Bay State Magic Showcase - Event Recap
On Wednesday night, Bay State Magic hosted its third annual College Showcase on the campus of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, with over 60 prospects from the greater Metro area participating in a series of drills and five-on-five evaluation games. With a plethora of Division III coaches in attendance, as well as multiple programs from the Northeast-10, here’s a look at some players who stood out with their performances throughout the event.
Stephon Edmonds- As quick as he is creative as one of the premiere open-floor playmakers at the event, the Attleboro High-product is a blur with the ball in his hands in transition, proving himself nearly impossible to stop when headed downhill in the seam with the ability to score the ball at the rim off an electric dribble-switch, step-back for a pull-up three, or thread the ball to an open teammate with a flair making the difficult play look easy.
Henry Vilfort- Joining Edmonds as a lightning-in-a-bottle-type point guard with dynamic end-to-end speed and supreme quickness changing direction in tight space with the dribble, Vilfort lived in the paint throughout the evening, shaking defenders with a series of creative crossover combinations heading downhill in the seam and attacking the rim for a series for acrobatic scores over size with either hand.
Curtis Howe- While not quite as flashy as his lead-guard counterparts Edmonds or Vilfort, the Cathedral-product wasn’t any less productive scoring and distributing the ball with the will to convert chest-to-chest against rotating bigs at the rim and the knack for locating open teammates for high-percentage looks off kick-outs and pin-point dump-downs in the lane.
Maurice Taylor- The elder of the two Taylor brothers who suit it up for Cambridge, Rindge, and Latin in the MIAA, the six-foot-six wing scored the ball with ease in transition, knocked down multiple jumpers with a developing stroke from three, and showed his versatility attacking the rim from a variety of angles to score with his length and athleticism in traffic.
Dan Powers- A lethal perimeter shooter with a slightly unorthodox, but super-quick release from distance, the Catholic Memorial-product showcased the volume shot-making ability that has him generating a solid amount of scholarship interest, repeatedly raising up over a contested hand in transition and squaring himself smoothly off a multitude of screen action for multiple buckets from three.
Chris Mendes- A strong combo-guard with a high basketball I.Q. and nice feel sharing the ball in transition, the Tabor-Academy product had his three-point stroke working in full effect on Wednesday, mixing in a series of deep, catch-and-shoot threes with a willingness to put the ball on the floor with his head up, draw multiple defenders with poise, and execute sound plays in traffic distributing the ball to left-alone teammates at the rim.
K.J. Baptiste- Despite being undersized at just fix-foot-four, the Wilbraham & Monson-product succeeds in carving out space on the interior with a strong lower-half and solid understanding of angles around the rim, combining a polished face-up skill-set out to 15-feet with a desire to mix it up against bigger players for tough scores and rebounds through contact.
Cameron Walker- One of the more athletic wings at the event with tremendous burst attacking the rim from the rim and the bounce to convert over size, the New Bedford-native is a pure slasher on the offensive end, while showing ability as a dynamic two-way player capable of locking down multiple spots on the perimeter and using his length and quickness to force turnovers and change ends in a hurry in the open floor.
Johnathan Fortes- Joining his New Bedford High running-mate Walker as one of the premiere finishers at the event, the six-foot-two wing is a menace in the open floor, catching the ball on the move at the arc and utilizing an uncanny ability to slither his way through multiple defenders with elite body control, maximize his dribbles efficiently, and rise up over size to score the ball through contact at or above the rim with either hand.
Keyon Armstrong- Deceptively long and athletic at just over six-feet, Armstrong features a devastating blend of size, skill, and will as a relentlessly attacking scorer from the wing, consistently beating his defender with an explosive straight-line burst at the arc and shielding the ball well through congestion to elevate and convert several plus-one buckets over late-arriving help.
Jahleel Moise- Seeing the athleticism of Fortes and perhaps raising it to another level, the Brockton-High product is a highlight waiting to happen in the open floor, combining his blue-chip bounce with a relentless motor he uses to pursue the ball off the backboard on both ends, assault the rim from the wing with one hard bounce from the arc, and finish over defenders unable to match his natural physical ability as an explosive aerial scorer.
Jean Thomas- Another Brockton High-product who showed well at the event, Thomas is a long, lean big with quick bounce around the rim he uses to rebound the ball in high volume on both ends, pin shots against the glass defensively as an effective vertical defender, and elevate in tight space for multiple tip-ins and second-chance points.
Jamal Reuben- A powerful off-guard with an expansive, strong frame he uses to bully his way past defenders and create space or a solid mid-range pull-up, Reuben competes hard on both ends of the floor and is consistently at his best off a strong rip from the wing and the ability put his head down and use his supreme physicality to muscle his way for tough scores in the paint.
Sean McNally- The six-foot five, face-up forward showed off his trademark ability to stretch the floor with a smooth stroke from three throughout the evening, making defenders pay for giving him too much space at the arc while showing a developing post-up game around the rim with solid footwork, improved toughness, and a soft touch over either shoulder.
Kyle Fox- One of the toughest pure competitors at the event with the game to match his supreme work ethic on both ends, the East Boston-native wreaks havoc defensively with his quickness and natural ball-hawking instincts, while consistently forcing the issue off the bounce with a creative handle, impressive vision, and the ability to set up his drive with a stroke to be honored out past the line.
Sayvonn Houston- An impressive young big at six-foot-five with a strong, sturdy frame and live feet around the rim, Houston finishes everything through contact within five feet, challenges and blocks shots with a high motor on the low block, and showed signs of a developing face-up skill-set with a soft touch out to the free-line extended.
Conor Mountain- One of the surprise performers at the event, Mountain impressed as a long, lanky big from Nauset High School on the Cape who runs hard rim-to-rim in transition, possesses active feet and mobility to alter and block shots defensively, and shows soft hands to catch the ball well on the move and extend up towards the rim for conversions up on the box.