Monday, October 9, 2017

Top Unsigned Post Grads Pump Promise Into Believe

Since relocating to Athens, Tenn. from South Carolina, Believe has stocked up on talent while simultaneously ramping up its national exposure. The program looks to make a loud, resonating statement this weekend while registering its presence amongst prep heavy hitters.

While known recruiting ace Tyson Waterman will coach the high school team, Believe also features a no-nonsense tactician in legendary New York coach Kevin Jackson. Jackson helped cultivate the talent of Kenny Anderson and Lamar Odom during the 1990s period of prosperity for New York City hoops.

The program will kick off the pre-season at the prestigious All-American Jamboree in Apopka,Fla. this weekend. 
On this elevated stage, before a sea of Division-I coaches, Believe will gauge its grit against traditional powers such as Montverde Academy, defending SIAA state champion Oldsmar Christian, Mississauga Prep of Canada, to name a few.

 The highly anticipated tournament will also include IMG Academy (FL). IMG now features 7-foot-3 Center Chol Marial and 6-foot-8, 218-pound man-child Darius Days, a highly-lauded recruit. Anfernee Simons, a hot-shooting top-10 prospect who has suitors aggressively banging on his door since de-committing from Louisville recently, is the centerpiece of IMG's post-grad team.

Head coach Randy Casey will take a pair of post-graduate teams to a high-level tournament at Vincennes, a nationally recognized JUCO superpower. The trip to Indiana will be a major barometer.

The increase in both numbers and strength of schedule has made for multiple post-graduate teams. Several prospects to keep an eye on in this weekend’s event:

Kymani Dunham: Massive 6-foot-9, 280-pound forward has soft hands, footwork, and a still evolving back to the basket game. Averaged 15 points, 10 boards, and five blocks as a junior at Brunswick High School (Ga.). As a senior, Dunham was a central piece in leading Brunswick to a berth in the 6A Georgia state championship game. Dunham is currently committed to College of Charleston.

Dexter Dennis:  6-foot-5 Louisiana native is widely regarded as one of the nation's top unsigned guards. Dennis thrives at knifing to the rim and is an explosive finisher. Has developed into more of a reliable knockdown threat, an aspect of his game he's improved on exponentially. Currently holds offers from Lafayette, Northwestern State, Southern Illinois, and various others. Has established himself as one of the more under the radar prospects.

Devan Cambridge: Bouncy 6-foot-5 Class of 2019 guard from Nashville has potential to become high-percentage inside-outside source at the high-major level. Athletic, rim-to-rim piece has knockdown capabilities. Averaged 17 points at Pope John Paul II last season, including a pair of 36-point outbursts in state tournament. Georgia Tech recently offered Cambridge, while Florida and Auburn also appear to be high on him.

Malcolm Nicholas III: Smooth 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard has picked up offers from Eastern Michigan and UT-Chattanooga recently. A high-motored athlete, the Miami native has the attributes to thrive in the souped-up attack. South Florida has upped their interest in Nicholas, who starred at Mater Academy in Hialeah, FL.

Coulter Dotson: Tennessee native will spend final year of illustrious high school career at Believe. At 6-foot-6, 175 and  containing a wealth of experience as a high-scoring feature piece, Dotson will lead by example. Has been an active presence on the glass while showing an ability to guard multiple positions.  Possessing high-major 3-point shooting ability and an adept all around feel for the game, Dotson is an intriguing prospect on the Division-1 market. His 3.8 GPA certainly helps. 

Joel Ntambwe: Forest Trails transfer brings multi-layered ability and can play a little point forward. Class of 2018 forward has offers on the table from Cincinnati, Rhode Island, Tennessee, UNLV, Providence, and myriad others. Possesses deft finishing ability and all-around game. Congo native possesses European guard skills and has flashed a 3-point game this fall.

JJ Romer: Hialeah, Fla. product is late-bloomer with bouncy athleticism and guard-esque skill-set. At 6-foot-10, Romer has potential to be another unique threat who will subscribe to the program's tenets of interchangeability and versatility this season.

Malcolm Farrington: 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard has lethal 3-point shooting ability, as evidenced in SIAA performances last year against Oldsmar Christian (15 points, 5-7 3FG), Potter’s House (20 points, 6-for-8 3FG), and in The Grind Session against Wesleyan Christian and Tennessee Prep. Class of 2018 guard has all-around game and brings defensive mindset into 2017-18 campaign. With a 4.0 GPA and steadily rising game, the 17-year-old Farrington would be a major get at the Division-I level.

Michee Mianga: 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward is sound around the basket and still developing as an interior threat. Has the potential to be a high-efficiency guy at the next level. Showing promise on the glass and as a rim-protecting presence. The Citadel, VMI, and Coastal Carolina are potential NCAA destinations for The Congo native.

Kris Volo: 6-foot-11, 245-pound Center has unique blend of size and evolving talent. Becoming more of an active presence on the glass and developing a sense of urgency in the paint has paid dividends for Volo, who has interest from Mercer and several others.

Coty Jude: A 6-foot-7 small forward with a feathery stroke and a hard-to-guard shot, Jude has been heating up on the high-major market. Marshall has been in the most active pursuit of Jude, who possesses immeasurable intangibles such as coach-ability and a high on-court IQ.  

Jared Grubb: Well-built 6-foot-1 guard has an adeptness at scoring from all three levels. Also possesses above average IQ and sees the floor well, an attribute which makes him an ideal prospect at point guard. London, KY native also has the strength, size, and skill-set to transition to the ensuing level of play with ease. Under the radar Division-1 prospect with wealth of upside.

Jimma Gatwech: Bouncy 6-foot-3 guard out of Nebraska has shown spurts of high level athleticism and superior above the rim game. Also a catch-and-stick threat who can ease into a souped up attack. Class of 2019 prospect must pack muscle on spindly frame and embrace physical components of the game.

Prince Aurosike: Physical 6-foot-9, 235-pound Center has natural rebounding ability and subscribes to high day-to-day work rate. Still evolving as a scorer, though he's displayed high efficiency scoring aptitude. IUPUI has offered while several mid-majors are expressing interest.

Damon Tobler: Transfer via Montverde Academy brings toughness and a knack for barrelling to the rim. Bullish 6-foot-5 lefty has dependable 20-foot jumper and versatile skill-set to play and guard multiple positions. Has offers from Winthrop, Nicholls State and several others on the table. Kansas State is also intrigued.

Bryson Langdon: Quick, witty 5-foot-11 guard from Chicago is crafty finisher with knack for getting into the teeth of defenses. Has thrived with the downhill game and reeling off points in a hurry. Kent State has offered.