Brandon Slater displays huge upside for Team Takeover

Having featured Team Takeover point guard Donovann Toatley yesterday, it was only right to take a look at one of the guys who converts his assists. 6-foot-5 freshman Brandon Slater may not have the name of his teammate, but those in the know understand the massive upside that he offers.

The super athletic swingman produced at a high rate for both Takeover and at the CP3 Rising Stars Camp. The lefty showed off a good first step going to the rack (especially going left) and shoots it well enough from deep to keep the defense honest. Where Brandon is best is in transition, though. He is already an elite level finisher who not only looks to dunk everything, but can finish with creativity in traffic. The length and athleticism that he possesses gives him a lot of potential on the defensive end. We aren’t the only ones seeing that potential, either.

Virginia has already been hot on Slater’s trail, bringing him down on campus for an unofficial visit earlier this spring. He will be playing for perennial VA powerhouse Paul VI and while he may not receive a ton of immediate playing time, will be learning from one of the nation’s best wings in 6’7 VJ King.

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Donovann Toatley is next at the point for Team Takeover

Team Takeover has been producing a strong lineage of guards of late. Randall Broddie just came off the board to Memphis, but Takeover has no shortage of guards. For the 2018 group, the one who runs the show is Donovann Toatley.

Not the biggest guard at just 5-foot-7, Toatley makes up for his lack of size with extreme heart and will to win. He is one of the more fiery guard in the class and has no shortage of confidence. With blazing speed and super ball-handling, the freshman has been nearly impossible to stop from getting in the lane on the AAU and camp circuits. Donovann is also able to keep the defense honest with his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter, but as a diminutive playmaker, must develop more creative finishes at the rim to reach his maximum potential as he faces taller competitors as the years go on.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more coverage of Donovann in the near future.

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Thon Maker shows total package at John Lucas Midwest Invitational

As seen on SportsCenter last night, Thon Maker is back in action. He made an appearance at the 2014 John Lucas Midwest Invitational and showed the all-around skill set that has made him the top player in the class of 2016.

Doing the bulk of his work from the perimeter, he showed off the unique skill set that has made him such a fascinating player. He is a special ball-handler for a 7-footer, was great passing the ball from the post, and shot the ball well from the perimeter. Thon’s time at Orangeville Prep proved beneficial, as seen by his improved frame and more explosive leaping ability. There were times in which it seemed as if he was a bit too passive and needed to take over, but when the games got clutch, he left no doubt who the top player in the class of 2016 was.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for plenty more updates on Thon throughout the season.

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Montell McRae shows monster potential at Best of The Best combine

‎Montell McRae is a well known commodity around the Cleveland area, but there are still a lot of people who don’t realize how special of a prospect is over at Cleveland Central Catholic. After attending MLK his first two years (he only played one), he made the move to CCC and college coaches began taking notice. Now a senior, he appears ready to take that next step in his game.

At Chet Mason’s Best of The Best combine, Montell brought out the full package. He used his high skill level to create mismatches all over the floor. At 6’9, he can shoot it out to the three point and has no problem putting it on the deck a couple of times attacking the cup. Throw in ‎his quick leaping ability that allows him to finish above the rim and it’s easy to see why McRae is so sought after.

“Manhattan, St. Peter’s, Cleveland State, ‎and Kent State have offered Montell,” Cleveland Central Catholic assistant Anthony Burns said. “Dayton, Depaul, and Duquesne are showing interest.”

At just 190 pounds, the senior will need to get stronger if he hopes to play at the high major level. Considering a move to the class of 2016, time will certainly be on his side. McRae has sure fire high major potential and with an added year of growth, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him land at a BCS program by the time it is all said and done.

Keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more up‎dates on Montell McRae.

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Deven Stover shows potential at Best of The Best Combine

Deven Stover attends one of the most prestigious high schools in Cleveland and while his diploma from St. Ignatius will certainly help him long term, the talent that he owns on the hardwood will also get him a college scholarship. At the Cleveland Best of The Best Combine, he reiterated that.

Measuring 6-foot-4 with a 6’9 wingspan, Stover has ideal size for a swingman at the college level. He has shown the ability to defend any perimeter position and has even slid down to guard power forwards. A strong slasher attacking the rim (especially going left), Stover is also able to keep the defense honest with his ability to shoot the three. He’s not an overly creative ball-handler, but remains an efficient one. The junior’s consistent play has attracted the attention of countless D-1 programs.

