- Adam Finkelstein
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NEPTUNE, N.J. -- The Hoop Group's annual Summer Classic was another success this year as tournament director Rob Engemann put together a field consisting of the best of the metropolitan area and beyond. The final came down to two New Jersey teams, as the Jersey Shore Warriors outlasted Team IZOD/Sports University 66-65.
Andrew Nicholas (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) and Darrun Hilliard (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) gave the Warriors a quality 1-2 punch, but the team's biggest asset is its continuity. Of the 32 teams in the field, the Warriors' brand of basketball was the most unselfish; they shared the ball, cut hard and played with five skilled players on the floor at all times.
Jabarie Hinds (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon)
2011, PG, 6-foot-0, 165 pounds
He is an attacking lead guard with a scorer's mindset. While not quite a pure point guard, Hinds plays with the ball in his hands and is consistently able to make plays for himself and others. He has a strong and compact frame along with a tremendous handle, allowing him the versatility to overpower some guards off the dribble or just break them down with a change-of-direction move. Hinds can stop and pop quickly in the mid-range area but tends to shoot it more consistently off the dribble than the catch from behind the 3-point line. He loves to attack the baseline, and although he can force himself into some low percentage angles at times, he is clever enough to maneuver his way out of trouble to make improbable plays.
Maurice Harkless (New York/South Kent)
2011, SF, 6-7, 200 pounds
He's a sometimes-streaky offensive player who has been able to get by on athleticism at various points throughout his career. However, Harkless showed a rapidly developing offensive repertoire Sunday. Thanks to his length and athleticism, he is at his best when attacking the rim with an efficient number of bounces. This weekend he was making shots from the perimeter, which makes him virtually unguardable. While Harkless remains a drive-first player, he is a consistent catch-and-shoot threat from 3 and is capable of knocking down the mid-range pull-up. He needs to hit the weight room hard and learn to take better advantage of his athletic gifts on the defensive end of the floor.
Savon Goodman (Bryn Athyn, Pa./Academy of the New Church)
2012, SF, 6-5, 190 pounds
He's a big-time athlete with a motor that just won't stop. Goodman's intensity and energy levels are contagious. With an already strong body, terrific speed and bouncy athleticism, there are few better at filling a wing in transition. He got his head on the rim a number of times, finishing through contact, and showed a step move to the rim when the pass was delivered a little too early. He is a physically aggressive player who bangs on the glass and is always around the ball defensively, although that occasionally comes at the expense of him losing vision of his own man. While Goodman's offensive skills are still somewhat raw in the half-court set, he can overpower smaller defenders on the block, elevate for his pull-up in the mid-range area or get to the rim in a single bounce from behind the arc.
Player to watch
Deshon Minnis (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./Atlantic Christian)
2011, PG, 6-3
A big lead guard with great size and strength, Minnis has all the tools to play at a high level. Although he can be too nonchalant with the ball at times, he isn't rattled by pressure when handling the ball, makes good use of his frame to shield off the defender and always has his head up. He has a ton of explosion in his game, attacking the rim with his dribble, and he has incredible body control finishing around the rim. Minnis has a knack for hanging and maneuvering in mid-air to outlast or avoid shot blockers. His Achilles' heel offensively appears to be his jump shot. He didn't attempt anything outside the paint for as long as we watched.
• Former Seton Hall commit Jamir Hanner (Newark, N.J./Nia Prep) has the length, athleticism and skill set to potentially find his way back to the Big East. Right now, he could be a good fit for a team that plays at a fast tempo for 40 minutes, but if he can add more muscle to his frame, his stock could rise.
• Kadeem Jack (New York/South Kent) showed up in a New York Panthers uniform and didn't disappoint. He did his best work facing the basket and attacking off the dribble.
• After a breakout spring, Ryan Arcidiacono (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy) hasn't missed a beat with the start of the summer. He is highly skilled with great basketball instincts, good size and terrific court vision. However, what really separates him is his supreme confidence (and borderline arrogance) when he is on the floor.
• Elijah Carter (Jersey City, N.J./Brewster Academy) scored in high volume with the ball in his hands throughout the tournament. He's headed to Brewster Academy next year, and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to teaming up with ESPNU 100 point guard Naadir Tharpe (Worcester, Mass./Brewster Academy).
Adam Finkelstein is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.
Jabarie Hinds and Maurice Harkless were highlights at the Summer Classic, Adam Finkelstein writes.