The National Prep Showcase, hosted by the New England Recruiting Report (NERR), went underway this past weekend at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut.
Some of the top prep schools in the country such as Vermont Academy (VT), Putnam Science (CT), IMG Academy (FL), South Kent School (CT), Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) and many more were on display this weekend, showcasing their programs in the highly touted event.
Notable players that were on display this past weekend included Hamidou Diallo (No. 10, Scout.com), Simi Shittu (Scout.com Top 10 Junior), Bruno Fernando (Maryland Commit), Jordan Nwora (Louisville Commit), Kimani Lawrence (Arizona St. Commit), Eric Ayala (Scout.com Top 50 Junior), Naji Marshall (Xavier Commit) along with many other nationally ranked players.
Below are some news and notes from this past weekend’s event:
Hargrave Military Academy Roster Features 10 Division 1 Commits
The Chatham, Virginia Prep School was a “must watch” this weekend as the team that features ten division one commits, went 2-0 throughout the showcase. Leading the way for HMA is Xavier commit Naji Marshall, a 6’6 wing who strong slashing skills helped him get to the bucket easy for tough layups and monstrous dunks. In a Saturday win over South Kent, Marshall finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assist. Another notable prospect on Hargrave’s roster is 6’1 combo guard Brandon Knapper, an above average shooter that has decent athleticism on the court. Knapper flourished in Hargrave’s first win over Commonwealth Academy, nailing seven treys en route to 31 points. 6’10 big man Iran Bennett, a Marshall commit, was also impressive throughout the weekend showing his soft touch around the rim and using his size to battle for rebounds in the paint. The only knock on Bennett’s game right now is his conditioning as he weighs over 300 pounds, but make no mistake, he is a steal for Marshall.
30 NBA Scouts In Attendance for Putnam Science’s Diallo
This weekend’s prep showcase attracted 30 NBA scouts this weekend, who all came to watch Putnam Science (CT) shooting guard Hamidou Diallo. The 6’6 athletic freak, who is a fifth year prospect, is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft and is up in the air on whether he will make the jump or attend college. Diallo — whose top 6 include Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn and Syracuse — was very aggressive throughout the weekend showing scouts that he can finish over any defender with acrobatic layups and monstrous dunks. Diallo’s must become more consistent with his perimeter jumper and has a knack for going to basket recklessly, but nonetheless he is a star in the making.
Putnam Science Backcourt Showed Promise
Besides Diallo, Putnam Science’s backcourt duo of senior guard Jaheam Cornwall and junior guard Eric Ayala caught many people attention over the weekend as well. The 5’10 Cornwall was an absolute nuisance on the court as he used his quick ball-handling skills to breakdown defenders while getting into the lane to create for himself and others. Cornwall currently holds offers from Robert Morris, Maine, LIU-Brooklyn, Fairfield and St. Francis (NY), but after this weekend’s performance, the small guard should be hearing from some new schools. The 6’5 Ayala is a top 50 junior, whose skill set is attracting some of the top programs in the country. Although Ayala can score at will, the Delaware native thrives off making those around him better with his slick no-look passes. After a solid performance over the weekend, Ayala picked up his latest offer from Syracuse.
Bruno Fernando Is Special
IMG Academy’s Bruno Fernando was the most complete big man this weekend, displaying his versatility and throwing down some vicious dunks. The 6’10 Maryland commit game stretches out to the perimeter where he is able to put the ball on the floor and slash to the basket or hit the perimeter jumper. Fernando, who also is a above average passer, also looked strong on the defensive end and ran the floor really well.
Vermont Academy’s Versatile Duo
The duo of Louisville commit Jordan Nwora and top 10 junior forward Simi Shittu will be one to watch this season at Vermont Academy as the two are very versatile on the court and will be looked upon very much. The 6’8 Nwora, a sharpshooter from Buffalo, nailed three treys and finished with 21 points in a heart-breaking loss to South Kent School. Nwora also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and blow by slower defenders as he has the ability to finish at the rim. Shittu — a 6’9 point-forward from Canada — could be seen all weekend bringing the ball up the court and using his size to finish in the lane over smaller defenders. The Montverde Academy transfer holds offers from UConn, UCLA, Louisville, Washington, Memphis, Syracuse, Marquette and many more.
Brewster Academy is Loaded with Talent
Leading the way for Brewster is point guard Makai Ashton-Langford, a UConn commit whose playmaking skills is much needed for the load Brewster Academy squad. St. Raymond’s (NY) transfer Sidney Wilson looked very comfortable this weekend slashing to the basket where he finished with numerous dunks and showed why he was one of the most athletic players at the showcase. N.C. State commit Thomas Allen was also effective with his outside shooting while Curtis Haywood, an under-the-radar prospect, showed fans why his jumper is not to be taken lightly either. Purdue commit Aaron Wheeler set Sunday morning off with some ferocious slams and finishing with 20 points and 9 rebounds in a win over Mt. Zion Prep.
Commonwealth Academy’s French With Impressive Stat Line in Win
Saint Louis commit Hasahn French was an absolute monster in Sunday’s 87-76 win over Massanutten Academy finishing with 33 points, 21 rebounds and 8 blocks. The 6’7 physical specimen shot 15 for 19 on the night and battled for rebounds all night, using his lower body strength to box defenders out.