CT Skills Academy Event Recap
The first ever New England Skills Academy was held recently in Connecticut. The program featured two weekly sessions for a six week period with a cumulative skill development curriculum.
Led by former Quinnipiac University head coach Joe DeSantis, the program was designed for high school players hoping to play college basketball in the future.
Initially, players worked to develop their individual skills: learning how to play off the bounce; off the catch; and on the move. As the weeks went along the instruction gradually escalated to include two-man game, three-man game, and then even four-man game situations. By the time the program had concluded players had covered a variety team based topics including: pick and roll; pick and pop; setting and using screens; drive & kick; posting up and feeding the post; and transition basketball…all while getting the daily repetition to reinforce skills taught in previous sessions.
There was a good amount of talent in the program that included players with several different goals. Some were current seniors beginning to prepare to play college basketball (Greg DeSantis, Justin Kuntz, Kevin Rogers) others were preparing for the upcoming July live period (Greg Langston, Jason Pierre, Luke Matarazzo, and Ryan Kolb) and some were prospects flying a little under the radar but doing the work necessary to break out next year. Here’s a look at some of those guys:
Christian Terrell, Notre Dame-Fairfield: He’s only a freshman but he already has a man’s body to go along with a terrific jump shot. He makes shots off both the catch and the dribble and should be a big part of a bright future at Notre Dame.
Josh Dugas, St. Luke’s: The rising senior is a big guard who has a terrific understanding of how to play off the bounce: making crisp moves, attacking low to the ground, and getting to the rim with long strides. We also think he’ll prove himself to be a true point guard before his career comes to an end.
Tyler Hardman, Staples: Perhaps no player showed as much improvement over the six weeks as Hardman. His footwork improved dramatically as he became much more efficient at using his 6’5” frame to establish position in the post and score with his back to the basket. He’s also got a good handle and shooting stroke for a big man.
Bryan Jones, Christian Heritage: He’s a talented freshman who has had a lot of success already in his young career. His time at the academy helped him polish his jumper and that’s important because when he’s making shots he’s very hard to guard.
Connor Foley, Fairfield Prep: This is another example of someone who showed tremendous improvement over the six weeks. Foley is a very good spot up shooter who improved other areas of his game by brushing up on his handle and learning to play lower to the ground.
Anthony DeLorenzo, Masuk: A lefty guard, with a strong body, DeLorenzo showed that he should be an impact player next year for Masuk. He’s got a solid skill base but also has levels of toughness and grit that can’t be taught.
Ryan Kolb, Holy Cross: He’s already a well known player in the state but he should emerge as the primary offensive weapon next year for Holy Cross. He’s got good size, a very soft shooting touch, and the ability to face-up and attack the basket from either the perimeter or the short corner.
The New England Skills Academies will be returning this fall with expected locations not just in Connecticut but also in Massachusetts as well. For more information on the New England Skills Academies click here.