Saturday, January 31, 2009

In The Spotlight: Alonzo Trier

Name: Alonzo Trier
AAU Team: Seattle Rotary
Position: Point Guard
Height: 5’5
Hometown: Federal Way, Washington
Class: 2015

Breakdown: Trier is rated as the #1 player in the country by several websites. This guard is extremely talented and puts on a show when he’s on the floor. He has a flashy handle, good court vision and deep range on his jump shot. At the Jr. All American Camp and Adidas Phenom Camp Alonzo demonstrated this talent and proved to be too much to deal with. Trier most recently had a strong showing at the US Superior Skills Camp in Waco, Texas. According to KO Basketball scout Tony Sutton he was the best guard in that class at this event. This kid has a chance to be a special player in the future. You will be seeing his name on here many times in the near future. Check out his highlights.

Trier's Video Highlights

Player Videos can be email to

Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup Schedule Set

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup is Saturday February 7th and the schedule is set. This event looks like it should be a one of the best over. The 11U and 12U brackets are loaded then when you throw in a special challenge game between the top 13U teams in Trenton the day should be great. All teams prepare for a long day and having fun.

Clash For The Cup Schedule

11:00 AM Team MVP vs. Team NJ ABC (13U Trenton Challenge)
12:10 PM Harvest Knight vs. Team MVP (12U Semifinal)
1:20 PM The City vs. F.A.C.E.S. (12U Semifinal)
2:30 PM Team Battle vs. Team Artest (11U Semifinal)
3:40 PM Gauchos vs. F.A.C.E.S. (11U Semifinal)
4:50 PM 12U 3rd Place Game
6:00 PM 11U 3rd Place Game
7:10 PM 11U Championship
8:20 PM 12U Championship

Games Played At
Trenton Catholic HS
175 Leonard Ave
Hamilton, NJ 08610

Friday, January 30, 2009

Adidas Jr. Phenom Camp Hits NYC

The Top 50 Jr. High School Players in each class (2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016)more than 300 in all, will take to the hardwood March, 2009 at the third annual NY Adidas Jr Phenom Camp. For nearly 20 years Adidas has held the Top High School All-Star camp in the world. The Jr Phenom camp will bring this great tradition to the grassroots level, Providing valuable instruction and a platform for many college and NBA Players tomorrow.

This Prestigious camp will be held at Fordham University in New York City. Multi- gym basketball Facility. 4 Full size wood courts under one roof.

The Adidas Jr Phenom is a camp that offers student athletes a variety of mandatory classes on academics and life skills, better preparing these young men for continued success in their high school career, college and life.

Players must attend a class each day to be eligible to play in the afternoon game sessions. Former and current college and high school basketball coaches will be in attendance to pass on their expertise and words of wisdom to these student athletes.

Players will have an opportunity to test their game against other top players in their class throughout the entire weekend. The camp will culminate with an all-star game on the final day under the watchful eye of the country’s top scouting services.

This is not an invitational only camp! All players are invited!

If you are a coach and would like to nominate a player(s), please-mail our staff to request a nomination form at Your name and phone number must be included.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Vinay Reddy

Name: Vinay Reddy

Position: Small Forward

HT: 6’5

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

AAU Team: San Antonio Road Runners

Strengths: Reddy is a perimeter forward which means he likes to shoot jumpers and handle the pill a little. His length allows him to get a clean look whenever he wants and keep a hand in opponents face on defense. His upside could be tremendous because of his wingspan alone.

Areas of Improvement: In terms of getting better I believe Reddy needs to pack on some muscle and be willing to mix it up a little inside. He’s effective on the perimeter but any high school coach would want someone with his size to help out on the glass a little and block a few shots.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Drew Corsi

Name: Drew Corsi

Position: Point Guard

HT: 5’6

Hometown: Rumson, NJ

AAU Team: Shore Shots

Strengths: If you need a floor general to call signals on the floor than look no further than Corsi. Drew enjoys directing traffic in the half court set as well as transition. He also can drain the trey as he has proven over the years. He should develop into a good system point guard on the high school level.

