Hoop Mountain Spring Classic - Event Recap
Over 115 players from all corners of New England and beyond gathered at Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro, MA on Friday night to showcase their improvements during the high school season. The players began the night participating in stations focused on skill development, and concluded by playing several round-robin games. What was unique about this event was the number of impressive underclassmen that were in attendance, showing that the future of New England basketball remains bright.
With over 40 Division II and Division III coaches coming through the door, the following upperclassmen stood out over the course of the evening:
Tyriek McCauley (Worcester Academy, 2014)- The 6'6'' unsigned senior was one of the top performers Friday night. Big, powerful, and explosive, McCauley put on a show all night with incredible displays of athleticism that resulted in several dunks that had the whole gym turn their heads. He has a quick first step and is a very versatile defender who can play a number of positions at the next level.
Isiah McCloud (Cambridge R&L, 2015)- McCloud showed why he is (and will be even more next year) a great college prospect. He has a smooth jumpshot and an innate feeling of how to play the game. He is very active on defense and was one of the top communicators at the event, and is someone who any high school team would love to have.
Jameilen Jones (Worcester Academy, 2014)- Between McCauley, Bullen, and Jones, the trio put on an early show with several high-flying dunks and alley-oops. Jones and McCauley were the two best athletes in the gym on Friday night. Hehas a very nice mid-range jumpshot and attacks the hoop with reckless abandon. He also has the body control to adjust in mid-air to what the defense does. On defense, he has the potential to be a lockdown defender at the next level.
Quentin Bullen (Worcester Academy, 2015)- One of the better individual defenders in the NEPSAC this past season, Bullen showed off an improving skill set. He set his teammates up very well off penetration, and displayed a more consistent jumpshot than we had seen in the past.
Jesse Bland (Burke, 2014)- Bland is a guard who is a very good offensive player. He was one of the better shooters in the gym all night, and has a great vertical for a guard.
Wenyen Gabriel (Trinity HS, 2015)- At 6'8'', Gabriel was one of the more imposing big men in the gym. He showed great timing in his ability to block shots, and he was extremely active on the offensive glass in the paint. If he can add a little muscle to his thin frame, Gabriel will be one to watch as the spring and summer progress.
Tim Preston (Lawrence Academy, 2015)- Preston was very solid on Friday night. He is a good shooter with very solid fundamentals and the ability to finish around the basket in a variety of ways. He also runs the floor well in transition.
Jikhalil Smith (Burke, 2015)- The 6'6'' forward is long and lean, but can fly though the air. He needs to finish better around the rim, but he is a hard-working player who is poised for a great season next year
Hasten Kearse (Lincoln-Sudbury, 2015)- Kearse displayed a very good pull-up jumper going to the right, something that is difficult for right-handed players to perfect. He is not the most flashy player, but he is a solid 6'3'' guard who is always in control on the court. Coming off a big season in the MIAA, keep an eye on Kearse moving
Dave Carbonello (Wyndham, 2015)- Carbonello had college coaches turning their heads on Friday night, and should be a prospect to watch going this spring and summer playing with Mass Elite. He is a 6'1 point guard that loves to attack the hoop, whether it be in the half court of in transition.
Isaiah-Lawrence Fontaine (Cambridge R&L, 2015)- The 6'7'' big man is long, lanky, and loaded with potential. His footwork must improve, but his physical attributes and athleticism cannot be ignored, and it showed on the defensive end tonight.
Jake Rudolph (Masconomet, 2015)- Coming off a season for Masco in which he had 4 games of 30+ points, Rudolph showed he can do more, displaying a great all-around skill set that allowed his teammates to share the wealth.
Chris Demartinis (Burlington, 2015)- The older Demartinis is a versatile wing who can defend multiple positions because of his athleticism. He was invested on the defense end here in Foxboro. His younger brother, Mike (a freshman at Burlington), was also impressive and set himself up nicely for a strong spring.
Tarik Williams (McKinley Tech, 2015)- A point guard from Washington D.C., the southpaw has a very solid jumpshot and showed the ability to run the break from the point effectively.
Malik Tavares (East Providence, 2015)- Tavares was impressive with his communication and activeness on both ends of the court. His voice could be heard throughout the gym, and he plays with an energy that was contagious, even in a showcase setting.
Keshon Robinson (Burke, 2014)- Robinson was active and energetic all night, something that, without a doubt, will carry over to the next level. He is a very good rebounder for a guard, and bigs must be aware of him trying to poke the ball free after they secure a rebound.
In addition, there was great talent in the underclassman ranks, as the following players made waves throughout the evening:
Terrell Brown (St. Andrew's, 2016)- Just a sophomore, Brown has a terrific combination of length, athleticism, and a rapidly emerging skill set. His jumpshot looked more fluid on Friday night, and he still relentlessly attacks the glass. Look for him to make some noise with the BABC squad this spring and summer.
Garrett Stephenson (St. Bernard's CC, 2016)- The 6'6' power forward is big and burly, allowing him to be a beast on the boards. Stephenson also possesses an under-utilized skill: the ability to He had a very successful winter season doing just that, and on Friday night he showed that his skill level is improving.
Justin Assad (Pingree, 2016)- The 6'4'' swingman from Pingree impressed with his attack-first mentality, and it resulted in many layups for him and his teammates.
Garrett Dintaman (Winchendon, 2016)- The 6'2'' New Hampshire native knocked down shots from deep all night long. He has really good footwork on offense, and was able to show off a variety of finishes around the rim that will bode him well moving forward.
Jackson Latimer (Masconomet, 2016)- The 6'3'' swingman is a hard-working player who will be one to watch this spring. He knocked down a few outside shots and displayed a tight handle that was impressive for a young player of his position.
Chad Dicenzo (Pingree, 2017)- A combo guard who has really improved since the last time we saw him, Dicenzo shows the potential to be a very solid point guard. He can run a team and is going to get his teammates the ball in positions where they can be successful.
Nate Duda (St. Andrew's, 2016)- Duda showed off his athleticism on Friday night, rocking the rim with several one-handed dunks.
Kyle Coughlin (Beverly, 2016) - A skilled and heady guard who first made a name for himself at last fall's Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Edition, Coughlin had another strong showing here mixing in quick released 3's with some crafty finishes on his way to the rim.