The nation's #1 ranked team, South Plains Junior College (TX) came to Arizona over the winter break - proving their dominance and winning this year's Fiesta Bowl Shootout at Mesa Junior College.
In the tournament's semi-finals, South Plains (14-0) would knock off the nation's then #4 team and also the defending junior college national champions, Salt Lake City Junior College (UT). South Plains is absolutely loaded with serious talent and would eventually tire out a talented Salt Lake team - leading to a big 85-69 victory and advancing to the tournament's final game on Friday.
South Plains would utilize an intense fast-breaking style of play to push their lead out to a 44-36 lead at the half. The South Plains team would use a very well balanced scoring attack to thwart the opponent on the evening. The Salt Lake team was very efficient in their ability to play above the rim and make things happen. The South Plains team would jump out to a big lead and would not have to worry for much of the contest.
As a result, South Plains would eventually run away with the game, 85-69, resulting in a big victory for South Plains and their coaching staff.
South Plains would then win the tournament with a big championship game victory over Snow College (UT), 85-65, in the tournament's final game. As a result, South Plains would hold on to their #1 national ranking with the tournament win.
I was on hand for the semi-final match-up between South Plains and Salt Lake. Here are some of my player evaluations for South Plains and also Salt Lake City JC . . .
South Plains Player Evaluations
Shawntrez Davis 6-9 SOPH South Plains JC (Atlanta, GA)
- Athletic 4-man with excellent length and size. An active rebounder with a good overall skill level. Runs the floor and is a very good finisher in the open floor. Excellent shotblocker and defender.
Roberto Gaillinet 6-3 FR SG South Plains JC (Native of Atlanta, GA)
- Gallinet is also a very atheltic wing prospect with a nice overall feel for the game and an ability to play well above the rim.
Jerron Love 5-10 SOPH PG/SG South Plains JC (Native of Yonkers, NY)
- Love is an excellent ball handler and passser with a very good feel for the game. He is also able to make plays off the dribble for himself and others.
Jordan Brangers 6-3 FR SG South Plains JC (Radcliff, KY)
-Brangers is a big-time athletic talent with a nice overall feel for the game and a shooting stroke with unlimited range on his shot. He has a unique approach to the game and is able to make plays most players cannot make. Considered as the top overall junior college prospect in America, as there are very few prospects with his combination of skill and athleticism.
Josh Webster 6-3 SOPH SG South Plains JC (St. Louis, MD)
-Webster is another big-time talent with an excllent feel for the game and an ability to make plays off the dribble. Webster is very athletic and able to make plays in the open floor. Has unlimited range on his jump shot.
Raquan Mitchell 6-3 FR South Plains JC (Miam, FL)
- Mitchell is another unique talent, as there are many on this South Plains' roster. Mitchell is another sure-fire performer that has the potential to play at the high major division-I level.
Sal Lake City JC (UT) Player Evaluations
TJ Oliver 6-9 SOPH PF/C Salt Lake City JC (Native of Ukraine)
Oliver is an absolute load. A big body post player with excellent footwork and a nice, soft touch that allows him to make plays inside the painted area of the court. Runs the floor hard and is a good finisher. A good shooter with a soft touch. Has a good jump hook and is a good finisher.
Isaiah White 6-7 FR Salt Lake City (UT) (Native of Rancho Cucamonga, CA)
White is a long and tall athlete with a good body and a nice motor with good athleticism. Runs the floor hard and is able to make plays in transition. Has the potential to be a high-major division-I prospect, but still needs some work on his perimeter skills, especially his shooting stroke with range.
Christian Gray 6-6 FR SF/PF Salt Lake City (UT)
- A native of San Bernadino, CA, Gray has a strong, athletic build that allows him to make plays inside and out. He is very physical and is good in the open floor. A slasher and a good finisher.
Dalven Brusher 5-10 SOPH PG Salt Lake City (UT)
- Brusher is a steady point man with a very good feel for the game and an abilityt ot make plays off the dribble for his team. A steady performer and shooter, Brusher is able to make plays almost at will and is a very crafty guard prospect.
Keanu Peters 6-2 SOPH PG Salt Lake City (UT)
Peters is a big-time jump-shooter with unlimited range on his shot and an ability to make plays for himself and others, as needed. Peters is an NBA athlete and jumps very high on his jump shot, which allows him to make plays at a high rate. A big time prospect for the future and a dual sport athlete.
Ke-Sean Davis 6-7 FR Salt Lake City (UT) (A native of Los Angeles, CA)
Davis is a nice talent and has very good size for the future. A big time prospect with a nice overall feel for the game and an ability to make plays in the open floor. I love this young man's potential for the future, and see him as a big time talent over time. With continued hard work, Davis should blossom nicely.