Hoop Mountain SWII Day 2 Recap
From top to bottom there is something for virtually everyone…that is the plethora of college coaches in attendance. In the first 24 hours of the camp alone the Big East, Atlantic 10, Colonial, Ivy, Patriot, America East, and NEC had all been represented. If that weren’t enough as many as five different division I head coaches stopped by on the first day of action.
And while there is certainly a ton of division I prospects at the camp, what may be equally impressive is that the vast majority of this week’s campers are capable of playing at some level of college basketball.
Here is a look at some of the top performances on day two.
Class of 2009
Tucker Halpern: This is the best we have seen Halpern play in quite some time. We have to give him a lot of credit as he appears intent to answer his critics as he made a variety of hustle plays, crashed the glass on both ends of the floor, and was quick to loose balls. His offensive attack also appeared much more versatile than it has been in the past. While he clearly remains most effective as a catch and shoot player he attacked close-outs proficiently by getting to the rim in one dribble, shook defenders with a little jab fake/ball rock, and also handled/passed the ball capably in the open floor.
Candon Rusin: North Carolina’s newest division I prospect had a solid day on Monday. He continued to connect from behind the three-point line but also showed an improved ability to get inside the paint and finish around the rim.
Luke Apfeld: George Washington Head Coach Karl Hobbs was in to see him play on Sunday night and he surely didn’t leave disappointed as the Brewster Academy forward ran the floor like a deer and continued to play above the rim like few others can.
Ben Crenca: Crenca did what Crenca does…back opposing post defenders down and overpower them on the block. But we were also impressed to see some new dimensions to his game as he looked good with his lefty jump hook and also passed well out of the post.
Kyle Stockmal: He dropped 25 points in the morning game, including 5 three-pointeres, and continued right where he left off in the afternoon game. Between the range on his jumper and a very polished one dribble pull-up he was a very hard guard throughout the day.
Cory Stockmal: Cory was content to play the role of the distributor today as he created shots for his teammates in a variety of ways. Twin brother Kyle was the beneficiary of several drive and kick plays, while the big men found themselves with easy lay-ups thanks to some crafty passing in the open floor. This guy is also one of the best conditioned athletes in camp as he can run all day and not get fatigued.
Anthony Ireland: The Crosby (Waterbury, CT) guard continues to improve at a rapid pace. While he used to rely solely on his floater to finish plays in the lane, he now has the strength and body control to finish inside with both hands at a variety of angles. With his ability to make shots from the perimeter and a deft handle, that spelled trouble for opposing defenders.
Billy Marsden: At his size Marsden isn’t the prototypical shooting guard, but as he showed today, good things can come in small packages. He competes hard on both ends of the floor and showed an ability to take, and make, shots with very high degrees of difficulty, most notably step back jumpers from 18-20 feet.
Class of 2010
Gerard Coleman: While Halpern may have had the best individual performance on Monday, Coleman is clearly the best pure scorer in camp. He didn’t put up a ton of shots, but when he was determined to put the ball in the bucket there is no stopping him. The scary thing is that with two more years to go, he still appears a ways away from reaching his potential.
Evan Smotrycz: One of the highest level prospects in camp, Smotrycz didn’t play his best on Monday night but still showed why high major schools are intrigued. With new Providence Assistant Coach Pat Skerry looking on, Smotrycz saved his best for last as he crossed his defender up and nailed a pull-up jumper from 19 feet to send the game into overtime.
Jeremy Driscoll: Driscoll was the only guy who came close to slowing Coleman down today as he made several impressive stands on the defensive end of the floor. He moved his feet well and used his long arms to make things difficult for his BABC counterpart, while showing good bounce around the rim and an ability to make shots on the offensive end.
Rod Odom: This looks like it could be a big summer for Odom. Columbia Head Coach Joe Jones and Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue followed him around throughout the day. But the Ivy League schools are likely fighting an up hill battle as Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins will be in attendance for next week’s Super 16 Showcase.
Danny Lawhorn: His talent has been obvious for quite some time, and he continues to improve his ability to harness it. He is a jet with the ball as he possesses both blinding speed and outstanding quickness while also owning a terrific pull-up jumper. He showed flashes of good decisions, and will see his stock continue to rise as he does this on a more consistent basis.
Carson Desrosiers: Desrosiers was his normal self blocking shots on the defensive end, running the floor, and scoring in transition. But we were particularly impressed by his smooth jumper from 18 feet as well as his intensity on the glass as he rebounded in traffic and out of his area.
Luke Matarazzo: Sporting a new look the rising junior point guard went unnoticed by some in the morning session. But once he started knocking down threes, sinking floaters, and making good decisions coming off ball screens the coaches in attendance realized it may be a new haircut, but it is the same player.
Derek Retos: He’s been one of the best shooters in New England for several years now, but watching him nail six threes in two quarters still hasn’t gotten old. While he will always be considered a specialist, his overall game is beginning to round out as he made good decisions throughout the day and has developed a tear drop runner inside the lane.
Class of 2011
Domonique Bull: No player in camp is more appropriately named than this young man. He is a power guard who goes extremely hard to the hole and can finish with both strength and agility. If he continues to work hard, he could be the next in a long line of BABC high major players.
Michael LaPlante: One of the most explosive athletes in camp. We counted three tip-in offensive rebound dunks on the day, including one monstrous put back with two hands.
Mike Carter-Williams: The future St. Andrew’s lead guard showed why Head Coach Mike Hart is so excited. Although Carter-Williams certainly needs to get in the weight room, he has a great handle and smooth stroke from the perimeter.
Egi Gjikondi: We were intrigued before the game even started as his combination of size and agility is hard to find in a 15 year old. He didn’t disappoint once the action got going either as he ran the floor, kept the ball high, and scored inside.
Class of 2012
Alex Murphy: We hate to label kids too early, but in this case there is no doubt…Murphy is an undeniable high major prospect. We already had him ranked #1 in the class of 2011, and now that he is repeating his freshmen year at St. Mark’s he will only widen the gap between himself and the rest of New England. He continues to grow rapidly, plays all five positions on the floor, has a high I.Q., and shoots it well. While he won’t blow by anyone off the dribble, he was often able to create his own shot utilizing a quick spin move in the paint.
Khem Birch: He isn’t a New Englander, but he has too much potential not to mention. The long and active Canadian ran the floor and made plays around the rim on both ends of the floor. His upside is very high with a terrific combination of size, length, athleticism, and agility.