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U17 National Championships - Pool Play Standouts

Posted on 05. Aug, 2011 by nshulman8511 in Canada Spotlight, Tournaments

Toronto, ON - Through pool play at Nationals we've now seen everyone in the U17 bracket at least once.  The talent has been impressive, the games competitive, and the structure refreshing.  Take a look at who's caught our eye thus far.  





Cam Smythe, British Columbia U17 (6-11 C)

Despite added responsibilities with fellow skyscraper Braxston Bunce out for the entire tournament with a stress fracture (i.e. his high-low offensive partner gone), Cam has adjusted his game nicely. He has major upside for the future with his versatility at his size. He is an advanced high post passer and his turnaround jumper looked smooth and routine. His length is such a mismatch and he has converted with a high percentage (10-for-13 FGs vs. PEI on Tuesday). BH


AJ Simmonds, Nova Scotia (6-0 PG)

The biggest surprise of Nationals has to be 2012 point guard AJ Simmonds.  Unranked coming into the tournament, AJ has proved he's one of the most complete lead guards in our country.  He is shifty, makes shots, gets in the lane, and controls tempo.  He won't be looking up the list at very many point guards going forward.  He needs to do a better job protecting the ball going forward, but i've really liked what I've seen from a skill set standpoint. NS 


Jayden Nordin, Nova Scotia (6-1 SG)

Jayden came into the tournament with a big time reputation and we can certainly see why.  He's a little different from most scorers in our country.  We've got tons of athletes who can punish the rim and make three's, but very few who have a middle game.  That's what stood out to us.  He had a nice one dribble pull up and rarely takes it too deep.  He was impressive in transition as well, demonstrating a good understanding of spacing and proving he can finish at the rim.  The one thing I'd like to see him prove is that he can make plays going to his left.  All I've seen thus far is his ability to go right. NS


Jordan Whyte, Alberta U17 (6-5 PG)

Jordan's skill set is extremely impressive.  We've always thought of him as a shooting guard/wing but after watching him more extensively this week, he's wired up more to become a big point.  He has a high basketball IQ and can hurt you in a variety of fashions.  His ball handling is excellent for a point forward, but not at the level where he can be counted on to be the primary ball handler vs. pressure.  His first step is long and has burst, while his length and touch allow him to finish in the lane.  His shooting is a work in progress as his mechanics are rarely the same two shots in a row.  He's one of the best long term prospects in the gym, but still has a long way to go to reach his ceiling. NS  


Scott Lamb, Alberta U17 (5-10 SG)

An all-star at last year’s U15 Nationals in Winnipeg, Scott may be the youngest member of the Alberta U17 team, but stands out as one of the best decision-makers in the tournament. He recognizes when to hit teammates in the chest for passes, what is good shot selection, and how to keep his feet ahead of opponents as a defender. He is a bull’s-eye shooter and a good combo-guard option. BH



Lyndon Annetts, Alberta U17 (6-5 SF)

Not a guy you want to leave open. Lyndon has good size for ma wing and stationed himself predominantly around the 3-point arc to launch away after being on the receiving end of a drive-&-kick sequence. New Brunswick paid the price on Tuesday, with Lyndon hitting 6-of-9 threes and 11-of-15 shooting overall. This zone buster is a proven scorer, but his defensive intensity needs to compete at the same consistency. BH


Kyle Peterson, Alberta (6-2 PG)

We've taken in Kyle twice during this tournament and he was two completely different players.  In the game vs. New Brunswick, Kyle looked confident, poised, and under control.  He displayed great vision, good touch on his passes, the ability to get in the gaps, and proved capable of shooting/scoring the basketball.  In their game vs. Ontario he looked flustered by the pressure (6 turnovers), made some mistakes high level point guards shouldn't make, and seemed overwhelmed by the athleticism and aggressiveness of the Ontario backcourt.  Which Kyle shows up mentally going forward will have a direct impact on how deep Alberta is able to advance.  The kid can play, he just needs to believe in himself.  2 assists to 16 turnovers in last two games isn't good enough for a kid who's capable of so much more. NS 


