Philly Jam Fest: Part B

In the second part of our coverage of the weekend's Hoop Group Philly Jam Fest, Hawk Hill Hardwood will look at seven players in the class of 2013. Jermaine Lawrence was one of the weekend's top stars, but he is not the only player that caught our eye.

Jermaine Lawrence- Lawrence, a 6'9 combo forward in the class of 2013, is one of the top forwards in America, and he showed why this weekend. On Saturday, Lawrence was arguably the day's top performer, and he didn't exactly disappoint on Sunday either. In Sunday's win over We R 1, he knocked down three shots from three, had a baseline spin that he capped off by draining a 15-foot turnaround jumper, and knocked down shots in transition. On the defensive end, Jermaine rebounded outside of his area and blocked shots. He is already being actively recruited at the high-major level, and his play this spring will likely turn him into one of the most sought-after bigs in the country.

Norman Hobbie- Manasquan, New Jersey is more well-known as a beach-town and surf break than it is a basketball hotbed. Norman Hobbie, a 6'5 wing out of Manasquan, had a nice weekend in Philly with the New Jersey Roadrunners. While Tyler Roberson and Hakim Saintil are the bigger names on the Roadrunners, Hobbie also showed nicely. In Saturday's win over Mid-Atlantic Select, Hobbie showed off his sweet stroke from deep, hitting three threes, including an and-one that he capped off my hitting the free throw. At a legitimate 6'5, Hobbie can flat out stroke the ball. He has the look of a guy that is a lock at the Patriot level, but could play himself into CAA and Atlantic 10 interest. Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda was watching the Roadrunners play the NJ Cyclones on Sunday, and Hobbie is likely one of the reasons why.

John Powell- A 6'7 forward from the New England Playaz, Powell was one of many guys on the Playaz that caught my eye over the weekend. Due to some roster issues, I spent most of the weekend watching Powell and having no idea who he was. Powell is a lean and long 6'7 combo forward who really showed off a knack for the ball this weekend. He was really active on the glass and got after it. Although only 6'7, Powell's length gives him the presence defensively of a much bigger player. While Powell did not show off highlight-reel caliber athleticism, he was extremely fluid. Being recruited already at the mid-major level, Powell is likely a guy that Atlantic 10 schools will track this coming summer. Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli took in one Playaz game, and Powell was likely one of two or three guys on the court that he was looking at.

Mohemed Bah- Another guy on the New England Playaz that caught my eye was this 6'8 forward out of Lee Academy (ME). Bah, at a strong and fairly chiseled 6'8-6'9, certainly passes the eye test. While he is incredibly raw, Bah looked on Saturday and Sunday to have the physical attributes in place to become a player. In a blowout win on Saturday, Bah rattled the rim several times with violent dunks. Offensively, that seems to be about what he will give you at the moment, put-backs and dunks, with the ability to run the floor and also score in transition. Bah, like Powell, are likely among the reasons that Martelli was watching the Playaz on Sunday morning.

Adrian Oliveira and Aaron Calixte- Both Oliveira and Calixte, along with fellow backcourt-mate Cane Broome, really played well for the New England Playaz. Oliveira showed a steady hand handling point guard duties. He did a solid job getting the ball where it needed to go. Not the flashiest guy in the gym, Adrian showed a really strong basketball IQ and wasted no motions or dribbles. Everything was smooth and steady. While Oliveira was more the distributor in the backcourt, Calixte looked to, and often got, buckets. In the final minutes of their Sunday loss, Calixte nearly single-handedly brought the Playaz back. In roughly 90 seconds, he hit a three, scored off the bounce for the and-one, and got another bucket. Calixte checks in at right around 5'10 and has the look of a guy that could be a very prolific scorer at the right mid-major fit. Oliveira tracks at a similar level, but could maybe see himself scoring CAA and Atlantic 10 interest.

David George- Recently reclassified into the class of 2013, David George put in a strong weekend for the Hunting Park Warriors. Although the Warriors played all weekend without 6'9 post Jai Williams, they played well, eventually losing a tough one-point game to Aquille Carr and Bmore's Finest. George, who is receiving interest from Columbia, Colgate, and Marist to name a few, will spend a prep year at Blair Academy (NJ) before heading off to college in 2013. Against Bmore's Finest, George was active on the glass, and played a smooth, calm, collected, and productive game in what was otherwise a helter-skelter environment. At the moment, George is a tweener at 6'7, but with some added muscle to his frame and an extra year to refine his skills, his development will be interesting to follow.

Check back tomorrow for Part C of Hawk Hill Hardwood's Philly Jam Fest recap.

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