James Madison Recruiting
by Alex Schwartz
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – With one Live Period in the books, the second of the month got underway yesterday night. NBE Sports was in the house at the Competitive Edge Sports Complex for The Hoop Group Summer Classic East.
While there, we had the chance to see five games featuring teams from the Northeast and took down some notes on player performances as well as tracked what college coaches were in the gym.
Bryce Aiken checks in at just 5-foot-9, but the class of 2016 prospect is a player. Aiken, who runs with the Team Scan 16s, is pretty quick and can get to the cup off the dribble. He is a crafty player who is capable of shooting it from long range some. Aiken is reportedly transferring to The Patrick School (NJ) for his sophomore year.
Mike Auger of the Mass Rivals is someone who certainly looks the part of a player when he is on the hardwood. The 6-foot-6 forward has a great build and fairly long arms. Auger, a class of 2014 prospect, needs to work on polishing up his overall skill set.
Team Final wing B.J. Johnson has had an impressive spring on the AAU circuit and the Lower Merion (PA) High School standout has continued his stellar play right into the summer. The 6-foot-7, 175-pounder put his talents on display this past weeked at the Nike Skills U camp at TC Williams High School in Alexandria (VA), impressing onlookers with his smooth scoring ability. Over the weekend, Johnson informed NBE Sports of a new offer that has been extended his way and some new high-major interest, both coming out of the BIG EAST conference.
“Yes that’s true,” replied Johnson when asked about the offer from Villanova. “I really like their program but I really wouldn’t say I have favorites yet. Syracuse recently reached out also.”
Over the last several years much has been written on the shortcomings or pitfalls of the fly-by-night prep schools that seem to come out of the woodwork each year across the country. Some are termed diploma mills or accused of funneling their players to certain programs or conferences.
At the complete opposite spectrum of the schools that operate in the gray areas of the sport is Northfield Mount Hermon. If anything, the program could be accused of funneling its players to a certain conference…the Ivy League!
A tremendous mix of academics and athletics makes Northfield Mount Hermon special. In the last several years the program headed by John Carroll in Northfield (MA) has been a virtual factory of Ivy League basketball players. NMH is considered the best combination of academics and basketball in the United States and in the 2010–2011 season eight NMH alums were in the Ivy League, more than any other school in the nation. That number contines to rise with players like Evan Cummins, Joe Sharkey, Jvonte Brooks and Armani Cotton in recent years following the path and will continue to attract players to the program, like Anthony Dallier, who are looking for similar opportunities.
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
The Rumble in the Bronx came to a close on Championship Sunday with winners being crowned in the 15U, 16U, and 17U divisions. The NJ Playaz took down the 15U crown, Team Scan the 16U, and Sports U was named 17U champions after a thrilling triple overtime win over arch rival NJ Playaz. I was camped out at John Jay College on Sunday which featured some early 16U playoff action followed by 17U semifinals and finals. While Sports U used a balanced attack en route to the championship, the Playaz had the day’s best performer in the losing effort.
Top Performance of the Day:
Shane Rector (NJ Playaz 2013) – As mentioned the Playaz lost a heartbreaker to Sports U in the championship game but Rector was a dominant force individually throughout the day on his team’s path to that game. His improvement over the past 12 months has been fun to watch and speaks to Rector’s tireless work ethic. A year ago at the Rumble I wrote about Shane after he scored 25 or so points without taking a shot outside of 4 feet. His game used to be all to the rim with little to no outside shot in his arsenal. Fast forward a year and the 3 point shot has become a major weapon for Rector as defenders can no longer go under the screen without being punished. He has also improved drastically as a floor general running a team and being a leader. No longer just an athletic combo guard, Rector has successfully made the transition to a full time point and his recruitment should soon reap the benefits.
