“IMPROVEMENT” that is the word of the day! It’s such a simple word and such a hard thing to accomplish in the game of basketball. So often players spend time on skill sets that are their strengths but yet spend less time on the skill sets that are their weaknesses. It really comes down to one thing…EGO. Kids feel better about themselves when they are doing something they are good at. It’s the player that can swallow there ego and work on the things they don’t do well who improve. It’s that kid who can take criticism and not lose their confidence that improves and gets better. That’s why some kids improve and some kids don’t. A good friend of mine once told me “If a kid improves each year in high school look for that kid to improve each year in college”. I think there is a lot of truth to that statement because I have seen many kids who stop developing because they either can’t or won’t address the weaknesses in their games. But one thing is clear to me this fall. There are 4 girls this year who have made that big step and have had major improvements in their games. These players have all added something to their already established still sets.
Stephanie Mason – How much has Stephanie Mason improved this year? One Division one coach from the state of NJ told me this. “Do you know of any spot up shooter you have seen this summer and fall that has developed their ball handling skills more? I have the answer for her…NO! This is a kid that has lived in the gym all last spring and summer. The reward is an improved player. One that will not only continue to be one of the best shooters in the Shore Conference but now has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. Jackson Memorial now has a very special weapon in Miss Mason who for a good part of last season was Jackson’s leading scorer. Before the year is over she may be Jackson Memorial’s most compete player. Now college coaches are drooling over of the 5’9’ junior guard. Hard work is something that is rewarded…but working on a skill that is not your strength is priceless…Maybe this way Mason will have her choice of schools come next April.
Jackie Dluhi of Middletown South is a great example of what it takes to make a position change while understanding you play where your coach needs you. Last year Dluhi played center for Middletown High School. The 5’10” Dluhi was Coach Tom Brennan’s tallest player, best rebounder as well as his best post defender. Jackie showed a nice touch from 15 feet and may be the best passing post player this side of Sam Clark. But at 5’10 Jackie knew she had to work on playing away from the basket on her own. Winning and team play always trumps the individual. But rather than be disruptive and complain about playing in the post Jackie did what all kids who “GET IT” does. She worked on her guard skills on her own. She did not play with her back to the basket in pick up games. She worked on guard skill sets rather than those of a post player when drilling. She worked on her quickness and then she extended her shooting range. Jackie is now setting her self up to have a great junior year. She is also putting college coaches on notice….she is a player and getting better every day. When she plays in Villanova during the live recruiting period, college coaches who watch and pay attention to details are going to be in for a shock! This young lady can do just about anything against anyone these days. Nothing flashy just good ole school basketball…Jackie Dluhi has IMPROVED IN A BIG WAY.
OK how good is Jess Harvey? Let ME put a little pressure on this young lady. I believe Harvey has a chance to be a Division 1 player, people that’s how much this kid has improved. How much has she improved? She just may be Sir George’s best player this year. How much has she improved? She may be an All Shore Candidate. She is blessed with a first step that makes opponents blush in envy. She is maybe the quickest player in the Shore Conference. Throw in a sweet touch out to 22 feet and a lot of high level Division 2 schools may be in trouble when it comes to recruiting this 5’6” point guard. Harvey who was a role player for RFH last year will be running the big show for Coach Sourlis and get this…who is the best defensive point guard in the Shore this year? I’m not sure but Jess Harvey folks is in that conversation. She has been nothing but great this fall and how do I know this? One of the best Division 2 schools in the country made this statement to me…Jess don’t worry I have passed this quote along to Coach Sourlis. “Tiny please tell me what we have to do to get Harvey to come visit?” Coach TP let me give you some advice cause you a good friend of mine. Call George Sourlis ASAP and hope for the best, because this kid is getting better everyday and the sky just may be the limit for this young lady. The IMPROVEMENT OF Jess Harvey is just INSANE.
Camerin Spahn of Freehold Boro is a 6ft guard who can do it all. To say she has improved is an insult to her. I don’t have a word to explain how this kid has elevated her game. She simply for my money is a college coaches dream player. She has length, size, shooting ability, toughness and just happens to be A+++ student. Get the picture folks? And if you a college coach at any level not recruiting this young lady, I say find a new profession. I have not seen many kids like this young lady in the past few years. Throw in the fact that she is a gym rat and only a junior. Let me repeat that she is only a JUNIOR! I don’t need to look into a crystal ball. This is a very special player and when her body fills out over the next two years, we will be looking at a full blown STAR. Her AAU coach Mary Beth Chambers told me something about Miss Spahn that all players wishing to improve must have. She said “Camerin Spahn has the best attitude towards getting better, She is so COACHABLE” Maybe this is why she will be one of the best players in the Shore the next two years. Camerin Spahn has proved when talent meets improvement…. GREAT THINGS HAPPEN.
INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO that all young players may want to watch…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvr8bw6aOvc&feature=channel_video_title
TIDBITS- Hubbard leaving Neptune takes a very important player away from Coach Brown. But sometimes team chemistry can make up for losing a player. Let’s wait and see
SJV by all accounts has picked up a STUD! How good is this young lady? Word is she is a sure fire Division one player and somebody who will be all Shore Selection this YEAR. More on this Oct 5th when I see her with my own two eyes…..I said earlier never ever count Dawn Karpell out folks…it’s a mistake!
CORE SKILLS PRE-SEASON PREP STARTS OCT 18 you may sign up on line at HoopGroup.com or Call Darren Cohen at 732 897-3196
COLLEGE COACHES THEIR WILL BE A VERY SPECIAL OPEN GYM OCT 5TH. If you e –mail me I will give you the secret location and time. The players who will attend will be some of the rising best juniors in the tri state area. I can safely say every kid in the building will be special!
Jackie Kates seems to be right at home at U-Penn and her Coach is one of the big people in the business. Lucky you Jackie!
Ran into FDU head coach Pete Cinella and he told me Stephanie Isaacs can’t play any better.
Meghan McGuiness is showing Niagara why she will be one of the best players to wear a uniform there one day.
I would to hear about other young ladies are doing. Just give update if you have info!