This team is complete from top to bottom and there are multiple players who can be MVP in any given game this year. The starting five seems to have a lot of chemistry and they seem to get better game by game. The game against Sidney Lanier from Alabama, they controlled the one two punch of Antwan Burnett and Rongie Gordon, and on Day 2 got out to a 20-0 run to extend the lead on Heritage. A big who can stretch the floor in Jake Boggs, Myles Pierre is the enforcer and defensive anchor, Deangelo Epps the athlete and a walking bucket, Donaven Gregory the all around scorer, and Marten Maide with the overseas seasoning that gives this team a little flair. Carmel Christian has turned into a personal favorite, and are becoming a school synonyms with good basketball.
Lamelo Ball and Spire
Coming in I had no idea what to expect from a
Lamelo Ball game, but he has all of the tools to be special. What I was happy to see the most is that he uses his high motor on the defensive end. We all know what he can do shooting wise and with the ball in his hands but his defense and body language have always been questionable. What helps alot of elite players i believe is there wingspan and Lamelo is sneaky one long. He had a stat line of 25pts, 10reb, 5ast, and 6stl. It looks like it is finally starting to click with him and being back on the high school courts has him more relaxed and able to focus on basketball. Also seeing him around other high level talent shows he is right where he belongs. the Spire team without him is still loaded and his positive attitude and leadership is the icing on the cake for that program. Rocket Watts committed to Michigan State is special, but it was Isaiah Jackson in my opinion who stole the show. An athletic 4 man, Isaiah can score from all three levels and has deceptive speed. Already listed as one of the top recruits in the country, he can surprising fly under the radar with all the attention Melo and Rocket are getting. This Spire team is dangerous and look for that record to not contain any losses for a while
Mandy Sissoko MVP
SUVTV analysis Lewis Preston favorite question to ask is how can you affect the game without scoring, and Sissoko is a walking example of that. From the time he steps on the court he towers over other players. His size and frame are already next level and he knows how to use it on the court. He alters shots with his long arms, and makes defenders hesitant to shoot after he blocks them a couple of times. He runs the floor well for a big which was one of the bigger standouts. He has really soft hands and is automatic around the basket keeping the game simple. A solid back to the basket game, Sissosko even stepped out a couple of times to shoot 3s. He stuffed the stat sheet throughout the entire tournament, had to be a favorite for tournament based off the performances, and efficiency alone.
Wheeler has some of the top talent in the state of Georgia but looking at them you notice they don’t have that traditional big man. Sam Hines and Malachi Rhodes are two bigs, who are undersized but play bigger than there dimension list and are looking to fill that role for Wheeler. When you are smaller than the competition you have to find other ways to beat them off the dribble, shooting and passing. Hines and Rhodes showed just that in the EC16 tournament. They stepped it up and played a big role for Wheeler this tournament and started to make an identity for themselves. Hines and Rhodes displayed some really good hi-lo post work and they both moved really well with out the ball, making cuts, and back screens to lead to easy baskets for them. They faced Wasacth in the finals and had Sissoko working a little more than normal. Hines is more of the shooter midrange type, while Rhodes is more aggressive, likes the dunks, and is scrappy on the rebounding end. These two complement each other well and the floor and usually share minutes. As the season goes on these two will continue to get better and continue to make this wheeler team a deep threat.
Some other standouts:
EB Dowuona- Heritage
Isaiah Jackson- Spire
Jamall Clyce- Pebblebrook
Elijah Seward- Bishop O’Connell
Marcus Dockery- John Marshall
Nathan Montaque- Somerset Academy