Every year there are a group of 8th graders who will enter high school and have an immediate impact on the basketball scene. The 2020 CLASS will be no different. While this year’s freshman class will have its smallest number of impact players, perhaps in Shore history. Make no mistake those who are impact players are all special. It’s no secret every player who has made this list has gone on to play DIVISION ONE BASKETBALL…THIS TREND WILL NOT BE BROKEN BY THIS GROUP. 



Now you must understand making THE ALL FRESHMAN TEAM at season end, does not mean those players are the best players in their class. One player who was on our first list of  impact players last year Lauren Lithgow did not make ALL FRESHMAN…Trust me she one of the best players in the 2019 class. This list represents at least on paper the most talented freshman I have seen entering the shore conference.






Now some will question why she is on this list. While she will not be attending a shore school. She is every bit a shore player. She has trained and played with shore teams thought-out her young career. She is currently playing up as part of the best 2019 AAU team in the state, THE JERSEY STARZ’S. There is zero question who is the best incoming freshman in the entire state of New Jersey; Kylee Watson is a player every program would be proud to build around. Her teammates like, respect and admire her. Next she has no ego, she will be the same person everyday she walks in the gym…she is a attitude free player. She will not expect special treatment and her family will not allow it. Her mother and future high school coach was a star at Delaware University. Her father is a former football coach. They will not allow this young lady to step out of bounds as a player of student. Her impact will be much like last year’s mega star baby Faith Masonius….off the charts. She is a true point forward in every sense of the word. She can put the ball on the deck, shoot three’s,  post up and is murder off the dribble. She plays on both sides of the floor, she can block shots and can guard every single position on the floor. Here is what I will say about Kylee Watson, she may be most talented player with her size….I HAVE EVER SEEN. My guess is that she will be one of the Top 10 players in the country one day. There is zero question she will be a one of the best player in New Jersey next season. She is a SHORE ADOPTED PLAYER IN MY MIND….she is a mega talent with a real understanding what the word teammate means.




She by far will be the best incoming point guard to enter the shore conference. There are a number of schools in the hunt for her services. She will not be attending one of the powerhouse programs, but if she did, she would start or play right out the gate. Her quickness and strength right now is that of a senior. This winter playing against the very best 8th graders in the state, she dominated them all. Her on ball defense is spectacular right now. Her ability to finish at the rim is rare for any baby. She will instantly become one of the best pure point guards in the shore for years to come. She will remind everyone of former Neptune great Shakenna Richardson. She plays with confidence and a real edge. While not a great shooter, she is very reliable out to the three point line. Trying to guard her off the dribble is a real problem for even the quickest. Her ability to find shooters off dribble drive is way beyond her years. Like every player on this list she is a future D1 lock and ALL SHORE PLAYER. She will enter the season as one of the leading candidates 2017 HOOP GROUP FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR. She is very coachable and has real next level leadership abilities.




Tom Brennan picks up one of the best freshman in the state of New Jersey. She is clearly part of the Stephanie Karcz affect. As Talented players more and more are staying home and playing or the town they live in. She has a college ready body right now. She has next level passing skills and has point guard type ball handling skills for her size. She is the perfect fit for Middletown South unselfish style of play. She will enter the starting lineup from day one most likely of high school career. Taking some of the sting out of South losing  two starters. She will be a double figure scorer as a freshman and help solve a lot of rebounding problems for Middletown. What’s most impressive is that she is getting better every day. She has a strength and conditioning coach and a team of trainers who believe in her and have worked on her skill sets. It is paying off for Team Richardson, because the improvement in every area o her game is hard to miss…she has stepped it up BIG TIME THIS SPRING. She has the ability to post up or step out to three and make bigger slower opponents pay. But it’s her ability to punish smaller players in post that make her such a match up nightmare. They is no question she will be an All Shore player one day. The real question is will she be a Player of the Year candidate one day? I say YES! She is a possible high major player if she continues to improve. This is a major pick up for Middletown South.




