HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- A few observations from the National High School Hoops Festival/ and Bullis School Tournament...
Georgios Papagiannis is an unbelievable physical specimen at 7-1, maybe 245 pounds, and 16 years old. But this kid can play. He'll be drawing a paycheck from a pro league somewhere in the not too distant future. His recruiting is strictly hush-hush for now, but you can bet all the major schools will be after him. John Thompson III was at the Dec. 14 game checking him out.
Jared Nickens will absolutely HAVE to get in the weight room. Against Benedictine Dec. 14, strong athletes shadowed his every move, and while he had a nice game, he settled for the 3-ball. In order to become an all-around offensive threat, he'll have to get in the lane, develop a floater, and put it on the deck a bit more. But, make no mistake, this kid has extreme range and a rapid-fire release.
Montrose Christian is going to make some noise again. They've got a slew of athletes, and although Paul VI wacked them pretty good Dec. 14, they made it interesting for three periods. Combo guard Alonzo Trier (6-3) is a junior with major talent. I don't see the Terps making a strong push for him, but they're aware of him.
Though Life Center Academy's Malik Ellison has gotten into major foul trouble in the two games I've seen him so far, Maryland made a smart move in offering him this week. He's just a 6-4+ wing with lots of upside, and plenty of skills. I expect the Terps to have him pretty high up on their radar, in anticipating future growth in his frame...and his game.
I've got to admit it, St. James forward Obi Enechionyia looked VERY good Dec. 14. He's gotten stronger and more aggressive. The skills were always there, and it seems new St. James coach Dan Prete is getting the best this 6-8 athlete has to offer. He will do well at Temple.
Paul VI , by my count, has about 11, count 'em , 11, D-1 players on its team. And the best of the bunch, Franklin Howard, isn't even playing. The Panthers come at you in waves. I'd be surprised, very surprised, if they don't finish on top in the WCAC.
Got another look at Potomac guard Randall Broddie in the NHSHF. Broddie, currently in the class of 2016, is a talent, but still shows a lack of discipline in his game, as a 6-1 guard who's wired to score. I don't see the Terps making much of a push for him.
Another '16 guard, however, who will get lots of attention is Anthony Cowan, the 5-10 lead guard who comes off the bench for a deep St. John's squad. He's looked good this year, and stood out with the Maryland Pride socks he donned versus Potomac.
Another St. John's guard who has impressed this year is 6-5 James Palmer. The senior has signed with Miami, and while the Terps showed only mild interest, this kid is going to be a factor for the Canes in a year or two. He's long, lean, and athletic -- and someone who can score.
Maryland Assistant Dustin Clark showed up at both the Bullis and DeMatha tourneys (Scott Spinelli was at Bullis as well), and was really working the crowd. He seemed to be very well connected with a ton of people in attendance.
For those of you concerned about local recruiting with Dalonte Hill gone from the program, I wouldn't be. I would expect Clark to be on the road a lot in the very near future. As will most of the staff I would think, with the next game a week away, and this being exam week. It's normally a time when college staffs hit the road with a vengeance.
Hoops Fest/Bullis Tourney Notes
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