Hoop Exchange 2014 Fall Festival
By: Juan Bernal & Scott Golden
The Fall Festival combines a team tournament and an individual showcase for scouts, coaches and fans to enjoy most of Florida’s top players all in one location. We want to thank everyone who has made this the biggest event of the fall and a who’s who of basketball fanatics. For those who weren’t able to attend, we missed you and here’s some of what you need to know from the 2014 Hoop Exchange Fall Festival.
Here we focus on a few of the 160 individuals who caught our eye during the loaded player showcase portion of the event.
Hoop Exchange Fall Festival Player Showcase
Jamari Wheeler (6’2, 2017, PG, Suwannee) - We are making the comparison to a young Kasey Hill and do not evaluate that lightly. He has that natural ability to dictate the game and it’s uncanny the way he explodes with tremendous speed and finds every and any opening to score at the rim. He finds every teammate, passes the ball really well and puts them in perfect spots to be successful. And when he wants to lock down on defense he is more than capable.
Rosemond Alexis (6’1, 2015, PG, Auburndale HS) - A scoring Point Guard who showed great flashes of creating for his teammates and a much improved stroke. He is tough getting to the basket and finishes. Probably his best attributes are on the other side of the ball as a tenacious defender with elite level footspeed and a competitive spirit second to none.
Elijah Jordan (6’1, 2017, PG, Dr. Phillips HS) - Has a very good jump shot and can shoot the three consistently. He does a good job of knowing when to look for his offense and when to get teammates involved. And has that elite stop-and-go ability making him a tough assignment to defend.
Wyatt Wilkes (6’6, 2017, SF, Winter Park HS) - Steps out to play the 3 and still guards forwards effectively. Can create his own shot on the perimeter effectively, has a fluid skill set and a great feel for the game. It’s evident to see he has been adding maturity and stability to his game and once he reaches that mental pinnacle he has a chance to be one of top players in country.
Qwandrell Newton (6’6, 2015, SF, Naples First Baptist) - A guy who is just always around the ball and good things happen when he is. A junkyard dog mentality. Has a quick spring off the floor which he utilizes rebounding the ball and getting easy put back points. He passes it well, shoots it well and adds to any team with his intangibles.
Pro Wells (6’5, 2016, W, St. Petersburg HS) – Easy the most entertaining player at the showcase, Pro Wells lived up to his great name, by looking like a man amongst boys. He is electric finishing around the rim and chalks up one transition basket after another created by the great feel for anticipating steals, power and versatility on the defensive end.
Tre Clark (6’4, 2016, CG, Palmetto HS) - Really good defender (very common to see him tracking a guy down and pinning his ball against the glass. He is an athlete with tremendous length, a solid shot and good lead guard skills and should certainly be on many Division I radars with his play of late.
Michael Devoe (6’3, 2018, PG, Oak Ridge HS) - Scores in the lane and passes with flare while making every right play as a freshman point guard. He has that rare great feel and command of the floor for a young player. He is a smart defender, has an effective mid-range game and makes everyone better. It will be fun to watch him flourish and there will be no shortage of college suitors.
Quan Jackson (6’2, 2016, G, Godby) - Shoots the ball well despite having an unconventional form and rotation. He is a crafty scorer and a really good athlete. Uses his length on defense and is a Play Maker, a phrase sometimes over-used, but not in this case. Coaches know he is a guy you must have on the floor at all times.
Keon Clergot (6’0, 2016, Auburndale) - Continues to get better week by week as we saw him all summer and throughout the fall. He has a great change speed and direction and when he gets to his high gear it’s near impossible to keep up. He has tremendous strength finishing and defending and a knockdown midrange game.
Anthony Brown (6’1, 2015, G, Lake Minneola) - Has improved tremendously during the Fall evaluation period. Showed his elite level athleticism in his wide open, fastbreak style of play. He has unmatched energy which results in a high output of positive plays. Add in the handles, commitment to defense, ability to make shots and never turning the ball over and you have a fun guard to watch.
Rudy Bibb-Boyd (6’2, 2016, PG, Gainesville) - If you look up the definition of steady in the dictionary, Rudy's picture may take up an entire page. Makes the right play for teammates, creates his own shot when a basket is needed, plays solid defense, controls the ball and finishes at the rim. Will be a coaches' dream at the next level.
Justin Tucker (6’7, 2016, SF, Dr. Phillips) - Gigantic presence on the defensive end and showed an array of post moves that were impressive. He blocks shots, rebounds the ball above the rim, has a high level motor and can defend any position. All that and he can step out and hit a jumper with consistency from any range.
Jaylin Stewart (6’7, 2015, SF, Godby) - Attacked the basket and finished well, plays hard, defends multiple positions and did all of it throughout all 7 games he played (4 with his Godby team and 3 in the showcase). Possesses high-level intangibles, good athleticism and makes winning plays.
