Thursday, October 6, 2011

Columbus Day Weekend Preview #1

Jalen Adams Explosion Watch
Basketbull Columbus Day Challenge
- It's usually on a Thursday night that a 'buzz' begins to circulate about a weekend hoops event.  Tonight, the buzz is on full blast, because this weekend, the Basketbull Columbus Day Challenge, the premier fall tournament in New England  will take place at Conn College in New London, Connecticut.   It should be an exciting weekend.  Over the next 27 hours, we'll preview numerous NE squads set to participate.

Rivals Re-Load
- This past July was the Rivals swan song for guys like Zach Auguste, Cedric Kuakumensah, Steve Haladyna, Ryan Hartung, and Jamie Holder; therefore, heading into the fall, Vinny Pastore was faced with the artistic task of creating a new mural around returning players Noah Vonleh and Dimitri Floras.  It looks like he may have painted a potential masterpiece as Pastore is set to roll out a roster this weekend which is loaded up like a birthday pinata.  Pastore revealed the first new puzzle piece two weeks ago as Cushing Academy '14 combo guard Kaleb Joseph made his Rivals debut in New Jersey at the Hoop Group Fall Jamfest.  If you see KJ down in Connecticut this weekend, be careful, he is scalding hot having received offers in the past few weeks from the likes of Tennessee, Maryland, Boston College, and more.

More New Additions
Melrose HS 2014 6'2 combo guard Jalen Adams is not going to be a secret much longer.  He is still only 15 years old, but his Steve Francis-style talent is through-the-roof.  Has a ton of ability with the ball, glides out on the floor with elite speed and he effortlessly changes direction to separate.  But what has everyone talking is the way Adams rises up vertically and attacks the rim off the dribble drive.

Patrick Benzan's game translates highest as a rock-steady facilitating point guard who makes his teammates better.  Playing on this roster, Benzan will get the opportunity to play his game at the highest level.

The best 8th grader in New England this past spring and summer was Springfield's Chris Baldwin, a '15 highly-skilled 6'7 forward with long arms, athleticism, length, and IQ.  He screams high-major potential.

Idris Taqqee '14 is an "athletic guard" from Cushing Academy who we will be getting our first look at this weekend. 

Another skilled 2015 big man with high-major potential is 6'9 New Hampton forward Jeremy Miller, a long & lean, card-carrying member of the 7-foot wing-span club who has nimble feet, soft hands, and terrific defensive instincts.

Along with Vonleh, Floras, and the five new Rivals, Vin Pastore will moved up three players, New Hampton 6'5 forward Mike Auger '14, Worcester Academy 6'9 big man Matt Cimino '14, and Dover High School's (NH) 6'6 wing Mike Leblanc '13.

Next up - New England Playaz 16s

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