Predicting Summer Stock Risers Part One
It happens each and every summer.
A handful of players go into July without much of a reputation and end up seeing their stock soar upward.
With this year’s live period right around the corner, today marks the beginning of a three part series examining who has broken out in past years and what, if any, similarities exist between those players. Finally, we will take that information and use it to forecast this upcoming July live period and see if we can predict any potential breakout performers.
Part one of the series examines the top five breakout performers from the last three summers, taking rising seniors only into consideration. While Pat Connaughton’s performance during last summer’s live period is the most memorable example from recent years, there are plenty of others to learn from.
Class of 2011
#1 Pat Connaughton – It was little more than a year ago that Connaughton’s highest scholarship offer came from division II Bentley. He started last summer off strong, solidifying interest and offers from a variety of low to mid-major schools but his performance in Orlando with his Middlesex Magic team was nothing short of legendary and led him to his choice of high-major scholarship offers with Notre Dame ultimately being the winner.
#2 Scott King – While Connaughton showed some subtle signs of his breakout, King’s came virtually out of nowhere. He began the month with no offers but five days into the live period, after all-star performances at both Hoop Mountain and the Elite 75, he scored his first division I offer. His work with the Mass Rivals over the rest of the month took his recruitment to the Atlantic 10 level before he ultimately chose Stony Brook.
#3 Ousmane Drame – He had accumulated a steady dose of division II suitors over the spring and played his way into his choice of division I offers after a similarly strong summer leading the way for the Boston Warriors. By the time AAU Nationals came along his games looked like league meetings for the NEC and America East as head coaches were on hand in packs virtually every time he took the floor.
#4 Zach Chionuma – He didn’t have a big reputation coming out of Jamesville-Dewitt High School in New York and did little to turn the tides in his first season at Marianapolis Prep. Things changed quickly last summer beginning with a starring performance at the Elite 75 Showcase when Chionuma showed his versatile scoring skill set. He picked BU over a handful of other offers shortly after the month ended.
#5 Andrew Shaw – It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Shaw’s stock had slipped some in the spring but his fortunes quickly changed once the summer rolled in. With a renewed sense of motivation and his patented skill set, Shaw put together a number of impressive performances for MB Nation and locked up a scholarship from Bentley in the process.
Class of 2010
#1 Chris Fitzgerald – The NMH forward appeared headed to the NE-10 when the month began but developed a quick division I buzz at Hoop Mountain and carried it through to Elite 75 and the Academic All-American Camp. He left the summer with a handful of division I offers and rode the wave of momentum to a commitment to George Washington in the spring.
#2 Anthony Ireland – The New England Playaz had a big problem this summer with nagging injuries to both Nate Lubick and Naadir Tharpe. With Tharpe on the shelf to start the month, Ireland was asserted into the starting line-up and the Playaz didn’t miss a beat. The end result was that Ireland went from a borderline division I prospect to what now appears to be a mid-major steal.
#3 Melsahn Basabe – The St. Mark’s forward was so good at the Hoop Group Elite Camp that by the time he arrived at Elite 75 on the 9th he had not only scored his first high-major offer but he had several of them. He was equally dominant that day and the high-major buzz only continued. Ultimately, Basabe spurned the highest levels to sign with Siena but ended up following head coach Fran McCaffery to Iowa.
#4 Steve Glowiak – He was an undersized shooter for most of his high school career but peaked at just the right time in the spring of his junior year sending his stock from the d3 level squarely to d2. He was on fire at the Elite 75 and followed that up with an equally strong performance with CBC at the National Invitational, scoring three division I offers before the period reached its midway point.
#5 Jasper Grassa – He wasn’t even in the scholarship conversation for most of the spring but continued to produce in high volume for the Boston Warriors. His best performance of July might have come at the Super 16 Showcase and Bentley was one of the schools that was keeping tabs, quickly offering and landing a subsequent commitment from the Lynn Classical star.
Class of 2009
#1 Jordan Williams, New England Playaz – Three years before he was an NBA draft pick Williams was coming off a fairly disappointing spring. It was the second consecutive year that he only gradually adjusted to the speed and the physicality of the highly competitive AAU circuit, but by the time the summer came around Williams was dominating inside for the New England Playaz and racking up high-major suitors in the process.
#2 Thomas Knight – Before Notre Dame plucked Connaughton from his break-out performance at AAU Nationals, they did the same to MBR’s Thomas Knight. He projected more as a low to mid-major type talent to start the summer but gradually progressed throughout the course of the month and peaked at just the right time, earning national praise, and picking up his Big East offer as a result.
#3 Sam Martin – Every year there are literally dozens of prospects on the NESCAC/Ivy bubble. The vast majority of the time the tide turns in the division III direction but Martin proved to be the exception to the rule. He caught Yale’s eye at their elite camp and proved himself to be one of the best pure shooters on the market the following month with the Rhode Island Hawks.
#4 Tucker Halpern – The BB&N star had seen his recruitment go to the highest level and then come back down again as his skills were undeniable but his toughness questioned. He answered the bell in the summer, showing the same smooth jumper but playing with a newfound passion and physicality that quickly sent his recruitment back into first gear. Ultimately, the Expressions’ forward picked Brown.
#5 Daryl McCoy – The knock on McCoy had always been the inconsistency of his motor and by the time the summer rolled around his reputation was more based on that then it was his undeniable size and potential. The Hartford Public star put together a series of strong performances for CBC and quickly saw his recruitment jump right back to the mid-major level as a result.