Today’s AAU spotlight is a team with a mix of youthful talent and veteran leadership. They are coached by one of the best in the business. They are very selective in who they choose to be part of their team. Their philosophy of having a drama free team, with players getting along has worked perfect for them. The team has size, quickness and more importantly play a style which gives college coaches a great view of each player’s talents. The Shoreshots u16 Select Team (Whalen) will be the focus of almost every east coast D1 school. This is a group that no question is going to make a lot of coach’s smile.


Coach- JOE WHALEN-Voted the New Jersey Coach of the year. He is the head coach of St. Rose, where he took a program most felt was dead after winning the SCT 3 years ago and made it to the TOC semi –final. He is part of the Bob Hurley coaching tree as he was part of the St. Anthony’s coach staff. Much like Bob Hurley his teams play defense like their lives depend on it. But it’s what he does on offense that makes him special. He is a master at letting kids play freely and smartly while they develop confidence on offense. He has few peers, when it comes to teaching offensive basketball at the High School level. His St. Rose team had 5 players on any night that could score and take over a game. But for those who were shocked that St. Rose finished as the #3 team in the state, I give you this…last year they had Pt Boro and current Boston College freshman sensation Kelly Hughes beat in the state tourney, before a strange call late changed their faith. Joe Whalen has been that good the moment he took control of the St. Rose program. He has turned his Shoreshots team into his mini version of St. Rose, the kids love him, trust him and will run through a wall for him….the man is flat out one of the best coaches in the state.



She was a Hoop Group Pre-Season All Shore Pick, until she pulled a hamstring and had to sit out all of the pre-season and when she was finally allowed to returned, she broke her nose and again had to sit out. Then when she returned she was forced to play with a mask. Now that you heard all the bad news, here is the good news. Last summer Sam Sabino was one of the best players in the shore conference; but her run of bad luck may be just want the doctor ordered for this workaholic, because she is playing lights out right now. she allows you to coach her hard and NEVER says no to competitive drills and never concerns herself with who is in the gym. Now go look at the kids in college right now who are struggling and ask this question how competitive were they day in and day out? Did they get outside of their comfort zone? No worries here folks and her high school season has toughen up her skin. At academic elite she went off and showed she is a mega talent player and now that she is healthy she is right back on track. Despite being offered by numerous Division 1 schools, she has been very patience about choosing a school….WISE MOVE. No wing player in the shore is more creative off the dribble. Her passing ability in transition will be on full display during the AAU season and NOBODY PLAYS HARDER…NOBODY! Her ability to bury deep 3 point shots and get to the rim off the dribble is something she has developed through hard work. How good do I believe Sam Sabino is? I believe based on the schools that she is seriously considering right now, she not only will be ALL FRESHMAN her first year in college but I believe she will be an ALL CONFERENCE PLAYER FOR AT LEAST 3 YEARS, during her college career, if she PICKS THE RIGHT LEVEL… I feel she is that good and I would remind college coaches of my not so bad track record…. I hope Sam Sabino reads my lips…A MM+ player who WOULD STAR at this level.

MM schools should be grateful she is not 20 pounds heavier

She helped lead Middletown South to its first STATE TITLE in 18 years. She is long and athletic and can put the ball on the floor with the ability to step out to the 3 point line. But what makes her really special is that length and her basketball IQ which allows her to guard shooting guards and quick small forwards. I had a MAAC college asst coach say this to me …”I wish she was stronger”….LOL those young asst coaches! Sweetie if she was 20 pounds heavier and stronger, she be going to a BCS school…LMAO. She has banged with the like of Tori P(Colgate), Sam Sullivan(Wagner), Sam Meir (St. Peters), Danielle Padovano(Fordham), Chyna Golden(Pittsburgh) and guess what …No problem. When the summer recruiting period is over every MAAC and NEC will be asking for her telephone number. She has already gotten stronger and like all Tom Brennan players will be an impact player in college from Day one. She is a great student and get this…. A CANDY STRIPPER! The upside for Jill Faverly is off the charts as she continues to get stronger physically her stock continues to raise…a future DIVISION ONE LOCK!

Jill Faverly leads Middletown South: IT’S 1979 ALL OVER AGAIN… http://nothingbutskills.com/its-1979-all-over-again-middletown-south-are-champs/

A total pure point guard…

Tori Pozsonyi was one of the most recruited post players last summer after playing with the Shoreshots, Sam Sabino became one of the most in demand wing players last summer. Nicole Morris is currently one of the so called big 3 junior guards. All of them can thank Kellie Crouch for helping them achieve such notoriety. Kellie Crouch is the most complete TURE point guard you may see from the shore this summer. Now why do I saw that? It’s simple; she makes everyone around her better and does it willingly. Kellie Crouch is a post players dream. If you want to get your bigs involved in the game, give Kellie Crouch the ball. Sharing time with the other great SJV guards last year, next year Kellie Crouch will step in the spotlight full time and here are few things that will happen. Future D1 post players Caponergo, Evans and Pero are all going to get A LOT OF SHOTS because Kellie Crouch is the best post feeder in the shore and it’s not even close. Last year she had games where she had as many as 6 made three point shots. She has the ability to score, but it’s her ability to run a team and make those around her better that make her special. By the way did I tell you she is a 4.0 honor student….This young lady is a college coaches dream and one of the reasons I say this is because this statement is true “Kellie works so hard in every drill, it really crazy” from a division coach after Crouch attended their elite camp….I think everyone will get the picture this summer…future D1 POINT GUARD

KELLIE CROUCH BOARDWALK SPOTLIGHT: http://hoopgroup.com/shore-conference-basketball-2/girls-boardwalk-spotlight/

Nicole Morris is a tough defender!

