The Florida Opening – Top All-Around Guys Pt 1
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – OTR brought its act on the road March 26-27 to Mainland HS for its Florida Opening, and the enormously successful weekend was highlighted by a strong talent and club turnout and two dynamite days of high-level basketball.
We start off our weekend coverage looking at Part 1 of 2 of some of the top all-around players and athletes who got it done at both ends and in multiple ways over the two days (in no particular order).
By: Keith Agran
Brandon Baxley | 6-4 | SG/SF | Ocala Impact 17U
Forced to guard opposing bigs but it seemed natural to him indicating he had probably done it before, physical guard who pushed back and showed a lot of grit defensively, hard worker at both ends with some good work off the bounce offensively again using a good frame near the basket, had range out to the arc, will definitely be a solid contributor at the next level.
Matthew Williams | 6-3 | SG | Jupiter Jaguars 17U
On a team full of gutty and feisty workers it was Williams’ overall skill that stood out at a solid 6-3, there are plenty of next-level contributors on this Jaguars team but Williams has perhaps the highest upside, great combo of deep shooting prowess and crafty work off the ball fake and dribble drive, can guard both backcourt spots and was not afraid to mix it up on the boards, an All-Weekend-type level performer.
Isaac Celiscar | 6-6 | SF/PF | Florida Rebels 16U (pictured above)
Such an impressive array of talent with the Rebels 2024’s as they played up in the 17U group, Celiscar like virtually the entire roster of bigs was up and down the floor like a gazelle and up above the rim with regularity, most of their work occurred in transition or near the basket but as finisher he was powerful and swift, tremendous defender both on the perimeter or near the rim, unquestionably a D1 body and tools.
Marcus Allen | 6-6 | SF/PF | Florida Rebels 16U
Speaking of D1 tools and frame it was easy to see in their Saturday dunk-fest that Allen is headed that way too, such lift and movement he was a beast in transition on the finish and a glass-cleaner all weekend long, again the Rebels were running so their guards controlled the halfcourt perimeter game but if he got the touch within 15 feet and in it was going at the basket hard for a hoop or the harm.
Tyler Johnson | 6-5 | SG/SF | Florida Rebels 16U
Built like a linebacker with a stout lower half as well he used that physicality to push folks around but he could really get up and back as well, add him to the dunk list as the Rebels in transition reminded of Houston in the early 80’s, really good understanding at the 2-spot as both a focused scorer in iso-situations and distributor when needed as rim-running bigs were plentiful to be found on this Rebels team.
William Reyes | 6-4 | PG | H.O.P Elite 17U
One of the weekend’s better passers as he was almost always pass-first with his head up and scanning all the way, when he did put his head down and go to the hole he had a body that could absorb contact and a flair for finishing around the rim, the good size and exceptional passing ability puts him in a bracket of pure, classic distributing PG’s who can really be an asset at the next level.
RJ Tolbert | 6-4 | SF | Holiday Hoops 17U
A workhorse all over the floor whose motor was evident all weekend, love the energy and enthusiasm and the way he attacks on one end and battles defensively and on the glass at the other, quick and clever off the catch near the basket there was face-up shooting out to 15+ as well, the work rate alone makes him an intriguing prospect but there’s a lot more there to build on.
Aidan Agnew | 6-6 | SG | Holiday Hoops 17U
Such tantalizing ability with Agnew he’s hard to miss with his frame and some of the things he can do on the offensive end, there’s a smoothness about his movement that can be construed as low energy and that needs to be carefully monitored as he goes through this spring and summer, with power and shooting and great size from the 2-spot he can potentially be a devastating force when assertive and sure-fire D1 target with those traits, travel ball can get choppy and even ugly and Agnew would be wise to avoid losing within that choppiness a critical streak of energized competitiveness coaches seek.
Isaac Heaven | 6-3 | SG | Blacktop Basketball 17U
Glided around the floor with long strides, so tough when he got close to the basket as a finisher as he was able to rise above or slither past folks for the hoop and harm, Blacktop as a team played some terrific defense and his long arms and good anticipation made him a defender to watch from the weekend.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019 and has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.