Ashley Rivens~ LadiesEliteHoopReport.com~Raleigh, NC – The Deep South Classic was a huge success this weekend with 328 teams participating and hundreds of college coaches seeking talent for their programs. Early Friday morning teams started packing the Raleigh Convention center where games were played on 20 different courts and games went on into late Sunday afternoon. Organizers Michael T. White and Bret McCormick put together a wonderful event bringing some of the top talent throughout the nation to match up head to head.
Top Individual Performers
Jade Phillips (2015, G, 6’0, Carolina All-Stars) –Coming into this weekend I heard very little about this young lady but believe me when I say she didn’t let me or college coaches in attendance leave without taking notice of her presence on the floor. At this level of play it is hard to find a player that prides herself in her defense and Phillips displayed her ability to defend at all guard positions as well as in the post. She is a in your face defender that proved that she can guard the best players on the opposing teams; getting steals and deflections is almost second nature. Although her defense is her strong point, she is at her best in the open court, aggressively attacking the middle and rising above defenders with a short floater.
Aaliyah Mazyck (2015, PG, 5’10, Wallace Prather Celtics) – Once again Mazyck has proven that she is one of the top point guards in the class of 2015. She has crafty handles, great vision with her passes, and she can single handily destroy defenses with her explosive first step and quickness. What stood out most to me is her mental toughness and understanding of moving on to the next play. Bottom line is she is a competitor that is going to give her best effort every time she steps on the floor and she makes everyone around her better.
Linnaea Harper (2015, G/F, 6’0, Scarborough Blues) – This Canadian tweener caught my attention right away as her demeanor on the court was that of a player that truly understands the game. She displayed the ability to put the ball on the floor, great vision, and can knock down the short jumper. Harper is one of those players that makes everyone else on her team better and is a natural leader on the floor.
Mone’ Jones (2015, F, 6’3, Carolina All-Stars) – If there were an award for the toughest player of the weekend it would go to this young lady. Teams were overly aggressive each time she touched the ball, making it difficult for her to maintain position and get easy looks at the basket. With that being said she took the challenge head on and battled to maintain position in the post, finishing at the rim while taking hard hits, knocking down the elbow jumper and fighting for rebounds and loose balls. Jones is a versatile post that is on target to have a great summer and continues to draw the eyes of college coaches.
Janay Sanders (2018, G, 5’10, NC Spartans) – She is a young player with a versatile game and great length for her position. Sanders made a name for herself this weekend with her standout play for the Lady Spartans that is full of young talent. She’s an aggressive guard that attacks the paint, pushes the ball ahead with alertness and lets the game naturally come to her. It’s going to be fun to watch her improve throughout the years.
Madison Oconnell (2018, G, 5’8, Ohio Surge) – Many players at this young age are normally offensive minded and the defense normally come with growth but Oconnell showed spurts of good individual and team defense. She did a great job at jumping to the ball, anticipating the next pass and bumping the cutter. Her ability to finish at the rim confidently with her left gives her an edge offensively. She is still growing and learning how to be a threat on the court and I plan to hear move from her going into July.