Basketball Elite’s Southeast Summer Showcase
Marcus Shockley and the Basketball Elite staff have assembled together to put on an amazing event in the Basketball Elite Southeast Summer Showcase. In it’s 5th year, the annual event not only brought out some of the North Carolina’s most talented basketball players, it also brought top talent from surrounding states out to compete and show off their ability in front of scouts and college coaches. This showcase was not only well run but it was clear that the entire focus was on the kids and providing them an opportunity to continue to play this great game at the next level. With such an amazing atmosphere and the large amount of talented players, here are the ones that stood out:
JP Moorman was one of the most impressive players in the building for the Southeast Summer Showcase. The 6’6, C/O 2017 Power Forward out of Greensboro Day School (Greensboro, NC) has tremendous overall skill. He’s not one dimensional or limited to a specific area, as most big men are. Moorman has a soft touch in and around the paint. He also displayed really good footwork and coordination, eluding defenders and getting to the rim for the easy finish. He has great form with a smooth release on his shots and even showed the ability to kiss the ball off the glass from 14 feet, a la Tim Duncan. Moorman also possesses a stealthy change of speed that he pulls out sporadically, catching his opponents off guard. This makes him highly effective in transition, as he uses a combination of length and speed to finish on the break. He’s also a consistent shooter, rarely missing any shot he takes, whether wide open or contested. The best part of Moorman’s offensive game is, him not minding to do the dirty work. Official stats weren’t taken, but it’s safe to say that he averaged a double double (points and rebounds) on the day by relentlessly crashing the offensive glass, snatching down boards, and going straight back up to finish strong. Defensively, Moorman is solid, challenging everything that comes into his area. He moves well laterally to cover ground, getting to his spots. Going against bigger, stronger opponents, Moorman holds his own and doesn’t back down from the challenge, always staying low and keeping his position. The only noticeable opportunity for Moorman is to put on muscle. He already looks like he’s hitting the weights and as he continues to get stronger it will allow him to become that much more dominant!
Deshaun Leftwich was easily one of the most exciting players at the Southeast Summer Showcase. The C/O 2016, 6’3 Shooting Guard from Trinity Christian High School (Fayetteville, NC) kept the crowd entertained with a barrage of spectacular dunks. Leftwich has elite level athleticism that allows him not only to play high above the rim, but to have an impact on the game that helps him stand out. This helped him earn the MVP of the showcase. Leftwich’s overall offensive game has a resemblance of Louis Williams (Toronto Raptors). He has nice handle and a quick first step that allows him to get to the rim, where he does most of his damage. While Leftwich is a streaky shooter, when he gets hot he can scorch the nets. Defensively, he has the ability to shut down his man, however, there are times where it seems he takes plays off. However, when he exerts effort, he’s a lockdown defender that is a nightmare to go against. He’s also does well playing the passing lanes, anticipating opportunities to snatch lazy passes out the air. Once he gets his hands on it and gets out in the open floor, Leftwich is nothing less than spectacular. As he continues to work on his shooting accuracy and becomes a more persistent defender, he will undoubtedly be the target of high major college programs.
If there was an award for toughness and leadership, it would have to go to Marquis Green. The C/O 2016, 5’10 Point Guard out of Darlington High School (Darlington, SC) is ultra competitive and a flat out winner. Throughout the entire showcase, he was the picture perfect example of what a floor general is suppose to be. Green makes sure to communicate, uplift and support teammates, and aggressive on defense. Offensively, he has shifty handle and the ability to play at a high tempo. Green effectively uses an “in & out,” going at full speed, that takes his defender off balance and opens up the floor for him to pull-up for the jumper or go to the basket. He’s a knock down shooter, who’s not afraid to take and make the big shots. In the open floor Green gets the ball up the court in a hurry, either getting it to the outlet or racing the ball down the court. Once he crosses half court, he does a great job reading the defense and making a good decision for his team. Green is the type of player that the opposition needs to make sure they watch and guard closely, and even then there’s no guarantee that he won’t find a way to be a prominent force. While he’s undersized, he definitely makes up for it with willingness and heart. Green is a coach’s dream, that’s going to do very well at the next level.
