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Talent Hits Hoop Group Home for Summer Classic

July 12, 2010 Columns No Comments

NEPTUNE, N.J. – The next stop in the July recruiting period was a trip down the east coast to Hoop Group Headquarters for a day of action at the Summer Classic. A solid event, it does not have pool play as games are in playoff format right from the beginning. This year, it featured just one bracket that included some 16-under teams playing up. A couple of those teams did well, winning at least one game and being a tough out later.

Here is a look at some of the players we saw compete here.

Ryan Arcidiacono (6’3″ Jr. PG-SG, Langhorne (PA) Neshaminy HS) Although he struggled for a stretch in a game his team lost, on the day here he showed a lot of why he broke out this spring. He showed a solid passing ability that he doesn’t get enough credit for, including driving and dishing. That doesn’t get much notice because he can really light it up, and he showed it here with shots like a mid-range fade-away off the dribble, three-point shots that were behind where an NBA line would be and some tough play near the basket. He scored 21 points in a losing effort, heating up in the second half as he tried to carry his team back into the game.

Anthony Avery (6’6″ Jr. SF-PF, Chicago (IL) St. Rita’s HS) A plus athlete with a little length, it’s not clear which position he projects to play yet as he’s a baby physically and doesn’t have a well-defined game yet. He went for 10 points in a losing effort and showed himself to be worth keeping an eye on.

D’Angelo Boyce (6’0″ Sr. PG-SG, Annandale (VA) High) Lefty guard showed a nice touch shooting the ball, especially in his team’s first game as he knocked down four three-pointers en route to 16 points. He showed good range with those shots and knocked down a long two-point shot as well. His size dictates that he’s more of a point guard, but at a low Division I level someone might take him to play off the ball.

Jarell Briggs (6’1″ Sr. SG, Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy) Very athletic guard projects as an undersized shooting guard, and looks like more of a scorer than a shooter. He has a good body and used it well, scoring even while fouled on the play, going for 15 points in an early win for his team.

Devonte Chance (5’9″ Sr. PG, Philadelphia (PA) Electric HS) Though his size dictates that he plays the point, he didn’t show as much in play-making as he did in scoring, going for 30 points in two wins. His body’s not there yet, though that didn’t stop him from driving and finishing, while he also showed a touch from long range.

Reginald Charles (6’3″ Sr. SG, Philadelphia (PA) Father Judge HS) Nice wing had a good couple of games to help his team win. He was dangerous in transition, getting out often and one time finishing with a nice spin move, and he didn’t just finish. He has a mature body and drove often, dishing off if he had a teammate open and also finishing with contact. While he did knock down a couple of jumpers, shooting doesn’t look to be his forte.

Erik Copes (6’8″ Sr. PF, Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Charter School) Well-built post player got up and down the floor okay but may be right on the project/prospect line. He didn’t do a lot on the offensive end, traveling inside a few times when he got the ball.

Arthur Edwards (6’5″ Sr. SF, Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy) Athletic wing got better as the day went along, as he wasn’t a big factor early but made an impact later. He looks like he thrives when the game is played at a faster pace, as he got out in transition and finished a few times, including once with a nice dunk. He also showed the ability to finish in traffic, and his body isn’t there yet although he’s not a baby physically. Mid-major/mid-major plus prospect.

Jonathan Gantt (6’9″ Sr. PF, Alexandria (VA) Thomas A. Edison HS) Big man has good size but a body that isn’t all good weight, so improving his conditioning would help. This was evident in that he seemed to be a step slow getting up the floor, which didn’t help him on a team with a lot of athletes on the perimeter.

Lionel Gomis (6’8″ Sr. PF, Blairstown (NJ) Blair Academy) There’s been some progress in his game from early in his high school days, and he has to continue that as there’s plenty of room for improvement. He has a good body and his motor is good, but he also showed some bad body language after a turnover and doesn’t show a great feel for the game. The latter is understandable to a degree since he hasn’t been playing the game for long. Although it’s not as important as it would be if he were a wing, his ball skills aren’t very good, either. Mid-major prospect.

Savon Goodman (6’5″ Jr. SF, Bryn Athyn (PA) Academy of the New Church) Athletic wing looks like a nice prospect as his body’s not there yet. He did a nice job of selling a pump fake and using it to drive, looking more like a scorer than a shooter, and on one play he made a nice long lead pass on the fast break.

Sean Grennan (6’1″ Sr. PG, Toms River (NJ) Monsignor Donovan HS) A gunner at times, he handled the ball and generally ran the team but also called his own number often. That’s not entirely bad since he has some good scoring tools that he showed, like a couple of runners including one where he got fouled as he hit it and some good range on his jump shot. He’s not very physically gifted and did get called for an offensive foul for using his arm too much on one play.

