CT Top 50 Invitational Event Recap
HSBI’s Tom Konchalski, the New England Recruiting Report, and a good number of college coaches were all on hand Wednesday night for the first of two nights of action at the annual Connecticut Top 50 Invitational.
Two guys who stood out in comparison to the rest of the field by virtue of their physical dominance were Stratford’s Brandon Sherrod and Christian Heritage’s Jason Perrier.
Sherrod controlled the paint at both ends of the floor, ripping rebounds out of other people’s hands, scoring at will around the basket, and even dunking on some helpless defenders.
Perrier has always looked the part with a big time body, but he backed it up with some high flying exploits as he skied for some rim rocking dunks showing new found explosiveness not just with his leaping ability but also his first step.
Playing the Right Way
In a showcase style setting where it is typically every man for himself, sometimes the best way to stand out is by playing the game the right way – sharing the ball, taking good shots, moving without the ball, and defending. A few guys managed to distinguish themselves by doing just that.
Casey Woodring, Notre Dame & Brandyn Benson, Career – They made a great duo as both showed off well rounded fundamental skills, good decision making, and productivity at both ends. Woodring utilized great perimeter footwork to create his own shot off the catch and then knocked down his pull-ups, scored en route to the rim with runners, and made a few of his customary three-pointers. Benson proved himself more of a point guard than a year ago as he handled the ball against pressure, consistently made good decisions against pressure, and created offense for himself and others.
Phil Gaetano, Sheehan – If showcases gave a “most popular” award he would get it as his teammates have loved playing with him both this week as well as at the recent Hoop Mountain Fall Classic. Run the floor and he gets it to you. Cut to the basket and he gets it to you. Defense backs off him and he drills a pull-up. Best of all was a frame that has added some noticeable bulk.
B.J. Cardarelli, East Catholic – Super skilled inside out big man continues to impress by stretching defense to the arc, showing an equally soft touch from the low and high posts, and having good ambiguity around the basket.
Greg Langston – Witty performance from the veteran senior as his vast experience over the years has made him super clever and crafty with the basketball both scoring the ball and facilitating for others.
Zac Messinger, Choate – Good day for the lanky and athletic wing man as his physical tools and high motor allowed him to score around the rim in high volume while also showing off a soft shooting touch from the perimeter.
Jerome Parkins, Bridgeport Central – Did more off the dribble today than we’ve seen from him in the past as he showed good burst exploding to the rim with his normal efficiency finishing plays around the bucket.
Brandon Jones, Windsor – Has gotten noticeably better in the last year. Made a big time athletic play swatting uncontested break-away lay-up into stands and also was proficient handling the ball in the open court and spotting up from the perimeter.
Bryan Galvin, Ridgefield – First look at junior spark plug left us impressed with his high energy level, ability to handle the ball and create at a fast tempo, and reportedly improved perimeter shooting stroke.
Timajh Parker-Rivera, St. Joe’s – Arguably the top overall prospect in the building showed off an improved perimeter skill set as the big man was eager to push the ball up the floor himself after pulling down rebounds.
Tom Bajda, Notre Dame – Skilled sophomore took an early visit to Fordham last week and showed flashes of ability to play at that level this week with aggressive attack north to south and good offensive arsenal off the catch.
James Jennings, St. Joe’s – Has done a great job of building up his body and now boasts a strong enough frame to finish plays at a much higher percentage when he gets into the lane…and he’s always been great at that.
Tyrus Weaver, Windsor – He was strictly a shooter a year ago but has grown into a complete player who is equally dangerous slashing to the basket as he is stroking it from the perimeter…another Warrior who has gotten much better.
Kevin Rivers, Career – Of all the long, active, athletic forwards in the gym, no one played the role better than Rivers who flew around the court, bounced around the rim, and made plays on both ends.
Tylon Smith, Kingswood-Oxford – Was attacking the rim at will and making great use of a pass fake at the end of his drives to freeze opposing shot blockers long enough for him to finish.
• Marcus Ortiz, Notre Dame – under radar junior handled/passed in open floor
• Mark James, Trinity Catholic – long, lanky athlete made plays around the rim
• Braxton Gardner, Christian Heritage – big man with improved body & soft touch
• Andrew Kimberly, Fairfield Ludlowe – true big man continues to improve
• Nico Donato, Glastonbury – strong frame with good shooting touch
• Zack Townsend, East Catholic – shot making forward with good size
• Darryl Best Jr., Career – frame filling out makes him potential force inside
• Brett Krumins, Fairfield Ludlowe – fundamentally sound, worker, & high I.Q.
• Tyshaun Mulling, Notre Dame – was quietly efficient with the ball in his hands
• Kevin Clark, Christian Heritage – 3pt shot is a weapon; has gotten stronger
• K.C. Hoff, Career – become much quicker and more mobile in last year
• Pat Hopkins, St. Joe’s – rugged interior player does dirty work in paint
• Garey Allen, Windsor – young guard already can control game from point
• Arkel Miles, Notre Dame – great playing inside-out, less effective outside-in
• Taylor Rious, Valley Regional – well schooled post with footwork & good moves
• Christian Terrell, Notre Dame - physically strong shot maker