Midwest Mania: 17U Standouts

Jayden Quaintance (Team Thad): 2025 Forward Jayden Quaintance played up two age groups, and was a very dominant force for Team Thad all weekend. Quaintance was very effective in his high usage role, as a shot blocker and interior force. He plays with high energy on both ends, using his length and activity to garner steals and offensive rebounds. Offensively he attacks the rim looking to tear the rim down, and punish any defenders standing in his way. Quaintance is also showing emerging skills from the wing, pushing the break and making plays from a live dribble.

Darius Acuff (The Family): Darius Acuff is another player in the class of 2025 that played up at Midwest Mania. The sophomore guard plays with poise and pace that is well beyond his years, controlling the offense and running the show. Acuff is very decisive and efficient with his decision making, having very little wasted dribbles or movements. He’s a constant threat on the floor and has a polished mid-range game, to go along with great situational footwork. Acuff possesses gifted passing abilities and consistently gets to the rim, where he cashes in with an array of nifty finishes.

Larry Johnson (Team Thad): Johnson is an explosive combo guard who gets downhill with quick bursts and shifts of pace. He’s a quick leaper who uses this ability to throw off shot blockers timing when attacking the rim. Johnson uses his strength and athleticism to bounce off defenders and finish through contact. He competes on both ends of the floor and was very effective crashing the defensive glass.

Victor Julio (Wood Elite Sewer North): Victor Julio displayed some impressive shot making as well as advanced decision making from a live dribble. Julio shot the ball very efficiently from three as a spot-up shooter and made tough shots off the dribble. He got to his spots and created space with crisp ball handling and tight dribble moves. Defensively he was a pest, using his quickness and timing to garner steals in the passing lanes.

Dylan Grant (The Family): Dylan Grant from The Family is a versatile forward prospect who is a legitimate vertical threat. Grant plays with tenacity and an extremely high motor, using his length and leaping ability to impact plays on both ends. Adept at using quick rip-through moves from a triple threat to get to his spots and create for himself off the dribble, whether that’s getting all the way to the rim or stopping short for one or two dribble pull-ups.

Liam McNeeley
(Florida Rebels): Liam McNeeley was impressive at Midwest Mania for the Florida Rebels, showcasing more of his all-around game and different skills he doesn’t always get to showcase with Montverde Academy. McNeeley was more assertive as a ball handler for the Rebels’ and was very comfortable creating plays for others off the bounce. McNeeley displayed advanced defensive awareness as a help side defender, and was solid defending the ball and minimizing dribble penetration.

Mason Shrout (Wildcat Select 3SSB): Mason Shrout has an impressive shot making ability and feel for the game as a combo guard. Shrout’s versatility as a scorer allows him to score it in bunches and fill it up quickly. Shrout was lights out shooting the ball from three, which allowed other facets of his game to blossom. He showed an advanced feel when attacking close-outs, and made the right reads when reaching the second line of defense. Although Shrout put on a show with his shooting ability, he also is a flashy finisher around the rim and is adept at making tough floaters off the bounce.

Jerry Easter (All Ohio Red): Jerry Easter has great positional size playing the point guard and leading the charge for All Ohio Red. Easter has a smooth feel to his game, playing at his own pace and getting to the spots he’s comfortable on the floor. An elite shot maker off the dribble, who is confident taking contested shots from all three levels. Aside from his prolific scoring, Easter keeps his teammates engaged by attracting help defenders to get his teammates open looks, and excels at making correct reads in pick and roll play.

Karter Knox (Florida Rebels): Karter Knox showed off more of his versatile scoring arsenal and extreme explosiveness at Midwest Mania. Knox possesses the ability to make a variety of different shots. Whether he’s spotting up from three or getting a step on his defender and creating space for dribble pull-up’s, using his length. Knox continues to abuse smaller defenders and attack downhill with his bully-ball play style. Once Knox gets a full head of steam he’s very difficult to stop, and is no stranger to putting defenders’ on posters.

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