- Reggie Rankin, College Basketball Recruiting
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The Sunshine Showcase is an elite annual United States Sports Specialty (USSSA) event directed by Conrad Foss that attracted some of the best travel teams throughout the state of Florida for a weekend of intense competition.
Shawn Smith (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School)
2012, SG, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds | Team: Florida Rams Blue
Smith is a strong, attacking combination guard who can get to the rim on the break and finish through contact. He can also turn the corner after receiving an on-ball screen, which results in a layup or floater. Smith has good body control and touch in the lane. He has a nice midrange pull-up jumper and although streaky can knock down the open 3, when his feet are set. Defensively, he does a good job of pressuring the ball and is capable of defending both guard positions with ease. Smith, who was a former Central Florida commit, now has Miami, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, Kansas State, Louisville and Texas on his list.
Joell James (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dwyer)
2012, C, 6-10, 260 pounds | Team: Florida Rams Blue
Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Miami, West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville and Texas all have a close eye on the big-bodied, physical post who is not afraid to bang his defender to improve his low-post position and he does a great job of providing the passer a target hand. James moves well for his size and the lefty can face and hit the open 15-foot jumper with time and space. James must work on his conditioning and continue to build his back-to-the-basket moves and footwork, but his upside is off the charts.
Kasey Hill (Eustis, Fla./Montverde Academy)
2013, PG, 6-1, 170 pounds | Team: Florida Rams Black
Hill has the ball on a string and gets into the lane at will on the break or in the half-court set where he uses his variety of dribble moves to beat multiple defenders and deliver the ball to open teammates with great feel and vision. Hill can deliver drop-off, kick-out or no-look passes right on the money on a consistent basis. His ballhandling is great in tight, small, congested areas. Hill scores by getting to the rim or with his floater. He can make a play with the clock winding down, but he must continue to work on his jumper to reach elite status. However, Hill is a terror off the bounce. Miami, Alabama, Florida State, Providence, Florida, Louisville and Syracuse are all on his list.
Josh Heath (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Prep)
2013, PG, 6-0, 160 pounds | Team: SEBA Select
Heath displayed an excellent feel for the game. He is sneaky quick with a nice handle and very good vision. He did a great job beating his defender and finishing on the break with nice touch and body control. Heath set up teammates when he penetrated the zone defense as well. He must add strength, work to get his jumper off quicker and make it a consistent weapon, but this young lead guard -- who is the son of South Florida head coach Stan Heath -- has good upside.
Player to watch
Marc-Eddy Norelia (Orlando, Fla./Olympia)
2012, PF, 6-7, 195 pounds | Team: Florida Elite
Norelia is a long and active power forward who plays with good energy and urgency. He runs the floor extremely well and has the speed to track down opponents in transition for blocked shots. The lefty does a good job of hitting short jumpers in and around the paint off the catch and after one- or two-dribble, straight-line drives. He also does a good job of drawing fouls and is a good area rebounder on both ends of the floor. Norelia must continue to hone his overall skill, but his upside is undeniable.
• Class of 2013 wings 6-4 Troy Holston (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) and 6-3 Jimmie Taylor (Live Oak, Fla./Suwannee) of Florida Elite played well. Holston can make open jumpers when his feet are set with range to the arc and Taylor is a live body who got into the lane for floaters, hit the glass on both ends and defensively is tough enough to step and take the charge.
• Class of 2012 6-8 PF Staphon Blair (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard) has a strong body, good motor and runs the floor like a deer. He rebounds in and out of his area, finishes drop-off passes and blocks shots.
• The Florida Rams Black have a very intriguing big man in 6-10 post Landry Nnoko (Cameroon/Montverde Academy), who is originally from Cameroon. Nnoko has great length and runs the floor extremely well. Although he is raw on the offensive end, he makes his presence felt defensively by changing and blocking shots in addition to rebounding on both ends of the floor -- especially offensively -- where he can get his team a timely tip-in basket. Nnoko is still very much learning the game, but has very good upside.
• Class of 2012 6-7 PF Chris Davenport (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy) is another Florida Rams Black prospect who is long and athletic. He finishes drop-off passes above the rim and excels on the break with his ability to run the floor and get to the basket. He is a terrific glue guy who makes plays off dribble penetration.
•The Florida Elite U-16 team played with great energy and displayed the ability to cause turnovers by changing defenses. It was impressive to see such a young group of players execute defensively on the fly and out of timeouts. These are college-level game adjustments.
• Orlando Wildcats have a pair of forwards who make their presence felt throughout the game. SF Matt Williams (Orlando, Fla./Jones) is a good athlete who can handle the ball, pass and slash. PF Eric McCree (Ocoee, Fla./West Orange) is a long, athletic and undersized lefty who can finish above the rim, rebound and slash from short distances.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
Shawn Smith and Joell James highlight the Sunshine Showcase, which featured some of the best travel teams in Florida, writes Reggie Rankin.