The idea of being 'perfect' in athletics is far from common. Outside of the NCAA, there has only been one truly undefeated season (1972 Miami Dolphins) in the history of sports. College dynasties don't really fall under the same umbrella, as their ability to stockpile talent and thwart opponents with a revolving door of more-talented players makes the competitive superiority less impressive. Even the instances of goalies getting shutouts or pitchers throwing a perfect game require so many different variables. That being said, BSA Supreme has seemingly done the impossible by going undefeated (32-0) as an independent travel ball program.
Folks can try to undermine their success, but what this group has accomplished is nothing short of spectacular. Their main roster of Carson Daniel, Chase Daniel, Desmond Kent, Tyler Showalter, Peter Moye, Liam Gates, Landon Foley, Jaylen Claggett, and Jeremiah Howard consistently beat more talented opponents. How' Per the coaching staff of Phil Watson, David Broome, Tomain Murphy, and Mike Glover, it goes beyond what meets the naked eye. Obviously, these guys are talented, but getting nine players without egos to be on the same page and truly buy-in is simply rare. Before we take a closer look at their individual pieces, consider this quote from Coach Murphy:
'The foundation of the program was predicated on mental toughness and approaching the game the way it's taught in Europe. This meant tactical discipline on offense and defense. A combination of collective defense, high pace, tons of ball movement, and smart off-ball movement undergirded the success of this approach. Also, the offensive sets always focused on allowing players to use the freedom of their IQ to make the right basketball decisions and that helped to maintain a degree of unpredictability against defenses.'
Each player brings their own value to this group, but Carson Daniel is as important as anyone to BSA Supreme's general approach. Few players in this current age truly understand what it means to be an actual point guard, so it's refreshing to see someone like Daniel unselfishly dictate the action and set the tone on both ends of the floor. Sure, he could probably hunt more scoring opportunities if he wanted, but his emphasis lies within being an intelligent playmaker and rugged defender. Over the season, Daniel averaged 6.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, and 2.0 SPG while shooting 52.3% from the floor and sporting a 5.8 AST/TO ratio.
His brother, Chase Daniel, also provides an incredibly impactful two-way identity. While he might score slightly more often, Daniel is still a brilliant playmaker, defender, and overall cog within this scheme. He's capable of creating his own shot or playing off of others and applying efficient offensive pressure from all levels. However, Daniel is more than comfortable at running the offense and getting others involved while shutting down his assignment on the other end. The IQ, toughness, adaptability, and nonstop energy is what makes these brothers such a nightmare for every opponent they face. Over the season, Daniel averaged 9.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 2.3 SPG with 62/35/67 shooting splits and a 3.6 AST/TO ratio.
After his steady growth and rapid emergence as an incredibly meaningful piece for BSA Supreme (and Central Cabarrus), it's easy to see the appeal with Desmond Kent Jr. At 6-foot-5, he possesses impressive IQ, length, and athleticism. He's versatile enough to defend multiple positions, outrebound bigger opponents, and do a healthy amount of everything offensively. Kent can create off the bounce, operate without the ball, or absolutely demolish opposing teams with his polished scoring ability. Kent is absolutely unstoppable between five and ten feet, but also shoots the ball at a higher percentage than most seem to think. Over the season, Kent averaged 15.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG, and 1.9 BPG with ridiculous 62/55/72 shooting splits.
Taking a brief pause allows us to consider the success those three have enjoyed over the last calendar year. The Kent-Daniel-Daniel grouping went 32-0 (including a state championship) during the high school season. Then, they made their transition into the prestigious 'Throne' event, beating Dorman, John Marshall, and Simeon before suffering their only defeat'an eight-point loss to the Boozer twins and Christopher Columbus High School. Quick math will tell you that this trio has gone 65-1 over the last twelve months. Before diving into the rest of the roster, Coach Broome had this to say:
'These boys are winners top to bottom. They are like family and the trust/respect and belief/care that they have for each other and the coaching staff is second to none. We have faced adversity and challenges just as tough as any team can in any sport and their connectedness to compete and battle through it all is truly what separates them.'
Despite some untimely injuries throughout the summer, Tyler Showalter proved himself as an obvious target for scholarship-level coaches. At 6-foot-6, he brings an appealing blend of IQ, size, and skill with nice athleticism and versatility. Showalter is able to cause matchup problems as a guy who can spot-up, move without the ball, create his own shot, and apply scoring pressure inside the arc or along the perimeter. There were various times where he would shine as the x-factor of this group. Going into his senior season as the clear focal point will allow Showalter to highlight the totality of his game and leadership. Over the season, Showalter averaged 12.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG with 49/36/76 shooting splits.
