Arkansas Recruiting, baylor Recruiting, Central Florida Recruiting, Connecticut Recruiting, Creighton Recruiting, Dayton Recruiting, Florida Recruiting, Georgia Tech Recruiting, Kansas Recruiting, Kansas State Recruiting, Kent State Recruiting, Louisville Recruiting, Maryland Recruiting, Mississippi Recruiting, Pittsburgh Recruiting, Providence Recruiting, Quinnipiac Recruiting, San Francisco Recruiting, Seton Hall Recruiting, St. Bonaventure Recruiting, Vermont Recruiting, Virginia Recruiting, Virginia Tech Recruiting, Xavier Recruiting
2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY ONE
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The National Prep School Invitational kicked off Thursday morning at a new venue of Rhode Island College after a number of years at the University of Rhode Island. The shift was made due to new NCAA rules not allowing tournaments of this nature to take place in Division-I gyms but the always well run event didn’t miss a beat. Eight games filled the schedule on Thursday with the nation’s No. 1 team Brewster Academy facing off against St. John’s Northwest Military Academy in the headliner. Two players faced off head to head in that matchup and they share top billing today after fantastic performances.
Co-Headliners of the Day:
Jakarr Sampson (Brewster Academy 2012) – Sampson played as well as I’ve ever seen from him in Brewster’s victory this afternoon. He has always been potent using a couple dribbles to attack the rim and showcase his absurd athleticism. Today, Sampson punished defenders for playing off him by consistently knocking down mid range jumpers from 12-18 feet. When that shot is falling he becomes basically unguardable because combined with his driving ability leaves defenders to pick their poison. On top of all his impressive offense, Sampson was the catalyst for Brewster defensively playing the top of their full court press. His length and quickness caused turnover after turnover often leading to rim shaking dunks. Undefeated Brewster was frankly in a bit of trouble before going to the press and letting Sampson wreck havoc. He made it obvious why he is one of the most sought after uncommitted players remaining in the 2012 class.
Aaron Ross (St. John’s Northwest Military Academy 2012) – A onetime Arkansas commit, Ross played like one of the nation’s bet forwards against the loaded frontline of Brewster. He tallied 30 points and 9 rebounds by mixing 3 point shots (3-7) with hard drives to the basket. Ross has the quickness to take his man out on the perimeter but also the strength to go to work on the low block. This combination gave Brewster fits all day as they tried various defenders to slow down the big man. Only Jakarr Sampson had any success but even he gave up his share of hoops against Ross. Finding balance between inside and outside will always be important for Ross as he doesn’t want to hunt jumpers and ignore his physical advantages. He also needs to be more committed defensively and will have to define a roll on that end. He is a little bit between a 3 and a 4 right now but needs to be a 4 defensively in my mind. Regardless of position he’s a beast and showed that off today.
Be sure to check out our additional coverage from a great weekend of hoops at the 2012 National Prep School Invitational:
’12 NPSI – Day Four Report
’12 NPSI – Day Three Report
’12 NPSI – Day Two Report
’12 NPSI – Day One Report
*********Follow NBE Sports on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBESports*****
Sleeper of the Day:
Joey Gripper (Mont Clare Academy 2012) – A name I wasn’t familiar with coming in, Joey Gripper is a name I won’t forget going forward. In a class lacking point guards, Gripper runs a team as well as you could hope for. His vocal leadership on both ends jump off the page as does his vision and unique vision. He makes passes through unusual angles that most players wouldn’t read as quickly as he does. Gripper does need to look for his own offense a little bit more as he sometimes over passed when he had an easier shot than a teammate but didn’t hesitate to knock down a clutch 3 as the game was winding down. At 6’2” he has plus size for the PG position and is also an above average athlete. He’s going to make a college coach very happy as an extension on the floor over the next 4 years.
Other Standout Performances:
Steven Adams (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – committed to Pittsburgh – Adams was very close to landing top billing after today’s performance and had he not spent most of the 2nd half on the bench in a blowout win that’s likely where he’d be. 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 blocks on a perfect 7-7 shooting don’t even tell the story of how impressive Adams was. He got 2 offensive rebounds by fighting around a hard box out and then without taking a single step or dribble rose up and dunked them home. He completely shut down the paint defensively and did it all without cracking a smile or showing any real emotion. If and when Jamie Dixon lights a fire under Adams and gets maximum effort from him all the time he has an opportunity to be one of the nation’s best players.
Laimonas Chatkevicius (South Kent Prep 2012) – committed to Kansas State – Chatkevicius is every bit of 7 feet tall with wide shoulders and a strong frame. He’s very physical inside but also can step away from the basket and showed a soft touch. While he seemed to take the nasty streak a little too far at times coming very close to a technical, Frank Martin doesn’t usually mind overly physical play. Chatkevicius seems like a perfect fit in Manhattan and projects as a rotation big for the Wildcats.
