“6 Man Rotation” VOL. 2
In efforts to start highlighting players not just for their status and their stats (which obviously sometimes determines who’s the best at that category), but also to try take note of players who maybe don’t always get attention because they don’t fill up the stat sheet, but still make an impact to the game. I hope to highlight players who may not always get the recognition, however at the end of the day you still have to standout among the rest. When it comes to the BASKETBALL world, I believe everyone is treated fair, but not everyone is treated equal.
The “6 Man Rotation” series will feature the best players I saw over the weekend in these categories: Best Shot Maker; Best Defender; Best Passer; Highest Motor; Best Feel/IQ; and “Mr. Play the Right Way”
RCS Sports Super 16 Extravaganza really gave a lot of teams and players to showcase their skills and show if they are getting better. Seeing these kids so many times throughout the OTR camps over the summer, and preseason shootout getting underway, to me it’s important to hopefully see growth. After so many games observing you can really start to get a feel of who they are becoming.
Best Shot Maker: Amaree Abram, 2022 Summer Creek HS
We all know that Amaree is very crafty and knows how to get by people and playmake at an elite level. But what I noticed the most at the Super tournament is that he was looking to get to mid-range pullups. He can finish at the rim, and knockdown threes, but adding more of that level of creating space and pulling up from 15ft makes him even more of a deadly scorer now. Playing at the high speed that Summer Creek plays didn’t phase him or stop him at all, he fit right in. All weekend he paced summer creek and scored pretty much however he wanted to. Bigger and stronger now, and if he’s stopping on a dime and raising up… a lot of buckets are going to be dropped.
Best Defender: Brian Myles, 2021 Legacy School of Sport Sciences
Sometimes I think B. Myles can get lost in the shuffle of the legacy roster sometimes. He’s not too flashy or making a lot of the highlights, but he’s doing almost ALL of the little things needed to win. Especially defensively. I don’t know if I just haven’t paid attention, but what impressed me the most was his defensive versatility. He was able to lock down in the post, but also in high ball screen situations, I saw him several times switch on to a smaller guard and they couldn’t get past him off the dribble. I even saw him peel a couple of guys out on the perimeter. Plays with active hands, and always communicates defensively. You may not notice his presence, but his presence will always resonate with his teammates when he’s able to anchor the defense down and help them get stops.
Best Passer: Austin Benigni, 2022 Woodlands Christian HS
We usually know him for his finishing, downhill pace, and competitive nature. However, I took note of his passing this tournament. When you are constantly beating your man and getting into the paint, defenders collapse and passing opportunities become available. As the leader of the team the scouting report will always be about him, so that leaves lots of chances for him to set up his teammates. Austin is still a very smart player so he knows how to read the defense and drop a dime to his teammate. His big man Cedric Cook was back form injury, so Austin was able to throw some dump downs and drop offs to the big when defenders sunk in on him. And was also able to get some kick outs to some of his shooters. Woodlands Christian made it to the final 4 of the tournament, and Austin’s ability to facilitate a bit and set his teammates up helped pace them that far.
Highest Motor: Jakeel Registe 2024 Summer Creek HS
If Jakeel Registe secures a starting role, and continues be a star in his role like I’ve seen thus far in preseason; he might be making a case for one of the top freshman in the city. The qualities he has can translate. Jakeel ran the floor extremely hard. Obviously with pressing there will be a lot of sprinting and chasing, however I was impressed with how he continued to give max effort at every change of possession. Good anticipation skills to go for steals. Super active body who just throws himself to the offensive glass. He seems to just enjoy getting out there and competing, and I like how he’s able to fit in and contribute and ultimately make a valuable impact offensively and defensively. He’s not just there floating piling up minutes, he’s getting after it.
Best Feel/IQ: Jakoby Flores, 2021 St. Thomas Episcopal
Coming out of the summer I think the narrative turned to he’s “only a shooter.” Although that may be his best attribute; I always say that there are a lot of people who can shoot, but the really good ones generally are super smart. I believe it’s an art to being open and finding your shot – IQ is usually the main part of that equation. At STE, Jakoby has to do it all. Every shot he took pretty much was an open shot. I watched him thread the needle with some of his passes. Knowing time & score. Seeing when to accelerate and come off the screen for an open 3. Used his dribble to maneuver through the paint and find a scoring opportunities for the team. Always seemed poised and under control, played at his own pace.
“Mr. Play the Right Way”: Brian Gordon, 2021 Shadow Creek HS
I think I had Brian Gordon in this category a couple months back, on one of my twitter editions. Nothing has changed apparently. This time I think I was more impressed with how gritty he was in the tournament. I liked seeing him rise to the occasion against Duncanville. Often times he was making 2,3, even 4th efforts going after the ball, or rotating on the defensive side. Offensively he handled the pressure well. Whenever he was off the floor is when the game seemed to get a little out of control. Got his team into actions and helped them flow offensively. Made the right reads. But ultimately just how hard he played and how much he competed for every second he was out there is how anyone should always play while they’re out there.