Xavier Johnson: HG Insider Player Spotlight

Xavier Johnson

Bishop O’Connell’s Xavier Johnson has come a long way in the last 12 months. The Team Takeover product is considered one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country, and this is not an accident. Ask any of his coaches, and they all will mention his incredibly strong work ethic.

Johnson earned the starting lead guard role at The Ei8ht, and played an integral role in his team’s run to the championship. Whether it was harassing top ranked PG Darius Garland, or using his explosiveness to push the ball up the and create for others, Johnson was up to any task. As he’s demonstrated before, Johnson was simply impossible to keep out of the lane, and very crafty when finishing around the basket.

“I am a point guard that has a lot of winning attributes. I play hard. Play good defense. I can score and facilitate.”

High Major Division One coaches have taken notice of Johnson’s ability. Josh Pastner, Greg McDermott, and Patrick Ewing are a few of the faces regularly seen at his games. South Florida, and UMass have also recently offered.

In the much anticipated rematch with Oakland Soldiers, Johnson came out very aggressive. He was one of four players on his team in double figures with 16 points, and also dished out 7 assists. Johnson played solid defense, and played a significant role on both ends of the floor.

This time last summer, Johnson held just two offers, from Manhattan and Towson. He’s seen his recruitment grow exponentially in recent months, and has solidified himself as a high major point guard, and one of the best in the country. With a decision looming, don’t be surprised to see Johnson to make an immediate impact wherever he goes.

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Future All-American Day 3 Standouts

The final full day at All-American camp is in the books! Several players demonstrated strong work ethics along with solid play on Saturday. Below, we run down a few standouts from another full day of action:

Nkosi Cooper (Suffield Academy ’19): Nkoski Cooper has been getting after it all week here in Reading. Cooper locked down defensively, and came up with several steals. The 6’2″ guard is a speedster in the open floor who can handle the ball and finish with touch in traffic.

Jake Betlow (Montverde Academy ’19): What a week it has been for Jake Betlow. The lead guard sets the tone for his team on both ends of the court. Betlow consistently picks up his man full court. Betlow has a very strong skill set highlighted by a very efficient perimeter jumper.

John Bol Ajak (Church Fam School ’19): Jon Bol Ajak takes serious pride in protecting the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man owns a ridiculously long wingspan, and knows how to stay vertical when challenging shots. Bol will also not hesitate to finish strong over a defender in the paint.

Jordan Cooper (Southeast Raleigh ’19): Jordan Cooper has been dynamite this week at Albright College. The North Carolina native is a hard worker who gets it done on both ends of the floor. Cooper creates plenty of room for his jumper, which he gets great elevation on.

Paul Mulcahy (Gil St. Bernard’s ’19): You have to love the way Paul Mulcahy has been leading his team here at Future All-American. The talented 6’4″ guard is an exceptional passer who can also score it from a variety of areas when called upon. Mulcahy is a team-oriented player who enjoys making guys better.

Future All-American Day 2 Standouts

It’s been an action-packed second day at Future All-American camp! A wide variety of players showed off their skills at Albright College Friday, and here are some who stood out during their action on the courts throughout campus:

Bryce Wills (Iona Prep ’19): 6-foot-5 lead guard Bryce Wills demonstrated big time athleticism throughout the day. Willis is also a very capable jump shooter who has NBA-type range.

Kofi Cockburn (Christ the King ’19): Kofi Cockburn absolutely dominated in the low post. The strong and powerful 6-10 big man attempted to dunk everything around the basket.

Jordan Mason (Dexter ’19): 6-foot-4 shooting guard Jordan Mason lighted it up from three point range on Friday. Mason displays very good footwork along with a quick release. He connected on a handful off shots from long range in each of his contests.

Sherif Kenney (Clinton Christian ’19): Sherif Kenney has a fantastic feel for the game. The 6-foot-4 lead guard is a crafty handler with tremendous vision. Kenney consistently beat his defender off the bounce by utilizing a quick first step.

Idan Tretout (Wilbraham & Monson ’19): Idan Tretout is an outstanding paint getter who looks for contact on every one of his drives. The skilled 6-foot-3 guard scored it from three levels. Tretout’s jump shot was very efficient from the catch and off the dribble.

