Hoop Group Philly Jam Fest: Day Three

PHILADELPHIA - It was a big day for the Illinois Wolves and DC Assault as they came home with the 17 and 16 and under championships respectively. Kendall Stephens was part of a trio that led the Wolves.

Kendall Stephens, SG, Illinois Wolves – He was a great contributor all weekend for the team that brought home the championship. Stephens as usual was making shots, and he mixed in some drives to the bucket as well, and also a constant motor that was always running. It has been a very good spring for Stephens, and this was just another step in the right direction.

Nate Taphorn, SF, Illinois Wolves – Having to battle against bigger and stronger players all weekend long, Taphorn held his own on the glass and showed more toughness down low than previously seen. Add in that he seemed to only miss a handful of shots all tournament long, and it was a very successful run for Taphorn.

A.J. Riley, PG, Illinois Wolves – You don't get much tougher than Riley. He is a do it all point guard who gets into the lane all the time and also knows how to finish around the rim. Riley was named MVP of the event, and was the only player to finish in double scoring all three Sunday games for the Wolves. Overall it was a very impressive run for him, and his stock is definitely on the rise.

Jermaine Lawrence, PF/SF, New Rens – Once again Lawrence was near the top of his game. He had several threes, rebounded well on the offensive end, and also handled the ball leading the break. Now he wasn't quite as dominant on Sunday as he was on Saturday, but still Lawrence did a lot of good things and proved what all the hype is about.

Shamiek Sheppard, SF, New Rens – One of the elite athletes in the country, Sheppard can definitely get up. Add in that he has a very high motor and is talkative and active on defense and he gets a lot done despite not being the most skilled player. Improving his jumper will be key, but Sheppard still is very effective in his role.

Jerome Frink, PF, NJABC – A tough interior player, Frink battled all game long and had some nice moments. He is excellent on the glass despite being slightly undersized. Also he is somewhat skilled facing the rim out to 10 feet. Frink is now firmly in the 2013 class and is someone who will get mid-to-high attention as the spring turns into the summer.

Julian Moore, PF/C, NJABC – An under the radar big man, Moore had a very solid showing for NJABC. He scored over his left shoulder with a hook, and then also showed surprising athleticism rebounding out of his area and with tip dunks. He doesn't run the floor great, and isn't a big factor blocking shots, but still he had some positive moments and proved to be someone who will get more and more attention.

Marlon Beck, PG, Ivey XXIII Terps – Ivey XXIII made a surprise run to the championship and Beck was a big reason why. He is a smart point guard with good strength and the ability to get into the lane. Beck is a good athlete who is a solid shooter. While nothing he does jumps off the page, he is very effective and knows how to run his team.

Shaquile Carr, PG, Las Vegas Prospects – This is a kid who really showed up all weekend and led his team to the championship game. The consummate floor general, Carr leads his team well and then also can make shots when he is open. There is a lot to really like about Carr's game, and is someone who will help whatever college lands him win a lot of basketball games.

Romelo Trimble, SG/PG, DC Assault – One of the best pure scorers in the class, Trimble had it working as usual on Sunday. His mid-range game is one of the best in the class, and despite not being super fast, he has the ability to get open and get clean looks at the rim. Add in that he is getting better as a floor leader, and Trimble is someone who will be very heavily recruited going forward.

Andre Walker, C, DC Assault – He has reclassified into the class of 2014, and Walker could be someone who explodes onto the scene very shortly. He has good size, good hands, runs the floor well, and will rebound. Add in a nice touch in the mid-range, and once he gets confidence and strength, his game will go to a whole new level.

Justin Burks, SF, Las Vegas Prospects – A very athletic and long wing, Burks finds a way to be productive. He needs to get stronger, but already Burks is a very productive player. His versatility is impressive and the upside is there for sure. When he was in the game good things tended to happen for the Prospects.

Darryl Gaynor, SG, Las Vegas Prospects – A very good scorer, Gaynor had it working from deep. He can hit both off the dribble and off the catch, and did it in a big way. When Gaynor is cooking he can be tough to stop because he has very good quickness and is always playing hard.

Ben Bentil, PF, NJABC – An athletic player down low, Bentil has the strength and size to be dominant at the 16-and under level. Also in a bit of a surprise, Bentil showed he can be a skilled passer from the high-post. Still at this point he is mostly a down low scorer who gets it done on the glass, but the game might be expanding some as well.

Andre Walker mentioned DePaul, Massachusetts, Maryland, NC State, and Miami.

Shamiek Sheppard has Drexel, Iona, and Kent State after him.

Nate Taphorn has new offers from Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northwestern, and Miami-Ohio. Also new interest is coming in from Wisconsin and Iowa.

Phil Martelli of St. Joseph's along with his son Jimmy Martelli of Rutgers were hawking Ben Bentil.

Notre Dame had an assistant keeping a close eye on Romelo Trimble.


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