July 11, 2014

Talent on display in Atlanta

THE RIVALS150: Class of 2014 | 2015 | 2016

On the second day of the first recruiting period, Rivals.com bounced back and forth between two top-notch tournaments in the metro Atlanta area, the Elite 32 and the Best of the South. Both tournaments have loaded fields and top prospects from the 2015 class down to the 2017 class.


The Florida Flash, coached by Greg Tejada, look like a group that has come to Atlanta on a mission. Several of their players started the weekend by showing out in the Hoop Xchange Live Player Showcase held at the same venue as the Best of the South and they continued their strong play in pool play on Thursday night.

John Collins, a 2015 post player, is the most highly recruited member of the Florida Flash. At 6-foot-9 and roughly 230 lbs., Collins has soft hands and great touch around the rim. He's a rare breed in that he's already comfortable playing with his back to the basket and has a strong arsenal of moves he can go to. At the moment, Collins holds scholarship offers from UCF, East Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Maryland, Miami and Wake Forest. Alabama head coach Anthony Grant was front and center to see Collins in their big win over the Spartanburg Express.

Collins is a terrific player, but he receives plenty of help from his teammates. Playing alongside him on the block is another highly talented prospect in Corey Brown. A 6-foot-8 forward out of McArthur High School (Fla.), Brown has a big, strong, and athletic body and can finish with the best of them in the paint. He's also skilled enough to step out and hit a mid-range jumper.

Running the show for the Flash is Derric Jean, who also attends McArthur High School. At 6-foot-2, Jean is an electric athlete that excels in transition and routinely gets by defenders and into the paint. Although he's a talented scorer, Jean still does a more than admirable job keeping teammates involved.

Lastly, the Flash have a youngster to keep an eye on this time next year. When Collins and Brown came out for a breather, 2016 forward Raynard Robinson stepped in and the Flash didn't miss a beat. The 6-foot-8 Florida native fought hard for position on the block and scored off some basic post moves. He's somebody to keep on the watch list for high-major programs in the southeast.


Most travel teams would die to have just one post player above 6-foot-8 that can play at a really high level. The Southeast Elite 16U team out of Alabama doesn't just have one; they have two. Not only that, they are both 2017 prospects playing up a year. Their names are Wendell Carter and Austin Wiley.

In a close loss to Hoop Dreams (Ky.), both Carter and Wiley showed why college coaches and recruiting analysts get so excited about them. They both are around 6-foot-9, both are skilled offensive players, and both can rebound and defend. At this stage, Carter seems to be a little more advanced offensively with an inside-out game. Wiley does most of his damage in the paint and is very effective doing just that.

Southeast Elite coach Chris Monroe says schools all over the country have already begun recruiting the duo. They have scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Kansas State and UAB at the moment with UNC showing heavy interest.


Showtime Hoops guard Tyree Crump got off to a rocky start on Thursday morning against the Q-6 All-Stars. Whether it was due to the game starting 8:30 a.m. and he just needed time to wake up or just being off his game, it didn't last long.

For the first 15 minutes of the first half, Crump had only two points and had a minimal impact on the game. In the last minute of the first half, the three-star prospect started heating up with a quick seven points off two pull-up jumpers and a deep, contested three-pointer. He continued to hit tough shots throughout the second half and led his team to an impressive victory finishing with over 20 points.

Recently ranked No. 81 in the updated 2016 rankings on Rivals.com, Crump says offers are in from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Memphis, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Wake Forest. Assistants from Alabama, Georgia, Miami and Mississippi State watched him Thursday morning.


Crump's teammate Maurice Howard has had a strong start to the recruiting period. In the first two games of the weekend, Howard has shown the ability to handle the ball against pressure and he's connected on his fair share of shots from beyond the arc.

Atlanta All-Stars power Devontae Cacok might be a bit undersized to play power forward in college, but he makes up for it with his strength and athleticism along with the intensity he plays with. Mid-major coaches were lined up to see him play at both the Elite 32 and the Best of the South.

Austin Wiley and Wendell Carter aren't the only high-major prospects on Southeast Elite. John Petty, a 6-foot-5 wing with a smooth stroke, will join them in playing at the highest level in college basketball. He already has scholarship offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Kansas State and UAB.


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