ORANGEVILLE, ON–Over the weekend, the REDA Thanksgiving Showcase took place in Orangeville, Ontario where a bundle of talent collided to unofficially welcome the fall basketball season!
The weekend provided an opportunity to oversee the progress of players’ development since the AAU season came to a close in August.
REDA and PHASE 1 fielded two teams each, along with Georgian College, Christian Faith Centre Academy (CFCA), Rock Sports Academy, and Brampton Hype All-stars to round out the eight squads.
Post secondary schools in attendance included Ryerson (CIS) and Maine (NCAA).
Below you will find team and player notes from the action that we took in over the weekend:
This squad is stacked with several athletic wings that are of a similar breed, which can serve both as a strength or weakness. In the transition game, REDA is tough to hang with as they have wolves attacking from every angle. On the other hand, the halfcourt set causes complications as they are lacking a true shooter to spread the floor. The season is still very young, and chemistry is growing. It will be interesting to see what type of team REDA will transforrm into by the Winter.
-Siena commit Richard Audu was consistent beyond the arch, and provided a good source of energy for his team. However, he is currently lacking explosion in his elevation. He will need to tone up his body in preparation for the next level which is expected throughout the 2011-2012 season.
–Shaquille Keith is a name you might want to remember. Although he started off slow on the Friday, Keith picked it up on Sunday against CFCA, where he elevated into a great playmaker particularly in transition. He created for himself and teammates, and highlighted the weekend with his killer spin-move leaving defenders in the dust. His combination of speed and athleticism on the wing make him a tough match up; improving shot selection along with remaining composed on the floor will ultimately catapult his game to another level.
–Kashrell Lawrence has always possessed a stocky frame, however he is now in the best shape that we’ve seen him in, chiseled with an extra bounce in his step.
–Connor Wood has major bounce and is explosive to the rim on most occasions. It was encouraging to see him push the ball up to start the break, yet it is evident that his ball handling isn’t quite where it needs to be yet for the next level. Building fluidity in his dribbling abilities will do wonders for his game.
–Kyle Hankins is a name that not too many are familiar with yet, but will be soon enough. With his size at 6’7 combined with athleticism he causes match up problems on the interior.
–Juwan Grannum seemed to be one of the most consistent players for REDA, showing a nice touch around the basket, running the floor and consistently cleaning up the offensive glass. To provide an early perspective, it looks like Grannum will be a “glue guy” for REDA, providing a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor.
Reece Brooks– There wasn’t much that could be done with Brooks, as the lighning quick and shifty guard blew by defenders time after time. He first made an impression over the summer at nationals for team Ontario, and is quickly becoming a favourite as far as point guards in 2015 are concerned. Despite being the youngest on his team for the Brampton Hype All-stars, Brooks led by example, scoring the ball at will and spoon-feeding teammates with slick passes.
Christian Faith Centre Academy (CFCA)
Like last year at the REDA Christmas Showcase, CFCA came into town from North Carolina and brought the intensity level to new heights. This squad has improved since last season and it will be a joy to witness them progress throughout the 2011-2012 campaign.
Jalyn Pennie– We were excited to see that Pennie has expanded his perimeter skills, displaying a viable three point shot and fade away jumper while drawing comparison to Kevin Durant from the crowd, due to his light frame. Pennie is a great 2012 prospect developing at a consistent rate; the biggest area that he needs to address is his physical strength.
Mikyle McIntosh -The beast! Everytime “Big Mac” is back home, he makes sure to leave those in attendance with a freeze frame photo in their minds of McIntosh hurting the rim. The body is NCAA ready, and has been for some time; he will continue to increase his stock as he polishes his dribble drive game.
Kaza Keane is the engine that runs the CFCA train. He pushed the tempo, creates in transition and get his teammates involved. He is also proving to be a pest defensively as he gave opposing guards trouble including REDA’s Naz Long.
DeShaun Williams- The word was that Williams had an offensive explosion on Saturday (NPH was not in attendance on Sat) and looked like a primary scorer for CFCA. On Sunday against REDA, he was rock solid defending on the perimeter and making plays for himself and teammates. We are looking forward to catching more Williams as the season progresses.
PHASE 1 Black
D’Adrian Allen– Unfortunately we missed Allen in action, however heard whispers of the big man having a monster game on friday. Allen is another prospect we became familiar with over the summer, yet would like to continue tracking.
Rock Sports Academy
Jordan Whyte– The Alberta representative is looking comfortable playing Ontario basketball, but seems a tad timid at this point. Part of it is due to the passive nature in his game, the other part is adjusting to the speed. We expect Whyte be one of the leaders on Rock Academy this year.
Jalen Grifiths- While we would still like to see more of Griffiths, one thing that is not to be mistaken; he is a freak athlete! He demonstrated his bounce with several jams in the lane.
Bronson Fridal- At this point, Fridal is strictly a three point specialist. If you leave him open on the perimeter, chances are he will make you pay. On the other hand, he is still limited in his dribble drive game, certainly something he will need to add to his arsenal to elevate his skill set.