“Stonybrook has offered him a scholarship,” Stover’s father Reggie told CityLeagueHoops. “Deven has been receiving serious interest from Bucknell, Kent State, Akron, and Holy Cross. Wisconsin, Ohio University, Cornell, and Yale have been sending a lot of mail.”

“Deven will be taking an unofficial visit next week to Bucknell,” he added.

With an athletic and academic résumé like that, expect plenty more schools to enter the picture as Stover leads Ignatius in his junior campaign.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for updates on Deven throughout the season.

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Carlton Bragg recaps UK Big Blue Madness

Kentucky has reeled in the top recruiting class in the nation for six years in a row now and there is a reason why. Aside from getting guys to the league every year, their fans are the best in college basketball and they showed that the 2014 Big Blue Madness, impressing one potential recruit.

“I was blown away. I didn’t expect that,” Ohio Basketball Club’s Carlton Bragg said of the 24,000 plus in attendance. “The energy when you were walking to the stands was crazy and then Drake came out.”

Announced as the last member of the team, Drake then returned the favor by introducing Coach Calipari himself. Aside from taking in all of the festivities that the event had to offer, Bragg spent some time with a UK player that had a mutual connection.

“I’m closest with Tyler Ulis. He’s also from Ohio,” explained Bragg. “It was an AAU connection and we talked about how he played for Mike Duncan’s Ohio Basketball Club.”

The VASJ senior has been expanding his game even more on the perimeter, making him even more of a problem to guard. He shot 37% from three on the Adidas circuit and approaching 6-foot-9, still is one of the better offensive rebounders in the class of 2015. Bragg is eager to show off the improvements he’s made in his game, just like the UK players were able to do in their pro combine last weekend.

“I loved that,” admitted Carlton of Coach Cal’s innovative idea. “It gives you a chance to experience what the pros are looking for at the next level before you ever play a college game.”

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more on Carlton throughout his final season of high school basketball.

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2014 Kentucky Big Blue Madness Top Plays

Though Kentucky’s 2014 Big Blue Madness merely consisted of two nine minute halves and a little three on three, there was no shortage of excitement for the 24,000 plus in attendance. The nation’s #1 team has at least six potential NBA Draft picks for next year and as you can imagine, they provided plenty of highlights. Click above for all of the top plays that the 2014 Big Blue Madness had to offer.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for plenty more coverage of Big Blue Madness throughout the weekend.

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Drake introduces Coach Calipari at 2014 Kentucky Big Blue Madness

Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness doesn’t have all of the skits and dancing that many others do, but UK keeps it relatively simple. As opposed to waiting two hours to get to the men’s hoops, the Wildcats kept it short and sweet. After all of the players were introduced, they introduced one more honorary member: Drake. Drake then introduced Coach Calipari. Watch above.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for plenty more Big Blue Madness videos.

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Jashaun Agosto and Damon Harge battle at John Lucas Midwest Invitational

There have been few guards in the YouTube generation that have generated more buzz than Damon Harge and Jashaun Agosto. While many of these guards have failed to develop, these two have both proven themselves to be viable D-1 talents early in their high school careers.

Jashaun took more of the scoring role in the matchup with these two. He looked to attack the basket every time he got the ball, but kept the defense honest with his ability to drill deep three pointers. His blazing end to end speed was simply too much to stop, resulting in a lot of conversions at the rim in transition.

Harge, on the other hand, did the bulk of his work as a facilitator. He made crisp passes with either hand to teammates in scoring areas, but also looked to score when the opportunity presented itself. Damon’s outside jumper wasn’t falling at the rate that it usually does, but he impacted the game in countless other ways.

Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more on Jashaun and Damon in the coming weeks.

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2014 Adidas Midwest Elite Camp Recap

Mike Duncan has been getting it done with the Adidas Midwest Elite Camp for quite some time now. It served as the event that put Bucks point guard Brandon Knight on the map (he was the #1 player in the country early in his high school career) and CJ McCollum scorched the nets there before he even had a single division one offer. Having moved the event to Garfield Heights, the event offered many of the region’s best.

2017 East Tech point guard Markell Johnson stole the show and made his case for top player in Ohio’s sophomore class. Antwon Lillard, Montell McRae, Devon Andrews, Yavari Hall, Willie Jackson, and Frankie Hughes all showed why they are highly sought after D-1 prospects. Andy Lucien and Anthony Carmon may still be under the radar, but both also showed why D-1 schools should be paying closer attention to them.

For more Northeast Ohio basketball coverage, be sure to check out 3rdCoastHoops.

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