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Hoop Group Tip-off Showcase 2011: Sunday - Part I
Friday, 06 January 2012

By Bill Martin
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A couple weekends ago we travelled over to West Orange High School in West Orange New Jersey for The Hoop Group Tip-off Showcase.  There were five games played on Sunday and featured some of the top teams and talent in New Jersey.

In the first game The Hun School took on Paramus Catholic and in this one Hun proved to be too much and won by the score of 58-41.

The second contest of the day featured a matchup between Rutgers Prep and the heavily favored Hudson Catholic.  In the first half it appeared as if this was going to be a blowout in favor of Hudson.  Rutgers prep stormed back in the second half however and pulled off the upset winning 44-43.

The following are player evaluations from the first two games of this event.

The Hun School

Bo McKinley (2012, 6-0 PG)
In this contest Bo ran the offense efficiently, although didn't really create much for his teammates, but he really showed off his jump shot.  He knocked down four shots from beyond the arc and also hit a pull up jumper in the lane.  Two of his three pointers were from at least one full step behind the three point line.  Bo also drew a couple fouls driving into the lane but only hit two of his four free throw attempts.

Fergus Duke (2013, 6-2 SG)
This was not a big game offensively for Fergus did he did show off some ability to shoot from beyond the arc by burying a pair of three pointers.

Will Kelly (2012, 6-9 PF/C) committed to Navy
This long interior prospect was named Player of the Game for The Hun School mostly due to his defensive presence on the inside.  Although he does not appear to be a great leaper Will was able to block six shots and redirect  number of other with his length alone.  On a couple of the blocks he did not even jump at all.  His shot blocking was not however the only aspect of his game that stood out.  He showed solid court vision as he was able to look right over the smaller defense and pass over them as well.  His length and height advantage also lead to him pulling down quite a few rebounds.  Offensively Will showed decent touch around the rim and also showed confidence putting the ball on the floor for a couple dribbles on short drive.  Off the bounce he shot short one handed shots on the move and did hit a pair of these but was more effective scoring on layups. He was able to get these layups by either bumping his man back under the hoop or by catching passes over defenders.  The Naval Academy looks to have found themselves a quality post presence of the future.

Rashid Epps (2012, 6-4 SF)
Rashid played tough around the hoop on both ends of the court.  He fought for rebounds and went up strong after pulling down offensive rebounds.  Due to his hard nosed play under the hoop he ended up drawing a number of fouls, although he could have been more consistent from the charity stripe.  Other than his trips to the free throw line Rashid scored most of his points right around the hoop.  He was able to score on a couple short one handed shots and also on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  Rashid did struggle however when he tried to take the ball up the court himself on the break.  When he attempted this he ended up dribbling off of his own legs or had the ball stolen. 

Grant MacKay (2013, 6-7 SF/PF)
Grant demonstrated the ability to put the ball on the floor some but did have a couple turnovers when the ball was ripped off of him because he held onto it for too long.  Grant did show he could pass the ball effectively.  He wasn't asked to score much but did finish inside when given the opportunity.


Paramus Catholic

Marquel Sheffield (2015, 6-6 PF)
The most impressive player for Paramus Catholic was also one of the youngest as freshman Marquel Sheffield was named Player of the Game for Paramus.  He battled the older and taller Will Kelly all game on the boards and was able to score over him.  Most of his buckets were scored on layups but he also hit a foul line jumper and hit a one handed shot on the move right over Kelly.  To get his layups he bumped his man back on one occasion and he caught a pass over a defender who was fronting him.  He also got a couple other easy looks after he hustled down a loose ball and pulled down an offensive rebound.  The future looks to be very bright for Marquel as he already has the skills of an older player.  How much he continues to grow could determine what position he will play at the next level as he could develop more small forward skills if he stays the same size or he could grow into a legitimate power forward.

