Calvin Newell, PG, Evelyn Mack Academy – Right away we were impressed with Newell's solid frame and ability to get to the rim. Playing point for his squad, Newell looked to penetrate and kick or score at the rim. He pushed the break when he was given the opportunity and although he was just 1-for-4 from three, he appeared to have a good-looking stroke. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting.
Isiah Stokley, SF, Evelyn Mack Academy – William Sparrow's first scoring option was this 6-foot-3 strongly built wing. Stokley is a tough, hard-nosed player that aggressively attacks the rim. If he wasn't scoring in transition he hunted 21-foot jump shots. Going forward his ball handling and his mid-range game are two areas he can improve on. For the game he was 10-for-21 from the field scoring a game high 29 points.
Delino Dear, C, Progressive Christian Academy – This post grad prospect out of Chicago (Ill.) was active blocking shots on the defensive end, runs the floor well and hit the glass. Strength is still holding him back offensively, but he has a nice set of hands and shot a right jump hook on the block. High mid-level programs should take a look, as this 6-foot-9 slender big man is one to watch.
Tre Bowman, SG, St. Thomas More – It's clear to us that Bowman's post grad year has been a success. He's improved since our last glance in July, as he was confident on both ends of the floor and showed a consistent ability to knock down jumpers. He took pride in his defense, is a solid athlete and finished at the rim. He could still get stronger, but that will come. Bowman went for 15 points, including three three-pointers.
Antonio Barton, SG, Notre Dame Prep – With his brother, Will, who plays for Brewster Academy, watching from the stands, Antonio went to work on Canarias, a team from the Canary Islands. Barton, a combo guard headed to Memphis, took quality shots and showed toughness on both ends of the floor. Barton went for 16 points and was 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Will Barton, SG/SF, Brewster Academy – The other Barton brother wasn't too bad himself. In a lopsided affair against Hotchkiss, the 6-foot-6 Memphis commit took his time, picked his spots and as the game wore on made plays. Barton was active around the rim, hit mid and long range jumpers and worked the baseline for put backs and shot opportunities.
C.J. Fair, PF/SF, Brewster Academy – Easily the best performance we've seen from the Syracuse commit since the first time we watched him. The 6-foot-7 combo forward appears to be moving much better and is getting off the floor quicker and higher than he did this past summer. He looked to score from mid-range, maneuvered around the bucket for baskets and tried to dunk on opponents when he was given the opportunity.
Austin Carroll, SG, Brewster Academy – Known as a shooter, Carroll, a 6-foot-4 guard, filled that role in Brewster's matched up with Hotchkiss. Although we didn't get a final tally on his threes, Carroll seemed to hit three-pointers from the corners, wings and at the top of the key. He's a consistent shooter from deep and his range extends two feet past the stripe.
Shaquille Thomas, SF, NIA Prep – It's been a while since we've seen a half this impressive. The 6-foot-6, possibly 6-foot-7, wing looked to score every time he touched the ball, and he basically did. Thomas showed an impressive scoring package, as he scored it off the catch, off the dribble and at the rim. Perhaps his best move was a step back 18-footer over an outstretched defender.
Naadir Tharpe, PG, Brewster – In this one it was clear what Tharpe's role was going to be. With weapons on both wings and inside, Tharpe looked to create opportunities for his teammates and passed out 14 assists. If give a lane or an open shot, Tharpe took it, but his focus was on being a facilitator on Thursday and he did a great job on doing it.
Andre Drummond, C, St. Thomas More – It's easy to get excited when watching this 6-foot-11 big man. Just a sophomore, Drummond has a massive wingspan, solid athleticism and the ability to change a game by blocking shots. His hands are more than dependable and he's got a hook over his left shoulder already in his arsenal. Drummond had a handful of monster dunks and seemingly had his forehead above the rim on a break-a-way finish. There aren't many high school prospects with better ceilings than this one. He went for 14 points on an efficient 7-for-9 from the field and grabbed 10 boards.
Anthony Bennett, PF, Mountain State Academy – We've written about "Air Canada" a number of times, but this may be the best effort we've seen him string together. His first half was impressive, as he buried a number of three-point jumpers, finished with authority at the rim and rebounded his area. A 6-foot-7 forward with a strong frame and long arms, Bennett is a prospect that may be in between positions. With that said, he's a heck of a talent that is already showing signs of improvement. Bennett was 7-for-13 from the field on his way to 22 points and eight rebounds.
With not many schools playing on a Thursday there was a host of college programs in attendance for the first day of the National Prep School Invitational. Stan Heath, of South Florida, and Quinnipiac's Tom Moore were the only head coaches we spotted.
We likely missed a few, so we apologize in advance, but we saw assistant coaches from Drexel, Canisius, Providence, Louisville, Fordham, Fairfield, Boston College, Niagara, East Carolina, West Virginia, SMU, Duquesne, Seton Hall, Bradley, Memphis, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Kent State, NJIT, Rutgers, Connecticut, George Washington, Texas-AM Corpus Christi, Iowa State, St. Bonaventure, St. Louis, Rhode Island, Nebraska, American and Binghamton.
Wilbraham Monson standout Chris Williams had a big game in a loss to St. Thomas More. He went for 22 points. He's a tough, scrappy guard originally from New York. Maurice Walker, a 6-foot-10, 330-pound big man, has a great set of hands and was able to get deep position here and there. Going forward he has to get in shape to reach his full potential. Derrick Wilson, of Hotchkiss, did the best he could to keep his squad in the game against Brewster. He attacked the rim aggressively and showed a sense of toughness. An area for improvement is his shot selection, as he took some wild shots. We only saw the first half of the NIA Prep/Westwind game, but Westwind shooting guard Bo Barnes managed to stand out in that time. The 6-foot-4 guard was burying deep three-pointers from all over the court. He's got a good-looking stroke and a quick release. Tony Snell was also impressive for Westwind as well. He attacked the rim and was extremely tough for NIA to guard.
High school coach to his team after taking a wild shot with 25 seconds on the clock: "I said hold for one shot."
College coach in the stands: "Coach, he did hold for one. He held for the one he wanted."