Yags’ Point Forward - NEHF Review/Travel Preview
After breaking down New England's five sneaker sponsored programs in the last week, Mike Yagmin now turns his focus to some of the other top travel programs in the region - who again showed at the Northeast Hoops Festival that they're more than capable of playing with anyone, sneaker team or not.
After taking home both the varsity and 10th grade division championships at the Northeast Hoops Festival, Mike Crotty’s Middlesex Magic program looks primed to compete again this year. Thomas Shaughnessy is a nails-tough floor general who just picked up his first D1 offer from Army within the last few weeks and is guaranteed to have an entire crew of fans from within the basketball industry before the grassroots season is over. 6’8” Tommy O’Neill looked smooth and comfortable whenever he was asked to be the Magic’s point guard at the NEHF. O’Neill’s improvement is a reflection of his work ethic and the freedom he’s being given to expand his game in every phase is going to help him Middlesex win games throughout the spring and be crucial to his development down the road. Fairfield Prep junior John Kelly was also a key contributor as he splashed in a number of three throughout the weekend including a big performance against the D.C. Blue Devils.
The Magic, Blue Devils, WrightWay Skills, and Boston Metro will be part of the Hoop Group Summer League’s inaugural season tipping this weekend at Spooky Nook.
The Blue Devils 6’2” PG/Wing DJ Frechette is another prospect flying under the radar heading into the spring. Frechette has silly bounce and can get into the lane at will to create buckets for himself and others. 6’9” Travell Washington will give the Blue Devils one of the most athletic big men on the entire circuit and a prospect who could become a hot name after college coaches get their eyes on him. Washington moves naturally, reacts quickly, shoots softly and does it all with bounce that allows him to play above the rim with ease. He still needs to play with more conviction and confidence but Washington will be one of the more exciting prospects to watch rise this spring.
WrightWay features a trio of young prospects that are as good as any in the 2019 Class. 6’0 Noah Kamba and 6’4” Jordan Mason complement one another perfectly in the backcourt. Kamba is shiftier than a Wall Street executive and is a true point in every sense while Mason is at his best when hitting dagger 3’s from anywhere over halfcourt. 6’11” Charles Coleman rounds out the group, giving WrightWay a big man who can protect the rim with his elite length/strength combo (7’5” wingspan) and hit treys on the other end. Quick prediction: 6’9” big Tayler Mattos will become one of the most coveted big men in New England once D1 programs from our region get a chance to see his raw tools, toughness and skillset.
Trio of Noah Kamba, Tayler Mattos & Jordan Mason leading @WrightWaySkills in the 1st Half at 2017 @NERRHoops #NEHF pic.twitter.com/epQq2mjOI6— Mike Yagmin (@MikeYagmiNERR) April 8, 2017
Boston Metro’s 6’3” wing Nick Timberlake averaged 28 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists during his senior season at Braintree and is primed for a breakout spring prior to deciding on a prep school. Timberlake is the son of a coach and is a versatile athlete who is comfortable scoring in transition, in the paint and from distance. 6’3” wing Tyrone Weeks owns a crazy 6’9” wingspan and a unique set of physical tools that allows him to defend multiple positions and be a matchup nightmare offensively. Nelson Boachie-Yiadom will have one of the highest ceilings in the HGSL due to his meticulous footwork, 7’ wingspan and how comfortably he works at the foul line extended as a 6’8” face-up big. Boachie-Yiadom already holds offers from Colgate and Columbia.
One other name to keep an eye on from the NEHF was New Day's Mykel Derring. The 6'2 PG/Wing showed off an improved all-around skill set to go along with the high character and silky smooth jummper that has always been a part of his game. Derring is a sleeper to keep an eye on over the summer.