Marcus McGee once again put on a fantastic Best of the Best Florida Middle School Showcase. With a heavy dose of Florida kids in attendance, a few other states were represented, and talent from across the southeast was on display.
Let’s look at some of the standouts in the 2027 Division…
Clarence Westbrook (5’9/Guard/2027)
School: Imagine Charter
Clarence was one of the more prolific scorers in the class. He has good size and utilized his size to produce at a high level. He can handle the rock and uses his dribble to break down defenders and get to his spots on the court. He got it done at all levels and has a good overall game.
He showed some crafty finishes in the paint and at the rim and basically put his full repertoire on display.
With his current size and the fact that he is sure to grow, Clarence’s development is one to keep a watch on, as he has a chance to emerge into a very good player by the time he enters high school.
Lunden Knights (5’6/Guard/2027)
School: Franklin Academy
Lunden was highly active during camp, as he brought energy on both ends of the court, including on the glass. For his age, he was physical on the boards when he was attacking off the bounce and was physical when finishing through contact at the rim. He showed some crafty handles and was dazzling with his creative talent with the ball in his hands.
He is an iso scorer that can go get his off the bounce.
Lunden has a lot of promise and hasn’t even scratched the surface.
Kaden Flores (5’5/Guard/2027)
School: South Seminole Academy
Kaden was in attack mode from the moment I saw him at camp. He was putting tremendous pressure on defenders who found it difficult to stay in front of him. He showed his ability to be a playmaker and create for himself and for his teammates. Most of the times at camp, as the day goes on, players begin to succumb to fatigue, but that was not the case with Kaden as he continued to push the rock hard in transition, forcing tempo, and getting early buckets on offensive possession because of the hard push in transition.
His development is one to watch over the next year and a half to see how he will look as he prepares to enter high school.
Austin Bacus (5’0/Guard/2027)
School: Palmer Catholic Academy
Austin was a steady force at the PG spot. He showed that he could facilitate as well as score the rock. His ability to get others involved was one of the most noticeable things about Austin’s game. He has a very good skill-set for his age. While small, he has good vision and sees plays developing faster than others.
He was one of the best passers in his class, as he was making on-time and on-target passes throughout the day.
He showed the ability to change pace that kept defenders off balance and allowed him to keep separation from defenders that tried to crowd him. Austin is a player that showed that he can take care of the ball, and as a PG, that is extremely important when the ball is in your hand the majority of the time in the game.
Daniel Lilay (5’3/Combo Guard/2027)
School: Robinswood Middle School
Daniel has a good overall game for his age, produced as a facilitator and a scorer, and showed a good feel and understanding of the game. He was looking to attack early and often on the offensive end of the court. Handles coupled with a quick first step pretty much assisted in helping him get anywhere on the court he desired.
He produced at all levels and consistently delivered when scoring opportunities presented themselves.
The fact that he could get by defenders at will made him a threat to create for himself and his teammates, as he often did. You could see his IQ as he understood that when he collapsed the D, it created open scoring opportunities for his teammates, which he capitalized on by dropping dimes. He was a tough guard for his class and has the potential to develop into a real good PG as he put in the work on the court and in the film room.
Now I mentioned in Daniel’s eval about the film room. I want to share with each player listed in this article the importance of developing on the court and developing their IQ, which can grow as they study the game and players that play their position. I encourage each player to find a player, college and pro and watch as much film on that player from the vantage point of a student and not a spectator. Also, find someone they can ask questions about what they see. The 7th grade is an important year because it offers a time where as a player, you can really see the areas of improvement in your game and spend the next year and a half working to turn those weaknesses into strengths before stepping into high school.
Stay tuned for more from #BOTBFL…