If the 2016 “Hoops Over Violence” proved one thing, it's that next year's high school basketball season is going to be an electrifying one in the Baltimore region. In the event sponsored by current Olympian and NBA Star Carmelo Anthony who has recently mounted efforts against violence by advocating open dialoged between community and police nationwide; put his plan into action in the city to which he is a native. The event which partnered with the Baltimore City Police Departments Office of Community Engagement was a success as Carmelo Anthony set the example for civic responsibility for adults and youth alike.
The participants in Saturday’s game at St. Frances Academy showcased unique abilities to score from all over the court. Now, we understand this was an all-star game, but many guys look like stars in the making by their performances this past weekend.
CLASS OF 2020
Isaiah Todd – John Marshall High School
Isaiah Todd performed well all game long. After looking like the best player in the first half, Todd capped it off with an impressive one on one battle in the second half, Todd showed his prowess and that he is a freak athlete with a smooth touch from beyond the arc. His ability to hit the open jumper and create his own shot combined with his ability to guard on the other end was all on display. He was active the entire game and asserted himself as one of the top players in the class; all in attendance very well may have been looking at the future #1 player in the country. He displayed his elite athleticism on the finishing end of oops and court vision setting up others to score.
Che Evans Jr. – Delaney High School
Anthony Thomas – St. Frances
Thomas is a long lean and very athletic wing that is a high light in the open court where he can play above the rim with flare. He can make open threes with time and space and can execute quick short straight line drives. Thomas makes plays with length and athleticism as opposed to strength.
Cameron Byers – Undecided
Byers continues to make steady progress and has added another inch spouting up to 6’7; he displayed a versatile game by scoring, rebounding and blocking shots. When you combine Byers ability to knock down the 15-footer, accuracy and confidence at his size with better than you think athletic ability his future potential looks strong. Byers is comfortable and is effective handing, passing and shooting along with a quickly developing IQ he will only continue to blossom down the road.
Montez McNeil – Calvert Hall
McNeil has excellent size. He is long and is an excellent athlete. He runs the floor well and can score in and around the lane and short corner areas when he receives drop off or kick out passes. MeNeil is a good area rebounder and gets his share of block shots letting nothing come easy in the paint. Adding the ability to finish with the dunk and improved athleticism along with an already chiseled frame he will be beating the competition into submission for years to come.
Justin Lewis – Calvert Hall
Lewis has excellent range for a 6-8 prospect. Lewis to lock and load off the catch. This is a guy that will craft his game around his ability to play facing the basket as a perimeter forward. Does have an awfully good looking half game in the paint. Rebounds his area well. Does a tremendous job of rebounding and igniting the break with crisp outlet passes. Has size and sees the floor so you can run offense through him. Justin is also very physical and compete on both ends every possession. He is deceiving but very productive.Justin Lewis (@jusbuckets_5) of @Dwayne_Wise put on a show tonight at #HoopLifeAgainstViolence pic.twitter.com/d9zgtP68wV— Hoop Major (@Hoop_Maj0r) August 14, 2016
CLASS OF 2019
Jason Murphy – Chapelgate
He's a highly talented, high motor, finisher and has the type of run and jump tools at his size that just can't be taught. He'll be a rim protector, defender and finisher from day one, but has the potential to develop into a more accomplished scorer as his career goes on he showed some solid footwork in his face up game showing that he has been in the gym; no one works harder and that in itself with his tools will put him in many conversations.
James Bishop – Mt. St. Joe’s
He has a lean frame with long arms and active hands. He can snatch rebounds in traffic, lead the break, and make the appropriate pass or slash his way to the rim. He has excellent body control while attacking the rim and he can finish with either hand. However, he is at his best when spotting up for the 3-point shot, his shot was a little off Saturday but you can see the consistency with the mechanics.
Gerard Mungo – St. Frances
Mungo is a jack of all trades prospect who projects well to the next level and is someone who you want to go to war with. Defensively, he is tough showing great physicality, and active hands to guard multiple positions. Offensively, he has the ball skills, savvy, and an innate ability to get into the lane off the dribble. His jump shot has improved tremendously and he is solid in the mid-range area and he has the length and athleticism to finish off the bounce while attacking the paint. He is at his best in transition. Whether it be leading the break (after snatching a rebound) or filling the lane in transition, Gerard has a knack to making the right basketball play.
Ziggy Reid – St. Paul
He has excellent body control while maneuvering his two-dribble pull-up, he is solid in the mid-range and he can get to the rim utilizing his length and scoring savvy. In transition he can finish over the rim but he needs momentum. He has shown he can knock down of the catch. In areas other than scoring, he has shown savviness as a passer and overall has a nice feel for the game on the offensive end. One of the biggest area sleepers.
Will Thomas – Mt. Carmel
Thomas is a strong and athletic combo-guard prospect for the next level. He has good length, solid quickness, and he is vertically explosive. His burst has improved where he can separate from defenders in the open court as well out of the triple threat position. He can split double teams, get into the lane and either drop a floater or pull-up. He gets excellent lift on his shot and he has deep range but must become more confident in actually shooting it. He can nail the mid-range pull-up off the bounce or off a pin-down. In terms of other areas of the game he is a very productive rebounder and he competes at all times at both ends. One of those players who when they put it all together stock will rise tremendously.
Jalen Willis - Dunbar
Jalen is a long and athletic wing with a non-stop motor. He is a good scorer that can score at all three levels as he often simply out works his opponent. He is a exceptional athlete that scores very well in transition. He is a good shooter from both mid range and long range improvements in this area will open even more doors for Willis. Willis has the tools to be a very good defender with his size and length and can be considered a defensive stopper in every sense of the word - his on the ball defense is one of the best we have seen and he looks to enjoy stopping his man just as much as he does scoring the ball. Rebounds well for a guard outside of his area; we like his ceiling and consider him one of the best kept secrets in Baltimore this is a player whose stock is rising quickly.
