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Top Performers: Tarheel Takeover

By Zach Smart, 09/21/20, 3:45PM EDT


Milos Kovacevic, SOH Elite: The 6-foot-8 lefty brings a versatile skill set and a college ready body.

He’s established himself as a quintessential pick-and-pop four who can step out and hit the 3-point shot with consistency. 
He showed a motor and an adeptness at finishing around the rim and also manipulating shots at the other end.

Kovacevic has tremendous potential as one of several new international prospects who will add height, length, and mismatch capabilities at The Sagemont School this year. 

Nedas Zukauskus, SOH Elite: At 6-foot-8 with a consistent outside stroke, Zukauskus had four 3-pointers and showed the mismatch threat he poses for defenders against Shabahz 17U on Saturday.

The international prospect has IQ, multi positional defensive capabilities, and floor spreading capabilities. He’s still adapting to the intricacies of the American game and will have the opportunity to become more aggressive and more of a refined interior scorer this season.

Rickey Ballard, SOH Elite

The 6-foot-6 wing is hyper athletic and has a knack for turning in that momentum rolling, above the rim finish.

Beyond his length and above the rim game, Ballard has a guard’s skill set and can handle it and facilitate. 

Ballard helped SOH Elite overcome a lackluster start with his ability to turn in dazzling plays and also use his length to guard multiple positions.

Raphael Houssou, SOH Elite

The 6-foot-2 guard exemplified a good feel for the game and an ability to stick timely shots and call his own number when a crucial bucket was due. 

With an ability to trigger the high low game and make everyone around him better, Houssou has a battle tested poise to him.

With a knack for knifing his way to the rim, the combo guard knows how to score on the drive. He’s got tight handle and knows how to protect the ball, an aspect that enables him to rarely turn the ball over.

Ryan Sanchez, Florida Rams

The crafty and shifty guard found his way to the rim all afternoon on Saturday, with multiple traditional 3-point plays.

The attribute that makes Sanchez unique is his toughness and ability to sustain the oft attacking mindset. He scored 29 points to help pioneer the Rams to a 64-57 win over Shahbaz.

Jimel Lane, Florida Rams

As a super bouncy guard/wing at 6-foot-6, Lane proved himself as a wowing open court finisher and a guy who can manufacture points in a variety of ways. Lane scored 27 points in the team’s thorough 68-40 dismantling of SOH Elite in the tournament opener, getting to any spot he wanted and soaring above the rim.

Lane’s toughness and all around athleticism aligns with the style enforced by the Rams. They employ a fast paced, speedball attack and also apply pressure all across the court.

The rate of how hard he plays and his status as a high scoring threat who doesn’t require a lot of shots to score a lot of points are noteworthy with Lane. 

Mike Bradley, Florida Rams

The young prospect is another outside shooter and reliable on ball defender in a core that has not faltered despite the limitations of covid and the impact it has had on the Miami area.

Bradley sees the floor extraordinarily well and knows how to facilitate. He’s never played age appropriate and always played up a few years, so the competition and older and stronger guys never faze him.

Jace Budin, Florida Rams

The unlikely source in the win over Shahbaz, Budin hit the 53-all tiebreaking three-pointer and the go-ahead 3, 56-53, during a game-changing 13-0 second half run which Shahbaz never recovered from. 

The 6-foot-1 guard came off the bench and supplied immediate energy, hitting a 12-foot bank shot in transition during the first half.

Esteban Lluberes, Shahbaz

The 5-foot-9 Class of 2022 point guard plays with a sustained relentlessness on both sides of the floor..a crafty and ambidextrous finisher, Lluberes was able to carve his way to the rim and finish with either hand.

The Riviera Prep product also showed timely shot making and hit multiple transition 3-pointers. As a crafty lefty who triggers the uptempo attack, he’s got a toughness and veteran savvy which his teammates tend to feed off of.

Osmar Garcia Araujo, Shahbaz

The 6-foot-7 Class of 2023 prospect has physical maturity beyond his years. This is translatable to his array of post moves and ability to finish inside and in one on one situations with his back to the rim.

He’s equally adept at hitting the short range and mid range jumper, a facet of his game which takes rim protectors away from the paint and drags them outside.

Sean Sucarichi, Rock U

The sharpshooter proved he’s got the catch and stick game capable of kick starting runs and rattling off points in a hurry.

Beyond his shooting, Sucarichi is a high IQ prospect who plays blanketing defense and has a sound all around game in all components and factors.

With his scoring and ability to see the floor and playmake, the Class of 2022 prospect should inherit some of the leadership mantle this season at Stoneman Douglas. 

Noah Kattan, Rock U

The high IQ, high octane combo guard is a proficient game manager who knows how to create and manufacture offense. 

The shifty Class of 2022 guard also showed he can impact a game with our without the ball in his hands.