She is the only impact freshman going to one of the Shore traditional powers. Joe Montano picks up the hardest worker in the incoming freshman class. She is long and blessed with terrific skill sets. She has the size and strength that all coaches look for in young players. If you would have told me she be on this list 3 years ago, I would have laughed. But she is no laughing matter these days. Told that she needed to become an improved shooter. She immediately willed that skill set into her game with hard work. She is the best shooting swing player to enter the shore. She will step out to 23 feet and bury jumpers. But her passing ability and talent for getting to the rim are an added addition. She is the ultimate gym rat, who has already matched up with some of the best players in the shore. She is the perfect match for Joe Montano, she can be coached hard and her attitude will not go south. She is a classic program kid, no attitude, never a distraction and wildly coachable. What’s most impressive is that she choose to attend RBC knowing the D1 talent ahead of her in the program. She could have very easily attended every other team in the shore and have playing time waiting for her. But she is not one who takes the easy road and it’s evident in her total commitment to the game. She has the ball handling skills to be a point forward and her IQ will be a welcome addition to the Yankees of high school basketball. This is that rare player with talent, work ethic and the perfect attitude. She is a future D1 lock and will cause a recruiting war among college coaches before her high school days are over.




She is the classic combo guard with shooting ability that no incoming freshman in the Shore can rival. She will team with Lolo Mullaney to form one of the best young shooting guard combo’s we have seen in years. Her ability to shoot at a high percentage makes her an issue from day one at the high school level. While she will attend Colts Neck Law, she will play for Colts Neck High School. This will make 3 straight years in a row Colts Neck will have a player make the All-Freshman team… no other school has done this. Camryn Foltz is not just a shooter, she is a smooth ball handler who can get to the rim and find open teammates. She will take some of the pressure off Mullaney by making teams pay for doubling and trapping Mullaney. While she will need to get stronger, her talent and scoring ability will carry her until she physically matures. She has proven she can score against top competition already. Playing against high school competition will not be a shock to her system. Her ball handling skills will allow her to free herself for open shots and elude bigger stronger guards.  She is a knowledgeable defender and a hard worker in the classroom and on the court. She is a lock D1 player with ALL SHORE IN HER FUTURE….IVY’S AND PATRIOTS WOULD BE WISE TO START THE RECRUITING PROCESS NOW! She will give Colts Neck a major shot in the arm without being disruptive…flat out one of the nicest kids in the shore…DRAMA FREE PROGRAM KID.






#PittJamFest Told Through Social Media

A lot happened over the weekend in Pittsburgh. With over 430 AAU programs migrating to the Steel City to play in the illustrious David L. Lawrence Convention Center, it was near impossible to kept track of everything that happened this weekend. We did our best though, and in case you missed it, here is a quick run down of the #PittJamFest as told by social media.

The history of the #PittJam Fest is rich in tradition

Many of the nation’s best have stopped in Pittsburgh on their road to greatness. Some of the most recent include 2015 NBA #1 Pick Karl Anthony Towns, 2016 Big East Tournament MVP Isaiah Whitehead, UNC commit Seventh Woods, and former Kentucky Wildcat and current Charlotte Hornet Aaron Harrison

It all starts today… #ownyourdestiny #pittsburgh #pittjamfest #steelcity

A photo posted by Hoop Group (@hoopgroup) on

Lot of hype leading up to the event..

Lot of hard work leading up to tip off:

But the final product looked pretty good

Finally, GAME TIME:

There were a lot of highlights to remember

Why we play #pittjamfest

A photo posted by Hoop Group (@hoopgroup) on

Some top players made name for themselves nationally as well

That exposure thing that we pride ourselves on? Yeah, it was there…

Number of Players Saw the Benefits of Playing in Front of all Those Coaches

All the hard work was beyond worth it!

Live Weekend update…NOW WHAT!



