Pooley’s Picks – 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

Pooley’s Picks

2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

Qualifications:  This week we’ll have a little different approach to Pooley’s Picks.  Often, with working at the Hoop Group, I’ll get to travel and see different events.  This past weekend I was able to get down to The Hill School and watch the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase.  The event was loaded with coaches, talent, and great moments. The following are a selection of the Top 10 things I took away from the showcase.

Picks are in no particular order. Please enjoy the fourth installment of Pooley’s Picks.

Chase Audige: The 6’4″ junior from Hill was very impressive in the win over Isaiah Christopher Academy.  Chase had some electrifying plays, but was also a consistent scorer willing passer.  The wing is quickly going from a high potential kid, to a star.  Look for Chase to continue to develop over the next year and look for Hill to have an extremely successful year under coach Seth Eilberg.




Tyler Jones: The 5’11” senior from Peddie had 20 in an overtime win against Canada Top Flight Academy.  The guard can do it all, and has a much improved jump shot with excellent form and rotation.  Tyler earned his MVP late in the game scoring crucial buckets and running the show.  Thus far uncommitted: Tyler may be a guard that could be on a lot of scholarship schools radars as the HS season draws to a close.

Canada Top Flight Academy (Ottawa) at the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

Canada Top Flight Academy (Ottawa) at the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

International Flavor:  The 2016 PSA Prep Showcase featured a little basketball from our friends to the north.  Canada Top Flight Academy probably didn’t have their best showing but kept Peddie on the ropes into overtime.  2017 Lual Akot impressed, hitting a couple of deep threes and flushing a couple dunks in traffic.  Overall CTA came down and represented well.  Look forward to see what they have to offer as the season continues.



Walter Whyte: The 6’6″ BU bound guard was tough as he always is.  Carrying St. Luke’s at times, Walter rebounds, scores, handles to ball, and plays defense.  The senior also did what seniors have to do: lead.  Walter was under control and facilitated Coach Gladstone’s game plan all night. An impressive win for St. Luke’s against a talented and well coached Hun School.



Mohammad Bamba: The 6’11” uncommitted senior is the real deal.  The entire Westtown team is the real deal.  Going up against a very good St. James team Mo looked like the NBA prospect that he is.  He blocked shots, scored, rebounded, and most importantly looked comfortable after coming back from injury.  He really is fun to watch.  Worth the trip to the 2016 PSA Prep Showcase just for him.  Lucky for us there was much more.



The Venue: The Hill School was the perfect venue for the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase.  The gym has a throwback feel, with excellent baskets and a redone floor.  Looks a little like a gym out of the movie Hoosiers with one high rise set of bleachers separated from the court by a 3 foot high padded wall.  On top of that the event felt full, but not crowded, and was loud with a good atmosphere during the close games.




View from the packed coaches section at the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

College Coaches:  The 2016 PSA Prep Showcase was loaded with college coaches.  An entire area of the bleachers was dedicated to the college recruiters and it was close to full for every game.  D1, D2, D3, JUCO, and scouts were all on hand to take a look at some of the top talent.  John Calipari, NCAA defending champ Jay Wright, Buzz Williams, Fran Dunphy, and Phil Martelli, were among the few who evaluated and scouted.



Hamidou Diallo: The 6’6″ senior is as sought after as anyone.  Up to #11 in the class of 2017, “Hami” got to the rim all night long.  The explosive guard is one of those players who can score in a variety of ways and create energy on the defensive end of the floor.



Atmosphere: First, the college coaches, next the fans, then the players, this had it all.  There was just an atmosphere of elite basketball and the feel that you get from seeing kids in HS who will be on TV in a few years.  NERR’s National Prep Showcase always signals the start of high school basketball for me.  This event had a similar feel to me: teams early in their season competing at a high level.




