Hoop Mountain Invitational - Saturday Recap
The annual Hoop Mountain Invitational continued to be a must attend event for division II and III coaches with the walls of Mass Premier Courts lined throughout the day. The New England Recruiting Report's Cody Hatt made his way beyond just MPC, also checking in on the action at Mansfield Sports Plex and Oliver Ames High School to track down all the stars of day one:
Matt Staubi (Team Frenji 15u)- A high-I.Q., ultra-skilled young point guard of the Phil Gaetano/T.J. Sorrentine mold, Staubi features a ball-on-a-string type handle to go with an elite playmaking feel and pure stroke from behind the line. While still undersized as a maturing prospect in the class of 2014, he utilizes ball-screens with impressive craft, remains poised to finish above size in traffic, and, overall, possess several tangibles consistent with a solid, scholarship-level floor general.
Paschal Chukwu (Team Frenji 15u)- An imposing physical presence at seven-foot-one with bona fide high-major upside, the freshly-turned 16 year-old Nigerian-native has limitless upside as a young big with terrific mobility, high-level awareness, and a developing offensive skill-set that appears to be steadily catching up to his natural physical tools as an elite defensive stopper. Featuring a 90-inch wingspan (Dwight Howard’s measures 88), Chukwu catches and finishes with a soft touch in traffic, works diligently for position on the low-block, and, most impressively, runs rim-to-rim with ease to protect the basket in transition and score on the move above less physically gifted defenders.
John Roop (Mass Elite 15u)- As the undisputed leader of his Mass Elite squad, Roop is an attack-first point guard with a creative handle and fearless mentality that drives his relentless assault of the rim in the open floor, utilizing crafty change of pace to lose his initial defender and score consistently in traffic or lay the ball off to left-alone teammates for draw-and-dish points.
Brandon Gulley (Boston Promise 15u)- Featuring a long, lean frame at six-foot-five, Gulley is an intriguing young big with a soft touch around the basket who showed an impressive ability to pursue the ball off the glass and lead the break himself with a natural playmaking feel in the open floor.
Pavin Parrish (Lone Wolf 15u)- A natural playmaker with blow-by quickness and terrific feel in the open floor, Parrish utilizes a variety of change-of-pace, change-of-direction dribble combinations to shake his defender, accelerate through traffic, and elevate over and around size to score at the rim or locate open shooters for high-percentage looks.
Ryan Booth (Lone Wolf 15u)- A knock-down perimeter shooter with a sniper’s mentality from three, Booth spreads the floor with a pure lefty stroke from distance and flashes ability as an effective passer capable of making opponents pay when committing multiple defenders to cover him off various weak-side screen action.
Chris Collins (Lone Wolf 15u)- A long, lean big with solid mobility and a developing skill-set that includes a smooth, face-up jumper out to 15 feet, Collins rebounds his area consistently in traffic, runs hard rim to rim after a quick, decisive outlet, and shows ability as a willing and effective passer when rushed with a second defender on the low block.
Obie Obiara (Middlesex Magic 15u)- A raw, but solid, athlete for his size and age, Obiara has good footwork and hands, allowing him to be force around the rim rebounding and scoring the ball against bigger players unable to match his athleticism and motor on the interior.
Jalen Ollie (CBC 15u)- Playing primarily on the wing with a versatile offensive skill-set, Ollie has the ability to shoot it effectively from the perimeter, as well as attack the defense off the dribble and finish at the basket. A lock down on-ball defender, Ollie used his quick feet and aggressiveness to consistently disrupt the flow of opposing ball-handlers .
Mikol Blake-Green (Prodigy Basketball 16u)- Blake-Green was a power inside, showing consistent, solid footwork and quickness to complement a nose for the ball he showcased in pursuing the ball on the offensive glass for multiple second-chance points.
Evan Hopson (Rhode Island Hawks 16u)- Hopson is a super strong off-guard who shows real patience on the offensive end with a high basketball I.Q., using his strength to get to the basket and finish at the rim.
Eddie Stanley (Albany City Rocks 16u)- A high basketball IQ wing player who sees and runs the floor very well, Stanley gets to the basket with either hand to finish or locate an open shooter with an extra pass for a higher percentage look.
