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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY TWO
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The second day of the National Prep School Invitational featured nine games with tips starting bright and early at 9 AM. Things started off a bit slowly with the first couple of early morning games featuring sluggish, turnover prone play. Then at 1:30 PM everything changed when Notre Dame Prep took the floor against Canarias Basketball Academy. That’s when a 7 foot monster put his stamp on this tournament and in doing so earned top billing for the day from me.
Top Performer of the Day:
Steven Adams (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – committed to Pittsburgh – Adams was great in his team’s game on Thursday and nearly earned the top spot in my recap. He was noticeably better on Friday. Adams is a massive human being standing 7 foot, 240 pounds. Unlike most people his size though; he is an excellent athlete showing lateral quickness and powerful burst off the floor. Every time he got within five feet of the rim on Friday the back board was in jeopardy of being torn down. Adams dunks with such power whether he has time to set himself or has to go up quickly on an offensive rebound. The scary thing about the big kiwi is that he’s only scratching the surface of his massive potential. He still doesn’t understand the consistent aggression and energy that he can play with and the impact it will have on his game. Adams shows it in flashes and has incredible success every time he does but once a coach makes him realize that’s needed every play his impact will be off the charts. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that Steven Adams belongs in the discussion with the newly re-classified Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad for top player in the 2012 class.
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
Sleeper Performance of the Day:
Matt Cimino (Worcester Academy 2014) – A relatively unknown name that’s likely to not stay that way for long, Cimino is a highly skilled big man for such a young player. Standing at 6’9” he has range out to the 3 point line and is comfortable putting the ball on the floor with two or three dribbles. Cimino has very long arms and used them to block and alter shots near the rim as well as deflect passes and generally cause havoc defensively. He does need to add considerable weight to eventually be a post player but has a couple of years to work on that before he reaches the college ranks.
Other Top Performers of the day:
Rene Castro (Worcester Academy 2013) – If not for Steven Adams dwarfing everyone else in this tournament, Castro would have received top billing for his fantastic showing on Friday. He tallied 34 points on 14-21 from the floor and added 7 rebounds and 4 assists. A true point guard on the summer circuit with BABC, Castro plays more off the ball for Worcester because they lack scoring punch and need his contributions in that area. He scored in a variety of ways showing off an improved 3 point stroke, dropping tear drop floaters in the lane, and powering his way all to the rim. Castro’s improvement in the past 6 months is evidenced in his significantly more chiseled physique, his perimeter shot, and his overall quickness. The conditioning program at Worcester must be a good one and Rene Castro is making great use of it.
Zach Auguste (New Hampton Prep 2012) – committed to Notre Dame – The 6’9” athletic big man had one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him putting up 16 points and 19 rebounds in a win over St John’s Northwest Military Academy. He was playing volleyball with the ball on the offensive glass tipping it to himself and teammates for second chances on seemingly every possession. Auguste is a little bit turnover prone in the post when he tries to do too much but overcame that as the game went on an become the go to option for his team down the stretch. He will provide an athletic look on the interior that Notre Dame hasn’t had in awhile and should make Irish fans very happy.
Jeremy Miller (New Hampton 2015) – Miller receives limited minutes with Auguste and 2014 star Noah Vonleh in front of him on the depth chart at forward but showed his high level talent in the few chances he had. At 6’10” 203 pounds the freshman can play all three front court positions for New Hampton although he eventually sees himself as a face up 4 at the next level. Miller showed off a skill set to match that personal assessment by knocking down perimeter jumpers and using a shot fake to drive the ball to the hoop. The weight room will be his friend over the next few years so that he can play inside more but Miller has major upside and looks like a top 50 player in 2015 at this early stage.
Adonis Filer (Notre Dame Prep 2012) – committed to Clemson – Primarily a driver and slasher in all the previous times I’ve seen him play Filer showed off an improving jump shot by knocking down multiple 3 point field goals in his team’s victory Friday. He is still more comfortable using his strength and quickness to attack the basket but if his jump shot can become more consistent it will force defenders to honor it in screen and roll sets making him a much more dangerous player. I still need to see that jumper be a weapon on a regular basis and not just one good shooting day before I’m ready to call it a legitimate part of his arsenal but today was a step in the right direction.
Ricardo Ledo (South Kent Prep 2012) – committed to Providence – Ledo is the player that fans have been coming to see over the last two days and while he still didn’t have his best showing on Friday he gave the people some flashes of the talent they have coming to local Providence College. A scoring guard who can do everything offensively it’s been Ledo’s maturity that has left the biggest mark on me. This has been a major question mark for him the last few years and after seeing him in the fall and again this weekend he seems to have turned a corner. This should scare Big East opponents as the mental aspects of the game are the only thing standing between Ricardo Ledo and superstardom.
