#OTRHoopsReport: City of Palms At a Glance – December 19, 2016
5-star wing Kevin Knox gives consistent performances. He backed up that statement in front of the Duke Blue Devil coaching staff on Friday night.
The #OTRHoopsReport staff makes Fort Myers, Florida, a staple on our coverage calendar yearly. The collection of 5-star talent gives a great evaluation opportunity, because of the high profile nature of the tournament. This year we covered the first three days of the tournament, which allowed to see most of the stars in a short amount of time. Here are some thoughts on the stars and other players who are on the rise.
Read the Live Updates from the City of Palms here
Just like in years past (City of Palms Recaps) the 5-star prospects brought the most attention and the biggest performances. In case there were still lingering questions about the skill set of MJ Walker of Jonesboro HS (GA) coming into this weekend, the 6-5 shooting guard should have hushed any doubts in a match-up versus Jemison HS (AL). He busted out with a 41 point performance including 7-13 from 3-point range. This coming off of a 29 point, 14 rebound night in a win over Lehigh HS (FL) on Friday.
IMG Academy might have the most star-studded team of any team in the field, Emmitt Williams might have shined brightest in the two nights he played. He scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in a win over Mariner HS (FL). He followed that up with a monster 19 point effort, which featured multiple vicious dunks.
Kevin Knox of Tampa Catholic did what we are accustomed to seeing from him. He filled up the stat sheet with 30 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and three blocks. His all around game in addition to his polished skill set could have him as one of college biggest start next year, especially if he ends up as a Duke Blue Devil. Coach K and staff were on hand to watch Knox on Friday evening.
Hudson Catholic has a young team that showed they are ready to play on the national stage. Point guard Jahvon Quinerly is a smooth class of 2018 point guard that puts us in the mind of Villanova sophomore Jalen Brunson. He balances scoring and distributing exceptionally well. He scored 16 points in a win over Maret on Friday and then followed up it up with 23 points in a loss to the Patrick School .
Memphis East has a budding star in T.J. Moss, a class of 2018 wing. He has great length standing at 6-6 and proved he can stroke the long range jumper to a the tune of 21 points on 8-14 shooting in a win over Pace Academy.
Although his team came up short, Jemison high school’s Brandon Nicholas is a guard worth paying attention to as a shot maker. He scored 19 points on 5-8 shooting from 3-point range. He puts us in the mind of Jamal Johnson, a Memphis signee in the class of 2017, at the same age.
Here to Stay
There were a number of prospects who have firmly established their reputations and back it up with impressive performances. Combo guard Ezacuras Dawson III of South Miami HS helped dispose of Winter Park with ease. The Oklahoma State signee cruised to a 21 point night while shooting 6-9 from 3-point range.
Jeremiah Tilmon of East St. Louis HS (IL), lived up to expectations with a 19 point, 13 rebound, 3 block effort on Friday night. The 6-foot-11 center is one of the best in the nation at sealing and carving out angles to score in the paint. He is signed to play for coach John Groce next year at the University of Illinois. He projects to be an impact player from the first day on campus.
Iowa signee Luka Garza of Maret HS (DC) made a case for the best big man scorer in the two days we evaluated. He scored 32 points in a win over Sagemont and 27 points in a loss to Hudson Catholic. The high energy 6-10 post has great touch couple with athleticism and strength that should translate well to Big Ten play.
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB
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