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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



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St. Andrew’s Holiday Tournament

In a game where nine of the participants on both teams have played for the same AAU program the past 2 years, you would expect the contest to be a good one.  Oh what a good one it turned out to be.

At the 2012 St. Andrew’s Holiday Tournament, a matchup between The Tilton School and Wilbraham & Monson was a potential playoff game in the middle of the regular season. The gym was packed with spectators and college coaches who were in for a treat.

The game started off rough for Kansas commit Wayne Selden who sat for most of the first half with 3 fouls, Tilton looked towards their young core of players to step up and make things happen. Terrance Mann (14 points) played the role of the aggressor the whole game. Even though he had his shot attempts rejected on numerous occasion by 6’10 Goodluck Okonoboh, the wiry forward continued to attack not showing any signs of letting up.

With Goodluck Okonoboh roaming the paint on the defensive end, it was almost impossible for Tilton never really got things going inside. Okonoboh who finished with 11 blocks was a game changer on the defensive end as always. The Titans also looked towards one of their young players to step up and be the aggressor on offense.

With Tilton holding a 1 point lead going into halftime (29-28) WMA needed that they needed to come out swinging first in the 2nd half. Freshmen guard Mustapha Heron (12 points) played tough throughout the game but especially in the 2nd period having the assignment of guarding Wayne Selden and then having to be guarded by Mann on the other end, the young guard had his work cut out for him on this day. Heron also had the nice play that showed off the growth in his game when had a crossover drive to the basket for a two hand slam down the middle of the lane.

The game was close in the 2nd period with Tilton’s lead exceeding no more than 4 points at a time. It was the play of senior guard Chestor Victor who led all scorers with 27 points that was the real story of this game. Victor had the hot hand all day poking and diving for loose balls (4 steals) and knocking down shots whenever WMA started to make a run. Tilton would go on to defeat WMA 63-59

Other Top Performers:

Rene Castro (Worcester Academy):  22pts vs Masters

Sammy Mojica (Brimmer May):  27pts vs Vermont Academy

Jacob Clark (Christian Heritage): 30pts vs Cushing Acdemy

DaQuein McNeil (Vermont Academy): 19pts vs Brimmer May


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Hoop Mountain Prep Classic 2012

This past weekend Hoop Dreams Magazine was on hand to catch one of New England’s best ran tournaments in Hoop Mountain’s Prep Classic. At National Prep Showcase we got a chance to see most of the elite prep programs for the first time from the NEPSAC’s AAA, AA, and Independent class. The NPS gave us everything we wanted to see, except the only thing missing was AA power’s St. Andrews, Worcester Academy, and Cushing Academy which we finally got to see at the HMPC. We are going to highlight all of the top performances we witnessed from this great event which took place last weekend.

We begin this article with arguably the top performer this weekend Rene Castro. Game one Worcester Academy had a very slow start beginning the game without Castro. Once off the bench Castro helped ignite Worcester intensity, before exploding scoring 14 of his 18 points all in the second half to help lead Worcester Academy to a victory over South Kent. In the same game Xavier commit Kamall Richards did all he could also scoring 15 of his 25 points in the second half in the loss.

In his second game of the tournament Castro turned out one of his best performances in front of his future Butler Coach Brad Stevens, scoring 32 points. It seemed as if the Brewster guards had no answer for him, as he was able to score both in and outside of the lane. Unfortunately Worcester came up short in a very close game which came down to a big basket by Kevin Zabo and continued with great play from junior forward Chris McCullough who finished with 17.

Day one of the event gave us our first look at the new three headed monster of Kaleb Joseph, Jalen Adams, and Andrew Chrabascz for Cushing Academy. In Cushing’s first win of the season over Marianapolis 2014 guard Jalen adams in his prep debut finished with 13pts, while seasoned vet Joseph chipped in 15. Butler commit Andrew Chrabascz finished with a game high 22pts, 15 rebounds in sheer dominance of the paint against Marianapolis. In the loss, the biggest surprise came from former Attleboro High School star guard Steve Edmonds finishing with 20 points. Edmonds scored all 20 of his points in the second half, off of 4 big 3’s, two mid range field goals and four free throws.

