Monday, June 16, 2014

BST Prospect Series Event Recap - Class of 2017

BST Basketball's third installment of their 2014 NH Prospect Camp Series took place recently, and this time it was time for the Class of 2017 to take center stage. The event took place at Rivier College and Nashua and was run by BST Basketball co-founders Brett Sellingham and Will Flowers.

Like the workouts they did for the other classes, the players were again put through a rigorous series of full and half court skill work drills, full/half court game situation drills and 1 v 1's before getting into full court controlled scrimmaging. Everything was done at a fast pace with an emphasis on making the smart basketball play and all of the kids worked their tails off.

There was over 20 prospects in the gym, and this was our first look at many of them so this is definitely a deeper class than anticipated. Caleb Green and Tshiefu Ngalakulondi continue to show great chemistry on the court together. They're teammates in AAU with the DC Blue Devils and also at Proctor Academy, and they combined for the play of the night. Green led the break, stopped at half court and threw a lob pass up right on the money. Ngalakulondi leaped high up at the rim, catching the pass and in one motion slammed down the alley-oop dunk. Clearly it wasn't the first time those 2 have played together.

Other standouts at the event included Geo Baker, KJ Matte, Joe Bell and Parker Smith. The workout went at a fast pace and these kids all thrived in that up-tempo style of play. Here's a closer look at all of the prospects in attendance

Class of 2017

Tshiefu Ngalakulondi, 6'5", Proctor Academy - Ngalakulondi continues to boast an impressive inside/outside game, with his athleticism and ability to play above the rim being attributes that are drawing attention from college coaches and recruiting services. In addition to the alley-oop slam dunk on the break he also blocked shots, hit pull-up jumpers, attacked the rim off the bounce and finished on bigger defenders. Later he blocked more shots, slammed down another dunk on the break then stepped outside and buried the 3-pointer. A versatile wing oozing with skill, athleticism and upside.

Geo Baker, 6'0", Pinkerton Academy - this was our first time seeing Baker play in a couple years, and since then he's gotten much taller and even more skilled with the basketball in his hands. He is very creative with the ball, especially in transition. Plays that are very difficult for most players come easily to him. Like when he came down on a 2-on-1 break, faked the shot and all in one motion in mid-air made a great dish to a teammate for the layup. Or when he drove strong down the lane, getting up high and finishing with his off-hand on a kid 6 inches taller than him. Or when he hit a step-back jumper from 18-feet while fading away with a hand in his face. Baker also pulled up on the break and hit the 3, blocked shots and made smooth passes on the break to open teammates. He can play the 1 or the 2 and is a flat out play maker.

Caleb Green, 5'10", Proctor Academy - this kid loves to run, push the ball on break, he's so quick he's like a blur with the ball in his hands and makes good decisions with the ball out in the open floor. Green is a good scorer but an even better passer. In addition to the alley-oop lob pass to Ngalakulondim he also made a number of high level dishes, both on the break and in the half court to find open cutters. He also hit pull-up jumpers and made a killer spin move into the lane for a strong finish inside. Simply put, Green plays the game at a faster speed and a higher level than most, all while efficiently running the point.

Joseph Bell, 6'0", Lee Academy - Bell does everything you could want a 2-guard to do - he can shoot, drive, pass, rebound and defend. He plays with a ton of energy and has excellent leaping ability. He moved well without the basketball, showing good instincts by reading his defender and then cutting to the rim. Bell is lightning quick when getting out on the break and running the floor, and made a number of explosive finishes at the rim. In the half court he was quick off the dribble, slashing to the rim through the defense time after time for strong finishes in traffic.

KJ Matte, 6'0", Lebanon HS - Matte can play the 1 or the 2. He has the quickness, handle and court vision to play the 1 and the natural scoring ability to play the 2. At this workout he was playing more at the 2 during drills and scrimmages, and Matte responded by spacing the floor, getting out in transition and scoring the basketball in a variety of ways. Whether he was hitting smooth pull-up jumpers in transition, using a quick first step to drive past defenders on his way to the rim for buckets, hitting tough leaners along the baseline or drilling mid-range jumpers off the catch you always have to be aware of where Matte is on the floor and get a defender on him.

Parker Smith, 6'2", Stevens HS - this was our first look at Smith and we came away very impressed. He's an intriguing young talent with a nice combination of size, strength, athleticism and skill. He flew under the radar as a freshman playing at Stevens High but now the secret is out. Smith made one of the best plays of the workout - late in the session when most players were getting tired he went coast-to-coast on the break, pushing the ball hard and slashing through the whole defense making a killer spin move into the lane and hitting a tough floater. Smith made a number of strong drives and finishes at the rim, including a pair of smooth euro-step moves. He also drilled 3's and step-back mid-range jumpers. He thrived in transition, pushing the ball to keep pressure on the defense and attacking the rim and also getting up high to block shots on 'D'.

