Elite 75 Showcase Event Recap
The 8th Annual Elite 75 Showcase tipped off Monday night in the beautiful new athletic facilities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The event attracted many of the top prospects the New England region has to offer as well as a number of prospects ready to breakout during the July live periods.
The players started the showcase by going through a series of positional warm-up before they progressed into positional one-on-one drills that measured their ability to create their own shot in a half-court setting. Next the prospects were split up evenly, and proceeded to play games of two-on-two and three-on-three that stressed pick-n-roll and dribble hand-off action. Finally, to finish the night, there was about an hour of organized and competitive five-on-five scrimmaging.
While there will be more recaps, interviews, video highlights, and evaluations to come in the upcoming days, here are our first thoughts following the event:
Living up to the Hype
Bonzie Colson – 2014 – Was fantastic all night producing at an incredibly efficient level as well just making winning basketball plays. It is well documented that he was one of the country’s biggest stock risers this spring, and he showed why Monday night.
Jared Terrell – 2014 – He may have shown up late, but once Terrell arrived he was his typical self physically punishing any defender that was covering him. He made high level plays both in transition and in the half court, and was just too strong for almost any guard at the event to cover.
Jarred Reuter – 2015 – He was very impressive to start when he was dominating the 1v1 action, and he continued his solid play from there on. He is so strong down low that he was able to bulldoze his way through any opposing defender, and finished at a very high percentage once in the paint.
Abdul-Malik Abu – 2014 – Well known for his unbelievable athleticism, he impressed with his rapidly developing skill set and great motor. He brings a great attitude to everything he does, and has a phenomenal work ethic. Malik-Abu has a very bright future ahead of him, and that was re-affirmed on Monday night.
Aaron Falzon – 2015 – He is starting to build quite the reputation for himself in the New England basketball community and it is because he continues to play well at all of the events he attends. His recruitment took off in the spring, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it continues to rise since Falzon is shooting the ball extremely well and make players around him better.
Chaise Daniels & Jordan Butler – Daniels is a great athlete with a tremendous motor and an improving skill set who really impressed in the 1v1 portion, while Butler is a strong, physical presence down low who is an anchor in the middle for any team he is on. This could be the start of a great July for the CT Select duo.
Malik James – The lightning quick Brighton, Mass product was impressive with his explosive scoring ability and high energy. Had a great attitude and played very hard throughout the night.
Dimitri Floras – Controlled the games he played in very well, hit shots, and made the right play more often than not. Did a very good job of playing within himself.
Kealen Ives – Simply put, Ives makes everyone he plays with better. He is great at getting into the lane and makes great reads when he is in there amongst much bigger bodies. Ives is great at changing speed and direction to keep defender off balance.
Tyler Nelson – Was one of the best shooters in the field, and proved it over the course of the event. He hit shots from all over the court at a very high percentage, and did so with the calmest demeanor in the gym as well.
Jameilen Jones & Miles Wright – Both are high level athletes who made a number of impressive plays above the rim throughout the course of the evening. The Metro Boston backcourt mates are set to turn some heads in the coming month.
Colin Richey – Was fantastic in pick n roll basketball as well as coming off dribble hand offs. Richey has a knack for finishing plays above bigger defenders is the paint and controls the tempo well with an unorthodox, shifty floor game.
Aaron Calixte – One of the best point guards at the event, he did a great job of pushing the tempo, getting into the lane at will, and even mixing in jump shots here and there.
Nick Cambio – The 6’5” physical Central Catholic big man never shies away from contact and does a good job of playing within himself. Battled with much bigger players, and more than held his own.
Jeff Spellman – Shot it extremely well, and is a very impressive athlete. Let the game come to him, and took advantage when it was his time late in the scrimmages.
Isaiah Robinson – Plays the game exceptionally hard and is just a tough kid. He rebounded the ball in high volume and did a great job of defending a number of different positions. Robinson plays much bigger than he is.
Duby Maduegbunam – He has a great body, played hard on both ends of the floor, and hit a few outside jump shots. Looked very solid throughout the night. Certainly a guy who qualifies as a stock riser.
Levy Gillespie Jr. - He’s another guy who has had a big spring AAU season, but took advantage of the showcase type setting to continue to prove his individual tools, consistently getting into the lane and making plays with the ball.
Bobby Ahearn - A highly skilled mismatch forward, Ahearn’s best work came out early in the day in the competitive breakdown drills. Ultimately, that speaks to his ability to translate his game to the next level with his productivity inside and out.
Jesse Bunting – 2015 - Continued his great play from the spring and early summer that has many college coaches intrigued. The 6’7” athletic big has a tremendous motor to go along with a physical and effective game.
Crew Ainge – 2015 – He has had people talking for the majority of the spring, and it is because he has made such great improvements to his game. He brings a ton of energy to the court every time he plays, is creating very well for others, and is shooting the three ball consistently right now.
Kyle Howes – 2014 – Simply put, he proved he belonged, backing up a steady spring AAU season by a solid showing at the Elite 75. Howes continued to be aggressive with his playmaking while also making a series of tough shots.
Obi Obiora – 2014 – His great body and freakishly long arms have always had coaches very interested in his long term potential, but it is his recent new production that has a number of coaches considering offering the Brookline High product a scholarship. It could be a big summer for Obiora playing with the Middlesex Magic.
Steve Enoch - 2015 – The young, raw big man played very hard and impressed with his willingness to do the little things. A very good athlete with some serious potential too.
Joe Schneider – 2015 – Could be the night we remember Schneider broke onto the scene in a few years. The 6’10” big man who is heading to Wilbraham & Monson excited spectators with his size, willingness to work, and effort.
Fredens Deneus – 2014 – the Cambridge Ridge & Latin product has always impressed with his athletic ability and natural talent, but on Monday night it looked like he was starting to turn a corner. He was producing like we had never seen him do before, and that could really excite college coaches in the month ahead.
Malcolm Brent – 2014 – The Kimball Union sniper got hot early on and was raining threes out of the sky for most of the night. Brent combined with Nelson, Tom Hunt, and Ben Judson as arguably the four top shooters of the night.
Marcel Pettway - 2015 - The Wilbraham & Monson big man asserted himself early in the evening during the competitive breakdown drills, and continued to impress throughout the night. He’s one of the few big men with a dependable jump hook.
David Watkins - 2015 - He’s made rapid strides with his game in recent months and now looks the part of a division I level prospect with his size and versatility.
The Young Up and Coming
Makai Ashton-Langford – 2016 – Remember this name because this is going to be a special prospect for years to come in New England. Has a great feel to go along with a tremendous skill set and natural abilities. Plays at a level well beyond his years.
A.J. Brodeur – 2016 – The young prospect has a chance to be one of the most special players John Carroll has coached at NMH due to his size, already impressive skill set, and great instincts. Really impressed many people as battled some of the best New England has to offer.
Tyonne Malone -2016 – An eye-catching athlete who made a number of unbelievable plays above the rim. Also knocked down a number of perimeter shots with confidence.
Saul Phiri – 2016 – He plays with so much composure and control it is tough believe that he is so young. He hit shots and played very hard on both ends of the floor. He will be a great player for the next few years at Worcester Academy.
Collin McManus – 2015 – He has come a long way in the last eight months since stepping foot on the NMH campus, and he will still only get better. At 6’10”, he has great size to go along with a skill set that is improving each day.
Donovan Love – 2016 – The young, gritty guard has great instincts for a player his age and more than held his own against a number of bigger and older guards.