Posted On: 03/24/21 7:32 AM

While the common thread with Symonds thus far comes with his physicality and willingness to dominate in the post, Symonds showed much more than just a pure post game during the tournament. I was really impressed with his overall basketball instincts and work as a passer and cutter off the ball, as Symonds has many different dimensions to his game. That said, his passing popped. I’d say the passes made by Symonds especially from the perimeter and high post were by far the most impressive and translatable assists of the weekend. Specifically finding the cutter backdoor, Symonds has the potential to become an offensive hub himself, an on the rise skill, popularized by current bigs Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo. In addition to his passing game, I also thought Symonds made some really well-timed cuts, even if the ball handler didn’t see him. Willing to run in the open floor, he caught lobs in transition and finished plays throughout Saturday and Sunday’s wins. 

Offensively, Trevor Mullin Trevor Mullin 6'0" | PG St. Sebastian's School | 2023 State was the most captivating guard to watch over the weekend. He played with a controlled flare but made sound decisions through accurate pocket passes out of the pick & roll/pop action. Willing to create for himself and others off the dribble, he seemed to understand how and when to utilize the step-back for advantage creation situations. A fluid shooter both spotting up and off the dribble, Mullin’s quick trigger shot was lethal from deep, but he also showed control and finesse on drives to the rack. Even his misses rattled around the rim, as he did a great job of relocating to open space after an initial pass. A driving offensive force, he helped secure a hard-fought victory for the Jags with both his shot and willingness to attack off the dribble. On defense, Mullin stayed attached to his opponent’s hip, fought through ball screens, and showed a willingness to apply needed pressure on the perimeter. Willing to dive on the floor and win at all costs, Mullin could be one of the most overlooked guards in New England. I’d expect his stock to rise the summer.

  • Ryan MacLellan | 6’0″ | Primary Initiator | Andover HS | Middlesex Magic | 2023

With a tight handle and smooth fluidity to his game, MacLellan consistently made the extra pass. He did a great job of setting up the offense in the half court, as he was one of the more patient guards of the weekend, rarely forcing the offense, he kept an intense level of aggression in transition. His speed and long strides going downhill helped him create looks for himself and others as he made great decisions as a drive-and-kick playmaker. He converted on a nice off-leg Steve Nash style layup as MacLellan did a great job measuring his defender. With a springy bounce on his jump shot, he showed the ability to score at all three levels but also played well off the ball next to fellow guard Ta’quan Williams. After a steal or change of possession MacLellan was always looking ahead. He did a great job of quarterbacking the offense both on the fast break and in transition. On defense, MacLellan showed a high level of activity but didn’t overcommit as a point of attack defender. 

  • Ta’quan Williams | 6’0″ | Primary Initiator | Dexter Southfield | Middlesex Magic | 2023

Ta’quan Williams makes plays on both sides of the floor both with his hustle and feel for the game. A defensive difference maker and skilled lead guard, Williams was the best point of attack defender of the weekend. His effort level guarding ball handlers was unmatched. Against the Bay State Jaguars he was responsible for three consecutive defensive stops/steals which helped the Magic open up a 47-31 lead. An unselfish lead guard, Williams was another Magic ball handler who did a great job of setting up the offense and communicating movement on the floor. He made some impressive cross court reads and found shooters squarely in shooting pockets. Aggressive on his rim attacks seeking out contact when challenged, Williams also showcased a fluid lefty stroke with great mechanics and lift off the dribble. A high character player who enjoyed getting others involved, Williams is another Magic guard on the rise. 

Max Poulton Max Poulton 6'5" | SG The Rivers School | 2022 State is what the analytics community would call a high gravity, movement shooter. With a quick trigger release and fluid mechanics he commands attention at all times on the floor. At times the Magic guarded the over on screens in an effort to deny the long-ball. Capable of shooting off the catch and dribble, Poulton’s high level understanding of spacing helped create driving lanes for The Rivals throughout Saturday’s closely contested matchup against the Magic. He does a great job of running the floor and filling lanes as he converted on several movement and spot-up looks from the corner. Poulton also had a great pick-and-pop sequence and showcased a willingness to handle the ball, operating as a secondary/tertiary playmaker. I am intrigued to see if The Rivals start using him more as a screener given his ability to pop-and-fire with ease. On defense he stayed in front of his matchup on the ball and did a good job of not fouling when attacked off the dribble. 

  • Marcus Rivera | 6’1″ | Big guard capable of playing up | Central Catholic | Middlesex Magic | 2023

If there was an award for unselfishness and winning the small battles, maybe we could call this the PJ Tucker award, I would give both of these honors to Marcus Rivera. Master of the intangibles, Rivera continuously passed up open looks for even better shots, exuding a win-at-all costs mentality. He was the player who collected the offensive rebound that led to an open three pointer, as he was always passing or moving and setting screens without the ball. I am intrigued by his role as a screen-setter as he showed flashes of playmaking out of the short roll. A positionless player capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc, Rivera has the strength to guard taller players and footspeed to stay with jitterbug guards. Always talking on defense, Rivera was the loudest on the floor and did a great job of communicating his switches.

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