Areas of Improvement: Corsi needs to get stronger as many guards on the 8th Grade level. Improved strength will help him play better defense against bigger guards and finish off plays in traffic. I also think Drew could use some increased foot speed on the defensive end.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Feature: Shepard Garner Is Ready For Primetime

Chester, PA has become a hot bed for basketball talent lately. Jameer Nelson is one of the top point guards in the NBA and former phenom Tyreke Evans should be shaking David Sterns hand soon. Last summer at the 12 and Under Nationals I laid eyes on one of Chester’s future prospects by the name of Shepard Garner. Garner was one of the top performers from the entire event playing with Youth Interlock. He proved that my assessment wasn’t a fluke during a recent Xmas tourney by scorching the Gauchos with a triple double in the finals (37pts, 15 rebounds and 11 dimes).

Garner is probably the top player in his class and continues to get better. “He’s the ultimate competitor and does everything on the floor. He plays the game with passion and makes all the basketball plays necessary to get the job done. His court awareness and feel for the game is tremendous” said Poo Evans of Fidonce Player Development. Evans is the brother of Tyreke Evans and is currently in charge of Garner’s development. In terms of comparisons to his brother Evans speaks up, “ I think Shep is like my brother in terms of being a student of the game and his passion to win. He can watch a game and complete a quiz on assessing the players that played. I’m very impressed by that.” Evans said.

Evans also knows Garner is very young and far from complete. “Right now I’m working with him on his footwork, ball handling and outside shooting. I really believe this kid has special talent and will become a serious player in a few years.” Evans finished. Garner is currently playing with Youth Interlock that has improved its roster and should make a serious run at the 13U AAU National title.

We will be watching his progress and give you updates.

Basketball Spotlight and Hoop Group Presents: The Grammar School Showdown!

In our quest to find the best middle school team in the region Basketball Spotlight and Hoop Group have come together to bring you the first ever Grammar School Showdown. The tournament is pool play style and will run from February 26th to March 1st. Teams outside the area can have a weekend schedule. Register quickly because spots are limited and sure to fill up. The registration information is listed below.

Event: Grammar School Showdown

Date: Feb. 26th to Mar. 1st

Place: Hoop Group Headquarters

Price: $225 (3 Games)

Divisions: Boys and Girls

Click Here For Registration Info

For More Info Contact : Joe Stein at 732-897-3196 Ext. 34 or at or Contact Mike Melton at 609-532-5122 or at Basketball

Diary Of A Baller: Jason Boswell Entry #14

Wassup basketball world Jason Boswell back to tell you what I have been up to in this basketball world.

Well to end of the week I had workouts with my favorite coach Shandue McNeil at St. Johns University. It was fun and I got a lot out of it. Shan always pushes me to the max. I had no is8 16u games this weekend, but I did have a 16u game in the Tru ballers tournament. I play with NY Patriots in that. We played against a good Wings Academy J.V. team. I went off. I ended the game with 21pts. and 6rbs. Also my St. Raymond's teammate Jeaquan Brown had 17pts. We play very good together.

Also on Saturday I attended the SNY St. Raymond's HS vs. Mt. Vernon HS game. Thanks to coach Oliver Antigua. I also went because my right hand man Nkereuwem Okoro was playing and I had to show support. They didn’t pull it out but it was a good game.

Sunday morning I had practice again at St. Johns University. Another fun competitive practice. After practice me and my dad went to a diner and ate then I attended my man Durand Scott game at Gaucho gym. Rice played Bishop Loughlin. He played well and Rice won. Well I ended off my weekend with a haircut and got some studying in for my mid terms.

Well that’s about it so deuces until next week. (out)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Shaquille Davis

Name: Shaquille Davis

Position: Combo Guard

HT: 5’8

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

AAU Team: Juice All Stars

Strengths: Davis is one of the most explosive guards in the region. Once he decides on going to the cup he’s extremely hard to stop. He packs a solid frame and impressive leaping ability that allows him to finish over shot blockers and snatch boards at will. He has take over the game ability. Defensively he can be aggressive and roam in the passing lanes.

Areas of Improvement: Shaquille has a decent outside shot but can use some fine tuning in this area. This will open up the offense for his teammates and make his drive game more potent. On defense he needs to exert more forceful effort in terms of on ball coverage. His strength and quickness should be able to cause problems.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Howard Sellars

Name: Howard Sellars

Position: Combo Guard

HT: 5’11

Hometown: Coatesville, PA

AAU Team: Playaz Basketball Club

Strengths: Sellars was one of the best scorers at this event. His killer crossover helped him create space to drain several mid range or deep jumpers. Howard is strong finishing near the cup while also wanting the rock in his hands when crunch time approaches. Defensively he’s physical and strong enough to guard many positions.

