USAD Wins Summer Jam Fest
After a huge collective showing at Hoop Group Elite Camp, New England did it again at the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest, with 5 teams advancing to the quaterfinals, 3 to the semifinals and then an all New England final as USAD held on for the championship in a one point win over the D.C. Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils were USAD's third straight opponent from New England as they knocked off Middlesex Magic in the quarterfinals and then We Will in the semifinals.
E.J. Crawford was named the tournament's MVP after scoring the ball in high volume throughout the weekend and coming away with a new offer from UNC-W in the process, but it was hardly a one man show as Roy Kane delivered some last second heroics to help them advance to the Final Four while Malik Petteway, Tyler Rowe and Collin Sawyer all played well at various points.
The Blue Devils were just one bucket away from winning their second consecutive Hoop Group championship after taking last week's Summer Tip-Off. While incoming KUA post-grad Nathan Knight has been one of the biggest winners of the summer thus far, it was the young backcourt of Caleb Green and Geo Baker that were playing to rave reviews down the stretch on Sunday. Another rising junior, Tshiefu Ngalakulondi, also had another good weekend and came up with a pair of game winning dunks.
We Will was riding a wave of momentum coming off Saturday's win over Exressions, but looked to be on the verge of defeat to CBC in the quarterfinals until Jake Wisniewski hit a 3/4 court buzzer beater to send the team into the semis, were they would fall by the narrowest of margins, 61-59. Jake Ross continued to spearhead what was often-times a balanced attack while Sam Geschickter continued his recent surge as well.
CBC and the Middlesex Magic both had plenty of standouts in their run to the quarterfinals as well. Mark Carbone continued to be a major contributor for CBC,, earning his most recent scholarship offer from the University of New Hampshire (in the class of 2017 after a planned post-grad year) while Mike McGuirl was impressive coming off the bench. The Magic's quarterfinal comeback attempt was led by Brandon Twitty while Nick Seretta, fresh off his first D1 offer from Manhattan, continued to play well throughout the weekend.