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Point Guards Standout on Trip to East Coast

Posted on 24. May, 2011 by Nolan Shulman in Canada Spotlight, High School, Tournaments

Over the past few years we haven't done a good enough job getting out to the East Coast to evaluate talent.  We've been dependent on Nationals and game film to make our assessments.   With that in mind we felt it was important to strengthen our knowledge and presence in the region, simply by spending more time in the area.  This weekend was the first step towards that goal as we had the opportunity to fly down and watch the Provincial Black tournament as well as the U15 and U17 Nova Scotia provincial teams.  Not only did we meet some great people, but we were pleasantly surprised by the talent.  Here were some of the prospects who caught our eye over the weekend.   


Provincial Black Tournament & All-Province 902 Standouts

*** Please note that we were only evaluating high school players at the Provincial Black Tournament***


Marquis Clayton, Next Level Prep (5-10, PG, 2011)

The St.FX commit was sensational this weekend. Every time I see him play he grows on me more and more. His ability and desire to pressure the basketball continues to stand out. He possesses high end lateral quickness, gets low, and gets in his man. This often causes the other teams lead guard to defer to their secondary ball handler. Offensively he can stretch the defense with his ability to shoot it from long range and also get by his man off the dribble. He’s not afraid to give up his body at the rim but struggles some finishing due to his lack of ideal size. He was given the award of Mr. Basketball Nova Scotia at the 902 All-Province All-Star game.


DJ Smith, Citadel (5-10, PG, 2012)

DJ scores the basketball about as well as any point guard in the class of 2012. Although he doesn’t look quick, he is deceptively fast and can get by his defender at will. He also has superb body control at the rim, allowing him to get his shot off in traffic despite his lack of height. He is a terrific shooter with seemingly unlimited range. At 5-10 he’d be well served to add some mid-range stuff to his arsenal, such as a one dribble pull up and maybe a floater in the lane in traffic. As it stands he sometimes has the tendency to take it to deep. Defensively he needs to give more effort keeping his man in front of him. His feet are quick enough to keep guys in front of him and he was being turned by guys who had no business going by him. Right now it’s more desire and effort than it is ability.  If you are a team in need of buckets, DJ has got to be a guy who peaks your interest.  


Mandrez Downey, Cole Harbour (5-10, PG, 2012)

Mandrez possesses many of the same strengths and weaknesses as DJ. He has the DNA of a scorer and does it about as well as any 2012 guard we’ve taken in. He is extremely quick with the basketball and has very tight handles. He can create separation and get his shot off against any style of defender. That said, he’s currently more of a two guard than he is a point guard. He needs to do a better job getting his teammates involved and initiating offense if he's going to take the next step as a prospect.  He also needs to get lower defensively and do a better job keeping guys in front of him.  


Tyler Scott, Next Level Prep (6-2, SG, 2011)

Tyler demonstrated much of what we saw all year. He’s always shot ready and is a terrific catch and shoot guy. He can also shoot off movement going both left and right. He tends to be a little bit streaky, but is a guy who can always has utmost confidence in himself to make the next one. He didn’t get a chance to play much point, but is a guy who can be counted on to bring it from A to B. The one area we’d like to see Tyler improve is his movement away from the basketball. I realize the provincial black tournament was basically a glorified run, but he needs to do a better job freeing himself up for open looks. Whenever he can get open, it’s a higher percentage shot than whatever option B is.


Rodell Wigginton, Lee Academy (6-5, SF, 2012)

Rodell is a very good athlete who excels in transition.  He runs the floor and can certainly finish on the move.  He has good body control and likes to attack the rim.  His jump shot is still a work in progress and was something he didn't really try and utilize in the two games I took in.  His effort level was also something that ran hot and cold.   When he's turned on, he's a problem.  He now needs to learn to stay turned on the entire game.  His upside is extremely high and when his ball skills catch up to his raw physical abilities he's going to be right in there with the best wing prospects in the class.  


Nevell Provo, Pickering (5-11, PG, 2015)

It doesn't take long watching Nevell Provo to realize he has a bright future in this game.  His feel for the game is way ahead of the curve.  He possesses good vision, good patience, and the understanding of how to get his guys involved.  Playing senior basketball in Toronto this year has really helped his maturity level as a point guard.  For a 2015, he really has a good understanding of when its a good time to score and when its a good time to play the role of facilitator.  He has good speed, can change gears, and does a good job controlling tempo. 


Jacob Simmons, Charlottown Rural (6-7, SF, 2011)

Another guy who's heading to St.FX in the fall is Jacob Simmonds.  The 6-7 wing has a pretty advanced skill set.  In fact I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was.  He's got the size, footwork, and touch to do some work on the low block.  He has the ball skills to both attack his defender off the bounce, or rise up and make shots over the top.  The one area of concern is going to be his ability to guard his position.  I wouldn't say he has heavy feet, but I wouldn't say they are quick either.  He would be well served to jump rope and start doing drills to improve the speed of his feet.  Offensively, I think he's capable of making an impact pretty quickly.  