Areas of Improvement: Sellars like most big time scorers will have to work on getting his teammates involved a little more. He dominates the rock when it’s in his hands, which leaves many of his comrades standing around watching. This will also help him make the transition to point guard if needed in high school.

Baby Ballerz Feat. Josh Postadan

Name: Josh Postadan

AAU Team: Mid Jersey Heat

Position: Point Guard

Class: 5th Grade

Breakdown: Mid Jersey Heat is one of the most improved organizations in the region. Josh Postadan runs the point for both the 11U and 12U squads. The pint size lefty is tough as nails and plays the point with good poise despite his age. He handles pressure with his quickness and basketball IQ while also scoring a few baskets using craftiness. Be on the look-out for Josh when Mid Jersey Heat is in town.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Atlantic City Showcase Tournament

The Basketball Spotlight Atlantic City Showcase Tournament has received early interest and seems to shaping up to a good event. This tournament will be held in Atlantic City March 21st and 22nd. Here’s a look at some of the committed teams. If you are interested in attending this event please request an application from Mike Melton at or by phone at 609-532-5122. There’s 12 spots for each age group. Deadline is March 1st or when event sells out.

14U Teams
1. Team Nelson
2. Delaware Hawks
3. Team Underrated
4. Peacemakers
5. Linden Ballers
6. Mid Jersey Heat
7. Garden State Knights
8. Team Artest
9. SJ Blitz

13U Teams
1. Team NJ ABC
2. Team Rebels
3. Team Nelson
4. Team MVP
5. Gauchos
6. Team Underrated
7. Team Crossover Elite
8. Mid Jersey Heat
9. Team Artest
10. Youth Interlock

12U Teams
1. Team Rebels
2. F.A.C.E.S.
3. Team Final
4. The City
5. Team MVP
6. Team Underrated
7. Team Crossover Elite
8. All Mighty Force Warriors
9. Linden Ballers
10. Mid Jersey Heat
11. Team Artest


11U Teams
1. Team Battle
2. F.A.C.E.S.
3. Team Underrated
4. Team Artest
5. Mid Jersey Heat
6. Team NJ ABC


10U Teams
1. Team NJ ABC
2. South Jersey Blitz
3. Team Underrated Black
4. Team Underrated White

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Chad Mordecai

Name: Chad Mordecai

Position: Point Guard

HT: 5’1

Hometown: New Brunswick, NJ

AAU Team: Middlesex Futurz

Strengths: Morchecai is a quick point guard the forces the tempo once the rock is in his hands. He knows how to change directions on the dime and deliver swift passes. He enjoys the transition game and putting on a show for the crowd. Defensively, Chad applies ball pressure for the entire 94 feet.

Areas of Improvement: On the high school level Chad must get stronger and run the point and defend his position. It will also be important for him to have a good outside shot to keep the defense honest. His pass first mentality should make any high coach happy.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Evan Hubbard

Name: Evan Hubbard

Position: Forward

HT: 6’0

Hometown: Neptune, NJ

AAU Team: KBR Fliers

Strengths: Hubbard has trimmed down a bit and this has improved his mobility and athleticism. I primary post player Evan can step out and hit the trey if left unguarded. He has good touch around the basket and uses his frame well to box out for boards. If he inherits his family genes expect a huge growth soon.

Areas of Improvement: Hubbard will need to improve his mobility and athleticism once he reaches high school. The pace of the game will be faster and he will have to adapt. Developing his ball handling and perimeter defense should also be in future plans. Intense rope jumping should be a good tool for Hubbard.

Meet Brittney Griner: Texas Phenom

Basketball Spotlight always tries to bring you entertaining things from the basketball world. I came across this segment of this 6’8 girl that’s a senior in high school and a true phenom. Her name is Brittney Griner. Brittney Griner age 17, was born in April of 1991. In 2006 Griner enrolled into Nimitz High School located in Houston, Texas as a six-foot tall freshman without having played any organized basketball. Griner started out on the jayvee squad, and then worked her way up to the varsity where she led the team with 13 points per game and earned first-team all-district honors.

Griner has grown an astonishing 8 inches and wears a man's size 18 shoe which is why her friends nicknamed her "Big Foot." She is considered one of the top female basketball players in the country and have drawn interest from many top college powerhouses including Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, LSU, Wake Forest, Baylor, Tennessee and many others. On November 12, 2008 she officially signed a letter of intent to attend Baylor University.