NBE’s Alex Schwartz was able to catch up with Rector Friday night, along with Saturday’s Top Performer Dayshon Smith, to get the latest on the recruitment of two of the spring’s fastest rising guards, not only out of NYC, but in the nation: NYC Guards Shane Rector & Dayshon Smith See Recruitment Rise.
Here is a preview of the Showtime Ballers, a team to keep an eye on this summer on the AAU trail…
July Schedule Highlights:
–Reebok Showdown Series (Philadelphia, PA) July 13-15
–Peach State Summer Showcase (Aiken, SC) July 18-22
–Fab 48 (Las Vegas, NV) July 25-29
Showtime Ballers 17U Roster
RASHAWN POWELL 6’1 PG (DR. PHILLIPS HS)
DEANDRE BURNETT 6’2 CG (CAROL CITY HIGH) – Committed to Miami
WADLY MOMPREMERE 6’9 SF (MIAMI SR HIGH)
FALLOU NDOYE (6’11 C) FAITH BAPTIST
KARLOS ODUM (6’5 WG) TENEROC
TYRIEFE BEARD (6’3 SG) DR. PHILLIPS HS
RASHAD THOMPKINS (6’10 F) MIAMI SR HIGH
JOSEPHUS BENJI BELL (6’3 SG) ELY BLANCHE HIGH
BILLYDEE WILLIAMS (6’6 WG) FAITH BAPTIST
TERRELL HUNTLEY (6’9 PF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL
Showtime Ballers 16U Roster
KEON GRAY (6’8 F) BOCA CIEGA
NICK MARTIN (6’3 SG) LAKE BRANTLEY
CUYLER MOSLEY (6’3 CG) TIMBERCREEK
BRANDON MILLER (6’7 WG) CYPRESS CREEK
RODERICK DAVIS (6’7) WG BRANDON HIGH
DWAYNE BACON (6’6 PG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
JORDAN GASKINS (5’10 PG) RICKARDS HIGH SCHOOL – 2015
COREY SANDERS (6’3 CG) MCKEEL ACADEMY – 2015
DALTON COX (6’5 SF) GEORGE JENKINS
DEXTER GRAHAM (6’5 WG) OVIEDO HIGH SCHOOL
MALCOLM LAWS (CG) WINTER PARK HIGH
QUANDARIUS PATTERSON (6’5 WF) GODBY HIGH SCHOOL – 2015
Star Watch: RaShawn Powell
–”when the ball is in his hands, he can do whatever needs to be done on offense”
According to the Ballers staff, Powell holds offers from Central Florida, Memphis, Mississippi State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Murray State, Illinois State, UMASS, Miami and Seton Hall. Schools such as Alabama, Florida State and Cincinnati are also heavily in the mix as well.
Hurricanes got a good one in Burnett: Deandre Burnett will bring another ball handler and scoring threat. The Miami-commit is a great scorer and can create his own opportunities in various ways.
Summer Breakout Candidate: Tyriefe Beard
–The Ballers staff identified Beard as a sleeper that coaches will definitely notice this summer who is not getting alot of attention right now.
Youngster on the Rise: Dwayne Bacon
–Big guard is a member of the Class of 2015 and already has Viginia Tech and Florida State offers.
Mompremier & Ndoye Seeing Increased Recruiting Attention: Class of 2013, 6’9+ F Wadly Mompremier is rapidly improving and his recruitment has rapidly increased this spring. The Ballers staff informs us that Old Dominion, Northeastern, Florida Atlantic, James Madison and Jacksonville have offered with interest coming from Akron, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Florida Golf Coast and Alabama.
In the case of 6-foot-11 C Fallou Ndoye, his recruiting also picked up and he landed an ACC offer from Virginia Tech, which adds to the previous offers that he had already from Nevada, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville and James Madison. Schools such as Cincinnati, Clemson, Mississippi, UCF, Miami, Akron, Memphis and Texas have shown interest and will likely keep an eye on him this July.
by Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – There were only a few game sets at the Philadelphia Reebok Showdown Series on Sunday, the final day of the event. As was the case on Day One, NBE Sports was there to catch some impressive performances and collect a few school lists.