Markus Crider (Bridgton Academy 2012) – Standing 6’7” and 207 pounds Crider plays on the interior much of the time for Bridgton because they simply don’t have other options. At the next level, however, he projects as a wing and showed of the skills to make him successful at that position. He made some perimeter shots but mostly drove the ball to the basket and finished in a variety of ways around the rim. Crider can also facilitate for others and is a skilled passer both out of the block and when he’s driving the ball. A former Providence commit under the previous regime, Crider has an opportunity to get back to that high major level with his play this season.
Malik Nichols (Bridgton Academy 2012) – Nichols is a long rangy lefty who is a true small forward in every sense. He can make the 3 point shot but is at his best using his length to attack the rim where his New York City toughness allows him to absorb contact and finish plays. Every time Nichols attacked the cup on Friday he seemed to end up on his back from a hard foul but kept picking himself up and calmly knocking down free throws. He also rebounds at a high level for the wing and is an above average defender because of long arms and a physical mentality. Once a Hofstra commit out of Boys and Girls in New York before doing this prep year at Bridgton, Nichols appears destined to play at a higher level than the CAA.
National Prep School Invitational Free Throws:
New Hope’s Will Howard continues to impress me. He was at his best in transition Friday taking 2 coast to coast drives that resulted in 2 hand power dunks… I try to remember that these are just kids and give them the benefit of the doubt but Vermont Academy’s overall lack of effort and poor attitudes on the court was severely disappointing. They have a chance to redeem themselves Saturday… The lone bright spot for Vermont Academy was perimeter sniper Donnelle Munda. The 6’4” junior can fill it up from deep with the best of them… MCA’s Jeffland Neverson is still finding the best ways to impact the game but at 6’5” is one of the best undersized offensive rebounders I’ve seen… 7’1” South Kent center Isaac Freeman desperately needs a college weight room but he has good timing defensively and can really block shots… Cleveland State found themselves a player in 6’8” Darnell Harris. He spends all his time on the perimeter despite having the body to bang inside but if they can teach him some balance they’ll have a Horizon league star.
Jeremy Miller (New Hampton 2015) – Miller is just starting the recruiting process and is a long way away from making any kind of decision but already holds 3 high major offers from Maryland, Providence and Boston College. Plenty more high major coaches will get a chance to see the big man as he will be playing the summer circuit with Mass Rivals 17U team alongside stud sophomore Noah Vonleh.
Noah Vonleh (New Hampton 2014) – Vonleh listed offers from Georgetown, Kansas, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and “a bunch of others” as well as heavy interest from Kentucky and North Carolina. It seems safe to say that all the heavy hitters will take a shot at landing the super talented forward.
Isaac Freeman (South Kent Prep 2012) – According to head coach Kelvin Jefferson, Freeman holds offers from DePaul, Missouri, Drexel and UMASS as well as interest coming in from Xavier, Providence and St Bonaventure.
Jeffland Neverson (Mont Clare Academy 2012) – Jefferson is working on getting his academics in order and may re-classify to 2013 but using a post grad year next season. Nothing is set in stone yet and he is still working on making that decision with his mom. Schools showing interest include Providence, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Hofstra.
Rene Castro (Worcester Academy 2013) – The power point guard holds the same offers he had when I spoke to him in July from Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Umass, and Northeastern. He has also received new interest from Temple but they have yet to offer. Castro is taking his time and plans to commit next fall before his senior season begins. He is hoping to further prove himself on the summer circuit and get more high major looks as his dream has been to play in either the Big East or the ACC.
Donnelle Munda (Vermont Academy 2013) – The junior sharpshooter from Toronto holds an offer from Loyola (MD) along with interest from Quinnipiac, Northeastern, Siena, Niagara, Northwestern and Western Carolina. He is hoping to play his way into better offers over the summer on the Nike EYBL circuit with CIA Bounce. Asked to name schools he has dreamed of playing at the Canadian mentioned northern powers Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Marquette. Munda is the cousin of current Marquette guard Junior Cadougan.
Markus Crider (Bridgton Academy 2012) – Once committed to Providence under the Keno Davis regime, Crider decided on a post grad year to try and get his ACT score up in order to get in to Northwestern. They remain his favorite and he plans to visit in the spring. Other schools involved include Georgia State, Georgia Tech, George Mason, and St Bonaventure among others he couldn’t remember.
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