2015 UP AND COMING PLAYER/ALL UP AND COMING TEAM

One of the hardest things to do in basketball, is to project a players future. College coaches get paid a lot of money to project a players potential. It very easy to see the ability of a Grace Stant or a Marina Mabrey. It easy to see the talent of babies like Kimi Evans or a Tori Hyduke. This is not where coaches earn there money. Anyone with a brain knows these are special talents.

It’s when a coach steals a Sam Guastella who goes on to be on of the best players in there conference, how a recruiter earns their stripes . It’s when a recruiter is smart enough to understand that a Aaron Zimmerman will be a All Conference player when she not All Conference in high school, how assistant coaches earns their reputation. It when a school doesn’t listen to the critics and signs Kristen Sharkey, who becomes one of the best players in the schools history, how a recruiter becomes a star. It’s when a BCS school sneaks in town and STEALS ONE OF THE TOP 5 PLAYERS IN THE STATE, like Jess Louro, when other schools including smaller ones are still guessing and not sure. This how and why successful college  programs win big….They catch players on the way up…NOT WHEN THERE AT THE TOP.

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I tend to brag  and tease my college coaching friends about being right when it comes to projecting kids. I honestly can’t think of when I have ever gotten it wrong. Now I am sure along the way I have MISSED more than a few…but rarely have I been off in a projection of a player. I would like to say its because I have a great ability to evaluate, but if the the truth be told nothing can be further from the truth. The bottom line is I see these kids in most cases when they start as early as 3rd grade…I SEE THE KIDS OFTEN  over a long period of time against top competition. College coaches get snap shots of kids, they watch a few games in the summer and try to form an real opinion during the high school season. Rare do they get to see the player from the start to the finish like I do. I have seen players Kellie Crouch since she was in Kindergarten. I have seen players like Stephanie Karcz since 5th grade. I see  the players work ethic, competitive nature,  coach-ability, toughness, development and most importantly reliability from the earliest stages of their careers.  I have long said this, the hardest thing for players to do is this…SHOW UP EVERY DAY, WEEK AND MONTH. I was asked recently by D1 a college coach “what is Kellie Crouch’s biggest strength as a player”. I told the coach that’s easy….”SHE SHOWS UP ALL THE TIME AND MISSES NOTHING, YOU HAVE TO KICK HER OUT OF THE GYM”…. This why this year’s UP AND COMING PLAYER WILL ALSO FIND HERSELF IN HEAVY DEMAND THIS SPRING….

 

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2015 HOOP GROUP UP AND COMING PLAYER- CHE’KASHA ANDREWS- JUNIOR- COMBO GUARD- LONG BRANCH HIGH SCHOOL

If you attended last falls boot camp then this name is not a surprise. Because Che’Kasha Andrews put her name on the map that day. While Long Branch became one of the biggest surprises of the season last year, those in the know, knew Andrews was a special talent. Blessed with a sick handle and crazy off the dribble quickness, the 5’6″ scoring point guard is as good as it gets at creating shots for herself and teammates. when opponents play off of her do to her quickness… she makes them pay with her sweet jumper with range. Notice I said range, because point guards with no range at the next level, are like birds without wings. They look good but don’t anywhere. She can shoot it off the dribble or on the kick out. But what really makes her special is that she can shoot three’s in transition. How many point guard in the shore, have I seen that can shoot the 3 in transition off the dribble this year? Not many.. that’s how many.  Che’Kasha is never out of control, and she understands pace of play and how to change speeds. But what I really like about this young lady and all the great ones can do this….she can GO GET ONE. Meaning she can get your team a basket outside of a set play when your offensive is struggling (think freshman Tori Hyduke). Her quickness gives other talented guard nightmares and her clam  demeanor is next level type stuff. Che’Kasha has a next level type game, her skills set? Great…her competitive nature? Great…her work ethic? Great….her attitude? you know NONE BETTER.  The 2015 UP AND COMING PLAYER may be coming to a D1 SCHOOL near you one day…

unnamed Andrews has the total package

I can’t begin to tell you how many players I know who duck competition and only train and play in there comfort zone. I can’t tell you how many times I tell kids go where the most competition is training. Most kids want to do these things, but their ego and reputation prevents them from doing so… Che” Kasha Andrew is not one of the kids. Here first two years at Long Branch had to be tough as she and her teammates got kicked around before Shannon Coyle showed up. This year Che’Kasha Andrews showed her performance at The Fall Boot Camp was not a one hit wonder. I always say that Boot Camp every year makes someone a star. This year it made two stars, Desiree Allen of Neptune and Che’ Kasha Andrews both who went on to monster seasons. It also the reason they are two in demand kids on the AAU circuit right now. Both are being recruited by the top AAU teams. Allen is sticking with her AAU team and Andrews is still deciding ( college coaches I will give you a update once I know). This season Andrews started her own hit parade.

