Big State Flava Jam is one of the top 10 events in the country, this years event had over 300 coaches to evaluate 110 teams. Ages 14U to 17U in Lewisville, Texas. Here is a list of players that stood out.
Ieshia Small 6-0, Essence Purple
Since narrowly missing the cut at the USA U18 Trials in Colorado Springs Small, the number 11 ranked prospect, has found a way to elevate her game . It appears that Small is playing with renewed confidence. She was constantly on the attack converting several tough acrobatic shots in traffic. Small pushed the ball on the fast break creating opportunities for herself as well as for teammates. The Tallahassee, Florida native is a very versatile athlete, Small ran the point, shooting guard and small forward positions. She was a terror on the defensive end hounding opponents into committing turnovers as well as defending in the post. Small's game is continuing to evolve and the sky is the limit.
Sydney Wiese 6-0, GSB Elite
Wiese, the wiry prospect from Phoenix, Arizona, is a smooth lefty that is long and active. She has superior command of her dribble and is a great 3-point shooter. Wiese fits the definition of a scoring point guard but she can break defenses down off the bounce. Wiese is an excellent passer with an nice array of moves to shake defenders. Defensively Wiese is good defender she uses her long arms to harass opponents. Wiese needs to add strength to her slender frame otherwise she is a solid DI prospect.
Brandy Montgomery 5-11, Essence Purple
Every team in America needs a player like Brandy Montgomery, the small forward from Port St. Lucie, Florida is not flashy, she may or may not lead your team in scoring but Montgomery will definitely fill out the stat sheet. Montgomery is that player that dives for that all important loose ball or take a game saving charge. She simply plays the game the way the inventor of basketball Dr. James Naismith intended. Montgomery is a high energy prospect she is long active and runs the floor. She really loves to work the glass. A tough defender who enjoys tormenting her opponent. Montgomery is the type of player that every program needs.
Jessica Washington 5-8, Oklahoma A-1 Premiere Red
The USA U17 team member North Carolina commit from Tulsa, Okla played extremely well. Washington is a true floor general, she does whatever it takes to help her team. She competes on every possession. Washington knocked down several timely 3 point baskets to propel her team to victory. She has superior court vision and Washington has the tendency to always make the right play. Defensively, she is a lockdown defender with a nose for the ball. Washington is a true point guard that flat gets it done. Coach Hatchell reached into Sooner Country and got a good one in Washington.
Imani Wright 6-0, Arkansas Mavericks Durham
The Texarkana, Texas native Imani Wright is a smooth athletic guard that loves to attack the paint and finish in traffic. She has a killer crossover and can get the job done with either hand at the rim. Wright has a sweet 3 point stroke. She also has a effective midrange jumper that she uses to help keep defenses honest. Wright does and excellent job controlling the ball and creating opportunities for herself and teammates. As long as Wright is on the court her team is never out of the game. She is definitely a handful for opposing defenders. The program that lands Wright will be gaining a dominating guard.
Brianna Turner 6-3, DFW T-Jack Elite
The USA U17 team member from Pearland, Texas played like she was on a mission. Turner used her long arms and explosive leaping ability to control the glass at both ends. Clearing the boards on the defensive end and crashing the offensive glass for tip ins for easy buckets or giving her teammates extra possessions. Turner was a dominating force on defense blocking shots like WNBA star Sylvia Fowles. She was a intimidating presence in the paint, if she wasn't blocking shots she altered countless others. Turner ran the floor like a guard finishing off the fast break with high flying layups. She even showed off her midrange jumper. Turner's excellent play is a constant reminder of why she is considered among the best in her class.
Monique Billings 6-2, West Coast Premier Black
Billings is a long athletic post that runs the floor like a guard. Billings has good hands and finishes well off the break. She is a decent ball handler and a good passer. Billings can play on the wing or with her back to the basket, she has a nice low post game to go along with a smooth midrange shot. Defensively, Billings is a solid defender and she performs with a lot of energy. Billings, from Corona, Cali, has a nice upside and has a chance of playing at a high major.
Teaira McCowan 6-7, DFW T-Jack
McCowan has all the physical attributes that college coaches crave. The 6-7 McCowan from Brenham, Texas is the perfect blend of size and strength at the center position. When comes to her size she is a matchup nightmare and slowly but surely McCowan skill set is starting to catch up to her body. McCowan moves extremely well for her frame, she runs the floor and finishes off the break. She does a good job catching passes in traffic, keeping the ball up high and finishes at the basket. McCowan is a handful when you she gets the ball in the lane. She rebounds at both ends and is a solid low post defender. McCowan appears to developing before our eyes and with continued development she will be a special player.
Zada Williams 6-2, Essence Purple
Williams the long athletic post from Babson Park, Florida played really well against Brianna Turner and Teaira McCowan. Williams more than held her own. She did a good job hitting the boards at both ends and even managed a couple of offensive put backs. Williams ran the floor and played solid defense in the low post and on the perimeter. She also converted several transition baskets. I really liked her energy and effort. Looking forward to monitoring her growth. Williams has a world of potential.
Tynice Martin 5-10, WP Celtics
Martin, the prospect from Decatur, Georgia, is a very athletic wing with explosive leaping ability and she plays with a ton of energy. She has a high motor at both ends of the floor. Martin attacks the paint with her dribble drive with reckless abandon. She is a tenacious defender and attacks the defensive boards with the same vigor that you see on the offensive end. Martin has a serviceable shot that extends out to 15 feet. Once her skills match her athleticism lookout Martin will be worth the price of admission.
Prentice Beverly is a National Evaluator for Blue Star Media and the owner of Balln Prep Girls. He also works for Girl Powher Showcases, Schollyme.com and is the Author of “Navigating the Maze” a grassroots reference guide to women’s college basketball recruiting. Beverly has spent 15 years coaching high school and club basketball and resides in Montgomery, Alabama.