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Sunday notes from the 2014 BallasTV Invite

January 14, 2014 Columns No Comments

DORCHESTER, Mass. – Sunday was the second day of the BallasTV Invite, featuring prep schools from the northeast region. Only one game had much drama with the outcome, as four of the five were double-digit games. We take a look at the scores, then some player notes.

Sunday scoreboard

Springfield (MA) Commonwealth Academy 66, Marlborough (MA) Hillside School 36
Worcester (MA) Academy 55, Saltsburg (PA) Kiski School 34
Hoosick (NY) Hoosac School 66, Chestnut Hill (MA) Brimmer and May 52
Putnam (CT) Science Academy 62, Northfield (MA) Mount Hermon 55
Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s School 73, Woodstock (CT) Hyde School 40

  • Commonwealth Academy is loaded with young talent, and they had too much of it for Hillside in the opener. Hasahn French (6’6″ Fr. SF-PF) is probably the best player right now, as he’s long and already a little developed physically. Malik Pouncey (6’3″ Fr. SG) impressed as he has a good frame and still a good ways to go physically, made a nice bounce lead pass and later hit a tough runner going across the lane. Speedy wing Chandler Jones (6’4″ Fr. SG-SF) and long forward Deandre Leslie (6’5″ Fr. SF, Brockton (MA)) are worth keeping an eye on as well.
  • Hillside has a few players to keep an eye on, starting with Martin Mann (6’6″ Fr. SF-PF, Lowell (MA)) and eighth grader Chris Doherty. Doherty played the better game on Sunday, as he impressed with his motor and being in a lot of plays. Mann, the younger brother of Tilton junior Terance, is long and athletic but has more to go with the skill package.
  • Devon Williams (6’1″ Sr. PG, Sharon (MA) Worcester Academy) continues to make strides. He impressed back in the fall and has carried that over, still making long jumpers but also making good decisions in running the team.
  • Saul Phiri (6’3″ So. SG, Haverhill (MA) Worcester Academy) looks more comfortable now that he has some time at the school under his belt. He was more active at both ends and finished with contact at the offensive end.
  • Unique McLean (6’1″ So. SG, Hoosac School) might have been the most eye-opening player of the day with his athleticism. He can sky to finish in transition, where he is deadly, and he’s still a baby physically. His skill package isn’t lacking, as the lefty showed a nice passing touch on the day and a short jumper, while also being able to finish while getting bumped.
  • Anthony Durham (6’3″ Sr. PG-SG, Philadelphia (PA)) had a solid weekend for Putnam Science. The quick and athletic guard had a big game against Believe Prep on Friday night with 24 points and nine assists, then had a big hand in Sunday’s win over Northfield Mount Hermon. He did his damage by driving past defenders to get in the lane and get chances for himself and teammates.
  • The top scorer on Sunday for Putnam Science was Dalique Mingo (6’2″ Sr. SG, Farmingdale (NY)). He’s shown that he can score off the bounce, and with 19 points he led the way against Northfield Mount Hermon.
  • Chancellor Ellis (Jr. SF, Bronx (NY) St. Andrew’s) continues to improve this season. He hit five three-pointers for all of his 15 points, making them often in the flow of the offense. One of them came on an inbounds pass with the shot clock about to expire. In addition, he’s still in clearly better shape than a year ago and looks like he’s coming into his own.
  • Andre Berry (6’7″ Sr. PF-C, Malvern (NY)) also had a nice afternoon for St. Andrew’s, scoring 12 points with baskets in close. He moved well and was in position to score, and as he gets into better shape the college interest should grow. Sophomore teammates Terrell Brown (6’7″ So. SF-PF, East Providence (RI)) and Nate Duda (6’4″ So. SG-SF, Framingham (MA)) caught some attention on the afternoon, with Brown showing some of his potential when he blocked a short jumper with a man in between him and the shooter, a testament to the length he has.
  • Kenny Grant (6’9″ Sr. PF, Woodstock (CT) Hyde School) might have been the most disappointing player on the day. The Rider commit has a great combination of athleticism and size, but he settled for jumpers at times and wasn’t the factor he looks like he should be inside against a smaller St. Andrew’s team. Teammate Dexter Thompson (6’3″ Jr. SG) had 21 points to lead them and might be their best prospect as he’s long, very athletic and a baby physically.

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