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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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:

Summer Recap: Elite Session 1

Continuing the theme of the week, we are breaking down the summer that was for Hoop Group Elite Camps. Today we look at Elite Session 1. A usual home run during the summer, this year’s first session of Elite Camp did not disappoint. Let’s look at the takeaways from camp.

Introducing Nathan Knight

Kimball Union’s Nathan Knight came into camp relatively unknown. By the time he left he was on a number of D1 recruiting lists. Knight, a 6’8 power forward, came into camp with no offers to his name. Right now he currently holds 27. That’s not a typo, 27 schools jumped on the Nate Knight train this summer, including Temple, James Madison, Robert Morris, William & Mary and Drexel. There arguably was not a bigger storyline than Nate’s rise this summer.

Austin Harriott with the play of the week

Austin Harriott committed to Loyola (MD) this past weekend. He helped his stock tremendously with great play at Elite Camp, and this dunk didn’t hurt either…

A video posted by Hoop Group (@hoopgroup) on

Luther Muhammad took home MOP honors

You won’t find many players tougher than 2018 Luther Muhammad of Hudson Catholic. A gritty, 6’4 guard with loads of toughness, Muhammad stepped up on the big stage as an “underclassmen” at camp, being one of two 2018s to make the Top 20 Game (Koran Moore was the other) and receiving Most Outstanding Prospect at camp. This was not the last we would hear of Luther in the summer. He would return for Future All American Camp in August, and gave us a lot to look forward to.

Luther Muhammad stands with Elite Camp Director Bryan Weber after receiving MOP honors. Currently has offers from Pittsburgh and Rider.

Luther Muhammad stands with Elite Camp Director Bryan Weber after receiving MOP honors. Currently has offers from Pittsburgh and Rider.

Floor Generals were everywhere

Nate Pierre-Louis, Jair Bolden, Brown-commit Brandon Anderson, Jahlil Jenkins, David Beatty, Stevie Jordan…the list goes on. Division I point guards were all over at camp. Nate Piere-Louis excelled, showing flashes of dominance and leadership. 2017s David Beatty and Stevie Jordan turned their offensive games up a notch and Bolden, Jenkins and Anderson showed to be true point guards. Bottom line, if you needed a floor general, Elite I had them.

St. Benedict's point guard Nate Pierre-Louis was one of the best guards at camp. Has offers from Iowa State, Connecticut, Miami, Providence, Creighton, SMU, Florida State and many more

St. Benedict’s point guard Nate Pierre-Louis was one of the best guards at camp. Has offers from Iowa State, Connecticut, Miami, Providence, Creighton, SMU, Florida State and many more

One point guard from Emmaus stole the show

Another name that came out of a lot of people’s mouths was 2017 David Kachelries. A point guard at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, David drew coaches and media to his games at Elite One with his grit and toughness at the point guard position. As the buzz around him grew bigger and bigger, offers started coming in. He now has four going into his junior year: Binghamton, Lafayette, Fordham and Dartmouth. His play resulted in a spot in the Top 20 game at camp as well.

Chuba Ohams has the work ethic to be a next level stud

As the NY Post’s Zach Braziller wrote last week, a growth spurt helped Chuba Ohams turn into a 6’7 wing with guard-like handles. He’s long and can guard just about all five positions. A great slasher who can attack and finish at the basket, Chuba showed improvement in his jumper this July at camp. A big reason for the drastic improvement is cause of his work ethic; Chuba was up every morning before camp started getting shots up. There’s a reason why VCU, Providence and DePaul, among others, are interested in Chuba’s services: he’s a worker.

Ejike Obinna proved high major status

We first heard the name Ejike Obinna last summer when he blew up at Future All American Camp. For an encore, Ejike came back to Elite Session One and left as the camp MVP. Having only been playing the game for two and a half years, Ejike is still learning the game. He plays the game with a high motor and uses his 6’10 body to try to dunk and block everything. As Ejike’s feel for the game continues to grow, so does the interest college coaches have in him. Following camp, he received high major offers from Miami, Xavier, Seton Hall, LSU, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Don’t expect those to be all either. See his mixtape here!

Ejike Obinna poses with Elite Camp Directors Bryan Weber after receiving MVP of Elite Session 1

Ejike Obinna poses with Elite Camp Directors Bryan Weber after receiving MVP of Elite Session 1

Wings Melo Eggleston, Walter Whyte are special talents

While they’re two different players, 2017 wings Melo Eggleston (Clinton Christian) and Walter Whyte (St. Luke’s) showed they can contribute to a D1 program during Elite I. Eggleston, who holds offers from ACC, SEC and Big 12 schools, is an athletic and versatile wing who is at his best going to the basket. Whyte, who’s biggest offer thus far is VCU, is a bigger, stronger small forward who can bully players around and force his way into the paint. Both guys are capable of playing well above the rim as well. Expect big junior years from them both.