So now what? The 2nd APRIL LIVE PERIOD has come to an end. The NCAA stepped up by adding the additional weekend to the recruiting process. Many kids and college coaches took advantage of this opportunity. The players that were prepared took full advantage in some cases. The feed back on so many kids was positive and since we are talking about positive. Let me say this, the NBS spring session is one of the best table setters around for the April Period. It is no surprise that many of the players who have been attending the NBS spring session had monster…I mean monster weekends. Folks I say it every year, if all you do is stay in your AAU setting and then attend these events you better be the BEST PLAYER on your team. Getting prepared takes seeing different bodies, levels of quickness, strength, new drills and most important different pace of play. This could mean half court, full court or one or one. Some kids learned this the hard way this weekend. Practicing 4 days a week with the same group of players before the live period is very risky business.


 masonius wildcats

The weekend for so many teams was a real success. The Masonius Belles went undefeated and won their group Championship. This was no surprise and neither was it that U-Conn coach Geno” Auriemma was in attendance watching Faith Masonius. It also was no surprise that everyone was asking about Stella Clark. Stella Clark this side of Kimi Evans could be the most in demand player in the ’17 class. I believe every player on this roster will at some point be a D1 player. This is a very special group from top to bottom.


Lance Miller crew brought a little GOLD HOME

While there not from the Shore, the Team Miller 10th grade team, won their Bracket at Spooky Nook. Team Miller is just stacked folks. Diamond Miller is a high major player and Alexis Adman’s and Nicole Johnson are two of the best sophomores in the state period. Lance Miller really doesn’t get enough credit for what he is doing for his group of girls. They win games, get exposure and they develop every year. This is a very special group that is going to be see hoops come July.


No surprise Chambers took on the best competition

Across the board it was a great weekend for so many teams. As usually Beth Chambers Jersey Shore Elite crew decided to play in the toughness bracket at Boo Williams. The Chambers Gold Team crew went 2-1 playing in the toughest backet Miss Chambers could find. The JSE Black went 1-2 while playing in the same bracket as eventual champs Masonious Belles. Both of these teams will be much better in 2 months. Unfortunately both teams only played 3 games all weekend.


The Allen Shore Shots are becoming a story like it’s Backcourt

Once again the Allen Shore Shots playing U16 went 4-1 and once again the backcourt of Schrivers and Moore had coaches buzzing. This backcourt is becoming something everyone is talking about for good reason. But the biggest surprise had to be Howell’s Rachel Garzolla who averaged over 12 points a game this weekend. This group has had a great spring and folks and come July could be one of the best stories of the year.



Every player on Martorelli’s team is a program kid!

The Martorelli Hawks were in North Carolina and played monster competition. They finished 3-1 without Dezzy Allen and lost to the eventual champion, who by the way was loaded with SEC talent. This crew is one group that has a great upside. They play hard and as a group while playing the right way. While they may be disappointed about not winning a championship, keep in mind the level of competition this group played all weekend….CHRISTINA DICINDIO HAD A BIRTHDAY AS WELL!


Rose Caverly stole the show

The Caverly Hawks/Lighting went 4-1 while playing up at U16. The 10th grade crew proved they can play at a very competitive. Rose Caverly was in the words of one D1 college coach was “putting on a show” this group come July is going to be on everyone list of must see teams. Mack, Board and Volpe are all talented kids. The April period was a great introduction for this team.


The Central Jersey/Lighting Laux made it to the Championship game of the Joe Smith bracket. They lost in the final but yet again prove they are a special group. This group is made up of the current St. Rose  high school team…meaning D1 players up and down the roster. They are also pretty good dancers, who know how to have a good time…check it out!

The Jersey Starz are the most talented 9th grade team by a long shot in the entire state. They have 3 of the best freshman in the shore. They also have one of the best 8th graders in the state. This group top to bottom is ridiculous and without a doubt one of the best young groups we have seen in years. They went 2-2 and challenged themselves by playing maybe the best competition they will see all year. They lost to the Champions by 6 points. Coaches come July  will following them like rock stars.



More on this future D1 player(RYAN WEISE) and teammates tomorrow

Finally the Coyle Cardinals finished 3-1 for the weekend. This group is sooo special and remember always play the best competition while playing up. I will have a spotlight out on this group later today or tomorrow am…. This is a dream group.




