Posted On: 05/2/18 9:24 AM
Hoop Group hosted their annual Spring Jam Fest this past weekend at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pennsylvania. As usual, the event was a success as you could tell by the standing room only audience. 219 college coaches from around the country were in attendance as the first live period of the AAU season came to a close.
Here, we’ll take a look at some random observations that we noticed throughout day two, when the bulk of the game were played.
Match up of the day
The DC Blue Devils (NH) went up against Nova Village in what would be a tightly contest battle. Both teams are loaded with talent, but it was the individual match up between Nova’s Max Martz (2019) and the Blue Devils’ Gob Gabriel (2019) that dominated the show. Martz, a UPenn commit, was getting it done from everywhere on the floor. He’s one of the unique talents because of his ability to play on the block with his back to the basket, face up in the mid post and bury three’s any chance he gets. He finished with a game-high 26 points and feasted on the glass, but his tremendous effort wasn’t enough to come up with the win.
Gabriel put on a show throughout the entire tournament. He finished this game with 21 points to lead the Devils. Similar to Martz, Gabriel can score from all three levels, but he does so with guard-like fashion. At 6-foot-8 with very long limbs, if he gets even a half of a step on you, you’re beat. Matching up against him caused issues for teams and Martz specifically because of Gabriel’s ability to shoot the three off the dribble. He’d then mix it up with a series of hesitation and combo moves to blow past his defender and finish around the rim. One thing is for sure, these two players are going to be productive at the next level.
District Basketball Club has plenty of prospects
DBC has a solid showing this weekend by capturing a couple of wins and helping earn many scholarship offers to a couple of players. As Adam Ayalew pointed out in his superlatives article, 2019 guard Kyle Rose was arguably the best breakout performer of the weekend. Rose picked up offers from Bryant, Howard, UMass-Lowell and Rider. The 6-foot-5 guard showed versatility on both ends and contributed in a number of ways. Cameron Brown was selected as being the most valuable player by Hoop Group. At 6-foot-5, Brown did a little bit of everything from scoring, showcasing his vision, handling the ball and being a presence on the glass. The 2019 wing picked up an offer from New Hampshire following this weekend’s play. Kamdyn Curfman put together a couple nice performances including a 14-point outing in a win over JB Hoops. The 6-foot guard showed nice touch on his jumpshot and little hesitation to pull it when presented the slightest of space. With that being said, he shot it efficiently.
A pair of high school teammates shine for their teams
Ryan Conway and Ike Cornish, both of which play at Dulaney High School, brought some light to Team Melo this weekend. Although they are both a part of the class of 20201, Conway is playing up on 16U while Cornish is on the 15U team. Conway has the chance to become a heavily recruited point guard at the Division I level. The 6-foot-1 guard, who holds offers from TCU and Old Dominion, shot it well from beyond the arc and did a nice job getting into the paint and finding open teammates. The thing we like most about Conway is his overall body language. He plays with intensity and passion, but never lets a bad play or a questionable call from the referee change his demeanor. Those are important characteristics when breaking down the assets a floor general needs to have.
Cornish is more of a slashing scorer. He can hit three’s when his feet are set, but with his length at 6-foot-5, he is more effective when he attacks the rim or rises above his defender in the paint. Team Melo 15U is still very much a work in progress, but Cornish understands the periods throughout games where he needs to become aggressive in order to keep his team in the game. He still has a ways to go in terms of development, but with his size and raw skill set, there’s little doubt that mid-major schools will be interested in recruiting him.