2011 Summer Classic East Recap

On July 11th and 12th many talented ballers locked horns with over 210 different college coaches evaluating them at the Summer Classic East at Competitive Edge Sports Complex in King of Prussia, PA.   The Summer Classic East is an invitation-only event that has been run by the Hoop Group since 2004, this year marked the first time it was held in the Philadelphia Area.  A move that was precipitated by large crowds of college coaches that couldn’t be accommodated comfortably in previous venues.

In a backyard battle where there was certainly no love lost, Lonnie Lowry’s Team Philly (PA) program beat Philly’s Finest (PA) (a team primarily comprised of defections from the Team Philly program) for the 17u Championship.  The 16u Championship pitted two of the top 5 16u teams in the country against one another, with New Heights NYC beating the heavy favorite Team Final (PA).

Top 6 2012 Prospects

Amile Jefferson at the Summer Classic East

Amile Jefferson balling at the Summer Classic East

Amile Jefferson – 6’8 2012 SF Philly’s Finest – Willed his team to the title game in his backyard with his versatile skillset and seemingly effortless ability to get buckets in a variety of ways.
Brandon Taylor – 6’7 2012 PF Team Philly – Probably the player who helped himself the most at this event. The face up four-man who can dial it up from deep showed a renewed energy on the block, and urgency to mix it up in the paint that seemed to be missing during his play this past high school season.
Quenton DeCosey – 6’6 2012 SF Sports U / Team Izod – Although his squad fell early in the event, Q got it done while the lights were on. Showed an improved motor and handle, which should help tremendously as he transitions into a shooting guard.
Kareem Canty – 5’11 2012 PG LI Lightning Blue – If you are looking for the toughest guy on the block, look no further. Great trait for a point guard and a leader. NuNu was making shots at a high percentage, which only made the defenders trying to contain him even more helpless.
Mo Alie-Cox – 6’6 2012 PF Fairfax Stars – Animal. VCU got a major steal with this guy, who sports a 7 foot wingspan and massive hands. Most impressive traits though are how hard he plays on a consistent basis and his ability to rebound outside of his area.
Jaylen Bond – 6’7 2011** PF Philly’s Finest – The former Pitt-signee has decided to go the prep school route to help him transition his game to the wing. His bread and butter is still around the rim and in transition where he can utilize his freakish athleticism.

Tyler Roberson is one of the most improving underclassmen in the country

Tyler Roberson is one of the most improving underclassmen in the country

Top 10 Underclassmen Prospects
Jordan Washington – 6’7 2013 PF New Heights NYC – Reminds me of a poor mans Dejaun Blair, minus the long arms. An absolute bull on the court, Washington uses his nimble feet and solid handle to get him wherever he wants to go. Starting to show flashes of the light bulb turning on, he took 4 charges in one game where his squad was fighting from behind.
Terence Samuel – 6’3 2013 PG New Heights NYC- Power point guard that has an innate ability to get himself in the lane and create for others. He has the frame to pack on some serious muscle, which would allow him to be a college ready defender the minute he steps on a campus.
Tyler Roberson – 6’8 2013 PF NJ Roadrunners – The ever improving forward had to shoulder a much bigger load because his frontcourt mate Blaise Mbargorba was out with an injury. It didn’t seem to phase him at all. Neither did the 4 Big East Head Coaches that were watching him. Star in the making.
Austin Colbert – 6’9 2013 PF Team Final – Austin continues to show more of a mean streak and toughness in his game, but until it becomes a constant for full games on both ends of the floor he will continue to only show flashes and disappear for extended stretches. His fluid jumper is his main offensive weapon right now. A serious weight program with an emphasis on core strength would do wonders for him.
Davon Reed – 6’6 2013 SF Team Final – Steady and smooth wing is well built. Reed convinced those watching that he has extended his range consistently from 3 to go with his already solid pull-up game. He will be a very good four-year guy for a high-major program.
Mike Young – 6’8 2013 PF Playaz Basketball Club – The Steel City native brought his A-game to the Summer Classic East. He can score it multiple ways in the post, and also drives it well from the wing and short corner.
Jaren Sina – 6’2 2013 PG Hoop Heaven Heat – Heady point guard led his squad with great pace and demeanor while Anthony Grant looked on. Jaren’s ability to use ballscreens, gain steps while catching the ball moving, use of shot fakes and jabs and of course his automatic jumper give him the unique ability to keep defenses honest; without being able to consistently break down his man off the bounce.
Roddy Peters – 6’3 2013 PG Team Maryland NCA – The long armed lead guard has the ball on a string and can really fill it up. Love the way he leads the break and pushes the tempo. His jumper is consistent but is currently a little bit of a set shot.
Zach Douglass – 6’7 2013 SF Team Maryland NCA – The 6’7 swingman has an extremely high ceiling given his advanced guard skills, size and athleticism. Coach Trevor Brown has coached some good ones, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Douglass will be on that list one day.
Mike Kobani – 6’8 2013 Team Maryland NCA – Chiseled 6’8 beast is grown man in the paint. Currently effects the defensive end more so than the offensive end, but it will come with time.

