695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
396 teams convened in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Convention Center for the annual Deep South Classic tournament. Every team and every player was there chasing the dream of free college tuition. At $900 per team and $20 per day admission to watch the competition it has been big business for a long time now. Most of the teams rosters are filled out with players who are destined to play for their local community college, but the programs have to play the game. Teams make the trip for the exposure, but most end up getting exposed.
I spent the weekend talking to college coaches and watching a part of a lot of games, and a few complete games. Plenty of players will get their shot but way more will get overlooked in a setting like this. Let's take a look at a few players from both ends of the spectrum.
Jameila Barrett, 5'9" guard, Maryland Lady Tigers. 2018
Jameila is a long and wiry guard that uses those attributes well on defense. She is a good ball handler that made some precise passes in traffic on the fast break. I think point guard is her natural position but she looked comfortable off the ball as well. She plays a very efficient game and could get overlooked on a very talented team.
Jaia Alexander, guard, Maryland Lady Terps, 2016
Jaia played like a big time prospect that she has been touted as for the last two years. She is physical and has a knack for making big plays at the right time. Her style allows her to draw fouls at a high rate and she has become a deadly free throw shooter. The biggest area of improvement has been in her leadership. With age comes experience and wisdom.
Christian Robinson, 5'9" wing, Maryland Pride, 2019
Christian has made a lot of progress in the past year. She has expanded her game and improved her ball handling. She can score inside and has a good feel for the game. She is heading to Roland Park in the fall and will be a great addition.
Shawkina Muzalim, 5'8" point guard, Baltimore Starz, 2018
"Sha Sha" is another talented 2018 point guard. She is a scoring point guard that plays at a very measured pace. She is competitive and plays with flair and swagger. Her step back jumper is a thing of beauty.
Chloe Chapman, point guard, Maryland Lady Terps, 2019
Chloe had a very impressive Deep South showing. Her speed, vision and ability to deliver precise passes at the right time caught the attention of some final four coaches who were in attendance. I cannot recall seeing a point guard who was still in middle school acquit herself so well playing in the top 17U bracket of a major event before.
Jasmine Lane, 5'10" forward, Baltimore Starz
An aggressive offensive player that plays with an edge. This is her first time playing AAU ball. With some skill development to go along with her natural ability she could be a gem for a college program in a couple of years.
Sayawni "Say Say" Lassiter, guard, Boston Showstoppers, 2017
Not a DMV player but we like to recognize ballers from other areas from time to time. This is a strong guard with a sweet stroke. She played with a bulky looking knee brace and still looked good. She is on the radar of many D1 schools.
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