Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is There a New Rivalry In The Eastern Conference?

The NBA has to be happy with the buzz media days across the league have stirred up.  From them the league now has a new rivalry forming between two of the Eastern Conference's best teams.

On Monday at the Washington Wizards' media day Bradley Beal had some vain comments about the Wizards back court.  Beal said,
 "I think we’re definitely the best back court in the league, just in terms of what we’re capable of doing, the confidence that we have in that. At the same time we got to prove it" (Via WaPo).
Beal and Wall are one of the best backcourts in the league, but are they the best? This is where Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters decided to join in on the debate.

After practice today, Waiters gave his opinion on Beal's comments.  He said,
"That's nonsense," Waiters said after practice Tuesday. "(Beal is) supposed to say that, but I know deep down, he's not messing with me and Ky (Kyrie Irving). I think me and Ky are the best backcourt, young backcourt. That's all."   (Via ESPN)
Waiters thinks he and Kyrie Irving are the best backcourt in the league though.  Just like Wall and Beal, they are two incredibly talented young guards.

Now it's time for the Wizards to fire right back at Waiters, right?  Today John Wall respond and said,
“[The Cavaliers] haven’t seen a playoff game yet, so when they make one, they can start talking,” Wall said. “If you’re going to be the best backcourt, you have to start,” Wall said. “This is the year [Waiters is] probably starting, so let’s see if they’re the best backcourt.” (Via The Washington Times)
John Wall really sparked up a rivalry with these comments.  Before this it was all just fun trash talking, but now Wall decided to make it personal.  Which might not be the best of ideas. It is never the best idea to spark a rivalry with the best team in your conference, especially when they have best player in the world on their roster, a.k.a LeBron James.

But then again, what Wall said is true.  Waiters has no reason to be talking yet.  The Cavs haven't made the playoffs nor has Waiters started.  But Waiters has great talent and will hopefully start this season.

Last season the Cavs "backcourt" of Irving and Waiters averaged a combined 36.7 PPG, 9.1 APG, and 6.4 RPG.  The Wizards backcourt of Wall and Beal averaged a combined 36.4 PPG, 12.1 APG, and 7.8 RPG.  The Wizards duo has a slight advantage but nothing major.  The two back courts who boast they are the best in the league are basically equal.

For now the two backcourts are just as good as each other.  But the bragging rights will be given to one team after their first matchup. The first time the Cavs and Wizards meet is on Friday November 21.  On that night the boastful backcourts will finally get to show each other what they are made of.  Until then it's hard to pick from one of them as the best backcourt in the league.  But for now all this trash talk and rivalry is a great way to start off the season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves Present: Dunks After Dark

On Monday night the Minnesota Timberwolves held and open practice for their fans.  The night was filled with dunk after dunk from Timberwolves rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine.  Hence the name Dunks After Dark.  Watch some of the best dunks from the night above.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rajon Rondo Is Out 6-8 Weeks

Rajon Rondo broke his left hand the other night during a fall at his home.  The injury prone point guard is going to miss 6-8 weeks with his injured hand.

This is the worst news Boston fans could receive.  Whether your a Celtic fan that wants to keep Rondo, or one who wants to trade him, all of them wanted to see him play this season.  After missing a good portion of the season last year, and now getting hurt again, Rondo's trade value has plummeted down to almost nothing.  He did not look to great last season and was planning on having a big contract season.  Not that he can't still have a great season, but he has proved that he is injury prone.  Not many teams are going to take a chance on Rondo now.  This could be good or bad for the Celtics though.

The new point guard battle is now rookie Marcus Smart vs. second year Phil Pressey.  There is going to be a good chunk of minutes now available for these young guards to prove themselves.  But what are they actually fighting for?  Are they fighting to be Rondo's back up or the next point guard for the Celtics?  If the Celtics do plan on trading Rajon Rondo they need to start Marcus Smart.  Smart has great potential to be one of the next all-star point guards in the NBA.  Over the summer at USA Basketball's training camp many coaches and scouts were impressed with Smart's game.  He brings crazy intensity and physicality with his game.  Smart is going to be a force on defense, but needs to develop his outside game.  In Summer League he looked great, but it was obvious he needs to work on his shot.  If Smart joins Avery Bradley in the back court they will lock down other teams guard play all season.  On the other hand,  the Celtics could start Phil Pressey.  He looked great in Summer League and outplayed Smart.  But is that because of his experience or talent? Pressey is a great guard to run the Celtics offense and play some defense, but he isn't great at one thing.  He plays alright defense, and has an alright offensive game.  Pressey is only going into his second year though, and still has time to develop.  He would provide a great back-up for Rondo when he returns.  It's obvious Rondo is better than Pressey, but know one knows whether Smart could end up being better than Rondo.  The Celtics have a complicated back court to take deal with this season.