Griner has the potential to become perhaps the most dominate woman basketball player in the history of the game.

Brittney Dunking Highlights

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Annoucement!

It has come to my attention that Basketball Spotlight has be prematurely placed on numerous fliers and event announcements as being assigned to cover tournaments, showcases etc. We don’t want to mislead teams, organization or players and we don’t promote false advertisement. Please take note that if you do not see this event advertised on our website or on the Certified Circuit List “We Will Not Be There”. If you have any questions on whether we will be attending an event please contact me

Here’s the list of events we are scheduled to attend.

Rebounds Presidents Day Classic
• Date: February 14th and 15th
• Cost: AAU $350 Non AAU $275
• Ages: 9U Thru 14U and 3rd Grade to 8th Grade
• Contact: Joe Stein at 732-897-3196 or visit

Basketball Spotlight Atlantic City Showcase
• Date: March 21st and 22nd
• Cost: $350
• Place: Atlantic City, NJ
• Ages: 10U thru 14U
• Contact: Mike Melton at 609-532-5122 or

Beantown Mazzacre
• Date: March 28th and 29th
• Place: Milton, Mass.
• Cost: $400
• Ages: 11U thru 17U
• Contact: Coach Pumpkin at 857-891-4797 or at

Basketball Spotlight MDC
• Date: May 22nd thru 24th
• Place: Neptune, NJ
• Cost: $400
• Ages: 10U thru 16U
• Contact: Mike Melton at 609-532-5122 or

Playaz Club Blow Up
• Date: June 5th thru 7th
• Place: Paterson, NJ
• Cost: $375
• Ages: 12U thru 14U
• Contact: Jim Salmon at 973-207-4346 or visit

Game Over Classic
• Date: June 19th thru 21st
• Place: New York City
• Cost $425
• Ages: 10U thru 17U
• Contact: Dana Dingle at 646-773-4878 or visit


Basketball Spotlight Feature: Juwan Gooding Beantown's Boy Wonder

The Basketball Spotlight Grand Finale 08 had many top young prospects but one of the top players in attendance had to be Juwan Gooding. Gooding is a 5’9 6th Grader from Boston, Massachusetts and attends Pierce Middle School. He traveled down with the Boston Saintz coach by his father Santonio and played in the 14 and Under Division.

Gooding has a good resume at a young age. He had his breakout performance at the Five Star Jr. Elite where he played in a higher age group and finished with 32 points against one of the top 9th Grade guards from New York. He continued his good summer by traveling to Cocoa Beach for the 11 and Under AAU Nationals with MABC. At the Nationals he led the squad in scoring while facing some tough competition.

In terms of rating many people including his coach feels Gooding is among the best. “I think he has to be in the Top 5 nationally for his class” said his coach Santonio Gooding. “I believe he’s a top notch ball handler and point guard while others point out his scoring” he continued. Coach Gooding also knows his son is young and will need to improve. “Right now we are working on his outside shot (300 A Day) and him moving without the rock” said Coach Gooding.

This should be an interesting and productive year for Juwan Gooding. Basketball Spotlight will be watching and keep you guys posted on his progress.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Rondae Jefferson

Name: Rondae Jefferson

Position: Forward

HT: 6’3

Hometown: Chester, PA

AAU Team: Team Nelson

Strengths: Jefferson is a southpaw slasher that excels in finishing off plays and hitting the glass for boards. On defense he is the enforcer and lock down specialist always guarding the go to guy for the other squad. He’s a high energy player and a glue guy that every squad needs. I think in high school he might have a break out career.

Areas of Improvement: On the high school level Jefferson will need to improve his outside and ball handling. He likely will be forced to a full time perimeter spot and these intangibles will be necessary for his success. In terms on potential I think this kid has a lot.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Ethan Telfair

Name: Ethan Telfair

Position: Point Guard

HT: 5’7

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

AAU Team: Juice All Stars

Strengths: Telfair’s quickness, court vision and ball handling makes him one of the top point guards in this class. He gets teammates involved after penetrating the lane or in transition. He also enjoys breaking down defenders and pulling up for a jumper or floater. When the game is on the line he usually wants the rock in his hands.