Biggest Stock Risers
Brandon Taylor – 6’7 2012 PF Team Philly – See above. Brandon definitely cemented himself as a no-brainer for upper echelon Mid-Majors and a fence sitter for High Majors.
Phillip Lawrence – 6’7 2012 PF Philly’s Finest – This long sinewy forward is just scratching the surface. Although he is far from polished, he does tease onlookers with flashes of being face up four-man with a diversified skillset.
Desmond Stanback – 6’3 2012 SG DC Assault Farrington – He may play on DC Assault’s 2nd 17u or B team, but there is absolutely nothing secondary or B-level about Stanback’s game. The explosive combo guard is dynamic off the bounce and can fill it up in a multitude of different ways. Colleges that get up and down need to start calling him ASAP!
Hallice Cooke – 6’3 2013 PG Sports U/Team Izod – Owns a great basketball body that just needs to add strength, reminds some of a shorter less bouncier Elliot Williams. Does a solid job attacking defenders off the bounce with a good handle and a quick first step, depending on how he bulks up will determine what level he can take the bump and still be successful at the next level.
Xavier Harris – 6’5 2011** PF New Jersey ShoreShots – Undersized man-child plays with an edge and a mean streak that has excited numerous college coaches into taking a late flier on him. The Penn-commit has decided to go the prep route but could be enticed to go to a campus near you in the fall if the fit is right.
Britton Lee – 5’10 2013 PG Team Final – Very bouncy and hyper active lead guard is best when pushing the tempo and leading the break. Came in as an inconsistent turnover prone lead guard, and left the Summer Classic East with a new demeanor that seemed like the game had slowed down a bit for him. The addition of a consistent pull-up game has helped a ton.
Jalen Jenkins – 6’7 2012 PF New Heights NYC – The glue guy for New Heights 16u championship run definitely announced his presence here. Jalen has a great nose for the ball, and a tremendous motor. Equipped with broad shoulders and long arms, his best basketball is definitely ahead of him.
Nasir Williams – 5’7 2012 PG New Heights NYC – The diminutive lead guard is well built and plays with a toughness to match. Williams changes speeds well and does a good job of not over penetrating and finding open teammates. His pesky ballhawking defense was a major factor in New Heights 16u success.
Devin Thomas – 6’7 2012 PF Mid-Penn Motion – Devin was a guy on every MM+ and HM-‘s must-see list. Now he’s officially a High-Major fence sitter. He doesn’t wow you with his athletic ability but the lefty is extremely crafty and finds way to use angles to his advantage. Has good bulk on his frame already which will allow him to take the High Major bump, it has to be the right fit system-wise though.