One thing's for sure; the battle between Marcus Smart and Phil Pressey for the starting point guard job is going to be a dog fight.  And if I had to pick any NBA player to fight for a job it would be Marcus Smart.  His tenacity and intensity is going to lead him past Pressey.  But then again, Pressey could beat out Smart using his cool, calm, and collected style of play.  The debate could last all day long, but on opening night we will know who has won the fight.


Eric Bledsoe and Zoran Dragic Both Sign with the Suns

Eric Bledsoe and Zoran Dragic have both signed with the Phoenix Suns.

Along with Eric Bledsoe and Zoran Dragic the Suns also have Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Dragic, Tyler Ennis, and Archie Goodwin.  It seems like they are trying to hoard all of the leagues best guards.  It would not come by surprise if the Suns traded away a guard or two to create more open minutes to their young guards.  

Bledsoe has finally resigned after a long summer of negotiating a new contract.  The Suns signed him to a 5 year $70 million contract.  This is a win win situation for both parties.  Bledsoe was expected to sign a one year qualifying offer of $3.7 million this Friday, but now he finally got the long-term deal he was waiting for.  For the Suns they benefit by locking up Bledsoe for the long term.  He is one of the best point guards in the NBA.  The guard described as "Mini LeBron" averaged 17.7 PPG and 5.5 APG last season.  His numbers certainly justify the highest contract signed by any free agent this summer.

The Suns also signed Zoran Dragic today.  Dragic is the brother to Suns point guard Gordon Dragic.  Zoran played on the Slovenian National team at the FIBA World Cup over the summer.  He averaged 12.9 PPG over the summer.  Although he is a talented guard, he probably won't get many minutes in the Suns loaded back court this season.

The Phoenix Suns are going to be one of the premier teams in the NBA this season.  They are going to have the best back court in the league this year with Dragic, Thomas, and Bledsoe.  Last season the Suns big three averaged 58.3 PPG combined.  Their guard play provide a little over half their points this season if they can keep scoring the ball that well.  It will be interesting to see which one of the big three does not start this season.  Dragic and Bledsoe will most likely start though, with Thomas coming off the bench as the sixth-man.  The Suns also have Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker at the small forward spot.  Green is one of the most athletic scorers in the league who leaves fans in awe with his high-flying acrobatic dunks.  He can also provide a great scoring threat from the perimeter. Tucker is a dependable small forward who does a little bit of everything for Phoenix last season.  On the other side their front-court is composed of Miles Plumlee,  Marcus Morris, and Markieff Morris.  Plumlee is a double-double machine and cleans up the glass for the Suns.  He is one of the best young talented big men in the league.  The Morris twins both are solid forwards with a well rounded game.  Phoenix  also has rookies Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren.  Warren scores the ball with ease and averaged 24.9 PPG last season with NC State. Warren's style of play is going to have to change to adapt to the NBA, but he makes a great fit with the Suns.  He is loaded with potential and could explode scoring the ball this year.  The other rookie, Tyler Ennis probably won't get much playing time this year because of the star-studded back-court.  Phoenix is loaded with talent and a deep bench.  This will be a huge plus for them this season.

The Suns are one of the funnest teams to watch in league with their high tempo and athletic style of play.  They missed the playoffs by a few games last season and are looking to turn their fortune around this season.  The Suns will start their playoff pursuit against the Lakers on Oct. 29.  This season they know every win counts and won't take any nights off.  Watch out for the Suns come opening night as they are going to be a team to watch all year long.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Dallas Mavericks Have New Uniforms

The Dallas Mavericks released new Alternate uniforms today.  They have 3 new uniforms that all feature the skyline of Dallas.  One uniform is white with a blue stripe and the skyline in grey.  Another uniform is navy blue with a royal blue trim and grey skyline.  The last uniform is a royal blue color with green trim and a green skyline.  Below is an image of the new uniforms.