Areas of Improvement: On the next level Ethan will have to get physically stronger and improve his outside shot. The strength aspect will help him handle pressure from bigger guards, absorb contact in the lane and become more effective on the defensive end. Improving his outside shot will make defenders respect his jumper more which will make his dribble drive game even more effective.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Reggie Cameron

Name: Reggie Cameron

Position: Forward

HT: 6’4

Hometown: Hackensack, NJ

AAU Team: Playaz Basketball Club

Strengths: Cameron can stroke from deep or the mid range area. He’s streaky at times but an overall effective marksman. His wing span also allows him to rebound the ball and pass over defenders. On the defensive end he can contest shots and reach into the passing lanes.

Areas of Improvement: As previously noted Cameron must improve on his speed, athleticism and ability to put the rock on the floor. Improvement in these areas will help him on both ends of the floor. Right now his game is effective but once he reaches high school the caliber of athlete will advance and these improved attributes will need to come into play.

Elite 80 Expo Profile: Joel Hernandez

Name: Joel Hernandez

Position: Shooting Guard

HT: 5’10

Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

AAU Team: Metro Hawks

Strengths: Hernandez is a scoring guard that loves to shoot the outside shot or create opportunities off the dribble. He knows how to find the gaps in the defense when getting things going. He’s capable of scoring in bunches. Joel will also stick his nose inside and battle for rebounds which is a tribute to his toughness. On defense he moves his feet well and forces turnovers with ball pressure.

Areas of Improvement: Hernandez is a shooting guard in a point guard frame so he will have to learn some more floor general techniques. These techniques should include decision making and ball handling. He also needs to add some arch to his outside shot, right now it’s effective but kind of a line drive.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hoop Group Presidents Weekend Showdown

Do not miss out on the perfect event to end your travel season or to begin your AAU season. The only mixed (travel + AAU) event around is coming up very quickly! The Presidents Weekend Showdown will take place at Hoop Group Headquarters in Neptune the weekend of February 13th-15th. The event will be open to travel teams, graded 3rd-8th, and AAU teams, U9-U14. Teams will be guaranteed 3 games with the possibility of more if they make it out of pool play. In 2006, 42 teams participated, and in 2007, the event was completly sold out with 52 teams! Championship Trophies will be awarded, MVP's and All Tournament Teams will be chosen and put on The Hoop Group's website. The event will be covered by members of The Hoop Group and Mike Melton of Basketball Spotlight. A recap of the event will be posted on both websites. The registration form for the event is linked below.

Registration Info

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Video Profile: Tywon Bressler

Name: Tywon Bressler

AAU Team: Wisconsin Playground I.C.E.

Position: Point Guard

Class: 2015

Breakdown: Bressler has become one of the top point guards in his region. He has some flair but also a lot of substance to his game. One of Tywon’s strengths right now is his outside shot; he has a calm and accurate release from behind the arc. He’s not the quickest guard but his dribbling skills and basketball IQ gets him where he needs to be on the floor. Take a look at his highlights below.

Tywon Bressler Highlights

Basketball Spotlight Fan Poll: Who Will Win The Clash For The Cup?

The Clash For The Cup is coming February 7th at Trenton Catholic and it should be a dandy. The teams have been selected and all of them are scheduled to appear. We at Basketball Spotlight always like to keep the fans involved therefore we would like you to pick the team you think will win the Cup for each age group. The fan poll will appear on the right side of the page where you can cast your vote. The fan vote poll will be tallied a week before the event. Have fun!

11 and Under Bracket
1. Team Battle
2. Gauchos
3. F.A.C.E.S.
4. Team Ron Artest

12 and Under Bracket
1. Harvest Knights
2. F.A.C.E.S.
3. The City
4. Team MVP

This is your chance to speak out. Cast your vote! Stay tuned for previews and in-depth analysis for this event.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Show Me Invitational Returns

The 2nd Annual Show Invitational Tourney returns this year with 2 Dates. One Date (Feb. 27 to Mar. 1st) is for 11U and the other date (Mar. 13th to 15th) is for 12U. The tournament was very successful last year and brought together some of the top teams in the region. The event is hosted by F.A.C.E.S. which is known to run very organized and on time events. For me information click the link below or contact Rob Cole at or 908-403-0218

Show Me Invitational Information

Basketball Spotlight Elite 80 Expo Highlight Remix By HSSMTV

The Elite 80 Expo was a good event for us to analyze player skills. You also got a chance to watch a few highlights of the game on our Youtube page. Now before we say goodbye to the event (More Profiles Still To Come) we decided to reach to our friends at HSSMTV to give a final highlight remix. So he took some of the best highlights from the event and added a little music to it.