Game two for Cushing was more of the same in a big statement win over fellow AA power Wilbraham and Monson. Chrabascz also now playing in front of his future coach Brad Stevens continued his dominance on the inside as he more than held his own against WMA big men D’Jery Baptiste and Goodluck Okonoboh. The backcourt of Adams and Joseph played great, but it felt like this game belonged to Joseph. His 18 point game felt like a 30 point performance as he was dominant. Joseph’s game seemed to mature a lot as he now knows how to effectively use his speed to score and set up a teammate for an easy bucket. The one bright spot for Wilbraham in this one, was the poise and performance of young guard Mustapha Heron who seemed liked he wanted to be the guy to bring his team back for a win.

Other Notable Performances

Henry Bolton scores his 1000th point. Congratulations from us at HDM

Charles Foster carries over scoring onslaught from NPS, as he scored 28 points in a win vs Brimmer and May. Then he goes on to score 18 in a win over Monte Clare.

Daquein McNeil scores 27 points in a losing effort in close one with New Hampton.

Wayne Selden scores 27 points to help lead his team into victory against Bridgton Academy.

Jaylen Brantley 24 points in ND Prep’s first game of the tournament vs REDA (Can).

In a win against ND Prep, Putnam Science Jemal Mosley scores 25 while Dayshon Smith scored 23 points and dished out 10 dimes.


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NPS Standouts

On day one of the National Prep Showcase, Goodluck Okonoboh had a storyline to remember, the 6 foot 10 post player solidified himself this past weekend as one of the premier shot blockers in the country.  In his  first game in a Wilbraham & Monson uniform, Okonoboh had 10 blocks in one half of play, three rebounds shy of a triple double and made a game winning layup. Okonoboh roamed the paint denying more access than a bouncer scanning fake ID’s at your local pub. Okonoboh’s offense is coming along slowly as he displayed a nice form and release on his jump shot and schools like are Indiana is starting to take notice.

Chris McCullough had his whole repertoire on display this weekend. The 6 foot 10 McCullough played with a lot of confidence and aggressiveness by showing his ability getting to the rim off the dribble, hitting the outside jumper and rebounding at a high level. The recent Syracuse commit will continue to show growth in his game while at Brewster Academy.

Coach Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals got themselves a good in 6 foot 1 point guard Terry Rozier. Rozier has sneaky athleticism that could find defenders on a poster if not careful. Rozier is a small guard that packs a lot of power, finishes in the lane off contact who had one of his better performances against Notre Dame Prep (See Video).

Josh Hearlihy and Skyler White were two of the most versatile frontcourt players in the field of play. With Harvard commit Zeno Edosomwan sitting out with an injury White and Hearilhy were looked at to a little bit of everything in order for their team to stay close in games. With both players standing at about 6 foot 8 with the ability to put the ball on the floor and create their own show was incredible to watch. Not much degree of separation between the two’s game which gives Northfield Mount Hermon a deadly combination of pieces to work with when Pete Miller and Zeno Edosomwan come back from injury.

If there was any player this weekend who raised their stock the most it would have to of been Rashad Richardson of the Kiski School (Pa). Richardson started off the weekend helping his team upset Brewster Academy while shouldering the load in the scoring column sto beat of 29 points. The following day Richardson helped his team defeat the Tilton School in close battle. Richardson who was committed to IPFW but has recently reopened his recruitment is gaining interest from Rutgers, Duquesne and Manhattan according to his coach.

Wayne Selden in a losing effort to the Kiski School (PA), made his season debut scoring 33 points that he fought hard for. The 6 foot 5 wing returns to a new look Rams team that lost Georges Niang, Nerlens Noel, Dominique Bull and Goodluck Okonobh. Look for Selden to carry the load of responsibilities this season.

If there was any doubt or question about Noah Vonleh being able to perform at a high level after jumping up a class, well I guess all that went out the window this weekend. The 6 foot 7 forward looked comfortable shooting from outside even when it wasn’t falling. Vonleh’s ability to grab offensive rebounds and earn second chance points is the type of player every team needs at any level. Vonleh was also blocking shots and grabbing rebounds on the defensive end that lead to fast break points on the opposite end of the floor. Noah played with a lot of heart and whoever was in attendance sawitnessed a different player since the summer.

Duane Notice a Canadian guard in his first year suiting up for St. Thomas Moore mad a early name for himself by averaging a little over 22 points a game this past weekend. One of top guards remaining in New England’s 2013 class look for colleges to take Notice of Duane.

Jaylen Brantley one of many stellar additions to a tough Notre Dame Prep team did what he was known for around these parts for years. The 5 foot 10 guard displayed a great shooting touch from outside going 6 for 9 from 3 in a game against Hargrave Military Academy. Brantley is not only the team’s leading scorer so far this season but he comes off the doing it.

