Our Peach Jam recap continues with a look at another handful of players who stood out to us this past week in North Augusta. In this part we’re going to feature a few of the players with versatility, size and athleticism at their position, and skill.
Kevin Knox II (2017 6’7″ SF– Each 1 Teach 1 17U): Knox has had a breakout spring and summer. The one thing that really stood out this past week about his game is his ability to make smart basketball plays and be efficient on the floor. Knox can do a little bit of everything and it’s his versatility that allows his natural athletic abilities shine even more when he gets his hands on the basketball. While he needs to continue to improve his jump shot– including adding consistent range– he is able to make the occasional three point and score below the arc. He is more of slasher who is smooth getting to the rim. His handle will need to continue to tighten, but he already shows natural ability taking his man off the dribble– which should only get more impressive as he really pouts together his total game. The Tampa-native passes well and consistently made good decisions with the basketball. It’ll be interesting to track just how much he improves over the next six months given his rise in just the last few.
Trent Forrest (2016 6’4″ CG– Georgia Stars 17U): From one versatile player to another, recent FSU-commit, Trent Forrest, proved why he was a prized recruiting target for the Noles in the rising senior class. Forrest is a legitimate combo guard who used those skills to help his Chipley High basketball squad win a state title this past season. He has continued his momentum in to a successful summer which was capped off by a Peach Jam title. Forrest was a key in the spark that led the Stars past a talented Team Takeover team that looked to have the Stars on the ropes. Trent is a playmaker at every level of the floor. While his shooting isn’t always a go-to for him, he can stretch the floor. HIs biggest asset is being able to handle the ball and create off the dribble either in getting to the rim or finding a teammate for an easy score. He has good size for a guard and is an excellent rebounder at his position. Ball handling is an area of needed improvement especially if he’s going to play on the ball. Defensively he has the tools to be a solid team defender and under head coach Leonard Hamilton, he should be able to improve on that end of the court.
Tyler Polley (2017 6’8″ SF– Each 1 Teach 1 16U): Polley has been impressing Florida scouts for a while now and the evidence of his upside is clear. While his game can look and feel raw at times, because in some respects it still is, he will answer that with flashes that will leave a college coach thinking of what he could be in another two years. He can play in the post, face up and shoot, or score off the dribble. While strength is an area to address and a more consistent shot is a must, Polley can generate points in a variety of ways. Defensively he’ll have to continue to develop that side of the floor– including his lateral quickness and overall engagement. His handle will have to get tighter– especially under pressure. He can excel taking his man off the dribble or getting to the rim in transition. He recently received a scholarship offer from the Florida Gators and should have even more high-major suitors looking to enlist his services.
Silvio De Sousa (2018 6’8″ PF– Each 1 Teach 1 16U): Polley’s teammate and the No. 2 overall rated player in 2018 class, Silvio De Sousa, is a load down low. He has big, broad shoulders and a thick, strong frame that made him almost impossible to handle at the 16U level. He has good, strong hands and catches the ball very well. He is aggressive in establishing his position on the block and looks to attack right away. He showed flashes of being able to step out and shoot the three, but his shooting is an area that needs improving. De Sousa is quick off the dribble for his size and can drive past a lot of players at his position. He’s explosive and looks to put an exclamation mark on the rim anytime he is near it. He will play his upcoming season under Kevin Boyle in a Montverde Eagles purple and yellow uniform and will be a signature player on this signature program.
Ikechukwu Obiagu (2017 7’0″ C– Georgia Stars 16U): I don’t believe it to be a far-fetched statement to say that this even-footer was the best shot blocker in the 16 and 17U divisions in North Augusta. Ike commands the paint defensively and makes it almost impossible to feel good about a score going to rim for attacking guards and wings. Obiagu already has college ready size and with added strength will only improve his overall physique. He has excellent length, good agility and moves his feet very well in the lane covering a lot of area. While his defensive presence is undeniable, his offensive skill is still very raw, but he proved to be explosive once he caught the ball in the deep post attempting to dunk everything he could. He runs the floor well for his size and is tough to keep off the rim if he’s trailing and catches it in the lane in transition. Overall, Obiagu’s current worth can be measured by how well he dominates the lane on the defensive end and with the fact that he rebounds at a high clip and is physical inside, there is little doubt that his niche is in the paint.
Mohammed Bamba (2017 6’11” PF– PSA Cardinals 17U): From one shot blocker to another. Bamba is a freakishly long developing post player with some serious upside. He can block any shot near him with his immense length. He can get in a low stance and defend all the way out to the perimeter comfortably moving his feet extremely well and staying in front of smaller, quick guards. He led the 16U Nike EYBL division in blocks coming in to Peach Jam– averaging eight per game according to D1Circuit. He rebounds the ball at a pretty high level. Despite being thin framed, his activity level, length, and athleticism makes it hard to keep him off the glass when he wants to go get it. He reaches or jumps over almost everybody. He can score easily with a developing post game and footwork. He also can step out a hit shots from the elbow and shows some ball handling skills, which makes him a very difficult match-up every night. PSA liked to use him for dribble hand-offs at the top of arc and he looked very comfortable handling the ball that far out and with time he should be even better. Bamba runs the floor very well, fills the lane, and can finish with explosion or simple touch on a layup. Overall, there isn’t anything that Bamba’s physical tools won’t allow him to do on the court and watching him is like taking a peak in to the future of what today’s bigs are developing in to.