National Prep Showcase: Day One

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Adam Finkelstein's National Prep Showcase event tipped off at Albertus Magnus College early Friday morning. The event allowed us to get our first look at Matz Stockman, plus watch Jabari McGhee, an intriguing freshman and a host of other top performers.

New Louisville signee has upside

Rick Pitino surprised many when he received a Letter of Intent from unknown big man Matz Stockman, of Canarias Basketball Academy.

Shortly after signing with the Cardinals, Stockman traveled to the United States to play three games. On Friday at the National Prep Showcase, Stockman scored 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting and reeled in four rebounds against Massanutten Military Academy.

"He can score," CBA coach Rob Orlenna told "He's got an uncanny ability, once he gains strength. He plays against size everyday. When he's in his comfort zone, I see him competing against size, and he's a hard guy to guard."

"When he gets his butt down, and starts turning and spinning, and he's got a soft touch," he added. "He's got that ability to score, and once he understands he can be a really, really good player, the sky is the limit."

Stockman, a southpaw, was comfortable on Friday scoring with his left hand. He hit a pair of left jump hooks going towards the middle, finished off a few plays around the rim with his left and threw down a dunk off an oop pass.

At 7-foot-2, Stockman moved up and down the floor pretty well. Although he has narrow shoulders, he does have lengthy arms. His hands are good and he has good touch around the basket as well.

While I don't think he will be ready for big minutes as a freshman in college, Stockman does have some upside and a plenty of tools for the Louisville coaching staff to work with.

McGhee playing to his strengths

Active and aggressive power forward Jabari McGhee made a difference for Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy against St. Thomas More.

McGhee, who stands 6-foot-6, went for 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 19-point win. McGhee is known for his energy and work ethic in the paint and he showed that on Friday.

"Rebound and finish around the rim," he said when asked to describe his game. "That's what I do. That's what I try to do. And play good defense."

"I have to," he said about being aggressive. "You can't go away from what you do, so that's what I do."

McGhee said Murray State and Louisiana-Lafayette are recruiting him the hardest. To go with those two, McGhee also has scholarship offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Mississippi and Southern Mississippi.

McGhee hasn't taken any visits to date, but plans to after the season.

Freshman to keep an eye on

South Kent (Conn.) School freshman Tremont Waters had a big game against Elev-8 Friday afternoon.

Although just 5-foot-10, Waters had control of the game at times. Handling the ball for South Kent, Waters looked comfortable going off the bounce for both mid-range pull-ups and long distance shots.

Waters also got after it on the defensive end, pushed the tempo and played well in transition.

"He's mature," South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson said about the 2017 guard. "The obvious things are he can handle, he can shoot and he's quick. He has a high IQ. What he's also doing is he's defending."

While it is certainly early, Waters has the potential to be a high major guard. Jefferson said he hasn't had any schools in to see Waters.

"I've got some calls," he said.

Waters scored 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting in the win over Elev-8 High School. He was 5-for-10 from behind the three-point stripe.

Top Performers

  • In the second game of the day Eric Paschall was the guy that impressed me the most. A 6-foot-5 athletic guard, Paschall aggressively attacked the basket, finished plays around the rim and worked in a pair of three-pointers. Paschall, a Fordham signee, is a steal for that level and could potential have a major impact for the Rams. Against Hargrave, Paschall went for 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field.

  • California native Keondre Dew was active and aggressive for the Elev-8 High School squad. At 6-foot-7, Dew was productive on both ends of the floor. Dew rebounded the ball particulary well, grabbing 14 total rebounds, including seven on the offensive end. Majority of his points came off put back opportunities, but he also scored off drop off passes and finished plays in transition.

  • Western Kentucky commit Derrick Clayton proved to be a talented scorer on Friday. In the first half Clayton, a California native playing at Delray Beach (Fla.) Elev-8, made strong drives to the rim and finished well transition. In the second half, Clayton mixed in aggressive drives, but managed to heat up from long-range, knocking down four three-pointers. Clayton finished with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.

  • Canarias Basketball Academy big man Michael Cekovsky scored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting and reeled in 10 defensive rebounds. At 6-foot-11, possibly 7-feet, Cekovsky is versatile and mobile. At his size he was able to face the rim and hit a pair of mid-range jump shots. He also showed good touch around the basket and showed confidence in his right jump hook. With the lack of available big men in the United States, look for Cekovsky to be heavily recruited by high major programs.

  • Hawaii commit Isaac Fleming scored 19 points and tossed out four assists in Masanutten Military Academy's win over Canarias Basketball Academy. Although he came off the bench, Fleming, a 6-foot-3 combination guard, impacted the game in a major way. The southpaw hit three of his six three-point attempts and found ways to get into the paint. In all he finished 7-for-10 from the field.

  • Stretch forward Aaron Falzon broke out late Friday night. Falzon connected on nine three-pointers and scored 37 points in Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon's win. Falzon appears to be in better shape than in the summer, as he's slimmed up and added some strength. Falzon has deep range on his shot and is a pick and pop four man that makes shots at a high level.

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