Academic Elite Camp Count Down

 

                                                                             14 Days

                                                                      Player Feature: Matthue Cotton

                                                                        

With offers from high major schools such as Seton Hall, Oklahoma State and Rutgers, Cotton has benefited greatly from Academic Elite 1. He entered the camp with little to no exposure and came out with numerous offers. The crafty guard looks to continue his success this year as he enters his senior season.

 

 

                           13 Days

                                                                    Player Feature: Mikey Dixon

Mikey Dixon is one of the more unique Academic Elite 1 stories. After tearing it up at camp, Mikey later landed himself a Quinnipiac offer where he committed almost immediately. Averaging an impressive 16 points and 4 rebounds his freshman year, Mikey left the mid major and now currently attends the up and coming Big East team St. John’s, where he looks to carry on the values and skills he learned at our Academic Elite 1 camp.

 

 12 Days

Player Feature: Gabe Stefanini

Loyalty is never unnoticed and that’s the case with Stefanini. After attending 3 separate Hoop Group camps starting at Academic Elite 1, Stefanini came onto the college scene as an underrated, high IQ, crafty guard with the ability to slash to the basket and create opportunities for his teammates. While  receiving 12 scholarship offers  from Camp, Gabe committed to Columbia University  and will have an immediate impact in the Ivy League. Jim Engles and staff got a diamond in the rough in Stefanini and the conference will soon find that out as well.

 11 Days

           Player Feature: Bryan Knapp

The Cornell commit is a textbook example of a volume scorer. Averaging an unbelievable 27.1 PPG his senior season, Knapp will provide the Big Red with a player they haven’t seen in years. Head Coach Brian Earl touched on Knapp’s unique offensive abilities by saying “Bryan possesses the natural ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways. His athleticism and ability to create shots for himself and others will be an exciting addition to our back court.” Knapp leaves Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School as the all-time leading scorer and arguably its most decorated athlete. Knapp was one of the biggest stock risers of last summer, with outstanding performances at our Hoop Group Academic Camps and Summer Jam Fest, we are proud to have Bryan as a Hoop Group Academic Alumni!

                             10 Days

        Player Feature: Hans Brase

Efficiency is key, and that’s exactly what you get from Hans Brase. The forward from Germany shot 35% from the three over his four year career at Princeton and provided the Tigers with a lot of power in the front court. After deciding to become a graduate transfer, the Academic Elite 1 standout transferred to the Big-12 powerhouse Iowa State.  Coach Steve Prohm is excited to have the talented German by saying, “He knows how to play the pick and roll very well and he has a very high basketball IQ.” The Cyclones are planning on using the big for frontcourt depth as they look to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. We take pride in the accomplishments that Brase has from Academic Elite 1 and we wish him all the best for his future endeavors!

                                                                            9 Days

                                                          Player Feature: Eric SavageImage result for eric savage hoopgroup

Clutch players make clutch plays and Eric Savage is just that. The Tufts guard has come up BIG this year as his efficiency was his best attribute. Shooting a phenomenal 39% from the perimeter, Savage was a sniper and someone opposing teams had to game plan for. The Academic Elite 1 standout’s high IQ and leadership abilities are something that are hard to find nowadays. We are overjoyed that Eric has played well at the collegiate level and we wish him all the best  going into his Sophomore Season.

7 Days

Player Feature: Jake Kuhn

The Maryland Guard enrolls at Cornell as one of its unique new players. “Jake brings a ton of experience and versatility to the table and we are very pleased to add him to our program” stated head coach Brian Earl in excitement. Kuhn surprised a lot of people with his performance at Academic Elite 1 last summer. His ability to score from everywhere on the court is something Cornell will learn to love. Kuhn is a player with a copious amount of potential and the opportunity to become a big time leader at Cornell, on and off the court.

For more information;

Contact:  610-929-6658 or email us at hgelite@hoopgroup.com

2017 Pitt Jam Fest Live Blog

Sunday | April 30th

3:30 PM

That’s a wrap from the Hoop Group 2017 #PittJamFest Live Blog! Thank you everyone for the support and keep following our Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts for more on our tournaments and camps to come! Stay tuned plenty more basketball action to come!