New Orleans Pelicans New Alternate Uniforms

The New Orleans Pelicans revealed new alternate jerseys today.  They jerseys are red and say Pelicans across the chest in white and have a navy blue trim.  Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday showed off the new uniforms today.  Below are images of the new uniforms.

Monday, September 22, 2014

LeBron James Thinks Kyrie Irving Could be the Best Point Guard in the NBA

After unveiling his new Nike shoe last Tuesday, LeBron James spoke Slam Magazine.  They asked him about Kyrie Irving and he responded, "It's part of the reason I came back... I think he can be the best point guard in our league." LeBron is right. Kyrie Irving can easily be the best guard in the NBA this season. Playing alongside the best player in the NBA is going to help Kyrie out of course. He practically had to carry the Cavs last season. Now he has one of the best big men in the league with Kevin Love and the best player in the league in LeBron James. Irving is going to have ample opportunity to run the pick and roll with Love and will create two man highlight shows with LeBron James on the break. Both Love and James will take weight off Irving's shoulders and allow him to do his job and relax. Irving is going to show a new side to his game this year for sure. Over the summer Irving showed part of his new side by earning MVP honors for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup. He averaged 12.1 PPG and 3.6 APG. Better yet he looked like the best player on the court. Irving has improved over the summer and is ready to show the league what he's made of. It won't be hard for Kyrie Irving to look like the best guard in the league this season while playing with LeBron James and Kevin Love.

Jordan Crawford Signed in China

Jordan Crawford has signed a contract with Xinjiang Flying Tigers for around $2 Million.  Crawford tweeted out after the news was released that he "signed one month ago."  This is a surprising twist in the eventful NBA off-season.  Crawford was one of the best free agent guards left.  He averaged 13.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 39 games during his stint with the Celtics last season.  He was then traded to Golden State in January and saw his minutes cut in half.  In Boston he was the first option some nights, but in Golden State he was stuck behind the Splash Brothers tandem of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.  He then averaged 8.4 points, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 42 games for the Warriors.  Crawford can be one of the most streaky players in the league at times but also shows flashes of brilliance like he did in Boston last season.  His unpredictability was fun for fans though.  Wether it was saying he thought he had a chance to be better than Michael Jordan, dunking over LeBron James, hitting crazy deep three's to force overtime in the NCAA tournament, or saying Kevin Garnett had sex with Carmelo Anthony's wife, Jordan Crawford was one of the funnest basketball players to watch.  It's a shame we won't be able to see him play this season in the NBA. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nike Reveals LeBron 12

Nike revealed the new LeBron 12 today.  The shoe features a hexagonal Nike Zoom design on the bottom of the shoe for increased comfort and traction.  Surprisingly there does not seem to be any Cleveland Cavalier color ways yet.  Here are the pictures of the new shoe below.

Emmanuel Mudiay Signed With Under Armour

Emmanuel Mudiay has signed a shoe contract with Under Armour.  The details of the deal have not been revealed yet.  Mudiay bypassed a scholarship to play at SMU to go overseas and play in China this season.  He signed a one year contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers for more than $1 million.  

Mudiay was the 5th ranked player in the ESPN 100 last season and is a potential lottery pick in next years NBA Draft.  He took the unusual route of going overseas instead of college.  But why wouldn't he?  He is less than a year removed from high school and is going to be a multi-millionaire.  Don't forget after his one season in China he has the chance to be the #1 pick in the NBA Draft. 

It' surprising more high-school kids don't go overseas.  What's more enticing to a 18-19 year old kid, a million dollars or one free year of college education before they go to the NBA?  A Kid like Mudiay decided to go overseas to help support his family.  For kids who are less fortunate, like him, and don't have money in their families going overseas is a quick fix.  They get paid to play basketball and ready themselves for the NBA.  Going overseas is more appealing than living another year of life struggling with money problems.  More and more kids might start going overseas from high school as they start to realize their opportunities.

