2020 A Diamond in the Rough Showcase
On this past Sunday morning, at Dr Charles Drew Park in Queens, just off the Van Wyck Expressway, Coach Kaamil Dillard build a diamond mine. In other words, he wheeled out a mother lode of future basketball gems in his 2020 version of A Diamond in the Rough exposure event. Coach Dillard chose the “A Diamond in the Rough” moniker because his participants are generally previously unheralded and uncommitted, but high potential college and prep school prospects.
Here’s a recap of the top performers on the day:
Shamel Grant (2021) 6’2 combo guard, Summit Academy - Grant sees the floor very well. He gets in the lane and attacks with strong and athletic finishes at the rim. He can hit the three. He defends well against both his man and in help defense rotations. He talks well on both offense and defense.
Jaden Fleming (2021) 6’4 guard, St Thomas Moore School (CT) - Fleming is a very smooth player who can play 1-3. He has a high ceiling, as only being 16 years old, and playing as a rising senior in D1 college-bound post-grad laden prep school conference. He is a positive force, and a great team player who gets in the lane effortlessly, but then tends to show his pass-first skills. He has a high player IQ for his age and talks on both sides of the ball, despite being the youngest on the court. Coach Dillard projects him to land anywhere to from a mid major through to a high D2. He just needs to work on his range and build into the D1 body type.
Brandon Goris (2021) 5’10 guard, Lawrence Academy (MA) - Goris hails from the Bronx, but like Fleming, he plays prep ball in the highly competitive NEPSAC. He is a super-quick guard who can break a press down on his own. He is a smooth finisher who could be more aggressive as a scorer and a shooter. He does defend at a high level. He is projected to excel in D2 or high D3 ball.
Andrew Lara (college freshman ) 6’4 forward, York College - Lara is an undersized big who rebounds tremendously well. He just turned 17 as he graduated from high school at only 16 years old. He has only been playing basketball for two years. He is great around the basket and in transition. He needs to work on his back-to-the-basket scoring skills. Dillard says Lara has so much potential that he will be a D3 signee, but then eventually morph into a stud at that level.
Savion Daniel (college freshman) 6’4 swing, SUNY-Sullivan - Daniel finishes really well around the basket and also rebounds very well. He plays hard. He needs conditioning but has the ability to be great in transition. He has a good IQ and is a match-up problem in that he can burn a guard-sized defender with his post-up scoring skills.
Emiliano Tappin (2020) 6’3 swing, August Martin High. Tappin can play the 2,3 and 4. He has a great motor and is athletic. He plays with emotion and his IQ reminds Coach Dillard of a smaller Ron Artest. He gets in the lane doesn’t mind doing the garbage work. He just plays hard.
Dian Wright-Forde (2021) 6’4 guard, Upper Room Christian School - Wright-Forde can play the lead guard or wing scorer in transition. He is a strong lefty who can hit the big shots. He is athletic and has a D1 body. When he is on defense, he has the ability to swallow up smaller guards.
Tyree Ward (2020) 6’0 combo guard, Unconmmited - Ward is very fast and athletic, but can be a bit streaky when shooting the jumper. He gets in the lane effectively and is always moving without the ball. His basketball IQ needs experience, but he makes up for that by playing hard.
Shamik Graham (2021) 6’2 combo guard, OnPoint Hoops Academy (OK) - Per Dillard, Graham one of the most athletic guards that you’ve never heard of He gets in the lane super effortlessly. He is super-quick with a sneaky bounce. He finishes at the rim through contact and gets to the free throw line alot.
Leon Nicholas (2021) 6’2 guard, Epic High - Nicholas is athletic, gets to the rim and finishes in the lane strongly. He needs to shoot more and become more consistent in making those shots. He plays fast at both ends, very active on defense.
Howard Turner (college freshman) 6’2 guard, Jefferson Community College - Turner can light the court up from anywhere. He plays tough like the protypical Brooklyn guard, will do anything to get the win. He is not as athletic or fast as the other showcase stand-outs, but still gets his. As Dillard says’ “The kid just scores”. He talks on defense and guides his team on the offense.
Jonathan Duradola (2020) 6’0 point guard, August Martin High/Uncommitted - Coach Dillard says that Duradola is a Pat Beverly type on defense, and a pass-first point guard on offense. He hits shots, creates for teammates and is an extension of the coach on the floor. He will get a team where they need to be on ends of the floor.
Bruce Tulloch (2020) 6’4 wing guard, Seward Park. Tulloch can shoot the 3 ball and can get in the lanes. He has put put 17 ppg, 8rpg and 4 apg as a senior. Dillard says he needs to be a better defender
Kiron Rowzee (2021) 6’0 guard, OnPoint Hoops Academy (OK) - Rowzee ia a mid-range killer and shoots the 3 ball at an efficient rate. He plays defense. Dillard says that Rowzee makes the right play, always has his head up and does the little things that you can’t teach.
Greg Thurman (college freshman) 6’2 guard, Bryant & Stratton College (OH) -Thurman is as fast as lightning and shoots it at a high clip. He can score from anywhere on the court. He defends 94 feet and never gets tired doing it. He is always active and Dillard thinks he plays just like Rip Hamilton in that aspect of the game.
Malik Bentick (college freshman) 6’5 combo forward, Borough of Manhattan CC - Bentick is a double-double machine. He can get it scored off of the dribble and hit the three ball, and clearly rebounds well. Dillard says that Bentick still needs to show him that he can defend at a higher level in order to achieve his full potential.
Alex McLain (2021) 6’0 shooting guard, August Martin High - McLain is a strong shooting guard who can play both the 2 and 3 position. He has a very effective mid-range shot, but is also a slasher who can create off the dribble. McLain plays physical basketball and is not afraid of contact. He is an excellent rebounder that plays outstanding defense on and off the ball. Coach Dillard believes ’ guard that can play combo guard shoots decent very strong for his height rebounds like he is 6’8 works on the jumper he will be the best guard in his PSAL division this winter.
For any scout looking for contact info on these players above, you can reach Kaamil Dillard at (347) 869-5359