Johnathan Isaac (6’8, 2016, W, International School of Broward)- He is an elite level athlete and has a high level skill set to compliment. Uses his length to create shots on one end and block them on the other and gets to the basket at will with his smooth handles. He gobbles up rebounds and defends any position on the floor. Unreal coordination at his size and age.
Brion Whitley (6’4, 2017, SG, Sarasota Christian) - A monster in transition and uses his athletic, strong frame to score at the basket. Moves his feet and uses his body very well on the defensive end. He has turned into a really good shooter to compliment his ability to finish in the paint. And what stands out most is his positivity with his teammates, his desire to see them shine and his ability to create opportunities for them to do so. He is truly a team guy.
Jeffery Prophete (6’2, 2017, CG, Coral Springs Christian) - It is easy to see why he comes into every gym with all eyes focused. He backs it up. His athleticism and strength on the floor combined with his smooth ability to score in the paint and solid jump shot create a major presence on the floor. He is definitely a score first PG, but often raises eyes with a great pass out of nowhere.
Londell King (6’6, SF, 2015, Godby) - Another junkyard dog who just makes plays around the rim and has an incredible nose for making winning plays on both ends. He has a smooth stroke and shoots it effectively from all areas of the floor. He is a high level athlete with huge hands and a long reach which he utlilizes in blocking shots, rebounding and dunking from any position. His young game is evolving daily; give it 6-8 months and he will be a highly touted D1 bound wing.
Anfernee Munnings (6’1, 2016, PG, Avon Park) - A true PG who passes the ball exceptionally well and put his teammates in a great position to score. Defends quick guards well and with his lightning speed he is very tough to keep out of the lane. No matter what setting he is always one of the toughest kids in the gym.
Terrell Turner (6’5, 2017, SG, McArthur) - A true gem in the class of 2017. Plays both guard positions well and can score anywhere on the floor. Hes a really good athlete and finishes with thundering dunks. That said, he is an elite shooter and does a great job of getting separation and space to always be able to get his shot off.
Jeremy Betjol (6’8, 2016, PF, IMG) - We got to know Jeremy this spring and summer with E1T1 Blue and his development since then has been unbelievable. He has a variety of effective post moves, has turned into a terrific rebounder and is playing with a new toughness making him hugely effective on the floor. He has a solid jumpshot that must be guarded leaving him openings at the rim as well where he finishes above the rim with power.
Kevin Griffin (6’7, 2015, SF, Oakleaf) – Kevin has a high level motor, blocks shots and rebounds at an elite level. He is the first one down the court every possession on effort alone but also has tremendous speed. His forte is definitely on the defensive side of the ball but he is more than capable of putting the ball in the basket when he gets his opportunities.
Hoop Exchange Fall Festival Team Tournament
35 of the top teams in the state competed on Saturday and Sunday at the Hoop Exchange Fall Festival bringing together the best players the state has to offer. We highlight some of the big winners over the weekend.
Miami Christian (winners of the Pac 12 bracket) is talented across the board and well-coached from the sideline. They also have a group of players who have played together for several years and at this point understand the concept of coaching each other on the floor. Prospects to keep an eye on; Ralph Diaz (6’5, W, 2016), and guards Dylan Frye (6’2 PG, 2016), Isaiah Reese (6’3, SG, 2016) and MVP of the Pac 12 bracket Marquil Smith (6’3, G, 2016) all performed a high level this weekend and will make some noise not just in South Florida, but around the state. They defeated Osceola to win the Pac-12 bracket, 47-40 in a game which they had to survive a late run by the Kowboys in the 4th quarter to preserve the victory, led by quick, skilled and tough guards Cortez Edwards and Wellquis Videt. Both played really well all weekend and will be the go-to guys for an Osceola team with a chance to win a lot of games.
A case can be made for Godby, (winner of the Big 12 bracket and winner of an arranged game against ACD 43-42) having the best showing of the weekend. Standouts Jaylin Stewart (6’7, 2015, F), Quan Jackson (6’2, 2016, G) and Londell King (6’7, 2015, F) all played at a high level, and had enough energy to perform in the individual showcase. They will make some noise in the Panhandle and they have not lost a game in Florida since the FSU team camp. The Big 12 Final could have served as the best overall game of the tournament that saw Godby’s Desean Enzor hit a 3 pointer with less than 30 seconds left to give Godby the 1 point lead and the eventual victory. ACD was led by Tulio Da Silva (6’7, 2015, F) who committed to South Florida minutes before the game tipped off and 6’11 Senior, Yankuba Sima who is a super long athletic 4 man with about every high level college waiting in the wings for him to choose them.
