New Jersey Roadrunners Show Dominance at HG Showdown

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’98 Chicago Bulls, ’02 Los Angeles Lakers, ’15 New Jersey Roadrunners. Ok, that may be a little farfetched, but you won’t find a hotter team right now than the Roadrunners 15u team. The New Jersey based AAU program has competed in, and won, three straight Hoop Group Showdown tournaments. In a division that includes recognized and talented programs such as the NY Gauchos, NJ Shoreshots and Force, PSA Cardinals (NY) and McHoops Blue Chips (PA), three straight championships is worth recognizing.

The run of success for the Roadrunners started back in April when they topped New Heights at the Spring Showdown. The grind it out victory set the tone for the rest of their Showdown games; they won three championships by less than five points in each game. Blow outs were not a common occurrence, and they found themselves in constant battles with their opponents.

Wins that go down to the final minutes are typically not the recipe for success when it comes to winning multiple championships. Usually there are a few easy games along the way. The Roadrunners club was able to overcome this thanks to their deep bench. The club plays a lot of players, which is a major plus during tournaments that often require a quick turn around, and multiple games per day. That means tournament MVPs like Casmir Ochiaka, Jahid Jenkins and Calistus Anychio were kept fresh for crunch time, another big plus for the Roadrunners.

Over 20 NBA players have had the Roadrunners name run across their chest, and even more have gone on to play in college. Some of the more recent alums include Kyrie Irving, Randy Foye, Jay Williams and Al Harrington. They have established themselves as one of the best organizations in New Jersey in helping players achieve their basketball dreams. From the looks of it, they are not slowing down anytime soon.

Jahid Jenkins took home the MVP after he impressed everyone at the Nj Junior Jam Fest. Casmir, who was the first Roadrunner to be named MVP, is a big power forward who has shown the ability to be a force in the paint. At the guard spot, Jahid Jenkins (pictured left) has been sensational of late, controlling the flow of the game and making winning plays in big moments. And last but not least, Calistus is a center who has shown great improvement in his game over the past three tournaments. He has great size and is beginning to add the skill, which spells trouble for opponents.

A few bounces that go the other way, a three-point that falls instead of rimming out, and the Roadrunners could be on a less favorable streak. That just comes with the territory when you have multiple grind it out victories. Fortunately, their depth has proved to be unmatched and late game coaching has this team firing on all cylinders. Let’s see how long they keep the momentum rolling.

2015 Southern Jam Fest Championship Recap

Hampton, VA– The Southern Jam Fest took place in Hampton, Virginia at Boo Williams Sportsplex this weekend. The last of four Jam Fests this Spring, you could not draw up a better tournament to end our Spring events. Established teams and high-profile players were everywhere and media and scouts flocked to Boo to see the talent. Four teams were able to overcome the loaded playing fields and walk out as champions. Here our the winners.

17 and under

The 17u Division was absolutely loaded this weekend. With some of the best players in the country showcasing their skills, the bleachers were packed at Boo Williams this weekend. When the dust settled, it was Team Loaded NC who stood tall. Led by the highlight reel plays of Dennis Smith and Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo, Team Loaded stormed into the 17u championship as the favorites versus DC Thunder. The Thunder, led by Maryland commit Alex Cowen, were looking to spoil Loaded’s weekend, and take the trophy back to nation’s capitol.

After 16 minutes of play, we were deadlocked at 25, and it looked like either team could come out on top. Sam Green contributed 8 first half points for the Thunder, who also made 4 three pointers to keep the game tight. The second half was all Team Loaded; in the final half of play, Smith and Adebayo combined to score 23 of Team Loaded’s 33 points, catapulting them to a 58-46 win. Smith and Adebayo shared MVP honors, finishing with 15 and 14 respectively.
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16 and under

The 16 and under Division had the most competitive championship of the weekend. The final featured DC Premier and Team Loaded VA, two powerhouse programs with major prospects. In a game that looked more like a 12 round boxing fight, both teams traded punches back and forth the entire way. A monster first half for Prentiss Hubb (17 points) had Premier with a slim, four point lead at the break.

The second half had as much separation between teams as the first one, slim to none. In another back and forth half of basketball, Team Loaded was able to take a lead late in the game. With the game looking to be in Loaded’s favor, a key offensive foul called on Matur Maker gave DC the ball with seconds left, and the stage was set for Naji Marshall. After taking the inbound at the top of the key, Marshall drove to the rim, bounced off a defender and threw up a shot that bounced off the rim and dropped. Loaded heaved a prayer from half court but it would not go and the celebrations began for DC Premier. Marshall was named MVP for Premier with 22 points in the championship. For Loaded, Mastadi Pitt, who had a fantastic weekend, led them with 14. Maker finished with 12 points, much of which came from the charity stripe.

