Providence Jamfest: Day Three

The Providence Jamfest culminated late Sunday afternoon with the Mass Rivals 17u team defeating the Westchester Hawks in the championship pulling away in the second half being led by Noah Vonleh and Matt Cimino. I had a great time this weekend getting my AAU basketball fix heading into the heart of the offseason for PC. Here are some highlights and more player profiles and updates from day 3.

Ed Cooley made his presence felt on Sunday catching both Mass Rivals games as well as watching parts of other games. Mass Rivals players he was watching included Noah Vonleh, Matt Cimino, Kaleb Joseph and Josh Sharma. For what it's worth it is already obvious that he has built up a personal relationship with Vonleh. In between Mass Rivals games he had time to take the Expressions team on a tour of the PC campus and to make an offer to one of their players, Abdul Malik Abu. All in all a very productive day for the coach.

I want to take a minute to comment on the difference between Cooley and Keno Davis when it comes to these type of events. Keno would come in, sit in a corner somewhere, and write down some notes. When Ed came into the building it was like the mayor had arrived. Everyone likes him and he commands a presence wherever he goes. Exactly what we need in a head coach. Now on to some player profiles.

Noah Vonleh Mass Rivals-New Hampton Prep 6'8 2014 I finally got to see Noah play on Sunday as he was recovering from an ankle injury on Friday and Saturday. It was worth the wait. Easily the best player in the tournament Noah has all the tools and will probably wind up in the top 3 in the class of 2014. Cooley and Blaney saw both of his games at the City Courts on Sunday.

Matt Cimino Mass Rivals-Worcester Academy 6'9 2014 Matt made the biggest impression on me this weekend based on what I was expecting coming in. He saved his best for the second half of the championship game hitting 4 straight 3 pointers enabling Mass Rivals to pull away from the Westchester Hawks in the closing minutes of the game. Kevin Farrahar points out that he was at our last midnight madness. We should make it a priority that he is at this year's midnight madness as well.

Samuel Dingba Westchester Hawks-Salisbury 6'6 2013 PC fans have been clamoring for an inside presence who can play defense. Well, Samuel Dingba is your man. Great defensive stopper who will not give up an inch. Showed great scoring ability in the paint and is very athletic as well as being very physical. His height will be a concern at the next level but he will wind up being a PF for some high major team.

Paschal Chuckwu CBC Donnelly-Trinity Catholic 7'1 2014 Paschal had a very nice weekend showing nice athletic ability and was a defensive presence inside. Had some monster blocks on Sunday against both Expressions and Mass Rivals. All of the big schools will be on him sooner or later so it is good that we get a head start.

Alec Brennan Expressions-Milton Academy 6'10 2014 After week 1 Alec picked up his first high major offer from Iowa State (they seem to offer every player in New England). He had a nice weekend but nothing spectacular. Looks like he has a nice outside touch. At 6'10 and with two more years to develop he is going to be a very nice player for somebody.

Peter Miller Middlesex Magic- Northfield Mount Hermon 6'10 2014 only saw glimpses of Peter as Middlesex was always playing at the same time as another game that I wanted to concentrate on. Seems like another 2014 big man who is very coordinated and should be really good by the time he is ready for college

Sem Kroon Westchester Hawks- Northfield Mount Hermon 6'10 2014 Only 16 he carries a little more weight (not heavy at all) than some of the other big men in the tournament. Another player who will be ready for a high major program by the time he graduates

I was kind of disappointed that Jeremy Miller was not able to play for Mass Rivals but a finger injury kept him out of action for the weekend. PC was the first high major program to offer him and I was anxious to see the progress he has made.

A few final impressions:

It was obvious that PC was really concentrating on the Mass Rivals team all weekend. Wouldn't it be nice to get a head start on Mass Rivals players by picking up a commitment from former Mass Rival Carson Derosiers this week?

The 2014 and 2015 classes are loaded in New England, particularly with big men. 2013 seems to be kind of an off year for New England players, particularly outside of the BABC guys. I think it is good that we only have a couple of scholarships in 2013. Concentrate on bringing in two really solid players no matter where they are from geographically and then concentrate on hitting some home runs in your own back yard in 2014 and 2015. It has been said that our best chance for success is when Cooley and his staff can build up some solid relationships with recruits over a period of time and that is exactly what they are doing with many of these 2013 and 2014 kids.

Noah Vonleh, Jared Terell, Paschal Chuckwu, Jeremy Miller, Matt Cimino, Kaleb Joseph, Abdul Malik Abu, Kahil Dukes, Josh Sharman, Alec Brennan, and Jared Wilson-Frame. Give me some combination of these players in a Providence uniform in the future and I will be very happy.

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