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Lost coverage from the end of the HS season
Wednesday, 03 July 2013
Marial Shayok
By Brian Crownover
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Recruit Recon has seen plenty of good hoops in Eastern Pennsylvania to end the regular season.  

We caught a couple season ending games that came down to the wire in front of packed houses (Emmaus vs. Allentown Central Catholic and Freedom vs. Liberty).  

We even headed over to New Jersey to see Blair Academy pull of a big upset.  Here are the players that stood out as we closed out the regular season.
Blair with the Stunner

We traveled up to Blairstown in January to watch Blair Academy stun highly ranked St. Benedict’s.  Blair had an impressive squad that played well together.  Marial ShayokKevin Seymour and Mike Silverthorn make up a tough backcourt and David George anchors the middle.

Shayok is a high major talent.  He is a long and explosive wing.  The Canadian product is a long strider who is effective at attacking the rim.  He showed to be an unselfish player too as he often kicked out to open teammates after penetrating.  He hit the occasional jumper and his shot looked good.  He does need to get stronger.

Seymour is a speedy lead guard who is terrific with the ball in his hands.  He can attack the basket and score or setup his teammates.  Kevin doesn’t shoot much from the outside, but he did hit a three pointer.  He had a beautiful scoop finish in traffic, but he could take the ball stronger to the hoop at times.  He seems to want to finesse everything in.  That doesn’t always work with a team as loaded as St. Benedict’s.

George came to Blair after a good career in Philadelphia.  The long armed big man impressed in this one.  He has a terrific set of hands and can finish inside.  David is athletic and can block shots and pull down boards.  He can handle away from the basket a little bit, although you wouldn’t want him taking more than a couple dribbles.  He does need to add muscle to his frame.  His still set and natural abilities provide a lot to like.

Silverthorn is a deadly sharp shooter that compliments the rest of the team well.  He knocked down four three pointers in the game we saw, including the game winner in the final moments.  He has good size for an off guard.

Central Catholic Still Cruising

After some explosive games in January, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman has cooled off a bit.  His jumper just hasn’t been falling as often as he’d like in the last few weeks.  Teams are playing tighter defense on him and forcing him take jumpers.  When he is on (like early in the Parkland game) he can kill the opposition with his shot.  He had 15 first quarter points in that big win.  The Nazareth and Emmaus games were two of his worst scoring games of the year.  What stood out though is how well Abdur-Rahkman was able to find his teammates.  He makes terrific passes that make those around him better.  Even with poor outings from a scoring standpoint in those two games, he still managed to put up double figures.  With the game on the line (down 2 points) and less than 10 seconds left, Abdur-Rahkman drove the length of the court and finished through contact and converted the old fashioned three point game for the win against Emmaus.  He impacts the game in so many different ways, aside from just scoring.

Jean Lee Baez is just a rock in the post for Allentown Central Catholic.  He is efficient around the rim and a tough rebounder.  You know you’ll get steady production out of him night in and night out.  He can post up and score on the inside or use short drives to the basket facing up.  The issue is that nearly everything he does is within 5 feet of the hoop.  As an undersized forward, he would greatly benefit by extending his game out away from the basket.  He looks like he can be a good roll player at the college level, whether he can be more than that depends on whether he can do more this than just score from in close.

Golden Hawks Duo Make Them Tough

Bethlehem Catholic has a nice one two punch of Matt Husek and Freddie Simmons.  When we saw Matt earlier in the year, he didn’t play all that well.  Having seen him a few more times, we’ve come away impressed.  The future Holy Cross Crusader is highly skilled.  He has good footwork and touch on the inside.  His bread and butter shot is a hook that he can get off using either hand.  He runs the floor some and can even hit the occasional jump shot.  Matt rebounds well and blocks shots with good timing.  He does benefit in those areas by being the biggest kid around.  He definitely needs to get stronger and he can struggle at times with physical play.

Simmons is an explosive young guard.  We love his length and quickness with the ball in his hands.  He puts a lot of pressure on defenses.  Freddie makes some nice passes and can knock down a jumper from time to time.  The biggest thing for this sophomore is that he needs to slow things down.  His speed makes him dangerous, but it also has him play out of control at times.  He has some bad turnovers and shots because he rushes things.  Being a young player, hopefully he’ll grow and make far fewer mistakes down the road.  There is no denying that Freddie has a ton of talent.

