Sunday, December 27, 2015

City of Palms: Wiley's motor doesn't stop
Austin Wiley finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Montverde Academy.
FORT MEYERS, Fla. -- The second day of the City of Palms Classic featured several teams playing their first game in the event including a match up of top ranked Montverde Academy (Fla.) and Spain Park (Ala.).

Five-star power forward Austin Wiley played the entire game with his motor on high. The Auburn-bound big man reminds you of a young Alonzo Mourning with his broad shoulders, big body, good hands and his ability to run the floor. Wiley passes well out of the post and showed terrific footwork. Montverde used their depth to constantly have a fresh defender on Wiley but he still finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks.

Spain Park shooting guard Jamal Johnson started the game slowly but as the first half wore on you could see him starting to figure it out. Johnson has good range on his jumper, plays under control and was excellent on screen and roll. His good body control allowed him to take the bump in the lane and still finish. Johnson could have easily scored 30 points but his free throw shooting let him down in the second half.

The strength in this season's Montverde Academy team is their front court anchored by senior Bruno Fernando and sophomore Silvio De Sousa. On this day the duo combined for 22 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Fernando doesn't just have a good motor, Fernando has a great motor. He will catch a body at one end of the court then sprint back to help in transition defense. Fernando gave great effort defending Wiley. Whether he was defending Wiley inside or had to switch off on a perimeter big man, Fernando showed that he understands how to defend.

DeSousa is tough, athletic and plays with terrific energy at both ends of the court. He makes the correct pass out of the double team and his footwork is good. In the country for just 11 months and already a five-star prospect, as DeSousa develops his low post moves and counter moves he will be almost unstoppable in the paint.

I was impressed with...

Whenever you hear the name Bam Adebayo, the term 'dominant big man' typically comes up. The second day of the City of Palms was no different. Adebayo had a very efficient 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. He seemed to feed off of the contact when the ball goes up and was equally effective rebounding at both ends of the floor.

North Carolina-bound Tony Bradley continued his elite level play with 33 points and 13 rebounds but got very little help from his teammates. Bradley knows how to get deep low-post position and hold it. When the double team comes he knows how to react. Bradley can handle the ball and is a good passer. He also must be defended honestly when he steps away from the basket.

Jayson Tatum made half of his shot attempts, both inside and outside the arc. Tatum was also successful at getting to the free throw line where he made 11-of-15 attempts. With a complete scoring repertoire the Duke-bound Tatum was a match up nightmare for Bartow (Fla.) defenders and was able to get his from anywhere on the court. He finished with 36 points for Chaminade (Mo.) and made it look easy.
Other thoughts...

Sarasota Riverview has a backcourt with high major potential in juniors A.J. Caldwell and Brion Whitley.

Caldwell is one of the best jump shooters in the state of Florida and that skill was on display as he shot he shot 41-percent beyond the arc. He was also opportunistic on defense with three steals. Caldwell will need to improve his mid-range game. As teams learn he is less effective there, they will run him off the line.

Whitley is athletic and physical enough to score in the paint or in traffic. At 6-foot-4, 170-pounds he attacked the cup and got to the free throw line where he made all seven attempts. Whitley also has the poise to step to the line late in the game and knock down free throws as he did with 37 seconds to play to put his team in position to win.

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