Seven high-major D-1 players will be on the roster, including junior forwards Brandon Costner (6-8 1/2, 215) and J.R. Inman (6-8, 210). Costner is a skilled frontline guy who is a solid rebounder and can also step out and knock down the outside jumper. Inman is a forward who can get up and down the floor and is also a threat from the perimeter.
``I think we'll be pretty good, especially because we won a lot of tournaments last year in the 16-and-unders," Costner said. "We like each other and play well together. Our goal is to win in Las Vegas."
Hashim Bailey, a little-known 6-10, 245-pound junior big man who played this past season at Passaic Tech, will likely start in the middle for Jimmy Salmon's club.
``He's very skilled in the low post," Playaz coach Jimmy Salmon said. "He just broke a rim the other day at St. Joseph's. He's been good for a while, but he's finally starting to put in the work."
Delaware native Jawan Carter (6-0, 165), a sophomore who had a cup of coffee at St. Benedict's before moving back to his home state, will almost certainly start at the point while 6-5 wing Wayne Ellington is expected to get the nod at the two.
However, they'll be plenty of competition for playing time from Ellington's high school teammate at Episcopal (Pa.), Gerald Henderson Jr., Germantown Academy (Pa.) wing Ryan Ayers, the son of former Philadelphia 76ers coach Randy Ayers and 6-5 Jordan Fowler, who is headed to prep school next year.
``On paper, we look very good," Salmon said. "But our previous teams have clearly set a standard and hopefully these guys will meet that or even surpass it."
``I don't think we have guys that can break people down off-the-dribble like we did last year, but this group is more defined position-wise and we're more prototype than we've ever been."
Playaz Basketball Club (Paterson, N.J.)
Coaches: Jimmy Salmon, Ashley Howard, Mark Jarrell-Wright, Rodney Rodgers, Joseph Brown
Top Prospect: F Brandon Costner (6-8 1/2, 215, JR)
Projected Starters: PG Jawan Carter (6-0, 165, SOPH); C Hashim Bailey (6-10, 245, JR); F J.R. Inman (6-8, 210, JR); WG Wayne Ellington (6-4, 185, SOPH)
Others: WG Gerald Henderson (6-5, 195, SOPH); WF Ryan Ayers (6-6, 195, JR); WG Jordan Fowler (6-5, SR*); BF Alvin Munafaya (6-8, JR); PG Dion Sumblin (5-7, JR); PG Luis Guzman (6-2, SOPH)
Opening Tourney: Playaz Spring Fling (April 1-4)
Famous Alum: Tim Thomas