaire, 6-2 forward, Salisbury High School, Salisbury NC (FBC Southeast Elite Black)
Blaire is one player you need to study awhile to appreciate. Her outside shot needs work and her foot speed is sort of average for a player on the perimeter but she plays hard and her basketball IQ is above average. What attracts BCS coaches is her willingness to attack the basket and draw fouls using her strong build to absorb the contact. In time, hopefully her outside shot will become more consistent, which will improve the level of offers she receives.
Erykah Davenport, 6-3 forward, Tucker High School, Tucker GA (W.P. Celtics Black)
Here is a player whose stock is moving up. She has a medium-solid athletic build, still needing to bulk up a bit to take the bumps in the paint better but she still likes to attack the basket off of two dribbles. With good feet, she can guard on the perimeter, although currently more oriented to guard a post player. With above average ups, she rebounds well though her range still needs to extend as currently her face-up game is inside 15 feet from the basket.
Stars of the South Super Select 200
Deja Williford, 6-1 forward, Lower Richmond HS, Hopkins, SC
Coming from a program with prior prep success, Williford runs well enough to stand out amongst older players but her game still lacks the consistency that comes with age. She has wide shoulders on her medium frame, not fully filled out. She's a work in progress but the upside is big.
Shekinah Howard, 5-9 guard, Chapel Hill Middle School, Douglasville, G
You don’t expect to see seventh graders hitting shots repeatedly against older players in game conditions, but that’s what got this youngster noticed. Shekinah has a nice stroke along the wing to baseline area and is strongly built as youngsters go and carries her weight well.
Jada Rice, 6-2 forward Creekland Middle School, Lawrenceville GA
Here is another youngster with sophistication, exhibiting nice poise playing against older opponents. Even though she is still young, her build is already medium-solid. Her game is currently around the basket although above average foot speed should have her move further out in time.