Noah Collier, 6’7″ at Westtown, a top 2020 at the 2016 PSA Prep School Showcase

The Freshman: Not necessarily something you think of when talking about a Prep Showcase.  However, the freshman that I got to see in limited minutes were excellent.  Westtown’s Noah Collier is a great kid, with a ton of upside, who can play multiple positions.  His ceiling is exceptionally high, and he even knocked down a couple jumpers.  Seth Berger’s son, backup guard TJ Berger, played limited minutes but showed a lot of potential on and off the ball.  Backcourt mate Seyon Kpaan, looked good in some extended minutes.  Niels Lane played more minutes for a freshman on a Hun School team than I’ve seen.  Coach Stone has some confidence in that youngster, who moves well and has a good feel for the game.  Much better 2020 representation than you would think with so many talented upperclassmen.


Special Thanks to Hoop Major for the videos and helping me cover the event in this article.  Ian Finnen is a rising star, and is going to be very good at whatever he decides to do.

Special shout out to Terrence Williams and the rest of the PSA Cardinals family for running a great event and being so media friendly.  Look forward to this event in the years moving forward.


And of course as always, everybody’s favorite:

Pooleys Picks – Top Northeast Backcourts

Pooley Picks

Top Northeast Backcourts: Maine to Washington, DC

Qualifications: Backcourts are the back bone of high school basketball teams.  In this weeks installment of Pooley’s Picks we dive into the Top Northeast Backcourts, Maine to DC.  Qualifications are simple: The be one of the Top Northeast Backcourts you have to be a team projected to win a lot of games with at least a top-notch point guard and shooting guard.  Wings will be considered especially if they share a load of perimeter scoring or ball handling. Depth will be considered, but no where near as much as the starters, who usually play a large majority of minutes in HS games.  This list is for high schools only (Friends/MAPL league schools will qualify).

Top Northeast Backcourts are in no particular order. Please enjoy the second installment of Pooley’s Picks.


Gonzaga (Washington, DC): Gonzaga has a rich history of great basketball teams and competes in the best high school league in the country.  This years backcourt may be one of the best ever for the Purple Eagles.  Featuring two elite scoring point guards, Gonzaga will be tough to guard and to score against.  Chris Lykes, a 2017 Miami commit, and Prentiss Hubb, a 2018 top ten PG in the country, will run the show and lead a strong backcourt supporting cast.  Also look for Myles Dread, Eddie ScottAnwar Gill, and fan favorite Mike Myers to have standout seasons.  Hard to find a deeper, tougher, and more well-rounded than the Purple Eagles in 2016-2017.

Quote: “They have a great ability to play off of each other, but more importantly they understand how to let the other take the lead…If one is having a great scoring night, the other is always able to have a great facilitating night.” – Steve Turner, Head Coach Gonzaga College High School

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring B+ Shooting A- Passing A- Athleticism B-
Defense A- Rebounding B- Experience A Depth A+ Bball IQ A



Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, NJ): Hudson Catholic has one of the Top Northeast Backcourts on talent alone.  Add that to the fact that their guards are extremely well coached while still given the freedom to make plays and you have a great combination.  Lead by the big three of Jahvon Quinerly, Luther Muhammad, and Louis King this team will press, drive, and shoot their way to being a top team in NJ.  Complimented by star senior Tyheem Burno look for Hudson Catholic to play four guards at times.

Quote: “Hudson Catholic has a lot of Experience going into 2016-17.  Considering the teams these guards have played in the last two years, and the balance between Quinerly’s distribution and shooting, and Muhammad’s athleticism, defense, and raw scoring…I don’t see many backcourts in the northeast being better than them.” – Pat Lawless, NCAA Certified Scout MADE Hoops

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting B+ Passing B+ Athleticism B
Defense A Rebounding B Experience A- Depth B Bball IQ B+



Patrick School (Hillside, NJ): Coaches Mike Rice and Chris Chavannes have their own three-headed monster in the backcourt this season.  The pre-season #1 team in New Jersey may also have the most balanced backcourt in the country.  Lead by an extremely underrated PG in Jordan Walker, a lights-out shooter in Jamir Harris, and a physically gifted downhill guard in Marcus McClary, the Patrick School will never be outgunned at guard.  Al-Amir Dawes will bring energy, skill, and scoring in bunches off the bench to supplement an already electric bunch.

