Boynton a star, but not the only one in Great Florida Shootout
Kenny Boynton once again shined, but he wasn't the only star at the Great Florida Shootout, writes Paul Biancardi.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- With 16 teams, including some of Florida's best high school teams, The Great Florida Shootout once again produced another exciting event. The tournament, in its 28th year, annually features many Division I prospects and nearly 40 players who have played in this tournament have gone on to the NBA.
Metairie Park Country Day (Metairie, Fla.) beat American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 76-66 in the championship game. Country Day sat in a 2-3 or 3-2 zone most of the game and American Heritage could never get it going in the half court. The skilled duo of Matt Derenbecker and Eddie Ludwig was too much for American Heritage. The 6-foot-7 Derenbecker tied a tournament record by going 9-for-11 on 3-pointers and shooting 17-for-22 overall from the field. He was also 6-for-7 from the free throw line and pulled down an impressive 14 rebounds. Ludwig added 13 points to help Country Day win the tournament.
Chuck Ford (5-11, 170, PG)
2009, Dr. Phillips/Orlando
This point guard can run the team while scoring very effectively in the half court. He possesses good basketball instincts and knows when and how to score. He doesn't push the ball with speed in transition, but knows when to attack the rim and score or pull the ball out and run the offense. Ford has a first step that is quick enough to go by most defenders and he does a good job of pulling up off the dribble and releasing the ball before the help defense arrives. When he attacks the basket, he changes speeds effectively to get his defender off balance, which allows him to get into the lane. With his dribble penetration, he really can see the floor and make the pass that leads to and open shot. He is clever in a pick and roll set and understands how to bait his defender into the screen and use it for a score. The problem he has is that he doesn't knock down the 3-point shot with any consistency so teams can play him for the drive until he can prove himself behind the arc. Defensively he gives a solid first effort, but he needs to sustain his effort the entire possession. Junior college could be in his future.
Ray Taylor (5-7, 150, PG)
Senior, Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
When Taylor enters the game, the tempo changes immediately. He takes the outlet pass and pushes the ball down the floor with speed. At times, he's a one-man fast break beating the defense to the rim. In transition is where this pesky point guard can really do his damage. He will finish his layups at a much higher percentage because the defense will not be set. If he finds an open teammate, he has the vision and skill to deliver the pass. In the half court he will penetrate and dish with speed and quickness. He gets in trouble when he tries to get to the rim against a set defense that does not help and he tries to score.Defensively, he puts good pressure on the ball and does a great job of picking up his man full court and harrasses opposing point guards. He goes for steals a little too much at times and he gets in foul trouble because of it. This catalyst will be a fan favorite at Florida Atlantic University.
Kenny Boynton (6-3, 190, SG)
2009, Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
Boynton man thrives on competition and he can score nearly anytime from anywhere on the floor. He loves the transition game and excels in an up-tempo game and he just dominates opponents in this area. He has great range on his jumper (out to 24 feet) and he elevates into his shot with power and likes to take a rhythm dribble before he launches his deep 3-pointer. Boynton is also deadly with a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.The dribble drive is done with a quick first step and a little shake and bake as he gets in the paint easily and powers over or spins around defenders. He is big time scoring guard who finishes his drives with excellent body control, athletic ability and toughness. Recently Boynton has displayed a pull-up jumper which he needs to utilize more. This would really enhance his overall offensive game because he shoots deep 3s or gets to the rim with regularity. Defensively Boynton can be a tremendous on-ball defender. He gets down low and wide in his stance, and possesses good lateral quickness. He can put pressure on the dribbler and still not allow him penetration using his foot speed, strength and strong will. An area of concern is in his free throw shooting (he's at best a 70 percent shooter from the line). He has some unwanted movement in his stroke that needs to be cleaned up, but with his extraordinary work ethic this will improve over time.
Eddie Ludwig (6-8, 215, F)
2009, Metairie, La./Metairie Park Country Day
Ludwig shows a variety of impressive offensive skills. He shoots 3s comfortably behind the arc and is equally effective at trailing the fast break and shooting the jumper. He is ideal in a two-man pick-and-pop situations as he separates well from his defender with solid footwork into his shot. He's not afraid to handle the ball in the half court on the perimeter as he can take bigger defenders to the rim as well rebound the ball and bring it up the floor for his team when needed. Ludwig sees the open man cutting to the basket or makes the high/low pass with touch. When scoring in the low post he displays moves that will get his defender in the air with solid footwork score and his soft touch. He sometimes struggles finishing inside against taller athletic players as he does not have great lift in and around the basket. When he is on the charity stripe he makes them at a high percentage. Defensively he is alert off the ball and understands help defense and rotations. Ludwig is a pretty good basketball athlete, plays the game with a strong basketball IQ and will help make LSU a better team when he arrives there.