Elite 80 Expo Remix

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MLK Classic Recap 13U: Team Scan Prevails In Double Overtime!

Team Scan Crowned Champs

Naim Thomas scored a game high 24 points as Team Scan defeated New Haven Blazers 54-52 in double overtime to win the MLK Classic 13 and Under title. Je’Vaughn Moore led the Connecticut squad with 14 points in the loss.

Top Performers

Naim Thomas Guard (Team Scan)- There are a lot of top guards in NY for this age bracket and you have to include Thomas in this group. I like to see players on the stage and perform when things get real. It got real for his squad down the stretch and he put them on his back by making plays and controlling the tempo. Thomas is a physical guard that seems to love contact and finishing with bodies draped on him. He has a relentless approach.

Kyle Menard Forward (Team Scan)- During the I got a chance to really analyze Menard’s game. He showed me numerous guard skills including range from the perimeter. He was efficient from behind the arc especially in the corner. In the finals Menard supplied a good all around effort and nailed the key free throws in the second overtime to give his squad the win.

Jalen Henriquez Guard (Team Scan)- Henriquez plays good alongside Thomas. He’s able to spot up and nail his jumper like he did in the overtime period. He also was able to dribble pass defenders because many of them over play his outside shot. Keep an eye on this kid.

Fransico Zeno Guard (Team Scan)- Zeno was very valuable for Team Scan in the MLK. He’s a strong compact guard the hits the glass and keeps the rock alive with hustle plays. The unique thing about his game is his ability to score inside despite his guard size. He leaping ability has to be related to strong legs and hours of gym work.

Kevin Seymour Forward (Team Scan)- If Seymour continues to develop he should have a bright future on the hardwood. It’s always good to see a long wing player that has the ability to handle and shoot the rock from the perimeter. In terms of developing he must get stronger and keep improving in every aspect of his game.

Je’Vaughn Moore Forward (New Haven Blazers)- The lefty is a pure athlete that excels at running the floor and finishing in transition. He has good quickness and an average handle. He’s leaping ability allows him to elevate over shot blockers and band the backboards for rebounds. He’s a high energy player.

Justin McClendan Guard (New Haven Blazers)- Justin ran the show for the Connecticut squad and had a pass first mentality. He favorite play if the drive, draw and dish to teammates. He has good penetration quickness and court vision. I can’t talk much about his outside because he didn’t see him attempt any the entire weekend. He was a good floor general.

Rashaan Boyd Guard (New Haven Blazers)- Boyd held down the paint all weekend. The big fella isn’t a super athlete but he is light on his feet while possessing decent post moves. He made a living hitting the offensive glass and getting put backs or finishing off passes. Many times when NHB needed a bucket they dumped it down low to Boyd.

Harold Cooper Guard (New Haven Blazers)- Every team needs a good role player that does a little bit of everything and Cooper is that guy for NHB. He plays aggressive defense, pushes the rock, runs the floor and will snag an occasional rebound. He’s also very strong and athletic for his point guard height.

Kaison Randolph Forward (Team MVP)- Each time I watch Randolph he impresses me even more. During the semifinals against NHB Randolph used his versatility to make things difficult for a while. His confidence in his ball handling seems to get better each time he takes the floor and I enjoy watching him finish with either hand. He really seems to get better each time he steps on the floor.

Shaquan Worthy Guard (Team MVP)- Worthy was a joy to watch this weekend. He summed up his weekend with some impressive play against NHB. He made it difficult for their guards to stay in front by using his speed and sharp ball handling. He got into a trouble a couple times by dribbling into double teams but he also bailed his team out down the stretch with some tough finishes.

MLK Classic Recap 14U: KBR Fliers Victorious

KBR Fliers Take Home Title

Keith Kirkwood scored 17 points and Fuquan McDonald added 10 markers as KBR Fliers rolled past Lakewood Middle School 65-28 to win the MLK Classic 14 and Under title. Tyrice Beverette led Lakewood with 10 points in the loss.

Top Performers

Keith Kirkwood Guard (KBR Fliers)- Kirkwood is one the best outside shooters in the region and he showed why in the finals. Keith nailed 4 treys including a few well behind the 3 point line. I like his size on the wing and the fluidness in his stroke. Kirkwood also has improved his ability to put the rock on the floor.