Andrew Chase, North East (6-4, SG, 2012)

A guy who wasn't on our radar when we left for Halifax but who certainly is now is Andrew Chase.  At 6-4, he certainly has good size for a shooting guard.  He's also a good athlete and very skilled.  He has above average handles, can make shots off movement, and does a good job creating space for himself.   He plays hard, plays long, and is a guy we're excited to see again soon.  



Video highlights by our guy Joe Mosher of Hali Hoops !!




U17 Provincial Team Standouts 

***PG Jayden Nordin was not present as he was down in Toronto participating in the U16 National Team tryouts***


Travis Adams, Citadel (6-4, G/F, 2014)

The U17 team has some pretty good looking athletes, the best of which appeared to be Travis Adams.  His athletic ability and motor are what make him stand out in the gym as he's always going hard, always being aggressive, and always playing bigger than he is.  He looks to be the victim of a guy who's forced to play the post in his school setting; probably caused by a lack of bigs in the program.  As a result Travis has ball skills that are a little behind the curve.  His jump shot and ball handling need improvement before he can truly be a reliable shooting guard. For now he's a wing with great physical tools.  Only his work eithic towards adding the ability to catch and shoot, tightening his handle, and learning to read and react will determine how good he will be going forward.  


Sven Strammburger, (6-4, SF, 2014)

Sven is your typical coaches son (his mom is the Head Coach at Dalhousie).  He has good fundamentals, a high IQ, and an overall good feel for the game.  He seemed to always make the right pass in drill work, showed good form on his jump shot, and just had a vibe about him as a guy with passion for learning the game.  When the coaches were instructing he was locked into what they were saying.  He could very well end up being Nova Scotia's glue guy at Nationals.  


Finnbar Marten (6-1, SG, 2014)

Finnbar is another one of Nova Scotia's athletes.  He is fast coming out of his cuts away from basketball and moves well laterally on defense.  He's also got a decent mid range game, a lost art amongst young baskeball players.  In order to become the type of scorer he's capable, Finnbar will have to extend his range as a shooter.  For now he gets by as a mid range scorer capable of getting to the basket.  Defensively he seemed to possess the skill and length  



U15 Provincial Team Standouts 

Colin Smith, Citadel (6-6, F, 2015)

While he remains a project and a work in progress, Colin is very intriguing do to his length.  His wingspan is extremely long and he looks to be still growing.  He'll need to continue to improve his ball skills, his athleticism, and dedicate himself to adding muscle mass to reach his full potential.  He currently looks similar in body type to UNC power forward John Henson.  It will be interesting to see how much he grows and what type of player he molds himself into.  If he remains 6-6 and decides to try and play the wing, he'll need to really improve his lateral quickness.  If he grows or decides he'd rather be a stretch four, he'll need to focus more on strengthening his core.  It will be fun to monitor his development over the next few years.


Dakeyo Downey, Auburn High (6-2, SF, 2015)

Another guy who passes the look test is Mandrez Downey's younger cousin Dakeyo.  He appeared to be the best looking athlete on the team and was also a guy who gave maximum effort.  He looks as if he'll develop into a strong, athletic wing capable of guarding multiple positions and helping his team in a variety of fashions.  Like Colin, his ball skills also have a long way to go.  That said, he's a guy who should flourish as he continues to grow and develop.  The U15's are going to need him to be really tough and do a good job rebounding both in and out of his area despite his lack of height if they are going to be able to hang with the likes of Ontario and Quebec at Nationals.  


Tristen Ross, Truro Jr. High (6-1, SG, 2016)

Tristan was the youngest player on the team as a rising 8th grader but also one of the most complete.  He has a terrific looking jump shot, good basketball IQ, and seemed like a guy who led both vocally and by example.  He did everything at full speed, encouraged his teammates, and looked to be a guy who NS can count on to get them buckets and stretch the defense.  







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Tags: Andrew Chase, Colin Smith, , Deontay Smith, , Finnbar Marten, Jacob Simmons, , , Nevell Provo, , Sven Strammburger, Tristen Ross, Tyler Adams,

3 Responses to “Point Guards Standout on Trip to East Coast”

  1. Trinton 25. May, 2011

    One the players that impressed me at the all province game were Lorenzo Parker who also a star I think for the NS team,he has great footwork and speed,drive strong to the hoop and is very skilled in the game.

    Reply to this comment
    • Nolan Shulman 27. May, 2011

      There were a few guys who are now on our radar that were impressive. Lorenzo was one of them. Couldn’t write about everyone unfortunately

      Reply to this comment
  2. John D 24. May, 2011

    I thought that Lorenzo Parker and AJ Simmonds should be mentioned.

    Reply to this comment

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