HERE ARE SOME CHE’KASHA ANDREWS HIGHLIGHTS

* She lead Long Branch in scoring, assists and steal…14 points, 4.2 assist and 3.0 steals

* She had 22 points against RBC whose entire back-court are D1 players

* She dropped 24 against Freehold

* She averaged 16 points a game against Colts Neck Group 4 champs last year

*She had 14 points against a D1 back court Neptune

*She had 19 points in the State Tourney

* She was Shore Conference Player of the Week

She also help lead Long Branch to its first, Holiday title and first SCT and State Tourney game since I was skinny….A LIFETIME AGO..

unnamed She is murder off the dribble

Now numbers tell  a story, but it doesn’t tell an entire story. It doesn’t tell you about a players work ethic. It doesn’t tell you how a player shows up at Core Skill training twice a week, during the fall. Numbers don’t tell you how a player comes to a shooting program during the season and shots after practice for 90 minutes. Numbers don’t tell you how a player convinces a teammate to do the same, so that they can get a edge. Numbers don’t tell you how a future D1 guard does a hour of ball handing with 6th graders and  goes ALL OUT. Numbers don’t tell you how the player never cares who is in the gym as long as she is. Numbers don’t tell you about the attitude. Like when the trainer or coach says pick it up and the player does it and asks….”IS THAT GOOD ENOUGH” Che’Kasha Andrews give you all that and a bowl of chips…and this is the reason she is our 2015 UP COMING PLAYER, she be wise to invest a a good pair of sunglasses because her future LOOKS VERY BRIGHT!

 

THE ALL UP AND COMING TEAM THOUGHTS-

The ALL UP AND COMING TEAM  is really a peak at kids with low profile who will become great players…Some previous UP  AND COMING AWARD WINNERS  have included…Kate Egan now at Seton Hall, Alex Barazotti who signed with D1 Loyola College. Katie Sire was last years winner and all she is doing THESE DAYS is playing for a FINAL FOUR berth tonight and Starting for #5 Montclair University this evening…GOOD LUCK Katie on what is a dream for every kid who has every played college basketball.

DID YOU KNOW? The 2012 ALL UP AND COMING TEAMS HAD 8  FUTURE D1  PLAYERS!

 

 

2015 ALL UP AND COMING TEAMS

1ST TEAM

 

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JEN LOURO- ST. ROSE HIGH SCHOOL- SOPHOMORE- SWING

She has become a true defensive stopper. But it is her scoring that has really improved. She is becoming one of the best two way players not only in the Shore but the state. Her sister who will be attending powerhouse Middle Tennessee, may find that little sister one day may be just as good and dare we say…BETTER.

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DESIREE ALLEN- NEPTUNE HIGH SCHOOL- SOPHOMORE- GUARD

She is the most explosive young player in the state? That’s for others to say, but she the most explosive young player in the shore? By a long shot year. Her quickness, speed, leaping ability and toughness is off the charts. She is a mid major player just on those talents alone. She has an improving jump shot and will be All Shore for years to come.

 

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BIANCA NICOLINI – SOUTHERN HIGH SCHOOL- SOPHOMORE- GUARD

She no question is a candidate for the Most Improved Player Award. Nicolini won the surprise performance of the week 3 times this year. She is going to be a very important person to many school this summer. She had too many big nights to list here. Not only did she led Southern in scoring with 13.0 points a game…she had 96 assists from the swing spot.

 

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HANNAH SCANLAN- RUMSON- FAIR HEAVEN- SOPHOMORE-

She is developing like gang busters, her final ten games of the year was super impressive. The 6’3″ forward closed out her high school freshman year with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the #1 team in the state Manasquan. Scanlon runs the floor like a dear and her physical toughness is vastly underrated, she has the potential to be star at the next level. She is a MID MAJOR D1 PLAYER RIGHT NOW.

 

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MEGAN FURCH – ST. JOHN VIANNEY- JUNIOR- FORWARD

Coaches if you don’t do one thing this year listen to this…This is the most underrated post player in the state. I have seen her against the best and guess what? She plays against 3 of the best post players everyday at practice. She starts for every other team in the shore. What I like is she did not run out of SJV and decided getting better was more important. This is a kid everyone better be paying attention to this spring and summer. She plays hard and can score and defend against D1 talent….I LOVE HER UPSIDE!

 

2nd TEAM-

HARLEY KNELER- FREEHOLD. TWP- JUNIOR- POINT GUARD

MOLLY WEISS- MARLBORO HIGH SCHOOL- SOPHOMORE- POINT GUARD

ALEX BALSAMO- MIDDLETOWN SOUTH- SOPHOMORE- SWING

JEN INMAN- HOLMDEL HIGH SCHOOL- JUNIOR- COMBO

JOSIE LARKINGS- RED BANK CATHOLIC- SOPHOMORE- SHOOTING GUARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[…] blew up this year and became the Shore Coference 2015 UP AND COMING PLAYER (http://hoopgroup.com/headquarters-blog/uncategorized/2015-coming-playerall-coming-team/). She sent a message to the shore conference that she is as good as any guard in the conference. […]

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