Lamar Kimble: While he did not enter the weekend as the most well-known player on the Team Final Blue 15s, there is no question that Kimble was the squad’s best performer in Philly. The 5’11 point guard out of Neumann-Goretti (PA) led the team to the title in the U16 age division. A true floor general who plays under control, Kimble handles the ball extremely well does a great job of distributing it. He has superb vision and is adept at finding the open man. Kimble has a nice spin move that he uses to get to the rack and he knows how to finish once there. Not a flashy player, Kimble just produces and gets things done on the court. He had a team-high 20 points in the championship game.
One of the hgihest stock risers in the Class of 2013 this spring has been B.J. Johnson of Team Final. The 6-foot-6, 170-pound G/F has excelled on the Nike EYBL circuit, putting back-to-back eye-opening weekends together when the EYBL kicked off and college coaches were in the stands.
“It was exciting to get to play in front of a lot of big time coaches,” Johnson told NBE Sports shortly after the April open evaluaiton periods. “I hope they saw what I do well on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor as well as how much effort I put into what I do.”
Through three EYBL sessions Team Final is sitting with an 8-6 ranking and in position to clinch a spot in the EYBL Championship round this July at the Peach Jam with a solid performance in Oakland (CA) this coming weekend.
For his part, Johnson is second on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.8) trailing only Rondae Jefferson in both categories. That type of performance really got the attention of college coaches as he had schools such as Boston College, Rutgers and >Pittsburgh exppress new interest right away. BC followed up with a scholarship offer joining the likes of James Madison and Penn State in the days immediately following the Boo Williams EYBL event.
Johnson has always been high on the Big 5 radar for the local Philadelphia schools as he attends Lower Merion (PA) HS. St. Joseph’s, Temple and La Salle have been in the mix with him previously, as well as Boston University, and they all have company now as the scholarship offers continue to come in.
“New offers from Rutgers, Richmond, Duquesne, Manhattan and UMASS,” Johnson told NBE earlier today.
NBE will be on hand this weekend in Oakland (CA) as Raphielle Johnson will be reporting on the action. So stay tuned for more coverage on B.J. Johnson, Team Final and the Nike EYBL this weekend and through the summer
by Alex Schwartz
HAMPTON, Va. – The Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest kept rolling along on Saturday and NBE Sports was in attendance for the whole day, taking in a number of impressive performances and talking to a handful of players.
Dwayne Morgan: A big-time player in the class of 2014, Morgan is a 6’7 small forward out of Baltimore City College HS (MD) who plays for UA Baltimore’s Finest U16 team. While he did not put up huge numbers in the scoring column against Garner Road- Davis—Morgan finished with 14 points—he made his presence felt in many aspects of the game. He is a stellar athlete with major length and that allows him to be a terrific defender. Morgan blocks shots, gets steals and grabs rebounds. He is also adept at picking up boards on the offensive end, leading to putback dunks and tip-ins. Morgan passes well and has a nice feel for the game. He has all the physical tools one could ask for and if he develops a consistent jumper he has a chance to be an incredible player.
TOP SLEEPER PERFORMER
Ruben Tucker: The biggest surprise NBE Sports has seen thus far at the Southern Jam Fest has been Tucker, a largely unknown 6’2 shooting guard out of Bladensburg (MD). Tucker led the charge as his Maryland Pistons squad knocked off Team Melo (NY) on Saturday morning. He poured in 34 points in the victory and connected on six 3-pointers. Tucker is a bit undersized and has an odd shooting form where he releases from the side, but he simply scores the basketball. He is a solid athlete with a strong frame who can get to the cup if needed in addition to hit long range shots. While he may not be a conventional player, Tucker is flat out productive and gets things done.
