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Hoop Group West Virginia Jam Fest: Part 1
Thursday, 16 July 2009

Matt Lee
By Brian Crownover
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The first part of the July live period is winding down.  The last stop on our journey is to head out to Morgantown, WV.  The Hoop Group West Virginia Jam Fest kicked off action on Tuesday evening.  Here are some of the players that made an impression during pool play.


Matt Lee (2010, 6-2 PG/SG)
We were tipped off to Matt by an assistant coach.  He was solid when we saw him at the Hoop Group Elite Camp.  Today was a completely different story though.  Matt exploded for the best performance that we saw all day.  Before anyone could get settled into their seats, he had already errupted for 15 points.  He has a smooth stroke and one of the quickest releases around.  Within just the first few minutes of the game, Matt nailed three shots from beyond the arc, including two of the pull up variety.  He wasn't done then though.  He hit two more pull up jumpers and a nice cut and finish to conclude a 20 point half.

The defense tightened on Matt in the second half, but he still made things happen.  He didn't score at as an alarming rate as the first half, but he did drop in another 10 points to finish with a cool 30 on the evening.  He was effective when running the floor and getting out on the break.  Matt had a fine finish around the rim with contact for an old fashioned three point play.

While he does finish very well around the hoop, Matt isn't often able to get all the way to the rim from the perimeter.  He has a decent handle, but isn't super explosive.  He'll often just choose to pull up rather than going all the way towards the goal.  Matt plays with a high IQ as well.  He doesn't have the ideal size that you want from the off guard position.  He can just flat out play the game and score the ball though.  He'll have a fine impact on someone's program.   

Luis Jiminez (2010, 5-9 PG)
Luis is another fine backcourt player on this squad.  He's a quick change of direction ball handler who can make plays.  He has a good crossover move and the ability to get into the lane.  He is a good distributor who gets his teammates involved.  Luis possesses a quick release on his shot and hit several jumpers in the contest too.  He was a bit inconsistent when trying to convert around the rim.  He is a playmaker though.

Dockery Walker (2010, 6-7 PF)
Dockery is an intriguing player.  The face up forward loves to catch and use short drives to finish inside.  He's long armed, quick and fairly explosive.  He struggled to finish consistently around the hoop though.  Dockery doesn't attack much from the wing, but instead starts in the mid range area.  From the perimeter, he knocked down a pair of jumpers.  He pulled down rebound after rebound in the contest.  Dockery has had some quiet outings when we saw him, but he definitely put together a nice game this time around.

Mid Atlantic Select

Zaid Hearst (2011, 6-4 SG)
With the big man missing, Zaid really had a strong game.  This wing has good size, is explosive and gets to the rim in a hurry.  He exploded early as he opened with a mid range pull up jumper.  He followed that up with a quick drive to the left and he finished with contact for an old fashioned three point play.  Zaid strung together several more plays too, including a runner in the lane and a crossover move followed by a pull up jumper from just inside the arc.  He can score in the halfcourt game, but really excels in transition.  Zaid grabbed quite a few rebounds and he really loves to push and make plays on the run.  He hit a three pointer in this contest too.  He even worked inside on one play and scored on a short turnaround.  Defensively, Zaid blocked a shot from behind.  He didn't have as strong of a finish as he did a start, but he still was outstanding throughout.

Rodney Glasgow (2010, 5-9 PG)
Rodney is an ideal lead guard.  He's actually quicker with the ball in his hands than we previously gave him credit for.  He'll make plays off the dribble.  He has good court vision and will setup his teammates with pinpoint passing.  Rodney is a very capable scorer too.  He hit runner after runner in the lane during this one.  He might not get that shot off as easily at the next level, but he does fine with it at this point.  The lefty finished well despite being undersized.  Rodney stepped outside and knocked down a three pointer.  He does a little bit of everything.  Most importantly, he plays a hard and aggressive brand of basketball.

NJ Shoreshots Blue

Neil Thompson (2010, 5-11 PG)
Neil really made things go for the Shoreshots.  He was outstanding early on in the contest.  He has a very quick handle the ability to change directions at a moment's notice.  He navigates well around the defenders and can finish around the rim, even though he's on the small side.  Neil attacked in both direction.  He had a beautiful left handed finish in transition and he put in an impressive reverse lay-up too.  Neil is unselfish too and found his teammates on several drive and dish plays.  He didn't finish as well at the end of the contest as he did in the beginning.  He's a playmaker who took over for the Shoreshots in their victory.

