BRONX, NY - Fordham University held their H.S. Team Camp on Sunday, with 24 of the top teams from New York and New Jersey in action to give us a preview of what the H.S. season may look like come November.
There were only 3 teams that finished the day unbeaten at 4-0, and only 1 of them was from New York. It was a great day though to see some of the top players in the area on the court and back in a high school uniform again. Here is a recap of some of the top NY teams from the day.
You have to start with the lone NY unbeaten which ended up being Thomas Jefferson. The Orange Wave looked very strong with 6'1" rising junior guard Shamorie Ponds showing he could not just shoot from long range, but also attack the basket as he has clearly added strength and especially in a 1 point win over Cardinal Hayes, he looked the part of a future star with his playmaking abilities along with his pressure and intense defense. Davere Creighton, a 6'5" rising senior transfer from Brooklyn Collegiate, was a clear help as he was an excellent passer who kept Bishop Loughlin guessing with his ability to drive and find the open man when the defense helped on him.
It wasn't just the two of them though. 6'0" rising junior Rasheem Dunn is a young guard who will be up from the JV and should provide a major addition if you believe in his ability to create like he did on Sunday, and 6'5" Isaac Kante was a long athletic rising junior big who was able to post up and finish in the paint when given the opportunity. Jefferson showed that they will be a fierce challenger once again this coming season for the PSAL "AA" title.
Cardinal Hayes went 3-1, losing only a 1 point heartbreaker to Jefferson when Ponds hit the game winning FT's with under 2 seconds to go. 6'8" rising senior Kashif Davis, who missed a good chunk of last season with an injury, looks 100% and he really was the interior force offensively for the Cardinals, while rising senior AK Ojo at 6'7" was more of the defensive weapon, altering shots and really doing a number of the boards where he dominated against a good Brentwood team on Sunday.
Rising junior Baron Goodridge was excellent at the one, and at 5'10" he is looking like he will be the pass first floor general that the Cardinals will need. He controlled the tempo and seemed to have a knack in disrupting opponent's offensive systems, really stymying Brentwood and St. Peter's Prep, helping upset the Jersey powers in their opening game of the day.
Cardozo was solid as well going 3-1 on the day, and they could've been 4-0 if they hadn't sat most of their starters for almost the entire game against Don Bosco Prep in their lone loss. 6'2" rising junior Rashond Salnave, who struggled early on in the Judges opening game against WHEELS Academy, came on in the 2nd half to help his team rally from a 14 point halftime deficit. He hit two big threes, including one to give Cardozo the lead for good with just over 2 minutes to play.
6'0" Elijah McNeely is a rising senior and a perfect complement to Salnave in the backcourt, playing off the aggressive rising junior's game, while showing against Thurgood Marshall to not be afraid to take it to the rack, and even showing a nice runner in the lane, and not forcing his way into contact and get called for charges.
Christ the King was another 3-1 team on the day, and they looked well on their way to 4-0 as well up 13 on Hudson Catholic from New Jersey before squandering a late lead. 6'4" rising junior Rawle Alkins was really on his game against South Shore, knocking down 3 threes, while showing fearlessness attacking the basket, while 5'11" rising sophomore Jose Alvarado looks to be the point guard of the future and present as he was elusive getting the basket and finished strong, showing a willingness to go at defenders and finish with contact.
6'6" rising senior Travis Atson also was solid, showing versatility in handling the ball some, nailing a pair of threes against Eagle Academy, and proving to be one of the better offensive rebounders when perched inside, giving him a wide variety of options as to how he can hurt you on both sides of the floor.
Wings Academy, who were without 6'10" rising senior Jessie Govan, went 3-1, losing to just Pope John XXIII of NJ, and while 6'1" rising senior Desure Buie was his usual very good self, running the floor, 6'3" rising senior Kevin Saylor, a transfer from Cardinal Hayes, looked the part of a strong 2/3 who had good vision, and a good release in the midrange, as he really was the catalyst in the game where Wings crushed a very short handed Scanlan squad.
St. Raymond went 2-2, but 6'0' rising sophomore Isaiah Washington, who looks to be a player who may dominate for the next three years from the point a rising sophomore, was aggressive and took it right at Buie and the rest of the Wings defense in their 6 point loss to Wings. He was a bit too aggressive at times possibly, but he was able to finish at the rim with reverses, spinning it off the glass, while also making nifty moves to avoid contact and find open teammates on the perimeter for easy shots.
The Ravens day was tempered a bit as 6'2" rising junior Cahiem Brown, a guard who has big things expected from him this season, went down in their game against Bayside. It was off a lay-up and he went down without contact and was seen clutching his knee. He had to be helped up and carried off in what looked to be a possible serious knee injury.
6'6" rising junior Jamel Allen of Brentwood, 6'2" rising senior Jermaine Bishop of Holy Cross, 6'5" rising senior Dimencio Vaughn of TMA, 6'3" rising junior Ty Jerome of Iona Prep and 6'1" rising junior Nick Simeon of South Shore all had very impressive showings as well for teams whose record may not have stood out, but their individual performances definitely did as they some of the tops of the day.
In the end, Jefferson, Hudson Catholic, and Pope John XXIII were the 3 unbeatens, while only Scanlan, who were missing 3/5's of their starting lineup, and only had a total of 5 players, went winless, showing that parody may be in store for the H.S. season ahead.
It was an excellent day to see the stars of next year's H.S. season all in one gym, and off of what was seen on Sunday, it should be an excellent season in the CHSAA and PSAL with a lot of high level talent on display, and many teams looked to challenge for titles getting there starts with an excellent event in the Bronx on Sunday.