3:29 PM

3:03 PM

2:58 PM

And the 2017 #PittJamFest 17u Platinum champions are the Middlesex Magic winning 79-66 over Jersey Force. Thomas Shaughnessy with an unconscious performance shooting the ball.

2:54 PM

2:42 PM

2:38 PM

https://twitter.com/thehoopgroup/status/858751306735005696

2:32 PM

2:18 PM

Thomas Shaughnessy is having himself an excellent first half leading the Middlesex Magic 47-35 over Jersey Force.

2:09 PM

2:05 PM 

2:00 PM

1:53 PM

1:51 PM 

After an epic comeback Indiana Elite are the 16u Platinum champions of the 2017 #PittJamFest!

1:44 PM

1:40 PM 

Incredible comeback in the 16u Platinum championship as Indiana Elite has overcome a 13-point deficit in a 59-all game right now. #PittJamFest

1:13 PM

Exciting game in the 16u Platinum championship. Albany City Rocks up 36-26 at the half. #PittJamFest

1:02 PM

12:58 PM

Albany City Rocks raining 3s early to get out to a 17-7 lead with 9:08 left in the first half.

12:53 PM

Albany City Rocks getting off to a strong start early with a few 3-pointers. 8-0 lead over Indiana Elite over on court 15.

12:45 PM

Getting ready to tip off the 16u Platinum championship! It’ll be Indiana Elite against Alvany City Rocks EYBL over on court 15 at the #PittJamFest.

12:44 PM

And the Middlesex Magic advance with a 46-41 win over Team Price. 

12:27 PM

https://twitter.com/OhioBuckets/status/858717187678363648

12:23 PM

Our 16u championship game is set! Tipping at 12:45pm we have Indiana Elite Fastbreak taking on Albany City Rocks EYBL for the title. Be sure to follow our Twitter @thehoopgroup for game and score updates and keep tuned in to the live blog!

12:04 PM

11:53 AM

Middlesex Magic up on Team Price 24-16 in the 17u Platinum semis. Multiple guys stepping up to hit outside shots for the Magic.

11:38 AM

11:36 AM

11:26 AM

11:23 AM

And Albany City Rocks EYBL takes this 16u Platinum matchup over York Ballers 53-43.

11:17 AM

Close game coming down to the wire here between York Ballers and Albany City Rocks EYBL! 50-43 with 1:52 left. #PittJamFest

10:54 AM

10:50 AM

Some more last minute score updates here from 17u Platinum… Team Price 67-54 over Maryland’s Finest and DC Blue Devils HGSL 69-57 over Jersey Force – Stein.

10:42 AM

Score updates here from around the tournament… Team Takeover Black defeated Boo Williams 46-42 in 15u Platinum action with 17u Platinum wins going to Middlesex Magic over Team Loaded 757 (49-43) and Jersey Force – Stein over Michigan Warriors (72-61).

10:40 AM

10:31 AM

10:02 AM

Close game on court 16 with 9:54 to go between Michigan Warriors and Jersey Force – Stein 51-44. Multiple college coaches on hand including La Salle‘s John Giannini!

9:26 AM

9:24 AM

9:14 AM

ICYMI here’s a look at our highlights from yesterday! #PittJamFest

9:10 AM

9:07 AM

One 15u Platinum game just went live at #PittJamFest with Team Final – Red winning 64-49 over Bridge City Basketball. 

9:00 AM

8:53 AM

8:50 AM

Some intense 16u Platinum action going on right now at #PittJamFest! College Park Rim Rockers up on NJ Beasts Basketball 58-55 with 3:50 to go!

8:45 AM

Cameron Thomas of Boo Williams on fire right now on court 15! 32 points and counting with 7 made 3s! Boo Williams up 63-59 on York Ballers with 5:07 to go!

8:37 AM

8:36 AM

Good morning hoop fanatics! We’ve fought through the technical difficulties and are back this morning for some championship Sunday action! Follow us throughout the day for updates!

