Suwanee TOC 2016: Plenty of talent at all ages
By Bob Corwin
In its 14th year, the Suwanee Tournament of Champions, presented by All Star Girls Report, had something for everyone. Held July 5-8 in Suwanee, Georgia, the event drew about 240 (mostly division one) colleges from all over the USA (however mostly east of the Mississippi) represented, prospects on the 144 teams ranging from middle school through high school had plenty of chances to strut their stuff.
Camouflage uniforms need to go!
Last year I thought things could not get worse with teams wearing outfits that practically hid the numbers. This year, so many teams went for the camouflage look. There were games with opponents almost in identical gray outfits except for some striping (orange versus pink). On first glance it looked more like an inter-squad game! College evaluators were privately upset about this complaining it is hard enough to evaluate without having to figure which player was on each side!
Looking briefly at some of the results before looking at some standout performers in the event. Unfortunately, most title games were going on simultaneously so only brief information was available on several contests.
17U National Division A-B final
Maine Firecrackers 16U 38-37 Kenner (LA) Angels 17U
One of the best teams from Maine in recent year defeated a strong defensive unit out of Louisiana.
17U National Division C-D final
In this age group, the C & D Brackets were considered the stronger two of the four. Thus concentration was given to this final match-up of these two bracket winners..
FBC Mo United 17U (GA) 53-28 Rivals Black 17U (MA)
FBC had taller, superior skilled athletes and Rivals Black out of New England spent the game chasing the team from down south. Leading 28-18 at half, FBC pulled away in the second stanza. FBC was led by Elizabeth Balogun (see below) with 12 points. No player for Rivals Black reached double figures.
16U National Division Final
IExcel Horton/Austin 15U (NY) 42-41 FBC Sophomores Black 16U (GA)
This was one of the best games of the entire event. With two Power 5 posts to one, FBC led 25-18 at half and still had the lead to the dying seconds of the game. Key play was an amazing outlet of a contested rebound off a missed foul shot by IExcel’s Aliyah Boston (see below) in the dying seconds of the game, The fast break was converted by rising freshman Alexsia Rose (5-6, guard) and FBC could not get back up court to re-take the lead before time expired. IExcel was led by Boston with 18 points and Michelle Sidor (see below) with 14. FBC was led by Jada Rice (see below) with 13 points and Bria Harmon (see below) with 10 points.
15U National Division Final
Riverside Hawks Green 15U (NY) 62-49 Rivals Gold 15U (MA)
14U National Division Final
Tayler Hill Elite 2021 14U (MN) 53-41 Riverside Hawks Blue 14U (NY)
Players below are listed alphabetically with height, position, graduation year and club team with home town in parenthesis. Players chosen stood out in one or more games, not necessarily indicative of full tournament performance.
Kesha Brady, 5-7 shooting guard, Brandan Wright 2017 Black (Lavergne, Tennessee)
Watching versus an athletic SC 76ers team, Brady was hitting everything from threes to layups finishing with 18 points on the night. Word in the gym is that she is getting non-Power 5 offers. Night in and night out consistency may be one reason she is not being recruited higher.
Janeen Camp. 6-5 center, BWSL Richmond 2017 (Portsmouth, Virginia)
Camp is one player who does not have to score to effect a game. She is a physical presence in the paint willing to defend hard and hit the boards. Word in the gym is that she has multiple Power 5 offers.
Cymone Goodrich, 5-11, forward/guard Illinois X-Citement Joi 17U (Matteson, Illinois)
Goodrich showed multiple ways to attack the basket namely the direct approach or via the spin move looking smooth regardless. With good size and athleticism, Power 5 schools should be showing interest.
Maria Kuhlman, 5-9, shooting guard, FGB Team Courtney Williams 17U (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)
Kuhlman may not blow you away athletically but at this event she showed she can hit multiple big three's in a game and also make some nifty passes on the break.
Marlee Kyles, 5-7, point guard, Mac Irvin Fire Godfather 17U (Elgin, Illinois)
Kyles put on a show in hitting 18 points in one viewing. She made drives and step backs on the perimeter. Her handles are solid. On defense she played with good energy. Post-game, she indicated she already has offers of the Power 5 variety and down.
Jaelynn Murray, 6-2, power forward, SC 76ers Black 17U (Columbia, South Carolina)
When things were not going well for her team, Murray showed she can keep composure under fire. She likes to face-up in the key. With above average athleticism and IQ, she has Power 5 interest coming her way.
Tierra Wilson, 5-6, point guard, Carolina All-stars Bond (Winston-Salem. North Carolina)
Wilson is a point guard with a steady demeanor. Yet she looks to attack the basket as opportunity arises. A D1 future awaits.
Jamilyn Ayo-Robinson, 5-9, shooting guard, Lady Pumas Platinum 16U (Gonzales, Louisiana)
In one viewing Ayo-Robinson went for 24 points hitting multiple threes, pull-up jumpers and driving the baseline. Word in the gym is that she has Power 5 interest.
Elizabeth Balogun, 6-0, guard/forward, FBC United (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Balogun is a high level athlete that can shoot the three or go inside to score if she desires. Major D1’s are monitoring to say the least.
Janai Crooms, 5-10, guard/forward, Rivals Black 17U (Cranston, Rhode Island)
Crooms plays hard. Sometimes she acts more like a guard handling the ball. At other times, she appears more small forward playing off the ball looking to get to the rim. Power 5 schools were monitoring her games.
Morgan Hill, 5-9, point guard, Tayler Hill Elite 16U (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Yes, Taylor’s (of WNBA Mystics) sister! This is a point guard with good head and attacking ability going left or right. Getting Power 5 looks, she needs to improve her shooting range.