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15 and under

In what was almost an all CP3 final, it was the cp3 15u team that came away with the Southern Jam Fest trophy. After topping DC Premier in the semi finals, CP3 found themselves in a match up against Team Loaded VA, a team who beat CP3s 2019 team on the other side of the bracket, in the championship.

From the tip, the game was all Cp3, who put together a complete team effort to take the trophy. After Jude Akubeze set the tone in the first half with nine points, the scoring opened up for a number of CP3 players in the final 16. They would score 41 second half points, thanks to balanced scoring from Tyler Williams (1o in the second half), Rechon Black (8), Tre Turner (7) and John Newman (6).  For the game, Newman led the balanced scoring effort with 11 total points. For Team Loaded, Keldon Johnson did all he could, and was tremendous, finishing with a game high 19 points, including 3 threes.

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14 and under

Philly Pride made the trip down to Hampton and walked out 14u tournament champions. After a commanding Saturday, the Pride had a match up against Boo Williams on Sunday in the Final Four. A big win over the host team moved Pride to a final game versus Garner Road from North Carolina.

Philly Pride’s will was put to the test, as the 14u final was a tightly contested contest until the last few minutes. Both teams traded baskets for much of the second half and it looked like overtime was a real possibility. That’s when Philly Pride turned to another level. Thanks in part to the play of Hakeem Hart, Philly Pride separated themselves from Garner Road and when the buzzer sounded, they were Jam Fest champs! Hart took the MVP honors and his team took the championship.

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PLAYERS ON THE FENCE!

images[1]There is no question in my mind that this year we have more players on the D1 fence THAN EVER. Most years in the Shore you can guarantee that 15-20 players will sign with a Division one basketball school. That is not the case this coming season. This year the Shore most likely will have its smallest D1 class in years, UNLESSS SOME KIDS GET OFF THE FENCE!

 

Screen-Shot-2015-04-21-at-11.34.34-AM[1]MAYFIELD GOT IT DONE!

There is a number of reasons why this may be the smallest D1 class in recent years. None bigger than the talent in the rising sophomore and Junior classes. These two classes are stacked and next years freshman class is maybe deeper than this years. These talented babies have taken away playing time and the spotlight from some really talented players. There also are a few rising seniors who have not developed the way many thought they would. It happens and its nothing new and now these players on the fence will need to step up. Last year Janae Mayfield and Courtney Hagaman were players on the fence. This year they both signed D1 scholarships. Being on the fence is tricky business.

BsI1gopIgAAk2Dw[1] There is no bigger lock than EVANS!

When a player wants to pursue Division one basketball, they fall into two category’s. There are the D1 locks, you know the kids who have offers already or it pretty clear to everyone they will have a offer at some point. Hannah Scanlon for example is a future D1 lock. It doesn’t take much to figure that one out. I spoke to a Big East coach this morning and he said to me, I don’t think we will be able to touch Christina DiCindio in 2 years. I said that’s why you should offer her now. He said most likely he would get around to it in July. You see these two young ladies for example are both bound for D1 basketball. Jen Louro, Tori  Hyduke and Kimi Evans are other examples. There is zero question about there futures. Now others road may not so easy.

When a player is on the D1 fence many things come into play. Like if a D2 school offers, do they take it? What if a D1 school they don’t like offers them, what do they do? Take the offer or wait around for something better? What if a D1 school tells them, they are a 2nd choice, do they wait and maybe be left holding the bag?  Then there is the little thing about developing because sometimes players don’t develop and simply are not good enough in the end. Trying to get off the D1 fence is not easy, because the decision making process is just as important as the talent.

imgres11[1] Hagaman stood tough and got the last laugh

I believe players have the ability to play one level up or down based on there talent level. I also believe that many kids don’t understand there ability or what level player they are. I often hear people say Tiny you call everyone a D1 player. Well I’m still waiting for someone to show me a case when I have been wrong. Getting to the D1 level takes work and I mean a lot of work. This is the difference between getting over the fence and not. Because trying to get to this level is a full time job and for the players on the fence its risky business.

