Recruiting Notebook: Summer Jam Fest (Part I: New England)

The field at the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest was loaded with high-level talent, especially coming out of the New England region.

Headlining the field was Mass Rivals forward Noah Vonleh. A consensus top-five prospect nationally in the Class of 2014, Vonleh is being heavily recruited by many of the nation’s most prestigious programs.

Vonleh’s notable offers include UNC, UCLA, Maryland, Syracuse, UConn, Boston College, Ohio State, and Arizona. Kentucky has also expressed serious interest in the 6-foot-8 prospect out of New Hampton School (N.H.), but the Wildcats have not yet extended a verbal offer.

UNC had been considered the clear leader in Vonleh’s recruitment, but reports from Summer Jam Fest indicate that he is currently trying to keep things open and give consideration to all schools involved. At this point though, the Tar Heels should still be considered the prohibitive favorite in the race.

Vonleh’s Mass Rivals team is loaded with Division I talent, and 2014 point guard talent Kaleb Joseph has seen his stock rise in recent months. The Cushing Academy (Mass.) standout currently holds high-major offers from Maryland, Tennessee, Boston College, and Providence, with no clear leader in mind.

Dimitri Floras had a big weekend alongside Joseph in the Rivals backcourt, handling the ball well and taking advantage of scoring opportunities. Most notably, Floras hit a game-winning jumper with three seconds remaining in a quarterfinal game on Saturday night against a prolific Westchester Hawks team.

A recent transfer to Vermont Academy, Floras (2014) currently holds offers from Canisius, Quinnipiac, and New Hampshire. An under-the-radar prospect, he could begin to see a significant bump in interest from mid-major programs.

ECE Mass (formerly NE Playaz) was well-represented at the tournament, with their 16U squad going undefeated and winning the 16U Gold Bracket title. Class of 2014 guard Malik James (Brighton HS, Mass.) was impressive throughout for the team, making plays from both guard positions.

While James is still waiting for his first offer, he said he has been hearing a lot from Iona and Temple lately, and that Northeastern and Delaware have also expressed interest. James said that he is looking for an up-tempo style of play at the college level.

Jarred Reuter is considered one of the top players in his class, and the 6-foot-8 ECE Mass forward out of Tabor Academy (Mass.) already holds a plethora of impressive offers. While Reuter says he is not paying much mind to recruiting yet, he claims offers from Indiana, Florida, Boston College, Providence, UConn, and St. Bonaventure. Kansas and West Virginia are two other programs expressing significant interest.

In the 16U title game, ECE Mass defeated Expressions Elite, another New England program.  Class of 2014 forward Abdul Malik-Abu led the way for Expressions, and holds offers from Providence, Boston College, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Temple, Iowa State, and Michigan State. In terms of schools recruiting him the hardest, the Kimball Union (N.H.) star named Providence, Seton Hall, and Iowa State. Maryland was keeping a close eye on Malik-Abu on the final day of the tournament, as well.

Continue to check back for Part II of the recruiting notebook from the Summer Jam Fest.


Follow Edgar Walker on Twitter: @Edgar_Walker

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