Deandre Burnett put on one the best shooting of the showcase this past weekend going 16 for 19 from the field scoring 40 points. The 6 foot 3 Miami commit was everything but shy about shooting the ball. Burnett will be a good replacement when Durand Scott and Trey McKinney Jones graduated this year.


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Wilbraham and Monson Academy “Prep Profile”

When a basketball program loses as much as six seniors to college, arguably the best player on the team transfers, and overall becomes younger, the last word that comes to mind is contender. Naturally, phrases like; a rebuilding year, inexperience, excusable, a throwaway season does come to mind. After stopping by on campus to watch an open run, we at HDM now know that these groups of Titans are the real deal.

Coach Sparks and Mannix, has managed to assemble arguably the most versatile, talented, and most important youngest basketball team Wilbraham and Monson has seen. Most Notably in the front court, a very deep group of big men, a frontline deeper than any other team in the NEPSAC regardless of class.

Playing at both four and five position will be a very scary defensive tandem of newly reclassified import Goodluck Okonoboh and 2014 returning big man Djery Baptiste.

Okonoboh as everyone knows when playing alongside another defensive big is a very good weak side, help defender. His shot blocking and overall athletic ability will allow Djery and the rest of the big men to take more chances on defense. This season look for Goodluck to show his offensive skills and leadership. Playing at the center and forward position will be the new Djery Baptiste. According to Coach Sparks Baptiste has put on 40 pounds of muscle. His overall basketball skills have improved as Djery is now much more physical and confident.

At the forward spots will be 2014 transfer Kerem Kanter. Kanter who stands at 6’7” offensively is a very skilled big man, with a great soft touch around the basket (ala Pau Gasol). His knowledge of the game allows him to make good moves around the basket, and always places himself in great position for rebounds and put backs. With his skill set look for him to play both the three and four position.

Rounding out the big man core will be BABC’s and returning 2015 forward Marcel Pettway. Last season Pettway was arguably the biggest surprise, as he was able to hold his own against some of the country’s best big man as a freshman. With a deeper front court this season Pettway is able to focus and play more at his natural position Power Forward.

Not to be outdone, Wilbraham’s group of guards is just as versatile as their front court. 2015 guard from the Dominican Republic Luis Monteiro and 2013 Kamali Bey can play all three guard position. Monteiro standing at 6’7” is long guard with a lot of skill. Offensively Luis could be as dangerous as Ricardo Ledo but looks to pass more. His passing and ball handling ability may gain him the starting point guard position. Defensively his length and mobility is going to cause problems for smaller guards. Senior Kamali Bey the undoubted leader of this team has come back to school this year focused. To help his recruitment Bey is now 20 pounds lighter and has tightened up his ball handling to spend time at the one. During five on five in the open run Bey was the most vocal and encouraging player to his younger teammates. Matched up against a loaded team consisting of Goodluck, Djery, and Luis; Kamali willed his team into 2 to 3 straight victories.

Post grad, 6’0 Kevin Perez a physical guard from New York may serve as backup to Luis and Bey at the one and two spot. Perez is a physical guard with a good shot; majority of his minutes should come from playing backup point guard. Rounding out the guard position is Durfee transfer Curtis Cobbs 2015 and Earl Stephen.

This Wilbraham and Monson team that Coach Sparks and Mannix assembled is going to be a fun team to watch for some years to come. The real question is how this relatively new team will gel together to compete in a very competitive AA NEPSAC Class.


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Transfer News

Goodluck Okonoboh made headlines over the weekend, when he not only transferred out of the The Tilton School (NH) to Wilbraham and Monson (MA), but also reclassifying back to the class of 2014.

With the addition of Okonoboh, Wilbraham and Monson has arguably one of the top 3 frontlines in the NEPSAC.

Okonoboh will be one the most highly recruited players in the class of 2014 

5’11 pg Jaylen Brantley has also confirmed with HDM that he will transfer to Notre Dame Prep (MA).

 “I expect to meet a new set of teammates with the same goal I ha and that’s to win,” Brantley tells HDM. “Also expect to get better with a great coach that has put players in college of all levels.”

 

Brantley seemed thrilled about the upcoming season and what’s in store for him.

 

“I’m excited to have a new chapter in my life and play better competition in AAA,” Brantley goes on to add. “This will help my game excel, so I can be ready for the next level.”

 We’ll continue to keep the readers updated on any other transfer news we receive.