RiskyBusiness[1]

It’s takes real mental toughness both on and off the court when you are sitting on the D1 fence. You can wait too long and lose out on a free education. You can jump to quick and lose out on a dream. Janae Mayfield and Courtney Hagaman both were kids who had D2 offers but knew in their hearts they were D1 players. They both did two things I always say to kids…they stopped worrying about the  recruiting process and they focused on just getting better. I told both to live in the gym and tune out the recruiting noise. Both did exactly this and interestingly it carried over to the spring. Both have been living in the gym preparing for their freshman seasons….THEY CEARLY ARE GOING TO REWARD THEIR FUTURE COLLEGE COACHES for recruiting them. Both were also talented players who were rarely recognized by media and fans…But as always, coaches know best! The lesson these two gave to future fence sitters, is forget stats and what you read in the paper or a blog….GET BETTER!

 

shore-conference-logo[1]

So this year the Shore Conference will either have it smallest D1 class in recent history or we will have some fence sitters keep the Shore Conference tradition alive and represent over 60% of the D1 players in the state. It’s going to take a lot of work, but like all shore kids my guess is that they will get it done.

 

 

UPDATE-NBS CAMP

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https://hoopgroup.com/headquarters/summer-basketball-camps/nothing-but-skills/

THE NBS CAMP DATES ARE UP…please keep in my mind this camp will sell out. This is the most competitive camp in New Jersey. While all are welcome, keep in mind this is a high level competitive event for both BOYS AND GIRLS! This camp is for high school and grammar school. ALL PLAYERS ARE BROKEN DOWN BY ABILITY…NOT AGE!

Day of the Southern Jam Fest: Guards Who Impressed

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Hampton, VA– One day left in the Southern Jam Fest. As great of a two days as we’ve had, we’re expecting the best to be saved for Championship Sunday. Tons of high profile teams left, and countless high major Division 1 players. Here’s who impressed Saturday.

Justin Kier, Spectrum Sports Academy 17U

In a head-to-head matchup against Coleman, Kier more than held his own. A quick and athletic point guard, Kier was superb in transition, putting himself firmly on the radar of scouts in attendance. He elevated well in traffic and played a solid floor game for a Spectrum that was outmatched in terms of size and athleticism, but hung around with BWSL for much of the game.

Curtis Jones, Boo Williams 17U

Boo Williams is in the 17u Elite Eight Sunday and Chris Jones is just one of the reasons why. He is a prolific scorer, with an ability to score in all different ways. He can shoot the three, pull up from midrange and get to the hoop. The 6’2 guard holds offers from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, NC State and Indiana, among others.

 

Wendell Moore, Team CP3 2019s

Moore came into the Southern Jam Fest billed as one of the top players in his class and did nothing to disprove that notion on Saturday. Early in the day, he helped his NC-based team beat hosting Boo Williams and finished the night with another win over Team Winston. He’s an extremely versatile offensive threat with the ability to play all over the court and make his teammates better. Make sure you remember his name.

Robert Colon, Juice All-Stars 17U

Despite a sweet 16 loss on Saturday, Robert was a stand out. He controlled the tempo offensively for Juice and delivered big shots for his team. He’s got a good jump shot and shoots the ball with great confidence. His shooting kept Juice in the game with DC Thunder Saturday.

DeAndre Hunter, Philly Pride 17U

After losing in the first round on Friday, Hunter and his team came out on Saturday looking to right the ship. The 6-foot-7 swingman scored 14 points — including a couple of treys — in a win over HC Elite and did so efficient. He has an effortless stroke from deep, can guard multiple positions and showcased a solid floor game as well. He has eight D-1 offers to his name.

Mikey Dixon, Diamond State Titans 17U

A scout’s favorite this weekend, Dixon displayed his scoring savvy, toughness, and leadership ability all at once in a hard-fought loss to Team Wall. Dixon scored 19 first half points before suffering an injury four minutes before the break. He returned in the second half and picked up right where he left off, carrying his team and bringing the Titans back from a 19-point halftime deficit to single digits for much of the second half.

Southern Jam Fest: Day 2 Impact Posts

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Hampton, VA–Another day of hoops in the books. It’s amazing how deep and rich in talent this tournament is. As we gear up for championship Sunday, let’s look at a few more bigs who impressed us.