Quote: “We’re excited about the backcourt we have this year.  Many have experience at the national level and they’re all tough kids who love to win. I like my guys matched up against anyone.” -Mike Rice, Head Coach Patrick School

Report Card

Ball Handling B Scoring B+ Shooting A- Passing B+ Athleticism B+
Defense A Rebounding B+ Experience A Depth B- Bball IQ A-



 John Carroll (Bel Air, MD): John Carroll boasts perhaps the best Point Guard in the country in Immanuel Quickley.  Complimenting him is the up-and-coming Montez Mathis.  Between the two they give you everything you need in the backcourt.  When your looking among the top Northeast backcourts something from each team on this list has to separate them from the pack and with these two its length.  Opposing teams will have a really rough time getting past these two.  Add to the mix Junior Farquhar and this team is going to be fun to watch.

Quote: “John Carroll is not only fun to watch, but they can teach you something about how to play.  All there guards are creative, aggressive, and determined.  Lead by Quickley, I would be shocked if this team doesn’t have a huge edge at the guard position in just about every game. – Zack Curran, Director of Marketing Hoop Group

Report Card

Ball Handling B+ Scoring A- Shooting B- Passing B+ Athleticism A
Defense A- Rebounding B+ Experience B+ Depth C+ Bball IQ A-

Paul VI (Hyattsville, MD): Paul VI may have the most balanced backcourt in the country.  With Pitt commit Aaron Thompson running the show, long-athletic Brandon Slater hitting triples and slashing, and Anthony Harris doing a little bit of everything, this backcourt will be a nightmare to defend.  Adding to the depth is highly-touted freshman Jeremy Roach.

Quote: “…as skilled and fast as we are on the perimeter, the most impressive thing about this group is how quickly the ball moved and how willing they are to defend.” – Glenn Farello, Head Coach Paul VI.

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting A Passing A Athleticism B+
Defense A- Rebounding B+ Experience A- Depth B+ Bball IQ A



Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, PA): Imhotep is known for is pressure defense and tough hard nosed guards.  2016-2017 is no different for the Panthers as they boast two of the top guards in PA.  David Beatty and Darron Russell can do it all, and with help from Bernard Lightsey.  Also look for Chereef Knox (forward who’s developed into a big wing) and Donte Scott to be key contributors as well.

Quote: “We feel we have a very good backcourt.  Dave, Daron, and Bernard…Expect a lot from them on both sides of the court.  When they play well, we feel good about our chances to win.” – Andre Noble, Head Coach Imhotep Charter

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism B+
Defense A Rebounding A- Experience A- Depth B Bball IQ B+

Westtown (West Chester, PA): The top two hear are already household names.  Both with size, scoring, distributing, and shooting there are very few guards anywhere that can compare with Randolph and Reddish.  As long as these two bring it every night and stay out of foul trouble, Westtown will have an edge at guard.  Noah Collier, an athletic and talented freshman will start for the Moose. For depth, Coach Berger will look to two freshman to give him valuable minutes: Seyon Kpaan and TJ Berger.

Quote: “Our backcourt of Cam Reddish and Brandon Randolph is not only super talented, but also really together.  Anytime you have two future pros in the backcourt, it’s a pretty special thing.” – Seth Berger, Head Coach Westtown

Report Card

Ball Handling B+ Scoring  A+ Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism A
Defense  A- Rebounding A Experience A- Depth C+ Bball IQ A-

Blair (Blairstown, NJ): Everyone knows the top two guards at Blair: Anthony Mack and Matt Turner.  Perhaps a new-comer may propel this group into the best guards in the country, keep an eye on Junub Char Chuol.  Chuol has a lot of upside and some buzz around him.  The two known guards Mack and Turner, compliment each other nicely: Turner a strong tough slasher and Mack having one of the best jumpers in the country.