Jorrell Reid (Albany City Rocks 16u)- An athletic, combo forward who can play inside-out with a tenacious defensive approach, Reid plays very well around the rim, runs the open court with good spacing, and fills lanes to finish in transition.
Adrian Oliveira (Rhode Island Hawks 16u)- A quick combo guard with a strong handle who abused defenders off the dribble and finished creatively in traffic, Oliveira is a good decision maker with the ball in his hands who is able facilitate his team’s offense and cause problems defensively with his quick feet and quick hands.
Harrison Taggart (Rhode Island Hawks 16u)- A unique combination forward with the ability to handle the ball in the open floor and shoot it from three, Taggart possesses equal value defensively as a hybrid swingman capable of guarding multiple positions.
Charles Correa (Rhode Island Hawks 16u)- Tough to contain off the dribble due to his sensational quickness and tight handle, Correa also features a consistent stroke from distance that he uses to keep defenders off balance and stay in attack mode with the ball in his hands.
Kevin Manzanares (Thames Valley Thunder 16u)- A highly-skilled, dynamic lead guard with a pure stroke from three that he uses to set up dribble-penetration and create space for clean pull-ups in the lane, Manzanares stood out as a volume shot-maker in his team’s Saturday morning game, proving extremely difficult to contain with his ability to connect from deep and attack with poise for high-percentage looks at the second level.
Omar Orriols (Boston Spartans 16u)- A long, athletic wing with an attacking mentality, Orriols used a quick burst to get to the rim for multiple buckets in transition and showed a developing mid-range pull-up to score over size in the lane.
Zach Burbine (Thames Valley Thunder 16u)- With the natural offensive feel indicative of all elite shot-makers, Burbine features a quick, feathery release from three and spaces himself well off dribble penetration to get loose for clean catch-and-shoot opportunities and set himself up to attack weak-side close-outs with a one-bounce, high floater combination in the lane.
Aaron Calixte (NE Cyclones 16u)- An explosive lead guard constantly looking to push the pace in the open floor, Calixte converted through contact for multiple plus-one finishes in the second half of his team’s victory on Saturday morning and knocked down a pair of NBA-range threes when given too much space at the arc in transition.
Lee Messier (NE Cyclones 16u)- A knock-down three-point shooter who was hitting shots from all the over the floor on Saturday morning, Messier spreads the floor with a quick, compact release from distance and attacks close-outs efficiently for one-dribble pull-ups in either direction at the second level.
Alex McMurray (USAD 16u)- A strong, assertive floor general who maneuvers his way through traffic with a tight handle and outstanding vision in transition, McMurray can spread the floor for his own drive with a pure stroke from three and the ability to make opponents pay for choosing to go underneath high ball-screen action in an attempt to prevent him from turning the corner with his strong acceleration dribble.
Marty Lewis (CT Hoop Dreams 17u)- A knock-down shooter who can play either guard position, Lewis stretches the defense with his marksmanship from distance and showed versatility in being able to attack weak-side close-outs for mid-range jumpers.
Justin Gonzalez (CT Hoop Dreams 17u)- A long, athletic wing with terrific court vision and sound ball skills, Gonzalez attacks the basket off the bounce and shows value as a volume rebounder on both ends of the floor.
Jared Lewis (Boston Warriors 17u)- With “in the gym” range that extends out well past the NBA line, Lewis can shoot it off the dribble, utilize various screen actions for catch-and-shoot opportunities, and showcases nice feel in making the extra pass to teammates benefitting from the attention he draws as a lethal perimeter threat.
Sean Obi (ABC 17u)- Only a sophomore, Obi is a good athlete who ran the floor well and showed impressive patience in reading double-teams, making an efficient move to the basket, or locating an open teammate benefitting from the attention he warranted on the interior as a legitimate low-post threat.
Jerry Ellis (Boston Warriors 17u)- A solid post player with sound footwork and soft hands who uses his body well to gain position on the low block, Ellis has a distinct go-to, baby hook move over his left shoulder that he used effectively to convert on multiple occasions throughout Saturday’s pool play.
Donovan Ford-Hayes (CT Dream Squad 17u)- An athletic swingman with the length and burst to get to the rim in transition, Ford-Hayes impressed with an ability to play off the ball in the half-court set and rub defenders off screens with a tight curl move to create high-percentage offense in the lane.
