9 Takeaways from the Fall High School Showcase

Hoop Group wrapped up its Fall tournaments and showcases with the Fall High School Showcase on October 25th and 26th. A perfect way for teams to get a tune up prior to the beginning of their season, Hoop Group Headquarters saw some serious talent in the building for this showcase. It was a weekend where the phrase “next level talent” was used a lot, Twitter was kept busy with the hashtag #HGShowcase and video cameras were put to good use. Here are some takeaways of the Fall High School Showcase:

-Several seniors proved why they have already signed LOIs
There were a few players playing in the Fall High School Showcase who already committed to Division 1 schools next year. Leading the group was Roselle Catholic’s Chris Silva. The 6-8 South Carolina commit was a walking highlight reel, throwing down thunderous dunk after dunk. He led Roselle Catholic in scoring in all four of their games, crashing the boards and putting his head down and getting to the rim. We  also saw Trey Lowe (Ewing High School ’15). In Ewing’s two games on Sunday, Trey scored 22 points and followed that with a 16 point, 10 rebound effort against Silva and Roselle. Temple is getting a great scorer in Lowe. Towson commit Alex Thomas (Coastal Academy ’15) dominated on the glass and showed an ability to knock down the top of the key three, and Roman Catholic’s Trevaughn Wilkerson (committed to Hartford) and Gemil Holbrook (Rider) showcased strong jump shots.

Chris Silva made a living at the line at the Fall High School Showcase. He could not be stopped.

Chris Silva made a living at the line at the Fall High School Showcase. He could not be stopped.

-There are still plenty of unsigned and talented recruits
We saw a number of seniors who remain unsigned and will be great additions to college programs once their decisions are made. Of these players were Coastal Academy’s Tyler Kohl and Isaac Vann. Both players were scoring machines. They both displayed the ability to get in the paint and score at the rim, but could also hurt teams from the outside. With several offers in hand already, it will be interesting to see where the two land. Point guard Lamar Kimble was another player who played well and is yet to make his decision. With his list cut to Creighton, Drexel and UMASS, Kimble was a terrific floor general for Neumann-Goretti. He also has a knack for scoring 16 and 22 points in Neumann’s two games. Speaking of great floor generals, expect junior Bryce Aiken to have a tremendous year for the Patrick School. Aiken is a very tough, hard nosed player. He is quick and can get up and down the floor in a hurry. It’ll be great to see his stock rise this season. Lastly, Gill St. Bernard post Jonas Stakeliunas will be a nice compliment to Tyus Battle this year. He already holds offers from Holy Cross, Marist, Siena and FDU.

-The talent level amongst underclassmen was through the roof
One thing is for certain, the talent level in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will remain high for a few years. Start in Pennsylvania where you have guys like Quade Green and D’Andre Vilmar representing the Class of 2017. Green lit it up from the outside, confirming what we saw at Future All-American Camp; he can play. Vilmar has a high motor and is great on the defensive side of the ball. His hustle and athleticism helps make plays for Roman.

A new face in New Jersey will be Nick Richards, who recently transferred to the Patrick School from St. Mary’s in Long Island. Richards is 6-10 and an elite shot blocker. He owned the paint defensively, wowing the crowd with several ferocious blocks. Other young NJ hoopers that impressed included freshman Jared Kimbrough from Neptune High School. Jared is long and athletic and it’s easy to see how high his ceiling is. He did a great job holding his own against Chris Silva and the other bigs of Roselle Catholic. Not an easy task for any player, especially a freshman, Jared has a lot of potential.

-Speaking of Roselle’s size…
Roselle Catholic has size that can cause problems. Some say size wins games in basketball. Roselle Catholic has a lot of size. Will that translate to a successful 2014-15 season? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: beating them inside will not be easy. Aside from Chris Silva, the Lions feature Pierre Sarr (6-6 and recently committed to Monmouth), Ganlandou Cisse (6-9 with offers from Towson, Norfolk State, Canisius and Quinnipiac), and hightly touted freshman Nazreon Reid (6-7). The front court for Roselle is loaded with size and talent and will be a nightmare for teams to match up against.

