Saturday, July 5, 2014

2019 7th Grade Final 4 Preview - Players to Watch

City League Stars (CA):

Ernest Jackson AKA EJ “The Nasty Truth” Jackson – He shown the national audience what P2 has long known; Jackson is one of the best all-around point guards in the country.  A pass first point with scoring prowess – he is often compared to a young Chris Paul with his style of play. A big-time scorer who can dominate games even without that aspect; but with his stellar ball handling and passing - “The Nasty Truth” whose meteoric rise this past week on the National Stage has been showing the rest of the world for the past two years that he is the real deal. Not many players can drop 30 one game and follow it with 10+ assist the next time he steps on the floor.  Jackson plays both ends, is dream teammate, and highlight reel waiting to queued up. He gets steals and has had triple doubles with that stat in the past.  A tone setter and catalyst his performance and the value of a lead guard has not been more apparent than this week in leading the City Stars to the national final 4.  Without question Jackson has the title of best PG in the West, he now must be considered for such an honor nationwide, as he has held his own against the very best 2019 has to offer – let the debate begin.

Jovan and Jaden McClanahan, - The twins,  have blasted off and impacted each and every game with their defense first they’re all assault on the paint and scoring zones; at time they have virtually been unstoppable.   They have controlled the glass also proving to be excellent rebounders especially on the offensive glass.  Each as the ability to take the ball and go coast to coast and finish with either hand through contact – as passer they are extremely unselfish and see the floor well, this has resulted in a lot of east baskets all week long for their teammates.  We love their size, length, and strength and the two of them swarm like they are one unit on unexpecting ball handlers.  Next level motors they dive for loose balls, they find each other like they know where each will be and they feed the need momentum off their hype when they need it the most.  Tough winners – this is why they, Jackson and the City Stars still remain alive repping the west coast in today’s final 4 match up in 2019.


Team Takeover (DC)
Justin Moore - Moore has the ability to play both backcourt positions and operates with a maturity well beyond his years. His IQ allows him to play at his own pace and to dictate to defenses geared to stop him how he wants to affect the game. He can just as easily hurt opponents by setting up teammates from the perimeter via post feed and dribble drive action where he is as adept at dishing the rock as he is from working off the low block as an post passer. The element of post passing from a guard perspective - often in cases from a true big perspective - is a lost art. Moore operates in this area in a Rob Strickland-type manner; drawing the double team and finding the spot up shooters and/or basket divers and cutters.

What truly separates Moore when added to the aforementioned skill-set is his prowess as a premier scorer. Justin operates effective at all three levels, as a penetrator and finisher he excels at using his body to keep players on his hip on dribble penetration, and can absorb contact while being able to finish with a multitude of fundamentally sound finishing moves. He uses his body, IQ, and handle to create space in the mid-range and offers one of the most refined mid-range game arsenals in this area –even for High School level players – with a solid step-back game, pull up, and floater package. As a 3-point shooter he is solid and scores at a high percentage.  Moore is not a volume scorer, rather one that is extremely efficient in his movements and his scoring selection.  He has already figured out the value of the foul-line and is an excellent shooter there, and he has become an expert at drawing fouls and getting there. When you sit and watch Moore play he doesn’t seem to be hurting you, but at the end of the game he will have dropped 30 of the quietest points you will ever see.

Terrance Williams - Williams has a great combination of size, power and finesse. He can step out to 18-feet and knock down the shot or go inside and impose his will. He's explosive around the rim and uses his thick frame and impressive array of moves and lift to convert in traffic over the competition.  Runs the floor extremely well and finishes equally as well facing up as with his back to the basket; has size in his bloodlines and looks like a future stretch 4 with high end potential all over the floor.  Especially effective from the low wing and high post off the dribble; we have even seen him knock down the open three with time and space especially when trailing the play on the break. Terrence moves well without the ball, is very patient and unselfish and has been a vital part of some of the top teams nationally for years.  For Williams the future looks extremely bright - long arms, big hands, and large feet he is a prospect that should be on everyone list. He is an excellent rebounder and has natural instincts for the game make him one of the most skilled players for his size in his class. He rebounds well out of his area and has been a difference maker for Team Takeover all season.  

