Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Northeast Exposure Showcase & NNE Prep All-Star Game - Event Recap

This past weekend over 40 of the top high school and prep school boys basketball prospects came to the Sports Zone in Derry, NH to showcase their talents. State bragging rights were on the line at the 2012 Northeast Exposure Showcase.

Team Massachusetts defeated Team Vermont in the championship game, and in the prep school all-star game the Red Team won on a buzzer-beater 84-83. The event was run by BST Basketball. They put on yet another great event that was well run with games that were competitive and played at a high level.

Devin Gilligan, Travis Descoteaux (pictured at left), Jourdain Bell, Zach Grattan and Joe Bell were the local players who really stood out. Here is a detailed look at each of the NH kids who were in action.


Class of 2013
Devin Gilligan, 6'5", Kimball Union Academy - fresh off his commitment to D-II Augustana College, Gilligan showed the folks in attendance why he is a scholarship player. He played in the prep school all-star game, which featured a number of other scholarship players and he more than held his own out there. Gilligan scored the basketball in a variety of ways, whether it was attacking the rim and finishing through contact, grabbing offensive boards and putting them back in or strong takes in transition. He also posted up on the block, utilized a strong spin move to get to the rim. He ran the floor well, is in great shape and was always on the attack and looked for his shot but didn't force anything.

Zach Grattan, 6'8", John Stark Regional - I really liked the way Grattan played at this event. He flat out played his tail off every minute he was out there. He was diving on the floor for loose balls, hustling back on defense to block shots and really got after it on the boards. He grabbed an offensive board, went up with a strong finish and then on the next possession he got up over the rim to tip-in a missed shot. He is also improving his post moves, as Grattan displayed a solid up-and-under. He isn't afraid to mix it up and get physical out there, and played tough 'D' inside.

Jack Preston, 6'5", Nashua South - Preston played a solid inside-outside game, and continues to show a good combination of size, skill and athletic ability. He ran the floor well and finished in transition. His most impressive play was when he caught the ball on the left elbow, made one dribble, exploded towards the rim to get by his defender and then made a strong and-1 finish. He made some other strong finishes inside and blocked shots on the other end.

Tom Nason, 6'10", Berwick Academy - you can't teach 6-foot-10, and in addition to providing an inside presence Nason also made some strong takes to the rim.

Colin Sistare, 6'1", Con-Val - smart, scrappy wing player who played at a high level. Sistare has a god understanding of the game, knows how to space the floor and shoots a good ball.

Sam Thomas, 6'8", Bedford - big man who played hard, competed on the boards and made some tough finishes inside.


Class of 2014
Travis Descoteaux, 5'11", Marianapolis Prep - there's no question Descoteaux was one of the top players at the event, he's playing his best basketball right now. Most notable was his pinpoint passing ability. Whether it was leading the break or in the half court, nobody else at the event made as many good passes or had as many assists. Descoteaux was known in the past as strictly a two-guard, but with his ability to handle the ball against pressure 'D' and to set up teammates for looks there's no question that he can also play the 1. He excelled in the open court, pushing the ball and attacking, creating many easy buckets. Descoteaux also hit shots from the outside and in mid-range area with smooth, compact stroke.

Robert O'Brien, 6'1", Conant - tough-as-nails shooting guard who played with a lot of poise. He shot the ball better and with more consistency than any other NH player at the event. In one of the games he drilled five 3-pointers, really getting into a nice rhythm and stretching the defense out. He also got out on the break, filling the lanes and making some strong finishes on 3-on-2''s or 2-on-1's. O'Brien also locked his man down defensively, even when he was matched up with much bigger kids.

Dawson Dickson, 5'7", Manchester Central - floor general who really played hard, controlled the tempo and made good decisions with the basketball. He pushed the ball on the break, and a couple times took it all the way to the rim by slicing through entire defense and finishing against bigger defenders. He handled pressure 'D' well, hit open man but also looked for own shot.

Quentin Bullen, 6'2", St. John's Prep - Bullen is a silky smooth wing player. He let the game come to him, and at the same time he made the most of his scoring opportunities. He did a nice job of setting his feet, stepping into his shot and has good form on his jumper as well. He hit shots and also converted some nifty drives to the bucket.

Tim Preston, 5'11", Nashua South - was injured and so he sat out the second game. In the first game he still made some solid plays while playing hurt. Preston has a very good handle, especially his crossover which he uses to get into the lane and create. He hit a floater and then on the next time down he blew by his defender and got to rim with strong take.

Patrick Keefe, 5'10", Trinity - shooting guard who attacked the rim from the wing off the bounce. He had some strong drives and finishes in traffic, and also hustled back on 'D', grabbed steals and dove on the floor for loose balls.

Taylor Grande, 5'7", Bedford - pushed the ball on offense while keeping head up and also hit some pull-up jumpers.

Tim Riehl, 5'10", Goffstown - played tough defense and moved well without the basketball.


Class of 2015
Jourdain Bell, 6'0", Bishop Brady - it is a joy to watch this kid play. Not only does he have incredible quickness and athletic ability, but he gets the most out of that talent by leaving it all out on the floor and playing as hard as anyone in the gym. He was all over the place, sprinting around, diving out of bounds for loose balls and driving hard to the rim. During one game he had 8 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds - in only 2 minutes! He went all out on 'D' to pressure the ball and grab steals, and made a number of athletic finishes. Bell was a blur in transition, and also hit the mid-range jumper. On one play he hustled back on 'D', grabbed a steal, pushed the ball hard the other way and hit a teammate for a corner three ball.

Alex Hill, 5'8", Souhegan - combo guard who weaved in and out of traffic with nifty dribble-drive moves and hit some nice floaters. He also hustled back on 'D' and forced turnovers.


Class of 2016
Joseph Bell, 6'0", Bishop Brady - hard to believe this kid is only a freshman, because he plays like he's much older (like his brother Jourdain). Joe hit the outside shot and was able to slash to the rim at will. He excelled in the open court, getting ahead of the basketball, beating the defense down the floor and finishing on the break. He's lighting quick, grabbed boards and played at a high level on booth ends if the floor.

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