BOCA RATON, Fla. -- If you wanted an opportunity to catch some of Florida's most talented basketball prospects this past weekend, the adidas Superstar Showcase held at Lynn University was the place to be. Matt Ramker of the Florida Rams and his staff put together a star-studded event that was well run and organized as 80-plus prospects from the 2014 and 2015 classes competed on Saturday while Sunday featured some of the best that the 2012 and 2013 classes had to offer. There were also a good number of foreign-born players who are sure to make their mark in the States.
Joel James (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dwyer)
2012, C, 6-10, 260-pounds
College: North Carolina
With his commitment to the Tar Heels made public on Sunday, James created as much buzz off the court as he did with his play on the court. Although he was only able to participate in the morning session James looked great in the one game we watched him play. He has dropped 10 to 15 pounds and looked in good shape. He is a load in the low post who understands how to carve out space on the block and he showed nice agility and footwork when attacking the basket after the catch. He rebounded out of his area and ran the floor well, giving consistent effort even when he wasn't getting many touches in the "showcase" environment. North Carolina is getting a good one.
Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes Co)
2013, PF, 6-foot-10, 195-pounds
The five-star power forward made the long (9-10 hours) trip from Bonifay to Ft. Lauderdale in order to participate in the event. He has added a few pounds to his frame and is starting to develop a killer instinct on the court. As a 6-foot-10 combo-forward, he is a fluid athlete with outstanding perimeter skills. He showed the unique ability to rebound the ball and bust out leading the break which resulted in more than a few thunder dunks on Sunday. He has all the tools to be a dominant player at the college level, but needs to continue playing with consistency.
Stephon Blair (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard)
2012, PF, 6-8, 218-pounds
Blair was a beast on Sunday. There is something to be said for a player who understands what his strengths are and plays to them. He adds value to a team as a high-energy guy with a great motor who loves to do the dirty work that most players don't like to do; he embraces rebounding and playing defense with pride. He is still developing offensively as most of his scoring comes on put backs or in transition, but he showed an improved ability to knock down the midrange jumper. I love that he is thinking out of the box as his recruitment is all over the board with teams from the Big East, C-USA, Southern and Sun Belt all getting strong consideration.
Malik Price-Martin (Miami Gardens, Fla./Pace)
2013, PF, 6-8, 185-pounds
MPM possesses a dynamic combination of size, skill and athleticism. It is a misnomer to call him a power forward because his game is one of a finesse face-up 4-man on the perimeter rather than inside play. In the past he has had a tendency to disappear at times going long stretches without impacting the game, but that was not the case on Sunday where he seemed intent on meeting the challenge in a few of the high-level matchups. I would still like to see him rebound the ball more, but when he does assert himself, he is a handful who causes matchup problems.
Papa N'Diaye (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St Thomas Aquinas)
2013, SF, 6-3, 180-pounds
N'Diaye, from Senegal, has a smooth game and very good basketball IQ as he rarely forces anything. The savvy wing, who can defend the 2 or 3 positions, was able to get the ball to the rim and finish or make a play for a teammate. He has the look of a very good mid-major player, but has started to receive attention from teams from the elite conferences.
Nura Zanna (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs Christian)
2013, PF, 6-7, 215-pounds
Zanna is built like an NFL tight end and has the disposition to match. He is an aggressive rebounder who loves to bang in the trenches and is active on the glass on both ends of the floor. He showed explosiveness finishing at the rim, but needs to develop his offense with his back to the basket. He is in the same mold of Blair in that he provides a key ingredient of toughness that every successful team needs.
Players to watch
Jose Campo (Jacksonville, Fla./ACD)
2014, PF, 6-foot-10, 190-pounds
The Columbian import's command of the English language may be limited at the moment, but he speaks the language of American basketball very well. Although he is extremely thin and needs strength, he is a tremendous runner/jumper who is surprisingly skilled for a sophomore in high school and he has a competitive streak that will serve him well in the future. As he continues to fill out and develop, watch out.
Adonys Henriquez (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep)
2014, SG, 6-4, 185-pounds
Henriquez is a gifted, young basketball player who is rarely out of control. Although he is only a sophomore, he has an advanced feel for the game playing with tremendous composure. He understands how to take advantage of what the defense gives him and showed the ability to be either a scorer or a facilitator. High-majors will love his size as a playmaking off guard.
Brandon Francis (Jacksonville, Fla./ACD)
2014, PG, 6-5, 205-pounds
ACD seems to have a roster full of talented young players from all over the world. Francis was a man amongst boys on Saturday as the physically mature sophomore could not be contained. I wanted to see how the 17-year-old would do against the 2012 & 2013 classes on Sunday and it was more of the same. He gets in the paint at will and made high-level decisions with the ball. It is obvious that he has played against older competition as his game is advanced.
• 2014 wing Jonathan Joseph (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep) is a high-flyer who is more athlete than basketball player at the moment, but when he develops his perimeter game high-majors will take notice.
• 2013 Vieux Kande (Weston, Fla./Sagemont) is a 6-8 power forward from the SEEDS Academy in Senegal who showed some great upside. He is a raw, bouncy 4-man who competes.
• Romelo Walker (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Dillard) is a 6-4 shooting guard from the 2013 class with good length and athletic ability who had his moments on Sunday and should be a good one for Dillard.
• Six-foot point guard Josh Heath (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Prep) is a typical coach's son who understands how to play and can run a team. His jumper is improving and so is his recruiting stature.
• Amida Brimah (Miami Gardens, Fla./Pace) is a long runner/jumper in the 2013 class who showed good instincts blocking shots. He is raw offensively but will have high-majors following him.
Mike LaPlante, a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting, has over 20 years of coaching and recruiting experience.