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M14Hoops Indy Tournament Recap (NGT 2016)

M14Hoops Post Tournament Recap

This past weekend the boys and girls were in action at the National Gear Up tournament hosted by D’andre Davis and his Gametime program. Teams from the 3rd grade all the way through the 12th grade came down to Indianapolis to compete in the tournament. This weekend our focus was on the class of 2021 7th grade boys (A) division. This division was full of talent from the Midwest. Many games came down to the last possession and for some it took an overtime to decide a winner. Some of the top performers from the class of 2021 were Indiana Elite Centrals’ Maddox Tavernier [PG #30]; Indiana Elite Centrals’ Connor Cox [Forward #51]; G3 Rising Stars’ Dylan Ritter[PG #1]; G3 Rising Stars’ Ronald Johnson [Combo Guard #3]; Gametimes’ Noah Carter [Combo Guard #24]; Gametimes’ Armahn Hillman [Wing]; Indy Hoyas’ Sean Black [PG #1]; Indy Hoyas’ Charles Hunter III [Wing #13]; Indy Hoyas’ Kalen McKinney [Forward #23]; Team Teagues’ #21 name not available [Wing], Team Teagues’ #34 name not available [Center]; Hoop Dreams’ Cooper Jarvis [Forward #41]. All OF these players made huge impacts for their teams this past weekend.


Top performers:

Maddox Tavernier PG #30 – Indiana Elite Central

Maddox is a big time facilitator with superb court vision. It’s clear that he plays QB the way he finds open teammates. To take his game to the next level Maddox needs to become a better shooter from the 3pt line.


Connor Cox Forward #51 – Indiana Elite Central

Now here’s one of the toughest players in the class of 2021. Connor can play both inside and out doing whatever his team needs to win. To take his game to the next level Connor needs to improve his ball handling to help increase his production on the offensive end of the floor.


Dylan Ritter PG #1 – G3 Rising Stars

He’s a smooth PG that always plays under control. Dylan is a good 3pt shooter that can get hot quick and go on run of his own from the 3pt line. To take his game to the next level Dylan needs to add a few attack moves off the dribble. At the guard position today, breaking down the defense off the dribble is a premium.


Ronald Johnson Combo Guard #3 – G3 Rising Stars

Johnson is always on attack mode trying to get to the rim. He’s a good two-way player staying active on the defensive playing passing lanes and disrupting the opposing teams offense. To take his game to the next level Johnson needs to become a more consistent 3pt shooter.


Noah Carter Combo Guard #24 – Gametime

Carter is small but fearless. This speedster can get the ball up the court in a hurry. In the half court he can breakdown his man to get to the paint regularly. To take his game to the next level Carter needs to learn how to change speeds and shoot off the dribble. At his size, space and timing will be key to his success.


Armahn Hillman Wing – Gametime

Hillman is the ‘glue guy’ for his Gametime squad. He does a little bit of everything from rebounding, scoring, defending, and bringing the energy. To take his game to the next level Hillman needs to become a better shooter from the 3pt line, pulling up off the dribble, and coming off screens.


Sean Black PG #1 – Indy Hoyas

Black is an aggressive PG on both ends of the floor. He has good breakdown ability that allows him to get to the rim consistently. To take his game to the next level Black needs to become a better facilitator. He needs to use his breakdown ability to get his teammates involved on the offensive end.


Charles Hunter III Wing #13 – Indy Hoyas

Hunter was built to play basketball. I had a college coach tell me, “If I was still coaching college ball, I would be salivating over this kid!” Hunter is not just a solid frame, he can play whether it’s finishing at the rim or attacking the offensive glass. His presence is felt when he’s on the court. To take his game to the next level Hunter needs to become a better ball handler and mid range shooter. With his size and athleticism, attacking off the dribble and pulling up for mid range jump shots can make him a load to defend.


Kalen McKinney Forward #23 – Indy Hoyas

McKinney is an offensive rebounding machine. He will make you pay on the offensive glass for not blocking him out. To take his game to the next level McKinney needs to develop a face up post game and become a 3pt shooter. Being undersized in the post has its advantages. Facing up in the post is where they can use their speed and quickness. Then being a threat from the 3pt line forces the big guys away from the rim, which stretches the defense (stretch 4).


Wing #21 – Team Teague

Here’s another player that is a physically blessed 7th grader. It’s a normal occurrence for him to be bigger than his opponent. He definitely knows how to use his size to his advantage when attacking and finishing at the rim. To take his game to the next level he will need to turn into a true wing. To do that, he will need to become a better ball handler, better using jab steps, and shooting the ball off the catch and off the dribble.


Center #34 – Team Teague

#34 is a big physical player that has nice touch around the rim. #34 makes his impact on the defensive end of the floor protecting the basket blocking and disrupting shots. To take his game to the next level he needs to learn 2 go to post moves that can get him 6 to 8 points per half. Post moves like a simple drop step to baseline for a power finish or a drop step to the middle for a hook shot. He also needs to become a better screener, which will help him get 2 to 3 easy buckets a game.


Cooper Jarvis #41 – Hoop Dreams

Now here’s an undersized 4 man that knows how to get the job done. Cooper plays with a tremendous motor that never seems to slow down. Cooper is a physical kid that finishes very well through contact. To take his game to the next level Cooper needs to become a stretch four. To do this, he will need to become a better ball handler and shooter from the outside.



Over the weekend passing and moving without the ball were two glaring issues that I noticed that could have been better from the entire class of 2021. When it came to passing the ball on time, to the right spot, and making the correct type of pass, players struggled with this a great deal. Moving without the ball was poor as well; which resulted in several bad passes, double teams with no outlet, turnovers, and tough opportunities for scoring.


On time passes

On time passes are the key to maintaining the rhythm in any offense. Poor passing and turnovers will kill your offense quicker than anything. Over the weekend, there were countless amounts of missed opportunities for open shots because of late passes. On many occasions, I witnessed players open coming off a screen and not getting a shot due to a late pass. This was a result of players failing to get in a stance (triple threat) to be in position to deliver an on time pass for an open shot.


Passing to the correct spot

An on time pass is no good if the ball is not passed to the right spot. Your job as a passer is to pass your teammate into a shot-not out of a shot; inaccurate passes can turn good shots into bad shots instantly. This works both ways; players playing without the ball should always be “shot ready”. This means that they should be down in a stance with their hands up above their elbows, ready to step into a shot at any moment when passed the ball. At M14Hoops, we tell our players to use their hands to paint a target for the passer, this will let the passer know where you want the ball.


Right type of PASS

Making the right type of pass keeps the offense flowing. At M14Hoops, we have 3 rules all of our guards have to live by: no strips, no blocks, NO DEFLECTIONS. Strips are turnovers, blocks lead to fast breaks, and deflections disrupt the offense. Most deflected passes are a result of making the wrong type of pass. It is important that players understand how to make the correct type of pass to avoid their pass getting deflected or stolen.


Moving Without the Ball

All good offenses have good floor spacing and movement. Stand still offenses with no spacing are easy to defend and boring to play in. Spacing makes dribble penetration harder to defend. By spacing the floor and effectively moving without the ball, helping and recovering becomes more challenging for defenses. Every offense should have general rules for moving without the ball, like when and where to relocate when there is dribble penetration.


If a player drives to the baseline, does your players know where to go? Do they know what type of pass to make? To view some drills to incorporate in your practice to help your players with passing and moving without the ball CLICK HERE. This will take you to our ‘Coaches Corner’ that will breakdown different drills and concepts for passing and moving without the ball.

On the ‘Coaches Corner’ team drills page:

  • Scroll down to the ‘Moving Without the Ball’ section
  • Click on any of the 7 different ‘Moving Without the Ball’ instructional videos
  • Each video will cover passing