 

Photo Courtesy: Rivals


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Transfer News

Goodluck Okonoboh made headlines over the weekend, when he not only transferred out of the The Tilton School (NH) to Wilbraham and Monson (MA), but also reclassifying back to the class of 2014.

With the addition of Okonoboh, Wilbraham and Monson has arguably one of the top 3 frontlines in the NEPSAC.

Okonoboh will be one the most highly recruited players in the class of 2014 

5’11 pg Jaylen Brantley has also confirmed with HDM that he will transfer to Notre Dame Prep (MA).

 “I expect to meet a new set of teammates with the same goal I ha and that’s to win,” Brantley tells HDM. “Also expect to get better with a great coach that has put players in college of all levels.”

 

Brantley seemed thrilled about the upcoming season and what’s in store for him.

 

“I’m excited to have a new chapter in my life and play better competition in AAA,” Brantley goes on to add. “This will help my game excel, so I can be ready for the next level.”

 We’ll continue to keep the readers updated on any other transfer news we receive.

 

Photo Courtesy: Rivals


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#5 Tilton vs Worcester Academy: Recap

It’s not unusual to see Rene Castro and Wayne Selden on the court together. But what is unusual is seeing them opposite teams competing against each other. The two have not played against each other since their middle school days. I mean Castro is coming off a Nike EYBL
national championship win with Tiltons starting 5.

 

 

With their natural competitive spirit they did not disappoint the packed house that came to see a battle. “It was weird at first, he’s like my brother but after the game begun he was an enemy and was the target” said Selden. “It felt weird at first but it was pretty fun playing against them” said Castro

The Tilton School hosted Worcester Academy in their first home game of the season. WA came out firing from deep hitting four straight 3 pointers to take a early 12-1 lead over the rams. Half way through the first half Tilton grabs a hold of the lead after the Rams began to pound the ball inside to .Georges Niang and Nerlens Noel. WA cut the Rams lead down to two after a buzzer beating 3 pointer by Andrew Scocca to end the half 33-31 rams. Georges Niang had finished with 20 points at the half and 33 for the game

WA picked up right where they left off and attacked the rim on consecutive trips down the floor to regain the lead. But it wouldn’t be long before Tilton turned it up on the defensive as Nerlens Noel and Goodluck Okonoboh altered and blocked almost every shot that was put up in the lane. Tilton would regain the lead and never look back. In the second half another surprise look was Nerlens Noel running the point for majority of the half and doing it effectively as he finished with 13 points 7 blocks and 5 assist. Wayne Selden finished with 14 points for the Rams and Rene Castro finished with 26 points to lead the Hilltoppers in a losing effort.


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#3 Tilton vs #16 South Kent

One of the best games we have seen in a long time, # 3 Tilton vs. #16 South Kent; this was a battle from start to finish.  In attendance where head coaches Jim Calhoun (Uconn) Ed Cooley (Providence) Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State) Florida assistant, and Oklahoma assistant.  Tilton was without their anchor Georges Niang, because of the rule that if you are ejected out of a game you are suspended for the next game.  That next game took place this afternoon, on the campus of Marianapolis Prep, Tilton came off firing on all cylinders, Wayne Selden picked up right where he left off at from the state farms tournament of champions.   His three pointer was on the money as he made 4 total for the game, attacking the rim like a knife through hot butter, he looked as good as we have seen him in a long time.  Selden finished the game with 31 points.  The correction offices as we like to call them, Nerlens Noel & Goodluck Okonoboh held the paint down challenging shot after shot, they combined for 20 points, 21 rebounds, and 8 blocks.

 

Ricardo Ledo performed like he was on a mission, started the game slow but ended it in a big fashion.  Scoring comes easy to some, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony to name a few, while not in the NBA as of yet but Ledo scores the ball like a professional.  While the rest of the players where shooting the ball from the high school line, Ledo shot the ball from the Burger King located off route 395 behind Marianapolis Prep, but he did it off the dribble, off the screen, and finished in transition.  Ledo finished with a game high 34 points, 6 three pointers, 11 rebounds.  Chris Thomas kept South Kent in the game by being aggressive on the offensive end, he to is another one that scoring comes easy for.  He fished the game with 10 points 7 rebounds, the game ended with 47 seconds remaining as Chris Thomas went up for a dunk while Noel trailed him and fouled him hard, the referees ruled an intentional foul both teams got scrappy and the referees ended the game South Kent wins 73-63

 


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National Prep Showcase: All Tournament Teams

As we wrap up the National Prep Showcase we bring to you the All Tournament Teams by class.

