Final Impressions from #CvC & #SRC
The 7th annual Scholar Roundball Classic and the 3rd annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic are now in the books and while we’ve already recapped all of the action from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there were also some lasting impressions to take from this full weekend of action.
While Cormac Ryan and Milton Academy were unable to play due to the snow, four of New England’s other top ranked prospects were in action this weekend in Vermont Academy’s Simisola Shittu, Cushing Academy’s David Duke, Brimmer & May’s A.J. Reeves, and Northfield Mount Hermon’s Nate Laszewski and what is especially exciting about the top ranked players in this class is that they all keep evolving and taking their games to new heights. Shittu is the top ranked player in the class and he was dominant on Sunday to the tune of 33 points but the gap between him and his competitors isn’t as wide as it used to be. Duke’s body is transforming at a rapid rate, he’s stringing together more high level plays by the game, and, most impressively, he’s showing he can step into a leadership role and lead a young team to early success. Reeves has great size on the wing and a definite weapon from behind the three-point line but there’s also an inner desire and love for the game in him that makes you believe in him long-term. You can see the long hours he puts in the gym manifest themselves in added weapons and it’s a safe bet that’s only going to continue down the road. Laszewski has perhaps the best understanding of who he is and what is niche is and at 6-foot-9 with a great three-point stroke his game is a perfect fit for this era of basketball.
There were a number of unsigned prospects in the class of 2018 who helped themselves this weekend with numerous college coaches looking on all three days. KUA’s Nick Timberlake was near the top of the list as the Braintree alum showed bounce and toughness alike. Choate wing Jayden Nixon might even be a higher level athlete and has clear upside to take his recruitment to the next level. He was just one of the post-grads in the event to make a statement as Williston Northampton’s Filip Rebraca, Avon Old Farms’ Brian Amabilino Perez, and Vermont’s Alec Spence should all see new schools come on board following their impressive showings. Rebraca is a versatile offensive talent with an inside-out skill set while Amabilino Perez can also knock down threes but was particularly impactful finishing plays with good touch inside 6 feet. Spence, a former Rice pledge in 2017, was tough as advertised and extremely efficient inside of 16 feet. Brooks forward Keigan Kerby also showed well as he is now fully healthy, especially fit, and again able to combine shooting range with the ability to finish above the rim. There were some stock-risers in the backcourt as well including Williston’s Michael Manley, GFA’s Henry Holzinger, Canterbury’s Mike Speight, and Loomis’ Jalen Cobb.
It wasn’t just New England products who impressed this weekend as Blair Academy came back to New England and finished with an impressive 2-0 record, Hill School knocked off New Hampton, and Perkiomen battled NMH tough for the better part of the game. Hill has a pair of unsigned post-grads who coaches are excited about in Seth Maxwell and Ryan Alikakos. Maxwell is a skilled seven-footer who has range on his jumper and Alikakos, a former Navy commit in 2017, is as tough and rugged as he is crafty inside of 15 feet. Junior guard Jordan Dingle moved the needle for Blair. The son of former UMass star Dana Dingle, Jordan has a powerful body and showed the ability to change the game on both ends of the floor when he’s locked in. For Perkiomen it was Nick Guadarrama, the former Newington product, who showed why he has scholarship offers on the table.
There were also a handful of players who are already off the board and clearly poised to have great careers based on their choices for the next level. Hill wing Chase Audige is a high level athlete who is continuing to develop his guard skills and has a chance to be a real difference maker as part of a loaded William & Mary class. NMH forward Chuck Hannah reminded everyone why he is such a steal for Elon with his toughness and win-at-all-costs mentality. Malachi de Sousa looks destined to be one of the best players in the America East in a few years as Albany got a volume scorer with versatile. Colgate is also a winner with Blair post-grad Tucker Richardson as they’re early eval brought them a shooter and high level passer who should fit seamlessly into their style of play.
Moving the Needle in 2019
There were a handful of juniors that stood out as having taken their games to new levels, or in some cases proving their games against better competition. New Hampton point guard Mika Adams-Woods was tops among the list. He may be in his first year in New England but he’s well-known from his time with the Albany City Rocks and has been smooth and reliable running the show for the Huskies. Another first year junior point guard, NMH’s Ryan Greer, showed his toughness and diverse value this weekend and is inexplicably under-recruited since arriving in New England. Cushing’s Kyle Murphy continued to show well so far this season with his versatility as he is known for his jumper but can also handle the ball and facilitate on the wing. Wilbraham’s Idan Tretout appears to be taking the next step and ready to lead an offense without sacrificing his efficiency. Then there is Brimmer forward Jordan Minor who was pound-for-pound one of the best rebounders in the field this weekend.
Eye for the Future
The Rivers freshmen tandem of Terrence Clarke and Camaron Tongue put on a show Friday night and are both bound to be fixtures in New England’s top 25 freshmen. Clarke is already in the discussion as one of the best freshmen to emerge so far in the country and he backed it up on Friday. Cushing’s Matt Cross has floor game that translates to the next level as he shoots it but has also gotten more comfortable with contact and become a better rebounder as a result. Andover’s Dallion Johnson hunts his shots at times but he showed a skill set that exceeded just his three-point range with tools and touch inside the arc as well.