Monday, September 16, 2013
Recap: Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Showcase
By Adam Finkelstein
HANOVER, Mass. -- The Elite 75 Showcase: Frosh/Soph edition has assembled the best young talent New England has to offer for the past six years. With that tradition in mind, we examine some of the top performances from this year’s event by measuring their upside to stars from previous years:
F Jerome Desrosiers (St. Hyacinthe, Canada/Northfield Mount Hermon)
6-foot-6, 205 pounds
Comparison -- Nate Lubick, Georgetown Lubick was powerful, smart, skilled inside and out, and known for his “nasty” toughness. Desrosiers might be more perimeter-oriented, but he’s otherwise cut from a similar cloth in almost all areas, which is a big part of the reason why he was so impactful on Sunday.
F Tomas Murphy (Wakefield, R.I./Prout)
6-foot-8, 180 pounds
Comparison -- Erik Murphy, Florida/Chicago Bulls & Alex Murphy, Duke The youngest of the Murphy brothers could be the best of the three, drawing from both of his older brothers to form an incredible combination of inside-out tools and budding confidence at such a young age.
F Kimani Lawrence (Providence, R.I./Cushing Academy)
6-foot-6, 180 pounds
Comparison -- Ricky Ledo, Providence/Dallas Mavericks Ledo was athletic and skilled before a late growth spurt gave him such great size on the perimeter. Lawrence’s game might not be quite as far along at this stage, but he’s already got the size along with a lot of the same natural tools and instincts which made Ledo so unique.
F Hassahn French (Middletown, N.Y./Commonwealth Academy)
6-foot-6, 200 pounds
Comparison -- Rakim Sanders, Boston College/Fairfield An ESPN 100 product in 2007, Sanders was a bull in a china shop built like an NFL defensive end. French is equally aggressive and physically dominant and consequently arrived with his reputation already well intact from his early success with Team Scan.
PF Sunday Okeke (Darien, Conn./Greens Farms Academy)
6-foot-7, 205 pounds
Comparison -- Noah Vonleh, Indiana It might not be a fair comparison just yet, but Okeke does strike a certain resemblance to Vonleh as a 14-year-old freshman. He has a similarly long and cut-up build which could explode down the road, covers the court in a similar style, and even has the same subtle signs of handle that Vonleh had at a young age.
F Jermaine Samuels (Franklin, Mass./Rivers)
6-foot-6, 180 pounds
Comparison -- Wayne Selden, Kansas Selden has been the alpha male since he first arrived on the high school leve,l and Samuels appears to have a similar mindset. Like Selden, his size, strength, and motor are among his biggest assets now, while he’ll need to follow a similar path of gradually expanding his game away from the basket.
PG Jordan Vidal (Bronx, N.Y./Commonwealth Academy)
5-foot-10, 175 pounds
Comparison -- Shabazz Napier, Connecticut Napier was far from a celebrated young prospect but had a way of showing up and producing regardless. Vidal is cut from the same cloth and ended up making a name for himself as a result with some wiry strength to his frame, good poise and presence at the point, and well-rounded skill set.
F/C Terrell Brown (N. Providence, R.I./St. Andrew’s)
6-foot-8, 190 pounds
Comparison -- Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona & Carson Desrosiers, Wake Forest/Providence Like Desrosiers, Brown has an innate instinct for blocking shots and the offensive skills to step away from the basket, but physically he’s much more similar to Tarczewski as a late blooming big man.
F Sedee Keita (Middletown, Del./Vermont Academy)
6-foot-9, 200 pounds
Comparison -- Chris McCullough, Syracuse* The length, athleticism, physical upside, interior tools and subtle signs of perimeter skill are eerily similar. Keita might not be quite the same natural athlete that McCullough was at this stage, but he’s further along in terms of his footwork, understanding of the game, and willingness to play inside-out.
G Bruce Brown (Boston/Vermont Academy)
6-foot-2, 165 pounds
Comparison -- Jared Terrell, Oklahoma State* Terrell established himself with athleticism, power and a strong motor first, gradually adding skill through hard work. Brown is following a similar pattern by building up his body, imposing himself at both ends, and now adding a consistent shooting stroke off the catch and dribble.
F K.J. Santos (Geneva, Ill./Vermont Academy)
6-foot-7, 185 pounds
Comparison -- Jake Layman, Maryland With good size for the wing, long arms, easy athleticism and a very dependable shooting stroke he reminds you a lot of a young Layman. He might be further along though in terms of his complementing tools with more agility, handle and playmaking ability.
G Unique McLean (Brooklyn, N.Y./Hoosac)
6-foot-1, 170 pounds
Comparison -- Jason Morris, Georgia Tech Not since Morris has a young New England prep product played above the rim with such incredible explosiveness. While McLean is several inches shorter and more of a guard than a wing, his athleticism is equally rare and simply incredible to watch.
PG Makai Ashton-Langford (Worcester, Mass./St. Peter Marian)
6-foot, 165 pounds
Comparison -- Kris Dunn, Providence Ashton-Langford is already a good player, able to manufacture offense for himself and others, but he’s also got the type of frame that looks poised to continue sprouting up. In that way, he’s very reminiscent of Dunn, who ended up being a big playmaking lead guard.
G Ian Sistare (Dublin, N.H./Northfield Mount Hermon)
6-foot-3, 185 pounds
Comparison – Billy Baron, Virginia/Canisius There are some areas where they are notably different, but the similarities lie in the fact that, at this stage, both were/are combo-guards who might not be quite as explosive as other top prospects but compensate with unmatched toughness and drive, some inner moxie, and a high basketball I.Q.
PG Ikenna Ndugba (Boston/Brooks)
6-foot, 165 pounds
Comparison – Kevin Zabo, San Diego State* Ndugba is more of a pure point guard than Zabo was at this stage, but his body type and style have some distinct similarities. He’s well built with a strong core, is a model of efficiency because he takes what the defense gives him and makes high percentage plays, and is equally capable of drilling his own jumper.