Jr. Elite Weekend II: Recap, Stars that Shined, & Scouting Reports

Jr. Elite Weekend II: Recap, Stars that Shined, & Scouting Reports

Our final Jr. Elite Weekend took place yesterday and today at Hoop Group Skills Camp in the Pocono Mountains. Hoop Group Skills hosted players from nine states (PA/NJ/NY/MD/VA/CT/MA/CA/FL) and had over 100 of the top players on the East Coast at camp for an intense two-day workout. Campers competed in several skill development workouts and also played four games on the weekend, to showcase their talents and begin to make a name for themselves before entering High School. Our staff was made up of 14 veteran coaches, including 6 High School varsity coaches, 6 college (DII/DIII) assistants, and two Division I Managers. This was a great opportunity for campers to prepare themselves for high school and college-level coaching, including popular workouts, basketball terminology, and in-game strategy. On Friday, St. Thomas Aquinas (DII) Head Coach, Tobin Anderson, gave the campers an individual workout that will help develop their ball-handling and shooting ability, while talking about what he looks for in skillsets when evaluating potential recruits. This afternoon, NRR representative and Head Coach at Bryn Athyn (DIII) College, Justin Baxter, spoke to campers about things college coaches look for during the recruiting process, how to separate themselves from other recruits, and the differences between each level (D1, DII, DIII) of college basketball. We had a very talented weekend of basketball and listed below our Jr. Elite Weekend Award Winners, as well as scouting reports on some of camps Stars that Shined.

Our award winners for Jr. Elite Weekend are listed below:

Big East Mr. Hustle: Alex Tepedino
Big East Floor General: Jacobi Baker
Big East MVP: Brett Rumpel

NBA Mr. Hustle: Triston Hilliman
NBA Floor General: Ben Ordonez
NBA MVP: Daniel Schlakman

Jr elite ii

Stars that Shined: Scouting Reports

#69 Daryl Banks III: Banks III is an elite-level combo guard. He is a willing and unselfish passer that sees the floor extremely well. Darly sees plays develop before they happen and delivers the ball on-time. He can use either hand around the rim and finishes well through contact.

#92 Daniel Schlakman: The NBA MVP was a force on both ends of the court from the moment he arrived at camp. Schlakman, a 6’5 forward, possesses strong footwork in the post and can score with his back to the basket, but is also a capable face-up player. He showed he has range out to the 3 point line and also led the break for his team after several rebounds. The Milton Academy (MA) product projects as a face-up 4 man as he enters high school. Also a high academic student, he is a very intriguing prospect to keep up with.

Dan Schlak

#35 Matthew Tepedino: Matt is an aggressive guard that likes to attack the rim off of the dribble. He likes getting to the paint to get his shot up, but also has range to the three point line as a catch and shoot player.

#102 Ben Ordonez: The NBA Floor General Award Winner is everything a coach looks for in a point guard. He is tough-nosed, has a high IQ, and always seems to make the right basketball play. Ordonez constantly found his teammates for easy shots, while making sure his team was set on the defensive end. Whenever you watch Ben play, it seems as if he is in the paint, distributing the ball to a teammate for an easy lay-up. All coaches hope for a player with the rising 8th graders skill-set and attitude.


#80 Jayson Pilsitz: Pilsitz is a strong catch and shoot 3 point shooter, who will consistently knock down shots when given time and space. When Jayson drives, he is looking to get all the way to the rim and score the basketball.

#96 Ryan Szatkowski: Ryan is at his best when he shoots his face-up jumper from 15’. Szatkowski, a rising 8th grader, has a strong build that helps him control the glass on the defensive end of the floor. He is a player that is capable of getting a double-double without a single play called for him.

#4 Jordan Miller: Miller has a great feel of when to change his pace of play. He uses his ability to change speeds and change direction to break down the defense and get to the rim. When attacking, he can score with either hand around the basket, but has also shown he will kick the ball out to open shooters.

#91 Nathan Rosahac: Nathan, a rising 9th grader from PA, was one of the most competitive players at camp. He has a nose for the basketball and always seems to be in the right place on the floor. Rosahac has soft hands that allow for good touch around the basket and makes him an effective scorer inside.

#83 Wes Reinagle: Wes is a guard that loves to attack. He is looking to drive the defense when he has the basketball. Reinagle is crafty around the rim and is capable of using a variety of finishes. On the defensive end, he has quick hands, which helps him get deflections and steals.

#47 Jack Riley: Riley controls the paint when he is on the floor. He challenges shots, rebounds on both ends, and has a soft touch from the block. Jack demonstrated a strong left hand, which kept the defense honest when he had the ball in the post.

