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PYBL Playoff Standouts

By Jamaill HInes, 09/03/17, 7:30PM EDT

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A look at the 2017 PYBL Playoff standouts

By JAMAILL HINES

PYBL Elite Quarter Finals Standouts (at St. Andrew’s School)

Southern MD (72) vs Howard (67)

#2 Devin Dinkins (Southern MD)
Stat Line: 13 points (5-12 FGA, 1-4 3PA), 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals in 32 minutes
Dinkins did just about everything that you want from your point guard: controlled the pace of the game, secured the ball (just one turnover), created shots for others in the pick and roll and off dribble penetration, pressured the point off attack and balanced scoring and play making. Dinkins used his creative ball handling and quickness to beat defenders off the bounce for scores at the rim, mid-range jump shots and shot creation for his teammates. His most impressive score came where he kept his dribble low to split the double on the perimeter and connected on the floater over the help defender. Dinkins took the game over during the overtime period for the Southern Maryland win. On several possessions, he operated in the pick and roll that resulted in scores: he read the defender backing away and pulled up left for the midrange jumper, went all the way for smooth lefty scoop layup and found Watson rolling down the middle of the lane for a layup. With his ability to score, create for others and dig into his matchup defensively, Dinkins has been one of the best two-way point guards in the PYBL.

#7 Derrick Key (Southern MD)
Stat Line: 8 points (4-7 FGA), 8 rebounds (5 offensive) 1 block and 1 steal in 16 minutes
Key, a member of the PYBL Elite All Defensive and 1st Team All PYBL was limited to just 16 minutes due to foul trouble throughout (5 fouls), but still had a major impact when he was on the floor. He was a terror on the offensive glass by utilizing his combination of motor, height, length, athleticism and quick jumping ability. This led to put backs for himself and second chance points for his team. Key was constantly around the ball, looking to go after every rebound on both sides of the floor, forcing his matchups to put a body on him. He did a great job of utilizing his physical tools to make his primary matchup in Preston Howard (3rd Team ALL PYBL Elite), work for contested shot attempts. What I really love about Key are his intangibles. Key is scrappy, consistent with his motor and energy, and is NEVER intimated on the floor to go along with projectable physical tools.

#8 Christian Winborne (Southern MD)
Stat Line: 13 points (4-5 FGA, 2-2 3PA FGA, 3-3 FTA), 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 14 minutes
In limited minutes due to foul trouble (5 fouls), the PYBL Elite 6th man of the year still provided a boost of the bench in the team’s win. His 13 points were tied for second on the team as he mixed creative ball handling and confident shooting to score and create shots for others off the dribble. Winborne connected on two catch and shoot three pointers, a pull up going left and utilized hesitations and crossovers to get to the rim to finish and draw fouls. The confidence and production he has brought to Southern Maryland all year has been invaluable.


#11 Christian Watson (Southern MD)
Stat Line: 8 points (4-12 FGA, 0-2 3PA), 11 rebounds (5 offensive rebounds) 2 block and 1 steal in 32 minutes
Watson may not have been the most efficient from the floor, but he still produced with a near double-double as he cleaned the glass on both ends and was effective in help defense along the perimeter and post due to his length, athleticism and lateral quickness. Watson did not have his touch from the perimeter and found his offensive success by finishing dump off passes around the rim, including showing soft hands on a pick and roll with Dinkins to finish down the middle of the lane. His work on the offense glass led to second chance opportunities for himself and teammates, which turned out to be one of the main keys to victory as Watson and Key combined for 10 of the team’s 22 offensive rebounds.

#24 Raymond Watts (Howard)
Stat Line: 21 points (9-15 FGA, 3-5 FTA), 8 rebounds (3 offensive) 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in 36 minutes
Watts paced the Howard offensive attack with a game high of 21 points, mostly operating as a shot finisher as opposed to a shot creator. The wide majority of his points came at the rim from dump off passes, cuts, running the floor and offensive rebounds. On a few possessions on the block, Watts was aggressive in getting to the rim with immediate straight line attacks and overpowering matchups with his combination of height, length, athleticism and footwork that led to scores and fouls drawn. With his ability to read the defense and find the open man from the block and on the wing, Watts was also the team’s leader in assists. Once Watts develops more shot creation ability and perimeter skills, he will be an even more dynamic force on the floor.

#23 Preston Howard (Howard)
Stat Line: 8 points (4-9 FGA, 0-5 FTA), 14 rebounds (5 offensive), 5 assists and 3 blocks in 36 minutes
What Howard lacks in explosion and true run and jump athleticism, he makes up with his imposing combination of height, length, strength and fluid mobility that impacted the game on both ends. The big man brought down offensive rebounds for easy baskets, finished dump off passes and flashed a comfortable straight line dribble from the perimeter where he gave the defender a hesitation right then continued to overpower the defender to score at the front of the rim. On the defensive end, Howard rebounded nearly everything in his area and was routinely in help defense to contest and block shots including making an empathic help block at the rim. I was the most impressed with his passing ability, especially for a big man. The ball did not stick with him, he read the floor quickly and made the appropriate passes to the open man and cutters from stationary positions on the block, free throw line and perimeter.

