2011 Hoop Group Summer Showcase Recap

St Benedicts

Intense and competitive are the first two words that come to mind when trying to recap the action that took place this past weekend at the 2011 Hoop Group Summer Showcase.  Twenty-Four High School teams from Boston down to Maryland came to Hoop Group Headquarters for some serious bump and exposure, and that’s exactly what they got.  Over 40 different college coaches were in the building over the course of the event which took place during the first weekend of the Division II Live Period.  Mark Taylor was christened as the new coach at St. Benedict’s Prep as he and the Gray Bees took home the hardware, beating a very talented Teaneck HS team(arguably the best public school team in the state, but don’t tell my friends in Plainfield I said so).  I’d like to thank all of the media that covered the event, as well as Tom Lopes and Bobby Pugh who ran a great officials camp for the NJAC.  Here is a synopsis of who stood out this past weekend:

Top 6 2012 Prospects

Melvin Johnson – 6’4 2012 SG St. Benedict’s Prep – Once thought of as just a shooter, Melvin has diversified his game and has become a very efficient and crafty scorer from all over the floor.  He has the tools to score at the highest level of Mid-Majors and as a specialist for higher level programs.

Dom Hoffman – 6’7 2012 PF Gill St. Bernards – Dave Paulsen & Bucknell got a good one. With continued commitment to improving his athleticism (which he displayed this past weekend), the fundamentally sound forward has All-League potential in the Patriot League.

Quenton DeCosey – 6’5 2012 SG/SF St. Joe’s Metuchen HS – Scintillating length and athleticism, it’s easy to see why his recruitment is all over the board level-wise.  His ability to handle and completely transition to the guard spot will dictate where Q plays his college ball. Have to love his long-term potential though.

Dom Hoffman Dunk

Dom Hoffman throws down a 2 handed jam in traffic off a behind the back pass from teammate Jaren Sina. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Terry Turner – 6’5 2012 SF Scranton HS – Terry is an extremely unique player that can do many things on the floor.  His best attribute might be his ability to see the floor and pass the ball. He’s extremely deceptive athletically and fluid with the ball in his hands


Chris Jones – 6’5  2012 SG Teaneck HS – Solidly built two guard that is coming into his own as a scorer.  Flashed his competitive side in the championship game, where he tried to put his team on his back and was almost successful.  Explosive when already has a head of steam.

Tariq Carey – 6’3 2012 CG St. Benedict’s Prep – The Newark East Side transfer has came along way with his decision making without losing his scorers mentality, which is crucial in his development.  Does a great job of finding cracks and seams while penetrating, also is a college ready on-ball defender.

Top 6 Underclassmen Prospects

Tyler Ennis – 6’2 2013 PG St. Benedict’s Prep – Smooth and crafty, usually when using those words while describing a point guard it means they aren’t very quick.  Not the case with Ennis, he can really go and when he gets in the paint he uses a variety of finishes when he’s not setting his teammates up.

Tyler Ennis Layup

Tyler Ennis of St. Benedict's Prep weaves his way through the paint to make it look like an easy two points. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Jaren Sina – 6’2 2013 PG Gill St. Bernards – Jaren is very methodical while running the show, he and his Gill St. Bernards squad love to lull opponents to sleep and then cut them up with surgical precision.  Can really dial it up from deep as well.


Joel Hernandez – 6’3 2013 SG Teaneck – Has a great motor and plays with tremendous confidence.  Joel has a good fluid stroke and gets good elevation on his jumper.  Stock will continue to rise as more people see him play in July.

Austin Colbert – 6’9 2013 PF St. Patrick’s – Even though the big fella only played on Sunday, he still makes the cut because you can’t deny his ability right now or his long term potential.  With added weight he can be as good as he wants to be.

Jared Hall – 6’1 PG 2013 Newark Tech – Handled adversity well, as he played through a pretty bad ankle sprain and his jumper wasn’t falling like it usually does.  Instead, the tough competitor punished defenders with bullying drives to the rim.  As he becomes more consistent, his college interest will definitely do the same.

Isaiah Briscoe – 6’2 2015 CG St. Benedict’s Prep- Mature beyond his years, both physically and his basketball skillset.  The freshman-to-be can get things done in a variety of ways, and doesn’t shy away from anything or play timid at all.  Look forward to watching him the next couple of years, he has a chance to be really really good.

