Alex Simeone gives us the scoop on Friar targets from Day 3 and 4 at the New England Prep Invitational.

National Prep School Invitational – Day 3 Update


Christian David – SG/SF – Vermont Academy – 6’7 – Class of 2017

David is a wing player, but he played most of the first half at the 5. This was purely out of a match up need as VT played Proctor who didn’t have a player much bigger than 6’8 on their tallest days. David was just as good as advertised. The word intangibles comes to mind when talking about this kid’s game. He did just a little bit of everything, and he did it efficiently, and at a very high level. David showed he could score in the post, score off the dribble, knock down a few deep 3’s and beat you in transition. The highlight play for me was with about 8 seconds left on the shot clock. David took a pass just off the top of the key, pump faked, got his defender up in the air, and with a good strong dribble went right to the rim with his left hand. The help side defender slid over correctly, but David was able to use his body control to take contact and score the basket. He showed he was much more than just a shooter. He did at times show youth. Twice he went up to grab a board with just one hand, and twice he had the ball taken from him. A few times he got caught looking at the ball instead of finding a man to box out. Maybe it was youth, maybe it was fatigue, maybe it could also have also been the fact that VT was up around 20 for most of the second half. With that said, that was the only thing I saw that stood out to me as a negative, which isn’t much. David finished with 17 points, 8 boards and 4 assists. He is a really solid looking player who could help in a number of ways. It will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out. From a source I spoke to at the game, I was told PC was “in the mix” with David.


Hamidou Diallo – SG – Putnam Science Academy – 6’7 – Class of 2017

I’m honestly not sure where to start. When I tell you this kid could show up today and be our starting 2 guard, I am not even close to embellishing the truth. I have seen a lot of HS and Prep basketball over the last few years. I have seen a lot of “top talent”. This is one of the few times I was truly enthralled watching a player. This kid does it all from an offensive stand point. He had 15 points 3 boards, a steal and an assist in the first half alone. He was 6-9 from the field and each basket was better than the next. He beat his defender however he pleased. He hit two deep 3’s, one was a step back in traffic. He had some drives to the basket that looked effortless, and he had jab step moves with hands all over him that were of top level caliber. The word smooth comes to mind. He looked very much like he was the best player on the floor, which is something to note because not only is his team loaded, their opponent in the game, Montverde, is just as talented. I think that was one of the things that stood out to me. He was not doing this against mid-level competition. This was against a basketball team that sports an uncommitted top 75 player, and two others going to the likes of Ohio State and Butler. Unfortunately, from a defensive standpoint I cannot report much because PSA played mostly a half-court trap and dropped back into zone. Diallo is in my estimation our #1 target for 2017, and I’m sure he is the same for just about everyone else in the country.


Emmanuel Umoffia – C – Putnam Science Academy – 7’1 – Class of 2018

Good news, this kid is an aircraft carrier. Bad news, he’s got post moves like an aircraft carrier. More good news, he has two more full years of Prep basketball to gather some real post moves. Umoffia is huge, and I do not just mean Paschal Chukwu-tall, this kid is already plenty filled out. Defensively, he was impossible to move, and disrupted every attempt. He had 5 blocks in the first half and only played about 7 minutes. Offensively, he did not score on 4 opportunities. Each opportunity was somewhat cringe worthy from my stand point. The frustrating thing from my point of view was that he looked comfortable up until he had to actually make some type of move with the ball. I have seen some big 7 foot kids that just look awkward out there. That was not the case, he was just not very good with the ball. Again, he’s got 2 more full years along with the rest of this season before seeing the NCAA. He is someone to keep an eye on.


Eric Ayala – SG – Putnam Science Academy – 6’2 – Class of 2018

Ayala is the backup PG for PSA, and he is still very young. He showed flashes that he could be a real good player, and he had moments that reminded me that he was still only in the class of 2018. What he didn’t do which I thought which was important was crack under any pressure. PSA had a lot of guys in foul trouble, and they were playing a very good team. He didn’t have any really bad turnovers, and he looked like he belonged. He’s already got some good size for a PG at 6’2. He showed flashes of a solid off the dribble game with a nice euro step and score. Again PSA played mostly zone, and it was difficult to gauge what kind of D these kids play.



Other names:


Geo Baker – PG – Proctor Academy – 6’0-6’1 maybe? – Class of 2017

This is a name I have heard us rumored with at times. I can’t say for certain that it is still the case. Baker showed glimpses of being an incredible point guard, and he showed glimpses that would make your hair turn grey. He finished by my count with 15 points against a good defensive team in VT Academy. He showed some range from well beyond the arc. He also showed he isn’t afraid to shoot it, finishing 2-6 from deep. He’s long, really long. He has to have a wing span along the lines of a kid that is 6’5, and on the defensive end it really helps him. In transition he at times is as smooth as silk. He had a few eye popping assists. He also had a few head scratchers, like a clear 2-1 situation where it would have been an easy bounce pass for a layup but instead he took it into the D. In another instance he threw a lob to someone clearly not capable of dunking the ball. He pulled up in transition on a 3-1 for a three. At times it was awesome, other times it was well, ehhhh. 

Based on the talent that’s out there for 2017, and who we have been rumored with, I would definitely have him towards the bottom of any list at this point. I do not think he is a bad backup plan. If he can become a little more under control, he could be a good option B.