-Philly can ball..
There were a number of Philadelphia teams in the building for the Fall High School Showcase. Based on the preview we saw, the city of brotherly love will be loaded with talent this year and in the future. Roman Catholic, Neumann-Goretti and Imhotep Charter all came from the Philadelphia area and all posses players who are already committed or will commit to Division 1 programs. We saw shooters, slashers, defenders, all type of players. Whatever typer of player you’re looking for, you can find it in Philadelphia.

Neumann-Goretti should have a strong 2014-15 season.

Neumann-Goretti should have a strong 2014-15 season.

-… and the rest of PA isn’t bad either
As great as it is, the talent in Pennsylvania is not limited to the Philadelphia area. Start with Westtown High School, who has has a great supply of talent in the classes of 2016 and 2017. It starts with floor general Jair Bolden, whose stock continues to raise every time he plays. Offers keep coming in (La Salle being most recent) and don’t be surprised when the major conferences come knocking. The class of ’17 features newcomers Najja Hunter and Mohamed Bamba. The development and growth of these players will be fun to watch. Bobby Casey and Scranton Prep also had a strong showing, playing two very good NJ teams in Coastal Academy and St. Anthony’s. Casey led Prep with 26 and 22 in the two games. He also made 10 threes combined in those two games.

-Kevin and Thomas Huerter are a deadly combo for Shenendehowa
One of the most fun teams to watch, Shenendehowa plays the game in a very fundamentally sound fashion. The Stallions are led by brothers Kevin and Thomas Huerter, who had great weekends against teams such as Roman Catholic, Roselle Catholic, Southern Regional and Manasquan. Kevin was one of the best shooters of the weekend, setting the nets on fire with three ball after three ball, including seven in one game Saturday night. Brother Thomas was impressive as well, scoring double digits in all games, including 20 over Roman Catholic. At Elite Team Camp this summer, both players had some interest and offers from some Division 1 schools. They are looking increase that as they enter the 2014-15 season.

-NJ private schools will be as exciting as ever
St. Anthony’s, Patrick School, Gill St. Bernard’s, Roselle Catholic. All four teams have next level talent, all four should have successful seasons and all four were in the same building last Sunday. St. Anthony’s will feature Wichita State commit Markis McDuffie as well as Rivals.com Top 150 player Jagan Mosely. Big men Taurean Thompson and Mohamed Bendary (committed to NJIT) continue to grow under Coach Hurley as well. We already mentioned Aiken and Richards for the Patrick School. They will be joined by Jamir Harris (2017) and Marcus McClary (2016), both of whom were in the building for the showcase.

 Gill St. Bernard’s will be led by ESPN.com’s #14 ranked player in the Class of 2016 Tyus Battle. Battle is a a premier talent and it is easy to see why every school in the country wants him. In addition to Battle, GSB has strong forwards in Stakeliunas and Julias Stoma (2016) and are loaded with shooters on the perimeter. Complimenting Roselle’s bigs are Matt Bullock, who can shoot the lights out, and Asante Gist at the guard position. And let’s not forget about Isiah Briscoe, who is ready for a tremendous senior campaign as he decides between Kentucky, St. John’s and UCONN.

-The high school season needs to start NOW
A preseason high school showcase as talented as this one only raises the level of anticipation for the actual season, and with added anticipation, comes an added desire for the season to begin. The High School Showcase Series will continue when the season starts, the first being the Reading Tip-Off Showcase on December 12th at Albright College. Good luck to all players and teams as they prepare for their season!

Be on the look out for mixtapes from the Fall High School Showcase coming soon!

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The Hoop Group – @TheHoopGroup
James Albano – @JN_Albano

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