- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The 30th annual Great Florida Shootout, which was held at the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park, was a competitive tournament that included an academic award breakfast for student-athletes with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. A great touch to reward players who did exceptional in the classroom.
Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara defeated Orlando (Fla.) Lake Highland to win the championship, 59-50. William & Mary signee Marcus Thornton was named the tournament MVP.
Angelo Chol (San Diego, Calif./Hoover)
2011, PF, 6-foot-9, 215 pounds
The hottest post prospect in the nation is left handed, long and athletic. He is comfortable, confident and productive when it comes blocking shots and rebounding. Chol really goes after missed shots on the defensive board, as well as going after any shot in sight to try and block or alter the attempt. He possesses a sweet jump hook over his right shoulder, which is his go-to move inside. To his credit, he has been consistently working on his jumper and you can see the improvement. He is solid from 15 feet and improving from behind the arc. He still needs work on catching passes at the rim and is only a weight room away from making a difference. Chol is down to five schools -- UNC, Kansas, Arizona, Washington and Alabama -- and will make his decision on Feb 17.
Shaq Roland (Lexington, S.C./ Lexington)
2012, SG, 6-2, 175 pounds
The left-handed guard led the tournament in scoring with 25 points per game. Roland, a big-time football prospect at safety (being offered by everyone), is an excellent scoring guard. Over a three-game span, Roland burned the nets without taking many 3s. He scores the ball with efficiency by using a quick first step on his dribble penetration, and a strong pull-up jumper. Watching him get in the lane and take contact is no surprise for this athlete, as he gets to and converts from the free throw line at a high percentage. He also has an uncanny ability to read defenses and his defender. He was hurt for AAU last summer, but was named Columbia area POY last season. South Carolina and Florida have offered for basketball.
2011, SG, 6-3, 185 pounds
This quick-triggered shooting guard has range and accuracy on his 3-point shot because he can make consecutive shots behind the line and break open a game. He is a real threat in transition as he can finish the break at the rim or stop and pull a 3 pointer with consistency. Opponents must find him early in the half-court set and his stroke sets up his midrange and driving game. He also knocks down free throws with a good looking release and rotation.
Lance Stokes (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep)
2011, SF, 6-6, 200 pounds
The long-armed small forward is always in the action as he plays the game with focus and desire. He is a jack of all trades who contributes in so many ways to his team's success. He can score on the perimeter with a jumper or put the ball on the deck and get in the lane. He will work on the offensive glass to get second-chance points or will make the unselfish play and throw it back out. He would help running the offense for any team because he always seems to have a good understanding. Defensivly, he can guard small forwards and post players thanks to his impressive wingspan.
Underclassmen to watch
Joel Berry (Orlando, Fla./ Lake Highland Prep)
2014, PG, 6-0, 180 pounds
Berry is a strong point guard with an advanced game for his age who scores with his athletic ability, strength and skill. He is not afraid to run his team as one of the youngest players on the floor and has the respect of his teammates. On his dribble penetration, he shows excellent body control because he can finish, shoot a floater, or see the assist and deliver it. As an on-ball defender he stays low, moves his feet and will level the drive. He has plenty of room for growth and he needs to develop his weak hand (left) when handling and finishing. Right now he is much more comfortable and productive with the drive, but has shown the ability to stroke it from 3. He brings a lot to the table for a freshman.
Kobe Eubanks (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)
2014, SF, 6-5, 185 pounds
The sharpshooter has good size, which allows him to see over most defenders at a young age. He shows confidence and accuracy on his jumper from 15 feet out to behind the arc. He's an excellent athlete who can attack the basket, take contact with his physically-gifted body and score points from the free throw line. He uses his frame to rebound the ball at a consistent rate. With skill development work on his ballhandling and a strong commitment to playing defense, he could be a high-level prospect.
Drake Lamont (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)
2014, PF, 6-8, 210 pounds
With post players you see there improvement slowly, however, Lamont is a left hander who already has good hands to catch passes and a nice soft touch to score the ball. His footwork is solid and he tries to rebound the ball. His instincts for the game are good, understands the flow of an offense and will make some passes that are impressive. Time, strength and experience will all assist his development.
• Terran Petteway (Galveston Texas/ Ball) scored the ball at a consistent pace throughout the tournament. He is an opportunistic scorer as he reads the holes in the defense then makes the scoring cut or move. He will climb on the offefesive glass, plays both ends and you can tell he enjoys playing the game. He's a productive player within the frame work of the team. Overall, Texas Tech coach Pat Knight has a guy who will come in, give a great effort and be productive on both ends.
• Bishop McNamara displayed toughness and togetherness throughout the tournament. The catalyst is Ibn Muhammad who is quicker than gossip. He attacks the defense in transition as he will get to the cup and score or make the drop-off pass in a timely fashion.
• DePaul signee Shane Larkin (Orlando, Fla./Dr Phillips) played very well in spurts. He is talented and can produce more in all categories of the game. From my seat he needs to be more productive on a consistent basis. He has the talent and basketball IQ to be a factor on both ends every night.
• Food for thought: After coaching the game for over 20 years in college and now evaluating prospects on a full time basis, I am convinced that there needs to be a universal shot clock in high school basketball. When teams travel to major events they must adapt to a different clock and then go back home and adjust again. Every state has a different time or no shot clock at all.
A universal 45-second shot clock will not only improve the high school game it will also prepare players that will go on to play in college at any level. I see many teams/players not manage the clock well at the end of a quarter or game. Think about it, college basketball, international basketball and the NBA has a universal shot clock. It's time to move forward!
Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
Tournament MVP Marcus Thornton and Angelo Chol highlight the Great Florida Shootout, writes Paul Biancardi.