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2014 Updated Rankings

Here it is it took some time and consideration, we have been present throughout the season to watch our listed prospects compete against each other.  There is no substitute for seeing kids live and in person.  HoopDreamsMag.com has traveled all summer long and has seen prospects from all over the region compete.

At times evaluators in the scouting business walk a thin line between potential and production.  This is constantly an argument/disagreement within the office, as we all have seen the prospects in different settings such as camps, AAU, as well as their high schools. 

So as we start our first segment of updated rankings, we would like for you to take in consideration that a committee of evaluators have thought long and hard about this and will certainly continue to be out when the high school season starts. 

Today we bring you our updated 2014 rankings.  There is no secret who the number #1 player in the class of 2014 is.


#1 Chris McCullough 6’9 has all the tools that scream star power, has developed an outside touch that has defenders confused on how to guard him.  He rebounds well, runs the floor like a deer. Chirs has antangebles that you cant teach, size, length, and  moblity.  McCullough has proven all summer long that he can produce at a high level no matter the competition.

#2 Abdul Malik Abu 6’8 Has jumped leapes and bounds this summer, he has developed a skill set that can translate to the next level. Abu took to the EYBL with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, cream always rises to the top as ABu stood out as a fan favorite walking away with MVP honors.

#3 Goodluck Okonoboh 6’9 Has held the title as one of the best shoot blockers in the country for the last two years.  Now the race is over and he is the best shoot blocker in the country, when we speak of a skill set transiting to the next level Okonoboh defence is a skill set that will do just that. Witha growing offensive game look for him to have a great high school season.

 #4 Jared Terrell the 6’3” combo guard has a college ready frame with explosiveness that translates to the next level.  Terrell has improved his jump shot along with his ball handling skill level and looks to make the transistion as a lead guard.

 #5 Kaleb Joseph 6’3” has all the tools intangibles that any high major point guard should have.  Has the abilities to make shots while in transition, and has gotten more athletic. Look for him to guide Cushing Academy towards an AA championship.

Notable Stock Risers

 #6 Tory Miller moves up from #11, the big man has made a statement all summer long.

#7 Bonzie Colson moved up from #20 no matter the stage, Colson produces.

#18 Sammy Mojica moved up from #25 the do it all guard, produces.

                                        Updated 2014 Rankings



Aaron Calixte

Calixte Has More To Offer

In the landscape of high school basketball, recruiting a big man is a priority but in order for that post player to get his touches he would need a solid point guard to play alongside him.

Aaron Calixte is probably one the best guards in the regions 2013 class in terms of beating his man off the dribble and getting to the rim. After one season at Lee Academy (ME) Calixte who stands at 5-foot10 would have to go from being a primary scorer at Stoughton High school (MA)to a point guard who would need to get his teammates involved.

AAU season is upon us and Calixte has taken advantage of the live period to showcase his new approach to the game. With just two weeks into the spring AAU season while running with ECE Mass Calixte has racked up a handful of offers.

“I’ve worked on all parts of my game, but I really focused the most on keeping my jumper more consistent and making better decisions on the court,” Calixte explained when asked what parts of his his game he’s improved on. “being more vocal and a leader are my goals for the summer and to continue to improve all aspects of my game as well as helping my team win games along the way.”

Calixte picked up offers from Albany, Robert Morris, UNH and Sienna over the weekend. Expect more schools to come calling as thisyoung rising star continues to show and prove


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CBC Dominates CDC

The 2nd and final day of the Hall of Fame Columbus Day Challenge was a day of no slackers. A number of games were decided at the buzzer, even seeing one game go into triple OT.

Jared Wilson-Frame of CBC owned the weekend and earned our breakout player of the tournament. Having two play in two different age groups, JWF controlled the game every time he stepped onto floor. Playing so much confidence, Jared was getting his teammates involved, got to the lane whenever he wanted. A true testament to his dominance, JWF single handily caused three players from the NE Playaz who tried to guard him at different moments of the game to foul out in the 16u title match up. The best I’ve seen the ’15, 6’5 wing play all year on the circuit.

