Junior Elite 75 The Guards
Demetri Lewis, Johnnie Vassar, Jonathan Joseph, Juwan Gooding (pictured above), Aaron Calixte, Charles Correa, Justin McDonald, Colin Richey, and Cornelius Tyson all stood out as players who have the talent and potential to be stars down the road.
Lewis showed arguably better leadership ability than any other player as he was vocal with his teammates, constantly working, and tremendously unselfish. He’s also a uniquely talented playmaker with a terrific feel for the game.
Vassar is a super smooth and composed lead guard who can score with his patented pull-up jumper or by breaking his man down off the dribble. He’ll also make the defense pay for watching him as he has great floor vision and passing ability to match.
Joseph and Gooding were the top 6th graders at the event. Both are incredible and already complete packages offensively who can shoot it from deep, drive it to the rim, and finish against contact.
Calixte has all the physical tools with great athleticism, quickness, and a tremendous first step. His dribble penetration was the key to his success as he could create shots for himself and his teammates at virtually anytime.
Speaking of guys that can do it all offensively, Charles Correa certainly fits into that category as he is great with the ball in his hands showing a tight handle, a dependable jump shot, and a gear beyond most others.
McDonald (pictured) and Richey are two guys that stood out from the competition by being exceptionally well schooled in the game, showing both a tremendous fundamental base and also fantastic basketball I.Q.’s.
Tyson is a big point guard and playmaking extraordinaire. He seemingly has eyes all around his head and can do things with the ball that most others his age wouldn’t even dream of.
And how about the play of Tyler Rowe, the little guy proved good things come in small packages as he dazzled the crowd with his prowess off the dribble.
The Best of the Rest
Jackson Donahue – A great passer, shooter, and playmaker who has all the makings of a very efficient and effective guard
Jalen Adams – The young guard looked like a young Allen Iverson, keeping his dribble while weaving in and out of defenders on his way to the rim. He even had the arm sleeve to match the NBA star.
A.J. Maestas – A true stopper on the defensive end and a valuable contributor offensively with his ability to get to the rim and finish against bigger players. Considering the 7th grader is 5’8” with size 13 shoes, his best days are certainly ahead of him.
Peter Bocchino – A 5’0” guard Bocchino surprised some people early, but by the end of the day everyone knew who he was as he made shots from deep, showed great footwork, and a deceptive ability to attack off the dribble.
Juan Velez – A pure point guard, Velez already understands how to make those around him better with his terrific court vision and passing ability
Ryan Perron – Exceptionally skilled for a middle school player, Perron has already perfected his shot fake into a one-dribble pull-up. His game also features outstanding perimeter footwork.
Dizel Wright – A point guard who is always in attack mode, Wright is virtually impossible to keep out of the lane
Jaylen Blakely – Has a picture perfect release to his jumper, but is equally effective slashing to the basket which makes him a super dangerous scoring guard
Tom Hunt – The Smithfield, Rhode Island native is a pure shooter who can stroke the ball from virtually anywhere inside of 25 feet
Skill Development Stars
As we mentioned yesterday, the most important thing for any young player is a commitment to getting better. The easiest place to see which players understand that concept is in skill work, and so it is necessary to recognize the following players for giving their all during that time and showing great improvement over the 90 minute session: Richard Canon from Boston College High School; Matt O’Leary from Parker Middle School; Kyle Rodegner from RHAM; Ryan Dean from Hampshire Regional High School; Brian Mukasa from Sharon Middle School; and Avalon McLaren from Gilmore Academy.
Others Who Impressed
Connor Costello – An extremely hard-working you guard with a good feel for the game and a well rounded skill set.
Matt Swalboski – A great spot up shooter, Swalboski is a point guard who can also handle the ball and run a team
Reynaldo Perez – A tremendous defender who blocked shots, came up with steals, and then finished plays with both hands in transition
Adam Ek – A guard who caught our eye with his great decision making, Ek looks like a future floor general for some lucky program in Maine
Connor Deegan – An impressive spot up shooter, especially in transition, he also impressed with his ability to handle the ball
Steven Rowe – A confident guard who is always under control and also has a nice stroke from the perimeter
Patrick Benzan – Was doing his best work off the dribble as he handled in traffic without a problem and made some great passes off the bounce as well
Michael Barrett – We don’t know it for sure but we would bet he is a coach’s son because of his solid fundamental base and good understanding of the game
Shane Farley – A true combo guard, Farley can be effective both running the team from the point or serving as more of a scorer at the two-guard position
Zaman Kalilou – A big time shot maker who can also make the defense pay for running at them on close-outs
Kyle Howes – He has a high skill level for a young player including one of the best one-dribble pull-ups of anyone in the field
Alexander Pacitti – A well rounded player who should an ability to make impact in a number of different ways while letting the game come to him
Nathan Clarke – An aggressive defender who forced the other team into turnovers and then was productive in the subsequent offensive possession
Nick Koeppel – Very proficient at getting to the rim by changing speeds off the dribble, also has a ton of intangibles with his hard working approach and willingness to dive on the floor
Patrick Kelly – A skilled point guard with a great one dribble pull-up, he also passes well and defends well away from the ball
Sean Ryan-Kut – A little guy with a lethal jump shot, Ryan-Kut made the defense pay every time they left him open
Tom Hunt – A catch and shoot specialist who already possesses consistent three-point range
Marcus Middleton – Typically a point guard, Middleton played primarily off the ball today and consequently showed he could score, especially in transition
Kareem Davis Jr. – Just a 6th grader, Davis has game beyond his years as he more than held his own against kids often times two years older
Brendan Hill – Another 6th grader who really impressed with his dribble pull-up and moves off the catch in the rip through series
Duncan Dhemecour – Nice player who made the most of his scoring opportunities and showed nice overall game
Michael Algeri – He can score the ball when necessary but shows signs of being a true pass-first, shoot-second type of floor general
Zack Holler – The little guy made shots from the perimeter and also showed great intangibles playing very hard throughout the day
Justin Stewart – Just a 6th grader, Stewart is a young point guard who already possesses a good understanding of the game
Sean Morris – He combines a sharp intellect for the game with a good looking shooting stroke from the perimeter
Brendin Woodard – The mid-range game is a lost art, but not to Woodard, who excelled with his mid-range jumper all day long