Event Recap
Hoop Group Future All American Camp (Part 3)
By Chick Gillespie

Here we go with Part 3 from Hoop Group’s Future All American Camp. With over 500 kids at this camp there were plenty of standouts with D-1 potential and these are a few more:

Quaran McPherson 6’3” 2020 CG
Abraham Lincoln HS (Brooklyn, NY) – After spending last season with the Patrick School in North Jersey McPherson is back in NY at Lincoln HS where it looks like he’ll move right into a starters role. McPherson is the ultimate combo guard in that he can drive it to the rack and finish thru contact but if you overplay him he finds a seam and zips a dime for a bucket. He can pull up from the midrange to the arc and nail a sweet looking jumper or if a closeout comes then he’ll pass to the open man. He has a solid handle and sees the floor very well and with change of direction dribbles and a nasty crossover its hard for a defender to stay in front of him and on top of that you have to be wary of his passing ability. Defensively he is quick and strong with good anticipation but he doesn’t always work hard at that end which is something he has to focus on more. Good package of skills with room to grow and time to hone them.

Ryan Conway 6’0” 2021 PG
Dulaney HS (Timonium, MD) – This young man at times was a blur on the court that defenders couldn’t keep up with. Of course Conway was at his best in the open court pushing in transition and handling the ball like it was an extension of his arm in and around the opposition. With a quick first step that often times froze his defensive counterpart Conway was able to penetrate and either dish off to a cutter or take it hard to the hole. He ran the offense like he was a senior in HS rather than an incoming Frosh and he proved rather resourceful in keeping the opposition off balance in both contests I viewed him in. His quick hands and feet with lightning fast reflexes allowed him to rack up steals and start numerous breakouts for quick strike buckets. Only issue I saw was he sometimes dribbled too close to the basket to make a smart play which I’m sure he’ll figure out between now and his senior year of high school.

Zed Key 6’8” 2020 PF
Brentwood, NY Academy – This youngster doesn’t look all that athletic when you first gaze at him but as the game commences you start to realize that he’s filling the stat sheet with points, rebounds, blocks and who knows what else and you just have to admit that he’s a basketball player straight up. Key sets a nice screen either on or off the ball and he seals his man very well in the post. He has good mitts and catches everything that comes his way and with deft footwork and a strong base he gets to the rim where he can finish thru contact or earn some trips to the line. In two games I watched he continually got inside position to score over quicker and more athletic guys. Simply put he’s a model of consistency. Positioning on defense is also a strength as he is strong enough to keep opponents from gaining an advantage inside the painted area and also he kind of rides them out of shooting angles in the post without fouling. He put up solid numbers in both games I witnessed and reaffirmed to me that he can get better which will increase his recruitment down the road cause what program can’t use a big that plays the game within his limitations and still puts up decent numbers each time out.

Mark Williams 6’11” 2020 C
Norfolk, VA Academy – During the tryout phase of camp Williams looked pretty tentative not engaging defensively or using his size to his advantage on the block. However once the games started he became a different player running the floor going after shot attempts with the intent on sending them back to the shooter with malice and using that frame to get low post position and to score the basketball in any number of fashions. On paper he clearly was one of the five best big men here and as the camp progressed he started to show it. In three tilts that I observed he got more assertive as the game wore on. He showed great shot blocking ability and timing to boot. His offensive game in the paint is evolving at a nice pace and as he adds strength and agility he will be a monster down low. Some bigs start these camps slow because the guards usually control the ball and pace of play but the smart ones find a way to get guys like Williams the ball and for his part he made them look like geniuses.

Eddie “EJ” Evans 6’4” 2020 SG
Trenton Catholic Academy (Hamilton, NJ) – Evans may have a crises of position which could not be solved here when your playing with guys who won’t be on your HS squad. It’s clear however that Evans likes to have the ball in his hands but I wouldn’t exactly label him a PG. He has proven in previous viewings that he has potential to be a prodigious scorer so SG seems a good fit.. but what if he has a growth spurt and hits 6’7”-6’8” then SF seems a good bet as he excels on the wing anyway. So many positions but only one spot for him which way to go hah I go SG because he has proven that he can score from all three levels even if he sometimes forces things. Plus I did see that he can pass the ball when necessary and be very accurate with on the money scoring type passes as well. Like a lot of HS players his attention to the defensive side of things sometimes strays and he can lose focus but he’s a very good athlete who can excel at that end as long as he commits to it. Whichever position Evans plays this season look for him to put up solid offensive numbers even as a Soph as he has proven all summer that he has a knack for putting the ball in the hole.

Darius Maddox 6’4” 2020 CG
St. John’s College HS (Washington, DC) – Maddox was impressive to me in several different ways foremost as a strong scorer who could create his shot off the dribble or blow by his man with a quick burst to beat him to the basket. His shot is pure with good balance and nice rotation and with a quick release he gets it off uncontested for the most part. His handle is also good and he is an excellent passer which is the second way he impressed me. Defenders for the most part played him to shoot but he showed some PG instincts in setting up his teammates on numerous occasions. Defensively he disrupted passing lanes with his quickness and reach and grabbed a few steals on lazy passes that he correctly read and then stepped in front of. In a weird way he also benefited by having several other PG’s on his team so the ball movement on this team was pretty good and gave Maddox a chance to show off his offensive abilities.

This wraps up our Pt. 3 report.

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