#E75 - Best of the Bigs
Over 60 college coaches were on hand at WPI on Tuesday night as the 2018 Elite 75 College Showcase hosted some of the top rising senior and post-graduate prospects in New England.
While the field was talented from top to bottom, one of the exciting aspects of this year’s group was the amount of size in attendance including already established prospects who solidified their stock and other new names that began to emerge.
Here’s a look at who impressed:
Top Prospects & Performances
Dan Schlakman, Milton Academy – The RAB big man had a terrific night. He played with outstanding effort, ran the floor, and communicated effectively on both ends. His versatile skill set was on display as he handled the ball, scored from different spots on the floor, and was one of the better passing big men or forwards there was in attendance.
Pierry Joseph, Wilbraham & Monson – An athletic big man with loads of potential, Joseph had one of the most imposing physical profiles in the field. He’s a quality athlete for his size who was active on both ends and able to rebound and block shots effectively. Only in his first year stateside, he’s just scratching the surface of his potential and is likely to be recruited by a wide range of scholarship level schools.
Rakesh Tibby, Master’s School – The versatile big forward had an impressive outing on Tuesday night. He showed improvements in his jump shot with consistency to the arc and a great handle for his size that allowed him to consistently take opposing big men off the dribble and get into the paint. He was also willing to go inside though and especially effective crashing the offensive glass.
Scott Vollmer, St. Luke’s – The 6-foot-11 center has already gained a considerable amount of division I interest. Vollmer showed an improved skill set on the offensive end, finishing around the rim and scoring with his back to the basket. With a powerful lower body, improved mobility, and an upper body that is still just catching up, he’s another big man with plenty of untapped potential.
Rhett Carter, Milton Academy – Coming off a strong spring in which he’s consistently outplayed players with bigger reputations, Carter continued to impress here. He was one of the more polished post players in the field with good poise, dexterity and touch with his back to the basket. Already very efficient, his game will only continue to evolve as he develops his face-up game and pick-and-roll reads.
Andrew Hartel, Cape Elizabeth – After making a name for himself at the Elite 75 Academic Experience in March, Hartel continued to raise his profile here and caught the attention of D2 coaches with his high motor. He was physical inside, willing to do the dirty work, dive on the floor, and scrap for every rebound. As he works on his touch and decision making, his stock will keep rising.
Kyle Lubinsky, Blackstone-Millville – The 6’10 center has made drastic improvements over the course of the last year and it showed in this setting. He’s long with a huge frame that is only just beginning to fill out. He can run the floor effectively, has a pretty soft touch, and is beginning to extend his range out to about 15 feet.
Kyle Hoffman, Westminster School – An intriguing prospect who is just coming back from a knee injury that cost him the end of the prep season, Hoffman began to make a name for himself on Tuesday. He’s athletic and mobile with good hands and length that helps him block shots and finish over smaller defender. His stock will only continue to rise as he refines his offensive skills and builds up his body.
Antonio Lopez, Tilton – The incoming Tilton post-grad was one of the big individual winners on Tuesday night and walked away having made an impression with numerous coaches. The 6-foot-7 big man has an innate ability to finish through contact with good poise and footwork in the lane. He was very active on the glass and versatile on the defensive end with the potential to guard inside and out.
Liam Drennan, Chaminade (NY) – The 6-foot-9 big man made the trip from New York and it paid off as he left with new scholarship level interest. Offensively, he showed a jump hook with his back to the basket and also passed well off the post. He was also a consistent rebounding presence on both backboards.
Keegan Records, St. Andrews – A fundamentally sound big man with great fundamentals and a broad frame, Records scored a D2 offer in North Carolina last summer and could be on his way to more this year. He uses his solid frame to carve out space and finishes around the basket with ease. He looks poised to be an impact player for the Saints next season.
Keegan Sharp, St. Bernard’s – Another new name to emerge, Sharp looked the part of a guy who doesn’t know how good he could be just yet. He has a great foundation of size and skill as a 6-foot-9 forward who makes shots, creates mismatch problems, and could potentially play multiple positions as he adjusts to quality competition and plays through contact more consistently.
Best of the Rest
Jared Balser, Mt. Ararat – A post player with a thick and strong build, he’s an almost impossible match-up in the MPA who was physically imposing in most match-ups even in this setting. He creates space, attacks the glass hard, and showed very good footwork inside as well.
Connor Ojerholm, Rivers – With good size and a two-way game, Ojerholm was very solid on both ends of the ball on Tuesday night. He made the most of his chances offensively, wasn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint, and especially valuable around the rim on the defensive end.
Nathan Holt, St. Andrew’s – Holt has good size, an increasingly strong frame, soft touch, and a developing hook over his left shoulder. In short, the tools are all there for him to continue to emerge over the course of the next year as he tightens his conditioning and begins to assert himself more.
Sam Walch, East Catholic – A high academic prospect with the type of size and skill that should continue to blossom and ultimately translate well to the college level, Walch is a 6-foot-7 forward and good shooter who appears to be emerging at just the right time.