The high school season may be over, but as always there is still plenty of basketball played during the spring, summer and fall months between showcases, AAU tourneys and summer/fall leagues. The kids who play in these events are the ones who are really committed to getting better and playing at the next level.
BST Basketball kicked things off last weekend with their Tier-1 Prospect Camp. The workout featured many of the NHIAA's top players from the Classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015. You had players from all four divisions on display, and they came from all different geographic regions of the state. It was a good chance for the kids to face some good competition, see where they stack up among the other top players in the area and get some exposure. They also got some good skill instruction from BST coaches Brett Sellingham, Will Flowers and Zach Stevens.
The showcase consisted of a series of drills followed by full court scrimmaging and agility testing. Here's a closer look at the event's standout players.
Class of 2013
Troy Pelletier, 6'3", Manchester Central HS - Pelletier had an outstanding performance in the D-I state tournament and kept them momentum rolling at this showcase. You have to like his versatility from the wing position. He hit the outside shot, slashed to the rim and also showed a very effective mid-range game. Pelletier can score, defend, pass and rebound. He can play an up-tempo game as well as the half court.
Jack Preston, 6'5", Nashua South - Preston (pictured above) really impressed at this event, particularly with his ability to play above the rim. He ran the floor well, finished in traffic and during drills had a number of thunderous slam dunks. He made some nice passes to cutters from the high post and also moved well without the basketball. Preston played well in the paint but also showed solid perimeter skills, knocking down mid-range pull-up jumpers with a high release. With his size, athleticism and skill Preston has a high upside.
Devin Springfield, 6'3", Conant HS - One of the better defenders in the gym, Springfield played tough defense on the ball and had a number of steals. He took it to the rim and hit the outside shot. Springfield is a smart, fundamentally sound player who let the game come to him. He showed a solid all-around skill set from the wing position and was clearly one of the better players in the gym.
Travis Descoteaux, 5'11", Manchester West HS - Descoteaux is a two-guard who has also developed the ability to play the point, making him a more intriguing prospect. He is tough as nails, doesn't back down from anyone and displayed a wide array of dribble-drive moves and pull-up jumpers. He also made some laser passes down court in transition to teammates for layups.
Tom Nason, 6'10", Berwick Academy - Nason keeps getting better. He still has to keep refining his skills and needs to get quicker, but you can't teach 6'10" and you also can't teach the desire to get better and work ethic that he has. Nason once again utilized his go-to move - a running baby hook shot coming across the lane. He has also improved his dribble-drive moves.
Trevor Glassman, 6'2", New Hampton School - Hit shots off the catch and off the dribble. Glassman also got after it on defense. Glassman is in good shape and is tough to defend 1-on-1.
Zach Grattan, 6'7", John Stark HS - Grattan is another big man who continues to work hard on his game. During much of the drills and scrimmage action he was matched up with Nason, and the two rapidly developing big men went at each other hard, battling for rebounds and working on their post-moves. Grattan showed improved
footwork and shot blocking ability.
Jordon Richard, 5'11", Raymond HS - Tough, scrappy player who showed ability to play either guard position. Richard attacked the rim, hit the pull-up jumper and did a nice job of distributing the basketball and not force anything.
Max Gouveia, 5'10", Campbell HS - Pushed the ball hard on the break to keep the pressure on the defense and hit the step-back jumper.
Joel Mayola, 6'1", Manchester Memorial HS - One of the state's more athletic players, Mayola was a blur in transition, played with a bounce in his step and got up and down the floor as quick as anyone in the gym. He showed a solid handle and created shots for himself and teammates off the dribble.
Class of 2014
Dawson Dickson, 5'7", Manchester Central HS - Dickson is a pure point guard who played some great basketball at this event. He drove into the lane and made plays for himself and his teammates, including a great dish to Springfield for a layup. During drills Dickson showed a good form and accuracy on his shot off the catch and off the dribble.
Patrick Keefe, 5'10", Trinity HS - Consistently played the game at a high level, attacking the basket off the bounce and shooting it well from the outside. Keefe moved well without the basketball, making a great back-door cut and finishing in traffic.
Tim Preston, 5'10", Nashua South - Preston played his usual fundamentally sound, unselfish, mistake free basketball. He got into the lane and made some nice dishes. Preston also showed a solid handle and hit the pull-up jumper.
Robert O’Brien, 6'0", Conant HS - O'Brien is a long, athletic combo guard with solid ball skills in both drills and scrimmage action. He can shoot it, handle the ball, made some nifty dribble-drive moves and has good instincts.
Chad Knighton, 5'8", Lisbon HS - Knighton made some nice dishes that led to layups, and he really ended the showcase on a strong note. By the end of the workout when most of the players were tired Knighton was still going strong. He had an offensive flurry in the last game, with three straight buckets plus a nice steal.
Andrew Lechner, 6'2", Pinkerton Academy - Hit shots in rhythm off the catch, attacked the rim and battled on the boards. Lechner is a wing player who also grabbed boards inside, blocked shots and also showed a solid mid-range game.
Andrew Lowman, 6'3", Windham HS - Lowman was effective facing up as well as with his back to the basket. He has a solid mid-range jumper and was also a tough rebounder, converting some nice put-backs inside.
Kyle Carland, 5'10", Conant HS - Carland is a quick, explosive player who can play either guard position. He attacked the rim off the bounce and made some good passes on the break.
Class of 2015
Jourdain Bell, 5'11", Bishop Brady HS - The electric Bell is only a freshman, but he played much more like a senior. He has an extra gear that most players (especially those from NH) just don't have. Bell is at his best in transition where he gets the ball up the floor in a hurry and making plays. He attacked the rim and made some nice finishes inside and also lead the break effectively, making some great passes to teammates for layups. Bell is 5'11" but plays much bigger thanks to his strength and leaping ability.
Brett Hanson, 5'8", Manchester Central HS - Hanson was very impressive in scrimmage action, with him and Bell being a dominant back court duo. Hanson made a nice drive and finish inside, then sprinted back on defense and deflected a pass to prevent a run out. He was effective in both leading the break and finishing on it, and he was strong with the ball when faced with defensive pressure. Hanson went head-to-head with his high school teammate Dickson in a match up of two of the better young point guards in NH.
Justis Mattis, 6'0", Portsmouth HS - Mattis is a smart, hard nosed wing player who has a good feel for the game and played hard. The lefty shot the ball well off the catch and is also a good passer.
Photo credit: John Malboeuf Photography