Sherif Kenney, DC Thunder 16U

An eighth grader playing two grades up, Kenney stands out as one of Thunder’s team leaders and most gifted players, with the ability to play any of the three perimeter positions. He is bullish off the bounce, and shown the ability to finish through contact around the hoop

Thon Maker, Team Loaded VA 17U

Thon Maker coming to the Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest was a pleasant surprise for everyone. Maker didn’t disappoint this weekend as he helped lead Team Loaded (VA) to the Elite Eight. Maker ran the floor well and was always a threat any time he stepped on the floor. He showed an incredible basketball I.Q. as he was communicating with his teammates throughout the duration of the game. He is part of the reason why Team Loaded (VA) could come away with a 17U Championship this weekend.

Matt Coleman, Boo Williams 17U

Matt Coleman proved why he is considered to be one of the best players in the Class of 2017 on Saturday. Whenever his team needed a bucket or a playmaker to step up Coleman did just that. He brings another dimension to Boo Williams and enables to do certain things offensively. Look for him to continue his outstanding play on Sunday against a very talented Team Loaded (VA) squad.

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, Team Loaded NC 17U

Adebayo showed just how dominant he could be in the Saturday nightcap, commanding double and triple teams on every possession, and wowing a standing room only crowd with several highlight-reel dunks, including a massive windmill in transition to close out the game. At times, Adebayo was fouled by default before he could even gather an entry feed on the post. His ability to execute at the foul line was key in a close game against Northeast Basketball.

Naji Marshall, DC Premier 16U

Marshall is a long, rangy 6-foot-6 wing whose versatility makes him a matchup nightmare on both ends of the floor. On Saturday, he was one of Premier’s main threats, constantly attacking the basket and carving out lanes for himself through the paint. His length and explosiveness allowed him to finish above the rim and convert on several high-percentage looks.

Jalen Smith, Team Sizzle 15U
Upside is a fitting word attached to Smith, but he’s already producing at a high-level on the AAU circuit. The 6-foot-8 lanky big man scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and overtime of a tough-fought game against the Durham Hurricanes. He’s extremely skilled and mobile for his size and looks to be one of the top 2018 big man prospects in the area.

Southern Jam Fest Live Blog: Championship Sunday

Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest

HAMPTON,  Va. — The 2015 Southern Jam Fest comes to a close with Championship Sunday, with four age group titles up for grabs.

UPDATED BRACKETS — DAY 1 LIVE BLOG — DAY 2 LIVE BLOG

FOLLOW @TheHoopGroup on Twitter || Join the Conversation: #HGJamFest
—–

1:05pm — The championship games for each age group have also now been set, and will tip at 2:30pm. The matchups are as follows:

  • 17U: DC Thunder vs. Team Loaded NC
  • 16U: DC Premier vs. Team Loaded VA
  • 15U: CP3 vs. Team Loaded VA
  • 14U: Garner Road vs. Philly Pride

11:21am — The Final Four for each age group is now set, with 16U Final Four action taking place right now. The matchups for each age group are as follows:

  • 17U: Boo Williams vs. DC Thunder // NYC  Jayhawks vs. Team Loaded NC
  • 16U: DC Premier vs. Team Loaded 757 // DC Thunder vs. Team Loaded VA
  • 15U: CP3 vs. DC Premier // Team Loaded VA vs. CP3 2019s
  • 14U:  Team Takeover Orange vs. Garner Road // Boo Williams vs. Philly Pride

10:33am — Miles Bridges (Boo Williams 17U) has brought his A game today when it counts most. Bridges has carried Boo Williams throughout their matchup against Team Loaded VA, doing a bit of everything offensively while holding a strong defensive presence. A versatile wing with strength and sneaky athleticism, Bridges has hit several three-pointers, while wowing the crowd with a few big slams through traffic.

9:59am — Prentis Hubb (DC Premier 16U) has really made his presence felt all weekend here in Hampton. The Gonzaga (D.C.) point guard is actually a member of the 2018 class playing up an age group, and has been leading the charge for a talented Premier unit. Hubb has caught the eye of nearly every scout in attendance over the course of the weekend, in some way or another.

 

9:40am — We thought it could happen, and now it will. Boo Williams EYBL and Team Loaded VA are meeting in a vaunted 17U Elite 8 matchup. Not only are these two teams perennial heavyweights on the grassroots circuit, but their proximity and history make this a rare natural “rivalry” between AAU squads.

9:31am — One game set down, and we’ve already had a classic finish. Playing from behind in their 16U Elite 8 matchup against River City Reign, Team Loaded 757 fought hard to stick around, and found themselves trailing by one point with 15 seconds to play. Superb inbound defense by guard James Smith forced a five-second call to get the ball back for Loaded.

After the turnover, Jalen Ray took care of the rest from the foul line, adding two of his team high 22 points.

