Elite 75 Frosh/Soph 2015 Top Performers
While Terance Mann and Luis Montero might have stolen the show on Saturday, the sophomore class had a variety of other top prospects on display, beginning with St. Mark’s forward Aaron Falzon, who dominated in his own right for long stretches at a time.
Falzon has really developed physically since turning 16 back in May. He has lengthened out, gotten stronger, and has significantly improved his speed and athleticism, making him much more of a danger in the open-floor. On Saturday afternoon, Falzon did a little bit of everything on the offensive end; knocking down treys, scoring the ball through contact on the inside, and distributing the basketball to teammates for scores. Defensively, he was very impressive in rebounding and efficiently starting the break with a quick-touch outlet pass or by busting out with the dribble and leading the break himself up the gut.
While Falzon was showing off his trademark size and skill, Tilton point guard Jonathan Joseph was taking advantage of the showcase style setting to remind everyone of his own scoring tools. The point guard made plays all over the floor, using a tight handle and newly unveiled stop-and-go game to put his speed up on a pedestal while cutting up the defense off the bounce. Defensively, he wreaked havoc guarding the ball and seemed to appear like Taz every time a loose ball emerged.
The other big name in the field, Northfield Mount Hermon big man Josh Sharma, tried valiantly to play through a bruised knee suffered only a few days earlier but was unfortunately limited to just the drill portion of the showcase.
Here’s a look at some of the other impressive performances in the sophomore division:
Daquon Ervin - A sophomore guard from NMH who impressed on Saturday, Ervin is a lead-guard from New York City whose versatility and high IQ game should translate effectively for the Hoggers. Ervin can handle the rock and has the ability to get into the lane and score the ball, while also taking defensive pride in putting pressure on the opposing ball-handler.
Randy Glenn - Not too many guys are faster with the ball in small spaces than Glenn, and when you combine that speed with the southpaw flavor to his game, he is a weapon that can break down a defense in the blink of an eye. There were few better operating guards in the field.
Juwan Gooding – He played a composed, patient brand of ball, picking his spots to explode with dribble slashes to break down the defense and create offense for himself or his teammates. Gooding, Glenn, and Greg Bridges will form quite a speed-merchant back-court trio for New Mission this year in Beantown.
Jashanti Allen - Having shed more than 20 lbs since last year, a cut-up Allen looked very good. He was calling the shots for his squad while attacking holes in the defense with more explosion – similar to a running back who sheds bulk and is able to hit the hole harder carrying the pigskin.
Tyree Weston - Strong-bodied scoring guard who is dangerous from long-range and uses an efficient handle to slash with the dribble to get to the basket or break down into his smooth mid-range pull-up game. Crashes the boards to provide a formidable rebounding presence for his squad from the back-court.
Ben Malloy – We know from the AAU season that he is a skilled and hard-nosed kid who maximizes his value within the offensive structure of team basketball, but in this setting he proved the sheer talent to create his own offense in a showcase style setting.
Tommy Mobley – A strong 6’3” wing with a knack for scoring the ball, Mobley combines his smooth stroke with a quick release and a no-conscience trigger mentality to form a long-range threat that is capable of getting hot in a hurry. He’ll also attack close-outs and create contact going to the rack in order to get himself to the line. Also crashes down hard to board on both ends and gets on the floor in a hurry.
Temar Hermelijn – A sleek wing from the Canterbury School, Hermelijn uses his dribble to attack creases in the defense. He thrives in the open floor and scores the ball with ease in transition. He also showed the potential to act as a big guard with high level passing ability.
Jordan Scurry – The Beaver Country Day swingman had a nice afternoon, displaying extended-range out past the arc on his jump-shot and an ever-evolving ability to handle the ball out on the perimeter. Also showcased the ability to attack the rack off the one-dribble drive from the wing.
Jack Simonds – Another impact player from the state of Maine, this south-paw small-forward spreads out the defense with his long-range stroke and has ability to facilitate from the perimeter. High-IQ glue-guy who knows how to make an offensive machine run.
Kabongo Ngalakulondi – Scoring guard with a powerful physique who'll bully his way to the basket and rise up in traffic to finish through contact. He also displayed a developing pull-up game which could serve as a dangerous counter to his power game. Rebounds and guards multiple spots. Look for a big sophomore campaign.
Brandon Aughburns – He returned to the scene of the crime after scoring a breakout perfornace at the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph a year ago. Aubhburns continued to excel in his encore, standing out by virtue of his size and strength inside the paint and punishing people around the rim.
Cameron Durley – A powerful wide-body with a linebacker’s build who commands territory in the lane and uses his frame to carve out operating space to score the ball around the dish. Rebounds hard on both ends and does a nice job of defending the post.
Collin McManus - The big-fella eats space in the paint, defends the post, rebounds on both ends, and runs the floor hard to put pressure on opposing big-men. He discouraged easy finishes around the rim on the defensive end and did a nice job keeping the ball high to score offensively.
Ryan Noel - Long rugged forward who plays with physicality down on the block and in the lane. Can score it around the basket and uses his length to pursue shot-blocking opportunities on the defensive end. Noel also showed the ability to face up and knock down the mi-range shot.