Saturday | April 29th

6:48 PM

6:40 PM

One of the best games of the day tipped off at 10:40 AM with Crown Basketball coming back from a 35-16 deficit to beat Team MOAM 61-60.

6:35 PM

Earlier in the day on court 15 the DC Blue Devils won an overtime thriller against Team Melo – Red in 17u Platinum action. Kevin Fernandez of the Blue Devils hit the shot to send the game into OT.

6:31 PM

A wild game just finished up on court 18 at the #PittJamFest as Jersey Shore Warriors Gold won on a buzzer beater by Luke House to beat Corey Graham Elite 56-55.

6:26 PM

We apologize for the technical difficulties regarding our live blog we have had server issues since the start of the tournament! But we have updates here from throughout the day!

8:43 AM

Close game here on court 19 between Game 7 and the NOVA Cavaliers 30-28. Multiple Big Ten coaches in attendance watching this matchup.

8:33 AM

Action already underway today here at the #PittJamFest! Court 17 has a fast-paced 17u Platinum game going with the Randallstown Rebels up early on the L&L Running Rebels 28-19 with 7:12 left in the first half.

Friday | April 28th

9:07 PM

8:46 PM

8:44 PM

8:07 PM

8:03 PM

Over 20 media outlets here and 50+ college coaches out scouting players right now at the #PittJamFest!

8:01 PM

7:20 PM

The Middlesex Magic defeated The Academy 67-58 in the first game on Court 16 apart of the HGSL Showcase. 6’0″ point guard Thomas Shaughnessy led the way for the Magic with 11 points.

7:11 PM

Team MOAM beats MD3D 71-53 on court 10 here at the #PittJamFest. Dante Treacy of Team MOAM led the way with a game-high 15 points.

6:55 PM

Many D1 coaches on hand including those from Yale, UPenn and Boston University watching the Northern Kings playing Interstate Basketball on Court 12 here at the #PittJamFest!

6:43 PM

6:22 PM

6:10 PM

6:03 PM

We are underway here at the 2017 #PittJamFest!!

Hoop Group Teams Win State Championships

2017 Pennsylvania AAAAAA State Champions Reading High School

“Dreams Do Come True”

In addition to all the individual camps and AAU events the Hoop Group runs during the course of the year, we also provide opportunities for high school teams to play together as a unit in highly competitive exposure events.

During the off-season the Hoop Group manages the Summer and Fall High School Showcases at the Hoop Group Headquarters in Neptune NJ as well as the Hoop Group Elite Team Camp during the July Live Period at Albright College in Reading Pennsylvania.

The Hoop Groups operates four major high school showcase events during the season, the Reading Tip-Off Showcase (Albright College – Reading PA), NJ Tip-Off Showcase (Caldwell University – Caldwell NJ), Boardwalk Showcase (Brookdale Community College – Lincroft NJ) and Lehigh Valley Showcase (Parkland High School – Allentown PA).

Over the years many teams have used these events as springboards to go on to win state championships.

A look at the 2017 state champions who have played at a Hoop Group Team event this year and used that experience to help them earn a state chip.

Albany Academy NY

Archbishop Wood PA

Baltimore Poly Tech MD

Don Bosco Prep NJ

Frederick Douglas Academy NY

Imhotep Charter PA

Lincoln NY

Linden NJ

Molloy NY

Patrick School NJ

Reading PA

St. Benedict’s NJ

Teaneck NJ

Westtown PA

CONGRATS TO ALL!

Pooley’s Picks: College Basketball Recruiting Process

Pooley’s Picks

College Basketball Recruiting Process

Qualifications:  The college basketball recruiting process is a tough thing to navigate.  There are plenty of traps along the way and most people feel at least a little overwhelmed by the process.  However, one of the reasons parents and players struggle in the recruiting process is because they make mistakes.  These mistakes are common and if it is your first time through the process, frankly easy to make.  This edition of Pooley’s Picks we’ll dive into the ten most common mistakes in the college basketball recruiting process.

Picks are in no particular order. Please enjoy the sixth installment of Pooley’s Picks.

