Monday, October 3, 2011

Middlesex Magic Fall Classic: Part I

Damion Smith: Gridiron Explosion
BABC Sophomores win 16u Division
- The Middlesex Magic Fall Classic took place this past weekend at Babson College and surrounding locations, and the Spaceship was on hand in the main gymnasium at the Webster Center to take in a nice chunk of the action.  The full report will be released in several installments over the course of tonight and tomorrow.

- Two months ago, the BABC Freshmen wrapped up an unforgettable July in which they won the National Championship in Little Rock and took the Silver at the Super Showcase in Orlando.  This weekend, Eggie Mcrae's squad, (although short-handed without Wayne Selden, Bobby Ahearn, and Marcel Pettway) took back to the court for the first time as the BABC sophomores.  With their talented players and their fundamental, physical style of play, BABC impressed in going 3-0 and winning the sophomore chip.  Here's the report.

BABC Veterans
- Jonathan Joseph '15 was highly impressive running the point for the BABC sophomores.  He has elite quickness, a tight playground handle, mature court vision, and a crowd-pleasing stop and go pull-back game which keeps defenders gussing and off-balance.  But what's more impressive about JJ is his fighter-pilot decision making and his ability to facilitate the offensive flow of a high level team.  As he extends his range and becomes more consistent with his good looking stroke, Joseph will only become more dangerous at his craft of running a big time club  Putnam Science is really going to have a talented and entertaining double-point guard back-court with Joseph and New York City point guard Scoochie Smith, a la the '96 Suns with Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash on the same roster next to Rex Chapman, Hot Rod Williams, and Dan Majerle.

- Tyree Robinson '15 is just a nasty competitor.  He glares at opponents with every brush of a shoulder and will contentiously contend for each inch of space out on the floor with a bump or a bang or a box.  He spent the weekend rebounding the heck out of the ball and attacking the rim with a vengeance for one roof-raising dunk after another.  Ty-Ro stands about 6'5, but his long-loping arms got to give him a wingspan of at-least 6'8 or 6'9 if not longer.  Combine this length with his strength, athleticism, and his attitude, and Robinson is a high-level energy player with the potential to develop perimeter skills and become a legitimate high-level combo-forward.

- Bonzie Colson is an old-school post player and rebounder from the Georges Niang school of efficiency.  He scored the ball around the basket all weekend and also displayed his emerging athleticism with a loud one-hand rock back dunk off the put-back.  By this time next year, Colson will be a household NE grassroots hoops name.

- Curtis Cobb has gotten stronger, faster, and more explosive.  He is a pure scorer who deposits the rock consistently with his long-range stroke and his slashing attacks to the cup, often in transition, where he likes to glide in and finish over the front of the rim.  Look for him to mold his new physical abilities with his barnstorming offnsive game and emerge on the scholarship hunt this year.

- Damion Smith arrived in Boston from Indiana on Saturday night and played for BABC in the final on Sunday.  Smith checked in with a breakout first half, throwing up 15 points on 7-8 shooting while also sweeping up a pile of steals, rebounds, dimes, and hockey assists.  He is just such a smooth, efficient athlete who puts enormous pressure on a defense with his sprinter's speed and ability to catch and finish in a heartbeat.  His presence on the floor dramatically intensified the potency of the BABC attack.  The biggest problem with Smith as a basketball player is that basketball probably is not his best sport.  Smith has blown up  on the Indiana prep gridiron this fall and the radars of Big Ten football programs are already zeroing in.  When it's all said and done, Smith will be one of the most highly recruited safeties in the country in the class of 2014.
- With his monster 6'8 frame and his athleticism, coordination, nimble feet, and long arms, Gerard Adams would be an outstanding candidate if there was ever an academy for prospective NFL left-tackles.  But make no mistake, Adams can play ball.  He eats up space in the paint and plays a role in a high percentage of rebounds.  He also challenges shots, finishes around the basket, and wears down the opposing front lines in a major way.  As his conditioning improves and he grows into his body, it will be interesting to see what type of player Adams becomes in the long run.

BABC Newcomers
- Tyler Nelson can absolutely stroke it and he will get plenty of looks at the basket on this club.  He is a high-IQ sniper and facilitator who enhances the versatility of a ball-club.  Still a pup physically, long way to go in terms of the development of his body.

- Al Skinner made his return to the sidelines as Eggie Mcrae's assistant and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself working with guys at the beginning of their basketball journies.  After being in Skinner's vicinity for a several hours and hearing him conversate a bit, one thing was apparent.  Coach Skinner loves talking and teaching the game of basketball.  I came away highly intrigued by his unique perspective.

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