Tyler Brelsford - Is a well-seasoned, highly touted Point Guard. Brandishing a deft handle Tyler plays a controlled game displaying a strong ability to run a team and provide whatever is needed for their success.  His intelligence allows him to play the angles and pick his spots; delivering passes other wouldn’t try and beating his man to his preferred scoring zone.  With a canny knack for finishing with a wide array of moves around the basket Brelsford is a demon in transition. No longer streaky with his shot, he can be considered a knock down shooter at this juncture. The improvement we have witnessed in the consistency of his shooting stroke and in turn his percentages are a testament to his hard work. 


Keyshawn Langley - ultra-quick PG with a next level basketball IQ. This week he has killed defenses in transition with his ability to push and advance the ball – his pressure on the defensive paint has been constant. Keyshawn has knocked down the mid-range pull up and open three all week and in big times situations.  We has entered the paint and not scored, he has been able to create opportunities his teammates. His understanding of situational basketball and the experience of being in this national championship situation before and the defending champs has served him well as does his understanding of time and score. He is another coach on the floor.  Even with the injury to Wendell Moore, the team followed & follows his lead; they believe they can win because he does.  His first priority is and has always been on winning and there is no concern regarding statistic, yet we have seen some impressive numbers all week and with two games to go maybe we will see him take over with a scoring outburst; best believe he is capable! 

Kobe Langley, is the combo guard, more of a shooter/scorer with a laser quick release and smooth stroke; but can slide to the lead guard position without any issue and run that just like its his primary position.  His strong frame has allowed him to take a pounding all week and never miss a step. He's proven again this year that he can strokes the three ball; while just like his brother he still creates shots for himself and others – easy one’s that have led them back to their second final four in a row.  As always a crowd favorite, his finishing moves are next level as he contorts his body in directions it shouldn’t go.  In transition he has not be able to be stopped and has shot a great percentage all week long.  His vision and passing have also remained a big reason CP3 is successful when combine with his physical tools and overall skill set Kobe is top player in the class and a top one in this tournament.  Kobe is one of those players that every coach wants on their team and what every championship contender has to have. 


All Ohio Red

Jordan Mitchell - Mitchell exhibits one of the most polished offensive games in the country and is a naturally gifted scorer.  Standing 6’4, the silky smooth wing displays a feathery soft jump shot and a pro level mid-range and pull up game.  Mitchell has a full package of offensive weapons at his disposal and plays without fear attacking the basket with an array of fluid finishes and floaters at the basket.  We also love Jordan’s utilization of the two ball pull up which he can effectively negotiates anywhere on the court; bottom line at this stage Mitchell is virtually unstoppable 18-feet from the basket.  He has a great frame, super long and wiry and is an surprisingly explosive athlete – he has served a defensive stopped individually and as part of the famed AOR Press that has created a plethora of turnovers all week. He is a highly competitive player who’s affected each game on multiple levels including the defensive end where he is a sneaky shot blocker. Whether it's rebounding in traffic, facilitating the offense, or taking over the game Jordan can do it all, this of course is why he is one of the top rated players in his class and in this tournament. 

Jeremiah Francis - Francis simply continues to play big in big moments and is most valuable in crucial situations – see first pool game vs WACG, he runs the All Ohio Red show keeping his teammates happy while finding his own opportunities and making plays for himself and others. Francis is a big PG with physically imposing tools he can beat you up or out smart you with his natural instincts for the game. Francis knowledge of the game has come from a former D1 father/coach and being on the big stage year after year big after big game – he’s learned the game on the highest plane. He has a great motor and plays in attack mode on the offensive end of the floor on every possession, but always under control. He can get to the rim in transition of the half court with ease. He works well off the dribble where he is happy to turn and back down smaller guards or shoot over them. He is creative offensively; with his ability to play at different speeds and score effectively against man, zone and in the mid-range area. The 3-point shot has been knocked down and at crucial moments all week long in Memphis. 

Special note: Three of the four, final four teams played in the NYBL this past season; coincidence, we think not! 


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