Fresh New Faces
Teyvon Myers – 6’2 2013 SG New Heights NYC – Myers was only known in the Five Boros before the Summer Classic East, word is spreading fast about the bouncy combo that is extremely slippery off the bounce.
Fergus Duke – 6’3 2013 SG New Jersey Cyclones – Strong bodied off guard consistently makes winning plays without expending wasteless energy or movement. Head Coaches that implement an offensive system should actively recruit him, Duke is very cerebral but not robotic by any means.
Tobe Okafor – 6’10 2012 C Cecil Kirk – Bigs that are mobile and can run are hard to come by, that is why Tobe will be a valued commodity. His offensive game is developing, but he currently impacts the game significantly more on defensive end.
Bryan Rivers – 6’1 2013 PG New Jersey ShoreShots – The left-handed point is extremely quick and does a very good job of putting pressure on the defense by catching the ball moving while changing ends. He’s deceptively athletic and with continued work to make his jumper more consistent, he will definitely be a Division I player. His ability to make jump shots will dictate what level conference though.
Justin Alston – 6’9 2012 PF/C Team Takeover Hoop Magic – Alston is a long fluid athlete with a developing game and good motor. He’s in a tough spot with TTO Hoop Magic, because Zach Elcano and Coleman Johnson currently produce more than he is capable of. His ability to rebound and challenge and change shots will continue to get a lot of Division I schools excited.
Kyle Green – 6’4 2013 SF Jersey Shore Warriors – The slender lanky wing plays with a toughness that many Camden Catholic players often have. Kyle has a penchant for putting the ball in the basket. Once he develops his handle further he will be able to completely make the transition to the wing more comfortably.
Jalen Williams – 6’3 2013 SG DC Assault Farrington – Another darkhorse little known guard that doesn’t get a ton of pub in the always loaded DMV area. Williams can really break defenses down off the bounce, and uses his length to finish in a variety of ways around the cup.
Devonne Pinkard – 6’7 2013 PF Sportsfest Acheivers – Little known face-up four-man is a fluid athlete that can stretch the defense with his jumper. Definitely a prospect for Low Majors to evaluate going forward.

College Coaches swarmed King of Prussia, PA for the Summer Classic East

College Coaches swarmed King of Prussia, PA for the Summer Classic East

These Guys Need Love Too…
(This section usually reserved for strictly Division II & III Prospects but due to the deep talent pool at the event, we are also recognizing under-recruited prospects that can play at higher levels)
Spencer Weisz – 6’4 2013 SF Sports U/Team Izod – Skilled players that can shoot the ball well and also have a high basketball IQ with their academics in order, usually translate into immediate Patriot & Ivy League interest. For whatever reason or another, those schools aren’t beating his door down yet. Weisz is a fox-hole guy, a tough competitor that consistently makes winning plays.
Wayne Martin – 6’6 2012 PF Long Island Lighting Blue – Garbage man that continually gives up his body and takes a beating and keeps coming back. His game may not be pretty but Wayne rebounds with a Rodman-esque tenacity and determination. He’s currently a Division I fence-sitter, wherever he ends up the coaching staff that takes him will be extremely pleased with his output and effort.
Aaron McBurnie – 6’5 2012 PF Riverside Hawks Hargraves – Aaron doesn’t pass the look test at first glance, and certainly doesn’t look like a guy that has a 30” inch vert. Low and behold, he was probably the quickest and most explosive leaper in attendance at the Summer Classic East. Couple that with a motor that runs in overdrive, a willingness to mix it up and patience in the post; and you will find a guy that will consistently overachieve at whatever level he ends up at.
Sal Vitello – 5’6 2012 PG Riverside Hawks Hargraves – A throwback floor general, he might be small in stature but he plays significantly bigger than his size normally allows. Higher level Division III’s are praying that he doesn’t show well enough the rest of the summer with Riverside. Something to be said for guys that don’t turn the ball over and always get guys the ball where they need it.
Logan Kelley – 6’3 2012 SG Jersey Hot Shots – Known as a high volume scorer on the NJ high school circuit, he has been a very good Robin to Jameel Warney’s Batman for the Jersey Hot Shots. Has shown improved decision making as a playmaker and has picked his spots better as a scorer, without losing his mentality of his next shot is always going to go in.
Jamel Torrence – 5’10 2012 PG Long Island Lightning Blue – Torrence has been playing high-level AAU since he was very young, always being overshadowed by more heralded guys on national caliber teams. His teammates have changed over the years, but the one constant with Long Island Lightning’s success with this 2012 group has been Jamel’s consistency as a playmaker and a defense stopper. His ability to run a team, lock down on-ball defense and academics should open more doors for him.
Tyaire Hudson – 5’8 2012 PG East Coast Elite – Hands down the best on ball defender that the Hoop Group Staff has seen through the first half of the 2011 July Live Period. Can force the issue at times offensively, but it is tough to stop him when he penetrates and gets a shoulder into defenders.

Don’t forget to follow @TheHoopGroup on Twitter.  You can also follow @RobEngemann for updates on all Hoop Group Team Events.

