Orlando Super Showcase Day 1: 16U

As is the norm for this time of year, the 16-and-under Super Showcase opened up at Walt Disney World in Orlando in quiet fashion. It doesn't have the hype or the big name coaches Vegas has right now but there is still work to be done by many here in the land of the Mouse.

There are a few givens when you come to this tournament as i have for about the last six years. One, the gym will be below freezing at the Milkhouse at Disney's Wide World of Sports. As us locals say here "its time to go outside and get warm." Two, there is undoubtedly always some change in the facility. It seems like every year it gets bigger and better and there continues to be a plethora of OTHER sports competing in the area at the same time. Which means parking is a real challenge. Thirdly, it seems like every single team plays zone.  And lastly, the NY Gauchos never have a full roster in on time.

In all seriousness, the first day here always lacks pop. Maybe its because most of college basketball's finest coaches and high profile attention-getters reside in Sin City early in the week. The coaches that do attend this time of the week would be virtually unidentifiable without their school logo plastered on their chests. Part of the issue could be the summer winding down and all out exhaustion setting in for most of these kids. But they're young right?

Anyways, I know...get to the report...

2012 Observations

Marcus Paige - PG - Martin Brothers Select

Last summer I spent a lot of time watching Martin Brothers Select compete so I was looking forward to seeing the difference a year would make especially for rising star Marcus Paige. Paige has a baby face that has definitely matured over the last year along with his body. He looks like he's added an inch or two and put some muscle on his skinny frame. Don't let the face fool you because this lefty has a big time game. Paige took a lot of outside shots in the afternoon session mainly because of Nike Team Florida Blues 2-3 zone. Just six points for Paige but you can still see the qualities that make him a coveted prospect at the point guard position. He simply controls the game, makes everyone better, and makes very few mistakes.

Adam Woodbury - C - Martin Brothers Select

I think Adam has improved a great deal in the last year. He appears to be a legit 7-footer now and in the summer of 2009 we talked about him lacking polish. Woodbury, in this contest, was quick and decisive and i believe perfect from the floor. He still needs to work on getting a wider base and making himself a better target in the post but this kid continues to improve and show everyone why the high majors are keeping a close eye on him. As his body develops more he will be an even better rebounder because right now he does get outjumped and outquicked to the ball at times.

He attended Bill Self's Elite Camp this summer and continues to mention Kansas as part of his recruiting process.

Bradley Seaton - C - New York Gauchos
Didn't watch the entire game the Gauchos played but took a primo seat between two courts and caught a glimpse of this big man finishing some plays in fine fashion. Nearly seven feet tall and a smooth finisher around the rim. He and Da'Shawn Suber make for a tough inside-outside combo.

Da'Shawn Suber - PG - New York Gauchos
This kid is simply a joy to watch handle the basketball and control a game. He comes from a long line of thoroughbred ball-handlers to play for the Gauchos. The New York-based team ALWAYS draws the attention of coaches in attendance.

Archie Goodwin - SG - Arkansas Wings
The Arkansas Wings got off to a sluggish start in game 1 of pool play and ended up paying for it. It took the 6-4 Goodwin awhile to get in the game figuratively and literally. He's a prototypical wing with long arms and athleticism. He has a feel for the game as evidenced by his sweet no-look pass upon entry to the game. Tough to tell what kind of shooter he is, he only took one three in this one and missed it. From the line he had a tough day going 4-10 from the charity stripe. His stroke looked a bit flat there. There was no doubt Archie wanted to play this game driving to the basket. When he made his mind up he drove and attempted to get all the way to the rim, maybe forcing a couple of those. The early gauge on his handle is that he is likely capable of handling primary ball-handling duties if necessary but he's just as comfortable running wide and looking to be a finisher on a primary break.

After his team sat in a zone defense for much of the game and dug themselves a deep hole (down 18 points after three quarters), the Wings turned up the pressure and made a game of it losing by just four, 73-69.

Best of the Rest
Arkansas Wings guard Jalen Jackson who hit some big threes to help get his team back in the game. HIs teammates AJ Turner and Stetson Billings were excellent leapers, quick to the ball and always seemed in the right place at the right time. Props to Basics 1st Basketball who downed the Wings with deft ball handling from Mo Berchie and impressive play from Brad Gilson and Rob Lawler. Diego Abregu kept making plays at the right times for the Virginia-based AAU squad. Andrew Traub finally made the free throws to ice a 73-69 win.

Martin Brothers had a ton of notable performers and again, they are just a solid team. Jalen Bradley doesn't look like a threat but he is a three-point specialist who proved if you leave him alone you will pay. Kale Abrahamson still has a strange forehead release on his shot but it is still accurate. Mike Gesell continues to be a rock and as tough as nails. Gesell sank the clutch free throws to give his team a 63-59 cushion with 11 seconds left in the afternoon game.  Tanner Williams really impressed me with his agility (see play of the day). He made some super moves inside including a sweet reverse on the baseline.

2013 Performers of Note
Lots of potential for Arkansas Wings guard Dayhawn Watkins. Nice handle, good vision, and active on defense. Nike Team Florida impressed big time with ultra-quick Brendan Mooney who can flat out shoot it and Erik McCree who put up at least 20 in a losing effort to Martin Brothers. It didn't always look pretty, but this lefty had a knack for finding the hoop. For Martin Brothers Dakota Johnson-Brown Cox (at least that's what the roster says) is a big, long force in the middle who could be a legit prospect in the middle with some pounds and improvement on the offensive end.

This one was really easy. 6-6 Tanner Williams of Martin Brothers Select with the game hanging in the balance made a steal and an unreal one-handed jam. This had the crowd oohing and ahhing.

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