Top-5 teams battle in PT Shootout
A matchup between Oak Hill and St. Patrick highlighted the PrimeTime Shootout, writes Antonio Williams.
Each year, the PrimeTime Shootout fields a very nice collection of nationally renowned teams to match up against some of the best teams that the New Jersey/New York area has to offer, usually resulting in some competitive play throughout the games. Having this impressive group of teams on the floor also provides the chance to watch some of the top players in the country, regardless of graduating class.
The premier game of the event of the event pitted the vaunted Oak Hill Academy, ranked No. 2 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50, against St. Patrick out of New Jersey, the No 3. team in the FAB 50. Both Oak Hill and St. Patrick competed with a great amount of vigor and effort, easily producing the best game of the event. Despite having the size and experience advantage in the paint, Oak Hill had no answer for All-World prospect Michael Gilchrist, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2011. Gilchrist had his way in the paint, scoring a number of points through effort and determination. But in the end, Oak Hill, led down the stretch by ESPNU Super 60 prospect Doron Lamb and fellow 2010 prospect Bryon Allen, held off St. Patrick for the 73-64 victory in a very entertaining contest.
Standout PlayersMichael Gilchrist, 6-foot-7 (SF)
2011, Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick
Gilchrist has an amazing amount of upside and untapped potential, but he also has a substantially positive impact on the game for his squad. He dribbles the ball well enough and has more than enough quickness to get to the rim with ease. Gilchrist has surprising strength given his wiry frame, easily taking on contact and using his body control to adjust in the air and finish at the rim. He also has great length in addition to his leaping ability, making him a good rebounder, especially on the offensive boards, where he relentlessly attacks the glass. Gilchrist will become even more dominant when he adds strength and muscle to his frame. He rarely takes possessions off and plays very hard on the defensive end, anticipating and playing passing lanes for steals, which result in more fast-break opportunities for his squad. Gilchrist also runs the floor effortlessly and will finish a number of fast breaks above the rim. On his free throws, Gilchrist pushes the ball just a tad and reaches for the rim. If he gets a higher release point, he will become a better free throw shooter.
Jordin Mayes, 6-2 (SG)
2010, Los Angeles/Westchester
Mayes has a very nice touch from the perimeter. He gets good arc on his effortless jumper and will connect on jumpers from 3-point range with great consistency. Mayes will heat it up in a hurry and absolutely bury the opposition with his ability to hit 3 after 3. He does not do a lot in the mid-range with the pull-up jumper, but he has the ability to connect with the floater going right when he penetrates and does not get all the way to the basket. Mayes has a very thin build and needs to add a significant amount of muscle to his frame. He has decent ballhandling skills, but Mayes could improve in this area, which would make him even more difficult to defend off the bounce. He has good length and nice-sized hands, which should translate into his improving those ballhandling skills and becoming an even more polished offensive talent.
Glenn Bryant, 6-7 (SF)
2009, Detroit/Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
Bryant has incredible athleticism and leaping ability. He has the natural physical gifts to rank as a player worthy of high-major college consideration. However, his skills have yet to catch up with his athleticism. Bryant's leaping ability allows him to hover above the rim when making offensive plays. He runs the floor well and will finish the break off with dunks. Bryant also rebounds the ball very well on the offensive end and will follow up a good number of missed shots with tip dunks. He will hit open 3s, but he does not rank as a great shooter. Bryant currently does not have a position on the court due to his lack of ballhandling skills for the small-forward spot. He also does not possess enough strength, ideal height or the back-to-the-basket skills to play in the post full-time. Bryant plays with a lot of energy, passion and focus on the defensive end, blocking shots both in and out of his area with relative ease.
Mouphtaou Yarou, 6-10 (C)
2009, Rockville, Md./Montrose Christian
Yarou has a very good build and looks to have increased his strength. He does not in the least bit shy away from contact in the paint. In fact, he looks to initiate contact, especially on the defensive end where he lays a body on opposing bigs, does his work early and denies them prime positioning for scoring and rebounding. Yarou is a skilled rebounder, particularly on the defensive end where he swallows up boards with absolutely no regard for the opposition. He bangs inside and does not change expressions or lose his cool when opponents retaliate. On the offensive end, Yarou loves to get position on the block in order to utilize his very solid post move. He prefers to set up shop on the left block and will use a nifty turnaround jumper from that spot. He also uses his strength to power up in traffic to finish while under duress, even finishing above the rim. Yarou runs the floor very well and has very good athleticism to complement his strength and power.
2009, Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's
Cheek has good lift on his jumper when he shoots it off the bounce, but he has to improve his consistency from the perimeter. He will hit the 3 if left unattended on the wing, but he needs to become more consistent from that area as well. Cheek has a tendency to shoot on the way down and needs to release his jump shot at the apex of his jump. He also sometimes does not get his feet set on jumpers, and he kicks out his legs scissors-style. He has good body control and can get to the rim when he sets his mind to dominating offensively. He has to get stronger in order to stop opposing wings from impeding his progress to the rim and forcing him into wild, off-balance floaters. Cheek would benefit from adding a mid-range pull-up jumper to his offensive toolbox. Cheek prefers to go right, but he has the ability to get to his left on the drive and convert layups with his left hand. Cheek has good passing skills and does a good job of involving his teammates.