2011 Hoop Group Summer Showcase Recap

St Benedicts

Intense and competitive are the first two words that come to mind when trying to recap the action that took place this past weekend at the 2011 Hoop Group Summer Showcase.  Twenty-Four High School teams from Boston down to Maryland came to Hoop Group Headquarters for some serious bump and exposure, and that’s exactly what they got.  Over 40 different college coaches were in the building over the course of the event which took place during the first weekend of the Division II Live Period.  Mark Taylor was christened as the new coach at St. Benedict’s Prep as he and the Gray Bees took home the hardware, beating a very talented Teaneck HS team(arguably the best public school team in the state, but don’t tell my friends in Plainfield I said so).  I’d like to thank all of the media that covered the event, as well as Tom Lopes and Bobby Pugh who ran a great officials camp for the NJAC.  Here is a synopsis of who stood out this past weekend:

Top 6 2012 Prospects

Melvin Johnson – 6’4 2012 SG St. Benedict’s Prep – Once thought of as just a shooter, Melvin has diversified his game and has become a very efficient and crafty scorer from all over the floor.  He has the tools to score at the highest level of Mid-Majors and as a specialist for higher level programs.

Dom Hoffman – 6’7 2012 PF Gill St. Bernards – Dave Paulsen & Bucknell got a good one. With continued commitment to improving his athleticism (which he displayed this past weekend), the fundamentally sound forward has All-League potential in the Patriot League.

Quenton DeCosey – 6’5 2012 SG/SF St. Joe’s Metuchen HS – Scintillating length and athleticism, it’s easy to see why his recruitment is all over the board level-wise.  His ability to handle and completely transition to the guard spot will dictate where Q plays his college ball. Have to love his long-term potential though.

Dom Hoffman Dunk

Dom Hoffman throws down a 2 handed jam in traffic off a behind the back pass from teammate Jaren Sina. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Terry Turner – 6’5 2012 SF Scranton HS – Terry is an extremely unique player that can do many things on the floor.  His best attribute might be his ability to see the floor and pass the ball. He’s extremely deceptive athletically and fluid with the ball in his hands


Chris Jones – 6’5  2012 SG Teaneck HS – Solidly built two guard that is coming into his own as a scorer.  Flashed his competitive side in the championship game, where he tried to put his team on his back and was almost successful.  Explosive when already has a head of steam.

Tariq Carey – 6’3 2012 CG St. Benedict’s Prep – The Newark East Side transfer has came along way with his decision making without losing his scorers mentality, which is crucial in his development.  Does a great job of finding cracks and seams while penetrating, also is a college ready on-ball defender.

Top 6 Underclassmen Prospects

Tyler Ennis – 6’2 2013 PG St. Benedict’s Prep – Smooth and crafty, usually when using those words while describing a point guard it means they aren’t very quick.  Not the case with Ennis, he can really go and when he gets in the paint he uses a variety of finishes when he’s not setting his teammates up.

Tyler Ennis Layup

Tyler Ennis of St. Benedict's Prep weaves his way through the paint to make it look like an easy two points. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Jaren Sina – 6’2 2013 PG Gill St. Bernards – Jaren is very methodical while running the show, he and his Gill St. Bernards squad love to lull opponents to sleep and then cut them up with surgical precision.  Can really dial it up from deep as well.


Joel Hernandez – 6’3 2013 SG Teaneck – Has a great motor and plays with tremendous confidence.  Joel has a good fluid stroke and gets good elevation on his jumper.  Stock will continue to rise as more people see him play in July.

Austin Colbert – 6’9 2013 PF St. Patrick’s – Even though the big fella only played on Sunday, he still makes the cut because you can’t deny his ability right now or his long term potential.  With added weight he can be as good as he wants to be.

Jared Hall – 6’1 PG 2013 Newark Tech – Handled adversity well, as he played through a pretty bad ankle sprain and his jumper wasn’t falling like it usually does.  Instead, the tough competitor punished defenders with bullying drives to the rim.  As he becomes more consistent, his college interest will definitely do the same.

Isaiah Briscoe – 6’2 2015 CG St. Benedict’s Prep- Mature beyond his years, both physically and his basketball skillset.  The freshman-to-be can get things done in a variety of ways, and doesn’t shy away from anything or play timid at all.  Look forward to watching him the next couple of years, he has a chance to be really really good.