Andrew Chrabascz (Cushing Academy 2013) – Chrabascz is a highly skilled 6’8” big man who does damage both inside and out. His greatest strength right now is his footwork down low as he was able to set up his defender repeatedly and get layups going both directions. Chrabascz struggled to finish a little bit but this will come with added muscle from a college weight room. He is somewhat underrated nationally but that should change on the AAU circuit as he will be playing a major role for BABC on the Nike circuit.
Sam Cassell Jr. (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – A combo guard who views himself as a point at the next level Cassell played primarily off the ball today because his shot was falling. He put on a show in the first half knocking in 4 deep balls and finishing a runner off the glass in traffic. He has an unusual shooting style that is reminiscent of his dad as Sam kicks his legs out to create space and almost fades away every time. It is not the way you would teach someone to shoot but it’s effective enough that you don’t want to change it.
Marcel Pettway (Wilbraham and Monson Academy 2015) – In a very tough matchup with star 2012 center Steven Adams, Pettway didn’t give an inch and got his share of work done down low. He stands 6’6” but is an absolute load built in the style of big men like DeJuan Blair or Paul Millsap. His strength and motor inside stood out the most and frankly his ability to have any success against a senior star like Adams was impressive for such a young player.
Idris Taqqee (Cushing Academy 2014) – Taqqee is a 6’3” shooting guard who looks like a high major player all day. He has a physical build already as a sophomore, range to the 3 point line, and a willingness to attack bigs in the lane. He’s a guy I want to see more of both this weekend and over the next few years before making more judgments but after one viewing high major is a safe bet.
National Prep School Invitational Free Throws:
College coaches were out in full force today with hometown front man Ed Cooley (Providence) taking center stage. He was here to watch top target Jakarr Sampson and signee Ricardo Ledo… Ledo didn’t shoot the ball well today but continued to show an advanced maturity that takes his already electric game to another level… Mitch McGary quietly had a very effective day going for 13 points and controlling the backboard for 14 rebounds… 2015 big man D’Jery Baptiste has impressed me for the 3rd straight event showing high major potential down the road… Chris Ortiz is a good get for Kent St. The 6’8” forward has improved his shooting range to go with major bounce and activity around the rim… Justin Daniels of CJEOTO is an attacking wing who does damage in screen and roll sets by getting into the lane… I say it every time I watch him play but Myles Davis is the best shooter in the 2012 class. Xavier is going to love him… Aaron Valdes of La Jolla Prep is an intriguing athlete who at 6’5” made quite a few plays above the rim. His basketball skills need work but the athletic talent is there.
Jakarr Sampson (Brewster Academy 2012) – After not qualifying at St. John’s this season Sampson is taking his time with his decision the 2nd time around. The Johnnies are still involved along with Providence, Kansas, Louisville, Baylor and Pittsburgh. Sampson has a visit to Kansas set on February 25th for their game with Missouri. No other visits are planned as of now but he hopes to visit Providence, Louisville and Baylor. He’s looking for an up-tempo, pressure style as well as somewhere where he’ll be able to play right away.
Aaron Ross (St John’s Northwest Military Academy 2012) – Ross is open after previously being committed to Arkansas. The Razorbacks remain on his list along with Washington, Providence, Mississippi, Dayton, Xavier, Florida, Baylor and Virginia.
Sam Cassell Jr. (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – Cassell has been a hot prospect this season as his game has jumped to the next level in his senior campaign. He holds offers Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Central Florida, Maryland, and “a bunch of others.” Cassell has visited Maryland and wants to use more visits but doesn’t have any planned at this time or know exactly where he wants to take them. He stressed that no one is a leader and all the schools mentioned are still even for him at this point.
Andrew Chrabascz (Cushing Academy 2013) – Chrabascz is still in the early stages of his decision making process as he told me he holds 16 offers and interest from over 50 schools. When pressed he mentioned offers from Creighton, Lehigh, Vermont, Canisius and St. Bonaventure. He also stated that other schools in the CAA and the Atlantic 10 are on him. Chrabascz is looking for a school with strong academics and a coaching staff that he feels comfortable with. He is looking for a coach who is honest with him about playing time and a place where he can play for all 4 years.
Joey Gripper (Mont Clare Academy 2012) – Gripper is doing a post grad year after finishing his high school career at Abington Friends High School. He has offers from San Francisco and Quinnipiac as well as interest from Harvard. He also said that Memphis has started to show some interest. Gripper told me that San Francisco stands out as a leader at this point and he expects to make his decision within the next few weeks. He wouldn’t confirm that San Francisco will be the choice but re-stated that they are his leader.
The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sell out, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below and get that special holiday gift for YOURSELF that you did not receive from your loved ones. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .