Peach State Summer Showcase preview: Florida Assault
Team: Florida Assault U-17 Follow @FloridaAssault1
Head Coach: Diana Neal
2012 Record: 27-8
2012 Tournaments: King James Southern Exposure, Wallace Prather Memorial, Big Shots Atlanta, Knox Vegas, King James Shooting Classic, New Orleans Elite Memorial Day Classic, Big Shots Governors Slam
Committed Players: DeAndre Burnett – Miami (FL). The ACC-bound scoring point guard might be one of the additions of the summer season as Burnett has yet to play a game for Florida Assault heading into July. Burnett, who reclassified into the Class of 2013, will be attending Massanutten Military Academy (VA) before heading on down to Coral Gables.
“He’s a scoring machine that we just picked up for July,” Coach Neal said about her latest addition to an already dangerous squad.
“He will be able to spell Rashawn [Powell] at times. That is going to be a very difficult backcourt for other teams to deal with.”
Expectations: Every teams hopes to win a tournament like the Peach State Showcase but Coach Neal is way past hoping. She’s expecting her team to win it all, and, after Florida Assault’s successful start to the AAU season – a win at the Big Shots Governor Slam and a runner-up at the King James Classic; it’s hard to blame her.
“I feel like I’ve corrected some of our problems from earlier in the Spring and we have added some nice pieces heading into the Peach State,” Neal said.
The additions she speaks of are the aforementioned Deandre Burnett in the backcourt and Rwabigwi Adonis (6-foot-8, C, 2013) down low.
Adonis will provide depth for a frontcourt that already includes Fallou Ndoye, who, after having five mid major offers, recently picked up offers from Virginia Tech and Southern Cal.
The strength of Neal’s squad was, and still is, in the backcourt. After not getting the call to attend the NBPA Top 100 Camp last week Rashawn ‘Pookie’ Powell did get the nod as one of the best high school point guards invited to the Deron Williams Skills Academy.
It’s not hard to get Coach Neal to say nice things about Pookie, and for good reason. The scoring point guard can do a little bit of everything.
“Rashawn Powell is one of the best guards out there right now,” Neal admitted.
“No guard that we’ve played against has been able to stop him so far this summer. He’s one of those crafty guards that makes other players around him better. He’s real coachable and the fact that he can shoot from the outside makes him really difficult to defend.”
Now Powell isn’t exactly flying under the radar. ESPN had him checking in at No. 77 on its Top 100 while college coaches are also starting to agree with Neal as twelve schools, including nine majors, have lined up to offer scholarships.
Virginia is the latest school to offer Powell as the Cavaliers join a list that includes schools such as Cincinnati, Memphis, Seton Hall, Miami, and Mississippi State to name a few.
One of the real treats of the Peach Jam Showcase will be watching Florida Assault’s backcourt duo of Powell and Burnett get after teams on both ends. Of course opposing coaches probably won’t feel the same way as the neutrals or Coach Neal.
Looking into the Future: Dwayne Bacon won’t be on the U-17 roster for the Peach State but the 2015 point guard has seen some action earlier this summer with the senior squad. Don’t let this underclassmen fool you as Bacon (@bacondwayne) has already picked up offers from Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Central Florida. – Bobby Bancroft