Quote: “Two guards with excellent size, college ready right now.  Both guards can score the ball, get to the rim, defend, rebound and shoot with range.  Blair backcourt would be a difficult matchup for any team in the country.” – Jay Gomes, Publisher NJHoops.com

Report Card

Ball Handling B- Scoring B+ Shooting A Passing B+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding A Experience A Depth B- Bball IQ A-

Neumann Goretti (Philadelphia, PA): Lead by simply the best pure Point Guard in the country, Neumann Goretti is a top Northeast Backcourt for sure.  First, when your leader is also your most talented player, any team is in a good spot.  Second, when your team has a history of being well disciplined and making the extra pass you’re nearly unstoppable.  Finally, look for young guard Christian Ings to have a breakout season.

Quote: “Neumann’s backcourt may not have as many names as some of the other teams.  However, when you have the right name everything just falls into place.  Quade Green will lead the tough guard play of Neumann all year long, he’s so good alone, he makes any group tremendous.  Neumann compliments Quade enough to be in the mix.” – Steve Keller, Owner National Recruiting Report

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring B+ Shooting B+ Passing A+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding B Experience A- Depth C+ Bball IQ A


Bishop Louglin (Brooklyn, NY): Markquis Nowell certainly leads the charge here, but this NYC school has guards all over the place.  A team that could legitimately play four guards at once watch Loughlin live off of transition, penetration, and three-point shooting this season.  Watch out for Keith Williams lighting up the scoreboard, guards Tyrese Gaffney and Jordan Thomas all over the floor, and wing Adrien Nunez drilling big shots.

Quote: “Bishop Loughlin’s backcourt duo is one of the best on the east coast. Junior PG Markquis Nowell is a high level playmake and class of 2017 Cincy commit Keith Williams has shown he can score in a variety of ways and dominate the game. These two will be a big reason why the Lions receive national attention this year.” – Pat Lawless, NCAA Certified Scout MADE Hoops

Report Card

Ball Handling A Scoring A- Shooting B+ Passing B+ Athleticism A-
Defense  A- Rebounding B+ Experience A- Depth A Bball IQ A-

New York City Guards Aren’t Dead By a Long Shot:

I keep hearing this talk about how NYC guards aren’t what they used to be.  I’m starting to think that’s silly.  They may not have more than one team on this list, but that’s because the talent of one city is spread a bunch.  Christ the King’s Tyson Walker and Jose Alverado are studs.  St. Ray’s has one of the best guards in Isaiah Washington (complimented by Dallas Watson and Omar Silverio). Saquan Singleton (Scanlon) and young Posh Alexander (Our Savior Lutheran) are two more.  Finally, you get to Molloy and WOW: Cole Anthony and Khalid Moore!  I know this list may not reflect it from a team backcourt… but if you’re looking for guards, New York City is still one of the first stops you have to make.


Other Notes:

Special thanks as always to Steve Keller and the National Recruiting Report, certainly he is the star of the show.  Also, thanks to the coaches who helped with some information and quotes on there teams.  Thanks to Jay Gomes of NJ Hoops and Zack Curran here at HG.  Finally, a big thanks to Pat Lawless for some information and breakdown.  Follow all the guys above on their twitters (linked above) and follow me HERE.


HG alumni flood ESPN top 100

The ESPN top 100 recruits for the class of 2017 feature familiar names, and the Hoop Group is proud to boast 24 players that are alumni listed as the best of the best.

Hoop Group alumni also make up 19 of the top 20 players ranked in the eastern region.

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The following is a list of Hoop Group alumni, by ranking, info and scouting reports.

ESPN top 100

#3 Mohamed Bamba, PF
6-11, 210 lbs
Harlem, N.Y.
Westtown School

Mohamed Bamba, who hails from Harlem, N.Y., is No. 3 in the nation – and for good reason. The 6-11, 210-pound power forward is No. 1 in both the state and region, falling second in his position. In a recent ESPN scouting report, Mohamed Bamba was said to have a 7-foot-8 wingspan and a 9-foot-5 standing reach.
Mohamed Bamba received 20 offers which include programs like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse to name a few.

#5 Trevon Duval, PG
6-3, 183 lbs
Wilmington, Del.
Advanced Prep International

Ranking No. 5 in the nation, Trevon Duval, a power guard out of Wilmington, Del., is No. 1 in his position and No. 1 in the state. Trevon Duval has offers from 20 schools including Duke, Kentucky and UNC, among others. Scouting reports describe Trevon Duval as an explosive playmaker who utilizes his speed and size on the court.