8:55am– Who needs coffee when you’ve got GREAT championship-level basketball? The final day of the weekend tips off with 16U Elite 8 play at Boo Williams Sportsplex. This division is wide open, and has been arguably the most competitive and unpredictable over the past two days.

8:15am– Welcome to Championship Sunday! Strap in and get ready for a big day of action in Hampton. The competition will be fierce, with high-level matchups across the board throughout the day.

Guards that Impressed, Southern Jam Fest Day 1

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Hampton, VA– Get familiar with hearing the phrase “The Southern Jam Fest is loaded,” all weekend long. After just 4 game sets Friday, we quickly saw that there is more talent here than anticipated. Here a few guards who stood out on day one.

Dennis Smith, Team Loaded NC 17U

Dennis Smith, being regarded as one of the best players in the country, came into the Southern Jam Fest and he didn’t disappoint Friday night. He set the tone early with multiple dunks. Smith isn’t just an athlete, but can also shoot well from the perimeter. Smith finished with 17 points in game one. He and the rest of his Team Loaded (NC) showed that they are one of the favorites to come away with a championship this weekend.

Trystan Pratapas, The District 17U

Cries of “shooter” from the opposing bench and the occasional double team didn’t faze Pratapas on Friday night, as he connected on six three-pointers en route to a game high 24 points in The District’s tough opening round win over Team Pro Look. Aside from his jumper, Pratapas showed the ability to make smart decisions distributing in the half-court and knocked down two clutch free throws to seal the win.

Zach Jacobs, River City Reign 16U

He made our top performers on the first day of the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, and he continues his first round onslaughts last night with a big 22 point, 8 rebound effort in their win. Jacobs won’t be competing for the rest of the week because of personal reasons, however the 6’7 high motor big has shown over his last two Hoop Group events that he can compete and produce with the best of them on the block.

Asem Johnson, Northeast Basketball 17U

Asem Johnson had a big game, and Northeast Basketball needed it. In a tight contest versus Spectrum Sports Academy, Johnson scored 29 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Johnson was able to produce in multiple ways, scoring off offensive put backs, drilling threes from deep, and taking it strong to the hoop. The guard from NJ already holds offers from St. Peter’s and Robert Morris and is looking to make a late push this spring.

Michael Speight, Bump N Run 16U

Speight showcased his entire scoring repertoire in an opening round victory over the Juice All-Stars. Blessed with a strong frame, he was tough to keep out of the paint and did a great job getting out in the open court and flashing athleticism. Also a very good shooter from deep, defenders have to pick their poison when defending the talented combo guard. He scored 21 points on Friday.

Maliek White, River City Reign 17U

Clutch. That’s the best way to describe Maliek White on Day 1. After injuring himself at the Pitt Jam Fest, we finally saw what a healthy Maliek is capable of. With River City Reign and USA United tied at 52, White sunk a game winning three, sending River City into the next round. White is a high volume and athletic scorer. He’s really helped his stock this spring, picking up offers from Boston College and Cincinnati, among others, over the course of the season.

Jordan Johnson, Richmond Squires 16U

Talk about a breakout performance, Johnson lit it up to the tune of 29 points for the Squires in their first round win over USA United. Johnson, a 6’1 shooter, showed a knack for scoring in their win, as he scored 19 of his 29 in the first half. He showed the ability to shoot it from deep, create for himself in the half court, and drew contact well shooting 13 free throws on the night.

Andrew Langston, BWSL James 17U

Playing in the first game set of the day, Langston came out of the gates red hot. Putting up 19 first-half points, Langston showed off a smooth jumper and stretched the defense on every trip down the floor. His big first half allowed BWSL to develop a nice halftime cushion, and cruise to a win in the second half.

Jake Betlow, Hoop Heaven Elite 16U

The scouting report on Jake is that he is a shooter, and he continues to remind us time and time again why that is. He is a class of 2019 player, playing up in the 16U Division, and lead Hoop Heaven Elite Friday with 30 points on 8 three pointers. Teams need to take note quickly, Jake will hurt you if he’s left alone.

Chris Freeman, Team Winston 17U

Freeman was one of several standouts for Team Winston in a truly impressive team victory over VA Elite. A versatile 6-foot-5 combo with nice ball handling ability, Freeman played an integral part in getting Team Winston’s offense going in the half-court and making plays off the dribble. He also impressed as a long, active perimeter defender and did a nice job preventing dribble penetration.

