saw its season end last Tuesday with a 67-65 loss to McArthur (Hollywood) in the Florida Class 8A regional semifinals.
But there's a big
reason why the 2014-15 season can't start soon enough for head coach Jacob Shaw and the Hi-Tides.Zach Brown
, a 7-foot-1, 255-pound freshman center, put up 18.4 points, 16.5 rebounds and 6.9 blocks per game during his rookie campaign at Miami Beach according to statistics submitted to MaxPreps.
"I do skill development and have been doing it a long time with a lot of college and professional basketball players," said Shaw, who moved over to the boys program at Miami Beach after six years as the school's head girls coach. "I have never seen a kid like this. He's going to be a pro."
The big lefty recorded seven triple-doubles — including four in a row in mid-December. His most eye-popping statistical performance came Jan. 17 against LaSalle (Miami) when he piled up 43 points, 26 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.
Despite the praise from his head coach, Brown is still a work in progress and Shaw understands fighting expectations and hype will be part of the challenge going forward.
"He needs a lot of work as far as his footwork in the post," Shaw said. "He can overpower just about anybody but that actually hurts him a little bit when he goes against bigger players. We see a lot of zone so that can be frustrating for him.
"People treat him like he is an adult because of his size. But he is a kid and he likes doing fun things, arts and crafts, wrestling, throwing kids around."
Adding to the high hopes for the Hi-Tides is fellow freshman Kennith Rolle
, a 5-11 guard that was second on the team in scoring at over 13 points per game. Shaw expects him to become one of the top guards in South Florida.
Miami Beach finished the season with a 23-6 record after winning just five games in 2012-13. Shaw said at least seven tournaments or events have been in contact about the Hi-Tides participating next season.
"We have a really bright future," Shaw said. "We have kids that really want to come and play for us and that hasn't happened in years. There is a lot of excitement around the community. The mayor came to visit and Ochocinco (Chad Johnson) also came to one of our games."