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Lehigh Valley Hoop Group Showcase - Part 1
Thursday, 21 February 2013
ImageBy Brian Crownover
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Back at the end of January we headed over to Parkland High School in Allentown, PA for the Lehigh Valley Hoop Group Showcase.

This event featured teams from the Lehigh Valley as well as other schools from elsewhere in PA and NJ.

In part one of our coverage from this event we have player evaluations from Liberty, Council Rock North, Parkland, The Patrick School and Gil St. Bernard.
Patrick School

DeAndre Bembry (2013, 6-6 SF/PF) committed to St. Joe's
We really enjoyed watching DeAndre play.  He has a unique game.  He seems to be the jack of all trades for the Celtics.  He first stood out with his ability to run the floor.  He had a steal and dunk and a few other buckets in transition.  DeAndre is very active and plays with a lot of energy.  The talented wing player can step outside or play in the post.  He buried a three pointer from the perimeter, although his jump shot looks like it could use some work.  He really liked to battle in the post and take advantage of his size.  He has kind of an old school game in that way.  He made a quick spin move in the low block on one play and banked home a shot.  He finished well around the hoop.  

DeAndre is quick when handling the ball too.  He did seem a little sloppy at times when he was dribbling.  He rebounded well on both ends of the floor.  He made plays defensively too.  DeAndre used his athletic ability to block a shot.  He was also aggressive on that end of the floor and picked off several passes.  He also made a great pass from the high post to a cutter on one play and at least one other assist in this contest.  There wasn’t much DeAndre didn’t do in this game.  He was named Player of the Game after this 20 point outing.  He looks like a good pickup for Phil Martelli’s Hawks.

Chris Regus (2013, 6-3 SG)
Chris is one of many talented players on the Patrick School squad.  He looks to be flying under the radar a bit.  The lanky guard showed himself to be a superb shooter in this one.  He buried 5 three pointers in this contest.  He has a bit of a hitch in his shot, so it isn’t the smoothest.  It is hard to argue with the results though.  Chris ran the floor well too and scored a pair of buckets in the break.  He hit a free throw after being fouled as well.  He can put it on the floor a little too, but most of his damage was from beyond the arc.  Chris tied for the team lead with 20 points in the blowout win.

Jason Boswell (2013, 6-8 PF)
We came away very impressed with Jason’s game.  He’s quick with the ball in his hands.  He had a beautiful drive to the basket and then finished with a spin move on one play.  He converted around the goal, including following his own miss on one occasion.  Jason was very good on the boards at both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he blocked a shot.  He even showed off his range as he buried a three pointer.  He finished with 16 points for the winners.

Daniel Knight (2014, 6-5 SF/PF)
The seniors really led the way for the Patrick School.  However, the Celtics underclassmen played well in supporting roles.  Daniel was one of those players.  The forward was efficient; going 4 of 5 from the floor for his 9 points (he hit a free throw too).  Among his baskets was a nice turn around shot in the post.  He also finished through contact for a three point play after cutting to the hoop.

Kamar McKnight (2015, 6-3 PG/SG)
Kamar didn’t score much, but he looked pretty impressive.  The lefty already has a great build for such a young player.  He’s a super quick ball handler who looks so smooth.  He rebounded the ball well and threw a few nice passes too.  Kamar will be a good one.

Otis Livingston (2015, 5-10 PG/SG)
This youngster didn’t do a lot on this loaded squad.  He did impress us with his ability to shoot the three point shot though.  He hit a pair from beyond the arc in the contest.

Gill St. Bernard’s

Tyus Battle (2016, 6-5 SG/SF)
There were veteran high major prospects all over the court all day, yet this freshman probably played better than any of them.  Tyus is a big time scorer already at such a young age.  The talented wing has a smooth shot out to three point land.  He can pull up if needed.  He’s an explosive long strider who can get to the rim in a hurry.  Tyus also displayed a great crossover move.  He already has good size, but he does need to get stronger.  He could improve from the foul line, but that’s not a surprise for a young player.  Tyus is certainly one of the best freshmen in the country and may already be one of the best players in the country regardless of class.  He was named Player of the Game after scoring 19 points for the Knights in this one. 

Chris Jenkins (2013, 6-5 SG)
Chris is a powerful guard who looks more like a running back than a basketball player.  Although he can play physical, he’s actually a pretty good perimeter shooter.  He showed a good stroke from deep as he buried several three pointers.  He did miss on the game winning three pointer at the end though.

Austin Colbert (2013, 6-8 PF) committed to Illinois
Gill St. Bernard’s looked out of sync and didn’t play together in this one.  Austin is committed to Illinois, but the forward didn’t even touch the ball that much.  Most of his points came from plays on the offensive glass.  He scored on a putback and was fouled and converted two free throws at the line after another offensive rebound.  Austin was strong on the glass on both ends.  He is an athletic player who can run the floor, but most of this game was played in the half-court.  The few touches he did get in the half-court were mostly in the high post.  He missed two jumpers from that area.  Austin is very thin and does need to add bulk to be more effective at the next level.

Jaren Sina (2013, 6-1 PG) committed to Northwestern
Rated by some as a Top 100 recruit, this Northwestern commit had what has to be considered among his worst game of his career.  Two years ago at this event, we were blown away by Jaren’s play.  He was unguardable as he rained shots down from all over the court, got to the hoop and even found his teammates.  Today, almost none of that existed.  He opened the game by missing a three pointer and then was blocked two times in a row after that.  The problem is that after that, he continued to fire up three pointer after three pointer and continued to miss.  

