Yesterday, we showed you many of the highlights that have made Montaque Gill-Caesar a top-25 player in the class of 2015. Today, we”ll take a closer look at his complete game in the latest More Than A Mixtape.
Above, you can see the pull-up jumpers, post game, and ability to shoot off of the catch. You can also see the elite skills that he has finishing in transition creatively. While we didn’t include any defensive clips, rest assured that the 6-foot-6 wing has all of the tools to defend either wing position at the next level.
Montaque Gill-Caesar made a splash upon his arrival at Huntington Prep and concluding his junior season, has shown the growth that you’d hope for out of an elite wing prospect.
The 6’5 swingman has shown off a devastating first step, is an outstanding straight line driver, and can stop at the drop of a dime for his pull-up jumper. In transition, the Canadian has proven to be an elite finisher and is actually a solid decision maker when he gives it up. Additionally, Teki’s added strength has allowed him to become a legit option in the post, where he has shown some serious potential for the next level. On the defensive side, the aforementioned size and strength allows him to defend multiple positions and you can see the potential that lays ahead at the next level.
While Gill-Caesar is immensely talented, there are often times in which he relies on his talent a little too much and tends to coast. He has all of the tools to give you 20 points on any given night, but there have been times in which you forget that he is even on the floor. A more creative handle could also help this wing, but what he has shown off of the bounce has been enough to allow him to get to his spots on the court thus far.
Many feel that there the odds are that MGC will ultimately become a member of the class of 2014. Schools such as Michigan State (who will be losing Gary Harris), Kentucky, Baylor, Memphis, and West Virginia could all use help on the wing in both 2014 and 2015. Therefore, ‘Teki’ will have not one decision to make, but two.
Juwan Durham may be 6’9 and less than 200 pounds, but that doesn’t change the impact on the game that he has. Florida’s best sophomore has not only been racking up offers from high major D-1 programs, but has been making some serious progress in his game.
A solid athlete who excels at running the floor, Durham brings a high level of activity on both ends of the court. Offensively, he is great catching and finishing around the basket, often above the rim with a dunk. He has shown flashes of moves, can hit the open jumper from mid-range, and converting at the cup. Defensively, Juwan uses his length to offer a huge presence as a shot-blocker and has the range to guard guys away from the basket.
On the flip side, Durham is still painfully thin and rough around the edges. That said, the long term potential that he offers has forced programs of Florida, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, Miami, and Texas A&M to put scholarships on the table.
Dusan Ristic has long been known on the International scene, but made his debut in the states at the 2014 Flyin’ To The Hoop Invitational for Sunrise Christian and hasn’t looked back. The skilled 7-footer is deadly with his back to the basket, showing off a jump hook with both hands and a great feel for reading his defender. He is a simply massive guy, clearing a lot of space with his 250 pound-ish frame to rebound his area well and be a good positional defender. To top it off, Ristic showed off nice vision out of the post and even hit a few jumpers facing the basket.
Like most European players, Dusan is not an elite athlete by American standards. He is not an explosive leaper and will struggle guarding smaller, quicker big men who will look to take him off of the dribble from the perimeter.
Expected by most to commit to Arizona today, it will be interesting to see how Ristic fits in Sean Miller’s system in the PAC-12. He undoubtedly has the skill to play in any conference in America, but one would expect him to head to one which was a little more in his favor as far as tempo. Arizona or not though, some team is going to be getting a really good 7-footer this afternoon.
While the class of 2016 has been known for it’s elite amount of talent, the class of 2018 has a similarly unique amount of players with freakish athleticism. Having already profiled three amazing 8th grade dunkers, two of those aforementioned players took their highlights to new levels over the past few weeks.
Marvin Bagley got things started off at John Lucas All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Going up against fellow elite 2018 Javonte Smart in the championship game, he put the icing on the cake with a 360 dunk on the break to get the crowd hyped. Then, less than two weeks later, Ladarius Marshall decided to match him. During Omhar Carter’s Global Elite Camp, Marshall shocked the smaller crowd when he threw down a 360 of his own.
While both of these players could go in a number of directions with their games, they are both elite athletes who would rank right up there with the best at the high school level.
The DMV has been pumping out talent like no other over the past decade and Bishop O’Connell has been one of the main factories. Boasting an extremely talented lineup, they have an underclassman who has really come along as of late by the name of Ako Adams.
A smooth sophomore, Adams has been especially tough to stop (especially going left) and can finish in a variety of ways once he hits the paint. He uses a teardrop floater that he can convert over the top of bigger defenders and keeps smaller ones honest with his ability to stroke it from the perimeter.
