Elite 75 Frosh/Soph 2014 Guards
Our final look at the New England Elite 75 Showcase – Frosh/Soph Edition is focused on the 2014 backcourt, where there was quite a bit of depth on hand Saturday.
Dimitri Floras, Kimball Union (NH) – One of the top guards in the field, Floras is best described as a scoring point guard. He gets into the lane by being shifty with his dribble and playing on the threat of his deadly pull-up, but he can create for others as well as himself.
Levy Gillespie Jr., Capital Prep (CT) – Another guy who makes plays off the dribble not by blinding speed or quickness but instead by changing his speed and direction. Gillespie is crafty and smart, with the size and vision to see above the defense and facilitate for others.
Jeff Spellman, Beaver Country Day (MA) – In the span of two years Spellman has transformed from an undersized, but heady, point to one of the most explosive lead guards in the class. He had his head all over the rim, both during games, as well as the unofficial dunk contest which had him throwing down a Michael Jordan original – one handed cup rocker.
Jalen Adams, Melrose (MA) – His game gradually evolves with the flashes of brilliance coming more frequently, but still not yet consistently. He rose up for one of the biggest highlights of the day, catching an alley in traffic for a thunderous finish.
Jackson Donahue, Stonington (CT) – He’s one of the best pure shooters in the class and so he has a definite niche, but when the shots weren’t falling with the same regularity Saturday he still found ways to impact the game by passing and defending.
It’s All About Production
Patrick Benzan, Roxbury Latin (MA) – He’s a skilled and smooth point who “gets it.” His release is pure, his crow low, and his basketball I.Q. very high. Given another year of physical development and he’ll be on the verge of a breakout.
Dustin Cole, Bonny Eagle (ME) – His production was limited by a rolled ankle but before that point he was up to his usual antics, drilling shots from long range, attacking close-outs of the dribble, and showing deceptive bounce around the rim.
Winston Morgan, East Catholic (CT) – He was as consistent of a scoring guard as there was in the sophomore division. His arsenal is a complete one headlined by a very solid pull-up game but also featuring range on his jumper and creativity with his dribble.
Malique McLaren, Winchendon (MA) – Another guy who has come a long way in recent years, McLaren’s body is finally starting to catch up with his game and the results are nothing but positive as he turned in a well-rounded and productive day.
Mike Rodriguez, West Roxbury (MA) – He’s as instinctive of a creator as there is in the class, playing extremely low to the ground but bouncing high for big time finishes. His distributing skills were on display Saturday showing potential to evolve into a more pure point.
Nelson Zayas Jr, Sabis International (MA) – Efficient is the best word to describe Zayas’ day. He runs the show with poise and confidence, plays a pass first style, but can’t be left unchecked due to his very accurate long ball.
Kealen Ives, Classical (RI) – He makes things happen on the offensive end, producing with both his stroke and his handle, but differentiated himself by a variety of crafty finishes that he guided in around the rim.
Tim Preston, Nashua South (NH) – He attacked in the open floor, weaving his way in and out of defenders, got into guys on the defensive end of the floor and played a generally intelligent brand of basketball.
Kevin Claflin, Catholic Memorial (MA) – When shooting is your specialty you have a niche that transcends to the college level. Claflin has that speciality as his release is pure and his range plenty deep.
Catching Our Eye
Henri Bolton, St. Andrew’s (RI) – A well built guard who can play a power game, Bolton impressed with his patience and passing on Saturday.
Nick Simonetti, Dartmouth (MA) – He was smart, saw the floor, and competed, all of which are tremendously important for the next level.
Richard Santos, Whitinsville Christian (MA) – He’s a tough and scrappy floor general who doesn’t back down and made things happen with the ball in his hands.
Josh Jones, Weaver (CT) – A bulldog type guard, Jones weaves in and out of defenders by playing beneath the traffic with the ball in his hands.
Leon Tambue, Kent School (CT) – He has a variety of individual scoring skills at his disposal with dribble moves, euro-steps, and other maneuvers to create space.
Jael Letang, Dedham (MA) – Silky smooth with the ball in his hands but definitely best when being efficient with his bounces and looking for his teammates.
Mason Lantz, Lyndon Institute (VT) – His reputation is well deserved in Vermont and he started to make a name for himself beyond his home state on Saturday.
Nicholas Meadows, Metropolitan Learning Center (CT) – A point guard with length and quick instincts, he projects as a potentially big and crafty lead guard.
Pavin Parrish, Rochester (VT) – He’s a creative playmaker who plays the game with a crafty flair and has an increasingly dangerous mid-range pull-up.
Tyreek McPhail, Mount Pleasant (RI) – His value comes when the ball is in his hands and he is able to get virtually anywhere he wants with his dribble.