#SRC – Top 2021 Prospects & Performances
With updated rankings on the horizon, the Scholar Roundball Classic gave some of New England’s top 2021 prospects an opportunity to make one final impression. In fact, the event featured all four of the top ranked juniors coming out of the summer as well as 9 of the top 10. How did they fair?
Mac Etienne continues to be physically dominant with the requisite size, body type, and energy level to play the game at a high-level for a very long time. Bensley Joseph is probably the region’s biggest alpha right now. Loaded with personality and intangibles, he’s a winner who plays both ends of the floor. Casey Simmons is still oozing with long-term potential and only just beginning to tap into it. He’s long, increasingly explosive, and just a total natural in the way in which he moves and covers the court. Camaron Tongue is the most productive of the bunch right now and has absolutely elite hands to go with his rebounding prowess and increasing skill. Gianni Thompson wasn’t as good this week as he was a week early at the ZG Prep Classic but is nonetheless still trending in the right direction overall. Alexis Reyes has good size on the wing, along with a skill set that keeps coming on while Nate Santos looked fully back from last summer’s ACL injury and ahead of schedule after such a long lay-off.
The programs visiting New England from outside our borders also showcased some high-level talent in the class of 2021. The Hill School has a dynamic junior tandem in Gabe Dorsey and Daniel Nixon. Dorsey is a southpaw shot-maker with a terrific shooting stroke and a solid, wiry build on the wing. Daniel Nixon is a jumbo-playmaker with good size and a strong body that makes his constant attack style especially imposing. Perkiomen’s Phil Byriel is a skilled stretch-four who is just coming back from injury.
Top 2021 Performances
Honor Huff, Perkiomen – Huff was spectacular on Saturday night, dropping 31 points to lead Perkiomen over NMH. What he may lack in size and strength right now, he more than compensates for with skill. There isn’t much he can’t do with the ball in his hands as he is slippery with the ball and tight with his handle, able to shoot it with deep range, and create space for tough pull-ups and step-backs alike while dancing into spots all over the floor.
Kyrell Luc, Brimmer & May – Cut from a similar cloth, Luc is undersized but possesses a big game. In fact, he looks to be one of the most improved junior guards in New England to start the year. Saturday’s 31-point performance was just the latest example of the growth of his game. Always a high-level athlete, Luc isn’t just bouncy at the rim but quick to his spots off the dribble and able to create his own offense on demand.
Mike Iuzzolino, Canterbury – A Pennsylvania native in his first year in the prep ranks, Iuzzolino made a heck of a first impression on Saturday. He’s a high-level shot-maker who has the high-release to get it off without much separation and that ultra-competitive gene that manifest itself with a chip on his shoulder. Neither should come as a surprise as Iuzzolino is the son and namesake of Robert Morris assistant coach and former NBA player Mike Iuzzolino.
Other juniors who moved the needle…
• Yansel Reyes, Holderness – looked like Holderness’ primary playmaker on Friday night and was productive creating scoring opportunities for both himself and others
• Ethan Okwuosa, Cheshire Academy – showed flashes of the recent progress that landed him a couple early D1 offers this fall with a smooth dribble drive attack and improving stroke
• Sean Durugordon, Canterbury – D1 player right now and showing signs of taking his game to brand new levels - watch closely as he could be a major riser in the coming months
• Jack Anderson, St. Paul’s – stepped up in a short-handed line-up and proved he was capable of playing a signature role while showing more tools and potential than ever before
• Robbie Stankard, Phillips Exeter – has size, skill, inside-out mismatch ability, and the basketball IQ to make a quick adjustment to Exeter’s system
• Nick Thomas, Phillips Andover – dancing big man has wide-body to create space and super agile feet for his size to give him a major advantage on the inside