#E75 - Breakout Performers
The Elite 75 College Showcase provided a forum for players from around New England to come in and make a name for themselves.
With 70 college coaches in attendance there was almost a one-to-one player-to-recruiter ratio, which is almost unheard of at any type of exposure event.
While numerous players took advantage of that opportunity, here is a look at some guys that may not have been well-known when they arrived, but left having certainly made a name for themselves.
E.J. Dambreville, Woodstock Academy – There might not have been another player in the field who helped themselves as much as Dambreville. The Bridgewater-Raynham alum and incoming Woodstock Academy post-graduate was powerful, explosive, and had absolutely huge hands. He was an outstanding perimeter rebounder who could play multiple positions. There is an element of skill to his game as well as his shot has improved and he was more than capable of handling the ball and exploding to the rim. He established himself as a very realistic scholarship level prospect.
Frank Lumaj, Taft – The 6-foot-9 big man started to make a name for himself during the recent grassroots season but asserted himself as one of the best big men in the field at the Elite 75. He has size and length, a still evolving frame, and good fluidity and quickness for a big man. He made quick rolls out of the pick-and-roll, made a couple of nice moves with his back to basket, showed some developing touch, and impacted the game defensively as well.
Mike Buscetto, Waterford – The CIAC’s version of Steve Nash, Buscetto may be undersized but he is an ultra-crafty point guard who has terrific court vision and creativity with the ball in his hands. He delivers the ball in a variety of different ways, gets easy shots (oftentimes lay-ups) for his teammates, has good range on his own jumper, and even showed surprising effectiveness finishing at the rim.
Matt Niemczura, MacDuffie – Palmer High School, the same school where Bailey Patella started, appears to have another sleeper. This one is Matt Niemczura who will move to MacDuffie next year. The 6-foot-5 wing has good size, long arms, and a frame that should just keep coming. He made shots with range, cut hard away from the ball, and showed some emerging athleticism on the break.
Malik Lorquet, Sharon – An undersized big man who compensates with length and athleticism, Lorquet excelled in both full and half-court situations. He threw down a couple of thunderous dunks, but also showed good dribble moves to be able to get in the lane & finish at the rim. His skill, athleticism, length & strength make him one to watch as the summer continues.
Jacob Godfrey, Hermon – A well-built 6-foot-6 forward who made the trip south from northern Maine, Godfrey showed a very intriguing combination of tools. His physical profile jumped out first and foremost but he also showed he could stretch opposing defenses, attack the rim in straight line drive situations, utilize some deceptive quickness in the open floor, and crash the glass aggressively. In short, he has some clear potential.
D.J. Frechette, Governor’s Academy – Frechette was a name people had heard before, but it was the immediate level of his impact that made an impression. He was one of the first to stand out in three-on-three and four-on-four work as his motor and aggressiveness allowed him to assert himself early. As the night went on he continued to make an impact with his slashing, change of pace, athleticism, and ability to knock down jump shots.
Dillon Grant, St. Andrew’s – He’s been under-the-radar on Cape Cod in recent years but will do a post-graduate year at St. Andrew’s next season. The 6-foot-9 big man has a solid frame to fill out and was active inside the paint and on the glass. What was particularly intriguing about him was his hands and ability to dribble for his size. He’s not a playmaker but has potential in offensive structure as he gets more experience and continues to develop.
Chris Matthews, Newton North – A pretty well-built guard, Matthews showed he was capable of scoring the ball in all three ranges. He was especially good in the mid-range area and finishing around the rim, but also had a good looking stroke from behind the arc. Matthews is also a much improved ball-handler and playmaker who keeps his head and changes speeds effectively.
Michael Manley, Williston Northampton – Manley stood out with his skill set and basketball I.Q. Simply put, he “know how to play” and it was easy for every coach in attendance to notice and notice quickly. He makes shots with a nice looking stroke but forces nothing and plays an unselfish style. He has a great feel for the game and inevitably helped his recruitment following this showing.
Isaiah Williams, East Hartford – The southpaw scoring guard may be young for his grade, but he has an advanced ability to put the ball in the basket. He excels at creating space and shooting off the dribble but mixes in enough drives and threes so that he is a true three-range scoring threat. For CIAC fans, he’s a little reminiscent of former New London star, and current Fairfield assistant coach, Tyson Wheeler.
Steven Lora, Saint Raphael Academy – The skilled guard is known as a hard-worker and that was evident in this setting as he was scrappy on both ends of the floor. He has a self-made skill set that has allowed him to develop into a good three-point shooter. All of his efforts are now starting to pay off as well as he left Elite 75 with new interest from the division II level.