Fuquan McDonald Forward (KBR Fliers)- Fuquan is very athletic and used this to dominate the glass on both ends of the floor. He runs the floor very well and even showed some above the rim prowess with a dunk in the closing moments. He’s playing on the high school right now and seems like he’s ready.

Davon Reed Guard (KBR Fliers)- This was first look at Reed and I like some of his attributes. He’s a big guard that pushes the rock and sees the floor well. Despite his size he was still able to get past smaller defenders and make plays. This is a name to watch out for in the future.

Rasoul Holland Guard (KBR Fliers)- Holland’s also a frosh in high school but is within the 14U age group. The physical guard made things happen on the scoring end and setting up teammates. He’s an experienced player and is very battle tested.

Tyrice Beverette Guard (Lakewood)- The smooth guard was the lead catalyst in his teams title game run. He weaves in and out of defenses while scoring or dropping off dimes. I also like the fact that he always seems to play and carry local squads instead of joining more popular clubs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Classic Recap 12U: The City Gets It Done!

The City Wins 12U Crown

Boz Bernstein scored 12 points and Wolfgang Novogratz added 8 markers as The City defeated FA.C.E.S. 44-40 to win the MLK Classic 12 and Under Championship. Mike Joloasa finished with 14 points for the Newark Team in the loss.

Top Performers

Boz Bernstein Guard (The City)- The lefty caught fire from the perimeter at the right time. This was a grind out game and Bernstein nailing 3 treys gave his group breathing room in the battle. Boz has enough dribbling ability to create space and get off high arching shots. His accuracy proved to be precise and as the game wore on he got better.

Wolfgang Novogratz Guard (The City)- Wolfgang is tough as nails and he proved that in this contest. His willingness to penetrate the lane and make plays helped his team get over the top. Wolfie is scrappy and goes hard on both ends of the floor. He can handle and shoot while even playing through a leg injury. He reminds of Craig Ehlo that played for the Cavaliers.

Josh Wallace Forward (The City)- Once again Wallace did the dirty work inside to keep his team flowing. His wide body allows him to get rebounds and draw fouls. Wallace then uses his guard instincts including touch helps him score from anywhere on the floor.

Mike Williams Guard (The City)- Williams seemed to be a little injured but his game at the guard spot caught my attention. He has good penetration skills and was able to make things happen in traffic. I look forward to watching him rock again soon maybe at the Clash For The Cup.

Mike Joloaso Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Mike is from Philly and his toughness showed big time in this one. Down the stretch F.A.C.E.S. needed plays to be made a Joloaso stepped up. He drained a couple of treys and made some tough finishes at the basket. When money time came he wanted the rock and did everything he could to help them pull through.

Omari Dell-Pettiford Forward (F.A.C.E.S.)-Omari gave his team a boast of the pine. He came into the game and made some plays on both ends of the court. He has a nose for the ball and got involved early. Dell-Pettiford made a couple of buckets but more importantly knew his role and played it good.

Brian Brown Forward (F.A.C.E.S.)- I have to give him the nickname “Little Warrior” because he goes hard and makes things happen around the basket. In terms of rebounding he’s a little undersized but just out works his opponents. Right now he reminds me of Davontay Grace that played for Team Next a few years back. Grace has now made the transition to a good guard hopefully that’s also in Brown’s future.

Austin Goodluck Forward (F.A.C.E.S.)- Goodluck’s play in the semifinals helped his team reach the chip. He was very active around the basket in terms of scoring rebounding and even threw a Kevin Love type outlet pass perfectly to a racing teammate.

Trey Lowe Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Lowe carried much of the scoring load for F.A.C.E.S. during the tourney. In the semifinal game against his former squad Team MVP Lowe started a little anxious which is expected but after getting a talk from his coach he did his usual damage. He loves running the floor for easy buckets and knocking down deep 3’s.

Tymere Berry Guard (Mid Jersey Heat)- The Heat played F.A.C.E.S. tough in the quarterfinals and Berry was the catalyst. He’s difficult to guard because his array of moves and shooting ability. Just when you thought F.A.C.E.S. was pulling Berry would make a play to draw them closer.

James Wright Guard (Team MVP)- Team MVP made it to the final four and Wright was one of the main reasons. The scoring guard is very fluid going to the basket, throwing his body into shot blockers and finishing. On the baseline he’s tough to stop because he has the reverse lay up move in his arsenal.