The NE Playaz Aaron Calixte, Luis Monteiro, Aaron Falzon and Kerem Kanter helped lead their club to a 17u title. Monteiro and Falzon handled most of the scoring on the wing, while Kanter controlled the paint, causing matchup problems for opposing defenders who could not match his strength. Calixte was a true general the way he lead his team. With improved ball handling since HDM last seen him over the summer, Calixte controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish on both ends. On the offensive side of things, Calixte put his players in spots he wanted to have them get the ball and also breaking down his defender off the dribble for numerous finishes at the rim. On the defensive side of things, Calixte gave fits with his overbearing on ball defense. Calixte forced multiple turnovers, got the ball up the floor quicker than any player n his age group for lead passes to set up his teammates for easy baskets.

CBC lead by Jaecee Martin took home the 15u title. Martin is so advanced for his age that you can’t help but wonder what he’ll become in the future. Martin is a 8th grader playing up and honestly he could have played in the 16u bracket and probably would have produced the same way. With superior ball handling and quick speed, Martin made it that much easier to set up his teammates, having to always have multiple defenders guard him. Keandre Fair and Tristan Peterson came up big for CBC, playing more physical than their opponents, the two were able to play an inside out game when Martin went out for a breather. Peterson is a very bright player that just plays above the rim at a different level than the colleagues in his class

CBC also captured the 14u title and so convincingly that it was almost unfair. At that age you would think that all the kids are on the same playing field but not when you have you have dominating post players like Tristan Peterson and Jermaine Samuels. Aaron Clarke was also a bright spot for CBC.

Other Notable Performers:
Jacquil Taylor ( Prodigy): The 6’9 PF/C blocked multiple shots at the rim on defense and fclinic on day 2.

Joe Crapps (Basketbull): A tough explosive guard with a quick first step.

Jerome Derosiers (RI Hawks): the 6’3 wing player is very physical and strong when attacking the basket. Derosiers had multiple dunk assaults when attacking the rim and knocked down multiple jump shots.
Tyree Weston/Jordan Scurry (NE Playaz): lead their team in scoring the weekend. Both players took their games to new heights

Nelson Zayas (Basketbull): A name to remember this year for Sabis. Zayas put on a scoring

 

Photo courtesy of CBC


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Elite75 Stock Risers

This segment of the Elite 75 recap is geared towards thosem players who used this event to boost their confidence going into live period.

Arguably the MIAA top point guards Malik James and Aaron Calixte separated themselves from the other guards as they played the roles of facilitators rather than scorers for their teams. Both players have been known to put up big numbers for their high school teams this past season. In drills James showed a quick first step in 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 drills, blowing past his defender for a lay up. In 5 on 5 matchups James looked to set his teammates up on offense and seemed to control the tempo of the game when the ball was in his hands, even setting up players where he wanted them to be when the ball wasn’t in his hands. Calixte is a power guard with great upper body strength and loves the contact. Calixte is most known to play off the ball but today we saw a improvement in his ball handling skills and a nice pull up jumper from beyond the arc. Calixte’s decision making is what stood out the most on this day. The young guard would force turnovers with his lock down D that would lead to fast break points for his teammates. Both players made the right plays at the right time.

Jeff Spellman and Jacquil Taylor showed why the two lead their Beaver Country Day team to a NEPSAC Class B title this past season. Spellman was deadly shooting the ball from the outside and had his atleticsm on display. The 6’0 guard had one of the top plays of the day when finishing above the rim for a and 1 flush on his opponent. Didn’t see his point guard skills on display but we did see a level of confidence that’s rarely seen from the guard. Jacquil Taylor is a 6’9 center who has good timing on blocking shots which is his best asset right now. Taylor who had a good showing during one on one drills has a variety of post moves on the offensive end. But we’d like to see him move a lot quicker and be commited to the move when going to the basket. Jacquil has a great motor and never takes plays off.

Jared Wilson-Frame was one of the most efficient scorers on the day. Wilson-Frame scorerd in a variety of ways by hitting long range jump shots, cutting to the basket and scoring off the dribble. A great player who will create a serious buzz in the month of july during live period.

Henry Bolton is starting to trust himself as a point guard. Bolton sores at  a high volume and not to many players in the gym can match his combination of strength speed and athleticsm.

Kaleb Joseph and Dimitri Floras are one of the best backcourts in New England on the AAU circuit. Joseph played real well during drills and forced defenders to play him close because when they sagged off him he would knock down the open jumper. Floras is a guard that has been on a tear this AAU season and starting to create a buzz for himself deservingly so. A very confident player from a year ago around this time. Floras lets the game come him and doesn’t over play possessions. A very good heads up guard with a lot of upside.

