Youngsters Hold Their Own at Vermont Top 50
Last Sunday’s Vermont College Showcase was exactly what it claimed to be…a showcase of the top 50 college prospects in the state of Vermont, with only two or three guys missing in action.
All in all the field featured 9 of the top 10 seniors in the state, 4 of the top 5 juniors, 4 of the top 5 ranked sophomores, a couple of top incoming freshmen, and a pleasantly surprising amount of depth.
There were two other players who were also in action, rising 8th graders Ryan Booth and Ryan Booth.
With the vast majority of the players being 16, 17, and even 18 years old, the two youngsters were obviously lacking physically in terms of size and strength, but when it came to basketball ability the little guys didn’t miss a beat.
What stood out most about both players was their toughness and basketball I.Q. Toughness because it takes guts and a competitive spirit just to accept an invitation to play with kids three and more years your senior, especially when those kids are the best in the state. But Booth and O’Shea didn’t just accept the invitation; they took advantage of the opportunity. Both players made the most of their touches, drove the ball into the teeth of the defense, and didn’t bat an eye against the older kids.
Not surprising was the high basketball I.Q. they showed since both are coach’s sons. Booth impressed us with his ability to drive and dish to open teammates. He was aggressive with his dribble, forced the defense to collapse on more than one occasion, and did a nice job of playing off of two feet in the lane which allowed him to see the court and make the correct decision with his passes.
O’Shea showed similar court savvy using a variety of rip-through moves and strong pivots, passing well within the flow of the offense, attacking intelligently with his dribble, and showing a nice shooting stroke off both the catch and the bounce.
Ultimately, both Ryan Booth and Joe O’Shea not only showed they are two of the top young up and coming prospects in Vermont, but also that they are good enough right now to hold their own against many of the top high school veterans the state has to offer.