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Recruitment Catch-Up

It was a busy past couple of weeks in New England recently and we’ll catch you up with all the recruiting news up to date.

            Class of 2014 Prospects Continue To Fly Off the Board

Matt Leblanc a 6’6’’ forward who attends New Hampton prep gave a verbal commitment to Princeton. Leblanc had a great July live period while running with the RI Hawks and being heavily trailed by IVY schools. Leblanc had a number of schools to choose from but felt the need to pull the trigger early as did a number of other prospects.

IVY strikes again when Mike Auger gave a verbal commitment to University of Pennsylvania. Auger a hard nosed worker really utilizes is strengths to the best of his ability. The forward in Auger is tough and when i mentioned strengths i literally meant the way he over powers defenders when attacking the basket or wrestling rebounds from his opponents. Auger attends New Hampton prep and at times will be hard cover for opposing defenders, with his ability to back you down or face you up and pull it from the perimeter. A great get for UPenn in Mike Auger

Idris Taqqee a 6’3” do it all guard who attends Cushing Academy is A-10 bound. Taqqee who ran with the Expressions Elite AAU program on the Nike EYBL circuit held more than his own. His hard work and relentless effort on the court did not go unnoticed when St. Bonaventure came calling Taqqee. Taqqee gave a verbal commitment to the Bonnies after taking an official visit to the school’s campus. Taqqee becomes the Bonnies first commit in the 2014 class

One the top premier shooters in the country are off the board to Fairfield. Tyler Nelson a 6’1” guard from Central Catholic HS gave a verbal commitment to the Stags. Nelson ran with BABC on the AAU circuit and lit up the Nike EYBL circuit from long range shooting at best 45% from beyond the arc. “They will use me as a combo guard but mostly at the 2,” Nelson on how he will be utilized in the Fairfield offense.

Sammy Mojica earned what he got after having a rough year off the court where his family was left without a home after a fire caused Mojica and his family to go through a bit of a rough period. With great efforts from the basketball community and those who care about Sammy a great response in terms of donations helped his family bounce back. While on the AAU circuit playing with the MASS Rivals, Sammy fueled a different type of fire. A fire that would showcase his talents in front of a bus loads of division 1 programs. A couple took notice but only one came out a winner. After visiting Drexel unofficially Mojica came away impressed that he it didn’t take him much time after getting back home to give a verbal commit. Mojica is very well known for his scoring but his role as a defender is what earns him those buckets on the offensive end. Mojica will continue to get better and put together an all-around complete game while at Brimmer & May.

Ed Cooley has been nothing but active on the recruiting and his efforts are showing. Cooley has landed his second top 100 recruit in the 2014 class when Paschal Chukwu gave a verbal commitment to Providence. Chukwu the 7 foot center who attends Fairfield Prep in Connecticut gave a verbal commitment to the Friars after taking an unofficial visit to St. Joseph’s. Chukwu will team up with Carson Derosiers to form a Providence Friars Twin Towers.

                                  Visits On Hand

A number of New England prospects attended the Syracuse Elite camp. Syracuse commits Kaleb Joseph and Chris McCullough was in attendance to take part in a number of drills with their future teammates. Joseph and McCullough are Syracuse only commits for the 2014 class. Tyler Lydon a 2015 forward impressed the Syracuse coaching staff and earned him a scholarship. Lydon is one of the fastest rising prospects in his class and will attend New Hampton prep this season.

Ben Judson had attended Colgate University on a unofficial visit. Judson has a number of division 1 programs showing interest and will be looking to increase his recruitment this season. Bonzie Colson took a visit to Pitt recently and came away impressed (see our featured front page story)


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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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Joseph Cuts List To Three

Cushing Academy guard Kaleb Joseph narrows his list to three schools on Sunday. The 6-foot-2 guard lists Syracuse, West Virginia and Providence but has not planned any visits.

All three schools have been present for most of Joseph’s games during the live period. The Providence Friars have been recruiting Joseph the longest of the three schools and has also visited the Providence unofficially this past June. The friars have gotten a recent commit from consensus 2014 top prospect Jalen Lindsey. The Friars have invested a lot into the 2014 recruiting class and have made Joseph a priority at the point guard position. The Friars have New England natives Kris Dunn and Carson Deroisers on the roster.

Syracuse has been in hot pursuit of Joseph during the 2012-2013 season. With incoming frosh Tyler Ennis as the only true point guard on the team, one would think the Orangemen have a good shot at landing the lead guard. Syracuse has had great success recruiting out of New England the past couple with former Brewster Academy play CJ Fair and Ron Patterson currently on the roster. Current Brewster Academy forward Chris McCullough is the Orangemen lone recruit in the 2014 recruiting class and could help shape a great start to a recruiting class if Joseph were to land there.

After using the 2013 recruiting class to land multiple front court players who are in need of a point guard to get them the ball. Joseph steps in as a primary target for the Mountaineers to play that role. Unlike the other two schools that are pursuing Joseph, Coach Huggins has yet to land a prospect in the 2014 class. With Joseph potentially being looked at to step right in and run the show it would be a request most floor generals ask for in terms of being able to run the show as soon as you step on campus.

Joseph breaks down his top three in his own words.

Providence: Immediate minutes from day one, with Cotton graduating it gives me some big shoes to fill.