Under Armour has invested in a huge risk/reward sweepstake with Mudiay.  He has the potential to be one of the next great NBA point guards, but he also may never amount to be anything special.  Under Armour is willing to take risks though.  To compete with Nike you have to take risks.  Under Armour offered Kevin Durant an astonishing $320 Million dollar contract this summer.  Nike matched the offer and Durant signed back with them.  Under Armour can't simply outbid Nike.  Hence, they start grabbing potential super stars as soon as possible.  They may have signed a gem in Mudiay, but only time will tell.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

USA Wins The FIBA World Cup

Team USA beat Serbia 129-92 to win the FIBA World Cup today.  Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and won MVP for his championship winning performance.  James Harden also helped lead the team scoring 23 points.  Serbia was leading USA 15-7 in the first quarter as they got off to a great start.  But as the Americans always do, they fought back and regained the lead on a 28-6 run.  DeMarcus Cousins contributed a great game off the bench again scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.  Cousins was a dependable player all tournament and is looking forward to taking his momentum into the upcoming NBA season.  Both Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis are also looking forward to taking their momentum into the upcoming NBA season.  Both of them proved they are going to be dominant big men in the NBA.  As for Team USA, they once again proved they are the best in the world.  Throughout the tournament they averaged a win margin of 32.5 points per game.  They went undefeated and blew everyone out.  With their win today Team USA has won 63 straight games in international play.  Now the Americans will focus in on the 2016 Olympics.  Hopefully LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Blake Griffin will  all return for the 2016 games in Brazil.  But for now,  USA will still be known as the best basketball team in the world.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jalen Brunson Has Committed to Villanova

Five star point guard Jalen Brunson has committed to Villanova.  Brunson is ranked 22nd in the ESPN 100 and is the 2nd best point guard in the 2015 class.  He can shoot the three consistently and can run a team with his great leadership.  Brunson also had offers from other top schools such as UConn, Michigan, Kansas, and more.  He will partner up with Donte DiVincenzo in the back court at Vilanova.  DiVincenzo is ranked 92nd in the ESPN 100.  He is a superb athlete and will compliment Brunson nicely.  Jalen Brunson will definetly be one of the nation's best point guards next season at Villanova.  Watch a mixtape of Brunson below.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Boston College Recruiting: Matt Milon Commits

Matt Milon the 6-4 shooting guard out of Oviedo High School in Florida, has committed to Boston College.  Milon had an official visit to BC over past the weekend, and signed Sunday night.  Milon also had offers from other top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Florida State, Auburn, and more.  ESPN lists him as the 43rd best shooting guard in the class of 2015.  Milon is known as an aggressive guard who can shoot the three.  He doesn't just shoot the three though; he has a complete offensive package that helped him average over 18 PPG last season at Oviedo High School.  This is a great pickup to help new Boston College Basketball coach Jim Christian, take a step in the right direction of making Boston College a relevant college basketball team again in New England.

Since the day he got the job, Christian has been out recruiting and trying to make BC a contender again.  He missed out on local Terrance Mann when he committed to Florida State almost a month ago.  His goal now is to not miss out on any more local talent.  BC has been going after Josh Sharma and Aaron Falzon.  Sharma is from Lexington, Mass. and the seven footer would be a huge pick up for the Eagles.  He is ranked 70th in the ESPN 100.  Falzon (Newton, Mass.) is 6 foot 7 and his game extends beyond the arc.  Sharma and Falzon would form one of the most effective frontcourt tandems in college basketball if paired together.

The BC staff is also going after junior Kwe Parker.  He is a 6 foot 2 guard who plays at Wesleyan Christian Academy.  Parker can dunk the ball better than any other high school player in the country and is ranked 51st in the ESPN 60.  Below is a mixtape of Parker. 

Boston College hired Jim Christian as the new head coach in April.  He coached at Ohio University the past two seasons and led them to a 49-22 record.  Christian split time coaching at Texas Christian and Kent State his first 10 seasons.  In all of his 12 seasons he has led his teams to the postseason 8 times.  When he got the job at BC he said, “If you look at the great coaches and the success that [the Eagles have] had over the years, this is a situation where you wake up every day and you can't wait to get to work and roll your sleeves up” (Via ESPN Boston).  Well rolling his sleeves up and going to work is exactly what Jim Christian has done.

