Amber Henson skies to the basket.
ROCK HILL, S.C. – This second in a two part tip sheet series focuses on the underclass players at the first annual adidas Super South Showcase. Tall athletic forwards and crafty ball handlers filled the courts for the youngsters in the event, many of which played up with U17 teams.
Nia Evans, Wallace Prather Celtics Black (Decatur, Ga.), is a big strong and physical player who plays with the aggressiveness of a much older player. She is comfortable in the paint with her back to the basket and showed off good footwork on a nice shot fake, step-through move. Evans needs to get comfortable finishing with her left and at around 6-feet she is probably a wing in college.
Yasmin Fuller, Baden Elite (Kennedy HS, Wash.), is a fantastic young point guard who featured some nice three-point shooting early in the tournament. Consistency from long distance faded on Sunday when legs were tired but that did not stop her pin-point passing on the break leading to numerous transition buckets. Sunday the 5-9 guard looked like a pure point guard.
Bria Hartley, Exodus NYC (North Babylon HS, N.Y.), would be my selection for the MVP of the championship game (17U). Her poise and command of the game as the primary ball handler and ability to create off the dribble were extremely impressive and more remarkable was the clutch timing of her best performance. She played well earlier in the tournament but the final game was definitely a statement game for the 5-9 guard.
Bria Hartley ducks under Brittany Henderson
for a scoop shot.
Centrese McGee, Chicago Hoops Express I (Washington HS, Ill.), got to the basket off the bounce all weekend with relative ease. The 5-8 scorer’s right-handed hesitation move is dynamic and explosive. Even after showing it to defenders she was still able to get by them. Her body control is what makes her even more impressive and allows her to finish in traffic and vary her change of pace moves so well.
Michala Johnson, Full Package Platinum (Montini Catholic, Ill.), had a good weekend and impressed most with her strong finishes at the basket. At 6-3 she has a great burst when she attacks defenders. She showed some ability to face up and attack as well as great pivot moves.
Cassie Rochel, Minnesota Stars-Hested (Lakeville North HS, Minn.), was one of the true centers in the event. She is listed at 6-5 but she seemed to be the same height as her 6-3 teammate, Kate Thompson. Regardless she scored well inside against smaller players and got to the free-throw line consistently against like-sized defenders. She needs to get stronger to finish better with contact but her footwork and height are very promising.
Kelia Shelton, SC Lady 76ers Navy (Northwestern HS, S.C.), did a great job with dribble penetration from the wing. She does a tremendous job of setting up the defender. She utilizes a strong jab-step, ball sweep and even a deceptive rocker step. Shelton reads the defender and then attacks her hips. The only knock on her game would be that she played a little too unselfish. When she penetrated she often deferred to teammates when she had created a scoring opportunity for herself.
Meighan Simmons, Team Xpress Black (Steele HS, Texas), had a terrific tournament but found the iron unkind in the championship game against Exodus. She is an aggressive guard who doesn’t back down from ball pressure. The 5-8 scorer shot the ball well from the perimeter and showed great bounce in elevating to the rim on dribble penetration. She is also a fantastic finisher on the break and a hard-nosed defender.
Kendra Lynn Suttles Oklahoma Select 91 (Lawton HS, Okla.), played bigger than her listed 6-1. Her post skills are solid. Suttles uses her body and shoulders to protect the ball when working in the paint and she also has the some versatility to her interior scoring. She uses both sides of the basket, scores on drop-steps but also showed she can wrap underneath for a reverse layup when the help comes crashing down.
Meghin Williams, FBC White (Summit HS, Calif.), has all the tools to become a solid forward in college. She has the mobility and agility to play with more athletic forwards and the 6-4 Williams can run the floor herself. Her movement is very fluid even in the half-court. Williams did a great job of blocking shots without fouling because she doesn’t swing or swat at the ball, even when it would be easy to do so against a shorter player.
Krystal Forthan , Baden Elite (Grant HS, Ore.), continued showing that she may be the most versatile athlete in the class. At 6-4, Forthan possesses incredible length and the ability to attack the basket. She is successful on her athleticism alone right now and with skill development she could be scary good. Her position isn’t clear but her natural gifts make her a player that must be on the floor regardless. She is in her element snatching a rebound off the rim, finding a guard and sprinting out on the break. In transition she seems impossible to defend.
Cassie Rochel tries to get past two defenders.
Amber Henson, Texas MP Elite (Round Rock HS, Texas), was another incredible youngster. At 6-3 she has a strong build and great leaping ability which she utilizes to be a very good rebounder. Offensively she has a mid-range game and even a little fall-away turn-around jumper in the post. Her shot blocking timing was also impressive.
Angela Rodriguez, Full Package Platinum (Oak Creek HS, Wis.), is a 5-8 scoring guard who played well all weekend. She is comfortable around the basket. Rodriguez scored on a plethora of creative drives to the basket where she attacked and finished strong. When defenses began collapsing she really impressed with her vision and passing. She made nice interior passes in traffic and got her teammates easy buckets.
Chloe Wells, FBC Blue (A.B. Miller HS, Calif.), stood out as a very promising young point guard. The 5-7 Wells showed great change-of-pace with the ball and poise. Because she changes her speeds so effectively she was never out of control which allows her to scan the floor and find open teammates. She also finished well on the break herself. Though I wasn’t there, she hit a clutch three to send a game to overtime to get them to the big showdown with Exodus.