Logan Curtis – Calvert Hall
Curtis is a straight-up bucket getter. He plays with maximum effort (good speed and quickness) and is always in attack mode. He can splash jump shots out to the stripe and he is one of the few prospects that uses glass in his mid-range pull-up. He handles it well in the open court and has a knack of converting buckets in the paint area over length.
Jalen Wiggins – Delaney
Jalen is a gifted scorer and shooter. Once he learns to get others involved and improve his ball handling against pressure, his stock will elevate. In the half court set he is quite good in a drive and kick situation and if the defense sags he can knock down the jump shot. Defensively, he has the strength, lateral quickness, and active hands to be a reliable defender. Overall, Wiggins is a gamer and plays to win each and every time out.
Jalen Rucker – Gilman
Rucker has a very good burst in transition and he has the power to carry defenders on his hips. While in the paint he has the body control and physical frame to finish through contact. He excels in transition where he puts defenders on their heels, but also has the vision to drop off the nice assist.
CLASS OF 2018/2019
Montez Mathis – Oak Hill
Mathis is a rangy scoring guard and at 6’4 he has an excellent upside. He has long arms, broad shoulders, and he possesses a quick 1st step. He can face-up his defender and his burst allows him to get into the lane for the score. He excels in transition due to his explosive nature. He can finish above the rim and exhibited the type of athleticism to slash his way to the rim or finish over the top of defenders. He can knock down the 3-point shot and his release looks solid. In addition, he showed glimpses of an evolving mid-range stop and pop game. Defensively, he has the length and lateral quickness to be a defensive stopper.
Jalen “Sticks” Smith – Mt. St. Joe
Smith is a lean power forward prospect with long arms and an excellent motor. His shot blocking an ability to sprint in transition is impressive. He has excellent timing and his initial burst is exceptional. He can explode to the rim in transition and finish with a dunk and he also has the ability to get numerous points off of tip-ins. He showed the ability to face up and knock in jump shots and a face-up driving game as well. A high major prospect due to his excellence with a specific skill set as his offence develops the sky is the limit.
Demitrius Mims – Poly
Mims is a terrific athlete who plays at a relentless pace. The term scoring machine quickly comes to mind while evaluating Mims. He has a chiseled frame with good length and he is an exceptional athlete. He excels in transition where he uses his strength, quickness, and bounce to explode to the rim. He has an innate ability to slash his way to the rim and he has the strength to finish through contact. His jump shot is decent out to the 3-point stripe, but overall it will need to get more consistent for the next level. Defensively, he has the physical tools (length, active hands, lateral quickness) to be a lock-down defender at the next level; this is a player whose ceiling is extremely high and has the potential raise his stock tremendously as 2018/2019 wing.
Nate Roberts – John Carroll
Roberts is one of the better up-and-coming bigs in the DMV and Baltimore. He has very long arms, broad shoulders, solid hands, good feet. His motor is terrific at both ends, whether it be crashing the glass, finishing through contact, or going after loose balls. He can toss in the occasional jump hook, but overall his offense is still in it's developing stages. Defensively, he shows good timing as a rebounder and weak side shot blocker. In addition, he has active hands while defending in the post.
Terry Nolan – Mt. Carmel
Nolan took away MVP honors showing he can score the pill; Nolan is a solid looking shooting guard prospect. He has long arms, broad shoulders, and he's a good athlete. He affects the game in multiple ways due to his overall feel for the game. He can knock in the 3-point shot, slash his way to the rim, snatch a rebound in traffic, or make the appropriate pass. Overall, he projects as a mid-major at the next level.
Dre Perry – Poly
Perry is a multi-skilled wing who impacts the game on both ends of the floor and has improved at a rapid rate in the second half of his high school career. He has a good basketball body with long limbs, developing muscle mass and solid athleticism. Offensively, he's a potential mismatch problem who can thrive in transition, make open shots out to 20 feet, straight line drives to the rim and even has a little in-between games with floaters and pull-ups. Defensively, he guards multiple positions in both full and half-court situations because of his length and mobility and is also a good rebounder from the wing.Dre Perry (@Dreperry22) of Team Melo (@Dwayne_Wise) highlights at #HoopLifeAgainstViolence pic.twitter.com/7bWFlc4Ast— Hoop Major (@Hoop_Maj0r) August 15, 2016
Tyler Foster – Middleburg Academy
Foster look like a scorer who can drain shots out to 23-feet with ease. He can nail shots off the catch, but looked even better off the dribble. He has a nice burst off the bounce, can stop on a dime, and deliver an impeccable looking shot. His shot mechanics are excellent as his release and delivering are high-level. He changes speeds well to keep defenders honest while attacking and owns a very dependable middle game.
Andre Rafus – Roselle Academy
Darryl Morsell – Mt. St. Joe’s
Morsell who easily qualifies as the highest stock riser this summer is entertaining offers from Notre Dame, Villanova, and Maryland amongst others is a flat out show stopper. Morsell is an explosive combo guard who can create his shot off the dribble at will. He has good length, excellent bounce, and his slashing ability to the rim is special. He can score over and through defenders and is a menace in the open court. He can finish with a dunk or lay it in with either hand. If the scoring opportunity is not there he has the court savvy to find open teammates. If the lane cuts off, he can rise up and nail the jump shot. Frequently he can take the rebound and lead the break as well and his motor is excellent.
Noah Locke – McDonogh
He has floor vision and creativity alike and his teammates love playing with him because he will "pass out the sugar". Locke also shoots the ball with deep range and can also score it off the bounce. Defensively he's solid, and probably at his best playing the passing lanes for steals.