Syracuse: Specialize in developing guards, they produce pros, and are one of the biggest stages in college basketball.

West Virginia: I like the respect the players have for there coach, players don’t play that hard for someone they know doesn’t care about them.

There’s no timetable on Joseph’s decision but one thing we do know is that one of the three programs would be landing a good player who is in pursuit of being great.

 


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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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Updated 2014 Rankings

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

Noah Vonleh at 6’8 is arguably the number one player in the country. Vonleh has proven all summer long that he can produce at a high level no matter the competition.

# 2 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, has a great go to move and will continue to develop.  Look for McCullough to have a big high school year.

#3 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; look for Terrell to help New Hampton compete for AAA crown.

#4 Abdul Malik Abu 6’8 has taken the scene by storm, the “Monster” is what we like to call him was one of the big winners of the live period walking away with more then seven offers.  Kimball Union has a good one, in Abu.

#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.

 

              Updated 2014 Rankings


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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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Heading to Camp

Its that time of the year again, the time when Elite prospects are chosen to attend national camps which are usually sponosored by sneaker companies.  Here is a list of prospects who will be heading to camp, to make a name for themselves nationally.

 

Nike Top 100

Location: St. Louis, MO

This Camp is designed for the top underclassman in the country to showcase there talents against the other national talent.

 

Abdul Malik Abu 6’8”  2014 – Expressions Elite

Jared Terrell 6’4” 2014 – Expressions Elite

Jeremy Miller 6’9” 2015 – Rivals

Chris Baldwin 6’7” 2015 – Rivals

 

 

Chis Paul Elite Guard Camp

Location: Winston Salem, NC

 

 

Wayne Selden 6’5” 2013

 

 

Adidas Nation

Location: Chicago

 

 

 

Noah Vonleh 6’8” – Rivals

Jared Reuter 6’8” NE Playerz

Kaleb Joseph 6’2” Rivals

Matt Cimino 6’9″ – Rivals

 


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Hoop Group Providence Jam Fest Recap

In the 16u Gold bracket championship game we saw signs of growth in one of Rhode Islands top prep players. What is Henry Bolton position at the next level? That we don’t know but what we do know is that he has a knack for putting the ball in the basket and is a great team leader. The 6’1 combo guard in Bolton scored in a variety ways and almost every shot was contested but went in like a open jump shot.

 

In a 79-58 convincing win over Rens(NY) the RI Hawks capture the Gold Bracket title at the HoopGroup Providence Jam Fest. Henry Bolton had 26 points but wasn’t the only bright spot on the RI Hawks team. Jackson Donahue and Kealen Ives are a 1-2 punch that can’t be contained in transition. Donahue is a deadly shooter a Ives a quick floor general who with his dribble penetration allows wide open shots for his teammates.

 

The battle between two premier post players of Noah Vonleh and Samuel Digba was a fun one to watch. The 17u Gold bracket battle between Ma Rivals and Westchester Hawks(NY) was one that will be talked about all summer. Westchester Hawks came out firing leading for most of the game and thought to been the staright away winner in this contest.

 

Samuel Dingba and Eric Edwards combined for 27 points and 19 rebounds. Dingba(Salisbury School) proved to be one of the top post players in New England and there’s no question why he’s being recruitd by 7 different division 1 conferences. Dingba is at his best on the low block on the offensive end, having grabbed multiple rebounds including a loud 2 hand dunk. On the defensive side of things with his timing and leaping ability Dingba finished with 9 blocks. But a second half serge from MA Rivals that saw Matt Cimino(22 points) hit 4 consecutive 3’s the Rivals grabbed the lead and never looked back. Noah Vonleh had a slow start battling a anke injury but found his way in the 2nd half. Finishing with just 11 points Vonleh anchored the comeback by being able to beat Dingba off the dribble to the basket. The backcourt of Kaleb Joseph and Dimitri Floras finished with a combined 22 points. Ma Rivals capture the the Gold bracket championship with a 71-58.

 

Other JamFest Notable Performers:

 

Kahlil Dukes(CBC)

 

Pete Miller(Middlesex)

 

Sean Obi(CBC)

 

Jared Terrell(Expressions)

 

Abdul Malik-Abu(Expression)

 

Jared Wilson-Frame(CBC)

 

EJ Rogers(Expressions)

 

Markus Neale(Boston Spartans)

 

Devon Thomas(Metro Boston)


Kaleb Joseph aka “Man On Fire”

There is no other player in the country hotter then Cushing Academy’s Kaleb Joseph, he has blown up right in front of or eyes a silky smoove combo guard who as of recently led Expressions’s AAU squad to a top 20 finish of the AAU 16u Nationals.  Since then Kaleb has been on a mission to show the world that he belonged, first order of business was Sept 9th the NCAA contact periord is where it all took place.  Kaleb used this as a spring board and has not looked back, fuled by all the doubters who say he cant shoot, he cant play the one, he’s to small, Kaleb turned the negative into fire and has shown that he is more then what you bargin for.  Holding offers from Tennessee, Boston College, TCU. Western Kentucky, Fordham Delaware, St Bonaventure, and UNH.  Now playing the lead role for the Mass Rivals look for Kaleb to blosoom understerd the tutelage of Rivals Director Vin Pastore.