Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hoop Group Jr. Elite Jam Fest 8th Grade Recap: Team Scan Continues Hot Start

Team Scan Wins Crown 

The Hoop Group Jr. Elite Jam Fest took place this weekend and Basketball Spotlight stopped by to take in the action. Here’s a list of the top performers we saw down in Neptune, NJ. 

Hoop Group Jr. Elite Jam Fest Top Performers 

Nazi Reid Forward (Team Scan)- The top prospect in the region lived up to his billing. He has added to some flavor to his offensive game, now he handles the ball on the perimeter with more confidence and makes cleaner plays in the open floor. Most buckets that were layups last season are now automatic dunks. On defense he’s a tower inside while he continues to block and alter shots. He also snags double-digits in rebounds each time he touches the floor. 

Aaron Clarke Guard (Team Scan)- First off, I must commend this youngster on the conditioning work he has done on his frame. He’s trimmed up and it definitely has affected his game. He’s quicker on both ends of the floor and now even shows some point guard instincts occasionally. His bread and butter is still his jump shot which had its moments from the mid-range and 3 point range. I can’t wait to see him at the Tip Off Classic. 

Atiba Taylor Guard (Team Scan)- The #1 point in the country is actually getting close to 6’3. He also plays the game a little quicker than last year. I like how he fed his big guns in transition and after penetrating the defense. He’s also dangerous because he can score in the lane himself if the offense breaks down. Taylor does seem to double clutch a lot when finishing but that should change as he gets stronger. 

Walter Tally Forward (Team Scan)- Tally is relishing in his role as a big time weak side rebounder. Reid commands so much attention that Tally finds himself taking advantage of several match up mismatches. He’s definitely a hard worker that isn’t afraid to get grimy inside. . 

Paul Durkee Guard (Mass Shooting Stars)- Durkee didn’t back down against the powerful Team Scan. He drained the outside shot while also pump faking and settling for the midrange jumper. I like his aggressiveness and toughness. 

Devandre Edmonds (Mass Shooting Stars)- It was the tale of two halves for Edmonds. The first stanza he attacked the TS frontline showing off his good footwork and soft touch. In the second half he was a little too unselfish which allowed Reid and Tally to sag back in the zone. He needs to stay aggressive if they want to knock off some of the big guns.

Fresh Faces 

Tyler Washington Guard (Team Scan)- Washington is a solid guard that helps his squad in many different ways. He either fills in for the point guard duties or can also score from the wing. He should only get better and gain confidence as the season goes on. Something tells me the ceiling is very high for this kid. 

Dallas Hoffman Forward (SHA Elite)- Hoffman has good hands and a soft touch near the basket. He loves kissing his shot off the glass after using a spinning post move. He's very efficient while on the floor.

Paul Mucahy Guard (SHA Elite)- Paul stepped up big in their comeback win over NYC Elite. He got his hands on a couple of steals and knocked down some big shots as they overcame the huge deficit. 

Alex Schachne Guard (SHA Elite)- Schachne also played big to help the North Jersey team reach the finals. He’s not pretty but he’s an effective floor general. He forces the action at times but today it paid off. 

Youngsters Shine (7th Graders) 

Jake Betlow Guard (SHA Elite)- Betlow had the gym on fire yesterday with his shooting ability. He sent the Boston Spartans packing after dropping 30 points and nailing 8 treys. Today he didn’t shoot it as well but he did knock down big treys in their comeback win. 

Dejournal Cook Forward (Playaz)- Cook didn’t back down against TS massive front line. Instead he challenged the 8th Graders and let his presence be known. He showed some athletic ability but hasn’t scratched the surface of his basketball potential. If this kid develops properly you guys better watch out.