Elite 75 Frosh/Soph 2013 Recap
Whenever a new class rolls into high school it’s always a momentous challenge to try to get a handle on all of the young talent in six different New England states. The greatest tool the New England Recruiting Report has in that endeavor is the New England Elite 75 Showcase – Frosh/Soph Edition, which once again gave us an opportunity to watch all of the top freshmen in the region at one place at one time.
In the first of a two part series, today we’ll take a look at the guys who proved themselves to be at the top of the class along with others who backed up their early hype.
Best of the Best
These three players showed themselves to be the premier performers in the class of 2013.
Kuran Iverson, Northwest Catholic HS (CT) – Although Iverson didn’t arrive until the afternoon session, his performance solidified his status at the top of the freshmen class. His upside is off the charts with tremendous size and length for the perimeter along with good athleticism, and solid ball skills. He handles and passes the ball so well that he could really end up being a six-foot-eight point guard. The biggest challenge for any young player with this much talent is to keep their head on straight, continue to work hard, and make good decision on and off the court. If Iverson can do that, the basketball will be the easy part.
Goodluck Okonoboh, Tilton School (NH) – There was a stretch during Saturday morning’s showcase when Okonoboh asserted himself and put on an absolute show with a series of high flying plays including several rim rocking dunks and blocked shots on the defensive end. The comparisons to his older cousin Alex Oriakhi are only natural given those qualities, not to mention the same Tilton jersey. But Okonoboh is a unique prospect who doesn’t appear to be a total replica of his older cousin. We were particularly impressive with his developing skill set facing the basket, showing some inside out potential to 12 feet.
Cornelius Tyson, Springfield Central HS (MA) – While Iverson and Okonoboh came into Saturday’s showcase having already made a name for themselves, Tyson established himself as the breakout performer of the day. The Springfield Central floor general has a tremendous presence and charisma at the point and is an instinctive playmaker with a great feel for the game. His handle is smooth and efficient, his court vision outstanding, and his composure and decision making off the charts. Combine that with a good understanding of when to distribute the ball and when to attack, along with an already sturdy six-foot frame, and New England has their next big point guard prospect.
Backing Up the Hype
These players came into the showcase with their reputations already well intact and only solidified their place among 2013’s best with strong performances.
Khalil Dukes, Capitol Prep (CT) – A creative point guard and natural playmaker, Dukes is almost impossible to keep out of the lane with his quickness and tight handle. But what we were most impressed with was his ability to pass off the dribble as he created for others and made his teammates better throughout the day.
Wayne Selden, O’Bryant School of Math & Sciences (MA) – Having put up numbers as an 8th grader on O’Bryant’s varsity team last year, Selden is already a well known player. He’s a man among boys physically, able to overpower and bully just about anyone. But his game is slowing expanding to the perimeter with a strong slashing attack and a developing jumper.
Derek Collins, Central Catholic HS (MA) – He lived up to his reputation as a shot maker by drilling the majority of the open shots he saw. This was our first time seeing Collins and he was far more versatile than we’d heard as he attacked close-outs well, got to the rim consistently, and showed ability to pull-up in the mid-range area as well.
Jake Fay, Brimmer & May (MA) – Two things set Fay apart from most other freshmen swingman; he’s physically advanced and has a great skill set. We had come to know Fay as primarily just a shooter, and while he continued to make shots on Saturday we were impressed by the way he used his size and strength to go to the glass, handle/pass against pressure, and overpowering opposing defenders.
Demitri Floras, Merrimack HS (NH) – One of the best shooters in the gym on Saturday morning; Floras was equally effective spotting up beyond the arc or pulling up off the dribble in the mid-range area. The New Hampshire native also showed good toughness, battling on the offensive glass and getting his hands on a lot of loose balls.
Ramone Gibbons, Charlestown HS (MA) – Much like Selden, Gibbons is a man among boys physically. His body type gives him great versatility as he can defend several positions, rebound and finish inside like a big man, and put points on the board going to the rim like a guard. He’s undoubtedly among the top freshman in Boston.
Kaleb Joseph, Nashua HS South (NH) – Some freshmen are good players right now and others have the potential to be good down the line, Joseph is the rarity who is both. He’s a playmaker who excels with the ball in his hands, creating for himself and others. But with a long, and very much still, developing frame, plus bouncy athleticism, his ceiling is very high.
Timmance McKinney, Milton HS (MA) – He has a motor that just won’t quit and that goes a long way when combined with his strong body and athleticism. He affects the game on both ends as he guards the ball well and forces turnovers jumping into passing lanes and knows how to score going to the rim and offensive glass.
Demitry Lewis, Charlestown HS (MA) - The explosive point guards was one of the top performers at last spring's New England Junior Elite 75 Showcase as an 8th grader. One month into his high school years and it was more of the same from Charlestown's next playmaker, as he went wherever he want off the dribble, finished himself, or found the open man.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we’ll continue to recap the class of 2013 with a look at which previously unknown prospects broke out this weekend.