#68 Michael Jackson: Jackson is a long, athletic wing that in constantly in attack mode. He is at his best when he has the ball in the open court creating transition opportunities for himself and others. His explosive first step will keep defenders on their heels. As his three point shot becomes more consistent, he will be a dynamic force on the offensive end.


#97 Zayon Marsh: Zayon is a lefty that can score the ball in many ways. He can take his defender out to 18’ and consistently hit jumpers, but can also attack off the dribble for himself and others. The rising 7th grader was a match-up problem all weekend. When a guard defended him, he would score inside. When he was played by a bigger player, he would get out in transition and show his effectiveness from the wing.


#37 Zach Rocco: Rocco is the ultimate competitor on the floor. As the leader of his team, Zach is as unselfish as they come with the basketball. He knows how to get his teammates open for scoring opportunities and makes sure they are in situations where they can be successful. Even as a capable scorer, Rocco is everything a coach looks for in a point guard, especially on the defensive end. He makes his opponent work by defending full-court for the entire game.


#36 Christian Daley: Daley runs the break well and is always passing the ball ahead to open teammates and putting pressure on the defense. While guarding the ball, his quick hands are always in passing lanes and creating easy scoring chances for his teammates.

#39 Josh Minton: Minton is a strong scoring lefty. He demonstrated his ability to score in multiple ways, first by making several floaters in the paint. Josh followed up these baskets by taking his man to the perimeter and knocking down three 3 point shots.


#23 Dax Kaye: Dax came to Jr. Elite Weekend all the way from Miami, Fl, and he did not disappoint. One of the top point guards at camp, Kaye has a handle well beyond his years. Although he is undersized, he scores well around the rim due to his great touch and strong ability to finish with either hand. It is virtually impossible to speed him up with the basketball, and his tight handle makes it look effortless every time he beats his defender and gets into the paint.


#89 Xavier Hill: Hill is a walking double-double. His physical presence inside serves as the anchor to his team on both ends of the floor. It seems as if he gets every rebound, whether it be on offense or defense. Xavier is not shy of contact and gets many of his points on offensive put-backs.

#10 Ajani Simmons: Simmons is a lightening quick guard that can put up points in a hurry. With a nice shooting touch from the outside, Simmons compliments his three point shot with a deadly floater.


#87 Marcus Dyes Jr.: Dyes Jr. was one of the most dynamic players at camp this weekend. He seemed to make a few plays every game that caught coaches eyes. Dyes Jr. is an elite athlete that is strong with the basketball and can score in many ways. Every time he touches the ball, it feels like a highlight tape play will soon follow. With his talent, the sky is the limit.


#20 Justin Rockmore: Rockmore, a standout who will be entering Dieruff High School in Allentown, PA as a 9th grader this fall, is a physical point guard with an impressive handle. He is very effective with the dribble and was one of the most efficient scorers we saw at camp. There isn’t much Justin can’t do on the offensive end, as he is a strong shooter from the outside, uses his strength to score inside the paint, and has a smooth pull-up jumper.

#60 Quinn Kelly: Quinn was one of the top defensive players we saw this weekend. His effort and intensity set the tone for his team at camp. He has a great feel of where and when to pass the ball in transition. He delivers the ball on-time and on-target, creating open shots for his teammates.

#76 Erik Valencia: The East Stroudsburg, PA product likes to drive the basketball. He is at his best when he puts the ball on the floor and is an aggressive driver. He is a capable three point shooter and can make the defense pay when given time and space.

#86 Conor Geelan: Geelan has made tremendous strides since the beginning of the summer. He is a jack of all trades that can do anything on the court. He is a consistent three point shooter, but is developing a better handle and ability to score at the rim each time he steps on the floor. One of the hardest workers at camp, Geelan competes at 100% and raises his teammate’s level of play.

#105 Jack O’Grady: O’Grady, a native of Fairfax, VA, is an effective guard that can succeed in many positions on the court. He is capable of scoring the ball and putting up points in a hurry, but prefers to run his team’s offensive and get others involved. Jack has a strong three point shot that he does not need much time or space to get up.

#106 Rasheed Dupree: Rasheed is a tough, hard-nosed guard. He does not shy away from contact while on the court and uses his strong build to finish among taller players. With the ball, Dupree is more of a slasher, but showed the ability to make the 3 with his feet set.

#45 Ray Ford Jr.: The Hilltopper Heat wing creates a mismatch every time he steps on the floor. A wing with great length and athleticism, Ford Jr. uses his strength to be effective in the open court and off the dribble. His explosive first step allows him to get to his spots with the basketball and he shoots a very high percentage for a scoring guard.