By our count, Jaren was 0-12 overall from the floor in the first half and 0-10 from beyond the arc.  His first points of the half came on a free throw with 1:33 remaining after that.  At this point, he was 0-8 from beyond and fired up two more threes, including one from well beyond NBA range.  While you don’t want to stop shooting completely when your shot is off, you have to be more selective.  Jaren stopped taking it to the hole and did try taking shorter jumpers.  He also didn’t setup his teammates either.  The second half was better, but only slightly.  In this half, he at least buried 2 three pointers and he only took 5 shots from deep total.  He did have a good long pass for an assist.  Jaren had a very forgettable game with just 7 points in the heartbreaking loss.


KJ Williams (2014, 6-2 SG)
We’ve seen Liberty earlier in the year and avoided writing about KJ because he is a big time wide receiver on the football field.  However, he has just been playing too well lately to ignore him anymore.  KJ is a super athletic forward.  He has always been a good rebounder and capable of making playing around the rim or in transition.  He has really improved as a scorer now too.  In this game, he stood out in the first half when he actually outscored the entire Council Rock South team.  It was a big key to the Hurricanes victory.  He has a smooth shot from the perimeter and KJ buried a pair of three pointers.  

He can slash and get to the basket.  His ball handling isn’t the smoothest, but he’s so explosive going to the rim.  Of course those usual athletic plays around the rim and in transition were there as well.  The most impressive play of the day for KJ was a jaw dropping athletic block that he swatted 10 rows into the stands.  KJ could be a nice Division 1 hoops prospect if he wanted to.  Having seen him on the football field, that is his best option going forward.  He was the Player of the Game for the Canes with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Greg Noack (2013, 6-6 SF/PF) committed to Monmouth
Greg had a very tough first half for the Hurricanes.  He was held scoreless.  However, he recovered to score 11 second half points.  Early on, he struggled with his jumper and good interior defense by Council Rock North gave him some trouble.  The biggest issue in the first half was that he picked up his 2nd foul early and sat a good portion of the half.  Greg stepped outside and showed his smooth stroke as he hit a three pointer.  It was his first points of the game with 5:45 remaining in the third period.  He tipped in a shot in the third.  He had an even better fourth period.  Greg showed his inside ability as he converted a turnaround shot in the post.  He displayed good touch.  He also scored in transition and drew a foul while driving.  He’s a pretty good ball handler as long as he limits himself to just a few dribbles.  Greg rebounded the ball well throughout the contest.  It was a solid outing for him.


Austin Beidelman (2013, 6-3 SG)
While the local teams don’t usually win much in this tournament, it is a great event for players like Beidelman.  While his team was overmatched against a terrific Patrick School team, Austin certainly held his own for the Trojans.  He perhaps is known best as a shooter, but he can do a lot of other things too and he showed that in this contest.  Austin moved well without the basketball and finished whenever his teammates found him.  He did hit a couple of jumpers too including a pair of three pointers and a pull up shot from inside the arc.  He can handle the ball, but isn’t the type of player that is going to get all the way to the rim.  What he does really well with the ball in his hands is create space for himself.  He can stop and pop in a moment’s notice and that makes him very difficult to defend.  He has a smooth stroke too.  

Austin had a good pass on one occasion too.  He plays a smart floor game, although he’s definitely more of a shooter than a distributor.  Austin is a terrific player who is definitely flying under the radar.  Perhaps if his jersey had one of the traditional powers on it, rather than reading “Parkland,” he’d be getting some Division 1 interest.  He definitely showed he can hold his own against some very good players in this one.  Austin was his team’s Player of the Game in this contest after 26 points.

Council Rock North

Rip Engel (2014, 5-10 PG)
We first caught Rip in action when he was a freshman point guard starting at Roman Catholic.  He looked pretty good here with Council Rock North too.  He’s a smart floor general who runs the offense well and makes good decisions with the basketball.  He’s a good ball handler who is deceptively quick.  Rip made several nice passes after drawing the defense in.  He pulled up from the perimeter quite often in the first half, but struggled with his shot (much like his team did).  After no points in the first half, he really came on in the second half, scoring all of his 10 points in that stanza.  Rip really likes the pull up game and was able to hit a couple of those in the 2nd half, including out to three point land.  He certainly has a nice skill set and showed to be a solid lead guard on this day.

Kyle McCloskey (2013, 6-6 SF/PF)
When we first saw Kyle step onto the floor, we assumed he’d be a post player.  He surprised us early on with this versatility.  He stepped outside and hit a deep jumper.  He also put it on the floor and banked in a runner.  Although he isn’t going to beat his defender off of the dribble time and time again, he did show a nice handle for a big man.  Kyle posted up some, but definitely looked more comfortable facing up.  He has a solid build and rebounded the ball well.  He had a strong game defensively.  He blocked a couple shots and picked off a couple steals by overplaying in the low post.  In the 2nd half, he showed his range as he buried a three pointer.  He could look to attack more than he did in this game.  After a strong first couple minutes, Kyle didn’t finish quite as well during the remainder of the game.  It was still a nice showing for him 
Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 February 2013 )
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