The Team Final 17U AAU squad that hit the road in April for the first two legs of the Nike EYBL had plenty of names familiar to college coaches and recruiting followers throughout their rister. Rondae Jefferson, Davon Reed, Austin Colbert and newly added Jaren Sina need little introduction to the masses. One player many were not very familiar with was B.J. Johnson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Ardmore (PA) Lower Merion High School.
Through the first two legs of the EYBL Johnson is third on Team Final in scoring in EYBL action as his team is off to a 5-4 start. Johnson is shooting 46% from the field overall and connecting on 40% from three-point range. He is also tied for second on the team in rebounds and leads the team in steals. Getting a chance to showcase his ability in front of college coaches has been a welcomed opportunity for Johnson.
“It was exciting to get to play in front of a lot of big-time coaches like Coach K and many others,” Johnson told NBE. “I hope they saw what I do well on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor as well as how much effort I put into what I do.”
Chinonso Obokoh is still a new name to many fans who follow college basketball recruiting. However college coaches are becoming more and more familiar with Obokoh’s name and his game. The 6-foot-10, 217-pound big man plays his high school ball out of Rochester (NY) Bishop Kearney High School and had a successful two-weekend run on the EYBL circuit with Albany (NY) based City Rocks. It was an opportunity that Obokoh cherished to have the chance to perform in front of college coaches.
“It’s always extra nice to play in front of the coaches,” Obokoh told NBE Basketball Report. “I’m excited to play in that atmosphere. I just want them to recognize how hard I play and that I just want to win.”
Obokoh certainly showed college coaches what he is capable of. Over the two weekends of the EYBL during the April open evaluation period he deomstrated improved skill offensively along with a solid defensive presence and is one of the leaders in blocked shots in the EYBL. He enjoys playing in the City Rocks program because it is a definsive minded team that fits right into his own mentality.
By Ray Mernagh
Wheeling Park battled and played hard throughout but didn’t have the skill of the St. Joseph’s group.
St. Joseph’s had three players really stand out and a fourth who came up big in limited attempts.
Miles Overton 2013 guard 6’5
Overton has a sturdy body for a Junior at 190 pounds and looks like he could add 10-15 pounds of muscle without any problem to an already basketball strong frame. Had three 3-pointers, two of which were big-time shots where he raised up off one hard dribble and was pure. He gets real good lift on his jumper and his form is correct. He’s a good passer and in control at all times (4 assists and no turnovers). He scored out of the mid-post as well. Had an athletic and good defender on him but it didn’t seem to bother him. Showed high basketball IQ when he was about to kick-out to a shooter on a drive, heard the whistle and turned in mid-play and shot the ball. Getting some high-major looks and has offers from A-10/Mids in his area and some out West. Overton finished the game with 19 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 0 turnovers on 6-14 shooting (3-6 from deep). Really solid looking guard with size.
Overton stated he’s looking for a school with “a good basketball program where I have a good relationship with the players that will be there when I get there and a real good coaching staff.” He went on to say that “academics matter because my high school is really strong academically and I also want to stay close enough that my Grandma can come to my games so a little far away but not too far.” Overton has taken visits to Virginia, James Madison and Drexel. “UVA has a beautiful campus and a beautiful new stadium.” On Drexel: “It’s a good relationship because I’ve known the coaches for a long time.” Offers from “the Big Five” before specifically naming James Madison, Drexel, La Salle and San Francisco.
Gene Williams 6’2 2012 guard
Williams made quite the impression from the jump, displaying a really diverse skill set the entire game. Williams played bigger than his 6’2 listing. Made three’s off the catch (2-4) and scored off his dribble in the mid-range. Has a variety of step-through and up and under moves from the mid-post area and in that he used to score. Williams played very hard and competed every possession. This kid needs a look from some low-majors out there because he can help somebody win games. Williams is getting some D-1 looks and said he will see where his recruiting goes by the end of the season. Smart kid who could play in the Ivy League. Finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Was hearing from some Ivy’s during the summer.
