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Competing at the highest levels is a tough assignment for any travel program, and facing that challenge with a young roster is even more difficult. The South Georgia Metros are facing that challenge this year, and their coach has been pleased with the results to date … and he is excited about the future.
“We’ve done pretty well so far against some of the top teams in the country. We’ve actually done better than I expected,” said Coach Mike Woods. “We have a number of major Division I kids, but they are all sophomores and freshmen. They have learned a lot already this year, and I’m expecting big things from them in July, and we should be very strong next year.”
Those rising stars will be showcased 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.
The South Georgia Metros are paced by a strong group that features Alexis Tate-Evans (2017, 5-10, G), Alexis Burns (2016, 5-9, G), Aaliyah Bell (2015, 5-6, PG), and twin sisters Jasmine (2016, 6-2, PF) and Jessica Herndon (2016, 6-2, F).
“Alexis Tate-Evans (the daughter of Auburn assistant coach Ty Evans) is a great all-around athlete. She has a strong mid-range game with an impressive jumper and she is a rebounding machine,” Woods said. “Aaliyah Bell is our floor general. She can shoot it, but she is willing to run the team too. She is our heart and soul.
“The Herndon twins are both 6-2, but they are different types of players. Jessica is our “Big Fundamental” like Tim Duncan. She is a true four player who is very sound fundamentally. Jasmine is more of a big bodied three. She is very good with her back to the basket, but she can also shoot the three. She is working on losing some weight, and if she gets that done she will be a big-time player.
“Alexis Burns is a strong guard who can jump out of the gym. She finishes strong around the basket, and she has a good mid-range game. She is just too strong for most guards, and her three-point shot is coming.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also provided his perspective on the South Georgia Metro prospects:
Alexis Tate-Evans: “She is a strong athlete who can get to the hoop. She is very good in the open floor, and she has the ability to take it coast-to-coast.”
Alexis Burns: “Burns is a quick, strong combo guard. She is an explosive athlete, and she can be an acrobatic finisher in the lane. She also has three-point shooting range.”
Aaliyah Bell: “Bell is a quick point guard who knows the game. She sees the floor and she is an effective passer. She also knows how to get to the basket.”
Jasmine Herndon: “Jasmine has a strong body and she can score against contact, but she also has the ability to step out to the three-point arc.”
Jessica Herndon: “Jessica hurt her knee in March of 2013, but she is back at full speed now. She is very strong on the low block, and she can face up and step outside.”