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Sonny Hill Future Stars Tournament: Part 1
Tuesday, 18 August 2009

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Juan'ya Green
By Brian Crownover
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The summer AAU season isn't complete without one of Philly's premier events.  This past weekend, the annual Sonny Hill Future Stars Tournament took place at Temple University.  Recruit Recon was on hand to take in the action as some of the area's and region's top players took to the court.  Here is a look at the standout performances.

Team Philly

Juan'ya Green (2011, 6-3 SG)
Juan'ya is one of the finest scorers around and his talents were on display all weekend long with this Team Philly squad.  He has an uncanny ability to play very fast yet under control.  He seems to make his next move long before he's even been stopped by the defender.  Juan'ya will change directions in a hurry, whether with a crossover move or spin moves.  Regardless of whether he's facing the hoop or not, he always appears to know where he is in relation to the hoop.

Some players adjust well in traffic, but Juan'ya took that to another level on this weekend.  He often changed his shot at the last minute when on the attack and he converted at a high rate.  The graceful guard frequently converted with scoop shots or finger rolls.  

Juan'ya runs the floor well and looks to push the ball and score in transition too.  He shot the rock very well from the outside.  He can stop and pull up and convert from anywhere on the court.  He had several three pointers of that variety.

The Class of 2011 is loaded in the Philadelphia area and Juan'ya is the cream of the crop.  His abilities really shone through all weekend long as he led his team in the playoffs.  He was unstoppable any time that we encountered him on the court.

Willis Nicholson (2010, 5-10 PG)
This small guard is a crafty ball handler.  Willis runs the floor well and can get to the rim with ease in halfcourt sets.  He's very quick and can change directions in a moment's notice.  He'll attack with either hand.  Willis adjusts well in traffic and finished strong around the rim throughout the weekend.  He converted several scoop shots around the hoop.  He struggled from the perimeter and that's an area that could use improvement.  Willis made a couple nice passes, but made a few bad ones as well.  The slashing guard was outstanding when going at the rim though.

Ameen Tanksley (2011, 6-4 SF)
Ameen had a solid weekend.  The wing attacked from the outside and converted on a couple runners.  He ran the floor well and finished in transition too.  He rebounded throughout the games.  Ameen was quiet from the perimeter.  He still played well for Team Philly though.

Keith Coleman (2011, 6-8 PF/C)
Keith had a strong outing in Sunday's quarterfinal win.  The big man did a little of everything.  He ran the floor and scored a few times on the break, including an athletic dunk.  He cleared rebound after rebound, including a couple follow up plays.  He was fouled on one of those and converted at the line for an old fashioned three point play.  Keith also flashed his athletic ability with a pair of early blocks on the defensive end.  He did a fine job of making things happen on this talent laden squad.

Erik Copes (2011, 6-8 PF/C)
Erik put together a nice game on Saturday.  The gifted big man used his great hands to work on the boards.  He scored on several putbacks, including one after being fouled.  He converted after a fine pass from a teammate as well.  His touches within the offense were limited though.  Erik did block a shot on the defensive end.  In the playoff action, he was effective again when it came to crashing the boards, particularly on the defensive end.  He was solid on this strong team.

Shawn Oakman (2011, 6-8 PF)
This is another big man who had to get it done on the boards.  Shawn also scored on several putbacks.  He rebounded well at both ends too.  He had few other touches though.

Chosen League

Quasim Jones (2010, 6-0 PG)
Quasim played well in this tournament.  He knows how to score the ball.  The lead guard showed himself to be a good shooter as he hit a pair of three pointers and another jumper.  He's quick off the dribble and can change directions.  He had a fine behind the back dribble on one play where he went coast to coast after pulling down a rebound.  Quasim hit a runner in the lane and finished with his left hand after a drive to the rim.  He did have trouble converting down the stretch in the playoff game, including missing the potential game winning runner.  Quasim had a good weekend otherwise though.

John Johnson (2011, 6-1 PG/SG)
We heard he had an outstanding quarterfinal contest, but John struggled in the two contests that we caught on this weekend.  He hit a beautiful fall away runner and made a couple nice passes in Saturday's game.  The aggressive guard got into the lane, but failed to convert consistently.  John struggled with his jumper as well.  He lost his cool at the end of one contest and it resulted in the game being halted early to cool tempers down.  This tournament was far from the best we've seen from John.

Jerrell Wright (2011, 6-8 PF/C)
This left handed big man had a strong playoff game.  Jerrell finished well throughout the contest.  He hit a pair of hook shots on the interior.  He converted another shot after a good pass.  Jerrell also put the ball on the floor and drove across the lane and finished with a scoop shot.  He rebounded the ball well.  He's very smooth and fluid with the ball in his hands.  Jerrell possesses a great set of hands.  He has long arms and a decent build with the ability to add even more strength.  Jerrell is quite the talented interior presence.  

Tyree Johnson (2010, 5-9 PG)
Tyree was solid in Saturday's action, but even better in the big semifinal win over Cecil Kirk.  He really had his perimeter shot going.  When that's the case, the speedy guard's game goes to another level.  Tyree hit four shots from beyond the arc in that big win.  He hit a runner in that contest and converted when driving several other times on Saturday.  He had a few fine passes to teammates as well from the lead guard spot.  Tyree was a key in his team's success over the weekend.

