Academic Elite 1: Day One Top Performers

When the final words of Rob Kennedy’s opening speech came to a close, the camp season was officially underway. Over 300 high-academic campers checked in Monday morning for Hoop Group’s ‘Academic 1 Session’ with the hopes of being seen by a countless number of Divison 2 and Divison 3 schools.
After a strong two hour skill session, the first night of games were underway. Among the masses were Division 1 prospects such as Lonnie Walker, Mikey Dixon, and Justin Porter, but it was a few others who stole the show:
2016 George Papas 6’2” (Union Catholic/ Scotch Plains, NJ)
Papas showed his ability to control the pace of the game throughout the night. He played with poise and intelligence on both ends on the floor, while impressing scouts with his long-range shooting. George will be looked at throughout the week as one of the best guards in camp. Expect his stock to rise if he can play at a high-level all week.
2016 Trenton Richardson 6’8” (Carmel HS/ Carmel, IN)
Trenton is a true big man with an added level of finesse to his game. He is very comfortable with his back to the basket, and makes strong plays around the rim. He is a tough rebounder with a good nose for the ball. If he can show a consistent mid-range jump shot, he will be a hot commodity at the college level.
2016 Michael Boice 6’2” (Donovan Catholic/ Toms River, NJ)
Boice is a combo guard who harbors an above average mind for the game. His body is college-ready and he plays with a physicality that other high school players lack. Michael is a very good shooter and a nice finisher at the rim. He is definitely a player who can contribute on a college team right away.
2016 William Miller 6’8” (Halifax County/ South Boston, VA)
Miller can play either a ‘stretch 4’ or a ‘face up 5’ at the next level. He has some perimeter skills that make him a tough cover for bigger players, and a good interior game against smaller players. On the defensive end, he is long and active around the rim. William will be multi-dimensional in college and will continue to improve as his outside shooting does.
2018 Jake Forrester 6’9” (Kiski Prep/ Pittsburgh, PA)
The talented underclassmen will be reclassifying to the 2018 class and transferring to Kiski Prep. His decision will give him another year to develop into his very strong, athletic body. Jake’s game is very reminiscent to that of Nerlens Noel. His energetic style makes him a high level defender and a great rebounder. If he proves his mid-range shooting he will turn into an all-around offensive threat.

2016 Tyler Dunn 6’4″ (Forman School / Rocky Hill, CT)
Dunn measures in a 6’4 and has some length to him. While he has a slender frame, his length allows him to contest shots both on the perimeter and in the paint. Dunn also proved to be a capable shooter, knocking down shots from the mid range and beyond the arc.

2016 Rick’Keem Mixson 6’2″ ( St. Mary’s / Elizabeth, NJ)

The New Jersey guard showed his toughness on day one. Mixson is a poised and controlled guard, very capable of running an offense. He shined today when he decided to attack the hoop; Mixson attacked the paint hard and went into defenders, finishing strong at the rim.

2017 Greg Giordano 6’0” (Smith Town / Kings Park, NY)

Not a surprise to find a high IQ player during Academic Elite Camp, but Greg stood out amongst the crowd. Greg played mistake free ball for much of Tuesday. He’s never stagnant on offense, moving constantly without the ball. His backdoor cuts either get him open, or demand help, which leads to his teammates getting open. Greg also had good touch from three.

2016 Dwight Whitlock 6’3” (Kiski Prep / Harrisburg, PA)

An All-Star in last summer’s first academic session, Dwight is back in Reading with an improved game. Dwight’s game involves great flashes of athleticism, something we saw today. Something else we saw today was his ability to knock down the mid range consistently. Being able to attack the glass and connect from mid range makes him a tough guard.

2016 Jordan Simmons 5’9”  (Andrew Jackson HS / Jacksonville, FL)

The 5’9 Simmons was active today; the Jacksonville native likes to run, and plays the game at an uptempo pace. He pushes the ball down the floor on a make or a miss, and if you’re not hustling back on defense, he will blow right past you. Jordan was fun to watch on day one.

Stay tuned for more top performers as the week progresses. Lot more names to talk about.

–James Albano and Brent Pelella both contributed to this article.

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