Jalen Henriquez (2014, 6-2 SG)
Another young player stood out for Paramus as sophomore Jalen Henriquez also showed what he could do.  With the ball in his hands Jalen made a lot of plays.  His ability to handle with either hand and quickness in changing directions made it challenging for defenders to prevent him from getting into the lane.  He also showed off a beautiful spin move where he split two defenders.  On a few occasions he was able to get all the way to the hoop for layups, but also scored on a couple floaters in the lane and proved he could finish with contact.  He didn't show much in terms of an outside jump shot but he did hit a short to mid range jumper.  For the most part he looked to score rather than distribute but Jalen did make a fantastic entry pass from the perimeter to the post over a defender, creating an open layup for his teammate.  Even if he was an upperclassmen this would have been an impressive performance but was even more impressive since he's only a sophomore.


Hudson Catholic

Kavon Stewart (2013, 5-11 PG)
Kavon was really the engine that made Hudson Catholic go and when he had to sit with foul trouble it allowed Rutgers to get back in the game and turn the momentum.  Early on in the game he excelled in transition as he used his quickness to beat defenders to the hoop and managed to finish between defenders and through contact.  When not on the break, Kavon showed he could break his defenders down off the dribble as well.  On one play he crossed his man up twice before banking in a mid range shot over two defenders.  He also demonstrated that he could pass off the bounce as well.  There was a couple times where he tried to do too much with the ball and ended up losing the ball.

Reggie Cameron (2013, 6-7 SF)
This was not a huge game for Reggie but he still made an impression.  He drained a pair of three pointers, one of which bounced in, and also got himself to the free throw line on a couple of occasions, where he went 3-4.  Reggie showed he could bring the ball up the court himself as well as handle the ball on the break.  He also made a great pass to a cutter but did throw a terrible outlet pass on one occasion.

Michael Young (2013, 6-8 PF)
Michael played strong inside throughout this contest.  He rebounded very well and showed he could score in a couple different ways inside.  After backing his man down under the hoop he proceeded to hit a layup on the opposite side of the hoop.  On another play in the post he again bumped his man back but then made a pretty drop step around his defender for an easy layup.  He also hit a difficult baby hook shot in between two defenders.  Michael even showed he could score moving without the ball.  He cut to the hoop, caught a pass and hit a layup on the move while being fouled and converted the three point play.

Rakwan Kelly (2013, 6-4 SG/SF)
Rakwan did not have a huge game but did make a couple plays.  He had a tough finish inside and also hit a baseline jumper.  On the defensive side of the ball he picked off a pass.

Grant Ellis
(2012, 6-5 SG) committed to Iona
Grant has excellent size for a two guard and showed he could shoot it from beyond the arc.  He hit a trio of three pointers, one of which was to take the lead with only 50 seconds left in the game.  Grant also looked very confident shooting the ball and did not hesitate to pull the trigger.  Besides his shooting he also displayed some athleticism on the defensive end when he swatted away a fast break layup attempt from behind. 


Rutgers Prep

Matt Rennie (2012, 6-8 PF)
Matt anchored the middle for Rutgers Prep and provided the inside presence they needed to pull off this upset.  He held his own inside against Michael Young and also pulled him away from the hoop with his ability to step out and shoot the ball.  While he missed his lone three point attempt he did bury a shot from just inside the arc.  Throughout the game Matt ran the floor very well and was rewarded with a couple outlet passes which he converted into layups.  One of the passes he caught over his shoulder and  hit the layup moving full speed.  He also rebounded the ball well and displayed solid passing to his slashing teammates.

Mike Klinger (2012, 6-1 PG)
Mike was the player of the game and fueled his team's upset with his ability to shoot from outside and make plays off the dribble.  He hit three shots from beyond the arc and was fouled on another attempt, but only hit 2 of the 3 ensuing free throws.  Off the dribble he was not only able to break the press by himself but also get by his defender and get into the lane.  On one such drive he got into the lane hit a tough runner while being fouled and hit the follow up free throw.  Not only did mike show he could score with the ball in his hands as he finished with 15 points, but he also demonstrated his passing ability.  Off the bounce he made a beautiful no look pass across the lane to his teammate for an easy layup.  He also had a fantastic inbounds pass that hit a cutter perfectly in stride for a layup.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 May 2012 )
 
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