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Slam Dunk to the Beach: Brandon Slater Shines on Day One
by Ari Rosenfeld, Future150 (1:06 PM CT, Wed December 28, 2016)
2017 wing Brandon Slater had a big opening day.
2017 wing Brandon Slater had a big opening day.
Ari Rosenfeld
Ari Rosenfeld:

Future150 Regional Analyst. Covering high school basketball in the Mid-Atlantic.

Lewes, DE (Future150) -- Tuesday marked the opening day of the 2017 Slam Dunk to the Beach showcase in Lewes, Delaware, and several prospects stole the show.

When Naz Reid is locked in, watch out

At one time, Roselle Catholic’s Naz Reid was considered a consensus top-5 prospect in the 2018 class. However, concerns over his inconsistent effort and tendency to disappear in games have caused him to drop a bit in the last year. Reid showed on Tuesday, though, that when he’s locked in and playing within himself, there’s still few players in the country who can handle his blend of size, athleticism, and skill.

After a slow first half that saw his Roselle team fall behind by nearly 20 points, Reid put together a dominant second half on his way to 21 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. He showed off the total package, finishing and-ones in the post and on the offensive glass, facing up for drives and mid-range jumpers, and knocking down a three for good measure.

Reid is a divisive prospect at this point, but his talent is undeniable. If his future coaching staff--he’s being recruited by the likes of Kentucky, Syracuse, and St. John’s among others--can get consistent effort out of him, they’ll certainly be pleased with the results.

Future looks bright for Paul VI

The goal for Paul VI every year is to win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, and while fellow WCAC powers Gonzaga and DeMatha might have the upper hand this year, the Panthers showed they’ll have as good a shot as anyone to take home the title next year. While senior lead guard Aaron Thompson will have departed for Pittsburgh, sophomore Anthony Harris and freshman Jeremy Roach are both tracking as top-50 point guard prospects in their own right.

On the wing, junior Brandon Slater has had a start to the season worthy of top-25 consideration. The 6’6” lefty finished tied for a team-high with 14 points, showing an improved stroke and a quick release from the outside. He’s very active for a wing, using his athleticism to block shots and corral rebounds before getting out in transition, where he’s able to push the ball himself or run the wing and finish above the rim.

The Panthers, as always, will make their fair share of noise in the WCAC race this season, but with the young talent they displayed in Delaware, it looks like next year could be their year to win it all.

Slam Dunk Standouts:

Valdir Manuel, 2018 PF/C: Nobody packed more production into his minutes for The Patrick School than Manuel, who looks to have grown to about 6’10” since last being observed by Future150 this summer. Manuel brought instant energy to the lineup, grabbing 7 rebounds in 16 minutes, finishing consistently inside, and running the floor like a mad man. Possessing a capable stroke out to the 3-point line and now with a couple more inches added to his frame, Manuel is starting to project as a rare stretch ‘5’, something that high-major coaches will surely love.

Keith Williams, 2017 SG: Williams has really made strides in his game and it showed on Day One in Delaware. The 6’4” wing has really improved his perimeter arsenal, showing off a more polished handle and an advanced middle game en route to finishing with a tournament-high 26 points. As he continues to strengthen his outside jumper, Williams has a chance to grow into a big-time scoring threat for Mick Cronin and the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Dre Perry, 2017 CF: A Temple signee playing in front of one of his future coaches, Perry showed off all of the assets he will bring to the AAC next fall, erupting for 23 points and 10 rebounds and wowing the crowd with several highlight-reel dunks and blocks. It’s unclear whether the powerful 6’6” Baltimore native will play on the perimeter or as a small-ball ‘4’, but his consistent energy and activity, coupled with a college-ready body, will make it hard for Fran Dunphy to keep him on the bench for long.

Jeremy Roach, 2020 PG: The next in line at the storied Paul VI program, Roach is already in consideration as the top point guard in his class and he showed why on Tuesday night. Roach came off the bench but closed the game for the Panthers, and scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half of a tight game. He showed the ability to work off the ball, coming off screens and knocking down jumpers, and break down the defense off the bounce, allowing him to use his strong frame to finish through contact. Already holding an offer from Virginia, expect Roach to have his pick of colleges in a few years.

Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, 2017 PF: Another Philadelphia Big 5 signee who posted a double-double, Villanova-bound Cosby-Roundtree really stepped up in the absence of five-star point guard Quade Green. The athletic interior presence put together the best performance of any big man all day, posting 21 points and 12 boards on 9-for-12 shooting. His ability to run the floor, block shots, and finish high above the rim should translate immediately to the next level.

Kahlil Whitney, 2019 SF: A high-profile name within his class for some time, Whitney is starting to turn potential into production for Roselle Catholic. Despite a loss to Archbishop Wood, the 6’6” Chicago transplant scored an efficient 19 points, showing off a much more refined perimeter game than Future150 had seen in the past. His power and athleticism are still his calling cards, but Whitney looks ready to emerge as a high-level perimeter scoring threat in the sophomore class.

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