#OTRHoopsReport: Lasting Impressions from City of Palms Classic – December 31, 2017

After multiple dominating performances, Sharife Cooper of McEachern HS is squarely within the conversation as one of the nation’s top 2020 point guards. Photo cred – City of Palms Classic

Fort Myers, Florida, – The City of Palms Classic is a main stop for our #OTRHoopsReport team. Multiple #NaismithWatch prospects compete on the nation’s biggest stage. The match-ups provided by the tournament give a true measurement of the teams and individuals who compete. This year gave us a glimpse at some of the nation’s premier prospects once again. Here are a few of the storylines that will endure into 2018.

By:  @JLHemingwayPSB 

Sharife Cooper is one of the Nation’s Best in 2020

Cooper scored 42 in the tournament’s quarterfinal match-up then followed that up with a 26 point, 6 assist night versus the University School. Although his team did not come away with the win in this semi-final game, it was hardly a stretch to see that Cooper was the best player on the floor that night. He plays the game with incredible efficiency as a shot 12-24 from the floor while only turning it over one time. Although diminutive in stature, Cooper’s presence is consistently huge. He makes the right play consistently. He has made his case as a 5-star prospect and one of the nation’s best in his class.

Moses Brown is a Potential Pro

We identified Brown last year at the Hoop Hall Classic as a top 25 prospect. He backed up that reputation this year with a solid showing versus Mountain Brook scoring 25 points on 10-14 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. Brown is on NBA scout’s radar because of his 7-foot-1 size and soft hands. He manages to catch everything in his arm radius and does a great job of finishing inside of painted area. Add in the fact that he is an active big man with good feet and he has many of the tools that pro teams desire.

Jordan McCabe will Make Noise for the Mountaineers

The Wisconsin native puts us mind of former Florida Gator Teddy Dupay. He is a dazzling ball handler and a terrific shot maker. He put on an absolute show in the tournament’s semi-final game versus Mars High School. He scored 42 points on 13-21 shooting, which included 7-13 from downtown. He added in seven assists and five rebounds. McCabe’s skill set should be a great fit for coach Bob Huggins in Morgantown.

Shaun Elmore is Exactly what North Alabama Needs

North Alabama will move to Division-1 competition in the Fall of 2018. They will join the Big South conference. For their basketball program, adding a prospect like 6-2 shooting guard Shaun Elmore is exactly the type of player the Lions will need to be competitive. Elmore is a high energy defender who also can shoot the 3-pointer with consistency. He scored 21 points on 7-12 shooting from deep range in a match-up versus Archbishop Malloy. His 3 and D capabilities should translate well to Big South competition.

Xavier Pinson might be a Sleeper Late Signee

Pinson puts us in the mind of another Chicago-land guard, Charlie Moore, who signed with California out of high school in 2016. Moore has since transferred to Kansas after a year at Berkley. Pinson will not be as decorated as Moore (Moore was Mr. Basketball in Illinois). Pinson comes off the bench and plays a more limited role than Moore did in high school. However, his style of play and stature are similar. Pinson has a surprising burst with the ball and has a solid mid-range game. He finished with 11 points and four assists versus East Memphis in the semifinal game. Once a Kent State commit, Pinson has since reopened his recruitment and could be a difference maker for a school next fall.


Coach Hemi-100-100Jonathan 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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