Elite 75 – Best of the ’15 Guards

by Chris Bradley & Luc Smith | Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Elite 75 – Best of the ’15 Guards

The Elite 75 College Showcase was loaded with rising senior guards and wings to capture the attention of the 40+ division II and III coaches in attendance.  Here’s a look at who the standouts were:

Top Prospects

Kealen Ives, Putnam Science Academy ’15 – One of the most motivated players in the field, Ives played with a chip on his shoulder from the beginning of drills to the end of pickup games, getting to the rim seemingly whenever he wanted, with very few defenders in the gym able to keep up with his gifted speed and crafty handle. He almost invariably made the right decision, either passing to his open teammates or finishing himself. Include his capability to hit the three ball, and his high basketball IQ, and he is clearly a dangerous player.

Aamahne Santos, Catholic Memorial ’15 – For Catholic Memorial, he’s one of the most dynamic point guards in the MIAA.   For BABC, he’s a dependable floor general who gets the ball where it is supposed to go.  Here, he combined the best of both, showing his ability to make shots off the catch and dribble alike while also putting his passing abilities on full display, putting balls right on target and making those around him better.  

Lavar Harewood, Brooks ’15 – He’s among the better kept secrets in New England heading into his senior year.  He’s developed into a true guard in recent years, capable of playing both on and off the ball, while also dramatically increasing his skill level.  He’s now a consistent threat to make jumpers off the catch and dribble alike all while continuing to be a high level driving threat with his strong body in the backcourt.  

Devon Williams, Brewster Academy ’15 – He had a breakout senior season at Worcester where he became known for his ability to make shots in bunches.  He’s actually far more versatile and used the competitive breakdown drills to prove it.  He’s very good playing pick and roll, able to make a variety of reads as both a scorer and passer alike.  

Dexter Thompson, Hyde School ’15 – One of the best one-on-one scorers throughout drills, Thompson proved to constantly be a nightmare for any defender who tried to get in his way. He has a variety of dribble moves and can hit mid-range jumpers from a variety of spots on the floor.  Combine that with a physically imposing profile and almost unmatched power on the perimeter and he is a very tough match-up.    

Nisre Zouzoua, Boston Trinity ’15 – The reigning NEPSAC Class D player of the year had his full repertoire of offensive moves on display, getting to the rim seemingly whenever he wanted and showing off an improved jump-shot from outside.  Overall, he was not only one of the best guards in attendance but also had plenty of upside left to discover with his long arms and quick hands.    

New Prospects

Troy McLaughlin, Choate ’15 – A scoring guard from New Jersey, McLaughlin is heading to New England for a post-graduate season next year.  He and his New York Falcons team have been a staple of local circuit this spring and so it was no surprise to see him attacking the rim at will and putting points on the board in high volume.  

Tim Riley, Xaverian ’15 – At 6’5, Riley is a pretty unique prospect considering the varied impact he has on the offensive side of the ball.  He was on fire from the three-point line, hitting four consecutive threes with his feet set. Once his opponents recognized his range, he pump faked convincingly, hitting a mid range pull-up.  He was also a menace when it came to using his quickness and length to get to the rim.

Brenden Vessichio, Berlin ’15 – Long overdue to crack the prospect page, Vessichio is already a well known product in the CIAC.  He combines good size on the perimeter at 6’4 with a versatile offensive game including deep jumpers and tough drives alike.  He also ran the floor extremely well and displayed great body control finishing against contact.  

Brian Collamore, Springfield Cathedral ’15 – He’s far from a finished product physically, but coaches will like him because he’s a throw back at the point guard position.  He’s a pass first style lead guard, who passes not just for assists, but to get the type of ball movement necessary for efficient half-court offense.   

Ray Featherston, Fairfield Prep ’15 – A tenacious and scrappy guard who flies around the court and makes things happen on both ends, Featherston can both get into the teeth of a defense as well as he can rain deep jumpers from behind the three-point line.  

Dontae Christian, Brooks ’15 – Limited by injury in his junior season, Christian showed at the Elite 75 what many already knew to be true – he is a definite college prospect.  Combine what appeared to be a well rounded game at first glance with a solid academic background and he had plenty of NESCAC followers.  

Ariff Mclaren, Boston Trinity ’15 – An extremely athletic guard that has shown great growth in his game since last year, McLaren has extraordinary explosiveness. His jumping ability was just one of his qualities on display.

Best of the Rest – The Point Guards

Jashanti Allen, Northfield Mount Hermon ’15 – Former Syracuse and Celtics fans can’t help but call upon the Sherman Douglas comparisons as Allen operates under the defense to get into the lane and loft in a tear dropper over the trees.  

Celio Araujo, Master’s School ’15 – Araujo showed off his talents as a pass-first point, facilitating point guard for most of the afternoon, but went into attack mode when defenders started to give him a little bit of space at the top of the key.  

Tim Preston, Lawrence Academy ’15 – He’s a “vertical” point guard in that he plays the game north to south, creating great tempo and making things happen for his team.  When he’s making shots, he looks like a scholarship player, and he had plenty of NE-10 followers monitoring his progress.  

Brendan OShea, Hotchkiss ’15 – One of Vermont’s best is heading to Connecticut for a post-graduate year and he’ll provide Hotchkiss with a pure point guard who has a high understanding of the game, distributes the ball, and can make his fair share of shots and plays himself.  

Janvier Johnson, MacDuffie ’15 – He’s got a strong, college ready body for the point guard position and so he gets into the paint either in the open floor or carrying defenders on his back.  He’s also got plenty of individual offense en route to the rim with a full assortment of pull-ups and floaters.  

Best of the Rest – The Scorers

David Giribaldi, Andover ’15 – One of the most crafty guards in the gym, Giribaldi proved to have no problem getting his shot – even when going up against bigger, quicker defenders. He especially succeeds with his shooting off the dribble, where his high release and quick trigger creates all the separation that he needs.

Chris Demartinis, Burlington ’15 – Whether it was playing the point or going out on the wing, Demartinis seemed to constantly have an impact whenever he was in the game. A gifted scorer with a knack for getting to the rim, he’s a very tough inside-out cover for opposing defenders.

Best of the Rest – The Shooters

Andrew Jacob, Tabor Academy ’15 – The lefty shooter showed to have in the gym range, pulling up for perimeter jumpers with even a little bet of leeway from his defender. Jacob moved well without the ball to get his looks from outside, as well as hitting an impressive percentage from behind the arc.

Aidan Wright, Wheeler ’15 – Physically, he looked as cut and quick as he’s ever been, allowing him more versatility offensively and impact defensively.  He continued to shoot the ball well from the perimeter, proving he can make shots standing still or on the move.   

Rob OBrien, Cushing Academy ’15 – One of the top New Hampshire natives in the 2015 field, O’Brien had recently played his way into the NERR database with a strong showing at the Super 16 Showcase.  He solidified that spot here, with another solid performance.  

Will Harris, BB&N ’15 – It’s one thing to be able to make shots, which Harris certainly can, it’s another thing all together to understand how to get open and that’s a skill that the BB&N swingman seems to have a knack for with back-cuts and relocations on dribble penetration alike.  

Best of the Rest – The Athletes

Quentin Bullen, Worcester Academy ’15 – His motor runs in full throttle and that manifests itself with an active two-way player who gets his hands on a lot of balls defensively and finds ways to score within the flow of the game offensively.  

Avalon McLaren, Boston Trinity ’15 – McLaren’s quick first step and strong finishing ability were on full display throughout, often overpowering perimeter defenders on his way to strong finishes in the paint and around the rim.

Damon Gomes, Hyde ’15 – A rangy guard with good size, long arms, and speed and quickness alike, Gomes has some serious long-term upside in the backcourt.  He’s a playmaker off the bounce who has the potential to quickly push his recruitment to the next level.  

Koby Antwi, BB&N ’15 – He’s a quick and scrappy guard who can get to various points on the floor off the dribble but also has the characteristics to be very problematic for opposing guards defensively since he’s able to pick up full court (when he chooses), turn the ball, and get all kinds of steals and deflections.