Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Player Focus: C.I.A Bounce Double Punch

Richard Audu 6'4 G 2013

Rich Audu of the Henry Carr Crusaders is a crafty guard with extreme upside. Rich is a fundamental player who can play both the PG and the SG spot on any team. His lateral quickness allows him to shut players down on defense, and his explosiveness towards the basket makes him a difficult player to guard on a man-to-man defense. Much of Henry Carr's success this year can be laid on the shoulders of both Kenrick Lewis & Richard Audu. This 6'4 guard can lock it down on the defensive end with ease and also hit the open jumper occasionally. Throughout the season, I witnessed Rich heat up during a couple of games. He showed that if he was heated up, than he would be a force offensively. Although Rich plays on the powerhouse Team Takeover Canada, Rich can easily be compared to Jamal Reynolds on the other powerhouse Grassroots Canada. Both players are humble and hungry and their both trying to put their AAU teams on the map.

Rich Audu Highlight Reel

Isaiah Watkins 6'7 F 2013

Just like Rich, Isaiah also has major upside as he plays with great intensity and hustles on both ends. Isaiah is a vocal leader on the court, and he isn't afraid to throw down a poster dunk if you give him the opportunity. He rebounds great along the paint, and hustles for dead balls and tipped passes. He is the perfect role player to have on any team as he is still working on his offensive dominance. His Mid-range game is also very solid for a big man as he can pull up if let open. Just like Rich and Jamal, Isaiah can also be compared to Grassroots 2013 F Agunwa Okolie. Both players are humble and they both allow their game to do the talking. They both hustle and both can lock it down on defense. Although Agunwa is more of a go-to scorer, Isaiah should look to be more consistent on his jump shot and build more lateral quickness. Isaiah will be attending St.Benedict's Prep next year with Tyler Ennis.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Player Focus: Potential Beyond Limits

Nick Madray 6'10 F 2013

I have never seen a basketball player close to 7feet shoot the ball as well as Nick Madray in high school. At first, Nick appears as if he is a big man who lives in the post and dominates with Dwight Howard like slams. But after nearly watching Nick Madray play several times on his High school & AAU team, it is evident that Nick Madray is a star in the making! His game as of right now clearly resembles with Dirk Nowitzki or Kyle Korvers as Nick can shoot from deep and mid-range. Nick is not the guy you would like to leave open at the 3point arc. His huge frame allows him to grab rebounds almost anywhere in the post. Nick has been added to the EYBL roster of Team Takeover Canada (CIA Bounce) and he will be going at it with the best players in North America including Julius Randle & Rodney Purvis. One major aspect Nick should improve on is driving to the basketball, I didn't really notice any jab steps or fakes used but surely he is improving his game, hopefully on a day to day basis. Nick has interest from Syracuse & Rice U*

*According to FlagrantFouls.com

Nick Madray Short Video

Player Focus: Grassroots Double Punch

Agunwa Okolie 6'7 F 2013

No one in the GTA region has impressed me more than this star forward named Agunwa Okolie. He has an amazing upside for his game and he can play with men older than he is as he did over the summer with Kyle Julius & the *A* Game team. If heated, Agunwa can score easily taking his man one-on-one or even attacking with the double team. Although his jump shot consistency can be improved, he still is able to knock down the occasional jumper from time to time. I witnessed this young forward dominate at the *A* Game Camp in 2010 and 2011 which hosted big time names such as Jamal Reynolds, Justin Edwards, Kashrell Lawrence, Henry Tan, Connor Gilmore, Justin Jarvis, Isaiah Watkins & many more. He completely dominated the competition at the event and he established that he is a premier player from Canada. Agunwa's close comparison as of right now can be Lamarcus Aldridge or even Lamar Odom. As of right now Agunwa is probably the best one-on-one basketball player in Ontario this year. Other names who can dominate a man to man defense are Andrew Wiggins, Justin Edwards, Nick Madray, Richard Audu, Rohan Boney & Dyshawn Pierre. Its time to wait and see how this young gun will do during the summer as he is playing for Grassroots Canada AAU.

Agunwa Okolie Highlight Mix

Jamal Reynolds 6'4 G 2013

I was very impressed with the effort Jamal Reynolds puts forth once the ball has been tossed for tip-off. He has a high motor and he decides when to score and when to create a stop on defense. He has a scorers mentality and it is obvious that he attained this mentality by watching NBA players such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Although I don't get to see this guard shoot as much, he can still hit it down from mid-range. Flagrant Fouls and *A* Game Hoops did a great job exposing his talents in April. Out of Ontario, Jamal is probably the top 20 prospects in my list for the class of 2013. Ranking systems should include him at a higher rank as he possesses a very high basketball IQ and a great feel for the game. He is only 17 and he is still growing which is remarkable. Jamal should look forward to playing in USA in the coming season, and as for interest. Sources tell me that University of Albany have been interested in this player and Isaiah Watkins for a while now. Time will tell if this great player deserves his rankings in my book.

