#Sweet16: Day 1 Recap – April 14, 2015
Dwayne Brown was tabbed one of the biggest stock risers at the first session of the Sweet 16. Photo Cred: Courtney Davis
Friday afternoon marked the start of the Spring Live Period in which Division I college coaches can get out on the road and evaluate prospects. Tournaments were kicking off all over the country with the most popular being the shoe company sponsored events, but one must not look over lesser known events and today in Atlanta the action was at the On the Radar Hoops Sweet 16 Session I.
Impressive Team Effort
According to NCAA regulations, events can’t officially tip off until late Friday evenings so teams usually travel that morning and play one game in the evening. The Bledsoe Ice 17U made the travel from Birmingham to Atlanta and wound up on the court twice tonight. The Ice used a balanced effort in both games as they defeated SC Elite 65-53 and the Alabama Legends 72-44.
This year’s Ice team is hard nose and scrappy. There isn’t one player that really just stands out of the bunch, but they all were unselfish and willing to sell out for each other. Throughout the weekend we will be following the guard trio of 6’1 John Pettway (Keith HS), 6’0 Micah Fuller (Bessemer City), and guard Triston Chambers (Cold Springs) who happened to coach many eyes of the coaches along the sidelines.
Staying in the state of Alabama the youngest player in the building definitely stood out with a loud performance. Class of 2019 Trendon Watford (Shades Valley) suited up with the 16u Alabama Challenge this evening. If you haven’t heard, Trendon is the younger brother of former Indiana player Christian Watford. Instead of dominating in middle school this year, the eighth grader averaged double figures in Alabama’s Class 6A. Tonight he finished with 20 points as his team defeated Team Forest 59-51 in the late game. The younger Watford already stands around 6’7 with ball handling skills and a basketball IQ well beyond his years. He scored in a variety of ways, but what was most impressive was his feel for the game and they way he recognized how to use his height advantage over smaller defenders.
Every time out scouts and coaches fill the gym to follow the players they are familiar with to see how their game has progressed, or to answer questions like can a player contribute in different ways. They also set out to find the unknown. Players that might have slipped through the cracks, or late bloomers as you might say. Today that player was Team E.A.T.’s Dwayne Brown.
Brown, a senior from Rockdale Co. has only played one year of varsity basketball after suffering injuries that kept him out both his sophomore and junior seasons. Today the 6’6 wing put his game on display and left coaches buzzing and wondering who he was. Possessing a college ready body, Brown was able to get into the lane practically anytime he wanted finishing through contact and converting old fashioned three point plays at the line. He showed great body control while attacking the rim, and on occasion when it looked like an attempt would get blocked by a defender he calmly finished a number of plays with his off hand. The athleticism is there, the biggest question that arose was how good of a shooter is he. He got a lot done while working from the elbow, but only managed to shoot one or two deep balls that looked good out of his hand but didn’t find the bottom of the net.
Kerry Willis is the Director of Scouting for Courtcred.com and is a contributor to On the Radar Hoops. You can reach him via email at Kwillis@courtcred.com.
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