The Southwest Kickoff kicked off today in Edmond, Oklahoma. This event is hosting several great players and teams from across multiple states, as we get a glimpse of the future of high school basketball and beyond. The event is still…
The Southwest Kickoff kicked off today in Edmond, Oklahoma. This event is hosting several great players and teams from across multiple states, as we get a glimpse of the future of high school basketball and beyond. The event is still going on, but here are the top defensive players that I witnessed on Day 1.
Oluwafisayomi Falowo utilized his size and athleticism to leave his finger prints all over the game. He was grabbing one rebound after another and scoring inside continually. Several of his points coming off of offensive rebounds that saw him finishing in traffic. Now it is time to get to why he is in this article: his defense. He had some blocks and several great shot contests. Multiple times, he contested a shot to force an air-ball. That happened on a three point attempt, as well. Not only did he do that, but he came away with a steal. It was a great game for him and enough to propel his team to victory.
James Johnson was absolutely dominant in his teams win. He came away with one steal after another. I have six steals recorded for him. He turned this steals into assists or him scoring himself. This happened multiple times, but his impact went way beyond this. He showed the ability to shoot by knocking down a three and hitting a mid-range pull-up. He had 15 points at halftime and ended with 19 points for the game. Most of his damage was at the rim, but we saw him stretch the floor, too. It was a remarkable performance for him.
Romejo Waits impacted the game on both ends of the court. He finished with nine points, knocking down a three, scoring in transition, and finishing inside a couple of times. He grabbed a few rebounds and had a couple of assists, but his impact went beyond that. He had a couple of steals, in which he turned one of them into points. He played great on-ball defense throughout the entirety of the game. It was an impressive performance for him on the defensive end.
Rylan Humphrey was lockdown defensively during this contest. He was excellent with his perimeter defense and showed a good I.Q to know when to switch and the ability to do it. He came away with a steal and affected the game in other areas, as well. A nice bounce pass for an assist, a few rebounds, an offensive rebound, and a little bit of scoring summed up his performance in this one. Some of his offensive resume includes him driving the gap and finishing through contact for an and-one opportunity. Another highlight was him driving, spinning, and hitting a turnaround jumper. He contributed heavily on the defensive end, but provided a boost in other areas to help propel his team to victory.
Chance Perez impacted the game in a variety of ways. He played good on-ball defense on both the perimeter and inside. He also came away with a steal and blocked a three point attempt. He grabbed multiple rebounds, including an offensive rebound. His impact expands beyond these things, as he came away with multiple assists and scored in transition. This is a player that affected the game in all three dimensions of the game. It was impressive seeing what he was able to do.