The DC Assault product already holds offers from Towson and Depaul, but expect many more colleges to follow suit when they see him on the AAU circuit.
Malik Newman hasn’t quite received the national attention that he is deserving of as of late, but over the weekend in Callaway’s playoff games, showed why he is the best junior in the country. Pouring in 39 points, he got buckets in a variety of ways throughout his squad’s victory. He created his own shot at will off of the dribble, hit three pointers from NBA range, and finish with authority in transition. The much improved athleticism that Malik showed can be attributed to the added strength training he has been going through, which was on full display with this jaw-dropping dunk.
The state’s best two teams in 1-A faced off against each other, pairing Trinity Christian and the Greenfield School. Despite the fact that both teams were two-plus hours away from the gym in Winston-Salem, they still managed to pack the house for what turned out to be an outstanding game. Elite sophomore Kwe Parker was ejected in the first quarter after receiving his second technical foul following a vicious dunk, leaving Trinity a bit short-handed in the scoring column. Still, they were able to persevere to take the state title by the score of 64-63.
Here are a few of the guys who stood out:
Dennis Smith Jr, 6’2, PG, Trinity Christian, 2016- The unofficial MVP of the state tourney for Trinity Christian. He was a simply special finisher at the rim, going above or around defenders with creativity. While he had to pick up the slack once Parker went to the bench, he was incredibly unselfish with the rock and showed some serious potential as a defender. Look for Parker to make a serious push for top point guard in the sophomore class this spring on the AAU circuit with Team Loaded.
Logan McClane, 6’8, PF, Greenfield School, 2014- A highly productive post player, McLane was easily the most dominant big man in the state title game. The lefty showed off nice touch from the perimeter, was a strong rebounder, and proved to be very tough in the paint. Heading to Miami (OH) next year, McLane has the potential to be a very nice player in the MAC by the time it is all said and done.
Jaylen Harris, 6’1, PG, Greenfield School, 2016- Having grown considerably over the last year, it was almost as if you were watching a different Jalen Harris. Always a talented player who could stroke it, he now controlled the game and was able to finish with ease in the paint amongst size. Battling foul trouble, he saw limited playing time, but Harris still showed that he was one of the elite point guards in the state’s 2016 class.
Braxton Ross, 6’5, PF, Trinity Christian, 2014- A bigtime prospect on the gridiron, Braxton Ross also proved essential in Trinity Christian’s championship run on the hardwood. He provided interior toughness when Lonzia Tyson went to the bench, rebounded his area well, and made timely buckets down the stretch. Ross appears to be headed to play college football on the next level, hearing from the likes of East Carolina, Auburn, Coastal Carolina, and others.
Basketball runs in the family of Shawnta “Darnell” Rogers Jr. and he has been playing the game at a high level for a long time. Playing varsity back in his middle school days at Evelyn MACK Academy, Rogers proved that he could hold his own against players five years his elder. Now a sophomore at Indian Land high school, he has risen to a different status.
Averaging 26.5 points per game, Rogers has been simply unstoppable. He has a deadly change of pace, electric handle, and outstanding court vision. While he is more of a scoring point guard (despite being 5-foot-3), he is an unselfish player who is willing to give the ball up at all times. Additionally, despite his lack of height, Darnell is still able to finish in the paint through contact and drill deep three pointers with a hand in his face.
With his father having been one of the best players in A-10 history, being named conference player of the year at George Washington in 1999. To top it off, he is also related to Aquille Carr, showing that the lineage of small point guards definitely runs in the family.
Deep range, good change of pace, unselfish, nice vision, finishes better than you’d think
The 2014 Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop gave us a full 40-plus hour work week of hoods and while the 12 hours of basketball was a bit much for some fans, there were countless die hard who stayed from buzzer to buzzer. There were great matchups with even better performances in a Trent Arena that sold out during mid-afternoon for the evening games. The 4,000-plus standing room only crowd loved every second of hoops that they saw and naturally, some outstanding talent was on hand.
Prime Prep stars Emmanuel Mudiay and Terrance Ferguson captivated the crowd with their aerial antics, Montaque Gill-Ceasar and Thomas Bryant led national power Huntington Prep, and top-25 junior Isaiah Briscoe made his debut for Roselle Catholic. It wasn’t just national powerhouses, though. Ohio was well represented with strong play from underclassmen such as VJ King, Esa Ahmad, JaQuan Harrison, Ahmad Wagner, and AJ Harris, while seniors Rachaun Martin, Manny Powell, Jalen Hudson, Dave Bell, Airius Moore all had strong showings too.
All in all, it was yet another year of outstanding basketball in the books from Eric Horstman, Branden Cultice, and Co. at the Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop.