Elite 75 Frosh Soph 2012 Has Depth
We told you yesterday that a number of sophomores exploded onto the scene this weekend including the likes of Rodell Wigginton, Tim Jackson Jr., and Akosa Maduegbunam.
Well that was just the tip of the iceberg as we heard big statements from a number of other intriguing prospects as well.
Kyle Reardon, Rivers School (MA) – Reardon is the prototype face-up four-man with a big and strong body and a picture perfect shooting stroke. But his versatility doesn’t end there as he rebounds well, feeds open teammates, and runs the floor in transition. Expect to hear lots more from this guy during the next three years.
Tom Bajda, Trey McPherson, Arkel Miles, & Casey Woodring, Notre Dame HS (CT) – Does Notre Dame have a bright future or what? With four players represented in the top 40 all-star games, they look like the up and coming program in Connecticut. Bajda is a skilled wing who showed a smooth skill set, McPherson a creative point guard who attacked successfully with his dribble throughout the day, Miles an inside out big man who can score on the block or stretch the defense to the arc, and Woodring a super intelligent shot maker who may have the highest I.Q. of the four. A fifth ND product Christian Terrell was no slouch himself showing a strong body and good spot up jumper.
Cesar Mejia, St. Raphael's (RI) – When last we saw Mejia he was doing the majority of his damage thanks to his strength and athleticism. Fast forward six months and his skill set has come a long way, enabling him to stretch the defense to the three-point line while still thriving in transition and defensively.
Kris Dunn, New London HS (CT) – He earned all-state honors last year in the CIAC as just a freshman and showed why this weekend as he demonstrated a knack for making plays and a feel for the game far beyond his years. His selection for the all-star game was an easy one.
Josh Passmore, Platt HS (CT) – A super talented young guard with a gear beyond most, Passmore has the sheer talent to make the types of plays others wouldn’t even try. He still has a lot to learn about decision making and playing within the team concept but with a little coaching and some discipline he could be very good down the road.
Trevon Moore, East Boston HS (MA) – He has a gear beyond most with great speed and quickness and uses it to make plays on both sides of the court. He is super creative with his dribble penetration and no less effective on the defensive end where he consistently forces the opposition into turnovers.
Thomas Palleschi, Phillips Academy (MA) – A man among boys in the paint, Palleschi is able to just out-muscle almost anyone in the sophomore class. He also has one of the best full court baseball passes we’ve seen in a long long time.
Harrison Taggart, Mill River Union HS (VT) – Taggart is very active playing away from Vermont on the exposure circuit and it seems to be paying dividends as he’s now able to raise the level of his game when matched up against top competition. The long wing continued to demonstrate great potential by scoring the ball in a variety of ways.
Daquan Grant, St. Thomas More (CT) – He’s another player who has come a long way in the last year with his skill set. Last year he thrived with his ability to get to the rim but had a very suspect jumper, this year he’s a much more complete player as his mechanics have dramatically improved along with his accuracy.
Dana Hines Jr., Concord-Carlisle HS (MA) – With an eye towards the future Hines has an intriguing upside with a big and powerful frame and dominant left hand. He’s still plenty raw but his size and strength inside the paint helps him to impact the game right now.
Elijah Okagbare, Boston Trinity (MA) – Another big man with a world of potential, Okagbare has all the physical tools you could ask for; a big strong body, bounce, athleticism, long arms, and a very high motor. Right now his impact is felt around the rim as he rebounds in high volume, dunks in congestion, and blocks shots.
Bryan Gautier & Ben Nunez, Central HS (RI) – A great one two punch, both guys play the game the right way…all out. Gautier is a point guard with good toughness and shot making ability while Nunez did most of his damage with his dribble penetration. Arguably Rhode Island’s best sophomore combo.
Jahvaney Beckford, Cheney Tech (CT) – A strong, athletic, and aggressive swingman, Beckford got his own shot whenever he wanted to and scored the ball in a number of different ways. Once he gains more experience and learns to score in the flow of the offense he will only get much better.
Jared Neumann, Northampton HS (MA) – We went into the event thinking of him as primarily a shot maker, and walked away convinced of his complete offensive game as he got to the rim capably and made very good decisions with the ball in his hands.
Devin Gilligan, Souhegan HS (NH) - Gilligan was selected to the all-star and shined during it as he led his team in scoring while also handing out several nice dishes as well.
John Powell, Ashland HS (MA) – We got our first look at him last weekend and came away even more convinced of his long term potential after watching him this weekend. He’s long, lefty, and very active on both ends of the floor. He earned all-star honors by virtue of his high motor, but definitely has his best days still ahead of him.
John Covington, Hillhouse HS (CT) – A skilled scorer who knows how to get his own shot and can put the ball in the basket in a number of ways, Covington can not only get to the rim and make shots from behind the arc but also really knows how to create space for his mid-range game.
Josh Downes, Sandwich HS (MA) – In a showcase style setting where the emphasis is normally on offense, Downes stood out with his defense as his low, wide stance shut down dribble penetration. He’s no slouch offensively either as his length helps him to get to the rim and shoot over the defense.
Garey Allen, Windsor HS (CT) – A strong and aggressive guard, Allen showed a versatile offensive game, making his fair share of jumpers while doing most of his damage off the dribble. His passing ability was especially noteworthy as well.
Zach Restifo, Kingswood Oxford (CT) – It was the second consecutive good day for the K-O soph after shining on Friday night at the Hoop Mountain Spring Classic. He’s a mistake free player who passes very well and is automatic when left open behind the arc.
Eric Davis & Travis Sheldon, Milton Academy (MA) – It was a good day for Milton Academy with both members of the future backcourt being selected for the all-star game. Both players are similarly built tough kids who know how to compete and can stroke it from deep.
Zach Lewis & Tyler Huffman, Northwest Catholic (CT) – The sophomore duo combines with freshman Kuran Iverson to form a very talented young nucleus at Northwest Catholic. Lewis is a long swingman with a smooth skill set who is still growing into his body, while Huffman is a point guard with a great long ball and incredibly unique floor vision and passing ability.
Patrick Talentino, St. John’s HS (MA) – He had a very solid outing on Saturday, doing a number of things well throughout the day, resulting in a trip to the all-star game. Talentino showed a dependable shooting stroke, a good understanding of the game, as well as the ability to handle and pass the basketball.
Tyler Grattadoria & Bryan Jones, Christian Heritage (CT) – The sophomore teammates were both selected as top 40 all-stars as Grattadoria is a well trained sparkplug guard who played high percentage attacking basketball throughout the day and Jones a scoring guard who buried his fair share of jumpers while also thriving in the open floor.
Others Who Impressed
• Za'shawn Duncan, Capitol Prep (CT) – super quick guard, attacked relentlessly throughout the day
• Zach Karalis, North Andover HS (MA) – jack of all trades impacts game in variety of ways
• Aaron Bartley, Christian Heritage (CT) – talented guard with clear upside on both ends
• Dylan Benz, South Kent (CT) – heady point guard who makes good decisions and runs the team
• Walker Cooper, Cony HS (ME) – big man who throws his body around and produces in the paint
• Eddie Danek, Suffield HS (CT) – heady guard who can handle, pass, and score
• Mike Dougert, Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) – played an impressive second game to boost stock
• Tyrese Hoxter (MA) – lefty guard with good size and flair for playing game
• Matt Palecki, St. John’s HS (MA) – big body who banged, rebounded, and scored around rim
• Doug Henton, New London HS (CT) – physically mature swingman who gets to cup
• Colin Pascoe, Somers (CT) – best prospect Somers has had not named Tabb since…
• Christian McCue, Hampden Academy (ME) – good apprehension of game with nice touch off dribble
• Malik Miles, Sports & Sciences (CT) – stocky guard with a knack for getting to the rim
• Chris O’Keefe, Lexington (MA) – has the same grit & toughness that got his brother a scholarship
• Harry Rafferty, Berwick Academy (ME) – great feel for the game to go along with smooth stroke