Oviedo lost some talent off last year’s state championship team, but they haven’t missed a beat. Winners of the ACC Bracket despite missing the services of Boston College commit Matt Milon (6’4, 2015, W/G), the Lions had some guys step up in his absence. Quay Harper (6’3, 2015, G) and Carlos Maffuz (5’9, 2015, G) are among solid backcourts in the state and both guys will be on college radars if they translate their play from this weekend into the season. The Lions are sure to be in the mix for a 7A state championship again. Oviedo was able to defeat Park Vista 48-41 in the ACC final. Park Vista was led by 6’1 Senior Kamil Williams who was sensational in Park Vista’s two victories over Trinity Prep and Lake Wales by scoring the ball at will. He has become more athletic and explosive over the last several months, he’s passing the ball really well back to his old form and his stroke looks great.
Montverde will be in the mix for a national championship yet again and we would assume they will be the favorite after watching them this weekend. They are huge as they will lean on the services of 6’10, Noah Dickerson (who was on a visit last weekend as a Florida commit), Doral Moore (7’0 Wake Forest commit) and 7’4 Jean Marc Christ Koumadji (7’4, Florida State commit). New faces Marcel Ponitka (6’3, 2015 2G, Poland National Team) and EJ Montgomery (6’9, 2018, F) joined Ben Simmons (6’9, 2015, F, LSU commit, consensus #1 National Player) as players that really impressed for the defending National champions. The winners of the SEC bracket were tested in games against Ely (which Simmons didn’t play) and Victory Rock Prep, who both put on good performances this weekend, but ultimately Montverde used their length, execution and Ben Simmons’ playmaking abilities to secure victories.
The Victory Rock game was tight the whole way and one of the best matchups we have ever seen at this level with Montverde leading by 3 after 3 quarters. However, Ben Simmons truly allowed everyone to understand just how good he is as a scorer, passer, rebounder, slasher and anything else he wants to do. Montverde was able to pull away and defeat Victory Rock 47-40. Louisville commit Deng Adel was a standout for Victory Rock on Sunday as well as Junior PG Christian Jackson (5’11). Deng had secured himself as a top tier player nationally initially with his length, athleticism and slashing ability, but after continued development he is now a knock down shooter with a pretty stroke. Christian showed that he can play with anyone. He was able to set up shop with access in and out of the lane against Montverde making winning passes, scoring when needed and in total control of the ball. His speed and handles break down defenses and if you try and press him it’s a losing cause.
More Fall Festival in the News (Article/Links & ESPN article below):
ESPN Recruiting Nation-
October, 13, 2014
By Reggie Rankin | ESPN Insider
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Hoop Exchange's Florida Fall Festival brings together well-coached teams and gifted individual players from throughout the state of Florida to showcase their talents all under one roof in this two-day basketball buffet held at the Orlando Sports Center.
Here are five observations we took away from this high-level event.
1. ESPN 100 power forward Ben Simmons (No. 1) did a great job moving the ball. His passing in the open court and to cutters in the halfcourt was terrific. The future LSU Tiger also rebounded and led the break, where he made good decisions. Simmons also did a great job of picking his spots during the game. He knew when to dominate and let everyone know he was at the top of the food chain and the best player in the class.
- ESPN 100 small forward Deng Adel(No. 30) played extremely well. He is a smooth and skilled wing who is very athletic and always in full attack mode. The future Louisville Cardinal is also extremely versatile and competes on both ends of the floor.3. ESPN 60 center Udoka Azubuike(No. 9) is the most powerful above-the-rim finisher and two-hand area rebounder regardless of class. He has good touch in and around the lane that is very much undervalued because of his power. And unfortunately he doesn't have to use it much on the high school level because he can overpower his opponent seemingly at will. His offer list seems endless: Florida State, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Indiana, Kansas, Syracuse, Florida, USC, UCLA and Kentucky.4. Montverde Academy has the twin towers consisting of ESPN 100 center and recent Wake Forest commit Doral Moore (No. 60) and Florida State center commit Jean Marc Christ Koumadje. Both are over 7-foot, extra long and mobile with off-the-charts upside with continued development. They both contested and blocked shots, rebounded and showed above-the-rim finishes during the event. These two rim protectors have bright futures if they work to add strength and take advantage of individual skill development.5. ESPN 60 shooting guard Maverick Rowan (No. 38) had several very impressive possessions, displaying his excellent shooting skill off the catch or dribble. He is also a very good passer who competes with toughness and has an excellent basketball IQ. His offer list is just as impressive as his game: Pittsburgh (where he was once committed), UCLA, Louisville, Iowa State, Virginia, NC State, Florida, Florida State, Wisconsin, Penn State and West Virginia among others.Notes
- Class of 2018 combination forward J. MontgomeryJr. from Montverde Academy has all the makings to be special. This lefty has great size at 6-9. He can straight-line drive, has a nice mid-range game, rebounds and finishes above the rim on the break with authority. He can defend multiple positions and has tremendous upside.
- ESPN 100 small forward Keith Stone(No. 100) is down to Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, VCU and Virginia Tech. Stone displayed excellent skill from the wing. He can hit the open 3, drive and has a nice mid-range pull-up. He's very crafty in traffic when he gets deep in the lane.