Prentiss Hubb

Hoops Notes From The Trail

FROSTBURG, Md. -- Terrapin Times was in attendance for the Alhambra tournament in Frostburg. Here are some notes on several Maryland targets:

FROSTBURG, Md. -- Terrapin Times was in attendance for the Alhambra tournament in Frostburg. Here are some notes on several Maryland targets:

DeMatha Catholic 100, Bishop Walsh 28: Yeah, that's no typo.  This was brutal to watch.  I got another look at promising 7-0 Stags' freshman Hunter Dickinson, but in a carnage like this, any evaluation is worthless.

SJC 72  PVI  70-  Terp recruiting target Brandon Slater was solid for the Panthers in a losing cause, netting 19 points and 8 boards, despite only going 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. Slater, a 6-6 lefty, is a smooth athlete, with very long arms and major upside. To reach his potential, he'll have to get a lot stronger, take the ball to the hole instead of settling for jumpers, and work a bit on his handle. 

The Cadets controlled this game from start to finish, although it got really tight at the end. The best player on the court? 6-2 Maryland preferred walk on Reese Mona, who plays like his hair is on fire, and its pretty obvious the Terps need more players like this, even if its just to practice. Mona is a good athlete, can really defend, and can get to the rim.  He'll be a nice addition to a team that needs more guys like him, in terms of aggressiveness.

Gonzaga 77,  St. Maria Goretti 74: This was a war from start to finish, as things got a little chippy, and neither squad backed down. Prentiss Hubb , likely Maryland's top guard target in the 2018 class was, well, very Hubb-like.  He scored 15 points, hit 2 treys, and shot 6-of-10, with two of the misses being dunks which clanged off the back iron. Add in 3 assists, 4 steals, and and excellent defensive effort on SMG's Elijah Clarance, and you have pretty much a typical Hubb performance.

It's easy to underrate this 6-2 junior, but his game screams "efficiency."  What I also liked, despite his wiry frame, is that Hubb is pretty tough, and was not adverse to jawing back and forth with Clarance, and mixing it up . 

Goretti's 6-4 sophomore forward R.J. Blakney, is worth monitoring. His handle and shot need some work, but Blakney passes the ball very well, runs the floor, will hit the boards, and has some serious verticality. He's more forward than guard right now, but again, he's a guy to keep an eye on, because he plays a lot bigger than his size, and this kid competes, with an edge.

Mt. St. Joe 63, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel 59: Talk about chippy. The Gaels outlasted MC, but it wasn't easy as the Cougars cut the MSJ lead to 1 point several times in the last minute. I believe this is the fourth time they've met this year; MSJ is now 4-for-4 in those contests.

Junior Jalen Smith, 6-9, keyed the victory with 21 points (including 2 treys), while collecting 7 rebounds and blocking 3 shots. Smith is called "Sticks" for a reason. He's gained some upper body strength, really needs lower body work, but his talents are undeniable. He's strictly a face-the-basket forward for now, and could slip out to the "3" on occasion offensively because of his ever expanding perimeter game. While he was manhandled a lot under the basket, Smith battles hard, and when his body finally matures, he's going to be a major problem in college. 

Here's one thing about Hubb, Slater and Smith, who are likely at the top of Maryland's recruiting board: All at this time would have to be considered "finesse" players. That's ok, because they are have excellent skills, with grades and character. But Maryland needs some warriors as it's clear they're lacking in toughness.

Which brings us to the 6-4 Darryl Morsell, who has already signed with the Terps.  Morsell opened the game with a trey, which is noteworthy, since outside shooting is considered the weakest part of his game. He totaled 10 points (4-of-8 shooting) and added 4 rebounds, 6 assists (several of which came at crunch time), 2 steals, and 4 blocks. Ok, the numbers don't reach out and grab you, but Morsell is a winner, plays hard, is unselfish, and seems to have a knack for making game-changing plays in a number of ways. This program is in dire need of guys like Morsell. One thing he isn't is soft. As one evaluator told me, "Morsell has a Big Ten heart."  

It will be Gonzaga/MSJ in the final. This will be a battle of tempo. The Eagles want to push it, while MSJ would prefer a game in the low 60s.

Gonzaga's Chris Lykes is fun to watch, and scored 31 in their win over SMG.  But he both shot them in, and out, as he often chucked up shots early in the shot clock, while the Zags were holding onto a slim lead. You cannot overestimate this kid's quickness however. It's going to be fascinating to see how he fares in the ACC at Miami.

PVI's Jeremy Roach, 6-0, almost brought the Panthers back to victory, scoring 11 of his 14 points in the second half.  The thing about Roach is he's a freshman, who wants the ball in crunch time, and normally delivers. This kid is going to be a star on the DMV scene, and I suspect will be someone the Terps have already targeted in the 2020 class.

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