Biggest Stock Risers

DeAndre Noble -5’11 2012 CG Paterson Eastside- Has seized opportunity when his time came. Carried Paterson Eastside over St. Patrick’s to put the Ghosts in Semifinals. A young senior, look for DeAndre to do a prep year following a stellar Senior campaign at Eastside.

Chris Jones Teaneck Jumper

Chris Jones shows great elevation and release on his jump shot. He connects from deep with a hand in his face. (Photo by: Dave Krupinski)

Jason Huelbig -6’4 2012 SG Middletown North HS- I think all the Division II’s might be left in the dust if Jason plays well in the right events in July. He’s a sniper from deep but bouncy two-guard isn’t afraid to attack the tin to keep defenders honest either.


Chris Jones -6’5 2012 SG Teaneck HS- see above. Really solidified himself as a priority guy for Mid-Majors in need of a wing scorer.

Fresh New Faces

Isiah Watkins – 6’8 2013 PF St. Benedict’s Prep – Workhorse isn’t real bouncy,  but has a motor that doesn’t stop and a great nose for the ball.  Needs to develop his post game but for now relishes defending, rebounding and scoring off offensive rebounds and dump-off’s.

Dashawn Smith – 5’10 2012 PG St. Benedict’s Prep – Wiry strong lead guard can really fill it up in a multitude of different ways.  Another young Senior-to-be, he plays with the New York Gauchos 16u team that just won the Rumble in the Bronx where he was the MVP.  Pretty good two week stretch for “Scooch.”

Deandre Bemby – 6’5 2013 SF/PF St. Patrick’s HS- Bouncy combo forward is a North Carolina-native.  Poor mans Shawn Marion with a developing perimeter game, always goes hard and got the crowd excited with his explosive dunks.

Andrew Moran – 6’3 2013 SG Scranton HS- Scranton is a blue-collar city of coalminers, steel & iron workers.  Andrew’s game reflects exactly that.  The two-guard can stretch the defense from deep and really defend on and off the ball.  Plays with a refreshing intensity every time he steps on the floor.

Ike Ngwudo – 6’6 2013 PF Milton Academy – Ike can go! Excels while slashing to the rim, fluid on the perimeter too.  Might be able to be a complete face-up PF, if he can consistently knock down mid-range jumpers.

Alec Brennan – 6’9 2014 PF Milton Academy- Skilled face-up four-man can really stretch the D with his ability to shoot, Alec is also willing to go in and mix it up in the post.  Some added muscle to his frame will help him on the defensive end but expect that to come with time.

Hoop Group Academic Elite Camp

These Guys Need Love Too…

Eric Youncofski – 5’8 2012 PG Middletown North HS- Heady & Steady point guard runs the show and changes speeds real well.

Travis Sheldon – 5’9 2012 PG Milton Academy – Well-built point guard defends well & has a high basketball IQ.  Was drawing up plays before an end-game situation that got his squad a W on Sunday, exemplifies his ability to be an extension of the coach on the floor.

Eric Shaw – 6’5 2012 PF Christian Brothers Academy – Southpaw really filled it up from deep, uses his strong frame and length well to rebound.

Darien Gonzalez – 5’8 2012 PG Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS- Speed demon applies pressure to his opponent on both ends of the floor with his quickness.  Always active and creating opportunities for teammates.

Danny Brix – 6’3 2012 SG St. Joe’s Metuchen HS- Tough as nails.  Glue guy that lays it all on the line everytime out, good mid-range game.  Not an intangible that he doesn’t have.

Matt Billups – 6’9 2012 C Oratory Prep – Rail thin post is really long and moves very well for his size.  Has developing skillset and can step out to hit jumpers to the three.  Bigs develop late, and I think with added weight his best basketball is ahead of him.

Kris Hargraves -6’1 2012 PG Teaneck HS – The straw that stirs the drink at Teaneck. The thin southpaw plays with a purpose and never seems to get rattled.  Makes the already very talented crew around him better.

Matt Jegede – 6’6 2012 PF Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS – Matt is an athletic big that competes on every single play on both ends of the floor.  Might get him in foul trouble from time to time, but his upside is high.

Stephen Meyer – 5’11 2012 PG Franklin HS- Stephen is a game-changing defensive player that has a very good handle.  Strength is attacking the cup, but his jumper has improved every time out.

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