The Jersey Shore Warriors took out Baltimore Elite in their 16U Platinum Bracket opening-round game, and then went on to post an impressive second-round win over PTP/East Coast Elite. Hawk Hill Hardwood was in attendance for both wins.
Stephen Smith- Smith is a 6'7 wing in the class of 2013. The Hoop Group media guide listed Smith as a 2012 recruit. When I received confirmation from his high school coach, Joe Dempsey, that Smith was in fact a 2013 recruit, that made his performance Sunday even more impressive. Smith attends La Salle College High School in Philadelphia. All day long, at the 16U and 17U level, Smith drained three after three after three. He owns a great, quick release, and due to his size, is able to get the shot off easily over perimeter defenders. More than just a shooter, Smith also possesses some athleticism and willingness to mix it up inside. This was Hawk Hill Hardwood's first glance at the rising junior, and it was eye opening. Tomorrow, a profile piece on Smith and his La Salle teammate Amar Stukes will be up on Hawk Hill Hardwood.
Amar Stukes- Stukes plays both high school and AAU ball alongside Smith, and the two form an impressive backcourt. Stukes is a 6'2 point guard in the class of 2013, and he also turned heads with his play on Sunday. Stukes is at his best taking the ball to the basket, and that's what he did on Sunday. In the second-round matchup with PTP, Stukes went against two talented guards in Rysheed Jordan and Montana Mayfield, and showed that he more than belonged on the court. Although Hawk Hill Hardwood left before the finals, Stukes apparently led the Jersey Shore Warriors in the finals with 21 points.
Kyle Green- A 6'4 shooting guard from Camden Catholic High School in Jersey, Kyle Green was one of the standout performers Sunday. Green, like Stephen Smith, got some minutes on the 17U team in addition to starring for the 16U squad. One of the first things that stands out about Green is his feel for the game. Every bit of 6'4, Green is not a one-dimensional guard. While he can score the ball almost at will, he also has impressive vision and plays an unselfish brand of basketball. When Hawk Hill Hardwood saw Green at the Hoop Group Summer Classic East, he struggled with his perimeter jumper. That was not the case Sunday, as he scored both inside on strong drives and on shots from three. Green is likely to be a priority for some local schools in the 2013 class.
B.J. Johnson- Johnson is a long, very thin 6'6 wing from Lower Merion, and yet another impressive local player in the 2013 class. Johnson's size, athleticism, length, and quickness scream upside. Johnson runs the court extremely well and has an incredible wingspan, which helps him especially on the defensive end. In the second-round game against PTP, Johnson showed that he is more than just an athlete, knocking down 17 footers in addition to finishing around the rim. He clearly needs to add significant weight to maximize his potential, but his potential is through the roof.
Check back with Hawk Hill Hardwood tomorrow for profile pieces on Stephen Smith and Amar Stukes.
Hoop Group End of Summer Classic: Part C
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