You’ve had time to read Part 1 of #TheMainEvent Camp Standouts; here is part 2. Enjoy… TJ Duke / 5’1 / Combo Guard / NYBA Elite 2028 / Blackman Middle School (Murfreesboro TN) Instagram: tjduke11 I’ve watched TJ play…
You’ve had time to read Part 1 of #TheMainEvent Camp Standouts; here is part 2. Enjoy…
TJ Duke / 5’1 / Combo Guard / NYBA Elite 2028 / Blackman Middle School (Murfreesboro TN)
I’ve watched TJ play on several occasions, and I am impressed that every time I see him play, I see the growth in his game. I credit his parents, coaches, and trainers for making sure he is staying in the lab developing his game. He is listed as a combo guard, but he spent most of his time at the camp at the lead guard spot. He showed his handles, his quickness, and shifty moves with the ball in his hands. He is an accurate passer that compliments his court vision. He thrived in the open court and put pressure on the defense in transition.
One of the things out of many that stuck out about TJ was his talking on both ends of the court.
Talking is essential whenever you step onto the court, but it is vitally important when you are at a camp with players that you get to know for maybe 24-48 hours. Opportunities for Growth: As I am with most players that I write about at this age, I encourage them to continue working on all facets of their game. As TJ grows, his projections will change along with the growth.
Braxton Keathley / 5’8 / Shooting Guard / NYBA Elite 2027 / Mullins Elementary School (Pikeville, KY)
Braxton picked up where the last time I saw him, and that was scoring the rock. B is highly competitive as I watched him go up against some of his homies, and he was going at them just as hard as he was when I watched him against opponents in spring and summer competitions. I really enjoy watching his competitive nature every time I have seen him in competition. On the offensive end, B has a lot of tools that he can unlock and unleash out of his toolbox. If B continues to put in the work that it seems that he has been putting in, he will be a prospect to really monitor in a couple years as he steps onto the high school scene.
B is getting better with creating his shot off the bounce.
Opportunities for Growth: B is getting better every time I see him. He has to continue to work on his speed and quickness, both with the ball in his hands and on the defensive end as well.
Lazar Djilas / 6’1 / Power Forward/Movement Hoops Elite 2027 / Greendale Middle School (Greendale WI)
Lazar is listed as a Power Forward, but he has a skill set to maneuver between time on the perimeter and time in the paint. He has range and can stretch the floor. He played hard throughout camp and was consistent in production while on the court during the camp games. This was my first time laying eyes on Lazar, and he was a pleasant surprise and was a player that made plays for others and made winning plays. When you understand that winning plays are not always scoring plays, you understand the type of player Lazar showed himself to be to those in attendance.
At 6’1 in the 7th grade, Lazar has good size on him, which helped set him apart from his peers in the same grade.
Opportunities for Growth: Lazar can stretch the floor, but I’d like to see him continue to expand his game on the perimeter. The verdict is still out when it comes to how much growth is left in him regarding his height, so it is vital to continue to put just as much emphasis on his perimeter game development as he does his post-game development.
Delvion Lamar Woods / 5’8 / Point Guard / Indiana Elite 2028 /Perry Heights Middle School (Evansville IN)
Another pleasant surprise at #TheMainEvent was D-Woods. He took advantage of the platform that was presented and showed that he was one of the top campers in the middle school division. He got it done at all levels and was impressive in doing so. He was strong on his drives and finished well at the rim and in the paint. He has a nice touch at all levels, was efficient with his scoring opportunities, and produced at a high level. D-Woods impressed a lot of people at the camp with his physical tools as he is just in the 6th grade. Truthfully as good of a showing that he had a camp, he has not even scratched the surface of what is ahead of him if he continues to put in the work. His continued trajectory will put him in the conversation of a lot of people in grassroots basketball.
If he continues to elevate his game, he will have a good chance at playing beyond high school.
However, that is a long time from today, but I will definitely keep my eyes on D-Woods. Opportunities for Growth: As usual for players in this grade, I encourage them to continue to work on all facets of their game. However, I want to see from D-Woods the same beast mode I see on the offensive end; I want to see on the defensive end. When I write about him again, I would love to say that he takes no plays off in no part of the game when he is on the court.
Kody Calhoun / 5’3 / Point Guard / The UN 2026 / Johnnie Carr Middle School (Montgomery AL)
Kody continues to develop his game. I have seen him several times throughout the spring and summer, and he continues to make strides in his personal growth in every area I have encouraged him to work on. At #TheMainEvent, he shot the ball better than I have seen him the last couple of times. His PG IQ is developing as he saw situations develop a lot faster than the last time I saw him in similar situations. He is still bringing that high energy level he is known for every time he steps on the court. Kody made some creative passes during camp games which is evidence of the continued growth of his court vision.
His productivity was high at camp.
Opportunities for Growth: I have written before opportunities that Kody can focus on to improve his game, but today I want to focus on one side of the court, which is the defensive end. I want to see a greater level of defensive toughness and aggressiveness with his on-ball defense. He has to get that beast-mode in him on the defensive end, especially as he awaits his growth spurts.
As I said in part 1, #TheMainEvent gave an incredible platform to many players, and these are some of the players that took advantage of that platform.