By: Larry Curry (Balln Prep Basketball)
The Woodlands, TX – The John Lucas Top 160 Invitational was the place to be this past weekend September 3rd-4th. The event was filled with some of the top girls basketball talent in the country. The girls trained with some of the top trainers and got a little taste of what the next level is going to be like. The camp also provided the players an opportunity to compete against one another and showcase their talents to tons of media and they didn’t disappoint.
’17 Maya Dodson 6’2” F – When you watch Maya Dodson play the talent is obvious. She has great length and size combined with an outstanding set of tools at her disposal. Dodson has great hands and catches every single pass thrown her way. When she catches she plays true to her size and finishes above the defense with both hands. What I love about her game the most is that she always goes 110% all the time no matter the situation.
’18 Shakira Austin 6’4” F/C – Shakira has dominate post player written all over her. She rebounds and defends at a high level. Austin does a great job of establishing and making herself available for drop offs when guards penetrate. She has a huge upside and will keep improving her back to the basket game.
’18 Ariana Taylor 6’2” F/C – Taylor has a solid all around game for a big. She has a great frame and strong upper body that she uses to establish herself down low. Ariana displayed solid ball handling with both hands and beat defenders with a quick burst going to the basket.
’18 Morgan Jones 6’0” F – Morgan is a nightmare for defenders in the open floor. She can get rebounds and initiate the breaks or she can get out and fill the lanes and explode the rim. The young lady can jump out of the gym. Her length impacts the game on both ends of the floor. Jones is one of the best two players in the country.
’18 Tehya Lyons 5’8” G – Tehya is a dynamic southpaw that is lighting quick off the dribble. She attacks the basket with aggression and goes end to end seamlessly. Love her attacking style on offense.
’18 Tanisha Elbourne 5’8” G – Tanisha is a nice sized guard with good length. She uses her wingspan to pressure ball handlers and cause disruption on defense. She anticipates and plays the passing lanes well. Elbourne is a good slasher and displayed nice touch around the basket.
’18 Daja Woodard 6’2” F – Daja plays with a lot of confidence and is a crazy athlete. Of course everyone knows that she has silly hopes and explosion but she can also spot up and knock down threes and has a really good floater. Sky is the limit for the kid.
’18 Sedona Prince 6’7” F/C – Sedona Prince is a rare breed. She has been blessed with unmatched size and is equipped with mobility, agility, footwork, and a nice array of post moves that takes most girls her size ages to develop. She has a wonderful jump hook and drop steps with power. She gets up and down the court and runs straight to the block to establish position which puts a lot of pressure on bigs in transition. I love Sedona’s enthusiasm for the game. She is an absolute monster.
’18 Brooke Moore 5’7″ G – Brooke Moore has handles. Some players can dribble well enough to get from point A to B but Moore gets from point A to B and might leave a few broken ankles behind on the way. She has blow by speed and is extremely difficult to stay in front of. The fact that her jumper is on point makes guarding her even more difficult for defenders. Brooke shoots it well consistently from deep. She has “it”.
’19 McKinzie Green 5’7” G – McKinzie is one of the most athletic guards in her glass. She has great speed and explosion of the dribble. Green uses her athleticism to snake her way into the paint. McKinzie displayed wonderful control and balance. Green’s game will keep developing and she is one to watch in the years to come.
’19 Jordan Isaacs 6’2” F – Love Jordan’s game. During the drills and the scrimmage sessions she stood out and displayed a lot of skills that a player her size shouldn’t have. The smooth forward showed great start and stop ability and nice foot work. Her ability to absorb contact allowed her to effectively finish around the rim. Issacs stepped out a little and showed confidence in her face up game and knocked down 10-15 foot jumpers.
’19 Elizabeth Scott 6’0” G/F – Enjoyed watching Elizabeth do work in the drills and the scrimmages. She has an effortless game. Scott is a tough shot maker. She is a glass eater and used her great frame to seal off defenders for rebounds. She is particular stellar on the offensive glass, cleans up around the rim, and creates easy shots for herself.
’19 Breanna Beal 6’0” G/F – I am not sure that defenders wanted any part of Beal’s physicality. She attacks the basket over and over again and does a great job of punishing smaller guards and using her agility against less athletic forwards. Breanna is a knock down shooter from deep.
’19 Raevyn Ferguson 5’5” G – Ferguson demonstrated blazing quickness and speed with the ball in her hands. She went from baseline to baseline faster than anyone at the event. She is a good facilator in half court sets and in transition. She uses good foot speed and lateral movement to apply tenacious on the ball pressure.
’19 DaJinae McCarty 5’7” G – DaJinae is a go getter. She is extremely hard to stay in front of because of her solid and efficient ball handling. When she gets into the paint she is a closer and avoids shot blockers. In the open floor she is fantastic. I love McCarty’s calm demeanor. She has a great feel for the game and is always under control.
’19 Samantha Brunelle 6’2” G/F – I always enjoy watching Samantha Brunelle compete. She plays every game as if it’s her last. Sam does just about everything on a basketball court and can probably play 4 positions at a high level. I mean what do you need? She can score with her back to the basket, has wonderful mid range game, handles the rock, and when her feet are set she is as good of a shooter as anyone in the country. Oh did I mention that she gets after it on the defensive end as well. She has quick hands to swipe balls away from offensive players and is a great off the ball shot blocker.
’20 Laila Blair 5’6” G – Laila Blair is a marksman from deep and was one of the best shooters at this event. It’s not natural for defenders to have to guard a player 3-4 feet behind the 3 point line. Blair’s extended range makes it extremely hard for defenders to get out and contest her silky smooth J. She is outstanding in pick and roll or pick and pop situations and utilizes hesitations and up fakes to get by defenders who have to respect her shooting ability.
’20 Myra Gordon 6’0” G – This young lady is a professional scorer. No flash just all substance. Myra is an outstanding shooter from deep and can put the ball on the floor to get by defenders with a quick first step. She has good size at the guard spot and can see over the top of most defenders. Gordon is a really smart basketball player and makes good decisions on the court.
’20 Deja Kelly 5’8” G – I mean everyone knows what Deja Kelly brings to the table but I love writing about players that don’t stop getting better and are always working on their game. She gets better every time I see her play and always adds something new. She is a wonderful distributor. She gets into the painted area and either drops dimes or absorbs contact and finishes equally with both hands. Her ball handling never fails her and she always controls the tempo. Her basketball IQ is off the charts and has been that way for years.
’21 Reigan Richardson 5’10” F – It’s rare to see a super young player display a killer instinct but Reigan is a flat out assassin. Richardson has quick pull up ability and shoots it well off the dribble. There are no wasted motions in her game. She is the definition of a scorer. It’s in her DNA. Richardson will keep getting physically stronger and adding to her game and will be on a bunch of top 20 lists in the future.