Biggest Stock Risers

DeAndre Noble -5’11 2012 CG Paterson Eastside- Has seized opportunity when his time came. Carried Paterson Eastside over St. Patrick’s to put the Ghosts in Semifinals. A young senior, look for DeAndre to do a prep year following a stellar Senior campaign at Eastside.

Chris Jones Teaneck Jumper

Chris Jones shows great elevation and release on his jump shot. He connects from deep with a hand in his face. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Jason Huelbig -6’4 2012 SG Middletown North HS- I think all the Division II’s might be left in the dust if Jason plays well in the right events in July. He’s a sniper from deep but bouncy two-guard isn’t afraid to attack the tin to keep defenders honest either.


Chris Jones -6’5 2012 SG Teaneck HS- see above. Really solidified himself as a priority guy for Mid-Majors in need of a wing scorer.

Fresh New Faces

Isiah Watkins – 6’8 2013 PF St. Benedict’s Prep – Workhorse isn’t real bouncy,  but has a motor that doesn’t stop and a great nose for the ball.  Needs to develop his post game but for now relishes defending, rebounding and scoring off offensive rebounds and dump-off’s.

Dashawn Smith – 5’10 2012 PG St. Benedict’s Prep – Wiry strong lead guard can really fill it up in a multitude of different ways.  Another young Senior-to-be, he plays with the New York Gauchos 16u team that just won the Rumble in the Bronx where he was the MVP.  Pretty good two week stretch for “Scooch.”

Deandre Bemby – 6’5 2013 SF/PF St. Patrick’s HS- Bouncy combo forward is a North Carolina-native.  Poor mans Shawn Marion with a developing perimeter game, always goes hard and got the crowd excited with his explosive dunks.

Andrew Moran – 6’3 2013 SG Scranton HS- Scranton is a blue-collar city of coalminers, steel & iron workers.  Andrew’s game reflects exactly that.  The two-guard can stretch the defense from deep and really defend on and off the ball.  Plays with a refreshing intensity every time he steps on the floor.

Ike Ngwudo – 6’6 2013 PF Milton Academy – Ike can go! Excels while slashing to the rim, fluid on the perimeter too.  Might be able to be a complete face-up PF, if he can consistently knock down mid-range jumpers.

Alec Brennan – 6’9 2014 PF Milton Academy- Skilled face-up four-man can really stretch the D with his ability to shoot, Alec is also willing to go in and mix it up in the post.  Some added muscle to his frame will help him on the defensive end but expect that to come with time.

Hoop Group Academic Elite Camp

These Guys Need Love Too…

Eric Youncofski – 5’8 2012 PG Middletown North HS- Heady & Steady point guard runs the show and changes speeds real well.

Travis Sheldon – 5’9 2012 PG Milton Academy – Well-built point guard defends well & has a high basketball IQ.  Was drawing up plays before an end-game situation that got his squad a W on Sunday, exemplifies his ability to be an extension of the coach on the floor.

Eric Shaw – 6’5 2012 PF Christian Brothers Academy – Southpaw really filled it up from deep, uses his strong frame and length well to rebound.

Darien Gonzalez – 5’8 2012 PG Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS- Speed demon applies pressure to his opponent on both ends of the floor with his quickness.  Always active and creating opportunities for teammates.

Danny Brix – 6’3 2012 SG St. Joe’s Metuchen HS- Tough as nails.  Glue guy that lays it all on the line everytime out, good mid-range game.  Not an intangible that he doesn’t have.

Matt Billups – 6’9 2012 C Oratory Prep – Rail thin post is really long and moves very well for his size.  Has developing skillset and can step out to hit jumpers to the three.  Bigs develop late, and I think with added weight his best basketball is ahead of him.

Kris Hargraves -6’1 2012 PG Teaneck HS – The straw that stirs the drink at Teaneck. The thin southpaw plays with a purpose and never seems to get rattled.  Makes the already very talented crew around him better.

Matt Jegede – 6’6 2012 PF Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS – Matt is an athletic big that competes on every single play on both ends of the floor.  Might get him in foul trouble from time to time, but his upside is high.

Stephen Meyer – 5’11 2012 PG Franklin HS- Stephen is a game-changing defensive player that has a very good handle.  Strength is attacking the cup, but his jumper has improved every time out.