Jamaal David, Team Takeover Orange 17U

David led Takeover Orange to a close first round victory over Brand X (NC). He showed off his ability to get into the lane and create for others. He was a threat anytime he touched the ball, which was clear early. He is also very long and created problems for the opposing team when he was on defense. If he continues to play the way he did Friday night Takeover Orange will have a good amount of success the rest of the weekend.

Johquin Wiley, River City Reign 16U

If you like old school, “floor general” point guards, look no further than Wiley. The undisputed leader of the River City Reign Team Iverson 16s, Wiley plays with maturity well beyond his age and sees the floor like a pro. He sees plays develop before they happen, and can thread the tightest needle with solid passes both in transition and the half court. He’s also a hard-nosed defender that will harass the best of ball handlers full court. Wiley finished with a stellar 6 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals, while only turning the ball over once for Reign in their first round win.

Lavarr Batts, Team CP3 16U

Batts served as the closer for Team CP3 in their 16 point win over the Arlington Titans. Despite the final score, the game was fairly close throughout until Batts — using his outstanding length and athleticism — made a couple of key defensive plays and turned them into easy transition buckets. At 6’1, he’s able to play above the rim and also knows how to run the show at point guard. He finished with 15 points.

Terry Nolan, Baltimore Supreme 16U

Nolan was the high-point man with 18 points in Baltimore Supreme’s come-from-behind victory over the Cary Rimrockers. The lanky, 6-foot-3 wing helped bring his team from down double-digits by pressuring the ball on defense and coming up with a handful of deflections. He stayed in attack mode on offense and got to the line to score a chunk of his points. His combination of length and athleticism make him one to watch the rest of this weekend.

Myles Cale, South Jersey Jazz 16U

Cale had one of the best scoring performances in the 16U division on Friday night, going off for 29 points in a win over the Durham Hurricanes. A prototypical shooting guard who plays for former NBA guard Tim Legler, Cale does an excellent job slashing into the lane and creating scoring opportunities for himself at the rim. He’s a good ball handler and possesses a dangerous crossover move that allows him to get into the lane almost at will.

 

 

Southern Jam Fest Day 1: Standout Big Men

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 Hampton, VA–The Southern Jam Fest started with a bang Friday night, with game sets getting underway in the 15, 16 and 17u Divisions. While we knew how loaded the field was coming in, play exceeded our expectations Friday night, which is saying an awful lot. Here are some big men who stood out from the crowd on Friday night.

 

Matur Maker, Team Loaded VA 17U
Maker was a force down low and on transition. It was a pleasant surprise for all attending to see him and his brother show up for Team Loaded. He definitely didn’t disappoint and impacted the game in various ways. Whether it be a block or a strong finish the 2017 prospect proved to be one of the premier big men at the Southern Jam Fest. He adds a lot to an already impressive Team Loaded (VA) squad.

Ryan Gomes, District Basketball Club 17U

Gomes is a great post inside for District Basketball Club. He provides a big presence in the paint on both ends of the floor, with and without the basketball. Offensively he seals hard and pins his man down low. Defensively he boxes out extremely well, and rarely gives up second chances. With the ball in his hands he is patient inside, and has the ability to pass out from the post too.

Karon Green, FBGC Disciples 17U

Green was a pleasant surprise on Friday night, and could be a nice under-the-radar talent to emerge from the weekend here in Hampton. At about 6-foot-6, he has a great frame and intriguing athleticism. Green made some nice plays on the offensive end — showing off some nice touch from mid-range — and made his mark on defense by getting up and challenging looks around the basket, especially in transition.

Dajour Dickens, Boo Williams EYBL 17U

Playing up an age, Dickens turned heads in Boo Williams’ decisive opening round win. A 6-foot-10 center with a solid motor, Dickens was an imposing presence, and cleaned up on the boards on both ends. The 2017 prospect will really get a chance to prove himself on Saturday and Sunday as Boo Williams expects to play deep into the tournament.

Karim Coulibaly, New World 15U

Although he’s still in middle school, it was impossible not to notice the 6-foot-7 forward’s presence against ATO. Coulibaly not only possesses excellent size for his age, but he also was able to knock down shots from three and handle the ball in the half court. He’s a monster shot blocker. He has a very good feel for the game and looks to be one of the better 2019 prospects in the DMV area.

J.J. Matthews, River City Reign 17U
Matthews came out very aggressive to start off the game. River City Reign has some tough competition in USA United and Matthews stepped up when they needed him most. He finished the first half with a key 13 points. It was more of the same as he dominated in the post and grabbed rebounds consistently. He finished with a game high 22 points. Look for him to continue to make noise throughout the event.