Weak Academics: Too often players think that recruiting is all about basketball.  Not knowing the academic requirements of schools you want to go to costs many student athletes.  On top of this, having weak junior or senior years after a strong start leaves many good students on the wrong end of Ivy/Patriot recruiting.  See, the Ivy and Patriot leagues recruit based on a players Academic Index, with each school having slightly different requirements.  The Academic Index factors your GPA and your SAT or ACT scores together to give you a score out of 240.  The calculations are a little complicated, but basically what you need to know is the better you do on both your grades and the test, the easier it is to recruit you.  Therefore, its probable that some high academic kids will actually be taken over players they are less talented than in order to allow those schools to meet requirements.  Other schools like Stanford, Northwester, Vanderbilt in Division 1 also have higher academic standards than just being a qualifier.  Finally, most D3 schools operate completely within the confines of their schools admissions process.  If you aren’t a good enough student to get it, it doesn’t matter what you play like.  Even the top D3’s who can assist student athletes in admissions, don’t have free-reign and may only be able to take one player a year that doesn’t live up to standards.

Short and Sweet: Do well in school so you don’t limit your choices.

We’re Just Working on His Game: There is nothing more important than getting better.  However, in order to get recruited at the right level it isn’t all about instruction and development.  Players have to go to the right events and be exposed to the right people to be accurately recruited.  Too often I’ve heard people say “we aren’t doing {insert event} because Johnny needs to work on his game.”  This is not the way to get to the right college.  The more a player can be seen (in the right light) by different colleges, the more likely he is to go to the appropriate level.

 Short and Sweet: Get to the right events often, the more visibility the better.

Pitt Jam Fest One of many AAU Tournaments to aid the college recruiting process

He HAS to Play for ‘XYZ’ AAU Team:  Wrong! There is never just one answer or one group of answers on the AAU circuit.  I would argue it is extremely important for everyone to play with an AAU team.  However, just because one team wins more games or goes to a certain group of tournaments does not make it the right fit for everyone.  My rule of thumb, if you aren’t a top seven player on your team, you’re not on the right team.  Players going to a tournament with 100 coaches and playing five minutes isn’t as good as going to an event with 25 coaches and playing twenty minutes.

Short and Sweet: Play with a team that lets you shine but goes to the right tournaments.

 

Image result for hoop group elite summer camp

Elite Camps can be a great supplement to summer exposure

He Doesn’t Need Camps or Clinics: Never get caught up in the thought that AAU and High School basketball are enough.  Many players will be recruited from their High School teams.  Many more will be recruited from their AAU teams.  Some players will find the college basketball recruiting strongest at camps or clinics.  Each player is different and college coaches like to see kids on multiple platforms.

 Short and Sweet: Camps and Clinics are an important supplement to high school and AAU.

 

This Event Doesn’t Have Anyone Watching My Kid:  With the amount of games and events that kids attend today, you’re bound to attend one or two without a multitude of college coaches.  Don’t let who it APPEARS is watching you to effect how you play.  College coaching is a network and often a coach at one division will communicate with coaches in other divisions if they see a kid they like.  Second, and perhaps more important, scouting services are all over.  Many scouts will look like an average fan or parent, but often attend events to find players people don’t know about, or re-evaluate guys they have seen before.  Don’t get caught playing lazy or with an attitude by one of these gentlemen see that it can hurt you.

 Short and Sweet: You don’t ever really know who is watching, always play like the college of your dreams is there.

 

He is underrated:  Every player in the county, except for the kid ranked #1 in his class is “underrated.”  Every kid that isn’t getting recruited to Duke and Kentucky is “under the radar.”  The truth is, most kids are getting recruited to the right level.  If your son has a lot of D3 interest and no D2 or D1 interest, it is likely that is where his skill set is the best fit.  As long as you are attending the right events and getting in front of coaches and scouts, the chances are the recruitment is accurate.  Are there exceptions? Absolutely.  Don’t let any one person tell you that your son isn’t good enough, but PLEASE be as objective as possible.  There’s an old adage that states: A player’s coach thinks he’s one level higher than he is, a player’s parents and the player thinks he’s two levels higher than he is.  Just about every person involved in college basketball recruiting does it as a full-time job.  Listen to as many people in this space (coaches, scouts, event operators) as you can, and don’t fixate on the one piece of information you like to hear.  Aggregate all the info you get and remember, you may know your kid better than everyone else, but the experts know everyone else better than you do.