Jamir Hanner (6’7″ Sr. SF-PF, Philadelphia (PA) NIA Prep) Athletic forward didn’t play a big role in his team’s wins but showed some potential along the way. His body’s not there yet and his ball skills need some work, but he scored on a jump hook and also sliced through some gaps in the defense to score close to the basket. With added strength and better ball skills, he should certainly get even better at scoring near the basket.

Maurice Harkless (6’7″ Sr. SF, Queens (NY) South Kent School) His offensive ability is well-known, but the big news here is that he was hitting shots and that included from long range. As is often the case, he finished well in close, but in going for 13 points in an easy win he made a couple of three-point shots, and if he does more of that he’ll be very dangerous. High-major prospect.

Tony Hicks (6’1″ Jr. SG, Chicago (IL) St. Rita’s HS) Although he’s undersized for his position, his long range stroke caught our eye as he knocked down four three-pointers en route to 21 points against a very good New York Panthers team. He didn’t show much else, but there’s always a place for someone who can shoot it the way he did here.

Jabarie Hinds (6’0″ Sr. PG, Mount Vernon (NY) High) Lefty guard has a good body and has a solid reputation, and while he looked good we expected better. He’s a leader on a team with a lot of guards, running the show well and getting some baskets, one coming on a nice baseline drive that he finished with a tough reverse layup in avoiding a shot-blocker.

Kelechi Ibe (6’8″ Jr. PF, Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy) Although his minutes were a bit limited in our observation, there are some things to like about him as a prospect. Namely, he appears to have a good enough motor to develop as an inside player, and he rebounded well. On one rebound, he snapped off a nice outlet pass for a layup at the other end, and he ran the floor as well.

Amile Jefferson (6’7″ Jr. PF, Wynnewood (PA) Friends Central School) Lanky post player is a plus athlete, which helps him especially since he needs to add strength. He had a nice 24-point outing in a win for his team, showing a turnaround jumper in his arsenal along with some other close baskets.

Brendan Kilpatrick (6’4″ Jr. SG-SF, Malvern (PA) Prep) A solid complementary player, he has a good body and did several things to help his team. He played inside a fair amount, where he got some rebounds, and also showed the ability to finish with the left hand on the post. In addition, he stepped out to knock down a three-point shot, which would seem to fit more with what he projects as his size dictates that he plays one of the wing positions at the next level.

Chris Martin (6’0″ Sr. SG, Washington (DC) St. John’s Catholic HS) This well-built guard can be summed up quite simply with three words: he can shoot. His jump shot was on display here and not just from long range, as he scored 32 points in two games, hitting four three-pointers in one of them. He’s not lacking athleticism, though that won’t leap out at you, and isn’t bad as a ball-handler, but he’s sure to be recruited first and foremost for his excellent stroke. The unfortunate thing is that at an even 6′, he projects as a point guard if he were to play at the highest level unless he plays alongside a big point guard. Mid-major plus/high-major minus prospect.

Anthony Mayo (6’8″ Sr. PF, Philadelphia (PA) school TBD) Although he’s a presence inside and has some mobility, one gets the feeling he’s a better player than he showed. He wasn’t bad, but more was expected. His post moves aren’t bad and he finished the break a few times from running the floor, which he does well. Mid-major/mid-major plus prospect.

DeShon Minnis (6’3″ Sr. SG, Philadelphia (PA) Atlantic Christian School) Aggressive guard was constantly attacking the hoop, getting inside often for chances near the basket. He scored mostly with slashes, using his above-average quickness and then finishing well and occasionally passing on the move. Although shooting isn’t his forte, he did knock down a jumper from mid-range off the dribble, which is something that can be there for him when he’s getting to the basket like he was at times here.

Charlie Monaghan (6’6″ Sr. SF, Richland (NJ) St. Augustine’s Prep) He’s not going to jump out at you in any way, but he’s a reasonably skilled forward who can face the basket and do a few things, although none very well. He has decent skills and reached double figures in a loss for his team, while showing he can handle and pass a little, suggesting he could play like a face-up power forward at the offensive end. He’s not very physically gifted, as he’s about an average athlete and has a mature body.

Javon Moore (6’2″ Sr. SG, Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy) A guard with a good motor that was constantly going, he has a good frame and mature body. He finished the break and also showed a little touch shooting the ball, though that doesn’t appear to be his forte, and went for 13 points in a win for his team.