 

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Southern Jam Fest: Day 2 Live Blog

Boo Williams at Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest

HAMPTON,  Va. — The 2015 Southern Jam Fest continues on Saturday, as some of the nation’s best grassroots programs battle for a championship. Continue to check back here for updates throughout the day.

UPDATED BRACKETS — DAY 1 LIVE BLOG

FOLLOW @TheHoopGroup on Twitter || Join the Conversation: #HGJamFest

—–

9:36pm — Team Loaded NC held on for a tight win, sealing their spot in the 17U Elite 8. True to form, Loaded ended the game with some fireworks, including a jaw-dropping windmill dunk from Edrice “Bam” Adebayo.

8:51pm — Behind a prolific first half from guard Asem Johnson, Northeast Basketball is giving Team Loaded NC — a heavy favorite coming into this game — all that they can handle.

8:09pm — A fantastic game between DC Thunder and Juice All-Stars in the 17U bracket is coming to a close, and DC Thunder will hold on to claim a spot in the Elite 8. Anthony Cowan (Maryland commit) was steady running the show for Thunder, but a few dominant stretches in the paint from forward Sam Green were key in holding off a Juice team that was hot from deep throughout the game. Team Loaded 757 is next on the agenda for DC Thunder, with a Final Four berth on the line. 7:11pm — Despite Team Takeover Orange’s best bracket-busting efforts, the 17U Boo Williams EYBL vs. Team Loaded VA Elite 8 matchup is now officially set for tomorrow morning. This game won’t just be about Virginia bragging rights — it will feature the best of the best in the nation. Tip-off is set for 9:40 a.m. 6:34pm — Looking for a sleeper pick from the weekend? How about two? A couple playmaking point guards have stood out against top competition tonight:

    • Mikey Dixon of Diamond State Titans (Del.) carried his team in a tough loss to Team Wall (N.C.), overcoming an injury just before halftime, and following up a 19-point first half with a herculean second half performance, bringing the Titans back within five at one time.

 

  • Justin Kier of Spectrum Sports Academy (Va.) was, at times, the best player on the floor in Spectrum’s Sweet 16 matchup against Boo Williams EYBL. He pushed the pace, handled the ball well, and more than held his own against elite point guard prospect Matt Coleman, all with a bevy of scouts and media representatives looking on.

 

 

5:17pm —  It’s getting real. The 16U Sweet 16 is in full swing right now, with spots in the Elite 8 on the line. We’re into the Sweet 16 for every age group now, and representatives from the loaded 15U division will be coming to the main facility at Boo Williams Sportsplex to close out their tournament. 17U takes center stage tonight when the Sweet 16 tips off, and a highly anticipated Boo Williams EYBL vs. Team Loaded VA matchup could be in the cards for tomorrow’s Elite 8…provided that both teams avoid Sweet 16 upsets, of course. 3:50pm — One of the novelties of the grassroots circuit, the Garner Road Bulldogs cheerleading squad is back here in full force in Hampton. They’ve occupied the first three rows on Court 1 for Garner Road’s matchup against FGBC Dynamic Disciples and are bringing out new cheers every few minutes. 3:01pm — Team Loaded NC has drawn the biggest crowds of the weekend, filling the bleachers again this afternoon. A standing room only crowd is taking in the team’s second game now, with nationally ranked star Edrice “Bam” Adebayo showing out early. 2:14pm — The afternoon rolls in as we inch closer toward the championship rounds. We’d like to remind you to keep up with our updated brackets (link above) to keep an eye on the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 as they are filled in. 1:23pm — Lunch is over, and the action continues to heat up. We’re moving closer to the Sweet 16, and the heavyweights of the field remain intact. A solid performance by Team Loaded VA against Higher Level allowed them to move on, powered by one of the most imposing frontlines you will ever find on the grassroots basketball circuit.

11:48am — It’s a pleasure to host ESPN Radio each year at the Southern Jam Fest. They’re back again, broadcasting live all morning into the afternoon.

11:01am —  The tournament’s biggest upset may have just gone down in the 16U bracket, as River City Reign II outlasted Boo Williams in a close, dramatic game. The 16U division seems to be wide open, and River City Reign’s upset is further proof of that fact.

10:08am — We’ve got a nice 15U second round game here at Christopher Newport, with Team Melo and NY Rens going head-to-head. Melo is carrying a 30-16 lead into halftime after a late first half run, but Rens certainly has a chance to get back into this one. (Update: Team Melo pulled away for a big win in the second half).