Junior Sesay, Manitoba U17 (6-0 PG)

Like Lamb, Sesay put on a show for his U15 team last year at Nationals in Winnipeg. This Cadet National Team tryout invite struggled with his shot selection for the most part in Manitoba’s opening game against Saskatchewan on Tuesday, perhaps in part due to a taped up shooting hand. He picked the right time to get hot, hitting big shots in the final few minutes, and finishing with 19 points. With his blazing speed, he was getting by his defender(s) whenever he wanted and used it as a very good on-the-ball defender as well. While his game is still raw and his future position (i.e. PG or SG?) still up in the air, there is no doubting his intriguing upside. BH


Kristjan Lamont, Manitoba U17 (6-6 F)

A sneaky athlete, Kristjan can effect the game in a lot of different ways.  He can make plays above the rim and facing the rim.  He has the range to be effective in pick and pop situations, you can run isolations and let him beat bigger/slower defenders off the bounce, and he can pass out of the high post.  He's a bit streaky and  needs to play harder more consistently, but he's a unique talent who we'll continue to monitor. NS 


Duane Notice, Ontario (6-3 SG)

Defensively, Duane has made a major impact for the Ontario squad.  He's applied tremendous ball pressure on his opponents and as a result they've struggled finding ways to be effective.  He's taken away their ability to get to the rim by taking great angles and sliding his feet exceptionally well.  He also looks more explosive off the dribble and leaping.  He's quietly making major strides in his game and we expect him to step up as one of the few premiere players staying in Canada for the upcoming high school season. NS 


Henry Tan, Ontario (5-11 PG)

The best defensive point guard in the tournament, Henry has been a defensive stopper in the Ontario backcourt.  In their game vs. Newfoundland, Daniel Foo was picking apart the Ontario guards and allowing his team to hang around.  Not until Henry came in and guarded him did Ontario extend their lead and take control.  He's been a terrific defender for quite some time and as a result his team wins games.  For Henry to make that next jump and get the division 1 call up, he needs to change the mechanics of his jump shot and play with more than one speed.  Everyone knows Henry is fast, but sometimes slower is better.  As a point guard it's your job to read and react and playing 100 mph all the time makes this task difficult.  He's got tremendous upside and potential, he just needs to harness his gifts and use them efficiently. NS 


Marko Pirovic, Ontario (6-7 F)

I haven't always been sold on Marko but this week he's really won me over.  He's played harder and tougher than anyone else on the Ontario roster.  He had 15 points, 10 rebounds on 6-7 FG vs. Alberta.  He had 16 points on 8-11 vs. Saskatchewan, and 9 points and 7 rebounds on 4-7 vs. Newfoundland.  He's been efficient, provided energy, rebounded the basketball, and guarded his position.  Can't say enough about what we've seen from Marko. NS 


Kyle Arsenault, New Brunswick U17 (6-5 PF)

An undersized stretch post, Kyle has been given the green light to shoot it and hit five 3-pointers over the first two games. He has a high release and uses his broad-shoulders to crash the offensive boards. He scored a team-high 25 points against Newfoundland on Wednesday. BH


Mitchell Hearn, Newfoundland & Labrador U17 (5-9 PG)

As one of the ‘young guns’ in NL’s backcourt (alongside fellow grade 11-to-be Daniel Foo), Mitchell scored 10 straight points for his team in a critical third quarter run on Wednesday to distance themselves with New Brunswick and qualify for the quarterfinals. His personal run included a three-ball, a pretty And-1 drive to the hoop that ended with him on the floor, and a couple of deuces. He was also at the front of a fullcourt press and is one of the better on-the-ball defenders in the tournament. BH

Daniel Foo, Newfoundland & Labrador U17 (5-11 PG)

It's been a great week for discovering point guards, and while Foo isn't a new name for us, it had been a while since we last saw him.  He's clearly a coaches son as he understands where the basketball should be going and where his teammates should be at all times.  He scores it, he distributes, and he understands when to push tempo and when to maximize the clock.  He has a great overall floor game and will be a priority CIS recruit at the beginning of next summer. NS 





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