ESPN recruiting analysts Mike LaPlante and Adam Finkelstein recap the best performances from last weekend's Hoophall Classic, at Springfield College's Blake Arena. As usual, there was plenty local flavor among the highlights.
You can read the full article here on ESPN's basketball recruiting section. Below are some excerpts:
Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton)
2013, C, 6-10, 215 pounds
Noel came out intent to make his impact felt, and he did that and more. He was absolutely dominant on the defensive end, proving why he is one of the best shot-blockers we've seen in recent years, while showing an improved offensive repertoire with face-up ability and jump hooks over both shoulders. His only limitations were in regards to fouls, both converting a low percentage at the stripe and taking unnecessary chances when in foul trouble.
Aaron Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio/Brewster Academy)
2012, SG, 6-4, 195 pounds
College: Florida State
On a team full of stars, Thomas was an unlikely hero on Sunday as Brewster Academy scored an emotional win over Tilton. The future Seminole hit big shot after big shot, often from ranges beyond the NBA arc, and was consistently the guy to come up big for Brewster at the end of the shot clock. Defensively, he might have been even better, utilizing his length and lateral quickness to contain opposing scorers, while coming up with a key steal in the game's final possession before icing the outcome at the free throw line.
T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C./Brewster Academy)
2012, SF, 6-7, 215 pounds
College: North Carolina State
The brighter the lights, the better he seems to be. Warren is a pure scorer built in the mold of Glen Rice -- a highly-skilled, big wing who can rain shots from long range, put the ball on the floor to punish bad closeouts with an ability to create space in the midrange area or shoot over the top of contesting defenders with his high release.
Kaleb Tarczewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark's)
2012, C, 7-0, 240 pounds
His efficiency was off the charts and his dominance was only limited by his number of touches. He's gotten much better at establishing deep low-post position within the flow of the offense and has developed his jump hook into a true weapon. He got countless dunks by sealing for scores and running in transition, and was equally impressive with his poise when passing out of the post.
" Pitt signee Steven Adams (New Zealand/Notre Dame Prep) made his much-anticipated American debut this weekend but was a little worn down by the time he got to Springfield after a Saturday matchup with Nerlens Noel and Tilton. He has a ton of upside but needs to be allowed some time to get into game shape and develop familiarity with his new teammates.
" Jakarr Sampson (Akron, Ohio/Brewster Academy) is the type of athlete who can change the momentum of the game with a single play, whether it be an emphatic dunk or a big blocked shot, and he did that on more than one occasion Sunday.