BOCA RATON, FLA. -- The young stars of Florida took over the action on Sunday at the adidas Superstar Showcase at Lynn University. The kids didn’t disappoint either.
Malik Martin, PF, 2013, Pace (pictured) – There wasn’t a player in the building on Sunday that was a better long term prospect than the long-armed 6-foot-8 post player. His ceiling is outstanding. Just 14-years-old, Martin has a frame that looks like it could fill out to the near 7-foot mark. He is quite comfortable facing the basket and shooting the 14-foot jumper. There is a good group of basketball people around him to help him continue to grow and develop into a top-level player. Martin was easily the best player on Sunday and you could argue that he could be the best long-term guy from the entire camp.
Quinten Payne, SG, 2013, Bishop Verot – From a basketball perspective, no one understood how to play the game better than the 6-foot-3 Chicago area transplant. Payne did everything well in this setting. To start the day, he wanted to move the ball around and showed his awareness as a passer. As the day moved forward, Payne showed off his fine offensive touch. He squares up and knocks down shots with beautiful technique. He’s much more athletic and bigger than his brother, Cully, who is a freshman at Iowa. The Hawkeyes have offered already. Smart move. Payne is on his way to a high-major roster spot.
Stephon Blair, PF/C, 2012, Dillard – Blair played with great energy and passion throughout the camp. He was the best rebounder of the second day and no one stood a chance against him from a physicality standpoint on the low blocks. He enjoyed being the punisher and wanted to send the message that you’d have to fight him tooth and nail for anything that came off the rim. The locals say he is improving at a rapid clip and that he is willing to put in the work. That is encouraging. Blair was one of the top players overall from the weekend. Alabama, Kansas State and Cincinnati are already in the mix.
Jordan Montgomery, SG, 2012, Orlando Christian Prep – Outside of Payne, the only no-brainer high-major guard on Sunday was the 6-foot-2 guard. Montgomery has a basketball body (great length, long arms, bouncy legs) and a game that can translate well to the next level. He can handle like a point guard and had little trouble with defenders creeping into him. Montgomery showed his perimeter touch with several good-looking perimeter jumpers. He rebounds the ball well and could be a great defender. Very nice surprise from the event and should be a guy that high-major sneak a peek at this fall.
D.J. White, SG, 2013, Boca Ciega – For a guy that has yet to play in a high school game, he sure does have a lot of swagger and confidence. White was a difficult player to defend because he was on constant attack to the basket and never let a defender play his physical. White just powers through the defense and scores in traffic. His jump shot will need some fine tuning but the talent is there. His father, David, was a McDonald’s All-American before a career at Florida State.
Devontae Morgan, SG/PG, 2012, Tampa Prep – The swagger and confidence that the 6-2 guard played with was likable. He knew he was one of the better players on the floor and picked his moments to shine. His pull-up jumper was his go-to move all day. When he shifted over to the point guard position, he demonstrated good change of speed and direction and passed the ball quite well. Florida, Florida State, Wake Forest, Jacksonville, Stetson and Elon have all made early indications that they are watching him.
NOTES FROM THE NOTEPAD
Paul Jones, an aggressive 6-5 power forward from West Boca HS was a rebounding and dunking machine. The 2012 prospect was Mr. Energy and was rewarded for his hard work with easy scores at the rim…Not sure what position Jeff Coby plays in college but the class of 2012 prospect from Sagemont sure got a lot done on Sunday inside the paint. He’s a 6-5 post that showed he could defend the three…Really liked the play of Tavares sophomore combo guard Darien Anthony. The 5-10 running back look alike was one of the top rebounding guards and he was quick and smart with the ball. Very good effort from him on Sunday…Monsignor Pace brought a lot of players to the camp and it seemed like each of their players peaked our interest. Samad Hines, a 6-4 combo forward, was a producing mismatch player…The same thing can be said about Orlando Christian Prep. The school was well-represented with prospects. Isaac Cohen, a 6-4 wing from the 2012 class, did the dirty work and got better as the day moved forward…Romas Marcinkevicius, a bruising 6-7 freshman post from Pinecrest, looked more like a bouncer than basketball player. He played tough and was the strongest youngster in the event on Sunday.