Qincey McKnight came into the start of the game with the same energy going out. A wing player with good size that runs the floor well in transition had a number of top plays on the day with crisp bounce passes and aslo being able to finish in the lane while absorbing the contact.

Dayshon Smith the New York native is known for his scoring but today we focused on his defense. Smith played great on ball defense and jumped into passing lanes for steals and deflections. Would like to see Smith more vocal on both ends of the floor.

Matt Cimino is a high bred forward who has a great stroke from 15 feet and beyond. For his height standing at a lean 6’9 Cimino needs to be more assertive on defense. But over time and the tough schedule the Rivals have coming up Cimino will be able to turn it up during live period.

Charls Correa was not looked at to be a lead guard on the day but had a good showing during 1 on1 drills. Correa has a quick release on his pull up jumper that goes well with his natural speed. Always seems to be in control and has great recovery speed on defense.

Matt Owens at 6’6 came into the camp as sort of a unknown player but left with the respect of his players. Owens played hard every play and showed great athleticsm finishing above the rim with loud dunks and blocking shots on the opposing end.

Johnnie Joseph a true point guard at heart can really break down a defender with his ball handling. Today Joseph showed a good release on his shot but is at his best when setting up his teammates.

Donte Gittens is another player who came in as sort of a unkown but was getting into the lane at will. Also being able to penetrate through the lane and make the defense collapse and dish to his low post teammamtes repeatedly for the score.

Adrian Oliveira was aggressive in attacking the basket and knocking down jumpers off the pick and roll screen. The best thing Oliveira put on display was how vocal he was as he’s known to be quiet on the court. Had on of the top plays on the day when he dunked on his defender off the dribble. Would like to see him keep up that same intensity going into live period


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2012 HOF Spring Classic: Recap

Another Great AAU event this spring is in the books. The 2012 Basketbull Hall of Fame Spring Classic was home to some of the best talent in the country. The NE Playaz, CT Select and TMT all came away with the crown in the high school division.

In the 15u championship game we saw TMT (CT) come away with the crown scoring a 79-67 victory over CBC. CBC is considered the top 15u AAU team in Connecticut but on this day the boys of TMT got the best of them.

 

NY Lightning was clearly the best team in the 16u bracket, as they dominated through the field of play on their way to a championship wins over CT Select. The combination of Kahari Beaufort (St. Raymond’s NY) and Khadeen Carrington (Bishop Loughlin NY) proved to be too much for the competition. If Carrington wasn’t giving us highlight reel dunks the Beaufort was making defenders pay for not playing him close. Both players hold a handful of high major offers and are continuing their winning streak in California this upcoming weekend.

 

The NE Playaz as a program captured their 3rd championship of the spring and 2nd overall in New England. Before going on to win the HOF Spring Classic, the Playaz had to overcome a close overtime win against a good Jersey Elite team. The NE Playaz grabbed an 84-63 victory over a tough CT Select team that will continue to cause problems for opponents on the AAU circuit. The score doesn’t tell the whole story about this battle so we will.

 

There were 5 lead changes early on in the game until the 2nd half where the Playaz held a consistent 9 point lead and then opened the game up in the last 5 minutes of play. These two teams have met before but this game was different because a lot of skill and smart coaching was on display. Both coaches paced the sidelines the whole game having seen a player leave the game with a bloody nose and another one down on the floor with a nasty blow to the head. There was no foul play just two teams going after it and knowing that this was the championship game.

 

For CT Select the sharp shooting skills of Bryan Jones continued to keep his team in the game. But when NE Playaz have backcourt options of Adrian Oliveira (Brimmer May), Cane Broome (East Hartford), Isaiah Lewis (Christ The King) and Aaron Calixte (Stoughton) the game comes easy for the bigs. This best part about watching this team is how everyone knows and accepts their role.

 

Oliveira and Broome played the role of facilitators and knocked down the open jumper when the opportunity came. The combination of Calixte and Lewis repeatedly attacked for 2 points or draw a foul. The frontline of Karem Kanter (MacDuffie), John Powell (Brimmer May) and Mohamed Bah (Lee Academy) were just too big. All 3 players dominated the game on the glass, while Powell and Kanter have soft touches around the rim Bah played every possession with aggression and passion. Playaz travel to Chicago this upcoming weekend to continue their winning ways