Breaking Down the Weekend that was Elite Team Camp

After session one of Elite Camp ended, there was no time for rest. The very next day, 66 high school teams were coming in to participate in the Hoop Group Elite Team Camp. Teams traveled to Reading, Pennsylvania from up and down the east coast to play in the two day camp, which ended today around 5:00 pm.

Over the past two days we saw a lot of different teams with a lot of different agendas coming in. We saw a lot of good players, teams and coaches as well. Here are some things we took away from the weekend that was, Elite Team Camp.

Newark East Side has a bright future
Newark East Side came into this weekend a little short hand in experience. A team that usually has talented guards such as Ahmad Harrison and Jibreel Ahmad was short-handed this weekend coming to Albright. Half their roster included players going into freshman and sophomore year. Needless to say the squad struggled this weekend, (it also didn’t help seeing DeMatha in round 1) but they gained a ton of experience as a result. As long as their young players continue to stay together and play the level of competition they played this weekend, Newark East Side will be back in the TOC very soon.

Maret appears to have a go to big man
Maret had a solid weekend overall. They won their first two games before being knocked out of the winners bracket by legendary St. Anthony; that loss was their only one of the weekend. A bright spot for the Washington D.C. high school was 6’8 center Luka Garza. He opened by scoring 15 points in Maret’s first win and continued to play well from that point forward. Having a consistent scorer in the post takes pressure off of Maret’s guards and allows them to look inside with confidence, knowing there’s a good chance it’ll result in a basket.

The Huerter brothers would benefit from reclassifying
Kevin and Thomas Huerter are both very good players and had good weekends and their Shenendehowa team prospered as a result, advancing the the Final Four of the American Division. When we covered the Huerter brothers on Day 1 we mentioned that they planned on reclassifying after graduation. A year at prep school will turn their solid offers into good offers. Thomas is looking at Patriot league and Division III looks while Kevin has received an offer from Sienna. Another year to work on their game and these two could have a lot more offers than that.

Roman Catholic has weapons
Roman struggled a little on Sunday, but definitely impressed the day before on their road to the Final Four. When watching them play you instantly thought of the question ‘How can you guard everyone?’ If you focus on Nazeer Bostwick, Trevaughn Wilkerson has the ability to still hurt you. Then there’s D’Andre Vilmer who showed how explosive and bouncy he is and terrorized the boards. Often times this weekend they just appeared to have too much artillery. Should be a good year for them.

St. Anthony’s is still loaded as well
Despite a championship loss, St. Anthony’s showed they are as good as any team in years past. They put on a defensive clinic all weekend long and left their opposition amazed at how tenacious they are. Without Rivals Top 150 recruit Markis McDuffie, the team was led mainly by junior Jagan Mosely, who showed how bright his future can be. The Friars are also blessed with some size inside with Taurean Thompson and Mohammed Bendary, whose heart and hustle make him even bigger than he is. I know that saying St. Anthony’s is good is an obvious statement, but when you put on a showing that you did without a top player, you deserve some credit. This will be a tough squad to beat come February.

Conestoga is a very well rounded team
The Conestoga Pioneers were crowned 2014 American Division champions this afternoon, defeating Stone Bridge by a score of 64-55. A team that found themselves trailing a number of times this weekend, Conestoga was able to stay the course by buckling down on defense, finding a hot hand on offense and grinding out win after win. The team followed a pattern this weekend in terms of offense: feed the hot hand, and everyone else play a balanced role in support. Each game they had a different high scorer, one game it was Daniel Vila, another was Martin Dorsey and on Sunday it was Andrew Diehl, scoring 16 and 27 in the semis and final respectively. Each scorer was also accompanied by a support group of guys scoring six to ten points a game. With a team effort like that, it’s no coincidence they found themselves champs today.

Tyus Battle is great….and so is Gill St. Bernard
Tyus Battle was the biggest name at camp this weekend. A top player in the class of 2016, Battle drew the likes of Jay Wright, John Beilein, Fran Dunphy and Ohio State assistant coach, Greg Paulus. While many people may have watched Gill St. Bernard play because of Battle, he was not the only one on the team who can play. Maybe none of them can play Big East or Big Ten basketball, but there is definitely a place in college for most, if not all of them. Battle was a huge reason why Gill made the final, scoring 22 points in a tough semi final game versus Roman Catholic. However, in the final against St. Anthony, Battle played as a facilitator, kicking to his open teammates when St. Anthony defenders closed in on him. His teammates rewarded the unselfishness by knocking down shot after shot. Adam Mitola ended up being the lead scorer with 22. Battle only had 9, but was just a happy seeing his teammates knock down threes and pick up a win. One thing was made clear last night, Gill St. Bernard is a great overall team.

Gill St. Bernard High School wins the 2014 Elite Team Camp National Division

Gill St. Bernard High School wins the 2014 Elite Team Camp National Division

Team Camp was awesome
On paper alone the schedule looked promising, but many times a tournament does not always liv up to expectations. This was not the case this weekend. We saw plenty of games go down to the wire. We saw top teams get pushed to their limits by underdogs. Most importantly, we saw a lot, I repeat A LOT of teams get better. Summer is always a crucial time to develop your individual game, but these teams were able to develop their team game and raise chemistry in an exciting and competitive environment. It was a really great weekend of camp. Can’t wait to get session II of Academic Elite started.

We’re ready for tournaments
The tournament style bracket that team camp was set up in got us ready for more. Luckily we don’t have to wait that long till we get some! Wednesday stars Summer Classic East in King of Prussia and this weekend is Summer Jam Fest at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim! Brackets are out on our website and the field is loaded, be sure to follow along!

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