She was a HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM MEMBER a year ago but had a breakout season this year…Last year at times Nicole Morris was special in what was essentially her freshman year. Here is a question, name a point guard in the shore with her quickness, speed and length? Stop you can’t and here is something everyone better pay attention too, she is still growing and has not lifted a single weight yet. That will happen next year. Now if she gets stronger what level of player is she? Already ready with offers from mid majors everywhere. No question she is the priority recruit for almost every Patriot school and that’s for good reason, because she would be an elite player at that level. Now the bad news for my Patriot school and mid majors friends, this may all come down to happiness in the end because I have zero doubt this young lady can play in the AAC and the A-10 by the time she is a senior. I have seen them all folks and Nicole Morris skill wise has zero peers and she is program kid to boot. She will bring your team together and play the role you ask. Her Shooting range and ability to get her own shot separate her from most young guards. Her ability to defend due to her length and speed make her a college coach’s dream point guard….Good luck to everyone in the hunt…but let me say this….EDUCATION WILL BE A MAJOR FACTOR IN HER CHOICE…you heard it her first.

Morris is taking it to a new level

She was the surprise of the Rumson team last year, as she became the first player off the bench. The name Nicole Isaac’s ring a bell? Remember when she played in her twin sister’s shadow at RFH and then became an All Shore player as a senior and currently averaging 10 points a game at Manhattan College? Well lighting could be striking twice at Rumson. Coaches you are going to be very shocked at the improvement in this young lady. Don’t doubt what you see this weekend and summer….trust your eyes. It’s real because the young lady has been lights out at NBS and is playing like she believes and George Sourlis is going to a very happy man next season if she continues to develop. Morris has figured out how to get her own shot and is getting in passing lanes, while getting to the rim after steals. When you see her go behind the back or beat her girl of the dribble this weekend…it REAL FOLKS…This is a kid taking it to the next level and I believe her athletic life is getting ready to change and I am very happy for because no kid deserves it more…

Sisters and gym rats…

The younger sister of Sam Sabino last summer had coaches buzzing with her deep accurate shooting ability. Much like Cindy Napolitano of St. Rose, Joe Whalen is a master at using shooters and that’s exactly what he did for Sid Sabino last summer while turning her loose on the AAU competition. Sid is a serious problem for opposing coaches the moment she steps on the floor. Look for Kellie Crouch and Nicole Morris to find her in transition and when they drive and kick. The younger Sabino like her sister is a gym rat and accepts hard coaching and has a burning desire to get better. Her ball handling skills have improved each season. She is becoming a better defender but coaches pay attention to this …she rarely misses a box out assignment. I am not sure If I know a kid more excited for the recruiting season as this young lady. She plays hard and has a very special talent that all coaches respect….She stretches defenses.

Her size is a real issue …

If you like big guards who can score from the 3 point line, off the dribble and around the basket, I give you Lauren Vostal. This people is somebody with a really, really big upside. Vostal is as aggressive offensive player as you will see because of her range and ability to go by people. Her size makes her a excellent offensive rebounder. But coaches watch her run in transition! The kid really understands the art of getting out in transition. Blair Academy plays a rough high school schedule and this no doubt is a added factor in her development. Now here is a little something to think about…Vostal is 16 years old folks…if she was a junior what would her recruiting look like? Lauren Vostal is a honor student who has off the chart grades and SATS, Ivy’s and Patriot schools would be wise to pay close attention to the details.

This is a face I would pay close attention too..

Folks for my money this is the most interesting kid on the roster. Here is the reason why? She is a big time student attending a big time high school. Now throw in the fact she is 6’0” and has a college body RIGHT NOW and you have a interesting combination. Next she is not as polished as she will be come next December. But here is what makes her interesting, she not only competes with other bigs who are going to Division one schools at NBS, she often out plays them. Her strength is off the charts and she can rebound at the D1 level right NOW…The real question is how much will she improve the shooting skills and finishing around the rim. The academic schools better see this kids a number of times because I believe she is going to get there. Her jumper has improved greatly in the last month. It’s not a work of art yet but coaches the ball goes in. She plays hard and here is why I say she gets there…She could less who or what your reputation is, this kid just flat out goes to war….I say a possible D1 player because of the size and upside.

imgresast year she broke the school record for 3 point shots made.A legit shooting guard with size and length. She is a defensive nightmare on the top of centrals defensive schemes. She flourishes in the Princeton style offense She is a flat out scorer, who can get her own shot. No question is very talented players, who like all these Shoreshots plays hard. She a wonderful offensive of rebounder and is fun to watch in transition due to her size and passing skills. She is new to the Shoreshots roster so there will be an adjustment period and the summer recruiting period will be a better chance to judge her. Right now I believe this young lady is the type of kid who is under the radar and could be a nice surprise. Now her is something for college coaches to think about. John Truhan who has win a State title at every school he has been at and a SCT and who has coaches a number of D1 players at all levels…says she is “a division one player without a doubt”…can anyone say Lauren Clarke?….

Two years ago the Shoreshots took a new approach, they wanted their kids and parents to be happy. So they keep a core group of players together and added only kids and parents who were drama free. Then they decided not to raid or be disrespectful to other programs and only took kids that where talented and looking for good coaching and competition. They then went out and did the most important thing of all, they hired Joe Whalen, who immediately turned this group into one of the happiest and close teams in the shore. The kids all trust Coach Whalen and each other to the CORE….The Shoreshots will no question be on every coaches list of teams to see but they have earned that by sticking together and being loyal to each other….RARE IN THE AAU WORLD…but oh so nice to see…



:NJ Shoreshots-Whalen plays at Richmond Convention center

Friday 8:00 am court #7 and 10:20 am court #12

Saturday 5:20pm court #8 and 8:50 pm court #9

Sunday 12:40 Court #7

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