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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART II (MASS RIVALS & BABC EDITION)
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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Mass Rivals is another of New England’s dominant AAU programs that was well represented at the Elite 75. Kaleb Joseph (2014 PG), Dmitri Floras (2014 PG), Idris Taqqee (2014 SG), Tyonne Malone (2016 SF) and Josh Sharma (2015 F) all suited up and were joined by injured stars Noah Vonleh (2014 F, ankle) and Jeremy Miller (2015 F, concussion.) Both Vonleh and Miller told me they expect to be healthy and ready to go for the kickoff of the July live period at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. Chris Baldwin (2015 F) was also invited to the event but stayed home to nurse a sore back.
Of the Mass Rivals guys in attendance Kaleb Joseph had the best day attacking the basket in early drills and getting everyone else involved once five-on-five action got going. He caught up with NBE before things started to discuss his expanding recruitment. Joseph holds offers from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Providence, Boston College and Tennessee and it also being recruited by Georgetown, Connecticut and Kansas State. Kevin Ollie has been the main recruiter for UConn and has had a strong impact on Joseph as a long time NBA player who played the same position. Joseph cited head coach Jim Calhoun’s uncertain future as a non issue because Ollie’s presence makes Uconn just as desirable going forward. He is ultimately looking for a school that can develop him both as a player and academically as well as somewhere where he has a strong relationship with the coaching staff.
Dmitri Floras and Idris Taqqee both had strong days by aggressively attacking the rim and not settling for jump shots. Floras, in particular, is a prospect to keep an eye on as he’s re-classified and will attend Vermont Academy as a member of the 2014 class next year. His leadership, basketball IQ, and explosive first step have been on display all spring and will serve him well against the high level of competition he’ll see night in and night out in the difficult NEPSAC. Young guns Josh Sharma and Tyonne Malone also had their moments with Malone being one of the more dominant scorers in five-on-five play despite being among the youngest. The forceful lefty is relentlessly aggressive as a driver and could almost be described as violent in the way he attacks the rim. He’s a name that will become much more prominent in New England as he gets older and gets a more featured role with Mass Rivals.
Despite not playing with injury, both Noah Vonleh and Jeremy Miller were nice enough to catch up with NBE regarding their recruitment.
Noah Vonleh – Vonleh is one of the nation’s very best players and has offers from seemingly all the elite programs. His newest offer came from Rick Pitino and Louisville to join North Carolina, Indiana, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Providence, and others. In addition to all the impressive offers Kentucky is also very involved with Vonleh’s recruitment. Coach Calipari called personally the first day it was allowed on June 15th and the way Vonleh described it did just about everything but offer. He made it clear that the Wildcats are very interested in the forward’s services and an offer in the future is highly likely.
Jeremy Miller – Miller is looking forward to getting back on the court from this concussion and is on schedule to be ready for the Adidas Invitational. He currently holds offers from Boston College, Providence and Maryland and is receiving interest from both Kansas and Georgetown.
Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) is among New England’s premier AAU organizations most recently producing consensus 2012 #1 nationally ranked player Nerlens Noel. Plenty of talent remains in the pool now that Noel has moved on to Kentucky and some of it was on display at the Elite 75. Most of the 17U team skipped the event including Wayne Selden (2013 SG), Rene Castro (2013 G), Jaylen Brantley (2013 PG) and Goodluck Okonoboh (2013 F/C.) Andrew Chrabascz (2013 F) was the exception from the older team as he showed up and finished as one of the day’s best performers. He was his usual deadly self from the high post scoring at will on drives in both directions. Before dominating on the Umass-Lowell courts he caught up with NBE regarding his expanding recruitment.
Chrabascz claimed offers from 31 Division 1-A colleges including George Washington, Creighton, Rhode Island, UAB, Rice, St. Joseph’s and La Salle. He is keeping things wide open for now planning to play through the summer and continue accumulating offers before sitting down with family in August and narrowing things down. Chrabascz also wants to visit as many places as possible to help make a decision and has already seen Creighton, URI, La Salle, St. Joe’s, Temple, and Bucknell. He’s a player NBE will plan to catch up with again at the Peach Jam in a few weeks as the live period is sure to bring even more suitors to his already long list.
While the older team was mostly absent, BABC’s younger talent was on full display with a total of seven players from the 15U and 16U rosters making the trip to Lowell. Bruce Brown (2015 SG) was a standout once again after impressing a few weeks ago when NBE watched him at the Rumble in the Bronx. He was among the most athletic guards at the event flashing the quickness and power to explode to the rim in a variety of situations. Brown looks to me like the heir apparent as a high major BABC guard poised to take over the reins from Wayne Selden after he moves on to the next level. His 15U teammates Terrence Mann (2015 SF), Marcel Pettway (2015 PF), Tyree Robinson (2015 PF), Jonathan Joseph (2015 PG), and Curtis Cobb (2015 SG) also all performed well at times throughout the day despite playing against older competition.
From the 16U team Bonzie Colson (2014 F) carried the torch and showed off a rapidly improving offensive game. An undersized PF at this time Colson is actively working on both expanding his perimeter skills and refining his body to allow him to play both forward spots at the next level. Colson told me he’s looking for a school where he can be “the man” on the offensive end. He wants the challenge of getting the ball in the final five minutes of close games and expects to deliver in those moments. He currently holds offers from Rhode Island, and Boston but has also heard from Vermont, Marquette, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Lafayette and Harvard in the last two weeks. Colson has only visited URI and does not have any other visits planned at this time. In addition to a basketball fit, Colson is looking for a school that offers a sports management major as this is his intended academic path.
NBE hopes to be able to catch up with Wayne Selden, Rene Castro, Jaylen Brantley, and Goodluck Okonoboh along the recruiting trail this July, most notably at the Peach Jam, to see where they stand in their recruitment.