Last weekend, the best of the best Power 5 Conference teams converged on West Haven, CT to compete in the Vertical Hoops Prep Showcase. During the 8 game event over 2 days, the very best of New England’s prep basketball teams went at it. With a tantalizing combination of new schools and fresh talent alongside some of the best established programs in the nation, this event was an absolute show from start to finish. Here’s the first group of guys who really got after it throughout the weekend!
Miguel Ferrand, 6-3, PG, Evangel Christian
Ferrand was a dog in a tight game against Springfield Commonwealth Academy. While his team fell to 0-2 over the course of the weekend, the wing originally from Santo Domingo really made his name known. Listed at 6-3, Ferrand is a strong guard with the ability to get by quicker defenders. He has a tight handle and looked really comfortable playing the 2 guard. Speaking of shooting, Ferrand lit it up in the game I watched. He was more than confident shooting from NBA range, and knocked down 5 triples while going for 21 points. Even while his team struggled to keep their momentum in the second half, Ferrand remained disciplined and was one of the main reasons that his team was even able to keep it close despite an abysmal second half. Ferrand was an offensive weapon, and could contribute to a program willing to take a chance on him. He is unsigned and will add an immediate offensive spark to a collegiate team.
Andrew Urosevic, 6-4, 2024, Ridley College Prep
Urosevic was a beast in this game. While Putnam Science began to run away with the W, Urosevic single handedly stopped the bleeding with one of the most impressive strings of buckets I have seen in a while. The 6-4 point guard is as smooth of a shooter as they come, knocking down 4 triples throughout the contest and forcing the Putnam Defense to leave their strong interior guys to stop him on the perimeter. But Urosevic was not a one-trick pony. With a nasty bag of dribble moves and a keen eye for finding gaps in the defense, Urosevic got a couple of really easy buckets by getting in open space and knocking down some tough mid-range jumpers. Urosevic was a leader on both ends of the floor and a spark plug that went off every time Ridley looked like they were slowing down. Urosevic isn’t going to outjump or outrun you, but he’s pure skill – enough skill to put him on mine and many other coaches radars. He’ll be a guy to keep an eye on this season.
Muazibinji Jabal Amadu, 6-10, 2023, Putnam Science Academy
There were 10+ guys I could have included on this list from Putnam Science Academic. They are simply the most productive program in the entire state of CT. So, I decided to include the guy who surprised me the most! Amadu fits the mold for some of the best Putnam Science big men: lanky, tall, strong, good athlete. But while some of the other Putnam guys I’ve watched lack in skill, Amadu was an impressive feature on the low block. He had incredible footwork and a really great sense of where he was in relation to the basket. With an arsenal of incredible big men, I was surprised to see them target Amadu for the first few plays of the game. But he delivered, scoring on the first three possessions. He’s got some ground to cover defensively, but Amadu was a wonderful surprise and a guy I really enjoyed watching in that game.
Alijah Lovelace, 5-10, 2023, Bridgeport Prep
Lovelace deserves some love for one reason and one reason only: on-ball defense. While he made some critical mistakes on the offensive end that led to his team’s loss to Busche Prep, Lovelace was a beast on the ball. He made his offensive assignment really work for every bucket they got, and often he left teams completely scoreless from some tough possessions. While I know one-dimensionality is not what collegiate basketball scouts really look for, Lovelace’s defensive intensity and prowess definitely earns him a spot as one of my favorite players to watch from the weekend.