CT Skills Academy Event Recap
The third consecutive Connecticut Skills Academy took place this fall with former division I head coach Joe DeSantis leading a variety of young talented players from southern Connecticut in a six week program to prepare them for the upcoming season.
The curriculum begin with a variety of individual skill work on both sides of the floor and gradually escalated to more complicated 2 on 2, 3 on 3, and team based concepts. Here is a look at some of the players who stood out:
Bryan Jones, Christian Heritage – The reclassified sophomore has impressed each time we have seen him over the last six months as he has definitely brought his game to new levels. A playmaker with a versatile skill set, Jones can make shots from long range, do damage with his dribble, and also find his teammates with his passing ability.
Al Torrens, Foran – A senior swingman who appears poised to have a big year for Foran, Torrens has a dependable three-point stroke with a high release, gets easy points by running the court hard in transition, and plays strong with the ball along the perimeter.
Sam Martins, Fairfield Warde – Martins is a well rounded guard who has a smooth stroke from the outside, passes effectively from the perimeter, and is pretty good with the ball. He combines all of that with a solid feel for the game and a high basketball I.Q.
Jacob Clark, Christian Heritage – His game has made huge strides in the last six months as he continues to be very skilled with the ball but has grown bigger, stronger, and faster. Clarke has a tremendously high basketball I.Q. for a young player and really knows how to play the game the right way.
Max Molinsky, Weston – The junior guard is physically strong, tough, and hard-nosed. He plays the game with a good motor, pushes the ball up the court, and finds his teammates both by throwing ahead in transition and driving to kick in the half-court.
Matt Gerak, Trumbull – Gerak made a name for himself at this fall’s Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Showcase and is playing with obvious confidence now. He is good with the ball and has some instinctive playmaking ability going five on five and a bit of a throwback mid-range game with a quick high release.
Aaron Bartley, Christian Heritage – A quick guard with solid athleticism who does a little bit of everything on the offensive end, Bartley moves without the ball, can make open shots, has a nice shot-fake, and can get to the rim in the open court.
Troy Stokes, Wilbur Cross – A sophomore with some potential, Wicks has the frame of a nice prospect down the road and showed flashes of an evolving jumper knocking down multiple three-point shots with lift and a high release.
Taylor Stemle, Newtown – The southpaw junior has a strong body with a relatively quick first step. He gets himself to the rim, finishes in contact, and also sees the floor and passes the ball pretty well in a variety of different situations.
Matt McTague, Fairfield Warde – Another junior, McTague has a good fundamental base to his game and shoots a good ball out to the three-point line. He is pretty smart and tough with a good understanding of the game.
Ryan McCabe, Trumbull – Still just a sophomore, McCabe has good potential moving forward. He is a strong standstill shooter with range that extends beyond the high school arc, has good fundamental skills with the ball, and dexterity around the rim.
Travis Fonseca, Trumbull – A quick guard who has ability to make plays with the ball in his hands, Fonseca gets himself into the paint, has a dependable left hand, can create some space with his dribble, and will find open teammates.
Tyler Grattadoria, Stratford – A veteran of these Academies, Grattadoria has an equally well developed skill set and basketball I.Q. He is also a tough and crafty backline guard who plays low to the ground through contact and finds ways to get himself to the rim.
Ryan Conlen, Christian Heritage - The freshman appears to be the latest talented guard to come through the program as Conlen plays the game with an obvious flair and confidence, goes right at opposing defenses, and is never shy looking to make plays.