Cg1B0mgW4AAQSjT #13 Danielle Jordan

Danielle Jordan was once considered one of the best incoming freshman in New Jersey a few years back. She has spent the last 2 years at St. Rose learning the system and trying to break into the lineup. I believe confidence is everything when it comes to using your god given talent. I also believe over the last 2 years this young lady has lost a little of that confidence. But this weekend we saw some real flashes that Danielle Jordan just may live up to those expectations. In a semi-Final game she had 4 threes and 16 points. Then in the championship game, she had 19 points against the Masonious Belles who are just loaded with D1 players. It’s great to see a young lady smiling and more importantly not giving up on her dreams. I expect we are going to hear much more about Miss Jordan in the coming months…why? “Tiny, saw Danielle Jordan is that the kid, who use to attend NBS? She played very well” Danielle Jordan is going to remind us all of how great she can be again….congrats girl and keep smiling, we knew it was just a matter of time!




Many juniors without offers will go into panic mode. They need not… but they will, it happens every year. Many players with offers will now have to make some real decisions. Do they want to wait and enjoy the process? Do they want to verbal with a school? Will a school let them wait? Do they accept a scholarship because they have few choices. These are all tough decisions.

Here’s  what I believe,  first if you are a player that a school can find in other places. You have your wall against the wall. Some coaches think a bird in the hand is worth more than a bird in the bush. If you are top player at your position and hard to find. Maybe your waiting period is longer. If you are a junior without a offer here is the best advice your going to get. FIND OUT WHY AND ADDRESS THE ISSUES. I have never in all my years seen so many D1 players on the fence refusing to change their approach, it’s flat out sad and disappointing. But I will tell every kid…this is not panic time….LIVE IN THE GYM AND THAT DOES NOT MEAN GAMES OR AAU PRACTICES 5 DAYS A WEEK!….GOOD LUCK TO ALL OVER THE NEXT 2 MONTHS.



POINT GUARD SCHOOL TODAY AT HOOP GROUP ..4.30 sign up at the door



COLLEGE COACHES HEADS UP COME WEDNESDAY…TOP IMPACT 8th graders….we all know the kids who make this list are future D1 locks….

FABThis 8th grader who will be attending RBC will  make the list….shot 90 minutes on Saturday and backed it up with 2 hours of shooting on SUNDAY….#gymrat

2016 Pittsburgh Jam Fest Champions


The Pittsburgh Jam Fest was easily one of the best events of the Spring live periods. With its new home inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the 2016 Pitt Jam Fest welcomed over 430 teams to this year’s tournament. Out of these teams, 11 were crowned champions within their respected brackets. Here are those winners.

Open Champions: USAD

How they got there: Defeated Lake Erie Defenders, Cambridge Elite, CBSA Hoyas, Connecticut Elite & RAP Stars


17U Platinum Champions: Jersey Shore Warriors

How they got there: After a first round bye, defeated DC Blue Devils NOVA, Monroe County All-Stars, Team NYC Lightning, DC Blue Devils (NH) & Middlesex Magic

17U Platinum- Jersey Shore Warriors

17U Steel Champions: TMP

How they got there: Defeated Built to Last, Primetime, Philly Freedom Stars, L & L Running Rebels & VCC Nova Village

17U Steel- TMP

17U Gold Champions: Spectrum Sports

How they got there: Defeated JB Hoops, NJ Pirates, PG Bulls, ICC Truth and Bingo’s All-Stars

17U Gold- Spectrum Sports

16U Platinum Champions: Boo Williams Select – Chizz

How they got there: Defeated PYO, Crusader Nation, Michigan Gators Elite, Team Sizzle, District Basketball Club & JB Hoops

16U Plat- Boo Williams Select

16U Steel Champions: Randallstown Running Rebels

How they got there: Defeated Rock Elite, GT United, WV Flight, Team JLA & TTG Pittsburgh

16U Steel- Randallstown Running Rebels

16U Gold Champions: Hoop Dreams

How they got there: Defeated DC Blue Devils (DC), Game 7 Sharks, Team Work BC & LBA Attack

16U Gold- Hoop Dreams

15U Platinum Champions: Team Takeover

How they got there: Defeated Michigan Warriors, NY Gauchos, Team Loaded 757, Jersey Shore Warriors, MD Playmakers & Boo Williams Select