Jamal Reynolds 2010-2011 Mixtape

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Senior Team Focus: Loyola Hawks of Oakville

Notable Players

Rohan Boney 6'5 G/F 2012

I was completely baffled by this young mans performance during the week of OFSAA and during the regular season. I believe that Rohan was probably the best player in all of Ontario after Andrew Wiggins, if not than #1. He basically does everything, rebounds his area, blocks shots, slams the easy dunk, or finishes with the smooth jumper. What shocks me the most is that this All-Star has charisma and a high motor. He is always moving on both the offensive and defensive end with outstanding poise and posture. PG Mike Lafricain played a major role on this forwards dominant play this season.
Rohan Boney 2010-2011 Mixtape (Flagrant Fouls)

Mike Lafricain 5'11 PG 2011

Mike's court vision and passing ability was rarely off balance throughout the season. He is a crafty point guard who you can relate with Canadian star Steve Nash. Mike is a pass first, shoot later; type of player. He played a giant role in Loyola's success and will surely play a major role in Ottawa's program. His strengths are evident, he can shoot the heck out of the ball if he is heated up. He is also physically built and can bang with the big boys. I will love to see this point guard play with the staff and players at Ottawa.
Mike Lafricain Highlight Reel (Crown Mag)

Team Play

I was very impressed with this Loyola team this year and last year. This team plays together with chemistry and aggressiveness which gives them the edge over their opponent. The chemistry between Mike & Rohan was unmatched in all of Ontario basketball. I truly believe that if Wiggins was not at Vaughan this year, than this Loyola team would have received gold at OFSAA this year. Sadly they were left short as the Vaughan Voyageurs took home the gold. I was very confused to find out that no D1 college was interested in F Rohan Boney on the Flagrant Fouls recruitment site. Since Mike is gone this year, I am anxious to find out who will be at the PG spot next year and the following year. Another star to look out for in this team is Forward Jake Babic 6'5 2014. Lets see how this team transitions without a few of their players in the upcoming season.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Junior Team Focus: Mount Carmel S.S

Throughout the years numerous amounts of people have debated on which is better "Mississauga Basketball or Brampton?". Surely Brampton Centennial represented Brampton this year by finishing the season almost undefeated. But Mount Carmel from Mississauga was overlooked this year despite their undefeated regular season record. Their one great weakness is that they lack size on defense and offense. If I'm correct, their tallest player is a 6'1 grade nine kid named Paul Galas. They effortlessly overcome that with their outstanding chemistry and smooth play.

Key Players

Paul Galas 6'1 G/F 2015

Along with Reece, Paul has displayed he is a great player by doing almost everything on the court. He can rebound, drive for two and shot the occasional Mid-Range jumper. I've seen this ninth grader a total of five times this season including tournaments and regular season games. In most of the games he plays outstanding defense with great defensive stance and quick reflex's on the block. I estimate Paul will be around 6'5 by the end of his growth and that is a perfect height for a shooting guard. Paul needs to improve on his jump shot and drive of the pick. If those qualities are improved on, than Paul will be an outstanding player in Peel, possibly top 20!

Jahvari Bennet 5'11 PG 2014

Jahvari, If I'm correct, has the perfect size for the point position. Hes quick, strong and can create plays for others. Jahvari is probably the 2nd best on this Carmel team, but he is hands down the best PG on the team. His strengths are evident, he can hit the open trey ball and drive in for two as well as pass out for a shot. If Jahvari gets taller, than he surely will be a great player from Peel. I'm going to love to see Jahvari, Paul, Hanson, and Cassidy play senior next year that's a given!

Commitment: Kevin Thomas Is a Longhorn

Star of Grassroots Canada and CFCA has declared that he intends to play at Texas. Thomas will be added to the list of Canadian Alumni including Olu, Tristan, Corey and Myck at Texas. This forward as a very high IQ and court vision which allows him to create plays for others. His long arms and mobility enable him to become a solid Power Forward. Thomas is also an outstanding defensive player who aggressively attempts to contest every shot that comes his way, occasionally getting the block at times too. He is also very athletic and he does a great job finishing around the basket.

Thomas was also considering New Mexico St, NC State, Arkansas and Wake Forest before signing with Texas. Thomas averaged 12PPG, 10RPG, 1.5BPG & 2.2SPG.

Junior Team Focus: Bramption Centennial

Brampton Centennial

Brampton proved itself surely by the end of the regular season. Finishing almost undefeated throughout their whole season. They have solid players like Reece, Justice and Jemol which gave them the advantage over other teams in the end. Reece proved to be Peels top player by averaging close to 21pts a game in the regular season. One thing Reece can always work on is his jump shot. He needs to be more consistent which will allow him to be effective if he wants to play Prep or even Senior basketball in Peel. Justice also proved that he was a force in Peel by also putting up high numbers. The duo of Reece and Justice allowed Brampton to bring home the ROPSSAA Gold. I cant wait to see this team in the near future play head to head with powerhouses such as Joan of Arc or Loyola.

Key Players

Reece Brooks 6'0 G 2015
What amazes me the most about this young gun, is that hes only just 15 years old and he already established the fact that hes a force in Peel basketball. Despite Reece's height, he still is able to grab rebounds and finish strong on shots with contact allowing him to head to the free throw stripe for a extra bucket. His smooth game and slick handles allow him to get anywhere on the court with ease. Not only is he playing junior, but he is also playing an age ahead on the OBA circuit with H.Y.P.E and still dominating! The duo of him and Jamaal Potopsingh is crucial in their success. I advise this young gun to play senior next year for a chance for him to improve amazingly!

Jemol Edwards 6'1 G 2014
When you hear of Brampton Centennial success, you automatically assume Reece Brooks was involved. But most people have this young man named Jemol over their radar. Jemol can shoot, just like almost everyone else on the Brampton team but what was most surprising is the chemistry between him and Reece. These two can flat out play basketball as their both fundamentally sound players. Looks like these two are going to be pairing up in the near future for Senior Basketball!