Best of the Spring
Kaela Davis has become an overnight sensation.
Kaela Davis has become an overnight sensation.
Regional Scouting Expert, FCP
Posted May 25, 2009

With the summer evaluation period right around the corner lets take a second to honor some of the players who played well during some of the spring events throughout the southeast. The spring is becoming a more and more important time for players to develop their game and get acclimated to their club teams before the July evaluation periods.

Here is a list of some of the players who seized the opportunity during the spring and should take that momentum into July and make a name for themselves.

Akila McDonald – Columbia HS (GA) – 6'4” - Post – 2010 College coaches and scouts have commonly used the phrase you can't teach height, but in Columbia High School's Akila McDonald, someone has taught height how to play in the post. McDonald is an active player who provides a good amount of production on both ends of the floor. She has the ability to score with her back to the basket as well as contribute substantially by protecting the basket on the defensive end.

Jasmine Jenkins - East Hall H.S. (GA) - 5'8” - Guard – 2012 Jenkins is a developing point guard who gets in the lane at will. She does a solid job attacking the basket off the bounce and is a tough guard for players due to her ability to be both physical and athletic. As her game progresses at the high school level, it will be important for her to increase the range and consistency on her jumper to be a more complete offensive player.

Christy Hewett – Georgia Hoopstars/ Central Forsyth (GA) – 5'11” - Wing- 2011 Hewett utilizes a physical nature that will allow her to play either forward position at the next level. She plays the game with a great deal of energy and pairs that energy with a good amount of skill.

Erika Norwood – Georgia Pistols Gordon / Campbell (GA) – 5'5” - Guard – 2011 Norwood has the ability to light up the scoreboard from the point guard position, in streaks. She is still learning how to be a true point guard, but her ability to play the game is never in question. She has good form on her outside shot and shoots it consistently from both beyond-the-arc and, when she can get there, the midrange area. Norwood plays on a summer team with a number of D-1 level talents, which should help her continue to grow as a young point guard.

Brittany Hodges – Campbell (GA) – 6'0” - Forward – 2011 Hodges is a young power forward who has some intriguing physical assets, considering her age and position. Throughout the spring, her level of play continued to grow as she gained progressively more confidence. Hodges displays a good deal of strength and athleticism, and she uses these assets as weapons on both ends of the floor. Hodges has the potential to be a highly rated post player by the summer of her junior year. If she continues to develop her ability to score in t he post while adding some type of face up game, she'll be widely recognized.

Danielle Tidwell – Lady Shooters/ Creekview HS (GA) – 5'11” Post – 2010 Tidwell has a solid game as a face up post player. She is most effective when she can catch the ball at the high post with space to work. She has the ability to put the ball on the floor to score and finishes well when hit with contact while shooting. If you play off of her she will hit the the 15' jumper and make you pay. Tidwell is also a very good rebounder for her size.

Andraya Carter Georgia Elite/ Buford HS (GA) - 5' 6” PG - 2012 Carter possesses great physical assets for the PG position standing at 5'8” with elite level athleticism and an ever improving basketball IQ. Carter plays the game with a high level=2 0of energy and amazingly she is able to keep her activity consistent from beginning to end. Her activity alone would make her a valuable asset on any team, but when considering her skill set and athleticism it puts her in rare air. Especially when taking to account the lack of a high gear that most elite talents have at an early age. The next major area of growth in her game will be contingent upon her taking on more of a leadership role over the next 18 months of her basketball career. Carter has had the opportunity to play with some of the state of Georgia's best players and look to them for leadership. In moving forward she has the metal and credentials to assume that role, and as a point guard the ability to lead will only make her that much better of a collegiate player.

Olivia Gibbs - Georgia Pistols Gordon/ SW Dekalb HS (GA) – 5'9” G/F - 2012 Gibbs is an efficient young wing whose best asset is her strength. She is very steady with the ball in her hands and can help an offense relieve its self of pressure with her combination of handle and smarts. Gibbs20is a well schooled offensive player and she puts this on display by working seamlessly out of the triple threat using it to create offense effectively. Its hard to talk about Gibbs as a prospect without focusing in on her physical strength as at this point so much of her success is due to the work she has put in. Given how much she has already developed from a fundamental perspective it will be interesting to see how much more she can get out of what is already a pretty solid floor game.