Matt Derenbecker (6-7, 185, SF)
2010, Metairie, La./Metairie Park Country Day A big-time 3-point shooter who strokes the shot with accuracy and confidence. He scores his 3s in transition when left open after coming off screening action in the half court, spotting up from his teammate's penetration, and utilizing the ball screen. The left-hander moves well without the ball to gets looks at the basket and when he gets one, it's over. With a quick, confident trigger, he looks and shoots over most defenders with a clean smooth stroke and great rotation. He can and will put the ball on the deck and pull up and know down the 17-footer with consistency. If Derenbecker is crowded by his defender, he will take a dribble or two and aggressively get into the paint and shoot over his man. He rebounds better then expected and loves to get it off the glass and run with it down the floor. Defensively, he is smart on the ball about how he guards and uses his length to stay just close enough to contest the shot yet is back enough not to get beat of the dribble. Off the ball, he hugs his man and is not in the proper help position enough. He leaves his feet around the basket to try and block shot instead of just building a wall and making it difficult to score over. Derenbecker will only improve under the guidance of coach Mike McGuire and will be even tougher to guard.
Richie Edwards (6-7, 185, SF)
2009, Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland
Edwards is a combo forward who has scoring on his mind and does it well. Edwards hangs along the 3-point line and looks to operate from there. He can shoot off the catch, but what he really likes to do is put it on the floor and pull-up from 15-17 feet. He also can take one dribble into his 3-point shot and knock it down with ease. At this point in his career he is more effective using the dribble to get into his shot. Away from the basket he drives the ball with a couple of hard dribbles all the way to the rim or stops and pops before the defense rotates over. Edwards gets on the defensive glass at times and will run with the rebound, which can be effective when he makes simple decisions with the ball. He has good vision with his passing and, again, when he keeps it simple he is more effective. Defensively he really needs to focus on guarding his man in the low post before he gets the ball, and on the perimeter he needs to keep his man in front of him with a strong stance. The weight room will improve his overall game.
Shane Larkin (5-10, 160, SG)
2011, Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips
This young 3-point shooter is quite confident in his jumper and will take and make them in transition or the half court offense. Larkin has talent and scoring instincts with his ball in his hands. He can drive his man and score layups or find his teammate in a game of penetration and kick. He is just starting to show a floater in the lane, which is vital for small guards. At times he can run the offense and is starting to understand how to properly use a ball screen. He enjoys playing the game and it shows, yet sometimes he plays a little too fast and gets out of control. The son of Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin, who was on hand watching his son play, he has a lot of upside.
Remi Barry (6-7, 180, SF)
2010, Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
This small forward is just starting to blossom under the tutelage of coach Danny Herz and his shooting skills are what standout the most. Barry has a big frame and good athletic ability and he can shoot it off the catch behind the arc. He also is comfortable knocking down the 15 footer off the dribble. He will go inside on the blocks against smaller defenders and use his size to score using his touch rather than post moves. Defensively he competes and has enough length and size to be versatile enough to guard 2, 3, and 4s for his team. He gets on the glass well and can be even better with more effort. He needs to get comfortable handing the ball and driving defenders as a counter to his jumper.
Paul Bilbo (6-8, 220, PF)
2009, Oyster Bay, N.Y./St. Dominic
This strong, left-handed low post player brings a physical presence to the court. On the blocks, Bilbo can score if he will just hold his position longer and work harder to receive the ball. He has the body to be effective inside, but he must continue to work at it. He shows strong hands when catching the ball whether he is facing the basket or has his back to it. He possesses a nice touch at the high post with a jumper out to 15 feet. He needs to block out every time on the defensive boards and must move a second time if he gets blocked out on the offensive glass. This will improve his chances of landing some extra rebounds. He is improving and is willing to work hard to reach his potential. He will stay home and help Hofstra in the CAA.
Charles Goodwin (6-6, 225, SF)
2009, High Point, N.C./T.W. Andrews
Armed with a defensive end's body, Goodwin is an undersized post player who competes on every possession. He has limited skill level and most of his scoring comes from offensive rebound put-backs or layups off dump off passes from his teammates' penetration. He shows a strong pair of hands that can catch most passes and will use a power drop step at times in close to the basket. He can take a hit and finish through contact, but struggles at the free throw line. What Goodwin does well is go to the glass, as he blocks out his man then tries to secure the rebound. He will block some shots with his long arms and sacrifice his body when needed.
Paul Biancardi, who spent 2007-08 as an assistant coach on Rick Majerus' staff at Saint Louis University, is the national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc. He has 18 years of coaching experience at the Division I level, and is a member of the selection committees for the Gatorade Player of the Year award and the McDonald's All-American Game.