First and foremost I must give a shout out to the Coaching Staff at Northwood Temple for showing me so much hospitality every time I come to their school, it is greatly I appreciate!! During this open gym in particular myself and an assistant Coach from Temple University were in the building to check out some talent , here are a few notes…
Backcourt Running Mates
C/O 2018 Point Guard Dakari Johnson– Dakari was impressive from the time I stepped into the gym , he has always been a very mature player but now is becoming more vocal and taking on a leadership role on the squad even though he’s only a sophomore. He displayed very good ball handling skills and the ability to be able to maneuver through small gaps to get into the lane and make good plays. Dakari has outstanding upper body strength and has no problem finishing through contact and on the defensive end was very effective by playing physical defense with his opponent. He has all the tools that you love for a Point Guard to have and is drawing interest from colleges at the Mid Major + level. We expect a big year from this young man and won’t be surprised to see him finish the year with multiple scholarship offers.
C/O 2019 Combo Guard Josh Nickleberry– Josh had an outstanding 8th grade season playing on the varsity level, he had numerous games where he put up very impressive scoring numbers and plays the game with a smoothness that is beyond his years. Following the season he recorded some dominant performances during the AAU season playing with Team Loaded 2019 finishing as one of the top teams in the country in their age group. Throughout the night he showed very good ball handling skills and a quick first step but His best attribute that he showed on this night in particular was his shooting. He can get his shot off very quickly and has good lift on his shot so even when his shot is defended well or contested he has no issue getting his shot off. This young man can flat out play and we are expecting another impressive year from him as well.
New Kids on the Block
C/O 2016 Wing John Maynor– John is a transfer in from Hoke County HS, his recruitment has been pretty quiet up to this point but that will definitely change before too much longer. At 6’5 he has nice size for a wing at the college level, he has a textbook shooting form and knocks down shots at a high rate from midrange and downtown with a minimal amount of dribbling. What makes him even more dangerous is that he has the ability to play inside as well , to make things plain and simple, this young man can score the ball at a very high rate while doing it all in the flow of the game. On the defensive end he really got after it, applying constant pressure and using his wingspan to come up with numerous steals, if you’re a Low Major coach you will definitely want to keep a close eye on this young man. In the words of J.Cole I can honestly say that ‘‘He’s about to blow up’’ when it comes to his recruitment.
C/O 2019 Max Farthing- As soon as you see Max walk into the gym he reminds you of former Fayetteville Academy and Current Manhattan Jaspers Forward Zane Waterman. Max has a lean frame but plays much stronger than he looks, he has no problem mixing it up inside but is a very efficient shooter. Throughout the night He showed his ability to find ways to get open and knock down midrange and perimeter shots as well as creating space for himself to get a shot off with his ball handling skills. Max was very impressive throughout the night and has the tools and size to be a very special player if he continues to progress, even on the defensive end he was constantly giving effort on every possession. Whether it was an opportunity for a rebound that was up for grabs or diving on the floor for a loose ball Max was involved in the play some type of way, He will definitely be one to keep a close eye on this season and in the upcoming years
The X Factor
Bench play will be solid for Northwood this season with some athletic players as well as some knock down shooters stepping in to give the starters some rest, but a player in the starting lineup that will have to come up big for Northwood to be a contender for a state championship is 2016 6’9 Center TeTe Armel . Throughout the open gym session he showed sparks of how good he can be if he plays with high energy, there were numerous plays where he threw down a dunk or finished a layup effortlessly. During drills he showed some ball handling skills that I had never seen from him in the past few years that were very impressive, His ability to rebound the ball and block shots was on full display throughout the night and will be needed during the season to hold down the inside for Northwood Temple