The key for the SME squad out of Mississippi this summer will be the team’s versatility. Coach Burnell Wesco is confident he has the personnel to exploit any weakness his opponent may have.
“We can play a lot of different ways because of the athletes we have,” Wesco said. “We have the guards to play an up-tempo style, and we have a couple of post players with real size so that we can slow it down and pound it inside.”
SME’s versatility will be on display at the Suwanee Tournament of Champions from July 5-8. The event will include 96 elite travel teams, with game being played at the Suwanee Sports Academy just outside Atlanta. The Suwanee TOC was previously called the FILA Nationals.
SME will be led by a strong nucleus of veteran performers from the Class of 2015. That group includes Ledaria Moody (6-2, C), Ashley Jorden (6-2, PF), Terica Barnes (6-3, C), Ashailee’ Brailey (5-9, SG), Jazmin Boyd (5-9, SG) and Kalen Phillips (5-8, PG).
Here is Wesco’s description of his top prospects, along with the viewpoint of All Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick:
Wesco: “Ledaria is a good low block post player. She has pushed her shooting range out to 15 to 17 feet.”
McCormick: “Moody gives a team a real inside presence. She can score down low, and she can face up.”
Wesco: “Ashley has good size, and she is a good shooter. She can hit the three.”
McCormick: “Jorden is a long athlete, and she is a blue collar type of player who plays hard and does the little things.”
Wesco: “Terica is a low block player who can really protect the paint on the defensive end. She has a 6-11 wingspan, and she really dominates on defense.”
McCormick: “Barnes is an athlete with long arms and she is an effective shot blocker. On the offensive end, she scores near the basket.”
Wesco: “Jazmin is a good athlete who reminds me of Jewell Loyd from Notre Dame, and she can flat out shoot the basketball. She has the ability to battle inside with post players, and she is a great rebounder.”
McCormick: “She is strong and very athletic. She has an all-around game. She is good in the open floor, attacks the basket, defends and rebounds.”
Wesco: “Kalen might be the best point guard in Mississippi. She can really push the ball up the court, and she is very, very good at making decisions.”
McCormick: “Phillips is very quick, and she has all the skills. She has a good handle, and she is a very intelligent player.”