Sean Johnson, 6-2 (SG)
2009, Middle Village, N.Y./ Christ the King
Johnson has wide shoulders and good strength, which he uses to create scoring opportunities for himself on the offensive end of the floor. He has good but not outstanding athletic ability in addition to a relatively quick first step that he uses to get to the bucket. Johnson prefers to go right, but he has the ability to penetrate to his left. Once at the rim, he uses his strength, leaping ability and good body control to take on contact, adjust in the air, and still convert the hoop. He also has the ability to get to the rim and use his left hand to finish plays off at the tin. He has decent ballhandling skills and needs to improve in this area. Johnson would also benefit from adding a mid-range pull-up jumper to his offensive arsenal. Johnson has range that extends to the 3-point line, but he has a tendency to become streaky from that area on the floor. As long as he keeps his release point high, Johnson should connect on a good number of his 3-point attempts. He does a good job using his body, strength and lateral quickness to pressure opposing ball handlers into turnovers.Aaron Brown, 6-4 (SG)
2010, Hackensack, N.J./St Benedict's
Brown has explosive leaping ability and quickness, which he uses to make plays on the offensive end for his team. A streaky shooter, Brown has the ability to connect on a number of consecutive jumpers from 3-point range. He also uses his lateral quickness to beat defenders off the dribble on his way to the hoop. Brown uses his great leaping ability to finish in traffic and grab offensive rebounds above the rim. Brown plays passing lanes for steals well and handles the ball in the open court on the break. He also has good passing skills and vision; he just needs to assert himself more throughout games.
Branden Frazier, 6-2 (PG/SG)
2010, New York/Bishop Loughlin
Frazier has incredible range that extends beyond the land of 3. He has a slight hitch in his jumper and kicks his right leg out slightly, but is a deadly shooter from outside. He also has to alleviate his tendency to shoot the ball on the way down and hold his follow-through until the shoot hits the rim. He does not do much work off the dribble, though he has enough quickness to do so. Instead, he relies on his great stroke from the perimeter for his offense. If Frazier gets stronger, he could become a better player off the dribble. He will have to do so because better defenders will run him off the 3-point line.
Raymond Cintron, 6-1 (PG/SG)
2009, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico/Carmen Sol
Cintron plays with an unbelievable amount of flair, emotion and confidence -- especially when he gets it going on the offensive end. He has range that extends well beyond the arc. He does not have outstanding quickness, but he can do some work off the bounce -- though he prefers to rely on the 3. Cintron's shooting ability allows him to spark his team and hit 3-point daggers that can kill the opposing team's spirit. He will shoot the 3 in transition and off the dribble. When Cintron shoots jumpers off the bounce, he uses the dribble to freeze the defenders then rises up for the jumper, similar to current Memphis guard Tyreke Evans. Teams should look to make him put the ball on the floor and run him off the 3-point line, but he has enough quickness in addition to good strength, allowing him to get to the bucket. He likes to go right to overpower smaller guards on his way to the cup and would benefit from improving his handle and freeing himself up to go left for scoring chances. He also has good vision and finds open teammates for scoring opportunities, but he plays as a shoot-first point guard.
Tevin Calhoun, 6-5 (SF)
2009, Linden, N.J./Linden
Calhoun has a thin body and needs to add a significant amount of strength to his frame. The added muscle and strength will make him a much better player off the dribble, particularly when he gets into the paint and has to finish among the trees. He has good, but not great, quickness and could become very solid off the dribble. Calhoun also has nice-sized hands and decent length -- attributes that could help him as he tries to get better operating off the bounce. He has good range on his jumper in addition to sound form and a textbook release. Calhoun does not do much in the mid-range, but he has the ability to use the one- or two-dribble pull-up in the mid-range area for offense. He just needs to utilize this weapon much more often.
• Dexter Strickland (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick), a 6-3 SG, has the athletic ability and quickness to get anywhere he wants on the floor. That quickness helps compensate for his lack of ideal height for the shooting guard spot, which he seems more comfortable playing at this point. He needs to improve his perimeter shooting consistency and work on his decision-making if he wants to play the point or as a combo-guard on the next level.
• Jason Morris (Lakeville, Conn./Hotchkiss School) has not come close to tapping into his vast potential. Morris has electrifying athleticism and quickness, allowing him to make highlight-reel plays on the offensive end of the floor. As he prepares for the next level, Morris has to continue to refine his offensive skills, such as ballhandling and perimeter shooting, to become the great wing player that he has potential to become.
• Six-foot-8-inch PF Ashton Pankey (New York, N.Y./St. Anthony's) has very good length and does a tremendous job utilizing his long arms and quick leaping ability to attack the offensive glass. If he gets stronger and continues to develop his low-post game, Pankey could become a very good interior prospect.
• Bryon Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md./Oak Hill Academy), a 6-3 SG, plays the game with great passion and intensity. He has very good athleticism and upper-body strength, allowing him to get to the paint easily. Allen has great body control in addition to his strength, providing him with the ability to adjust in the air while taking contact and still finishing successfully at the hoop.
• Senior SG Sahid Williams (Newark, N.J./Shabazz) has the ability to light it up from beyond the land of 3. He can get a shot off over bigger backcourt defenders due to his slight fade, which does not negatively affect his shot because of his textbook follow-through and release.
• 2010 prospect Harold Spears (Pennington, N.J./The Pennington School), a 6-5 SF, can also hit jumper after jumper from beyond the 3-point arc. If he continues to improve his scoring skills off the dribble, he could develop into a solid small forward on the mid-major college level.
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.