Nehimias Moriollo (6’5″ Sr. SG-SF, Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s) In his team’s second game, he put on quite a shooting display in the first half as he hit several from downtown. He’s thin and just a plus athlete, but he shot the ball well from a few different places behind the arc and that will get him plenty of interest at the next level.

Chris Ortiz (6’7″ Sr. SF-PF, Middle Village (NY) Christ the King HS) A plus athlete, this wing can easily fly under the radar on his guard-oriented team but had a nice showing. He didn’t put up big points, but showed a touch out to long range and also finished while fouled on one play, and he got out in transition a fair amount. Mid-major/mid-major plus prospect.

Tyheem Perrin (6’4″ Sr. SF, Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Charter School) Active wing was around the ball often at both ends of the floor and plays a little bigger. He got some offensive boards and showed some decent ball skills that could use some upgrading, while also showing a little touch shooting the ball from mid-range. A good complementary player, he could help a team with his nose for the ball and a little improvement from a skill standpoint.

Justin Sears (6’7″ Jr. SF, Plainfield (NJ) High) Athletic wing is a “potential” player right now, more so than a number of his teammates who look to be similar players. His body has a ways to go and his ball skills are shaky, but there’s good reason to keep an eye on how he develops.

Jeffrey Short (6’3″ Sr. SG, South Kent (CT) School) He continued to play well of late, as he shot the ball well and found other ways to score. While he’s more of a complementary player, he’s a good one as he plays that role well.

Ameen Tanksley (6’5″ Sr. SF, Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep Charter School) Athletic wing has a good body and did a nice job of not trying to do too much. The lefty shot the ball well from long range, hitting four three-pointers en route to 14 points in one win, and later did a nice job of selling a pump fake and finishing the resulting drive.

Brandon Taylor (6’7″ Jr. SF, Hamilton (NJ) Trenton Catholic HS) There are some things to like about this wing, who has a good body and shot the ball well from deep. He hit four three-pointers en route to 14 points in an opening round win for his team. On the down side, he needs to play stronger as he lost the ball to a smaller player and that shouldn’t happen since he has good size for his position.

Shaquille Thomas (6’6″ Sr. SF, Newark (NJ) NIA Prep) Long and very athletic, his body has a ways to go and that holds him back to a degree. He lacks strength right now, but with more of it there’s some potential as he got a couple of dunks and isn’t entirely lacking in the skill department. On a stacked team, he got a little overshadowed since his game isn’t as mature as that of some of his teammates. High-major minus/high-major prospect.

Travis Trimm (6’0″ Sr. PG, Fort Washington (MD) National Christian Academy) One of a number of guards on his team, he didn’t make a big impact but had a highlight. Late in the first half of a game, he took the ball coast to coast, blowing by everyone for a buzzer-beating layup.

Jordan Wejnert (6’6″ Sr. SF, Worcester (MA) Academy) Active wing looks like a player who won’t put up big numbers but is able to impact the game by being in the play often. He has a fairly mature body but a slight frame, got a hand on a lot of balls and scored in the flow of the offense, one time making a nice cut to the basket. For good measure, he also found a cutter for a layup another time.

Other players who caught our attention:

Taylor Abt (6’8″ Sr. PF, Washington (DC) Georgetown Prep)

Octavious Booker (6’7″ Sr. PF, Philadelphia (PA) Freire Charter School)

Neville Fincher (6’10” Jr. PF-C, Teaneck (NJ) High)

Jerome Frink (6’6″ Jr. SF, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s)

Sterling Gibbs (6’2″ Sr. PG, West Orange (NJ) Seton Hall Prep)

Arron Goodman (6’5″ Jr. SF, Council Rock (PA) North HS)

Zaid Hearst (6’3″ Sr. SG, Silver Spring (MD) Salisbury Prep)

Darren Hilliard (6’4″ Sr. SF, Bethlehem (PA) Liberty HS)

Durand Johnson (6’7″ Sr. SF, Baltimore (MD) Notre Dame Prep)

John Johnson (6’0″ Sr. PG, Philadelphia (PA) Girard College HS)

Anthony Livingston (6’8″ Jr. SF-PF, Washington (DC) KIMA HS)

Benjamin Mingledough (6’4″ Sr. SF, Radnor (PA) Lee Academy)

Luke Piotrowski (610″ Sr. PF-C, Egg Harbor Township (NJ) Atlantic Christian School)

Matthew Porter (6’3″ Sr. SG, Plainfield (NJ) St. Peter’s Prep)

Lance Rivera (6’1″ Sr. SG, North Plainfield (NJ) High)

Donte Thomas (6’2″ Sr. SG, Washington (DC) Notre Dame Prep)

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