Thursday, August 18, 2011

Integrity Hoops College Showcase - Event Recap

Over the years, Integrity Hoops owner Noah LaRoche has worked out NBA, college and high school players. All summer long he has been working with high school and prep school talent, from the seacoast of NH and southern Maine. On Wednesday afternoon at Berwick Academy, 18 of his pupils got a chance to show what they have learned.

With over a dozen college and prep school coaches looking on, the players were split up and played a full court game consisting of two 24 minute halves, stopped time. Here’s a look at the NH kids who stood out the most.

Game Recap
What I really liked about this event in particular was that both teams were really playing to win. There was a blue team and a red team, with the 18 kids randomly split up into the two teams. They did a very good job of making the teams even though, as it was a close, hard fought, back-and-forth game throughout. The red team ended up winning it, 110-96. It wasn't until the last couple minutes though that either team had a double digit lead.

There were 9 kids per team, and the coaches were strategically making substitutions, based on match-ups and who was playing well. It was treated like a real game, by the players as well as the coaches. As the game wore on, the kids who were playing the best got more playing time. They also used a 35 second shot clock during the game, and if you follow this site you know how much of a shot clock fan I am.

It was a fast paced game with end to end action. Good battles in the paint, hot shooting from the outside, and some exciting plays on the fast break.

Standout Performers

Harry Rafferty, 5'11", Berwick Academy (2012)
Rafferty is a knock down shooter who is deadly from long range. You simply cannot give him any space to get his shot off, because if you do he’ll make you pay. Not only does Rafferty have a smooth, compact shooting stroke, but he also has a very quick release and also a high release on his shot which allows him to get it off over taller defenders. Rafferty is in terrific shape, and in addition to being a deadly shooter he is also a very good point guard. He knows how to run an offense, handles the ball well vs. pressure and set his teammates up for good looks. He had a very nice drive and dish play, and although he’s a lefty Rafferty is just as quick off the dribble when driving right. He is a very poised player who made good decisions with the basketball. Rafferty (pictured above) is a resident of Durham, NH. If he went to public school he'd go to Oyster River. Ironically, Oyster River head coach Stuart Mitchell was in the gym to watch his son Skyler player - you can bet he wishes Rafferty was playing for him.

Kamahl Walker, 5'10", Portsmouth HS (2012)
Walker played some outstanding basketball at this event. He showed the ability to score at will, doing so in a variety of ways. Walker was the quickest player in the gym, and used his explosiveness to get out on the break ahead of the defense, finishing on a number of layups. And when he was met by a defender on the break he was able to get to the rim and finish, utilizing a deadly step-through move. Walker also showed range on his jump shot, and was able to hit shots with a hand right in his face. He was always looking to push the ball up the floor, either finishing at the rim or hitting the open man. As good as Walker was at putting the ball in the basket he was just as good defensively. He had 7 steals in the game, jumping into the passing lanes, playing tough on the ball defense, and Walker also hustled back on defense and made a nice blocked shot at the rim on Poutre who is 5 inches taller than him. Walker played like a man on a mission out there, and just keeps getting better. He is going to have a BIG year for Portsmouth this winter, and will be the preseason favorite for D-II Player of the Year.

Tom Nason, 6'10", Nute HS (2013)
Nason was a virtual unknown prior to this event, but the secret is out. The six-foot-10 big man has improved tremendously over the summer, going from a project with little coordination or ball skills to a player capable of dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. He’s only going to be a junior, and he hasn’t reclassified yet. And with his size and how much he has worked on his game and improved his agility and post moves over the summer Nason has plenty of upside. His go-to move was a running hook shot coming across the lane, showing a soft touch, good athleticism, solid footwork and keeping the ball up high where defenders can’t strip it away. Nason was active on the boards, converting a number of put-backs and overall he proved to be a good inside presence. Stay tuned, there's a good chance that this Milton, NH resident will be going prep this year.

Stock Risers

Matt Barr, 6'1", Exeter HS (2013)
Barr was an offensive force in game action, getting to the rim off the dribble at will, and doing so with a variety of impressive maneuvers. His two favorite moves were a deadly power-spin move in the lane which always left his defender in the dust, and another move where he started at the top of the key then faked a pass to the wing, keeping the ball himself and blowing by his defender on his way to the rim. He also got out on the break, finishing and making a nice behind the back move to avoid a defender.

Dominic Paradis, 6'4", Spaulding HS (2013)
Paradis is another one of NH’s underrated prospects. The six-foot-four face up four man showed a smooth shooting stroke from the outside, knocking down multiple treys with a high release. He also took his man inside, with some creative moves and a soft touch in the paint. Most impressive was the fact that as the game wore on Paradis played some excellent defense, particularly when guarding Nason. Despite the fact that he was giving up six inches and forty pounds to Nason, Paradis didn’t back down from the challenge, battling him and making him work for everything, even blocking one of his dunk attempts.

Nick MacGregor, 6'2", Spaulding HS (2013)
Versatile player who does a little bit of everything, MacGregor mixed it up in the paint and also hit a couple of threes in addition to playing tough on the ball defense.


Chase Poutre, 6'3", Exeter HS (2012)
Played as hard as anyone in the gym, got after it on glass and played tough defense.

Jon Nartiff, 6'1", St. Thomas Aquinas (2012)
Nartiff is a hard nosed player who was active on both ends of the floor, went to the rim hard and hit the mid-rnage jumper.

Skyler Mitchell, 6'3", Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (2012)
Made strong move to the hole and ran the floor well.

Damon Doyle, 5'9", Coe-Brown Northwood Academy (2013)
Good quickness and smooth release on mid-range pull-up jumper.

Alex Rigazio, 6'5", Portsmouth HS (2012)
Above average agility for big man, Rigazio is a smart, hard working player.

Nick Peters, 6'1", Concord Christian Academy (2013)
Peters is a wing player with long arms, good athleticism and in game action he went to the rim hard looking for his shot.

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