Coombs-McDaniel, Scott go toe-to-toe at Boston shootout

BOSTON -- The 2008 Boston Shootout featured eight good teams from the northeastern region of the country. In a traditional Boston versus New York battle, host team BABC played against the New York Gauchos in the event's championship game. BABC, led by 6-6 SF Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (Tilton, N.H.), outlasted the Gauchos for the win in a super-competitive game that featured very spirited displays of gamesmanship between Coombs-McDaniel and the Gauchos' 6-4 combo-guard Durand Scott (New York). Both players went at each other verbally and physically throughout the game.

Standout and Surprise Players
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, SF (6-6, 195)
Class of 2009, Tilton, N.H./Tilton School
Coombs-McDaniel often plays as a point forward for BABC due in large part to his high basketball IQ and leadership qualities. He leads through example as well as verbally, often providing his team with a lift through encouragement. Coombs-McDaniel also communicates very well on the defensive end, a very important aspect of the game especially when a guard plays tough defense and needs a teammate to alert him of a screen.

When Coombs-McDaniel has the ball in his hands, he aggressively attacks the rim and does a great job of drawing contact, which results in a number of foul shots. He also has the strength to absorb contact in the paint and still finish. He has good body control and adjusts in the air and still finishes, but his body control can also hinder him at times. Coombs-McDaniel has a tendency to adjust too much in the air by double pumping, making him smaller instead of using his strength to go right through defenders for the finish. Adjusting too much also increases the level of difficulty on the shot for him.

He's improved his perimeter shot, though he has a tendency to shoot a flat jumper on his misses. He also gives good effort on the defensive side of the ball despite the fact he does not have explosive athleticism and quicker offensive players can cause trouble for him. Coombs-McDaniel seems to make winning plays at the right time, whether it's the correct pass, a timely steal or rebound or a big basket.

Durand Scott, SF (6-4, 175)
2009, New York/Rice
At this point of his career, Scott ranks as a streaky shooter, but he has the ability to erupt for points in bunches. He has a very quick first step, good length and changes speeds very well to get his opponents off balance, all which makes him a terror to guard off the dribble. Scott loves to get shots off in the midrange and can hurt opposing defenses with an assortment of floaters and running one-handers. He really understands how to use angles to beat his opponents and also uses his size well on smaller defenders. He also can connect on the midrange, pull-up jumper off the dribble.

If Scott's left open, he can drill the jumper from 3-point land and has a great ability to hit contested, difficult shots. Scott does have a tendency to over-dribble in an effort to almost hunt down shots when he cannot get to the rim and will settle for an ill-advised 3-point shot.

Alex Oriakhi, PF (6-8, 230)
2009, Lowell, Mass./Tilton School
Oriakhi, despite not receiving the ball in the post very much, did a great job of controlling the defensive boards and initiating fast breaks for his team through his rebounding efforts. He also made a better effort of contesting shots, though sometimes he jumped too late. Oriakhi has to exert more effort contesting shots given that he has the size and athleticism to dominate the paint. On the offensive end, he displayed nice touch from the 12-15 foot range on his jumper. He also needs to improve his strength to establish good post positioning, finish with more authority in the paint and snare offensive rebounds more when he does not receive the ball in the post. His team would get more out of him on defense if it got him more touches on offensive.

James Stukes, SF (6-5)
2009, New York/Rice
Stukes shoots the ball very well from the perimeter, with range that extends to the 3-point line. When he tries to create off the bounce, he tends to over-dribble at times in his efforts to pursue shot attempts. He also has to improve his shot selection, electing to depend on his perimeter shot a little too much. Stukes has very good body control and has the ability to take contact while still finish in the paint with either hand, using floaters and shots from unorthodox angles. He does have decent vision and passing ability when he does not hunt down shots. Stukes has a good motor and does not shy away from the paint, even though he does not have great leaping ability. He will have to work to keep his emotions in check for the next level.

Phil Pressey, PG (5-9, 150)
2010, Ashburnham, Mass./Cushing Academy
Pressey uncharacteristically lost his cool at times and allowed himself to partake in one-on-one battles instead of simply concentrating on quarterbacking his team to victory. He got to the rim at will, using his quickness and adept ability to change speeds off the bounce. Once he got there, Pressey sometimes struggled finishing at the rim, missing some of his layup attempts. He does a good job of shooting floaters in the midrange, but he needs to improve his pull-up jumper and use it as opposed to shooting difficult runners almost exclusively. When Pressey takes the defensive challenge, he does a great job using his quickness to stay in front of opposing guards.

Gerard Coleman, SG (6-3, 170)
2010, Roxbury, Mass./Tilton School
Coleman sustained a mild ankle injury but still managed to play. He has great poise and never looks flustered on the court. Though left-handed, Coleman's game compares very favorable to current NBA player Eddie Jones. Coleman has a very good first step, explosive leaping ability and great length, which makes him very difficult for the opposition to cover. When he gets to the rim, he has great extension complementing his leaping ability and very good finishing skills. Coleman has a nice one-two dribble midrange, pull-up jumper that he needs to use more often. He also has the range to connect from 3-point land. Coleman, with added strength, will become a good on-the-ball defender. At this point, he tends to gamble for steals a little too much and ends up crossing his feet on defense, causing him to get beat off the dribble. Coleman does anticipate and play passing lanes very well on defense.

Thomas Knight, PF (6-7)
2009, Dixfield, Maine/Dirigo
Knight has surprising athleticism and deceptively good feet. He contests shots very well, and even though he may not block most shots, he definitely alters shots effectively. Knight has solid footwork in the post, but this lefty has the ability to nail perimeter shots with range that extends out to the land of 3. Knight will have good success playing in pick-and-pop and high-low situations given his ability to stretch defenses with his shooting prowess.

Mike Clifford, PF (6-7)
2009, Peabody, Mass./Bishop Fenwick
Clifford hits the glass on both ends hard and plays with a high level of intensity. Once he receives the ball in the post, he has a very solid repertoire of post moves to use for shots. Clifford utilizes counter moves in the post very well. He has range on his jumper and can slip picks for jumpers in the 15-18 feet range. Clifford has decent athleticism but seems to run into problems when defended by active, athletic big men.

Daryl McCoy, (6-7, 215)
2009, Hartford, Conn./Hartford Public
McCoy has very good ball skills for a player his size, easily handling the ball in the open court. He also has outstanding vision and, as a point forward, does a more than adequate job of setting players up for shots, in the same way Geoff McDermott does for the Providence Friars. McCoy does not have great leaping ability and will have to get his points using great footwork, up-fakes and counter moves, but he can take bigs away from the basket given his perimeter skills.

Mohammed Lee, PG (6-1)
2010, New York/All Hallows
Lee has a constantly-running motor and plays with a ferocious tenacity coaches love to see in guards. He has impressive leaping ability and plays pressure defense. Lee has very good quickness off the dribble and looks primarily for his own scoring chances when he gets the ball in his hands. He excels in the mid-range, connecting on pull-up jumpers with regularity. He also gets to the rim with ease but will have to improve his handle as he almost exclusively goes right off the dribble. Lee will have to alleviate his tendency to get out of control on offense and look to involve his teammates more as a point guard.

Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.