Christian Garcia (2010, 6-2 SG)
Christian was another backcourt player who put together a fine game.  He has a solid build and gets to the hoop in a hurry with a quick first step.  Because of his body, he can finish around the rim.  Christian can attack in either direction and has very good hands.  He hit a pull up jumper early on, but his shot was quiet after that.  He was clearly at his best driving and finishing and well as converting on the break.

Cecil Kirk

Durand Johnson (2010, 6-5 SG/SF)
Durand is so quick and smooth with the rock in his hands.  His game looks so effortless.  He has a beautiful shot and used it to bury several three pointers.  His shot can be streaky though.  He has good size and gets to the rim very quick.  At times, that leads to him being a bit out of control.  Durand can indeed make plays though.  He had a terrific pull up bank shot from in close.  He can stop on a dime as he did on that one.  He made a great long pass after a rebound too.  Durand hasn't always played well when we've seen him in action, but when he brings it, he really shines.

Cleveland Melvin (2010, 6-8 PF)
Cleveland had a solid outing, but wasn't dominant.  He had a nice drive from about 15 feet out and when he reached approximately the 8 foot mark, threw in a high arching banked hook shot.  He drew some fouls inside too.  Cleveland didn't convert consistently in this one.  He rebounded the ball very well though.

Raphael Akepejori (2010, 6-9 PF/C)
Raphael made a few plays in this one.  The big man finished inside a few times, including an old fashioned three point play.  He has a good set of hands and runs the floor well.  Raphael did a lot of work clearing rebounds too.

Atlanta All-Stars

Hamilton Bailey (2010, 6-4 SG)
Hamilton is a big guard who can really shoot the rock.  By our count, the sharpshooting specialist hit four shots from beyond the arc.  He has nice size for his position.  He displayed a decent handle on a drive and kick play.  Hamilton is certainly more comfortable as a shooter though.

Nick Murphy (2010, 6-2 SG)
Nick is another sharpshooting guard who can knock down jumpers for this squad.  He hit a pair of three pointers early on.  Aside from shooting, he didn't do much else though.

Daniel Coursey (2010, 6-9 C)
This lefty hit a hook shot in the post in his limited touches on the inside.  He was able to make his mark by grabbing quite a few rebounds though.

Virginia Assault

Justin Burrell (2010, 5-8 PG) committed to Mount St. Mary's
Justin is a very quick playmaking guard.  He changes directions with ease and often uses speedy hesitation dribbles.  He ran the floor pretty well.  Justin had a finger roll finish on the break.  He also made a good pass while running the floor too.  He did take quite a few runners, but struggled to convert on most of them.  Justin can get into the lane, but needs to finish plays better than he did on this day.

Omari Grier (2010, 6-3 SG)
Right as we walked in the gym, Omari nailed a pair of three pointers with his smooth stroke.  He hit another pull up jumper later on.  He can handle the ball a little, but doesn't really create much off the dribble.

Isaac Freeman (2011, 6-10 C)
Isaac is an intriguing prospect.  He's an extremely long armed young player.  He plays a lot with his back to the basket.  He converted on a hook shot after an offensive rebound.  He also finished after a feed from a teammate.  Isaac even made a nice pass too.  He does need to get stronger to be more effective inside.  He definitely has a lot of potential though.

Montreal Hornets

Christian Sane (2011, 5-10 PG)
Christian is a small, but speedy point guard.  He's a blur in the open court and changes directions with ease.  He had a beautiful scoop finish on one play.  He runs the floor well.  Christian stepped outside and hit a three pointer too.  

Hichem Benayad (2010, 6-6 SF)
This long armed lefty stands out physically.  He had a nice finish inside after a feed from a teammate.  Hichem converted after going at the goal too.  His handle could improve though.  He stepped outside and hit jumper as well.  

Jersey Shore Warriors

Darrun Hilliard (2011, 6-4 PG/SG)
When said yesterday that we didn't think Darrun played with enough confidence yet.  Maybe we should chalk that up more to Liberty's slow it down style.  The skilled guard was very aggressive.  He's smooth and slick with the ball in his hands.  The lefty attacked in both directions, including a bank shot after driving right.  He has good vision and made several nice passes.  One of our biggest question marks with Darrun was his shooting.  That doesn't appear to be an issue as he buried three shots from beyond the arc in the contest.  He actually does an excellent job on the offensive glass too.  Darrun had a quick scoop finish after an offensive rebound.  He did a good job of pushing the tempo too and his high school team should consider doing more of that to fully utilize his skills.  Darrun has had a strong live period and he just keeps on producing.  He's definitely one of the surprises of the month.  

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 August 2009 )
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