There are very few that are as physically dominant in North Carolina, regardless of class, than 2018 Andrew Tuazama. Knightdale High School’s (Knightdale, NC) 6’7 Power Forward is a sheer force in the paint. Tuazama has a college ready body with big hands and is a powerful presence in the post. When he grabs a rebound he slaps the ball so hard, you would think he took some of the air out of the ball. Tuazama does a phenomenal job using his superior size and strength to bang in the paint and overpower his opponents. He thrives off of getting offensive rebounds and put-backs. When he gets the ball in the post, he does a great job of using his body to position himself for the easy basket. Whenever the opportunity presents itself Tuazama tries to tear down the rim with furious dunks! He is still somewhat rough around the edges with his footwork, handle and shooting form. However, the drive and determination to improve is there. Defensively, he’s deceptively quick with his lateral moment. This gives him the slight advantage when having to switch off and guard a Point Guard in a P&R situation or out on the perimeter. Tuazama has long limbs and is able to disrupt his opponents, making everything difficult. He’s a hard worker and gives 110% every time he’s on the floor. There is no doubt he’ll continue to work and improve his game. Once he does, you can go ahead and add his name to the list of studs coming out of North Carolina
Kristopher Monroe is one of the smoothest players in the state. The C/O 2018, 6’7 Small Forward out of St. David’s School (Raleigh, NC) makes the game look so easy. Everything from the way he dribbles to the way he scores seems so effortless. Monroe has good size and lengthy limbs that makes him effective on both ends of the court. When he has the ball in his hands he’s extremely fluid and under control. So much so, that it almost seems he’s going in slow motion resembling a style similar to Kyle Anderson (San Antonio Spurs). While Monroe dribbles higher than expected, he takes good care of the ball and defenders can’t seem to take it from him. He has a steady pull up jumper that he can knock down, but he’s most effective in transition and going to the basket. [Check out the video from The Hoops Column] Monroe has the uncanny ability to quietly dominate and take over a game. He can easily finish a game with 30+ points and it would look like he didn’t break a sweat. On defense, Monroe adjust his level of energy and is way more engaged. He uses his long wing span and keeps his hands active. He sits in his stance and does well moving his feet. Monroe is also a reliable rebounder, crashing the boards any time a shot goes up. It’s easy to spot that he puts time and work into his craft and it shows on the court. As Monroe continues to develop, adding muscle along with the ability to shoot the 3-point shot consistently, his value to the next level will skyrocket.
One of the things sorely lacking in today’s games are the intangibles. These are the areas of the game that statistics are unable to measure, such as: playing hard, diving on loose balls, talking on defense, boxing out, & playing hard. Word of God’s C/O 2016 Josh Peacock is the embodiment of all of these attributes. At this point he’s not going to give you 25 points a game, however, what he will do is provide heart and willingness to get his team a win. Peacock specializes in on-the-ball defense. He can guard his man 94 feet and be right there with him through all the changes in speed and direction. If there was a stat for 5-second counts, Peacock would easily be number 1 in that category. It’s such a pleasure to watch because you hardly see kids take such pride in guarding their man. Most of the time all they want to do is the bare minimum so they can get the ball back on offense and score. Peacock is also willing to sacrifice his body and dive on the court for loose balls. He has spurts when his defensive energy transitions to offense and he’s able to score in bunches. For the most part, Peacock is a streaky shooter that usually comes through in the clutch. As he develops and improves his game to be a more consistent threat on offense his stock will rise. Peacock is definitely the type of player that college coaches would want on their team.
It’s always refreshing to know that a kid is constantly in the gym working on ways to get better. Word of God’s C/O 2018, 6’0 Point Guard, Isaiah Tatum is one that welcomes a challenge and strives to get better. One of the things mentioned in his previous write-up was that he seems to ease up on defense. Since then and this past weekend at the Southeast Summer Showcase, Tatum makes sure to take on the challenge of defending the better guard on the opposing team. He does well staying in front of his man and discouraging them from driving to the basket. Once he learns how to get his body in front of his man when going to the basket, he’ll transform into a top notch defender. Offensively, Tatum is an elite level shooter and has one of the purest shots in the state. Each time he puts up a shot it looks like it’s going to be nothing but net. He also does well using the dribble to get by his man and go to the basket. As he continues to develop Tatum will need to learn how to move without the ball to get better shots because good coaches will have their team hound him. This will force him to go to the basket more and finish in the land of the big men! He’s already looking like he’s getting stronger, physically, which will help him keep defenders off him. The next step will be for him to learn how to finish through contact. Overall, Tatum has the tools to move past just being an elite shooter, and become an elite player. Make sure you’re on the look out, he could be a household name.