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December Wrap Up

Bishop John T. Walker Invitational: The Bishop Walker Invitational is an 8 team tourney played at St. Albans School in Washington, DC among Academic minded institutions and benefitting the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in DC. The following players stood out in first round action.

6’2 ’19 Nendah Tarke (Bullis School, MD)                                                                                                                                        
Tarke has the build of a defensive back and he plays with all out intensity getting to the basket against bigger foes with guile and physicality. He never seems to take a play off and along with 6’0” SR. Vado Morse they gave McKinley Tech fits in every phase of the contest. Tarke showed a nice touch from the midrange as well as finishing at the rim thru contact (or drawing fouls) and he even knocked down a right wing trey. He rebounds quite well for his height using his strong body to gain position and his handle is competent enough to put the ball in his hands to free Morse up on the perimeter so he can hunt open treys. Defensively he has great instincts and that DB reference comes in handy when you see him pick off errant passes thrown by opposing players. Tarke finished with 19pts 5stls 5reb and Morse added 17pts 3 treys 3asts as Bullis easily handled McKinley Tech 81-43.

6’7 ’19 Woody Newton (McKinley Technical HS, DC)                                                                                                                    
Newton is a guy who I’ve liked since I first saw him as a freshman and he did nothing in this game to diminish my opinion of his game. With the next tallest player on the roster standing 6’3 a lot is expected of Newton and he certainly delivered his part albeit in a 38 point loss with 21pts 7reb 3asts. He showed some range with 2 treys as well as an ability to get inside and score at the rim. Most of his points came in the 2nd half as he picked up 3 fouls in the 1st and sat out about 7 minutes and I thought this limited his aggressiveness getting rebounds on either end since his ball instincts are quite good when going for boards in and out of his area. In the high post he showed a nice ability to see the floor and deliver crisp scoring passes to his teammates. His handle is a bit loose and needs work but he recognized when traps were coming and passed the ball very well plus for as much as the ball was in his hands he had but 2 turnovers both on passes inside trying to catch Bullis off guard. I can see why the likes of Georgetown and Kansas St. are keeping tabs on him and as he matures and adds upper body strength his recruitment could really take off.

6’1 ’20 Amir Nesbitt (Virginia Academy, VA)
Nesbitt did most of his offensive damage in the 1st half including a buzzer beating 3 to end the half and give his team a lead they never relinquished. He finished with 18pts 4 treys (all in 1st half) 7reb and 3asts but most impressively he showed maturity in running the show in the 2nd half and steadying his team whenever Potomac School made a run in their 68-64 win. He has a nice stroke with range to the arc and he utilizes his quickness to get by opponents and either get to the cup or dish to a cutting teammate and his handle was tight when controlling the pace of the game and the shot clock. He rebounded the ball well for his size but defensively he seemed a bit passive but he has quick hands and feet so this may have been an off game for him on that end. Nesbitt definitely earned another look down the line with his play in this game.

6’9’18 Collin Nnamene (St. Albans School, DC)
This Mount St. Mary’s commit is intriguing as he is very aggressive on defense going for steals and blocks without regard for his well being as he dives on the floor and toward the seats or fans to accomplish this task. He uses this motor to rebound at a high level as well but he does tend to pick up a few fouls along the way. The trick for him at the next level will be to harness his aggressiveness without losing that motor and drive. In his teams 64-61 win over St. Mary’s HS (Annapolis, MD) Nnamene had a nice stat line of 14pts 9reb 2blks but the aforementioned foul issues limited his overall effectiveness and caused Coach Johnson to use him wisely down the stretch in this close contest. While all six of his FG’s were within 6 feet of the basket he did hit 2-3 from the stripe with good form I might add. His hands catching and handling the ball need some work but despite this concern he only committed 1 turnover. All in all I like his upside to improve in time especially with his nonstop motor so I would just put up that work in progress sign and watch the transformation take shape over the long haul.

6’4 ’19 Gibson Jimerson (St. Christopher’s School, VA)
The best way to describe this young man is point getter. In his teams 78-59 win over Sandy Spring Friends School, MD Jimerson went for 33pts with 11reb (5 offensive) even though he didn’t shoot it as well as I’ve seen in the past. His jumper beyond 15 feet was off (1- 3 ball) so he adjusted and scored from the paint. He moved well without the ball often getting inside for uncontested layups or putbacks as evidenced by only 2 trips to the charity stripe (4-4 FT). He used his solid frame to get good position for rebounding the ball and he did throw a couple nice outlet passes to start the break then ran the floor to follow the play to the offensive end. On this night he didn’t show any aptitude to seek out cutting teammates instead he would kick the ball out then look for a seam to the hoop to receive the return pass. He did however have a pretty assist when he beat a double team and threaded the needle with a nice pass for a bucket. Defensively he struggled guarding the smaller quicker Sandy Spring players away from the basket but he used his good court sense to turn the tables on the interior keeping himself between the ball and the basket. Using his stronger frame he then forced his opponents to veer outside which led to hurried offensive plays to beat the shot clock. For Jimerson his recruitment is in the beginning stages with schools such as Colorado, NC State, Kansas St. and Cincinnati checking him out and I suspect many more will take a look as well and they should like what they see.