Hoop Mountain SW1 - Day 1 Recap

by Steve DeMarco | Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Hoop Mountain SW1 - Day 1 Recap

BRISTOL, RI - Day 1 of Hoop Mountain’s Super Week I at Roger Williams University was highlighted by some matchups in the night session which were played with fiery intensity and fierce aggression;  players diving on the floor for loose balls, gritty battles for rebounds among players with great athletic ability, accurate three-point shooting and some pinpoint passes. There was a great sense of urgency within each game which made it entertaining to watch.

Following are some of the individual highlights from Day 1:

Tomas Murphy of the Mass Rivals team, who will attend Prout Academy in the fall, displayed tremendous promise as both a skilled and very agile basketball player. Murphy is a versatile big man who showed some nifty low-post skills, most notably when he buried a jump-hook off of a great spin move. He can step out and shoot the three with accuracy, and, defensively, he seems to alter any shot that is near him.

Murphy’s teammate, Sherron Harris of Melrose High School, showed an equally impressive versatile skillset. Harris is an effective wing player who knocked down multiple three’s on the night, and also impressed with his ability to rebound down low. He does a great job of crashing the offensive glass, and grabbing rebounds for easy put backs.

Matt Locke of Hopkinton High School showed he is a similar player to Harris in that he is able to nail the three-point field goal with consistency. Locke was especially effective when his Rivals team was able to find him in transition for open looks from behind the arc. Saul Phiri, another player from the Mass Rivals squad, showed an uncanny ability to rebound the basketball, bring it out, and find the open man for a high percentage shot. Phiri has great athleticism for a player his age, and that allowed him to positively affect the game in a number of different ways.

Bigs with the ability to rule the paint inside were a prevailing rule of the day, and one of the leaders in that field was Courtney Clyburn of Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y. Clyburn was blocking shots in high volume, and also did a great job of sprinting the floor rim-to-rim to create easy shots for him and his teammates. His overall athletic ability makes him a very tough cover for opposing big men his size.

Going up against Clyburn in the same game was Justin Hollins of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., a player who can lead the break with guard skills, but also mix it up down low with very good instincts and a soft touch around the rim.

Apart from the big men, there was also some very good guard play on Day 1. Nathan Balcom, called by his coach Mike Hart as an “up-and-coming senior” drained five three-point field goals to lead his team to victory.  Balcom is from Smithfield, R.I., and attends Wheeler School in Providence. Shakir John, a junior point guard who attends Green Tech in Albany, N.Y., was an extremely quick guard who was giving defenders problems all night.  John is extremely elusive with the ball in his hands, and hit some very difficult pull-up jumpers over the course of the night with range that extends out past the three point line.

The most impressive guard from day 1 of camp was Mike Rodriguez of Redemption Christian Academy in Massachusetts. The point guard was fantastic Tuesday night. His overall athleticism – quickness on defense, rebounding, and knack for making plays above the rim – was his ability to see the entire floor, make a successful long pass, or just flat-out get to the rim. At one point in the game he grabbed a rebound, took it the length of the floor, went baseline, attacked his defender, created contact and laid the ball in at a tough angle.

Stay tuned for more recaps and highlights from Hoop Mountain Super Week I throughout the rest of the week!