All Tournament Team 2012

Semaj Christon 6’2″ (Brewster Academy) Xavier  – One of the best point guards in the class, scores in so many ways, when jump-shot develops will have a chance to make a living from distributing the pig skin.

NPS: Showed that he belongs in the conversation as one of the top five point guards in the class.

 

Ricardo Ledo 6’6″ (South Kent CT) Providence  – One of Americas premier scores, shoots the ball out to the NBA three-point arc, and finishes above the rim like a future NBA player would.  hard to believe that there are twenty one people in America better then Ledo.

NPS: the fire department was called on day 1 of the showcase from Ledo going off for 37 points

JaKarr Sampson 6’8″ (Brewster Academy) – Athletic as they come, finishes well in transition, if you don’t box out he will reward you with a poster.  with developing jump – shot Sampson has a chance to play after college.

NPS: Made several highlight plays, knocked down the improved jumper.

 

TJ Warren 6’8″ (Brewster Academy) NC State – Doesn’t pass the athletic test, noor the look test, but don’t be fooled he passes the production test and that’s all that matters.  Scores with the best of them, time and time again.

NPS: Scored at will, and showed flashes of his off-season conditioning with coach Josh and the vertimax.

 

Montrezl Harrell 6’8″ (Hargrave Military Academy) Virginia Tech – A complete monster, plays with passion in the paint, isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and do all the little things in order to get the team win.

NPS: Proved to be a player that can help VT as soon as he steps on campus.

 

 

                          Honorable Mention

Mitch McGary 6’10” (Brewster Academy) – didn’t produce as he usually does, but his rebounding and energy where never in question.

Myles Davis 6’3″ (Notre Dame Prep) – One of the better shooters in the class, Xavier got another steal.

Sam Cassell Jr. 6’4″ (Notre Dame Prep) – Shot the ball extremely well, has a knack for scoring

Ethan O’Day 6’9″ (Northfield Mount Hermon) – Was near perfect this weekend, Vermont got a steal

Mike Tobey 6’11” (Blair Academy) – Scored with every post move there was, left or right it didn’t matter

 

All Tournament Team: 2013

Jaylen Brantley 5’10” (Wilberham & Monson) – A true coach on the floor, as well as a bull eyes shooter, Brantley can control a team and make sure all teammates get involved.

NPS: ran the show for coach Sparks, mixed it up with a variety of moves and jumpers.

 

Chris Thomas 6’5″ (South Kent)- A scoring guard who can score with the best of them, can mix it up with the long ball or finish at the rim.

NPS: Scored the ball as he always does on day 2, seems like him and Ledo switched roles on day 2.

 

Nerlens Noel 6’9″ (Tilton School) – The eraser has added a demotions to his game, dribble moves from the perimeter to the basket.  Also developing his mid range jump shot, has NBA timing when blocking shots.

NPS: Showed his versatility by putting the ball to the floor from the wing and finished with both hands.

 

Goodluck Okonobh 6’8″ (Tilton School) – One of the better shot blockers in the class, Had nice low post moves and can hit the fifth-teen foot jump shot.

NPS: Finished above the rim in transition, controlled the paint like a corrections officer.

 

Dominic Woodson 6’10″(Vermont Academy) – Can stretch the defence out with his perimeter skill set, can also get his hands dirty in the low post.

NPS: Showed why he is on top of the recruiting board, can take slower bigs out to the top of the key and shoot it.

 

 

All Tournament Team: 2014

Johnnie Vassar 6’0  (La Lumiere School) – Quick guard who is very athletic, a great on ball defender

NPS: Played with great poise and under control, shoot the ball well

 

 

Jared Terrell 6’3″ (New Hampton) – A flat out scorer who attacks the basket, as good as anyone in his class.

NPS: Showcased his point guard skills, and showed that he belonged in the conversation of top players in the class.

 

Wayne Selden 6’5″ (Tilton School) – Explosive as they come, improved on his outside shot.

NPS: Didn’t score much, but we all know what he is capable of, his presence was felt.

 

Noah Vonleh 6’7″  (New Hampton) – Can score inside and outside, and rebounds like he is in college already.

NPS: Dennis Rodman like, Vonleh’s long term potential is scary, with his size and skill,  the sky is the limit.

 

Johnathon Wilkins  6’10” (La Lumiere School) – Remember the name will be a big time player, great shot blocking abilities.

NPS: Changed shoots and started the break from his defensive energy.