Hoop Group Top 100: New England Report

by A.J. Stokes | Monday, March 19th, 2012

Hoop Group Top 100: New England Report

The Hoop Group Troop was in New England this weekend as the Hoop Group Elite Top 100 Tour passed through the Mansfield Sportsplex.  Here are some of the prospects who on this day caught the eye:

Ben Engvall - 6'4 G/F - 2013 - Barrington HS (RI) - Wing player who has developed significantly as an athlete in the past year.  Good shooting stroke and scores the rock in a variety of ways.  With his size, athleticism, and skill-set, Engvall could conceivably project as a 2-guard down the line, which would definitely change the course of his recruitment.  I know he can score the rock, but here are questions heading into the spring...Does he have the foot speed to guard the 2-spot at a high level?  And does he handle the rock well enough to assume ball-handling responsibility?Dayshon Smith - 6'1 PG - 2013 - Putnam Science Academy - Scoochie was the top player at the event and ran the break all afternoon, shaking defenders out of their boots before dropping times to teammates for easy bunnies, including 3 or 4 feeds to Engvall for loud spikes.  It's a joy to watch Scoochie play as he is an artist out on the court, and there is no doubt that he is a D1 guard and a great kid, but heading into the free-style season and his senior year, my question is whether he has inside him enough of a mean streak to send high-major ACs for a coffee?Victor Udoji - 6'3 G/F - 2013 - Northfield Mount Hermon - The breakout player of the day...In my mind, Udoji came into the afternoon as a wing-player with length and athleticism who defends multiple positions, finishes around the basket, rebounds well from the perimeter, and does a good job of facilitating on offense.  But what we saw on Saturday was a longer, taller guy who dominated in transition and on the slash attack, making plays well above the rim and throwing down a number of loud, left-handed spikes.  In addition, Udoji showed a dangerous one-dribble drive game from the wing and break-away speed which he used to burn retreating defenses for fast-break bucket.  Very curious to monitor his development over the spring and summer.  Need to get a look at his shooting stroke and what type of range we're dealing with.  Can Vudo handle the ball well enough to slide over and log some time in the Back-Court Bunk?

Chris Baldwin - 6'7 F - 2015 - Hillside School (MA) - Smooth 6'7 combo forward with soft hands, quick feet, and more tools than Inspector Gadget.  High-Major Big-Boy Prospect.

Max Motroni - 5'10 G - 2013 - Milton Academy - Compact combo-guard who handles well and understands how to use his strong frame on the dribble attack.  Good court vision, looks to create for a teammate off the dribble drive.  Knock-down 3-point shooter.  Unselfish player who looks to make the extra pass.  Feisty competitor who'll get after you on the defensive end.  Nice NESCAC Prospect.Chris Mendes - 5'10 - 2012 - Tabor Academy - Strong-bodied facilitating point guard who uses the dribble to break down the defense, at which point he'll look to kick to  re-locating shooter for a high-percentage shot on the arc or close-out attack opportunity.  Mendes looks to push the ball up the floor when he radars a potentially-profitable transition opportunity, but otherwise, understands how to slow it down and dictate the pace of the game.  Hard-nosed defender.  Definitely a college point guard.

Myles Wright - 6'4 G/F - 2013 - Boston Latin HS - Skilled forward who has grown taller and filled out since last I saw him.  Was a little off on Saturday as he seems to be adjusting to his new body, but once he does adjust, with his new-found combination of size, his versatile skill-set, and his athleticism, Wright is a guy who could come on quickly as a prospect this cycle as it seems likely that an already talented player's best years are ahead of him.  Also a quarterback I believe, wonder how that will effect his basketball recruitment?  With that body, Steve McNair (RIP) comes to mind. Jerrelle Smith - 5'9 PG - 2013 - University HS (Hartford) - Fire-plug point guard who gave opposing back-court players headaches all day.  Smith has shut-down corner back speed and is a blur with the ball in his hands.  Got into the lane at will all afternoon and made a few plays above the rim (including a loud put-back dunk in traffic.)  As he sharpens his skills and betters his understanding of the game, who knows how good a player he could become.  Definitely a big-time athlete.Sean Doncaster - 6'3 G/F - 2013 - Medford HS (MA) - Athletic wing who runs the floor hard and looks for opportunities to finish in transition.  Team player who will work the offensive set and then attack when the opportunity presents itself.  Competes on the glass and does a nice job of guarding the wing.  Interested in a closer look at his ball-handling ability and his shooting stroke, but no doubt a collegiate athlete.

Stan Davis - 6'2 PG - 2014 - Boston English HS - Strong, compact left-handed lead guard who attacks off the slash and uses his body to finish in the paint.  Old-school transition pull-up game and knock down three-point shooter.  Davis handles the ball well and uses his body to protect his dribble.  High-IQ decision-maker with the pill in his hands.  Physical, aggressive defender.  An interesting one to watch because the level of his recruitment will depend largely on the role in which he is seen, and he is a guy who projects differently depending on role.Raheem Sadler - 6'1 PG - 2012 - Cathedral HS (Boston) - Composed lead guard with good length and size, Sadler plays a steady floor game between the foul lines and looks to play quarterback and advance the ball up the floor with the pass.  Efficient ball-handler who makes smart decisions with the ball and understand how to use the weapons (teammates) at his disposal.  Effectively uses his length defensively, can guard either back-court spot and rebounds well from his position.  Wherever he ends up next year, Sadler's going to be a player who will make his team better.

Justin Stewart - 5'7 PG - 2015 - Williston - Still just a pup physically, J-Stew is a smooth lead guard who plays a high-IQ brand of team ball.  Knock-down three-point shooter who will attack the close-out and look for the elbow jump shot or a floater in the lane.  As he gets stronger and is able to play through contact, Stewart is a nice back-court prospect in the makings.Aaron McLean - 6'6 F - 2015 - St Marks - Looks to have lengthened out and grown a few inches since last summer which is an exciting development for A-Mac as a prospect.  With his athleticism and size, McLean has the ability to play the game above the rim.  It's just a matter of developing the animality of cloud-hoppin' all the time.Ryan Noel - 6'7 F - 2015 - Roxbury Latin - Another guy who looks to have gained some inches since last summer, Noel is a long and lean forward who runs the floor, rebounds, blocks shots, is a good passer, and can finish around the basket.  We'll see how Noel's offensive game develops in the next couple of years, but with his size and ability to embrace and thrive in a role, he looks like a prospect who will be getting a lot of looks.