OTR Hoops: Shaquan Worthy’s Battleground Finals Evals 4th & 5th – April 25, 2024

Shaquan Worthy’s Battleground Finals Evals 4th & 5th

By: Bilal Benjamin

Derrick Tatum Jr | J Smoove Celtics | 2031

Tatum Jr had it going in the championship game against Game Elite. The ball smothering guard wasted no time picking up his man full court, applying ball pressure and being a bug to his opponents. On the offensive end, Tatum Jr showed an ability to get a bucket whenever his team needed him to do so. He has a tight handle, a smooth floater game and also knows when to keep things simple by taking the mid-range jump shot rather than putting himself in trouble and going too deep in the paint. Tatum’s joy of defending the basketball was an eye opener.

Shane Gordon | AE5 | 2031

Gordon was an immediate spark plug off the bench with his contagious energy on the defensive end that turned his teammates up. Playing up an age group isn’t always easy but that’s something that Gordon was able to make it look. He turned defense into offense with his continuous on ball pressure, active hands-off ball and used his good speed to fill the lanes or simply get out ahead of the ball. Gordon was a very prideful defender that also showed solid court vision on the offensive end, hustled hard on both ends of the court and took no plays off. His energy and effort were unmatched from the moment he checked in and it led to him having a good all around.

Kaleo Brown | Team Huncho | 2031

Brown was like a coach on the court as he did a good job at making sure his teammates were in the proper spots on both ends of the floor. The diminutive guard was very vocal, he had the ball on a string, he found the open man and was a pest on the defensive end. Without being told to, Brown picked up his man 94ft and caused a ton of turnovers in the backcourt. Young guard with a high IQ that’s only going to get better.

Braylon Tate | AE5 | 2031

The young forward was a punisher on the boards to open up the Battleground Session lll. Having the pleasure of playing up while also playing with his age group is something that’s going to further bring the physicality out of Tate while also enhancing his IQ. Tate showed great timing on the shots that he was able to block, he has good hands when catching tough passes in traffic, a nice soft touch around the basket and from the mid-range area as well. While his jump shot seems to be more of the area to improve, Tate showed a ton of confidence in his shooting ability.

Benji Hatchett | J Smoove Celtics | 2031

Hatchett is another guard that’s a sniper from the outside. He saw a ton of success when shooting the basketball from the corner. The southpaw guard was in a groove of his own against AE5 as he buried four straight three at one point to gain some separation early on. He got to his spots well without the ball, provided spacing for driving lanes and was always shot ready. His proficient shooting from the outside made it easier for his teammates to have driving lanes when attacking his side.

Leshawn Lyle | J Smoove Celtics | 2031

Lyle is a very crafty guard that has the ball on a string. He got downhill with aggression, finished acrobatically around the basket, showed a live dribble when getting in the paint, found the open man and put continuous pressure on the defense. The team went as he went against AE5 on Saturday night. Defensively, Lyle was all over ball handlers. Giving them no space to operate how they wanted to and forcing them to pass the ball. Lyle truly has what it takes to be a high-level guard in the near future.

Casen Dowd | Team United | 2032

Dowd was a mismatch inside as he used his strength and size to his advantage. Helping lift Team United not only to their opening day victory at the Battleground Session lll but claiming the championship trophy as well. Dowd showed good hands when catching the ball inside, exceptional footwork at this stage, good patience out of the post and a nice soft touch inside. Dowd really impressed with ability to keep guys behind him when posting up, burying them under the basket and making his and one opportunity count. Dowd was also very active on the boards even when he became the main focus to keep off the boards throughout the weekend.

LuKas Duquette | ODS Elite | 2032 (Pictured)

Duquette was seemingly always in the right spot at the right time when it came down to snatching down a rebound, winning a loose ball opportunity or getting the best look possible for a shot. Duquette knew where to be for those things. His hustle was unmatched all around and it translated to offensive success. He showed a nice soft touch on his floater and his mid-range jump shot that he knocked down at a consistent rate. His good play was very huge in his team’s success.