The fall evaluation is a tough proposition with school on Friday and many student-athletes playing soccer and volleyball. Some high school coaches have policies against it and many 2014s don’t participate because they are committed. This made for a great opportunity for 2016s to really show their skills, and that class really stood out on Friday evening as the Insider Exposure Fall Jam kicked off a big weekend in Atlanta.
Kathleen Alomar, 5-5 point guard, TN Xtreme Little (Walker Valley High School)
We last saw Kat at the Tennessee State AAU Championship and she is the definition of a pure point guard. Her court vision on the break and in the half court is really what makes her so good. Yes, she can score on her own but her best ability is her ability to find the open teammate every time. Alomar is also a talented defender due to her quickness; she doesn't allow anyone to just drive past her and can sprint back to stop a fast break if needed. As she continues to develop her outside shot, she will only get better.
Ivana Boyd, 5-6 guard, FGB (Palm Coast High School)
Boyd is compact combo guard with major explosiveness and strength to compete at the major D-1 level. Her ability to rebound the ball on the defensive end then push in transition gives an element to her game not normally seen with younger players. Her body has matured quicker than most and she is able to dominate players her age because of her strength and athleticism. Her jumpshot is going to need to develop, as well as her ability to make good decisions but her natural abilities make her a key target for mid major and BCS schools.
Whitney Creech, 5-8 point guard, Team Slink (Jenkins High School)
Whitney is one of the best new faces on the circuit, and she immediately made an impact in her first exposure tournament ever. Creech’s finishing ability is almost unmatched for a guard, and her handles are definitely top notch. Now that she has her name out there some and as her name continues to grow, Whitney will become known as one of the best scorers in the country. After this weekend it is easy to see why she averaged 30 PPG as a freshman in Kentucky.
Raven Johnson, 5-10, wing, GA Hoopstars Future Black (Parkview High School)
Lanky and long would be the best way to describe Johnson’s body and athletic would certainly be descriptive of her abilities. She showed a willingness to hustle down loose balls and do the little things needed to do for her team to win their lone game at the Fall Jam. She finished in transition and knocked down mid-range jumpshots looking very polished for a 2016 wing. She will need to add strength as she is wiry and adding some range to the jumpshot wouldn’t hurt either.
Jasmine Jones, 6-0 wing, North Florida Elite (FAMU High School)
There was a lot of hype around Jones coming into the weekend and now we understand why. Jasmine is just about as big time as you can get for a 2016, and she can do a little bit of everything on the court. Her length along with her speed allows her to be a beast on the defensive end, especially in the passing lanes. Honestly she can score whenever she wants to, if you want to guard her tight she’ll drive right around you, if you want to back off she’ll just pull up for the three. Jasmine Jones is going to be one of the most highly recruited players in the next couple years and is definitely worth watching.
Sydney Searcy, 5-9, guard, FGB (Nease High School)
Sydney has been an emerging talent for some time now, playing on an FGB team which won the Deep South Classic 15u top bracket. She’s a player who is not defined by one position. Often times players, coaches and evaluators get caught up in the thought process of “what position is she?”. Searcy is kid who just plays and plays extremely hard anytime she’s on the floor. Her ability to read passing lanes leads to many easy baskets and her effort on the defensive end is one of the major factors in BCS schools already taking note of this young lady. An improved ability on her shooting and ball handling would give her a chance to be mentioned among the top players in her class.
Kiara Smith, 5-9, wing, Havoc City (Bishop McNamara)
Having seen Havoc City play for almost two years now, I have become intimately familiar with Smith’s game. She’s a silky smooth wing who uses her speed and athleticism to beat you off the dribble and finish with ease once inside the paint. She has a beautiful floater that she displayed in a win over North Florida Elite. It was these frequent and often unstoppable drives in to the paint which impressed quite a few college coaches on Friday evening. Like many of these exciting young players Smith’s ability to develop consistent range from the three-point line will enhance her recruiting.
Taylor Toney, 5-10 guard, SC 76ers (Hammond High School)
Toney is about as close to unguardable as you will find, if you put a player her size on her she flies right past them, if you put a smaller player on her she will take them to the paint and dominate. Taylor also has a nice shot and is a player that you cannot leave open. Toney’s rebounding ability isn’t bad but it’s definitely something I would like to see her improve on, if she adds that wrinkle to her game she will definitely be one of the best 2016s around.
Emma Young, 5-9 guard, Team Slink (East Jessamine High School)
Emma is a coach’s dream player; she does all of the right things. She may have been the best defensive player in the entire event, and that is not just her pressuring the ball, that includes her will and ability to take a charge. In two games Friday night she took a total of six charges, which is something you don’t see much anymore, especially in a younger player. Young is a player that will come out of a game beat up because she was all over the floor the entire game making hustle plays. The scoring ability is also there for Emma but we would like to see her become more finesse and use her shooting ability more.
Sydni Lollar, 5-10, guard, Knoxville Panthers Gold (Greeneville Middle School)
Lollar first appeared on the scene two years ago as a lanky sixth grade guard. The fact that she was competing admirably against high school juniors and seniors was impressive at the time. Since then she has matured, filled into her body a bit more and her game has improved as well. The biggest part of the maturation process is seeing her confidence grow. As she gains more confidence on the floor she excels with skills that she has clearly possessed for quite some time. She displays an above average handle and her basketball IQ is quite good. She can shoot the ball and her ability to get to the rim and finish continues to develop. By the time she reaches high school her name should be well known in recruiting circles.