New England Elite 75 Showcase Event Recap
The New England Elite 75 Showcase has become a must-attend event for all of the best home grown players in the region. In the three years since the event’s inception, virtually all of the top local players have competed at one point or another.
This year’s showcase began with the traditional position based skill instruction. The big men were led by former James Madison assistant Mike Kelly, former NBA player and division I coach Jay Murphy, and Windsor High School’s Ken Smith as they went through a variety of drills targeting their hands, finishing, and post moves.
New Hampton head coach Pete Hutchins and his staff teamed with Worcester Academy’s Jamie Sullivan and Milton Academy’s Matt Deeb to get the wings competing at a high level, working on using screens as well as the drive and kick.
Northfield Mount Hermon head coach John Carroll teamed with former Rice Memorial head coach Kevin Cieplicki and Proctor Academy head coach Gregor Makechnie to work with the guards. They targeted the players’ first steps and pull-up jumpers before putting them into penetrate and pitch action that is the basis of Memphis’ dribble drive offense.
From there it was on to game play as Tom Konchalski (HSBI), Antonio Williams (ESPN.com), and many other evaluators looked on. Here is a look at those who shined:
Erik Murphy – Two days after returning home from Adidas Nations, Murphy said he was still a little fatigued, although he certainly didn’t look it. He had his total game on display. First it was his terrific skill set as he knocked down step back jumpers from 15 feet and three-pointers from the top of the key. Then he really started to put on a show as he was simply determined to dunk everything in the paint, including a wide variety of alley-oop finishes. His two biggest highlights of the night were a one handed flush of the alley-oop pass on the break and a two handed power dunk literally on top of a helpless defender.
Jordan Williams – The big man from Torrington, CT picked up right where he left off in July as he was very impressive throughout the day. Matched up against Desrosiers in the first game and Murphy in the second, Williams rebounded the ball with authority, scored consistently in the post, and blocked a variety of shots on the defensive end. He also had a highlight reel dunk of his own as he threw one down hard just as his AAU teammate went to challenge the shot.
Akeem Williams – The MIAA’s leading scorer last year impressed us before even taking the floor as he has really done a nice job of transforming his body. Once the ball went up he continued to shine as he played an extremely tough brand of basketball throughout the day while showing his ability to create his own offensive and make plays for his teammates.
Matt Brown – He put on a show in his second game as he went for 30 points with a series of strong drives, mid-range pull-ups, and deep jumpers. If that weren’t enough he also showed an absolutely chiseled physique and a solid effort on the defensive end of the floor…he’s playing at a very high level right now.
Thomas Knight – After watching the Maine native play today it suddenly became abundantly clear why the University of Notre Dame is so fond of him…he is very similar to their current star forward Luke Harangody. The southpaw shoots it with great touch and range, he moves well for a player his size, and gets off the ground quickly to go get the rebound.
Denzel Brito – He was the unofficial winner of the “Mr. Station’s” award as he played with great energy in the skill development sessions and was encouraging his peers to do the same. He was equally impressive during games, showing his super smooth and versatile offensive repertoire.
Carson Desrosiers – He didn’t get the number of touches to put up big numbers on the offensive end but he made a few plays that screamed superstar. The first was on the defensive end where he flew back in transition, jumped from one side of the rim to the other, and swatted away what appeared to be a break-away lay-up. The second was on the offensive end, where he caught the ball just inside the foul line, took one long step and slammed the ball home with conviction without ever putting it on the floor. Throw in his patented skills from the perimeter and you can see why the high majors are now on board.
Steven Samuels – One of the few perimeter players who managed to make plays on the defensive end of the floor, Samuels was pressuring the ball, getting into passing lanes, and forcing the opposition into turnovers. That funneled the transition game going the other way, which is this guard’s specialty as he just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket in the open floor.
Ike Azotam – “Who is number 81?” That was the question asked most today, as everyone wanted to know who the guy dunking every ball was. Utilizing his strong body, athleticism, and high motor, Azotam was tremendous in the paint on both ends of the floor, finishing, blocking shots, and rebounding.
Danny Lawhorn – His speed gives him a weapon that virtually no one can rival. The fact that he slowed down some and wasn’t in first gear all day, made that speed even more dangerous today. In fact, he threw the ball ahead in transition beautifully with a number of long lead passes thrown with pinpoint accuracy.
Pat Donnelly – Donnelly is an excellent standstill shooter, who knows how to take advantage of a poor close-out…and that can be a deadly combination. He showed good variety today knocking down the three-pointer and also scoring off the bounce.
Jordan Laguerre – The New Hampshire native was fantastic in his first game of the day. He plays the game the right way…with great energy, has the ability to make plays for himself and others at virtually anytime, and is a heck of an on-the-ball defender.
Kyle Casey – Today marked the end of a very successful summer for Casey as he has shown himself to be an inside-out offensive threat and a presence at the defensive end of the floor. Today was no different as he scored around the rim and from the perimeter while also crashing the glass and blocking shots.
Adrian Satchell – His ability to go off the bounce was really on display in his first game of the day. He isn’t the type of dribble drive player to blow right by his defender, but he knows how to get into the paint, can go to either side off the bounce, and finds ways to finish.
Tim McKinney – The BC High School graduate is now boasting multiple division I offers. Unfortunately he suffered a hand injury that limited him in his second game, but in the first he knocked down two three-pointers and showed his prowess using the ball screen.
Cory Stockmal – Typically known for his smoothness, high basketball I.Q., and excellent conditioning, Stockmal turned heads today with his three-point shooting. He connected on multiple attempts in both games as he was simply on fire.
Kyle Stockmal – Not to be outdone, Kyle also knocked down his open shots from behind the three-point line while also using his strong frame to be productive inside the lane. Combine that with a strong effort on the defensive end of the floor and it was a good day for the 6’3” guard.
Stay tuned to the New England Recruiting Report throughout the weekend as we will bring you more analysis including a look at the top underclassmen in the showcase as well as some of the surprise stars of the day.