 Short and Sweet: Get as many opinions as you can, and do your best to be objective.

 

My Kid is better than THAT level:  A variation of the mistake above, too many people get caught up in classifying their kid as ‘better’ than a school or group of schools.  Before you say this ask yourself: “Have I seen enough basketball at this level to be accurate?”  Maybe the answer is no, then go watch a game.  If you think your kid is too good to play in the Patriot League, go watch a top level Patriot team play a game.  If you think your son is too good to play in the NE-10, go watch a playoff game in that league.  Most of the time you’ll be surprised just how good the basketball is.  Be careful when putting down leagues too, it is possible your son ends up at that level or similar, which is an accomplishment not a failure.  College basketball is an incredibly hard sport to get recruited in, with just about every high school in the country offering it and only 12 spots on most college rosters.  Any recruitment is a blessing and an accomplishment, never take it for granted.

 Short and Sweet: Know what each level really looks like, before passing judgement on recruiting.

 

My son stopped this player and he is ranked here:  No one cares.  Trust me on this one.  The player on player comparison in one game, is a very bad litmus test for how good your son is.  Most scouting services and college coaches completely dismiss this.  Your son (and the other player) will not be judged on just one performance, especially with so many other factors determining how players play in a game.  Playing against good competition day-in and day-out is what you should be focusing on.  The college recruiting process should never come down to one match up and if there are schools that buy into that, they aren’t the schools you want your son to go to.  What if as a senior he’s scoring 15 points a game and gets out played during the practice before the championship game by a freshman?

 Short and Sweet: The college recruiting process is about being consistent and making lasting impressions, not one time

 

We’re not entertaining interest from those schools:  If you know about a school and don’t have any interest tell the coach.  Sometimes the best thing to hear as a recruiter is no.  However, if you don’t know anything about the school, try to learn more.  Even if you think your son is better than that level, you should always have a plan if his recruiting doesn’t go the way you expect.  If you think your son is a D1 player, but doesn’t have the interest yet, pick a few D2/3 schools and find a couple fits.  The Division 1 schools may come around.  If not, he’ll have a place to go to school where he can play, get an education, and enjoy college.

 Short and Sweet: Give yourself options in the college recruiting process, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

 

Not being Proactive: Too many parents and players are passive about the thing that is most important to them: their college basketball recruiting process.  Be your own advocate.  Clean-up your social media, change your voicemail to be professional, get game tape, and send colleges your schedule.  Find schools you like and help them recruit you.  Schools aren’t going to offer you a scholarship on the spot, but certainly will take notice and evaluate you if you make it easy for them.  Plan out a spring and summer schedule with good events and play on a good AAU team, get a game tape and highlight video (game tapes are still the most important).  This will give you the best shot.  Don’t ever get “under recruited” because you didn’t do your job.

 Short and Sweet: Be aggressive and take control of your recruitment.

 

 

Pooley’s Picks: New Jersey Tip-Off

Pooley’s Picks

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off Preview

Qualifications:  Sticking with the theme of high school events we have NEW JERSEY BASKETBALL BACK!  Nothing like the start of basketball season in NJ and nothing like the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  This week we’ll have a little different approach to Pooley’s Picks.  No specific qualifications this week, just some pointers for people to watch out for during this event and really the rest of the season.

Picks are in no particular order. Please enjoy the fifth installment of Pooley’s Picks.

2016 New Jersey Tip Off

The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off: Ten great match ups. 5 of the top 7 teams in NJ.

The Event: For years (17 to be exact), the Hoop Group has put on the NJ Tip-Off.  Each year, it features high-profile match ups and top-tier talent. The event itself is well run and the venues are always excellent.  The 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off will be very much the same.  First, Eric Kessler and Dave Fedor have a ton of experience running events, and more importantly a ton of knowledge of the teams.  When you get the best teams together to start the season it is important to have a great setup and planning.  This event will have that and more.

