New England Shows Well in Indianapolis
Connecticut Basketball Club, East Coast Elite Massachusetts, and the Mass Rivals all spent the first week of the live period in Indianapolis at the Adidas Invitational. During the course of the five day tournament, multiple players from each of the three programs managed to distinguish themselves to coaches and national media alike.
Noah Vonleh continued to be the main attraction, as all reports indicate he was swarmed by the biggest coaching names in college basketball as well as a countless stream of media attention from start to finish. Vonleh received coverage from all three of the top national media outlets throughout the tournament. He was the first prospect mentioned by Scout.com’s national recruiting analyst Brian Snow in his recap of the tournament’s top prospects as he noted “it gets to the point where it’s sometimes absolutely ridiculous to watch Vonleh because he does so much.”
On Thursday a marquee match-up between Vonleh and Chris Walker, the top power forward in the class of 2013, attracted head coaches from Virginia Tech, Florida, and Georgia Tech along with assistants from Indiana, Kansas, Georgetown, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Florida State and Kentucky. A day earlier Vonleh was reportedly watched by Kansas head coach Bill Self, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta, UCLA head coach Ben Howland, Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun and North Carolina head coach Roy Williams among others.
But Vonleh certainly wasn’t the only local product to receive attention. The Rivals opened the tournament on center court against the Atlanta Celtics on Wednesday night it was the backcourt tandem of Jalen Adams and Kaleb Joseph that played to rave reviews. Adams was among the standouts in the ESPN recap as Reggie Rankin and Paul Biancardi noted his scoring prowess and bright future while Joseph was written up as one of the night’s standouts by Rivals.com’s Corey Albertson who noted his scoring game and ability to handle the constant pressure of the Celtics’ athletic backcourt.
Two young big men found themselves in the headlines on Thursday as Djery Baptiste (ECE Mass) and Jeremy Miller (Rivals) both earned praise. NBE’s Brian Bosworth called it “arguably the best performance [he’d] seem from Miller” while saying Baptiste was a “5 star player all the way.” Rivals.com was also impressed by Baptiste as Albertson said he “performed extremely efficiently against older competition” while also noting his dominant defensive presence inside the lane.
Connecticut Basketball Club’s Kahlil Dukes was among ESPN’s top performers on Thursday as Biancardi and Rankin noted his ability to play either guard spot and the multiple ways in which he was capable of scoring the ball. But it was actually a day later, on Friday, when Dukes exploded for a 39 point performance earning recognition as the “Sleeper Performance of the Day” according to NBE and Bosworth. Following the tournament Dukes reported new scholarship offers from Loyola Marymount, Drexel, Ohio and Florida International.
Friday was also a day in which two of ECE-Mass’ frontcourt players would earn recognition. Mohamed Bah caught the eye of ESPN’s Reggie Rankin who said, “Bah has off-the-charts upside and is a player we will follow closely.” Meanwhile, it was teammate Andrew Chrabascz who impressed Scout.com’s Snow, who called the Cushing Academy forward “a tough and aggressive player” while crediting him for “keeping his team in the game against Double Pump.”
The Rivals’ fifteen-and-under club had a good showing on Friday as well, advancing to the platinum bracket after finishing pool play undefeated and being watched by the coaches from Iowa State, Indiana, Michigan and Purdue among others.
All three of these programs are expected to be in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania this week for the Hoop Group Summer Classic East and Summer Jam Fest. Stayed tuned to the New England Recruiting Report for live coverage of both events.