City Of Palms: Day Two Notebook

One of the most prestigious events in scholastic basketball is commencing. The City of Palms in Ft. Myers, Florida showcases several of the top programs in the country. I flew in to begin catching action on the second day of the event. Below are my thoughts and notes. 

Allen, Jenkins Combo Kicks off Day 2 of COP

My first game to watch in Fort Myers, FL was a quality one, as two Florida based programs in Victory Christian and Riviera Prep battled it out. 

Riviera Prep nabbed a 73-56 win and 2025 Dante Allen and 2027 Jeremy Jenkins played a large part in the victory. 

I’ve watched Allen multiple times, but this season is the first I’ve evaluated him being the primary scoring option. Liked how he got his teammates involved by finding guys running the floor or dishing it to the open man when he got to the paint. Because of his willingness to pass, it opened driving lanes and open shots for him. Allen recorded 17 points, six assists and five rebounds 

Jenkins will be a name talked about  plenty of times for the 2027 class. 

I saw him in Dallas last year as an eighth grader and he showed flashes of the skill but he physically dominated games for the most part. On the varsity level as a freshman, he has exhibited an array of skills. Possesses a clean shooting stroke at 6’7, scores with back to basket and facing up due to adequate footwork and touch. Jenkins offensive versatility poses as a matchup issue for opponents. Finished game with 20 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Mater Dei With Convincing Win vs Windermere Prep

Five Players reached double figures in Mater Dei’s matchup over Windermere Prep of Florida.

Player Evals 

Mater Dei

Brannon Martinsen, 6’7 PF - 2026: Skilled forward that’s a capable shooter from deep. Embraces contact on back downs from the block and uses body well to generate enough space to get shot off over length. Operated well and made sound decisions in the high post, as a pick n pop guy and in the short roll. 

Luke Barnett, 6’3 SG - 2026: Shot over 50% from the field and 3-7 from deep. Attacked closeouts and got to the mid-range pull and floater game. Active off-ball mover who has extended range from deep.

Blake Davidson, 6’7 PF - 2025: Started the game out with a 3-pointer and I liked his assertiveness and toughness on the glass. Physical box-outs, active on offensive glass and can make jumpers when his feet is set. Activity and motor, to go along with his promising shooting touch, was on display. 

Windermere Prep

Sinan Huan, 7’ C - 2026: Lefty that’s a legit 7-footer that’s equipped with adequate touch around the rim. Coordinated for size and age, comfortable operating on the low block but could play with more toughness and aggression on the glass. Regardless, can see the tools and the talent. 

Brandon Bass Jr, 6’4 CG - 2026: Struggled shooting and seemed to have been pressing on offense when shots weren’t going in. Can see the talent though and I liked that he continued to compete on the defensive end regardless of how his offense was. A lefty with wiggle off the dribble and can shot create. 

Evening Recap

VJ Edgecomb leads LuHi vs Westminister Academy

LuHi, ranked No. 2 in the latest FAB 50 Rankings, came out the gates slow but executed better in the second half and recorded a 83-59 win vs. a talented Westminister squad. 5 star guard VJ Edgecomb showed why he’s one of the best in 2024. An explosive athlete that has polished up his offensive game. Major vertical pop, first step and one of if not the best wing defender in the country. He finished the game with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals on 61 percent shooting. 

Also wanted to note the impact of 2025 guard Kayden Mingo had on the game. Got downhill and to the paint multiple times, finished through contact, navigated well in tight spaces and was a pest as an on-ball defender, shooting through the gaps and racking steals as a team defender. 17 points, 2 assists and a whopping 6 steals. 

For Westminister, 2026 Alex Constanza is the real deal. A fluid 6’8 wing with legit guard skills. Everything looked effortless and clean. Long strides allowed him to get to spots in limited dribbles, he utilized his length to finish vs like-size length and he’s an adequate shooter also. Saw why he’s labeled one of the best overall prospects in 2026. 

Rutgers Commits Go Toe to Toe

The Scarlet Knights should be excited about what’s coming in 2024 from the high school side. Dylan Harper (Don Bosco Prep, NJ) and Ace Bailey (McEachern High School, GA) put on a show on Tuesday. Don Bosco ran away with it in the second half and won 76-50. 

Harper led his squad with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists on 11-for-17 shooting. The lefty pg was dominant. He controls the pace of the game, manages the floor and knows when to score the ball. He’s not speeding by the defender, but he’s using his body and ball-handling creativity to create space and score. Also wanted to note his ability to read double teams and skip passes to make the defense shift. He only recorded 3 assists, but he had a plethora of possessions that his pass led to the ball rotating and eventually generated a bucket. 

Ace Bailey continued to play hard and I respected that. Recorded 24 points and 7 rebounds. At 6’8 and the elevation he has on his jumper, there are so many shots he can create because of how high he gets off the floor and his high release point. There’s plenty of upside as a shot creator when he gets hot offensively, it’s very hard to cool him off as a defender. 

I know the transfer portal is a huge deal and labeled as the wave in college basketball, but these two will be impact freshmen and won’t be in college long. 

Columbus Found Rhythm and Defeat Archbishop Ryan

The evening matchups all were basically a tale of two halves. Columbus (Fla.) vs. Archbishop Ryan (Pa.) was no different. 

Ryan slowed down the pace of the game and its zone defense gave Columbus fits early on. Causing turnovers and Columbus didn’t shoot it well from deep. Offensively it scored off a heavy dose of back-door cuts and post feeds to Georgetown commit Thomas Sorber (11pts 9rebs & 3 assists). 

Columbus eventually found their groove and went on a scoring tear. The Explorers just played a lot fast and started attacking the paint in the zone. Jase Richardson was very good in this one with 17 points and 8 rebounds. An athletic, lefty guard that once he gets downhill, he’s finishing around the rim and playing above the rim. 5 star forward Cameron Boozer started to show why he’s arguably the best in his class, as he finished better around the rim and started utilizing his strength inside. He recorded 26 points, 8 rebounds on 62 percent shooting. 


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