 

HC of Pope John at 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, Vincent Johnson, while at Lehigh.

Vincent Johnson: Vincent was named the head coach of Pope John after former coach Jason Hasson left for Pennsylvania.  “Chico” as many know him, is a great coach with an unbelievable background in basketball.  More importantly, he is a good friend of mine and an excellent mentor to many young ball players.  The #1 thing I’m excited for at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off is to watch Coach Johnson in his head coaching debut.  Now, he has been matched up with Roselle Catholic, a staple at the top of the NJ rankings.  Don’t be surprised if Coach Johnson and his young, talented squad can keep it close.

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

2016 New Jersey Tip-Off participant Mike Morreale

Michael Morreale:  The 6’5″ 2017 senior is one of my favorites.  He is an excellent player, known both for his excellent athleticism and long range jumpers.  Entering his senior year, he’ll be a valuable asset for Coach Mergin Sina and the Knights.  Look for Mike to knock down a couple threes and convert on a jam or two.  More than that, look for Mike to make the big play at the end.  Defensively Mike is one of the best around, guarding point guards right on down to centers.  More importantly, he is a great kid and a great teammate.  No question that at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off everyone will enjoy watching Mike.

 

 

Blair v Linden: Earlier in the year, in the first installment of Pooley’s Picks I predicted the most productive players in New Jersey.  This match up features (admittedly) my biggest snub: Tavon Jones.  I can’t wait to watch Tavon in his first opportunity to prove me wrong.  The big guard can do it all and will have a huge test against one of my favorite backcourts on the east coast.  Let’s not forget the match up also features two great coaches: Phil Colicchio and Joe Mantegna.

 

Bergen Catholic v St. Benedict’s:  Mark Taylor’s team is led by impressive Syracuse commit Bourama Sidibe and fab frosh Noah Farrakhan.  Billy Armstrong’s team is led by two senior guards Gabe Stefanini (Columbia) and Taj Benning (Fairfield).  Something has to give here.  This is the most evenly matched game of the weekend, and one I really am excited to see.  Look for the X-factor, 6’8″ freshman Matt Zona, to jump onto the New Jersey seen.

 

Ja’Quaye James:  The small, heady PG will have his work cut out for him against Newark East Side.  First, the Red Raiders are one of the best defenses at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Second, they are led by senior stopper Elijah Olaniyi and sophomore stud Anas Amos.  However, none of that matters to James, who has been taking on the country’s best for years.   Watch for some highlight reel excitement, some up-tempo basketball, and a lot of buckets from James.

 

Hun vs Union Catholic:  Just a solid match up.  Union Catholic is tough and physical, Hun is tough and physical.  Guard play from both schools will be the difference in the game.  Hun will try to keep Jordan Pierce of the offensive boards and Union Catholic will need to keep Tyler Washington and Desmond Cambridge away from the rim. Freshman guard Niels Lane, who got a lot of minutes at PSA Cardinals Showcase just two weeks ago, is another X-factor.

 

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

Calistus Anyichie 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off commit

St. Mary’s Elizabeth Bigs: Certainly not a group the casual fan would talk about, but I think that’s about to change.  Both bigs, Calistus Anyichie and Casmir Ochiaka, have big upside and great coaching.  Perhaps a little underrated right now, I’m looking for them to have a breakout 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  As the season continues, look for colleges to start taking notice as well.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim: First of all, it’s not often you get to see a freshman play major minutes in a High School game.  Second of all, it’s less often you get to see a top player nationally impact a game.  Finally, both of those two will come together for the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off, as Abdur-Rahim will do his best to live up to the hype.

 

Samba Diallo:  Will BLOW UP this season.  Been hearing his name a lot lately in some basketball circles.  Samba has started coming into his own. First, look for this kid to have his first big game of the year at the 2016 New Jersey Tip-Off.  Then, look for him to finish his sophomore year with all of the offers.  The big lefty can do it all, and legitimately play 4 different positions.

 

Special Guest this week, Event Director Eric Kessler: