National Prep School Invitational - Day One

Report filed by Alex Simeone

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Day 1- Providence Targets

Chuba Ohams - Coastal Academy 6’7 wing forward. Class of 2016

 Unfortunately Ohams only played a total of 8 minutes, so he was tough to evaluate. From what I did get to see, there were some flashes of being a high level player, but I saw some concerns. He scored 3 points, a transition bucket and a free throw. He finished 1-3 at the line, His final box score was 3 points a rebound, and a block. He played mostly on the wing on the offensive side of the ball. He did the right thing when on the weak side of any offensive play, crashing, diving to the hoop for a dump down. He had a chance at a few more rebounds but failed to hold onto the ball which was concerning. Coastal Academy played Notre Dame Prep which featured Chris Baldwin, a UMass commit. Ohams was matched up with him for most of his 8 minutes, and that’s a tough draw for Ohams, Baldwin had about 30 pounds on Ohams and is a physical player. Ohams had some real struggles with ball screen defense. He would get lost at times, and on screen and roll action the bigger, more physical Baldwin would easily get Ohams on his backside for a good seal. In my opinion Ohams would be a project/ swing and miss on everyone else option at this point. Our need is for true bigs, and if we are going to take another wing I would prefer it be someone with elite talent.

 

Kalif Young - Orangeville Prep 6’9 260- PF/C class of 2016

This was the first time I had seen Young in person, and he did not disappoint. Providence offered Young on January 9th, and has quickly turned him into a priority. The entire staff was in attendance, and sat right behind the Orangeville Prep bench making their presence known. This was a big time Match up, as Orangeville was playing St Thomas More. STM is loaded, with over 8 Divison 1 players, including 6’9 270 pound Omari Spellman who sits as the 16th best player in the country according to ESPN.  By my count, Young had 14 points 11 boards 1 block and a steal. Spellman finished the game with 20 points and a few Thunderous slams.

                Young is a big man who can do a little bit of everything. Orangeville ran 3-4 sets all of which had Young involved, it was clear they wanted to get him the ball in a place where he could succeed. He did not back down from Spellman at all, constantly posting him up and calling for the ball. Young is a big guy, there’s no doubt about that but he is very explosive and plays with an extremely high motor for someone his size. Young showed flashes of great footwork in the post, with some great pivoting to find space to score. He seemed to be in a good spot to rebound the ball on the weak side as well. Young showed some flashes of a jumper too, at two different points in the game he had an open look from the elbow and took the shot finishing 1-2 from there. Young had a chance at getting to 20-22 points, he missed a few baskets underneath the hoop as Spellman was guarding him well. Considering who he was matched up against I thought his ball screen defense, and ability to guard Spellman in the post was pretty good. Spellman got the best of the match up from a statistical standpoint, However Young looked like he belonged. Something that stood out to me from a coaching perspective was Young’s vocal leadership. He was huddling guys up, calling out every ball screen, patting guys on the back.

Young is not going to overwhelm you with athleticism, but he works hard, and has the skills to be a productive big man at the Big East level. With that said, Omari Spellman is going to be a serious problem for the next 4 years.

 

Jaelin Llewellyn – PG – Orangeville Prep 6’2 class of 2018

Jaelin was the starting point guard for Orangeville Prep. It has been rumored that PC is showing some interest in the young Point Guard. He finished with 6 points, a handful of assists, and a few steals. Jaelin is asked to run the team. He very much is a pass first, floor general. Considering his age and grade He very much looked like he belonged out there on Thursday. My notes from the game read: Controls floor, sneaky athletic, not forcing anything, when opportunity presents itself he will take ball to the rim and finish. He showed his willingness to take the outside shot when guards would go under a screen. He did however finish 0-3 from deep. I think this is certainly a name to keep an eye out for down the line as with two more years to develop he could turn into a real play maker.

Aaron Wheeler - SG/SF 6’7 St Andrews class of 2017

St Andrews capped off the evening with a game against the Helsinki Basketball Acaedmy from Finland. The HBA was just as big as St Andrews in length, which made for a good match up. Wheeler is a do it all kind of player. I have written about him before that at times, he shows flashes where he could be the best player on the floor and even in New England. The problem is, rarely is that something he puts together for a full game. Wheeler has progressed over the years, he’s long, athletic, and can score the ball in a variety of ways. He showed flashes of that against the HBA. He reminds me, and I know this is going to concern friar fans, but a lot of Gerard Coleman. Let it be known, Wheeler is a MUCH better shooter. Wheeler is also an inch of two taller than Coleman was, but they have the same body type and style of play. The thing that makes Wheeler special to me is his ability to handle the ball at 6’7 and his wingspan. When he gets it going to the rim, he can be incredibly difficult to stop. Wheeler in my mind has one of the biggest ceilings in the class of 2017, his ability to knock down shots, and be as fluid as he is with the ball could make him a really special player.

 

Cole Swider - SG/SF 6’7 St Andrews Class of 2018

Swider may not be on everyone’s radar yet but this is your warning that you will be hearing his name. Swider is in my mind the best shooter in New England right now. He an infinite amount of range, has the green light whenever he touches the ball, and more likely than not is going to knock down the shot. His size, coupled with his ability to knock down shots make him a tough match up right now. He is not just a one trick pony ether. He has shown he can take kids off the dribble and score in the post. Swider is still young, and will have time to develop. His foot speed ok, and at times has lapses on the defensive end. I feel like over time, and with more experience this will easily be worked on. This is really the first year for solid playing time with St. Andrews. Swider currently leads the team in scoring, and has been seeing the floor a lot more. With two more full years at St. Andrews Swider could very well become one of the bigger names to discuss in New England for the class of 2018. New England Recruiting Report already has him as the #3 player in the region.

Other notes:

Terrell Brown is a name we have heard a lot in the past. He is a 6’10 Center from St. Andrews, who back when he was a sophomore and even a junior we had been rumored to be involved with. Brown has been coming along nicely this year and may have had the best game I have seen him play in 2 years Thursday. It’s my guess however that he still may be a little ways away from playing at the Big East level. He lacks the toughness and motor that needs to come along with a 6’10 player in some of the big conferences. He is a player however that could benefit from a PG year or a redshirt year somewhere. It will be interesting to see where he lands and what kind of progress he continues to make.

Wenyen Gabriel- Unfortunately this was a player the Friars missed on, and I mean this when I say it- it’s really too bad. Wenyen plays for a Wilbraham and Monson team that lacks a lot of other fire power. Wenyen is the real deal, and an unfortunate miss for the Friar staff but will become an exciting college player to watch.

Miye Oni from Suffield Academy put on an absolute show for the fans in attendance on Thursday. Miye who is committed to Yale, in front of a bevy of other college coaches made everyone scratch their head on they may have missed one. Miye dropped a smooth 52 points while hitting 11 three pointers. He showed incredible athleticism with some big dunks on top of the shooting performance.


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