Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July AAU Preview - Team Power

During the next couple weeks, our area will be a major hub for the some of the best "grassroots/AAU" basketball in the country.  July is a key time for high school basketball players to be evaluated by college coaches.  There are only 21 days during the Spring and Summer periods when players can be evaluated, and 15 of those days are this month.  With the Nike Peach Jam, the country's premier youth basketball event, and the "Peach State" tournaments hosted in the Augusta area beginning tonight, I am excited about seeing our area's best players face some of the nation's best players and teams.  I observed the action during the Spring period.  Here I will preview four teams that feature area players I follow.  And I will be back throughout the next couple weeks to update you on their progress.

Here is my preview of Team Power:

Team Power features five of Augusta's best seven or eight players:  Christian Keeling (Laney), Demontrez Hawes (Westside), Madison Williams (Augusta Christian), San Antonio Brinson (Thomson), and Ricquail Smoot (Butler).  This group has played its Spring and Summer ball together for at least four years, maybe longer.  The team is not only Augusta's most talented AAU team.  It is one of the southeast's premier "independent," or non shoe companied sponsored, teams. In April, I saw the Power compete admirably with the Georgia Stars, a Nike sponsored team that I would not be surprised to see win this week's Peach Jam tournament.

Keeling, Hawes, and Williams always spring to mind when I think of Team Power.  The trio of athletic guards with good size and solid shooting strokes have long formed the foundation of the team.  All three are rising seniors and along with Laney's Zep Jasper, are probably Augusta's most proven guards.  See them in action against the Georgia Stars here:

Shortly after the AAU season began, coach Greg Williams gained a player I believe to be our area's best college prospect, Thomson's San Antonio Brinson.  Brinson played the last two seasons at Aquinas.  The 6'7" wing combines good athleticism, agility, and footwork with a solid shooting stroke.  I haven't seen him play with Team Power yet.  But I expect him to fit nicely with the talented core of players.  Here is San Antonio in action last season with Aquinas.

Smoot, a 6'7" post player with a decent shooting touch, impressed me during summer league action in June.  He attacked smaller players in the post and finished with either hand.

Team Power's first several games of the July period will be in the Peach State Select tournament at Paine College on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, July 8 - 7:40 PM
Thursday, July 9 - 1:00 PM
Thursday, July 9 - 6:20 PM
Friday, July 10 - 10:20 AM

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