There are plenty of unsung heroes within this roster, including Peter Moye and his natural approach as a glue-guy. It's difficult to properly quantify the value that someone like Moye brings to a team, simply because he's always going to produce within his role and make the right play without ever feeling a need to force the action. Players like him bring a lot of overlooked (to the general masses) value to a well-oiled machine such as BSA Supreme. Given everything he already does for South Mecklenburg, Moye's seamless fit should come as no surprise. Over the season, Moye averaged 9.8 PPG and 3.7 RPG with 56/35/64 shooting splits and a 1.7 AST/TO ratio.
Similar to the entry above, Landon Foley brings a very steady, well-rounded presence to this group. He's a smart, tough, scrappy guard who simply knows how to impact the game within his role. Foley defends, makes hustle plays, and understands how to reliably fill in the gaps on both ends of the floor. While his numbers don't accurately depict his value, Foley averaged 3.1 PPG and 2.7 RPG with a 2.4 AST/TO ratio over the season.
Given everything he provides as a 3-and-D piece, Jaylen Claggett consistently stood out as one of the most productive scorers on this roster. He's a quality shot-maker with an understanding of how to properly move without the ball and effectively manipulate defenses with his perimeter shooting. He's a willing defender with nice energy and toughness. He hit shots at a highly consistently rate while having the largest volume of three-point attempts (and makes) across the summer. Over the season, Claggett averaged 10.9 PPG with 43/39/66 shooting splits and a 1.5 AST/TO ratio.
Although this roster is armed with several notable shooting threats, Liam Gates is arguably the top marksman on the team. While his raw numbers won't pop-off the page, it's worth noting that the gravity (or general threat of his shooting) he provides is significant. Not only does it force opponents to stay attached, but it also naturally opens up driving lanes for others. Gates is a lethal spot-up threat who knows his role extremely well. Over the season, Gates averaged 4.5 PPG with 42/39/83 shooting splits and a 3.1 AST/TO ratio.
Rounding out this group, Jeremiah Howard proved to be a major addition to this roster. It's easy to see the appeal of a strong, low-maintenance big man, but Howard's growth as a player is what makes him so impressive. From April through July, no individual on this roster has progressed more. He's tough, unselfish, and understands how to effectively anchor the paint on both ends of the floor. Howard does a nice job of finishing, rebounding, altering shots, and doing the dirty work. Over the season, Howard averaged 5.5 PPG and 4.8 RPG while shooting 56.5% from the floor.
It probably goes without saying, but this is a special group. As a collective, BSA Supreme averaged 70.8 PPG, 28.5 RPG, 18.2 APG, 8.9 SPG, and 3.3 BPG with 53/37/68 shooting splits and a 2.2 AST/TO ratio. They beat opponents by an average scoring margin of 21 PPG while defeating seven shoe-circuit teams (two UAA, two 3SSB, and three EYBL) and every notable independent program in the area. This isn't by accident or coincidence, as Coach Watson explains:
'For BSA Supreme, the key ingredient to our success (besides the normal hard work) are the players dedication to win, chemistry, and the joy of playing the game the right way. We built a system around defensive intensity, defensive pressure, and never letting the opponent get comfortable within their sets. Offensively, sharing the ball, paint touches, and never allowing our team to shut down because defense is taking a player away. I chose Coach Broome and Coach Mike because I felt like they would elevate the boys to new heights. I’m super proud of the boys and my coaches for grind of the season as well as handling the challenges of the season. As a director, my job was to connect the pieces after building the platform for the program to succeed. We got it right with each kid and coaches. We have seen the recruitment pick up for players such as DJ, Jaylen, and Tyler with the start of recruitment for players such as Jeremiah and Peter. The main goal of BSA Supreme was to help players learn how to play ball, compete at the highest level, and help them with the opportunity to play at the next level. I think society fails to realize the journey and the experience is just as important as the wins. Basketball teaches life skills that the boys will keep forever. BSA Supreme definitely has left an impact and blueprint for future independent teams.'
Click here to see BSA Supreme’s complete summer schedule (final score in parenthesis): https://phenomhoopreport.com/bsa-supreme-complete-results-for-summer-2023/