Super 16 Showcase Afternoon Recap
The first two things that jump out at you about the Super 16 Showcase are the location and number of college coaches. The TD Banknorth Sports Center, the home of Quinnipiac’s basketball program, is an absolutely beautiful arena that gives this event a big time feel. Also contributing to the luster of the event was the steady blanket of college coaches sitting above the court as over 80 coaches were already on hand by noontime with schools like Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Providence, Vanderbilt, and Boston College all represented.
Games of the Afternoon
New England Playaz vs. Mass Rivals – In the rematch of a classic battle that went down at the Providence Jam Fest, the Playaz evened the season series by scoring an emotional 62-51 win. Balance was the key for the Playaz as Alex Francis had 16, Denzel Brito 15, Austin Carroll 10, and Anthony Ireland 9. Francis made some dynamic slashes to the cup and explosive finishes while Brito played an intelligent floor game while making shots and showing sound decision making. He knew when to shoot, when to drive, and when to swing the ball, and his passing ability was on display as well. Jordan Laguerre paced the Rivals with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half when he had his total offensive game going, making two threes and creating his own shot at will.
Expressions Elite 16’s vs. 518 Hustle 16’s – Expressions avoided the let down after defeating CBC earlier in the morning by handing 518 Hustle just their fourth loss of the season by a 74-64 margin. The outcome completed a phenomenal three day period for Expressions as they went unbeaten claiming the Hoop Hall National Invitational title and then scoring two more impressive wins today. Alex Murphy scored 22 points, giving him 51 for the day, while Chris Sherwood was again impressive flying around the rim to the tune of 14 points. Joe Sharkey also cracked double digits with 11 points including three trifectas. Perhaps the most impressive stat of the day…Expressions has only lost 3 games all year long.
New Heights vs. Upstate Elite – This match-up may have been between two non New England squads, but it was certainly a point of emphasis for the college coaches on hand. High major prospect Devon Collier scored 23 points to lead New Heights to a 63-55 win. Harold McBride chipped in with 17 of his own while other stars like Jay Pinkston and Ashten Pankey were both contained by Upstate’s defensive effort. Isaiah Jefferson led Upstate with 17 while Karon Briggs had 14. Each team also featured a local product as Corey Wright Jr. did a nice job of running the team for New Heights and Theodore Boyomo anchored Upstate’s defense.
Keegan Hyland, SG, 6-3, MBR, 13
Hyland was exceedingly effective at getting to the rim with his right hand from the left side of the floor. He had a nice touch off the glass when finishing off penetration and even dunked on a fast break. He struggled with his normal trademark three-point stroke but did nail a three in a defender’s face after the opposing mistakenly yelled “not a shooter”.
Yann Charles, G/F, 6-5, Champlain, 15
He possessed a fluid stroke with a quick release and kept the ball high above defenders when shooting. He was strong and bulky, finished well with contact down low and used a solid pump fake well to get closer to the basket. He was equally capable shooting off the dribble as he was off the catch.
Adam Chmielewski, PG, 6-0, Champlain, 10
A true leader for Champlain, he was a pure point guard with good shooting form and a knack for pretty finishes inside. He ran his team's offense well, and seemed able to dribble his way through several defenders without incident in order to create offense either for himself or for his teammates.
Andre Drummond, C, 6-10, CBC, 12
His size, speed, and length are astounding. Although his shot selection is sometimes questionable and he dribbles with his head down, no team seems to have an answer down low for this very talented prospect. He scored, rebounded, and blocked shots everywhere, ran the floor very well for his size, and even knocked down several of his unorthodox jumpers. He is the most effective player with the most potential on both ends of the floor in almost every game he plays.
Tavon Allen, SF, 6-7, CBC, 14
A lanky forward who used his length to finish and score underneath, Allen was very quick and versatile. He was superiorly athletic with an obscene vertical, and slammed down a particularly memorable and spectacular cocked back dunk in transition.
Alex Murphy, SG/SF, 6-7, Expressions Elite, 35
He showed picture perfect shooting mechanics and release, as he hit every open shot that was given to him. After nailing an open three, the next possession he scored by getting the closing defender up in the air with a pump fake, beating him to the basket with 2 dribbles, and completing an athletic finger roll over help defenders in traffic. This whole display showed tremendous awareness of the defense's anticipation. He was equally as effective taking it to the basket as he was shooting, and continued to show his fantastic all around game.
Tyler Strange, PG, 5-10, Expressions Elite, 2
Strange is a quick point guard with good passing ability, quick hands on defense, and good decision making skills in transition. He was a large factor in helping Expressions jump out to an early lead against CBC in the morning and unfortunately went down with an injury that kept him out of the second game.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, G, 6-0, CBC, 23
He was a bigger, lankier combo guard with an absolutely deadly mid to long range jumper. He was making 17-20 foot shots from all over the court either nailing shots without a dribble or taking one to create space. It did not matter if it was contested, off balance, off the dribble or off the catch, he made them all.
Matt Brown, SG/SF, 6-2, Massachusetts Rivals, 25
Fantastically strong and aggressive, Brown was not afraid to drive to the basket with his strength behind him or to shoot a jump shot, contested or not. His jumper was consistent and mechanically sound, and he was comfortable going left or right off the dribble with an explosive first step.
Austin Carroll, G, 6-4, New England Playaz, 20
He’s an incredible spot up shooter who answered every open look he was given with beautiful form, great mechanics, and a smooth release. He was the difference maker in the Playaz opening round win over Bay State Magic as he scored a game high 17 points, including five three-pointers.
Matt Barboza, SF, 6-7, Bay State Magic, 23
Barboza had an off shooting day but his intangibles still showed. He has wonderful shooting mechanics and a complete all around game with a devastating catalog of one on one moves from any area on the floor. He moves well without the ball too and truly understands how to play basketball on offense.
Billy Baron, PG, 6-2, Expressions Elite
Baron continued his streak of strong play by showing he is a composed PG with a consistent shot and the ability to create looks off of penetration. He showed toughness taking the ball to the basket, powering his way through big defenders, and showed that he was an excellent converter around the rim, even with contact.