15U Platinum- Team Takeover

15U Steel Champions: Philly Freedom Stars

How they got there: Defeated East Side Escalades, College Park Rimrockers, Hangtime Basketball & East Coast Power

15U Steel- Philly Freedom Stars

14U Platinum Champions: Mid Ohio Pumas

How they got there: Defeated Boo Williams, Erick Green Premier, West Virginia Wildcats, Steeltown Basketball Club South & CIA Bounce

14U Platinum- Mid Ohio Pumas

14U Steel Champions: Team Final Red

How they got there: Defeated Steeltown Basketball Club South, ICE & Evolution Basketball


Congratulations to all of our winners!

Pitt Jam Fest Day 2 Standouts

Devon Sims – District Basketball Club 16U
Devon is a rangy defender with quick reactions and good instincts. He showed the ability to elevate and finish through contact. He rebounded exceptionally well out of his position.
Myles Hanson –  Minnesota Fury 17U
Myles is a long, athletic wing with a soft touch around the basket and a smooth, confident perimeter stroke. He’s a tremendous passer who exhibits very good vision and awareness. He did a nice job communicating to his teammates, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. 
Brendan Hoban –  Middlesex Magic Crotty/Boyle 17U
Brendan displayed big time shot making ability, netting 5 first half threes in a big game vs. Team Takeover Black. He’s a crafty guard who demonstrated poise and toughness, exhibiting the ability to handle pressure and create for his teammates.
Suhkmail Mathon – DC Blue Devils NH 17U
Suhk is a highly skilled big man with a nice feel for the game. He is very long and active defensively, and does a nice job staying vertical when challenging shots. He ran the floor hard, showcasing solid mobility to go along with a high motor.
Diogo Brito –  WV Wildcats Select 17U
Diogo is a very smooth guard, with a very nice shooting touch from the perimeter. He has incredible vision, and is an unselfish play-maker. He’s a sneaky athlete who knows how to move off the ball and get open. 
Jalen Carey – NJ 16U
Jalen is a special talent in Jersey. The 6’3 guard has an explosive first step and blows buy guys off the dribble. He constantly gets himself into the paint, and finishes everything around the bucket. He got lay ups at will this weekend.
Armoni Foster –  Boro Elite 17U
Armoni is a scorer, no other way to put it. In three games he put up 35, 44 and 29. Doesn’t matter who you’re playing or where, numbers like that are impressive. The 6’3 guard had himself a great weekend.
Elijah Perry – Rising Stars 15U
It’s one thing to be a shooter, it’s another to hit big shots against big teams. In Rising Stars upset over BWSL EYBL, that’s exactly what Perry did. The 5’11” freshman hit nine, yes nine, threes en route to 32 points and a big win for an up and coming program
Brandon Wade – Gators Elite 16U
Despite a tough loss to BWSL Chiz, Wade showed out in front of a number of coaches including a Michigan assistant who coaches in his backyard. The 6’2” sophomore from Michigan was 6-for-7 from deep and finished with 30 points as coaches raved about his ability to create space and knock down shots.
Timon Jones – Team Richmond Garner Road 16U
Jones had a huge weekend despite his team going 1-2. The 5’10” under-the-radar guard was a scoring machine, as he went for 30 points and 5 assists against Middlesex Magic 16U in a loss. Jones also had a 20 point game earlier that day.
Kamil Chapman – Team Loaded 757 17U
The 2017 point guard from North Carolina was a handful as he went for 25 points and 6 assists in a win over New Jersey Ballaz. The lightning quick PG showed great feel and finishing ability in the paint, and was a hot commodity throughout the day.
Dajour Rucker – BWSL Chiz 16U
BWSL Chiz has had a variety of players that have stepped up on their run to the Final Four, but Rucker had perhaps the best game of the day for them. The freshman, playing up with 16U, finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds, including hitting three from deep. The 6’6” forward has been trending up for the last few weeks and showed why on Saturday.
Jack Herron (@JWHerron10 ) and Adam Ayalew (@AKAyalew) contributed to this article