Middlesex Magic director and coach Mike Crotty Jr. passes along some notes about his summer AAU squad, which went 15-7 overall for the month of July, including a 7-6 slate at AAU Nationals down in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
If you can recall, one year ago Pat Connaughton catapulted into the ESPN 100 following an explosive showing at Nationals, and Pat Ackerman played his way into a Big Ten scholarship offer. This year, players like Cardinal Spellman's Joey Glynn, Rivers' Kyle Reardon and Brooks' Anthony Barry and Connor Mahoney led a squad that won some tight contests in pool play before falling to Elite Eight contestant Alabama Challenge in the second round of bracket play.
"I think that Glynn, Mahoney, and Reardon all solidified themselves as low D1 and definite D2 players," Crotty wrote in an email. "Patriot League, NE-10 [Northeast-10], and some others were consistently following and have expressed serious interest. You know I am partial to D3, but I really believe all three of these kids, along with Anthony Barry, did more than enough to gain multiple scholarship offers."
Crotty wrote in to ESPNBoston.com with his thoughts on his standout players:
Joey Glynn (Cardinal Spellman) -- leading scorer and rebounder for the Magic in 13 games in Orlando (showcase and nationals). Joey Glynn is a division I athlete who played high above the rim for the Magic throughout their entire Summer run. Glynn showed his relentless work on the glass on both ends of the floor, his ability to defend multiple positions, and his versatile ability to score the ball. His endless motor and amazing upside are qualities that college coaches can not ignore.
Connor Mahoney (Brooks) -- Connor was the leader of the team and he stepped up on both ends of the court this entire Summer. In Orlando, in particular, he has back to back 25 point scoring outbursts where he showed his terrific 3 point shooting range, but also the ability to score driving the ball to the rim, in the post, and a deadly pullup jumper. His rebounding sometimes goes less noticed, but he was the team's second leading rebounder and he also defended wings and big with great effectiveness. In addition to his great basketball IQ and leadership, you get one of the most reliable players and people I have ever had the chance to be around. He is an instant positive addition to any college program on and off the court.
Kyle Reardon (Rivers) -- Kyle Reardon has the reputation of a terrific shooter and he is that. What people who watched him this Summer also learned is just how amazingly smart and unbelievably tough a basketball player he is. He became as invaluable a player as the Middlesex Magic had, as he played shooting guard-power forward doing whatever was asked and consistently creating match-up problems for whoever guarded him. Reardon can score in a variety of ways with a great long range jumper, ability to drive to the rim, and a tough back to the basket game. His toughness willed our team to many victories this Summer, and he will be a fantastic college player.
Anthony Barry (Brooks) -- Barry continued to show his fantastic athleticism on both ends of the court all Summer long. A bona fide D2 prospect with multiple scholarship offers in hand, Barry continued to impress as he shut down many heralded wings from all over the country. His ability to defend at such a high level, paired with his great ability to finish and make the mid-range jump shot have Anthony in a great spot in terms of his recruitment. He is also one of the best rebounding 2 guards I have ever had the pleasure to be around, and he possesses fantastic leadership qualities.
Aaron Davis (Brooks) -- The Middlesex Magic point guard battled an ankle sprain throughout the Summer, but he showed signs of exactly the type of player he is when healthy. Simply put, Davis is a throw-back point guard who sees the floor and creates for his teammates unlike any other point guard I have ever coached. He has tremendous ball handling skills, is a terrific passer, sees the floor, and is incredibly unselfish. On top of that he is a tremendous shooter, deceptive athlete who pressures the ball extremely well, and he is a natural born leader. I feel strongly that this young man will take the ball for some Coach's program and he will lead them for four years.
Michael Thorpe (Newton North) -- Thorpe emerged as a terrific combo guard for the Magic all season long. He has blazing speed and quickness which he uses to bother opposing guards and to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He has a very good shooting touch from deep and a great ability to finish in traffic. Thorpe will provide a versatile guard with great scoring ability at the next level.
Peter Miller (Northfield-Mt. Hermon) -- Peter Miller stood out for the Magic this Summer as he emerged as one of New England's best 2013 prospects. The 6'10 center can run the floor, has great back to the basket post game, and he is a terrific weak side shot blocker. He continues to improve in all aspects of his game including his jump shot and post defense, and he drew a variety of division 1 programs to come watch him put his skills on display.
Cooper Ainge (Wellesley) -- Cooper started off the Summer by showing that he might be the Magic's most versatile offensive guard. Ainge has a great stroke from deep, an excellent pullup jump shot, and he can get to the rim to finish and create for others. Defensively he has great lateral quickness and terrific instincts. Cooper is one of the smartest players on the Magic team, and his well rounded abilities will allow him to be a great college player.
Chris O'Keefe (Lexington) -- O'Keefe is one of the most hard-nosed players the Magic has ever had. He defends and rebounds his position extremely well, and he is as tough a player as there is on the floor. He is an efficient scorer who can make open shots and drive to the rim to score. His work ethic and competitiveness will make him an immediate value add to a college program.
Mike Corcoran (BC High) -- Corcoran consistently stepped in and showed his speed, amazing motor, and tremendous ability to defend. His ball pressure frustrated each opponent he faced, and his ability to manage a two tempo offense of transition and half court motion was invaluable to the team. The BC High Captain will return to the Catholic conference with a wealth of experience under his belt and poised for a big senior season. He is seeing interest from a variety of Division III schools.
John Mullane (King Philip) -- Mullane is a jack of all trades player who scores in a variety of ways and has the ability to defend both guards and forwards. Mullane is a tenacious rebounder and a consistent three point shooter who played multiple positions all year for the Magic. He is seeing recruitment from many Division III schools as he heads into a promising senior season.