The Gauntlet – Do It All Performers
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The second of four trips to Florida headed back to Mainland HS, and there was some great talent in the gym once again to follow up The Opening March 25-26.
We start with guys who did a little bit of everything really well.
By: Keith Agran
Jordan Naylor | G | 2024 | PSB-Tampa 17U (pictured at top)
A First-Team All-Weekend guy in my view if we were tracking it after he was easily one of the best 16U’s I saw last spring with us, the dynamic scoring package jumps off the floor early in games as teams adjust to the way he can attack from any spot, good size enough to rebound from the guard spot as he’s a gifted natural athlete, can step in an run the point with ease and be a scoring PG for you, defends 1 to 3 and gets to loose balls with a play hard style and the enthusiasm of someone who loves being out there, terrific college prospect.
You look at Kitenge and it’s frightening that he was playing up with the 16s and has 2 years of development still left, great body at this stage which will only get more physical for a guard who can both bang effectively and showed off a finesse game which was tough to handle, gets after it at both ends as he was blocking shots and guarding up the ball with a fast-paced motor, tremendous finisher at the basket and off the break, work to be done shooting it from distance but this is a name to know as he moves through these next 2 years.
Isaac Redding | G | 2025 | E1T1 Elite 16U
This roster was populated with a lot of guys hovering a little above 6-0 who had to fill a lot of roles, but seeing Redding out there guarding 6-10 Heri Sefu Bukina of Team Judah Nation immediately caught my eye, he pushed back and used sly positioning to allow for help side defense to assist and was just a pest for a guy around 6-2, offensively he was fearless on the drive and converted some tough finishes through traffic, the versatility and willingness to do whatever it took lands him on this list.
Last year Springs and his mates were among the best teams I saw in Daytona and with most of them back together again it was much the same as the teamwork and chemistry is an A+, Springs himself is such a startling athlete you forget he’s right around 6-0 tall as he gets off the deck and moves with such a fluidity it allows him to play and feel bigger, our trips to Florida always uncover athletes at different sizes who stand out but you add in his full package of offensive options at multip,e levels and this is a 2025 who remains on a major upward trajectory.
For the next level he checks the box in the frame department as he’s physically ready for the pounding, did a little facing the basket to get downhill while also showing off some shooting range, rises off the floor so quickly and with some serious authority, the quickness using the dribble surprised for a guy with his stoutness and it’s the kind of big guard package that easily attracts next-level eyeballs.
This Above group was mostly under the Team PArsons flag last year and was just as entertaining back 12 months ago, Ritchie leads a team full of bombers as they launch the 3-balls and test the metrics for sure, Ritchie knocked down 6 treys in a solid win over KA nightmares (this after he had an 8 for 8 game from deep in the state playoffs), you cannot leave him unattended at the arc but he’s crafty and sneaky athletic and he will blow by you if you rush out too hard, can play PG or wing at the next level and looks college-ready with the swagger and confidence.
We spend time talking about frames because if you want to make a seamless jump into the highly competitive world of college basketball you’d better understand it’s at another level physically, Williams takes care of that with one of the weekend’s better physiques but he’s not all power and no finesse, he rolled though some of the smaller guards for Above Academy but also moves like an NFL safety and that added finesse on the drive adds an attractive quality to an already must-see recruitment package.
I liked this CCTG 16U bunch as they pressed and suffocated and turned defense into offense with a slew of athletes, Ennis stood out because much like Springs from TNBA South Kings above he was just a step better than everyone else, he finished with a flourish and didn’t let up at all on defense using long arms and good instincts to fill passing lanes, handled the ball at the 1 and was a willing passer while using his God-given gifts to be an open floor monster.
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 also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
February 17, 2024
February 16, 2024