The future of Boston College basketball looks bright with new head coach Jim Christian in place.  Now Christian just has to hope he can land some local talent in his 2015 recruiting class.  Sharma and Falzon coming to BC would be a dream come true for Christian and all BC fans.  Maybe one year from now Boston College will be battling with Harvard and UConn for bragging rights of being the best college team in New England.  Of course this is dependent on if they can land a solid recruiting class as Jim Christian has set out to do.


Boston College has landed two more commitments since Sunday.  Both A.J. Turner and Jerome Robinson have committed to BC.  Robinson is a 6 foot 4 guard who can shoot the three.  He played with Garner Elite over the summer in the Adidas Gauntlet and averaged 9.6 PPG shooting 44% from three point land (via NBC Sports).  Robinson will join Matt Milon in the Eagles back court.  A.J. Turner will join both Milon and Robinson next season.  Turner is a 4 star recruit ranked 4th in New Hampshire.  He can shoot the three and plays great in transition.  The 6 foot 6 small forward averaged 9.8 PPG with his AAU team The Family over the summer.  Turner is BC's third commitment in the 2015 class this week.  New head coach Jim Christian is on a roll right now.  Watch A.J. Turner play below.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

D.J. Hogg Has Committed to Texas A&M

Small forward D.J. Hogg has committed to Texas A&M.  Hogg is ranked 28th in the ESPN 100 and is the 5th ranked small forward.  Hogg is known for shooting the lights out.  He can also run the break with his superb athleticism and length.  Hogg is 6-7 and uses his height and length to his advantage at the small forward spot.  He will be joining AAU teammate Tyler Davis at Texas A&M.  Davis is a 7 foot center who is ranked 21st in the ESPN 100.  Texas A&M is going to have an exciting freshman class with Hogg and Davis coming in.  Watch highlights of D.J. Hogg below.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Antonio Blakeney Has Committed to Louisville

Five star recruit Antonio Blakeney has committed to Louisville.  Blakeney is ranked 16th in the ESPN 100 and is the 3rd ranked shooting guard in the class of 2015.  He can score the basketball in a multitude of ways.  He can knock down any shot with his consistent jumper, or can finish in the lane with his impressive athleticism.  Blakeney averaged 19.5 PPG in the Nike EYBL circuit over the spring and summer for Each 1 Teach 1.  He is the finishing touch on an already great recruiting class for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals.  They already have Donovan Mitchell (72nd in the ESPN 100), Deng Adel (81st in the ESPN 100), and Raymond Spalding (not in the ESPN 100, but ranked as 24th best PF).  Blakeney and Mitchell are going to be one of the most explosive and athletic back courts in college basketball.  Both have crazy athleticism and a great offensive game.  This is one of Pitino's best recruiting classes ever.  Louisville once again has a top ranked recruiting class.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gordon Dragic "Australia vs. Angola FIBA Game Was Fixed"

After Australia lost to Angola 91-83 this morning Gordon Dragic tweeted out his opionon.  His tweet read: "Basketball is a beautiful sport, there is no room for fixing the game like today Australia vs Angola!! @FIBA should do something about that!" Dragic was mad that Australia sat there starters for most of the game and tried to lose the game. Australia wanted to lose the game so they would avoid playing the loaded USA team in the quarterfinals. So basically, Australia tanked the game. But in no way was the game fixed. You would think Dragic would know the difference after playing in the same league as the Philadelphia 76ers. Most people don't like the idea of tanking and think it is unethical. But if you were the coach of the Australian team, wouldn't you do anything to avoid playing USA for another game? Whether you like it or not, by losing today Australia avoids playing USA for another round. Well, if they make it that far. The round of 16 starts this Saturday and Australia will face off against Turkey.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

USA Beats Dominican Republic 106-71

Team USA just beat the Dominican Republic 106-71.  Kenneth Faried led the team with 16 points and 6 rebounds.  Faried's high motor was shown off in today's victory, as was all over the court.  He was dunking the ball, grabbing rebounds, and slamming down put back dunks.  Faried has shown he is one of the best players on this team.  DeMarcus Cousins also had a great game.  Coming off the bench Cousins scored 13 points and had 7 steals and 5 rebounds.  He is the spark Coach K looks for to come off the bench.  Anthony Davis had another good game with 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks.  Both Davis and Faried have surprisingly led this USA team every game.  Before the tournament started most people expected the loaded backcourt of team USA to do all the work, but the opposite has happened.  Faried and Davis are outplaying the backcourt composed of Steph Curry, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, and more.  The bigs are doing a good job proving that they are the true stars of the team.  Team USA is now 4-0 in pool play, and they have clinched first place in Pool C.  They have one more game before the Round of 16 begins.  Watch Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis lead Team USA one last time in pool play tomorrow at 11:30 AM ET against Ukraine on ESPN.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hornets' Rookie Noah Vonleh is Going to Miss 6-8 Weeks