#15 Tyheil Peterson (Howard)
Stat Line: 13 points (6-14 FGA, 0-4 3PA) 6 rebounds (3 offensive), 5 assists and 4 steals in 36 minutes
Peterson did everything he could to leave his mark on the game: scored, rebounded, created shots for others, defended and was a terror in passing lanes creating both steals and deflections. He displayed a dazzling array of creative dribble moves that allowed him to get anywhere he needed on the floor and beat his man off the bounce for scoring opportunities for 
himself and teammates. On one particular possession, Peterson got the crowd buzzing with a quick in and out dribble into a crossover that froze the defender and led to an easy layup. His defensive efforts were just as attractive as his offensive moves. Peterson had a stretch where he recorded three straight steals, two off the ball that led to layups for himself and another on the ball that led to a foul as he took off for what would have been another easy layup. Peterson showed everyone in attendance why he was a member of the PYBL Elite’s All Defensive team and further solidified himself as one of the best two way players in the league.

Fairfax (75) vs Arlington (73)

#2 Bo Kuhblank (Fairfax)
Stat Line: 11 points (4-10 FGA, 1-3 3PA, 2-2 FTA) 5 rebounds, 11 assists (2 turnovers) and 4 steals in 25 minutes
Just as he did all season long, Kuhblank was the classic, pass first PG as he set up his teammates off of dribble penetration and look ahead passes while directing them to the right positions on both sides of the ball. He was very effective in controlling the pace of the game, knowing when to push the ball and slow it down in order to get the team into their sets. When Woodward got hot from distance, Kuhblank was aware of where Woodward was at all times and displayed this when he slowed up in semi transition to find Woodward trailing for another three. Kuhblank struggled to score for most of the game, but got it going during the second half when it was really needed in their comeback win. He connected on a couple of difficult scoop layups in traffic including one in between the towering Arlington big man duo of Clark and Soloman. Kuhblank’s high quality intangibles such as his grit, IQ and leadership skills have been critical to the success of Fairfax and were key to their win in this day.

#23 Benjamin Woodward (Fairfax)
Stat Line: 25 points (10-17 FGA, 5-10 3PA), 4 rebounds (3 offensive) in 32 minutes
It really seems like nothing bothers Woodward in any game as he just chews his gum and plays with a calm demeanor throughout the game despite whatever is going on. He missed his first handful of shots including a terrible miss that hit the top of the backboard, but it did not deter him from continuing to shoot. After seeing his first shot go in where he crashed the glasses from the perimeter for the offensive rebound and converted the layup, it didn't’t seem like he missed after that. Woodward connected on three pointers and jumpers from the wing and corners. Woodward connected on several catch and shoot three pointers in a row that hit nothing but the net including multiple in the 4th quarter that really propelled Fairfax to the comeback victory.

#8 AJ Thomas (Fairfax)
Stat Line: 18 points (6-12 FGA, 5-10 3PA) in 24 minutes
Thomas matched Woodward’s three-point shooting as he was a dangerous and confident shooter that made Arlington pay when he was left open. The majority of his damage came on catch and shoots, but Thomas came up clutch with a game winning four-point play off the dribble with a few seconds left that caused the gym to erupt. His energy and shot making provided the extra boost for Fairfax.

#33 Quinn Clark (Arlington)
Stat Line: 25 points (11-13 FGA, 3-5 FTA), 15 rebounds (10 offensive) 2 assists and 4 blocks in 32 minutes
Clark was dominating and super-efficient as Fairfax had no answer for his presence on either side of the ball. Clark seemingly pulled down every rebound in his area and couldn't’t be boxed out on the offensive glass, leading to countless easy layups for himself right in front of the basket. He showed little to none of his perimeter skill set, instead opting to take advantage of his height, length, skill and athleticism advantage in the paint. Nearly everyone one of his shots were from point blank range where he showed his soft touch around the basket and broke out a couple of post moves for scores including a quick, fluid baseline spin and a drop step to put the defender in the rim. He would have had the game-winning basket late in the game if it was not for Thomas’ late game heroics. Despite the loss, Clark displayed why his combination of skill, height, athleticism and two-way ability easily makes him a top four player in the PYBL and why his future is so bright.

#30 David Soloman (Arlington)
Stat Line: 16 points (7-10 FGA, 2-3 FTA), 15 rebounds (7 offensive) 3 assists and 2 blocks in 32 minutes
What I really like about Soloman is that he knows his own game, his role and excels in it. He is an imposing physical presence in the paint on both sides of the ball with his combination of height, athleticism and some mature muscle and plays off of that. Soloman was aggressive in rebounding the ball in traffic, which led to easy layups at the rim on the offensive end. He showed soft hands to catch dump down passes to finish and controlled the paint on the defensive side with block shots and numerous contests. As Soloman continues to become more skilled and develop a few go to moves in the post, he will even more of a dominating presence.


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