Steve Vasturia 6’4 2013 guard (Notre Dame-commit)
Vasturia is a ND commit who really excels when his defender gives him the tiniest space. Got to the line a ton (10-11) while putting in an efficient day at the office (6-9 from the field and 2-3 from deep). Finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds and one assist in 31 minutes. Has a really nice shot. Need to see him some more because I thought he got bailed out on some of the fouls that were called but still his stat-line was impressive.
Kevin Oberlies 6’1 guard 2012
Oberlies made his only three to stem what felt like a run from the opposition and hit all three of his attempts to finish with 8 points and 4 rebounds. One of Speedy Morris’ many guards that can play. Should be a nice D-3 player somewhere if he chooses to pursue it and when I write that I hope that everyone understands how good you have to be to play at a D-3 level. Anyone playing ball in college anywhere is better than 95% of all the other kids that played ball in high school so please…respect that.
Boo Lathan 6’2 200 pounds 2012 forward
Lathan can play. He’s not big enough for his skill set to fit at the D-1 level but he can play –would be a real nice fit at the NAIA level. Gets tremendous lift on an unorthodox jumper that started finding the bottom of the net as the game wore on. Can be a lockdown defender with his length, athleticism and toughness. Competed. Liked how he came back from a poor shooting first half, still played hard, and made St. Joseph’s sweat a little in the second half. Finished with 14 points and 8 boards (4 offensive) and 1 assist after being pretty much shutout in the first half. Tough kid and good athlete.
The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, 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 .
By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst
Each day at the City of Palms Classic seems to be more intense than the last. Today started off slowly with a mostly empty gym but it slowly filled up as the night wore and the semifinal matchups approached. When it was time for the tip of Montverde Academy and Grace Prep in the 1st semifinal there wasn’t an empty seat in the building. Through a delay when a power outage sapped the scoreboard, constant breaks to wipe up an increasingly slippery court, and a wildly overheated Florida gym, high level basketball remained the focus. A select group of players stood a cut above the rest and they are outlined below.
Top Performance of the Day:
Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian 2013) – In the final game of the night with a chance to play for the title on the line Randle was brilliant. He tallied 31 points and 15 rebounds on 12 of 18 shooting while facing consistent double and triple teams in the post. Randle’s game has evolved as his skills have developed and while he still makes his living down low he showed the ability tonight to lead the break and facilitate offense for others from the perimeter. His shooting range now extends to the college 3 point line and he can comfortably handle the ball enough to help his guards break the press. Offensively, Randle has very few holes in his game but on the other side of the ball he does still need work. He has a tendency to sulk after a turnover and then miss a defensive assignment because he hasn’t let the play go. While not uncommon for a young player, stars of Randle’s caliber are held to a higher standard. If cleared up, there is nothing standing in his way from overtaking Jabari Parker as 2013’s top prospect.
By Brian Bosworth, National Scouting Analyst
The National Prep Showcase was back in full swing on Sunday with top teams like Brewster Academy, New Hampton Prep, and the Tilton School all in action. While the rosters of most prep schools in this event are dominated by seniors and post-graduate players it was a pair of underclassmen that stole the show on Sunday.
Co-Headliners of the Day:
Nerlens Noel (Tilton School 2013) – With college coaches such as John Calipari (Kentucky), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), and Ed Cooley (Providence) on hand to watch him play Noel put on quite a show Sunday night. Having already established himself as the premier defensive big man in America during the summer with BABC, Nerlens showcased an expanding offensive game that brings his upside to a new level. He played on the wing for much of the first half and repeatedly used a deadly right to left crossover to attack the rim and finish with his left hand. Despite being right handed he seems to prefer using his left to finish around the basket and did so with startling efficiency in this game. If Noel can continue to develop his offensive skills to complement his defensive brilliance he will give Jabari Parker a serious challenge for the spot of #1 overall player in the class of 2013.
RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: ANTHONY BENNETT HOLDING LIST STEADY, CHINONSO OBOKOH TAKING VISITS & SCHOOLS WATCH YOUNG LAMONTA STONE
The big news of the college basketball recruiting world was delivered by St. Anthony’s senior guard Kyle Anderson who ended the speculation of his college destination with a simple announcement via twitter:
RT @KyleAnderson5 -Had a great family meeting. I’ve decided to be a UCLA BRUIN!!
Anderson’s announcement came on the eve of his birthday, the planned date of his college decision. Seton Hall (tickets) head coach Kevin Willard had made one last pitch to Anderson and his family with an in-home visit, but it was not enough in the end for the Pirates to land the recruiting coup of the early Fall.
By Brian Bosworth
The July live period came to a close on Sunday with Hoop Group’s End of Summer Classic at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. The tournament featured 24 teams in 3 separate 17U brackets and 16 teams in 2 separate 16U brackets. The 16U portion had many standout players including one who was a cut above the rest.
Rysheed Jordan (Players Teaching Players/2013) – Although his team lost in the semifinals, Jordan left little doubt that he was the top prospect in the 16U division. A 6’3” 175 pound point guard, Jordan has immense physical talents. In his team’s first game, an easy win, he played the role of facilitator and got into the paint time and again to create easy scoring opportunities for teammates. He used his long arms to disrupt passing lanes on defense and start transition offense and showed the ability to finish high above the rim. In his second game of the day, Players Teaching Players were trailing by 27 points when Jordan took matters into his own hands. He must have had at least 5-6 steals all leading to easy buckets at the other end. Offensively, he attacked the rim relentlessly finishing through contact over and over and bringing his team back within 7 points. The deficit was eventually too much to overcome but in the process of trying Rysheed Jordan proved that he is an elite point guard prospect in the 2013 class.
By Lauren Kirschman
The first 10-day live evaluation period of July has come and gone in nearly a blink of an eye. Its been a fun trip to Akron (OH) and Morgantown (WV) and points in between, north and south as well as east and west. While the coaches and throngs of media head home to their own beds finally, the Hoop Group’s West Virginia Jam Fest will carry on another day.
Tomorrow morning the event’s Gold Semifinals will take place. In the 17U bracket Team Philly will take on Team Takeover – Hoop Magic in one semifinal. Team Philly got past Long Island Lightning – Blue in one quarterfinal and the Hoop Magic-based squad upset Team 94 out of California in another quarterfinal.
The other half of the last four standing will be a match-up between the NY Gauchos and Hoop Heaven Heat of NJ who got past the Jersey Shore Warriors in a thrilling ending. The Gauchos won a hard fought affair with East Coast Elite in their quarterfinal match-up.
NBE caught up with a trio of standouts on Friday and below has the latest recruiting information on ’12 Blaise Mbargorba, ’13 Mark Williams and ’13 Elijah Brown for readers to enjoy…
By Matt Whitfield
Watching Chinonso Obokoh for the first time Saturday night at Hoop Group Elite Team Camp on the Albright College campus in Reading (PA) I saw a youngster whose defensive tenacity in the paint reminded me of a young Dennis Rodman . While many adolescents get ranked high in scouting services because of their potential based on size and athleticism, Obokoh actually uses his size and athletic ability to his advantage as he really battles his heart out on both ends of the floor.
“I’m kind of a defensive player. I try and work myself to [do] a lot of defensive stuff the players on the court can’t do like the guard, and the shooters. I just want to do everything,” said Obokoh.
Impressively, Obokoh has only been playing basketball for four years, as he only came over from Nigeria in the spring of 2010.
The July live evaluation period will be an important one for Brian Bernardi. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard out of Xaverian High School in New York City already has several solid mid-major programs putting scholarship offers on the table and it is expected schools from high-major conferences will also be tracking his progress this month during the two 10-day live periods.