Markus Kennedy (2010, 6-9 PF) committed to Villanova
Markus was steady on this balanced squad.  As usual, he was very efficient around the hoop.  He scored on a post hook shot, had a short drive and bank with a foul.  He also banked in a difficult shot after an offensive rebound.  Markus scored several other times on putbacks and he rebounded well on the defensive end too.  He made a nice pass out of the low block as well.  Markus was productive without a lot of touches.

Turhan Griffin (2011, 6-1 SG)
Turhan was solid for the Chosen League team.  He shot well from the outside, including a pair of three pointers.  He possesses a smooth stroke.  He moves well without the ball and scored several times after feeds from his teammates.  Turhan also hit a runner too.

Aquil Younger (2011, 6-1 PG)
Aquil is a very speedy young guard.  He had several nice drives to to the hoop.  He drew a foul after one of those.  He had a nice drive and dish play.  Aquil nailed a three pointer too.  He had a pair of turnovers though, but he was solid for this team though.

Philly Pride

Tyrone Garland (2010, 5-11 PG)
When the pull up game is on for Tyrone, all you can do is sit back and enjoy the show.  He hasn't played particularly well when we've caught him during this AAU season, but Tyrone exploded in a tight playoff loss on Sunday.  His team was shorthanded, but he took it upon himself to provide more firepower.  He nailed pull up jumper after pull up jumper, often from beyond the arc.  Tyrone is super smooth with the rock in his hands and glides along the court.  He has a quick release and that makes the above mentioned jumper nearly impossible to defend.  He ran the floor some and attacked the hoop from time to time too.  It was the pull up game that really made for this special outing though.  Unfortunately, he cooled off a bit down the stretch and his teammates couldn't pick up the slack.  Tyrone did all he could though and finished with 36 points in the loss.

Tyree Smith (2010, 6-4 SG)
Tyree provided a strong second scorer for Philly Pride, particularly in the first half of this contest.  Early on, he buried three shots from beyond the three point line.  He followed that up with a bank on the inside plus a foul (he missed the free throw though).  He hit another pull up three pointer later on.  Tyree has a smooth shot.  He can handle the ball a little, but isn't going to blow by the defender very often.  He did have a couple nice passes too.  He slowed down as the game wore on, but Tyree still ended with 17 points.
 
Trenton One

Darrin Elam (2010, 6-5 SG/SF)
This wing had an outstanding weekend.  Darrin is a slasher who loves to go into attack mode.  He's a quick ball handler and has good size which allows him to finish well when going at the rim.  He had a number of fine plays throughout, among them a spin move and banked runner.  Darrin can change directions off the dribble.  He showed his athletic ability on a couple plays, including a few dunks and blocks.  He has a fine set of hands and that allowed him to crash the boards on both ends.  He can bang down low and score in the post too.  Darrin hit a couple three pointers from the outside, but didn't take many shots from deep.  Clearly, his strength is as a slasher and he did a fine job of that all weekend.  For his efforts, he was awarded a spot on the all tournament team.

Devon Thomas (2010, 6-2 SG)
Whereas Darrin likes to attack, Devon is more comfortable shooting it.  He really caught our attention early on a he buried three shots from beyond the arc.  He has a good stroke, although not the quickest release.  Devon did cool off from the outside throughout the rest of the weekend, but still continued to shoot it pretty well.  The guard is also capable of attacking off the dribble or running the floor.  He hit a couple runners in the lane and also scored in transition.  Devon was another key piece to Trenton One's surprise run into the playoffs.

Eric Fanning (2011, 6-4 SF)
Eric is a lanky wing who also helped Trenton One.  The youngster had a good weekend driving to the basket and running the floor.  He's smooth with the ball in his hands and takes long strides.  Eric shot the ball well too, although most of his jumpers came from inside the arc, so we're unsure if his range extends beyond that.  Eric converted on several putbacks as well throughout the week.  He grabbed a few boards and blocked a shot here or there too.

VA Elite 17s

Rashad Gadson (2010, 5-6 PG)
This little guy was one of the best players of the weekend.  Don't let his size fool you, because Rashad can really get it done.  He's super quick and nearly impossible to keep in front of you.  He played with a lot of effort and energy and really put pressure on the defense.  He found himself at the foul line quite often.  Rashad scored on a few runners in the lane and his small stature didn't hurt him too much in traffic.  You'd have to imagine that he won't have quite the same success at the next level though.  He passed the ball pretty well in this contest too.  Rashad hit a three pointer early on, but failed to convert deep on any of his other shots.  He has a high arching shot with a slow release and would likely get blocked more often as he progresses.  His height will likely keep Rashad out of the Division 1 ranks, but this lead guard can really play the game and produce.

Antonio Butler (2010, 6-5 SF)
Antonio had a fine game as well.  The wing hit a pair of three pointers from the outside.  He converted on a very impressive putback in traffic.  He also showed his ability to attack as he used a crossover move to go left and then finish with a runner.  Antonio worked the offensive boards often in this contest.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 September 2009 )
 
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