National Prep Showcase Lasting Impressions
In the Headlines
The media attention for the 2011 National Prep Showcase was totally unprecedented with over 75 credentials being handed out to outlets including ESPN, Scout.com, Rivals.com, CBS Sports, Draft Express, Hoop Scoop Online, HSBI Report, Zags Blog/SNY, Dime Magazine, National Recruiting Report, and dozens more. Stay tuned later in the week for a list of links to coverage from the event.
Coaches in the House
Kentucky head coach John Calipari was front and center on Sunday afternoon, and he was joined by St. John’s Steve Lavin and Providence’s Ed Cooley. Lavin was also in the house on Saturday, along with Xavier head coach Chris Mack, while UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and Auburn head coach Tony Barbee spent the day on Friday. In total, this year’s National Prep Showcase brought in over 60 college coaches in each of the three days of action including assistants from places like Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Florida, St. John’s, Providence, Boston College, Oregon State, Penn State, West Virginia, Iowa, California, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Washington, Clemson, North Carolina State, South Florida, Depaul, Virginia Tech, and many more.
NBA Scouts Too
It wasn’t just media and college coaches at this year’s National Prep Showcase as NBA scouts from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers were at Albertus Magnus College to get a look at Brewster Academy’s Mitch McGary, the second ranked player in the ESPNU 100. This was the first time in six years, since the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2005, that NBA personnel was allowed to attend a high school or prep school regular season game.
Big Name Big Game
Reputations are made and lost at events of this caliber, and in some cases reputations are solidified. Ricardo Ledo reminded everyone why he is one of the very best pure scorers in the entire country on Friday night when he pumped in 37 points. Myles Davis reiterated his shot-making prowess from behind the three-point line as he drilled ten three-pointers in Notre Dame Prep’s two games. Tilton forward Georges Niang single handedly outscored Kiski in the first half of Sunday’s match-up. Meanwhile Brewster point guard Semaj Christon showed New England fans why Xavier has one of the top overall point guards in the country.
It Pays to be Proactive
Xavier’s Chris Mack was just one coach that was on hand, not to get a look at the available prospects, but instead to check in on players already committed to his program, and he had to leave happy after watching Davis, Christon, Jalen Reynolds, and James Farr. The coaching staff from the University of Vermont also left happy after watching Ethan ODay turn in back to back dominating performances for Northfield Mount Hermon while Penn State’s coaching staff looked like a program with foresight for scooping up Akosa Maduegbunam in June, as the Winchendon swingman continues to take his game to new levels.
Brewster Academy’s Jakarr Sampson left little doubt that he was not only the best available 2012 prospect at the event, but in all of New England. An absolutely explosive athlete, Sampson put on a two day aerial assault on the rims at Albertus Magnus College. While Steve Lavin was front and center both times his former commit took the court, Sampson also mentioned Louisville, Kansas, Baylor, Providence, and others when asked about his recruitment.
2012 Stock Risers
Every year the National Prep Showcase serves as a spring board for a select few prospects to catapult their recruitment heading towards the late signing period. This year those honors go to the likes of Northfield Mount Hermon swingman Ryan Oliver, St. Thomas More four-man Stuart McEwn, South Kent’s seven-foot center Isaac Freeman, and Lee Academy’s Drew Crudup. Each of the four players turned in performances that all but guaranteed a jump in their recruiting interest.
Youth Is Served
While the talent on hand in the class of 2012 was nothing short of spectacular, some of the biggest statements came from the young up and coming talent. Chris Thomas put on a first half show for South Kent on Saturday night while Noah Vonleh was equally good earlier in the day. The New Hampton forward was even better on Sunday, while teammate Jared Terrell made a statement of his own with his stellar play. Mike Auger got into the act as well while freshman Jeremy Miller showed flashes of his tremendous potential. New Hampton’s foursome was just the beginning on Sunday as Dominic Woodson lived up to the hype for Vermont Academy and Jaylen Brantley showed leadership and poise to match his shot-making for Wilbraham. Tilton absolutely stole the show on Sunday though as Nerlens Noel showed off an improved body and perimeter skill set while Goodluck Okonoboh and Wayne Selden stood out in their own right.