Future All-American: Fab Frosh/Super Soph Day 1 Standouts

Day 1 of Future All American was primarily about identifying and understanding the level of talent in attendance. After registration, campers were divided into respective teams, allowing coaches to evaluate the talent on display and fairly assemble teams for the rest of the week’s play.

Here are some of the standouts from Day 1:

Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy ’19):  At 6-foot-2, Cole Anthony possesses an exciting blend of explosiveness to go along with a crafty handle and an improving jump shot. Anthony is best in transition, where he’s nearly impossible to defend. Anthony is a vicious dunker in the open court, who also protects the rim very well for a guard.

Jack Cavanaugh (Pope John XXIII ’19): Jack Cavanaugh mixed it up very nicely on the offensive end. The bouncy, 6-foot-4 guard recorded a poster dunk. Cavanaugh hit a three from the catch, and showcased some slick ball-handling skills which enabled him to consistently get into the paint where he finished efficiently in traffic.

Che Evans (Dulaney ’20): 6-foot-6 shooting guard Che Evans showed signs of brilliance on both ends of the court during the first day of action. Evans, who showed good timing when contesting shots at the rim, is a very instinctive defender who has a nose for the ball. Offensively, he showed the ability to handle pressure, hit shots from the perimeter, and constantly finished around the rim.

Noah Hutchins (Park ’19): One of the more intriguing guard prospects of the day, Noah Hutchins was a standout in a variety of areas. The 6-foot guard showcased big time athleticism to go along with a nice feel for the game, and the ability to consistently hit shots from long range.

Mikeal Jones (Gerard College ’20): 6-foot-7 big man Mikeal Jones looked to rip down the rim whenever he could get the opportunity. The rising freshman has excellent hands, plays a mature brand of basketball, and makes strong runs to the rim.

Mekhi Long (St. Mary’s Ryken ’19): Versatile 6-foot-6 forward Mekhi Long showed a strong work ethic on day 1. The lanky rising sophomore demonstrated the ability to handle the ball, rebound out of his area, and finish in the paint ambidextrously. Long guarded multiple positions, and actively contested shots at the rim.

2016 Summer Jam Fest Day 1 Top Performers

Day one of the Summer Jam Fest was just a small preview of what is in store for the weekend at Spooky Nook. Here are some players who showed off their great talents on Friday night:

Eli Brooks | 2017 | Spring Grove (PA)

The Jersey Shore Warriors came up with a big win in their first contest of the tournament, and they were paced by the dynamic lead guard Eli Brooks on both ends of the court. Brooks got off to a quick start in the first half, scoring 16 quick points. He anticipated the passing lanes well and looked to consistently push the ball up the court for easy points. Brooks demonstrated the ability to knock down the perimeter jumper as well, and finished up with a team-high 21 points in a victory for his team.

Matt Donahue | 2017 | Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)

Middlesex Magic shot the lights out in their opening round contest, and they were paced by 6-foot-3 guard Matt Donahue, who drilled 7 in  the first half. Donahue is adept at working through screens to free himself. He recorded a game-high 26 points in a big win for the Magic.

Marcus McClary | 2017 | The Patrick School (NJ)

At 6-foot-4, Marcus McClary of demonstrated high level athleticism during the first night of action. As a result of their stingy defense, the NJ Playaz often found themselves on the break, where the left-handed wing did a great job filling the lanes. McClary crashed the boards hard, especially the offensive glass. He threw down several highlight worthy dunks.

Jonathan Noel | 2018 | St. Mark’s (MA)

A strong wing who likes to get downhill, but can also step out and hit the three, Jonathan Noel impressed on both ends of the floor for Basketball 2 The Limit 17U. Noel was matched up with bigger opponents, but his craftiness helped him be effective at consistently finishing around the basket. The 6-foot-4 rising junior was active and alert defensively as well.

Henrik Olamide Pedersen | 2017 | Falkonergavrens Gymnasium (DEN)

The length and versatility that Henrik Olamide Pederson possesses makes a him very intriguing prospect. The long-limbed 6-foot-7 combo forward has a great motor, big strong hands, and plays above the rim on both ends of the court. He was comfortable handling the ball for Global Squad Denmark, made some accurate skip passes, and showcased solid mobility when hedging screens.