Mike Rinko, 6'2", Bishop Guertin - Rinko is one of the more polished players in the class, boasting good versatility with a solid inside/outside skill set. He's grown about 3 inches since the winter season which bodes well for his future potential. Rinko is a strong, athletic slasher from the wing. He made a number of tough, high level drives and finishes near the bucket, including one play where he ran the floor, caught the ball in transition then threw down a 1-handed slam dunk. He also pushed the ball hard on the 2-on-1 break before taking it to the rim for another strong finish. Rinko is always looking to attack the rim, both in the half court and in transition and is a very good finisher.

Colby Gendron, 6'6", Bedford HS - an intriguing talent without question. He is still very raw and rough around the edges, especially with his handle and dribble-drive moves. But the bottom is you have a 6-foot-6 freshman with the ability to catch fire and go on a tear with his outside shot at any time. That right there equals upside. Gendron hit about 5 threes during the regular season vs. Bishop Guertin, and showed similar flashes of brilliance in this workout. His release could be quicker, but it is a high release so he's able to get his shot off over pretty much anybody and shoots it with a lot of confidence. Gendron's inside game is still developing but he did crash the boards hard and have some strong finishes near the rim. Runs floor very well for a bigger kid.

Sam Anderson, 6'4", Derryfield School - Anderson was active inside on both ends of the floor and a strong presence in the paint. He attacked the bucket and showed the ability to finish strong inside with either hand in the low post. He ripped down some boards and blocked a number of shots. He also made some nice passes to cutters out of the high post, and later made a strong move to the rim using a power dribble and finish through contact. A big, strong kid who played hard and has a solid skill set.

Freddy Schaake, 6'2", Winnacunnet HS - a very active player on both ends of the floor, helps his team in a variety of ways and one of those kids who is always pushing the tempo and making things happen. He crashed the boards and made a number of strong takes to the rim and finishes in traffic. Ran the floor very well in transition, and on one play went coast-to-coast on the break, slashing through the entire defense to the bucket for 2.

DJ Frachette, 6'0", Nashua High South - a smart, savvy, skilled play who can play the 1 or the 2. Frachette looked for his own shot but was also one of the better passers in the gym, as he made a number of high level dishes in transition drills. He is also a very good finisher, hitting a tough leaner off the bounce and later on hitting a tough finish on the break though contact.

Chance Ennis, 6'3", Somersworth HS - one of the best shooters in the gym, no question about it. Throughout the workout Ennis drilled outside shots, off the catch or off the dribble with good form and a smooth release. If you leave this kid open, he'll make you pay. Ennis also made one of the better defensive plays of the night, hustling back on defense to make a nice blocked shot.

Griffin Werth, 6'4", Con-Val - Werth is still raw but has a lot of upside. He's a long, lanky kid who can put the ball on the floor from the outside or hit the 3-pointer off the catch. Soft shooting touch around the rim, and a good inside/outside game.

Patrick Donovan, 5'10", Bishop Guertin - Donovan has a solid all-around skill set and can definitely hit shots in bunches if left open. He can play th 1 but is better suited for the 2. Hit shots from the outside but also showed the ability to take his man off the dribble and finish inside or make some nice dishes to teammates for layups.

Peter Hunt, 6'1", Goffstown HS - an athletic wing player who ran the floor well in transition and showed good leaping ability, getting up high on finishes on the break. He attached the rim but also stepped outside and hit the 3-pointer off the catch in rhythm.

Vincent Loho, 5'8", Somersworth HS - don't let the size fool you, Loho is a tough kid who is not afraid to go inside and battle for points and boards. He rebounds well for a guard and is quick off the dribble. He's also a crafty player, as Loho made a nice move using an up-fake to avoid getting blocked before getting by his man for an inside finish.

Matt Quirk, 5'9", Bishop Brady - Quirk is best suited for the 2, and he is a very good shooter from the outside. He's a fundamentally sound player who is in good shape and played tough defense.

Nick Fothergill, 5'10", Hollis-Brookline HS - a smart, unselfish player, Fothergill plays the game the right way and can hit the 3 if left open.

Daimon Gibson, 5'10", Mascenic HS - Gibson is a tough, scrappy guard who hustled after loose balls, ran the floor and finished on the break.

Matt Desmarais, 6'1", Bishop Brady - Desmaris is a wing player who played hard, boxed out and finished inside.

Drew McQuarrie, 6'4", John Stark HS - a big, strong kid who goes hard to the rim. On one drive he got hit on the way up by Ngalakulondi, was down for several minutes before taken out on a stretcher to the hospital. It was a very scary moment, but according Sellingham he's doing okay and is expected to make a full recovery.

Class of 2018

Matt Glassman, 5'8", Lawrence Academy - Glassman came up playing with the kids in the Class of 2017 but recently decided to transfer to Lawrence and reclassify to 2018. He was without questions one of the quickest players in the gym, and that helped him get in the lane and make plays with dribble penetration. Glassman dished it to the open man, has a solid handle and also showed a good touch on jumpers in the lane.

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