Rhyne Howard, 6-0, small forward, FBC United (Cleveland, Tennessee)
Howard scores as she pleases (drive, post or face-up shot). Perhaps the biggest problem for this Power 5 prospect is that it all comes so easily that focus can be lost by her or one of her other FBC United teammates written up in this 2018 section.
Jasmine Massengil, 6-0, guard, FBC United (Harrison, Tennessee)
Massengil initiates her team's offense. After that she can go where she pleases due to height/athletic prowess. Power 5 programs are hot on her trail.
Jada Rice, 6-3, center/forward, FBC Sophomores Black (Suwanee, Georgia)
Above average athletically, Rice can score via post or face-up. Those in her camp say that the goal is to make her more of a power forward given her medium-solid build.
Taylor Soule, 5-11, small forward, Rivals Black 17U (West Lebanon, New Hampshire)
Soule has a good motor and quick step in looking to attack. She appeared to be a baseline to basket player now getting Power 5 looks. Crooms and Soule were part of a team of talented players mostly from New England boarding/prep schools where a strong vein of talent currently can be found.
Kourtney Weber, 5-11, small forward, Kenner Angels (St. Rose, Louisiana)
A physically built wing with good basketball IQ, Weber plays hard looking to attack. Her outside shot appears to come and go.. A high level BCS prospect, she helped her team to win one of the four 17U brackets.
Aliyah Boston, 6-3, center, IExcel Horton/Austin 15U (Worcester, Massachusetts)
Boston was spectacular at this event. Her ability to finish in traffic around the basket is special. Her play resulted in a regular double double. Her outlet passing and shot blocking are also above average. Finally, her ability to rebound out of area makes her a nationally elite low post player. If range (current scoring is mostly around the rim) can be added, we could be looking at something beyond special.
Bria Harmon, 5-6, point guard, FBC Sophomores Black (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
Harmon has already oraled to Purdue. At this event, her play made the Boilers look like they will be getting a good player. She shot the three and made good decisions running her team. She still needs to fill out a bit more.
MacKenzie Holmes, 6-2, center, Maine Firecrackers 16U (Saco, Maine)
When a player is two years younger than the age group she is playing in and is a factor in the game, scouts need to take notice. Holmes has good touch around the rim scoring with either hand. Power 5 programs should be monitoring her progress.
Tamia Lawhorne, 6-0, small forward, Riverside Hawks Blue 14U (Amityville, New York)
Lawhorne is a lean athlete with a decent motor and a good assortment of skills. She can hit the three. She likes to pick and pop for the mid-range jumper. Finally she can go to the rim. On top of this, she showed a nice ability to enter the ball into the post. Power 5 programs should be monitoring.
Taylor Lewis, 5-9, guard/forward, SC 76ers Sizzle 14U (Columbia, South Carolina)
Lewis is a multiple position player. At times she will post up. At other points, she is helping out with ball handling. All told, likely a D1 future awaits.
Javyn Nicholson, 6-3, center/forward, FBC Sophomores Black (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
Nicholson has the strong (not too thick) build needed to fight it out in the lower paint. Athletic with good hands, she hits the boards successfully. She can score near the rim or face up in the key. Look for her in the Power 5 after high school.
Summer Schloss, 6-3, center, North Carolina Rim Rockers 16U (Lowell, North Carolina)
With good, quick hands, strong build and mobile feet, Schloss is a force on defense. She blocks shots and hits the boards. A division one prospect, she needs to work on improving her post moves.
Michelle Sidor, 5-7 combo guard, IExcel Horton/Austin 15U (Saddle River, New Jersey)
This past year, Sidor was one of the top high school scorers in her home state of New Jersey. Here her role was mostly to facilitate the offense getting the ball to teammate Aliyah Boston (see above) and others as needed. Sidor has a quick step to aid penetration. She can hit the three but her release still needs to quicken. She is already getting Power 5 offers.
Olivia Cochran, 6-1, center/forward, Georgia Jaguars 14U (Columbus, Georgia)
Already with a powerful build at such a young age, Cochran has a game that makes full use of it. Scoring is currently in the lower paint. For her size and young age, she handles the ball pretty well. Division one schools should be monitoring her progress.
Caitlin McGee, 6-0, power forward, FGB Team Courtney Williams (Jacksonville, Florida)
McGee is playing up three years in age and not looking out of place amongst older, talented players. She runs well and is poised playing versus older opponents. She rebounds well even against older competition. She currently scores by attacking the basket needing to add range given her height. Power 5 players should be monitoring her progress regardless.
Darrione Rogers, 5-10, small forward, Bolingbrook Panthers 15U (Itasca, Illinois)
Rogers appears to be very talented as young players go. She can hit the three but knows how to score in the open court. With a fairly strong frame, she is not afraid to attack the basket. On top of all this, she has good passing vision. Power 5 schools should be monitoring.
Amari Wright, 5-6, point guard, FGB Future Elite (Jacksonville, Florida)
With decent handles, Wright has above average speed with the ball. She is not afraid to attack the rim. She still needs to learn to go left more and add shooting range. Division one programs should be monitoring.
Jade Hill, 5-3, point guard, Tayler Hill Elite 2021 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Jade, like Morgan above, is a younger sibling of WNBA player Tayler Hill. Jade is a lead guard with decent handles and understanding for her very young age. Her play helped her team win the 14U Division at the event. She still has not filled out nor hopefully stopped growing.
Jessica Timmons, 5-7, guard, CBC Elite Hinton 2019 (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Timmons has advanced understanding for her age and was a factor playing up a couple of grades. You do not find many her age with a pull-up jumper! Division one schools should be monitoring her progress.