The Charlotte Hornets' rookie Noah Vonleh is set to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia.  The Hornets drafted Vonleh 9th in the 2014 draft, after he averaged 11.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in his freshman season at Indiana.  Vonleh is joining a Hornets team revamped to make another playoff run.  The Hornets formerly known as the Bobcats last season made it to the playoffs and faced off with LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the first round.  The Bobcats got swept by LeBron and Co. in 4 games.  In hopes to make a deeper playoff run this season the Hornets signed Lance Stephenson in free agency.  In Indiana, Stephenson led the league in triple doubles last season and averaged 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.6 APG.  Stephenson is now going to be paired up in the Hornets backcourt with point guard Kemba Walker.  Walker averaged 17.7 PPG and 6.1 APG last season.  The 3rd piece to Charlotte's "Big Three" is their center, Al Jefferson.  Jefferson was an absolute beast last season averaging 20 and 10 per game.  The Hornets are going to be a fun team to watch this year.  They have the young players in Vonleh, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and P.J. Harriston.  But they also have their star players with Walker, Stephenson, and Jefferson.  Watch out for the Charlotte Hornets to turn some heads in the Eastern Conference this season.

Team USA Rolls Over New Zealand

Team USA just beat New Zealand 98-71 in their third game of pool play.  The team remains undefeated and leads the pool.  They will probably go 5-0 in pool play.  Anthony Davis led the team today with 21 points and 9 rebounds.  Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 11 rebounds.  New Zealand had no answer for USA's big men.  The four other players in double digits for USA were James Harden (13),  Steph Curry (12),  Klay Thompson (10), and Kyrie Irving (10).  New Zealand's leading scorer was B.J. Anthony with 11 points.  USA has their next game tomorrow against the Dominican Republic.  They beat the DR by 43 points in an exhibition game on August 20.  After today, Team USA now has 57 wins straight in international play.  Watch them make it 58 straight tomorrow at 3:30 on ESPN.

Monday, September 1, 2014

BallasTv Showcase: Full Recap

The first annual BallasTv Showcase was held this past Saturday.  The event was filled with the best talent from New England.  The talent level varied from division three to some division one college prospects.  Among those players we decided to highlight multiple below.  

Jalen Adams - This one is obvious.  Jalen Adams was by far the best player at the event.  Adams is a 6'1" point guard heading to UConn after his upcoming senior year of high school at Brewster Academy.  He can easily create off the dribble and also run an offense well.  Adams won CO-MVP honors with his dominant performance in the all-star game.  Adams caught alley-oops, dunked the ball, and dazzled the audience.  He shoots the ball well, can attack the basket, play defense, and distribute the ball well.  Jalen Adams could be the next Kemba Walker or Shabazz Napier for UCONN

Jermaine Samuels - Samuels was the second best performer at the showcase.  He is a top 25 talent in the country for the class of 2017.  He is only going into his sophomore year at Rivers Academy and stands at 6'6".  Samuels is one of the most dominate high school players in New England.  He had dunk after dunk that left fans and coaches with their jaws dropped.  Considering he is only a sophomore he has an impressive build physically and uses it to his advantage.  Jermaine Samuels will be an unstoppable player once his outside game catches up to his already impressive skill set.

Jordan Hardwick - The 6'7" power forward is a beast.  Hardwick dominates the interior game with his athleticism and determination.  He dunks the ball with ease also.  He won the dunk contest, well sorta.  Hardwick and Tyonne Malone were co-champions in the dunk contest.  Hardwick showed off his hops by jumping over Jermaine Sameuls.  Hardwick still has to improve his down-low game but he has high potential to be one of the most dominant big men in the class of 2017.