Christen Johnson – Georgia Pistols Gordon/ Lovett (GA) – 6'3” - Post - 2012 A raw but gifted post player most of Johnson's production comes from her high rate of activity, but as she develops more instinct on the block she projects as a solid presence and maybe even a back to the basket threat. Currently she does a great job running the floor and offers her teammates a great set of hands to catch and finish plays in side. While she hasn't developed a strong face up game as of yet she shows the form to add a mid range jumper to her game. If she develops the mid range shot her stock soars due to her ability to play both the 4 and the 5 legitimately on the collegiate level.

Tiffany Mitchell - Southeast Elite/ Providence Day (NC) – 5'9” Guard - 2012 An exceptionally talented offensive player who can thrive in both guard spots. She is a good athlete who is able to make plays on the offensive end almost effortlessly. A great talent as a basketball player at times Mitchell seems to have a natural feel for playing the game. She has yet to mature physically or mentally which only adds value to her stock at this point in her career.

Kaela Davis - Georgia Ice/ Norcross HS (G A) – 6'1” Guard - 2013 Davis has the build and size of a post player along with the athleticism of shooting guard. She plays with a calmness that is beyond her years and will have to learn how to live with they hype that is bound to do nothing but grow over the next 5 years. Davis is as well rounded a basketball player as you can find at the high school level. The exciting thing about her is that she isn't at the high school level. Davis has a full box of tools to work with and will be one of the most highly recruited players in the 2013 class.

Diamond DeSheilds - Georgia Ice/ Norcross HS (GA) – 6' 0” Guard- 2013 DeSheilds has excellent size for the shooting guard position, as well as a skill set that allows her to handle the point guard spot effectively. Her games is best described as smooth, as she is able to get up and around the basket almost at will. The major buzz around DeSheild s is her ability to make the highlight play that makes jaws drop. While her ability to make the amazing play will keep eyes on her it is her understanding of how to make the simple happen that makes her such an asset. Using her high basketball I.Q. as well as her athleticism she stays out of jams and rarely makes bad mistakes. Which given her age is a real talent in itself.

Clara Young - Georgia Elite/ Woodstock HS (GA) – 5'5” PG - 2013 Young is a steady lead guard who does a great job setting up her teammates for easy baskets. She is a real asset as a point guard due to her ability to knock down the open jumper as well as create offense off the bounce. Young is a well schooled guard who manages to play an efficient brand of basketball, not turning the ball over and keeping others involved.

Joshlyn Belcher Georgia Hoopstars/ Weslyan (GA) 5'8” Guard - 2014 Belcher has an elite ability to knock down the tree point shot. Her range sits well beyond the three point line and she has that important quality in a shooter where she believes the next shot is always going in. Belcher's ability to shoot the basketball will make her an impact prospect on the college level when she gets there. If she is able to transition into the point guard position then her stock will really take flight.

Candice Williams - Atlanta Flames 5'6” PG - 2015 Williams is a fundamentally sound lead guard who handles the ball extremely well for her age. She is a good athlete and uses her quickness to beat defenders and attack the basket. As she improves and learns the point guard position she will become more and more difficult to guard. Given her skill set and athleticism she projects as a major college basketball recruit.

Alex Abraham Georgia Elite/ Paideia HS (GA) 5'11” Post - 2010 Abraham is a productive and efficient post player whose overall impact on the game can easily be over looked. She is a valuable contributor on her summer basketball team because she plays the “glue” role very well. Although she is not the ideal size for the power forward spot her motor and strength make her a viable option at that spot. She runs the floor well and while she lacks the explosion to get to the rim she finishes players in a more cerebral fashion going around instead of over defenders. Expanding the range on her jump shot will enhance her offensive effectiveness, which currently is based on her advanced footwork and decent touch.