#77 Ben Peacock: Peacock is a prospect to keep up with as he develops. His best basketball is ahead of him and he seemed to get better each time he took the floor this weekend. He has a nice jump shot out to 18’, soft hands, and good footwork in the post. As he continues his growth, he is only going to get better.

#8 Triston Hilliman: Hilliman, the NBA’s Mr. Hustle, has a motor that goes non-stop. He challenges shots with his length and athleticism. Triston can speed up the game and creates extra possessions for his team by his ability to play hard at all times.


#90 William Soucie: William is a versatile forward who can drive his defender off the dribble, especially when going towards the baseline, but also shoot the ball, with range to the three point line. Already over 6’ tall with a well-rounded skill-set, Soucie will be a player to watch out for in the next few years.

#11 Arius Francois: Arius is an athletic, combo-guard that can score in bunches. On the offensive end, there is not much that he cannot do. At his current stage, he is more successful as an off-guard, but showed glimpses throughout camp of being able to be an elite point guard.

#44 Christian Cevis: Cevis, another Hilltopper Heat standout, is a strong, scoring guard that is always attacking and getting into the paint. When he has the ball, he is going to be aggressive and create scoring chances for his team. He will become a lethal offensive weapon as his three point shot becomes more consistent.

#84 Michael Curran: Curran, a solid three point shooter, is an effective and efficient player. He does not need many shots to score points. He protects the ball well, has strong fundamentals, and a high basketball IQ, always making the right pass, shot, and play for his team.

#6 Jacobi Baker: Baker, the receipt of the Floor General Award in the Big East, has exceptional court vision. He passes it ahead in transition better than anyone at camp, which allows his teammates to get uncontested finishes. When he drives, he is looking for shooters or diving post players, and almost always gets them an easy shot. As his teams point guard, he controlled the tempo during games throughout the weekend.


#21 Jacob Melady: Jacob is a selfless player who does whatever his team needs to be successful. He will defend the opponent’s top scorer, rebound the ball, make open shots, and be a leader for his teammates, he is a jack-of-all-trades. His basketball IQ allows him to be effective on the court, as he knows that game, including time and score situations.

#61 Reid Slott: Reid is a shooter. He has one of the best jump shots that we saw this weekend. His basketball IQ and ability to move without the ball create open shots for him. When he gets hot, he can change the game by knocking down several shots in a row.

#50 Jack Harris: Harris can get hot in a hurry, and once he does, he is hard to stop. A high and quick release on his three point shot makes him effective at getting off his shot, even if the defense does not allow much space. He had several instances this weekend where we made multiple shots in a row.

#1 Zyion Kirkland: Zyion is a competitive point guard that is a vocal leader on the court. He is always communicating with teammates, making sure that they are matched up and in the right spots. From the moment he arrived at camp, he was a leader and commanded the respect of his peers.

#95 Nicolas McGlynn: McGlynn is a knock-down shooter. He has a high release, textbook follow-thru, and great rotation on his shot. When given time and space, he is going to make the shot. He uses his high IQ on the defensive end to contain the ball and be in the right spots when helping.

#53 Jules Bikoy: Bikoy is a developing offensive player, but motor and defensive ability already make him a standout. Jules will only get better the more he plays, but he is relentless on the glass and alters shots with his length.

#24 Nick DeMarco: DeMarco has a great first step off the dribble and can break a defense down when he drives. He is an effective three point shooter and plays as hard as anyone while on the court.

#48 John Bonney: Bonney is a tough-minded, physical guard from Brooklyn. The rising 9th grader loves to drive baseline and initiate contact on his finishes. With his upper-body strength, he can score amongst bigger players in the paint.

#88 Brett Rumpel: Rumpel, the MVP of the Big East, dominated from the opening tip. He showed his entire skill-set this weekend, by scoring at will, getting teammates easy shots, rebounding the ball, and defending the top players on each team. His imprint on the game was felt every second that he was on the court.


Click Here for Jr. Elite II Photo Album

Rising 8th grader Dax Kaye discusses his Jr. Elite experience

Milton Academy (MA) freshman Daniel Schlakman revisits his last four summers at Jr. Elite Weekend

We had a competitive weekend here in the Poconos at our second session of Jr. Elite. It was a pleasure to work with the top 6th-9th graders in the region. Our Jr. Elite Weekends are now complete for the 2015 Summer. Our Fall Jr. Elite Tour will begin in September. Dates and Locations will be announced soon.
Stops on the Jr. Elite Tour will take place in:

-New York City
-Metro (NJ)

If you have any questions about Jr. Elite Weekend’s, or the upcoming Fall Tour, please contact Skills Camp Director Joe Gutowski (joeg@hoopgroup.com).

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