Jamal Reuben (Bay State Magic 17u)- A fluid athlete with terrific length and athleticism on the wing to enhance a high-end motor, Reuben is a knock-down three-point shooter who got free for a series of in-rhythm jumpers from behind the line and showcased nice feel attacking close-outs for balanced mid-range pull-ups in traffic.
William Baker (Bay State Magic 17u)- Almost single-handedly willing his team to a comeback victory in its opening game of pool play on Saturday with his tenacious defensive presence, Baker is an assertive lead guard with a noticeable competitive chip that fuels his energy of both ends, as he constantly looks to push the pace in transition and is a menace defensively with supreme quickness, willing physicality, and a turnover-inducing, ball-hawking mentality.
Zach Askew (Drive 4 Stardum 17u)- A long, lean big with quick bounce around the rim and a terrific motor running rim-to-rim in transition, Askew was a handful to deal with on the interior in his team’s pool play game on Saturday evening, rebounding the ball in and out of his area on both ends, finishing through contact for plus-one scores and second-chance points, and patrolling the paint as a constant shot-blocking presence as the anchor of this team’s 2-3 zone in the half-court.
Tevin Falzon (Metro Boston 17u)- The Newton North (MA) product showcased his trademark versatility throughout Saturday’s pool play as a six-foot-seven combo forward, converting on an equal variety of mid-range jumpers and decisive drives to the basket despite multiple double-team looks attempting to hinder his effectiveness from spots all over the floor.
Alonzo Oates (Western CT Warriors 17u)- A straight-line scoring guard in the open floor with a knack for avoiding contact and converting through contact with either hand, Oates utilizes elite end-to-end speed to blow-by defenders in transition and make creative plays in the paint scoring or distributing the ball to teammates benefitting from his ability to draw two at the free-throw line extended.
Ricardo Ledo (RI Breakers 17u)- Making a guest appearance for his local RI Breakers club on a weekend off from his time with Expressions and the Nike EYBL, the six-foot-five, ultra-smooth wing showed flashes of his ability as one of the premiere offensive talents in the national class of 2012. In one two-minute sequence, Ledo caught the ball towards the top of the square for a one-handed dunk in transition, buried a pair of step-back NBA-range threes off dizzying crossover combinations, and threaded the ball with no-look off the bounce to an open teammate for an easy score in transition.
Rob Hazard (RI Breakers 17u)- Joining Ledo to form what was by far the elite backcourt combination of the day on Saturday, Hazard is a powerful , explosive lead guard with blue-chip athleticism he uses to jet by his initial defender and elevate with no regard in traffic to score at or above the rim over late-arriving help.
Adam Bramanti (NE Storm 17u)- With a unique, highly-coveted combination of toughness and expansive court vision, Bramanti is consistently at the center of positive plays with the ball in his hands in transition, whether he’s attacking the rim for plus-one scores through contact or manipulating multiple defenders to create lanes for him to thread the ball on a dime through traffic for a tactfully executed drive, draw, and dish.
Patrick Marchand (NE Cyclones (17u)- Epitomizing the label of “wide body post” on the interior, Marchand was flat-out dominant in pool play on Saturday, rebounding and scoring the ball in high volume with a combination of size, skill, and will in the paint.
Kachi Nzerem (NE Ballas 17u)- An elite shot-maker who simply cannot be left alone at the arc, Nzerem complements his pure stroke from the perimeter with terrific length and athleticism that allow him to attack close-outs with a single hard bounce in either direction and elevate through traffic from out to the first marker and score at the rim over late-arriving help.
Robinson Vilmont (NE Ballas 17u)- A relentlessly attacking lead guard who looks to push the pace in transition with his dynamic end-to-end speed, Vilmont features a polished offensive arsenal complete with a lethal stroke from the perimeter and the ability to turn the corner off a high ball-screen and flash his creative playmaking ability in the lane with a variety of floaters and dump-downs in traffic.
Pat Burns (Mass Elite 17u)- With a polished, face-up skill-set at six-foot-six, Burns can stretch the defense with a pure stroke out to 15 feet and utilizes his live feet and soft hands to out-maneuver less-mobile bigs in traffic and score with authority above the rim.