Lauren Coleman/ Parkview HS (GA) 6'0” G/F - 2010 Coleman's stock as a collegiate prospect has really taken off over the past few months. She brings a great deal of versatility to any team that she is on, providing a roster with a player that can play 3 or 4 different positions. At 6' her size and length allow her to be effective against a variety of players both offensively and defensively. She possesses an above average jump shot and uses it just often enough to keep the defense honest. She is capable of bringing the ball up the floor and embodies the idea of a point forward. Coleman's best collegiate asset will be her overall understanding of her game. She seems to always be under control and is rarely effected on one end of the floor by her struggles on the other end.

Kirkland Kirpatrick Southeast Elite/ Tuscola HS (NC) 5'10” G/F -2010 If you have seen Kirkpatrick in summers past the first thing you will notice this summer is her improved body strength. Always one of her classes finest outside shooters she has improved on her game by adding a solid one dribble pull up, and with her added strength and consistently high level of effort her defensive game should round her out into a more complete player. At th e college level she will need to work hard to be much more than just a great outside shooter, but her shooting ability should earn her time at the right level. This weekend she was able to put the ball on the floor on the offensive end which in the past was something she was hesitant to do.

Oneisia Smith – Douglasville Lady Tigers/ Chapel Hill HS (GA) -5'10” G/F - 2010 Smith is an above average athlete at the 2 guard spot. She posses great lateral quickness and long arms that provide her with the physical tools to be a great on ball defender. On the offensive end she is at her best when she can use her quickness to get to the rim going right. Her ball handling ability has not yet caught up to her foot speed so at times when a straight line drive is not available getting to the rim becomes more difficult. The defensive end is where her impact is felt most, as she is able to put up highly efficient numbers in the steal and rebounding columns.

Erika Ford – Georgia Elite/ Chattahoochee HS (GA) 5'9” Guard - 2010 A developing shooting guard with very good to elite level athleticism Erika Ford is a player with a great deal of potential. The University of Georgia bound guard, ideally will develop into more of a combo guard then a true off guard due to her lack of elite size for the position, but she should be able to get on the court regardless. Offensively Ford is efficient, but not highly productive. She does a great job attacking defense off the bounce and shows the ability to shoot the ball at a high percentage, but needs to develop more consistency from that perspective. Ford as an offensive player is someone you have to respect, and as she develops has the potential to become more and more dangerous in the half court.

Quaneshia McCurdy - Knoxville Lady Panthers/ NW Whitfeild (GA) 6'4” Center - 2011 A long then pivot player McCurdy possesses they type of size that every coach in America is interested in. While she is still learning the game in short stretches we can see the type of player that she can become. On the defensive end she shows a decent ability to recognize when she should help and has the length to challenge shots consistently. When guarding opposing post players with equal or better talent she shows room for improvement. Offensively she is still developing, but has come along way in the last 6 months or so. McCurdy brings a tool box full of physical tools to the table, getting in the gym and working on her skills will be key.

Sydney Wallace – Southeast Elite/ Northview HS (GA) 5'9” Guard -2011 Wallace might be a bit undersized for the ideal shooting guard, but she makes up for anything she lacks size wise with a well rounded offensively package. From a scoring perspective Wallace doesn't have a weakness to her game. She is a very good outside shooter, but finishes with the best of them around the rim. Still her best offensive attribute might be her ability to recognize when to shoot the midrange jump shot, which she knocks down at a high percentage. She handles the ball well enough to play the role of combo guard, but seems to do very well when put in a scoring role.

Eboni Wells - Georgia Pistols Gordon/ Harlem HS (GA) 6'3” Post - 2011 An incredibly strong presence in the painted area, Wells is a throwback post player who is not afraid of contact. She doesn't posses elite athleticism, but knows how to get it done on the block. Wells plays a post game similar to UGA bound Jasmine Hassel, overpowering players in order to be effective in the post. Well's is great on both the offensive and defensive glass which does nothing but multiply her overall effectiveness. If she develops more of a finesse post game to compliment her power game she will establish her self as a true prize of the 2011 post recruiting class.

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