All-Academic Camp - Final Thoughts
With more than 125 NCAA Division I, II & III coaches coming through the door over the course of the week at Brandeis University, the All Academic Camp once again accomplished its annual goal of putting high-level student-athletes in front of high-academic college coaches. Nearly 400 campers were seen by college staffs, and the varying backgrounds that each camper comes from is truly one of the reasons why this camp is so unique.
What especially impressed about this year was the number of wings & bigs amongst the field. Academic schools looking for size should have no problem finding any!
This year's event featured several New England prospects who's stock is definitely on the rise. Johnny McCoy showed why he is a Division 1 player, Tommy ONeil showed he is worthy of receiving the Division 1 interest he has, and Cole Prowitt-Smith showed he is capable of playing at that level. Robert Baum's strong season in the NEPSAC for St. Andrew's continued, as he looks like he could have a big summer. He was one of the more outstanding guards in the entire field. Rhett Carter & Dan Schlakman were their solid selves, as both bigs play their role as well as any bigs in New England. Casey McLaren shot the ball well from deep, and used his length to gobble up rebounds and defend multiple positions. Dylan Lien's hot shooting carried over from the Elite 75 a couple weeks prior, and he showed improved ball skills that he used to get to the hoop with more regularity. Jack Scotnicki drilled shots all camp long, as well, continuing on his strong play from the Super 16 in May. Jack Shea is a competitive post who rebounds at a high rate and has a good set of go-to moves inside. Even in a camp setting, John Packard did all the little things well for his team, such as defend, rebound, talk, and get on the floor for loose balls. Solomon Neuhaus is a long guard who shoots it well but passes at an extremely high level. Arie Breakfield, John Lowther & Ty Vitko caught coaches' eyes from the Elite 75, and both of them continued their progression and were even more impressive this week, with both receiving scholarship interest.
New prospects in New England emerged throughout the week, with those such as Teddy Travel, who had a very strong start to camp with a big scoring outburst on the first night. He is a big that can move on the perimeter and take his man off the bounce. Andrew Hartel looked like a nice prospect at the Elite 75 Academic in March, but took his game to the next level here. One of the overall more promising prospects in the field, the 6'8 big possesses an inside-outside skillset that is ideal for how the game is played today. He checks all the boxes for little things that bigs must also do, such as rebound, switch on the perimeter, and bring energy. Worcester Academy's Manav Randhawa emerged for the first time on the New England grassroots scene this year. His ability to get others involved and knock down shots with a high release (combined with leading the camp in charges taken) is what impressed college coaches. Andrew Lynch, who will post-grad at Vermont Academy, was aggressive in looking for his offense, but still created easy shots for his teammates. Cole Otley come down from VT to show the college staffs his ability to hit shots off the bounce or off the catch. Matt Relihan is an incoming St. Andrew's post-grad who is tough, gritty, and can really shoot. Benjamin Allen is an off-guard that can finish with both hands with an array of moves around the basket. Elliot Harris pushes the ball up the court quickly to put pressure on the defense, and has a compact shot that he gets off quick.
Emerging young players continue to be a theme at the All Academic Camp, with local products such as Tyler Kolek (lefty point guard who continues to be a scoring & passing threat every time he takes the court), Colby Martins (a Millbrook product who was dynamic scoring the basketball at times with his relentlessness to push the ball up the court & attack), Tom Andreae (a guard who showed a solid all-around offensive game), Lucas McEachern (who will be enrolling at Phillips Exeter in the fall and will be a very intriguing long-term prospect), Casey Simmons (a promising lead guard for Milton Academy), Bobby Sommers (a solid lead guard for St. Mark's who can control the pace of the game), Michael Lau (shooter who will play a big role at Hopkins this winter), and Graham Robinson (a 2020 big who has improved dramatically since we first saw him at the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph).
This camp always features a crop of student-athletes coming from outside New England, as well, and this year was no different. In addition to all six New England states being well-represented, 28 states and 4 countries constituted this year's field. Campers from all over stood out to college coaches, including Victor Austin (SC), Joshua Berenbaum (FL), Matthew DeFeo (NJ), Noah Honetschlager (CA) Andrew Jackson (upstate NY), Antonio Jones (CA), Zev Katz (MD), Henry Lieber (NYC), Henry Meyers (NC), Dylan Osimetha (TX), and Pierce Pendergast (Long Island).
Whether mentioned or not in NERR's recaps, all of these nearly 400 prospects will have more opportunities throughout the month to show college coaches why they should be a part of their plans moving forward. One good showing at camp can be beneficial, but a student-athlete will help themselves out much more so with a continued run of strong showings.