#8 Nick Richards, C
6-11, 250 lbs
Queens, N.Y.
The Patrick School

Queens native center Nick Richards earned himself the No. 8 spot in the nation, ranking second in the state and third in both the position and region. The 6-11, 250-pound Patrick School junior is a nightmare off the glass. Richards bodies opponents off the boards, unafraid of contact, making him hard to overcome in the paint.
Richards has had offers from schools like North Carolina State, Kansas and Kentucky – totaling 13 all together.

#12 Hamidou Diallo, SG
6-5, 175 lbs
Queens, N.Y.
Putnam Science Academy

Hamidou Diallo is a sought-after shooting guard who already racked up 17 offers from around the country with the likes of Duke, Kansas and Kentucky. He ranks second in his position. He is No. 3 in New York and No. 4 in the eastern region.

#14 Lonnie Walker, SG
6-5, 180 lbs
Reading, Pa.
Reading High School

(Credit 8EYE Media)

Lonnie Walker is the best in Pennsylvania and No. 3 at the shooting guard position. Scouting reports say Walker is an all-around athlete on both ends of the court. He can play pressing D, go down and can sink threes. The No. 14-ranked player is on Kentucky’s radar and has offers from 12 other schools.

#22 Quade Green, PG
5-11, 155 lbs
Philadelphia, Pa.
Neumann-Goretti High School

Size doesn’t matter for the No. 22 Quade Green, point guard for Neumann-Goretti High from Philadelphia, Pa. The 5-11, 155-pound point guard is a true floor general. Scouting reports claim he is one of the best passing playmakers in the nation. Green is the second-highest ranked in Pennsylvania. It’s no wonder he has sparked the attention of 12 schools with offers from programs like Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky.

#27 Matt Coleman, PG
6-2, 170 lbs
Norfolk, Va.
Oak Hill Academy

No. 2 in Virginia, Oak Hill Academy’s Matt Coleman already racked up 14 offers from schools, including Florida State, Indiana and Virginia. The Norfolk, Va., native is a left-hander who has tremendous speed off the dribble, creating separation on the floor.

#31 Tremont Waters, PG
5-10, 164 lbs
South Kent, Conn.
South Kent School

Tremont Waters is the best there is in Connecticut. The South Kent School point guard has a genuine understanding of the game, demonstrating a high level of maturity for his age. He reads defenses, adjusting to opponents as an overall versatile player with an admirable amount of poise. Waters has eight school offers so far including ones from Duke and Connecticut.

#35 Jordan Tucker, SF
6-7, 190 lbs
White Plains, NY
Archbishop Stepinac High School

No. 35 on the list is small forward Jordan Tucker, a White Plains, N.Y., native who attends Archbishop Stepinac High. His potential is just beginning to develop. He has offers from 16 programs including Syracuse and Oklahoma.

#36 D.J. Harvey Jr., SF
6-5, 190 lbs
Bowie, Md.
DeMatha Catholic High School

No. 36 in the nation and No. 1 in Maryland, D.J. Harvey Jr. has peaked interest of 20 schools so far, with offers from some of the best programs like Duke. Scouting reports say the 6-5, 190-pound small forward works best against contact, finishing after each attack.

#43 Brandon Randolph, SG
6-6, 180 lbs
Yonkers, N.Y.
Westtown School

With 22 offers under his belt including one from the University of North Carolina, shooting guard Brandon Randolph has a bright future. The No. 43-ranked player is just coming into himself after overcoming injuries as an underclassman. He’s making up for time lost, though, and is a dangerous utility beyond the arc, shooting 40 percent outside the perimeter.

#46 Chris Lykes, PG
5-6, 160 lbs
Bowie, Md.
Gonzaga College High School

Ranking second in Maryland and No. 46 in the nation, Gonzaga College High point guard Chris Lykes has vision on the hardwood. Making up for his height (5-6), reports say his quickness is dangerous with his ability to cut on a dime and change direction. Lykes currently has 10 offers.

#59 Jermaine Samuels, SF
6-5, 205 lbs
Franklin, Mass.
The Rivers School

Rivers School small forward and Franklin, Mass., native Jermaine Samuels can score from all over. Playing at an elite level for his age, the 6-5, 205-pound player has peaked offers from eight different college programs.

#60 Kimani Lawrence, SF
6-5, 180 lbs
Providence, R.I.
New Hampton School

No. 60-ranked Kimani Lawrence runs Rhode Island. The New Hampton School small forward recently added to his offensive threat, making progress shooting from downtown. Reports claim he not only has good size on the wing, but is impressive with his vertical athleticism. He has offers from five schools.

#63 Hameir Wright, PF
6-7, 195 lbs
Albany, N.Y.
The Albany Academy

The potential for 6-7, 195-pound power forward Hameir Wright is endless. Ranking No. 63 in the country, the Albany, N.Y., native at Albany Academy is consistently improving his skills set. Wright currently has 10 offers.

#65 Myles Cale, SG
6-3, 195 lbs
Middletown, Del.
Appoquinimink High School

Middletown, Del., native Myles Cale is currently No. 2 in Delaware and No. 65 in the nation. The 6-3, 195-pound shooting guard out of Appoquinimink High committed to Seton Hall in March.

#80 Deng Gak, PF
6-10, 195 lbs
Blairstown, N.J.
Blair Academy

Deng Gak reps New Jersey as the most sought after recruit in the state. The 6-10, 195-pound power forward hails from Blairstown and attends Blair Academy. Gak’s natural talent earned him offers from Duke and eight other programs.

#81 Oshae Brissett, SF
6-6, 195 lbs
Mississauga, Ontario (Canada)
Findlay College Prep

Ontario, Canada product Oshae Brissett is drawing a lot of attention. The small forward shows poise from three-point shooting to finishing in transition, adding in above-the-rim play and shot-blocking abilities, according to scouting reports. The 6-6, 195-pound Findlay College Prep junior has 10 offers so far.

#82 Christian David, SF
6-7, 200 lbs
Milton, Ontario (Canada)
Vermont Academy

No. 82 Christian David, who hails from Ontario, Canada, currently has five offers. Scouting reports say the 6-7, 200-pound small forward creates space on the floor and works well off screens, adding he has a high basketball I.Q.

#87 Nate Reuvers, PF
6-10, 220 lbs
Lakeville, Minn.
Lakeville High School

No. 2 in Minnesota and No. 87 in the country, Nate Reuvers is crossing over the state line after committing to Wisconsin in May. The 6-10, 220-pound power forward and Lakeville, Minn., native will have a lot to offers the Badgers.

#94 Aaron Thompson, PG
6-2, 175 lbs
Glendale, Md.
Paul VI High School

Pittsburgh-committed point guard Aaron Thompson demonstrates true point guard ability. Scouts say the left-handed Glendale, Md., native knows how to run a team. The 6-2, 175-pound Paul VI High junior is the No. 94-ranked player in the country is No. 3 in Maryland.

#97 David Beatty, SG
6-3, 195 lbs
Philadelphia, Pa.
Saint Benedict’s Prep

(Credit 8EYE Media)

Shooting guard and Philadelphia, Pa., native David Beatty is currently No. 3 in the state and ranks No. 97 in the nation. He’s made a difference on his Saint Benedict’s Prep team since he was an underclassman and has an ever-evolving game. He has 14 current offers.

#100 Lavar Batts, PG
6-0, 175 lbs
Concord, N.C.
J.M. Robinson High School

Just making ESPN’s list is No. 100 Lavar Batts. The 6-0, 175-pound point guard is No. 2 in North Carolina and plays for J.M. Robinson High. Batts has five offers, most of which come from within state.

Earning the No. 1 spot was DeAndre Ayton, a 6-10 center from Phoenix, Ariz., at Hillcrest Academy. Wendell Carter, a 6-10 power forward from Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia ranked second.
See the full list of ESPN’s 100.