Bruce Brown – SG – Vermont Academy  – Committed to Miami

This kid is a highlight reel waiting to happen. When I first saw him play a few years ago, I wanted the Friars to get involved. After tonight, he proved once again his worth. It’s too bad we were never really in the hunt for this kid. Believe me when I tell you, you will see this kid on ESPN top plays over the next 4 years. He’s a kid from Boston who is going to turn some heads. He had what had to easily be the dunk of the event. He caught the ball on the move with a down screen coming, took off from the elbow through traffic and cocked it back and hammered it home. It looked like similar to when LeBron really lets one go.



National Prep School invitational – Day 4 Update


Tomas Murphy – PF/SF – Northfield Mount Hermon – Class of 2017


I’m going to preface this write up with the fact I have seen Tomas play since he was a true freshmen at Prout, and I had to game plan around him as an opposing coach. He has certainly progressed and matured in his game, and he is playing at a high level. With that said, I’m not sure he is still the top 50 recruit he was billed when ESPN had him as part of their top 25 his freshmen year. He’s solid, he’s a good player, he’s fundamental and he does not do a lot of things wrong. He also in this game, did not do anything that seriously overwhelmed me ether. He finished with 4 points and 4 blocks and 2 assists. He is most likely the 3rd or 4th best player on this NMH team. NMH is LOADED. They blew out the Helsinki Basketball Academy by 40, and it honestly was never close. Tomas moved well on D, and was fluid within the offense being run. NMH plays great D and Murphy is definitely part of that. He slid into help correctly and was able to rotate when he needed to. Honestly, I think he is still a big question mark as to how we should be pursuing him. He has the potential to become a real difference maker at the next level. He comes along with a pedigree in which his brothers were very good and impactful college players. I still think he can be too, and hope Providence continues to pursue him. We will have to let the next AAU season and Prep season play out and see what happens.


Nate Laszewski – Northfield Mount Hermon – 6’7 – Class of 2018

If you only caught the first half of the NMH game Sunday you would most likely not know who Nate is. Good news, I got to see the second half and was able to see why he is the early on #2 ranked player in New England right now. He scored 8 quick points in the second half with back to back threes. He had a great move at the top of the key and went hard to lane with a really nice up and under finish for his final 2 points. He finished with 8 points, 3 boards, and showed he belonged on the floor. Like a lot of the other kids in the 2018 class, he has plenty of room to grow and time to blossom into a big time player. He’s a prototypical NMH kid. He plays hard, he’s already 6’7 in his sophomore year and he can shoot it. He is definitely a name to keep an eye on. He and Cole Swider (another 2018 wing/shooter from St. Andrews) are similar players. Right now, the lean in my mind would go to Swider. At this point, there is a bevy of talent here in New England in the class of 2018 that the Friars could have a chance to be in on early.


Kellan Grady – PG – Northfield Mount Hermon – 6’3 – Class of 2017

I’m not only writing this to inform you of this kid’s talent, but to make a campaign for the Friar staff to make an effort to take a long look here. I know they are interested, but I don’t know the level of involvement. I know from speaking to people that Davidson is the early leader and has been in talks with him for a while. Providence could be the team that swoops in and becomes the bigger school for once and grabs a kid. Kellan has made serious strides in his game since last I saw him play. He was tremendous today for NMH. He’s a long 6’3 guard, who can play the point and be just as useful off the ball. He jumps into passing lanes and tips passes, he uses his length when guarding other point guards to become a nuisance. He also understands angles when defending someone and has great awareness as to where the help defender is going to be. Did I mention he was 5-7 from 3 and lit the gym up? He finished with 19 points, 7 assists, 4 boards and a couple steals. When he wasn’t knocking down deep 3’s he was getting into the lane and using his length to get to the rim and made it look easy. This is me officially getting on the Kellan Grady bandwagon.



Ian Sistare – SG – Class of 2016 – 6’4  AND  Andrew Platek – SG – Class of 2017 – 6’4

These two guys round out the starting line up for NMH along with Murphy, Grady, and Penn Commit AJ Brodeur. I’m not sure what the story with ether one of them is but I loved both of them. I’m not sure I loved them for PC. At this point for Sistare I’m not sure we take another guard. I’m not sure he would be 100% ready for the Big East. What I do know is whoever ends up with him will be lucky. This kid is a coach inside of an 18 year old’s body on the floor. He’s loud, he’s vocal, he huddles everyone up and he’s an absolute leader. Sistare will be the first on the floor for a loose ball, and he’ll be the first to encourage his teammates. Now, if he were to PG a year somewhere, maybe take a redshirt, and a scholarship opens up somewhere, I would take a long shot on him. He’s got the things you can’t teach a kid, and at times those are really important.  Platek didn’t do anything to make you jump out of your seat but he is a great shooter, he’s got good size, and could still be growing. He’s another name to keep an eye out for.


More on Christian David: VT Academy

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VT Academy had what I would consider an off game. They gutted out a double overtime victory. No one on VTA was overwhelmingly impressive. David once again stood out however, as he does just a little bit of everything. He had some great dishes, he knocked down a few shots, and he got the rim at a few critical moments of the game. David is going to be one to watch over the next 12 months and to see where Providence ends up with him.

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