David Watkins - Watkins is a well rounded 6'7" forward.  He won CO-MVP along with Jalen Adams in the all-star game.  He can step out shoot the three, but he can also attack the basket and finish.  Watkins can also run the break and post up inside.  He's able to attack a defense any way he wants.  Watkins is entering his junior season at Brimmer and May and has received interest from BU and Fairfield.  His goal is to play in the ACC or A-10.  College coaches will sure take notice this upcoming season.  David Watkins is a well rounded forward who will make noise in the college game in his future.  

Isaiah McLeod - McLeod wanted to prove he can play with the best. He proved his point on Saturday.  The 6 foot 1 point guard played aggressive and got to the hoop.  He also shoot the three.  McLeod is going into his senior season at Cambridge Rindge and Latin.  He is looking to have another great season.  Last year Isaiah dropped 43 points against Everett High. McLeod just visited Stonehill College, and is receiving interest from some other schools.  He will definitely receive a few offers to play at the college level.  Isaiah McLeod is explosive and aggressive, which allows him to be one of the best guards in Massachusetts.

Isaiah Fontaine - The 6 foot 8 forward showed flashes of excellence during his play.  Fontaine controls both ends of the floor.  He can block anything that comes his way in the post and also finish with nice post moves on the offensive end.  He is loaded with potential and a great body to do so.  He could end up being a Nerlens Noel or Isaiah Austin type big man.  He is a great rim protector like both of them. The only thing different about him is his offensive game.  Fontaine can score the ball many ways.  He has a series of turn around jump shots and quick moves on the block.  Hopefully he will develop into his full potential.  Watch out for Isaiah Fontaine's upcoming season at Williston Northampton. 

Tyonne Malone - Malone was one of the most athletic and talented players at the showcase.  He can blow pass defenders and finish with authority at the rim, or hit the outside shot behind the arc. Malone is only entering his Junior season at Putnam Vocational and has offers from BU, Manhattan, St. Peter's, and UMass.  He is also receiving interest from BC and Providence.  The multifaceted Malone has received interest from UConn, but still needs to earn a scholarship.  He certainly would fit with a team like UConn.  On Saturday, he and Jalen Adams were throwing alley-oops to each other and playing a nice two man game.   Maybe we could see Malone and Adams throwing lobs to each other again in a few years, only they would be wearing a UConn Huskies uniform.

Dexter Thompson - Thompson was the breakout player of the day on Saturday.  He got to the hoop with ease and finished off with multiple dunks.  He played with a certain intensity that few showed.  Every play he showed he wanted it more than anybody else on the floor.  He plays with a Stanley Johnson or Jaylen Brown style.  All three of them have a great motor and attack the rim with force.  They all have college ready bodies and great athletic ability.  He is only 6'3" but plays like a small forward.  Thompson can cut to the basket and score inside with ease, but needs more of an outside game. Dexter seemed to be a few steps ahead of everyone on the court because of his great awareness and high basketball IQ.  If Dexter Thompson plays with the same intensity he did Saturday during his senior campaign at the Hyde School, he should definitely have a scholarship or two to choose from at season's end.  

Monytung Maker - Maker is a well rounded player who seemed to be everywhere on the court.  Even if he didn't have the ball in his hands, he was affecting the game around him.  He has a great athletic ability and can rebound the ball well.  Maker is a player that is always grabbing loose balls and cleaning up the glass.  Due to his hustle he would play a great role on a college team.  Watch out as Monytung Maker is entering his junior season at Manchester West HS.  

Chris Baldwin - The 6 foot 7 big man knows how to dominate opponents in the paint.  Baldwin dunked almost every time he got the ball.  He plays an athletic forward style and excels doing so.  He has received an offer from UMass and received from interest from Boston College.  Hopefully Baldwin can develop into a well polished big during his senior season at Springfield Central.  He has a certain rawness within his play that could help him develop into a monstrous big man.

Geo Baker - Baker is a 6 foot 2 point guard.  He has impressive quickness and handles by his side.  He used them multiple times to show up defenders.  He is only entering his sophomore season at Pinkerton Academy.  If he can develop an outside game and grow a little, Baker will be a great guard.  He already has a great knack for the game and some awesome handles.  Geo Baker will be a fun player to watch develop over his next three years of high school.