A Cross River Matchup

Pius X doesn’t play much strong competition, so we don’t get to see this A classification school much.  They do have an impressive group of young talent.  Particularly impressive in their win against New Jersey North Warren, was sophomore guard Eric Marbury.  He is quickly emerging as one of the best young players around.  He flies up and down the court with outstanding ball handling skills.  Although he is small, he finishes well in traffic.  Marbury is good in the half court game too as he has a smooth stroke and is a very capable three point shooter.  Aside from being a bit small, there isn’t much else that we don’t love about this guard.

Glen Nanius has had a phenomenal year and career for that matter.  The Junior is one of the top scorers in the state of New Jersey and he already has gone over 1,000 points in his career.  We were very eager to see him as he came across the river to take on Pius X.  Unfortunately, Pius X was able to implement their up tempo style and this game was over before it ever really got started.

Glen actually didn’t attempt a single shot in the first quarter until a long one at the buzzer.  He was inbounding the ball early on and had some turnovers.  Once they cut him loose and let him handle the ball, he got going.  He played well in the transition game and he got up the floor quickly and either finished or drew fouls.  He’s a crafty lefty who showed a nice all around game.  He doesn’t do everything pretty, but just finds a way to score.  He can post up, rebound, drive some and even showed a smooth stroke as he buried a three pointer.  For a guy that scores so much, Glen showed himself to be a good passer too.  He seemed good at going straight at the hoop, but struggled some with side to side dribbling.  The more wing skills he can show the better.  

This up and down style didn’t seem to suit Glen, but he was able to adapt a play better as the game went on.  Because it was a fast paced game and a blowout early, we didn’t really get a sense for what Glen wants to do, whether that is score inside, from the wing or a little bit of both.  He is a real nice player with a kind of old school game that is just productive.  We hope to see more of him in the future.

Noack Playing Better with Full Lineup

Greg Noack has played most of the year without a healthy lineup around him.  He even missed some time himself.  With the team back to full strength, he has looked much better lately.  The skilled forward doesn’t exactly excel in one area, but he does a lot of things well.  He can shoot it, score in the post, drive to the hoop, pass, rebound and block shots.  He really impressed us lately as he showed more athletic ability than we thought he possessed.  Greg plays much better with Deshawn Oyeniji in the frontcourt.

Oyeniji has missed a lot of action this season.  Some of it from injury and then academic issues (a concern when talking about college).  Deshawn is a physical forward on the interior.  He was a beast against Freedom as he crashed the boards and scored frequently to help bring Liberty back before they eventually lost to their rival.  The lefty is athletic and a finisher inside.  He opened the game with a three pointer.  Deshawn has developing wing skills and he’ll have to improve more from the perimeter as he gets to the next level because he is an undersized post player.

Freedom Duo Has Them Rolling Into the Playoffs

Freedom’s Nyreef Jackson continues to impress in the LVC.  He has really stepped his game up and has become the Patriots’ go to guy.  He has a smooth stroke and loves the three point shot.  He can attack the rim or post up using his length.  Nyreef showed some fine passing skills as well against Liberty in the final regular season game.  His partner in crime, Derike Chiclana oozes with potential.  His is a lanky and athletic forward who can step outside a little.  He blocks shots, can rebound, score in the post, handle a little and shoot some.  Adding strength to his thin frame would surely help his game.  Derike needs to finish better and develop more on the perimeter, but the potential is there.

Other Players That Caught our Eye

Junior Nate Feiertag of Emmaus has been one of the toughest matchups in the LVC this year.  He’s not flashy, but just a productive player inside and outside.  He has a high basketball IQ and knows how to score in traffic around the hoop.  He can also step outside and shoot it out to 3 point range.  Nate can pull up and knock down shots too.  He’s not super quick, but a solid ball handler who can get into the lane.  He is just a good all around player.

Joe Wiggins of Pocono Mountain West is another player that looked good.  His team struggled and was upset when we saw them, but he still made plays.  He has a good handle, can run the floor and shoot some jumpers.  He is an undersized off guard.

DeVante Cross is a talented freshman that has apparently been tearing it up on the Parkland JV squad.  The problem is that the first few times we saw him, he didn’t even score a point with the Varsity team.  He does have good size already for a young shooting guard.  He is quick off the dribble and his shot looks good, although he hasn’t hit much when we’ve seen him.  DeVante doesn’t do much yet on the Varsity level, but he doesn’t do anything poorly either.  He has just been steady in his limited minutes.  We look forward to seeing him next year and beyond. 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 July 2013 )
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