- Adam Finkelstein
The annual National Prep Showcase attracts the nation’s top post-graduate programs and is set to tip off this weekend at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut at Albertus Magnus College. For the last dozen years, the NPS has been known as the first major event to follow the early signing period. This year the calendar literally puts it in the middle of the period, creating even more potentially intriguing storylines than usual.
Here are some themes to be on the lookout for this weekend.
Potential for late signatures
Typically this event, which annually attracts upwards of 100 college coaches, serves as a springboard for coaches to get an early jump on the late signing period. Because of this year’s unique calendar, there will actually be four days left to the early signing period once the NPS wraps up on Sunday. Consequently there is at least a possibility, however unlikely, that a coach can finds someone they like and make a push for a signature before the period comes to an end.
With over 50 national media credentials already distributed for this weekend’s event, this will be one of the last chances for McDonald’s All-American hopefuls to sway voters before the final ballots are cast. New Hampton’s Noah Vonleh, Tilton’s Wayne Selden, Fishburne Military’s Kuran Iverson and Hargrave Military’s Anton Gill will all be looking to turn in big performances.
More than any of the three other aforementioned hopeful All-Americans, Iverson’s McDonald’s bubble may be the biggest given the up and down trends in his career. But he’ll have the luxury of the hometown crowd behind him as this weekend’s event will mark his first game played in his home state since he transferred from Northwest Catholic following his junior year.
Best available guards
New Hampton’s Travis Jorgenson and South Kent’s Shane Rector are quickly becoming popular names among schools still looking for a lead guard. Both will have the opportunity to push their recruitment to new levels this weekend. Other unsigned 2013 guards who could help themselves include: Fishburne’s Zach Lewis, who will also be returning to his home state; Massanutten’s Ahmad Fields; Notre Dame Prep’s Jaylen Brantley and Jarvis Garrett; St. John’s NW Military’s Jevon Thomas and Jerron Wilbut; St. Thomas More’s Marquis Moore; and Vermont Academy’s Richard Williams.
Eye on the bigs
This year size is at a premium more than ever, so guys like Notre Dame Prep’s Matt Atewe and Hargrave’s Neville Fincher have an opportunity to help their cause this weekend. Other still available frontcourt players who will be under the microscope include: Massanutten’s Rashard Kelly; Notre Dame Prep’s Jamel Artis; Northfield Mount Hermon’s Josh Hearlihy; South Kent’s Reggie Agbeko; St. Thomas More’s Dylan Haines; and Blair’s David George.
The best still available talent will be in the classes of 2014 and 2015 as the preps are no longer known simply for the one-and-done prospects anymore. A loaded junior class includes: Chris McCullough, Jared Terrell, and Kevin Zabo from Brewster Academy; Goodluck Okonoboh, Kareem Kanter, and Curtis Cobb from Wilbraham & Monson; Zach Brown and Dusan Perovic from South Kent; Marial Shayok from Blair; Satchell Pierce from Kiski; and Tory Miller from New Hampton. Top underclassmen include Djery Baptiste, Luis Montero, and Marcel Petteway from Wilbraham & Monson; Terance Mann and Jonathan Joseph from Tilton; Josh Sharma & Ian Sistare from Northfield Mount Hermon; Jeremy Miller from New Hampton; and Justin Pierce from Kiski.