NEPTUNE, N.J. – Over the years, Final Four weekend has also featured early travel team events that signify the spring recruiting circuit heading into high gear. This year continued that, with the Playaz Spring Fling taking place mostly at Rebounds, the Hoop Group headquarters.
The event annually brings together many top teams in the northeast regardless of sneaker affiliation. In a circuit increasingly being segmented by those companies now that they all have their own circuit forming a big part of the spring, this event is that much better because you get matchups you’re unlikely to see at other times of the spring and summer. In fact, those circuits all get going later this weekend.
Here is a look at some notable players observed in Friday’s action, mostly pool play but also a quarterfinal round added in.
Rawle Alkins (6’4″ Jr. SF, Middle Village (NY) Christ The King HS) He certainly passes the look test, as he has a good body and is athletic. While he is talented, especially with his ability to shoot, he also makes some questionable decisions and was not immune to that here. However, he hit five three-pointers in one game, including a big one late, and he split the defense and stuck back his own miss another time, so he showed plenty on the positive side.
Aaron Burt (6’3″ So. SG, Bronx (NY) Monsignor Scanlan HS) An athletic wing with a good body, he impressed in an early game in scoring 19 points. His body can mature more, while he scored in a few ways such as stickbacks and finishing a tough shot in close while fouled, and he also got deflections and made a nice interior pass one time.
Davere Creighton (6’5″ Sr. PF, Brooklyn (NY) Jefferson HS) He was really impressing in an early game, showing off a great motor that’s always running. He got offensive boards, some of which he turned into stickbacks, as well as loose balls, and he got to the line. While not a baby physically and not the most athletic, he held his own. Then he did something stupid: he stepped on a player after a play was over. There’s a lot to like, but a play that is a question mark. Low-major prospect.
Jahsim Floyd (6’8″ So. PF, Parlin (NJ) Sayreville HS) A nice post prospect, he has a good frame and his body isn’t there yet, but he’s long and was active. He went for 13 points in a loss, scoring with a post move while fouled, a short jumper with contact, and also followed his own shot.
Roy Green (6’3″ Jr. SG, Norristown (PA) High) An athletic guard, he’s thin but has some length, and he had one of the highlight plays of the day when he hustled back to block a shot on the break. He scored 13 points in an afternoon win.
Pauly Paulicap (6’7″ Sr. PF-C, Elmont (NY) Memorial HS) A team looking for a post player for next season could do worse than him, as he has some length and battles inside. He demanded the ball in the post and scored, is a plus athlete, and finished while getting fouled. Low-major prospect.
Grant Robinson (6’2″ Jr. SG, McLean (VA) Potomac School) A guard with a good body and above-average quickness, he can be a pest on the ball and was at times as his team held on for a playoff win. One time, he beat the defense down the floor for a layup, and he also showed a touch from mid-range. He enters this spring fresh off a nice school season.
Kobe Thomas (6’4″ So. SG-SF, Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Charter School) Long and a baby physically, he’s athletic and has the look of a nice scorer. He finished the break and also knocked down jumpers as far out as long range en route to 13 points in one game.
Tremont Waters (5’10” So. PG, New Haven (CT) South Kent School) The New England Playaz play a terrific brand of unselfish basketball, and it starts with their floor leader. Though a baby physically, he knows how to move the ball and find his own offense, especially his long range shot that he’s always had. One highlight in an easy win on Friday for him was a long lead pass for a layup at the other end.
Carnell White (So. SG, Bronx (NY) All Hallows HS) A baby physically, he has some quickness and at first glance looks like a fine complementary player. He showed in a couple of games that he can certainly shoot, going for 13 points in one game and 19 points in another, hitting five three-pointers in the latter. He will be worth watching as his body matures and he develops further.