The current school list for Bernardi is long and includes a variety of schools throughout the college basketball spectrum. Boston College, Xavier, Hofstra, Virginia, Fordham, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Temple, Siena, Fairfield, SMU, Boston University , East Carolina, Marist, James Madison, Manhattan and Wagner were listed as the programs actively recruiting him.
College basketball is a year-round sport. In the summer there is news of players coming and going from programs to keep track of, a busy recruiting season and more and more summer leagues that offer the players a chance to stay sharp against high-level competition. While many incoming freshmen just celebrated their high school graduation in the last few weeks and even days, many are already on a college campus and competing in the summer leagues and attending classes with their new teammates.
Today we take a quick run through some of the latest stories in the BIG EAST that touch on each of those subjects…
In Mike Helfgot’s Recruiting Notes in the Chicago Tribune there is an update on 6-foot-2 rising junior Jaylon Tate, who recently confirmed rumors he will be transferring from De La Salle High School to Chicago Simeon. At Simeon Tate will join a loaded roster that includes classmates Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn and senior Steve Taylor. All four players are considered sure-fire high-major recruits.
As for Tate, Helfgot reports that has offers from Northwestern, Providence and Xavier, according to his mother, Arisa Johnson, with several other high-majors such as DePaul, Marquette, Tennessee, Florida State and, as of this week, UCLA, expressing serious interest.
by Alex Schwartz
PHILADELPHIA – The 17th annual Rasual Butler All-City Classic took place last night at Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia. The top players in the Philadelphia area took the court for three games, one for each of the high school classes besides the outgoing seniors.
The first contest was the Freshmen Game and the White team defeated the Black team by a score of 94-78 in a matchup of 2014 standouts. The MVP from the victors was 6-foot-5 power forward Jamal Custis of Neumann-Goretti (PA) with 18 points. Eric Anderson was named White’s MVP, as the 6-foot-4 small forward from Haverford (PA) dropped 15 points.
The Defensive Player of the Game award went to the White team’s Conrad Chambers, a 6-foot point guard out of Friends Central (PA). He was the game’s top scorer with 19 points. It was Black’s Malik Smith, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Del Val (PA), who won the Unselfish Player trophy.
Other double-digit scorers for the White team were 6-foot-2 combo guard Ja’Quan Newton and 5-foot-11 point guard Troy Harper. The Neumann-Goretti (PA) teammates had 10 points apiece. For the Black team, 6-foot-1 combo guard Shep Garner and 6-foot-2 combo guard Rashann London, teammates at Roman Catholic (PA), had 14 and 12 respectively. In addition, 6-foot-2 shooting guard Malik Starkes of Olney (PA) added 11.
The second game was easily the best one, with the Black team winning 93-86 in the Sophomore Game featuring 2013 players. The MVP from the winning side was 6-foot-6 small forward Rondae Jefferson of Chester (PA) who had 18 points. For the White team, the MVP was 6-foot-2 shooting guard Rysheed Jordan of Vaux (PA) who also had 18.
The Defensive Player of the Game honor was given to 5-foot-6 point guard Yahmir Greenlee of Boys’ Latin (PA), a member of the White team. Stephen Vasturia, a 6-foot-3 combo guard from St. Joseph’s Prep (PA) on the Black squad, won the Unselfish Player honor. In addition to Jefferson and Jordan, both Black’s 5-foot-10 point guard Britton Lee of Roman Catholic and White’s 6-foot-5 power forward BJ Johnson of Lower Merion (PA) had 18 points.
Three other players finished the game with double figures in the points column. Shafeek Taylor, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Roman Catholic, scored 15 points for Black, while 6-foot-3 combo guard Miles Overton of St. Joseph’s Prep had 14. Finally, 6-foot-8 center Zac Tillman of Shipley School (PA) finished with 11 points for the White squad.