Making the trip from Minnesota, Steffon Mitchell and Nate Reuvers impressed

Playing for the Minnesota Fury AAU program, 2017 Nate Reuvers and 2016 Steffon Mitchell made the trip to Reading from the North Star State. A year ahead, Steffon holds 18 offers, including one from Wichita State. He saw a lot of success in transition. Nate was the opposite. The 6’9 wing showed his sharpshooting ability and was a threat from long-range at all times. We had a chance to sit down with both of them at camp and talk a little hoops.

 

North Mecklenburg has a special duo

Davion Mintz and Jaylen McManus are a fantastic one-two punch for North Carolina’s North Mecklenburg High School. Mintz is a crafty guard with the ball in his hands. He can create his own shot and dish out masterful assists. With 16 offers on hand already, he drew the likes of SEC’s Vanderbilt to see him play this summer. His teammate, 6’6 wing Jaylen McManus, was just as impressive. He was lights out shooting the basketball, burying multiple threes during game play; he even finished one quarter with six made three-pointers.

Kendrick Gray is athletic, really athletic

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We’ll just let this video do the talking.

A video posted by Hoop Group (@hoopgroup) on

Providence Jam Fest Day 1 Notable Players

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The Providence Jam Fest tipped off today with well over 50 Division 2 & 3 coaches as well as media and scouting services. In what was a long day of hoops, we saw why a few guys here are big time prospects, and came across a few names that might be on their way to becoming one. Here are a few notable players who were in action today:

Arthur Smith (NYC Wizards) 

It’s not often that a 13u player leads our list of Notable Players, but not many 13 year olds put up the numbers Arthur did today. In a big time win for the NYC Wizards, Arthur scored 38 points. He was simply unstoppable offensively and well deserved of recognition.

Saul Phiri (Mass Rivals)

Saul was a monster today, and a big reason why Mass Rivals is still alive to a 17u championship. When he is on, he is a deadly shooter, just ask the Early Risers. He made five 3s in a game against them, including two back-to-back when his team was down 7. He showed the clutch factor as well, making two free throws with his team down one late in the game. There’s a reason schools like La Salle, George Washington and Hoftstra (among others) have offered him.

Malik Petteway (USAD)

Malik is one of the best players still available in New England. He’s a big 6’8 player who has a great mid range game and also possesses soft touch around the rim. He was a big time player for USAD today and a highlight maker. He had a powerful slam over two defenders today that blew the crowd at RIC away. Be sure to look for that one on the mixtape!

Jake Betlow (Hoop Heaven Elite)

Hoop Heaven Elite enjoyed a nice win today thanks to some hot shooting from the outside. Leading the charge was Jake Betlow. The New Jersey guard is an absolute sharp shooter, who can make shots in bunches. Teams are slowly starting to learn that if you don’t cover him, he will hurt you.

Nazreon Reid (Sports U)

Sports U has two teams in the 16u Elite Eight. One of them is their 15u team, led by phenom Nazreon Reid. Reid is one of the most sought after players in his class. He’s 6’8 with incredible athleticism and even more upside. He plays above the rim, trying to rip it down every chance he has. He’s also good at blocking and altering shots inside. It’s easy to see why schools like Kansas, Maryland, Virginia, Villanova, and many more have already offered him.

Trey Shifflett (York Ballers)

Trey has been a consistent player for the York Ballers for a few seasons now. He’s a trust worthy point guard who is more than comfortable with the ball in his hands controlling the tempo on offense. He’s also a clutch player for York, scoring big time buckets late in games when they need him. He showed off his scoring ability yesterday, leading the York Ballers to the Sweet 16.

Walter Whyte (High Rise Elite)

Walter is a great player for the High Rise Elite team out of Connecticut. He is a capable scorer, as he showed in yesterday’s finale, scoring 24 points in an overtime win. He’s an athletic and bouncy guard/wing who is deadly in transition. Most of his points came off the break; he’s tough to stop when he has space to work.

Adrian Williams (Mass Rivals)

Adrian had a good day of basketball in the 16u bracket, playing up for Mass Rivals. He’s the floor general of the team, which is no surprise seeing as he’s the brother of Milwaukee Buck point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Adrian showed he’s an elite finisher, and possesses a great shooting stroke from the outside.

Nicola Akele (IMG Academy)

A name most Rhode Islanders should get familiar with, Nicola is a very enticing prospect from IMG Academy. At 6’8 he’s long and athletic, very athletic. He attacks the glass hard and is a streaky shooter. When he gets going he is tough to contain. Despite a Final  Four loss for IMG, it is easy to see why the University of Rhode Island liked him.