The Expressions 17U team had a solid performance this past weekend at the Hoop Group Providence Jam Fest.
Their scrappy guard play, pressure defense and solid big men provided more than a solid amount of fire power during their run to the Elite 8 at the Jam Fest.
Especially effective during their run were combo-guard Jared Terrell from New Hampton Prep (NH) and Abdul Malik-Abu from Kimble Union (VT).
Coming off of a tough loss to Team Loaded in the Philly Jam Fest last weekend, Malik-Abu, Terrell and company were motivated by their recent shortcoming.
“That was a tough loss against Team Loaded; we came a long way,” explained Malik-Abu. “We joined together like a family that first weekend in Pittsburgh and to fall short it hurts a little bit every time we play. We’re not going to let that happen again, so we’re just going to take the whole thing here.”It’s safe to say that even though they got knocked out from the tournament in the Elite 8 by a talented Connecticut Basketball Club (Donnelly) team, Terrell and Malik-Abu bounced back well this weekend, individually.
The 6-3 Terrell was extremely effective at getting into the lane and making plays. He scored by hitting tough jump shots off the bounce or finishing shots in the lane. He’s also been dishing the rock to open teammates after penetrating. Each of these things helped his team win ball games this weekend.
A combo-guard trying to turn into full-time lead guard, Terrell is in the gym and making a concerted effort to improve his weaknesses.
“My ball-handling and my court vision,” said Terrell. “I’m trying to transform into a 1 instead of being a two-guard or combo.”
As for his recruitment, the 2014 New England guard is hearing mostly from east coast schools at this point.
“UMass, BC, Providence, Miami, Cincinnati and St. Johns have offered,” he said. “Syracuse is showing a little respect.”
On the other hand, the frontcourt prospect Malik-Abu finished plays around the rim with ferocity at a torrid pace. Abu, who considers players like Thomas Robinson (Kansas, 2012 NBA Draft) and Draymond Green (Michigan State, 2012 NBA Draft) to be his basketball-playing role models, appeared to be a tireless worker in the paint who’s willing to do the miniscule things that help teams to win games.
A 2014 player, Malik-Abu is “taking his time and enjoying” his recruitment for the moment, but he’s still thinking about what kind of factors will play a role in his recruitment.
“A good group of guys with a lot of heart and who want to win just as badly as I do,” specified Malik-Abu, who currently holds offers from Michigan State, Rutgers, Iowa State, Rhode Island and, “the list goes on.”
If they continue to advance deep into tournaments consistently while expanding their already effective styles of play, both Terrell and Malik-Abu will have their choice from a long list of suitors, all while enjoying the journey to their next destination.