9:29am — While Boo Williams Sportsplex is the main site for Southern Jam Fest, the five-court field house at Christopher Newport University is a fantastic facility, and acts today as the home for some top-flight 15U action.

8:35am — Here we go! Day Two of Southern Jam Fest action is underway, and if last night’s games were any indication, we’re in for a great day of basketball in Hampton. We will be posting updates on this space again throughout the day (see the Day 1 Live Blog here), and we urge you to follow @TheHoopGroup on Twitter for even more timely #HGJamFest updates.

Southern Jam Fest: Day 1 Live Blog

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HAMPTON,  Va. — Widely lauded as one of the top grassroots basketball tournaments outside of the Live Period, the Southern Jam Fest is BACK for another year.

This year’s tournament features one of the event’s deepest fields ever, bringing some of the nation’s top teams and prospects to Hampton. As always, HoopGroup.com will be providing live updates and daily recaps throughout the weekend.

CLICK TO VIEW UPDATED BRACKETS

FOLLOW @TheHoopGroup on Twitter || Join the Conversation: #HGJamFest

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10:50 pm — As the final game set wraps up, we are signing off of this live blog for the night. If today’s action is any indication, we are in for a jam-packed day of action tomorrow, and a fantastic Championship Sunday.

Be sure to scroll through our Twitter and Instagram timelines for more content, and check back tomorrow morning for a full rundown of standout performers from Day 1. As a reminder, brackets are updated automatically after each game set is completed.

10:11 pm — Led by the Maker Brothers, Team Loaded VA is asserting itself as a dominant force in this tournament, right out of the gate. Taking a 40-point lead into halftime of their opening game, Loaded VA may be the prohibitive favorite in the 17U division this weekend.

10:01 pm — As the night begins to come to a close, FBGC Dynamic Disciples (Md.) pulled out one of the more impressive wins in the opening round of 17U action, beating Mid-Atlantic Select. Strong efforts from Rob Montgomery and Daryl Smith were key for the Disciples, a group that has played together for several years with a high level of success.

9:42 pm — Dennis Smith and Team Loaded NC put on an absolute show in their opening round win. Smith and Bam Adebayo lived up to their billing as Top 10 nationally ranked prospects, wowing the capacity crowd watching in the bleachers.

9:03pm — Elite big man brothers Thon and Matur Maker have arrived and will play with Team Loaded VA this weekend. Thon Maker — who will likely reclassify to the 2015 class and enter college next year — is the nation’s most highly coveted uncommitted prospect. 

8:32 pm — As we get set here for the debut of Boo Williams 17U on Court 1, the crowd continues to grow. The hometown team is trying to defend the 17U title, which it captured here last year in dramatic fashion.

8:01 pm — Don’t sleep on DC Thunder as a dark horse contender for the 17U title here. Maryland-bound point guard Anthony Cowan plays a starring role, but the Thunder squad is deep, playing 9 or 10 players regularly, all of whom seem to have bought into their roles on the floor.

7:27pm — At the 17U level, The District (Md.) held on for a tight win over Team Pro Look (Va.) in what has arguably been the most competitive and entertaining game thus far. District guard Trystan Pratapas led all scorers with a total of 24 points, including two late free throws to seal the win. Pratapas connected on six three-pointers as he filled up the scoresheet.

6:51 pm — Colton Lawrence of Team Supernatural (Pa.) 17U has caught the eye of several scouts in attendance with a dominant all-around performance in his team’s first game set. One of the tournament’s early top performers.

6:18pm — We’re only an hour into the weekend, and we’ve already seen a major media turnout here in Hampton. More than a dozen media and scouting outlets are already in attendance, with many more slated to attend tonight, and throughout the weekend.

6:03pm — Despite some brutal traffic during a long day of traveling for many teams, the first game set has been superb. The energy on the floor is excellent, and there is a solid crowd growing here at Boo Willliams Sportsplex. A close 15U matchup between Team Melo (Md.) and BBA Hoops (N.J.) has been the highlight of the opening game set. BWSL James 17U and Pro Look 16U have rolled to big wins to open their weekends.

5:15pm —

4:30pm — We’re about 30 minutes away from tip-off here at Boo Williams Sportsplex for Day 1 of this year’s Southern Jam Fest. We’ll be updating brackets after each game set, and using this live blog to provide updates on key matchups and top individual performers.