Hoop Group Future All American Camp Standouts (Part 2)
By Chick Gillespie

Trey Patterson 6’8” 2021 SF
Rutgers Prep (Somerset, NJ)
– This young man is going into 9th grade but to watch him play you’d never know it. He runs the floor like a gazelle moving deftly with no wasted movement as he gets to the basket swiftly and explodes to the rim to flush home a slam. Or he dribbles into the lane and pulls up for the short jumper getting good extension as he rises over his defender to hit the shot. He can score it a number of different ways and he still has a work in progress jump shot so imagine if you will what he may look like a year or two down the road. Patterson must add strength to his thin frame as he matures because he does struggle somewhat against bigger and stronger opponents on the defensive end but the effort and motor are there if not the results. As he progresses into his high school season I suspect we’ll see a marked improvement in his approach to defense to go along with his potent offensive game.

Noah Collier 6’7” 2020 SF
Westtown School (West Chester, PA) – Collier was a bit player as a freshman biding his time while getting a lot done on the practice court and his hard work has shown thru as he is poised to have a breakout year as his play at this camp will attest. He is lean with a quick burst of speed that gets him to the basket with the intent to do some damage to the rim. His perimeter game shows marked improvement from last year and his ability to handle the basketball has gotten better as well. While he has a tendency to force things from time to time he appeared more patient with the ball at this camp which is a good thing moving forward. He is a very good shot blocker as well with solid leaping ability and pretty good timing when going up to swat a shot. Lastly his defensive presence in the painted area was expected but he showed a good sense of when to step out and defend the perimeter using his quickness and long arms to present a formidable obstacle to opposing ball handlers by getting his hands in the passing lanes and forcing turnovers. Collier is not a finished product in any way but the tools are there to have an impact for the Moose this coming season.

John Kuminga 6’8” 2021 SF
Iona Prep (New Rochelle, NY)
– When you talk potential this kid has a ton of it. With freakish athleticism and a quick first jump he skies to the cup for easy finishes over and around would be defenders. He definitely was the surprise of the camp since no one knew too much about him as the camp got underway. It did not take long for him to make an impression as he was dynamic in Thursday night’s tryout games. While his shot needs some fine tuning away from the basket he has obviously mastered the interior shooting he needed while getting to the rim on a regular basis. He rebounded at a high rate and showed good quickness as a defender getting a few blocks and steals or deflections for his efforts. I know he’s a bit raw but his ceiling is incredibly high based on his athletic prowess alone and with his excellent motor and high flying exploits around the hole he clearly has HM recruit in his future.

Zion Bethea 6’3” 2020 SG
Immaculate Conception HS (Montclair, NJ)
– For me Bethea didn’t pass the look test when I first saw him but he grew on me in each of the three games I saw him play. He was a good shooter who capitalized on shot selection with a nice mix of midrange open looks or strong drives to the hole where he continually used a change of speed dribble to get past over aggressive defenders. His shot is pure with good rotation and he never seems to rush anything which is a nice trait to have for a young player. He has a strong body which came in handy not only on drives to the cup but also to step through some closeout situations as well. Defensively he held his own and while not overly fast used good positioning on the court to keep from getting beaten by more athletic players. He has a decent IQ to make solid basketball plays and as he matures and gets in better shape I think you’ll see his game elevate to another level.

BJ Boston 6’5” 2020 SG
Norcross, GA HS
– One of the most athletic players here Boston played well in the tryout games showing a solid dribble drive game to get to the basket for tough scores and trips to the line. He showed a sweet stroke from midrange to the arc knocking down plenty of shots in his games on Thursday night. Then on Friday when the actual games started this pretty shot deserted him until his Saturday matchup with Jalen Green. Basketball tough game to figure out sometimes but Boston showed off the other facets of his game and did it well enough to prove he belonged among the best in camp lists. He handles the ball with precision and shows some PG sense in his ability to find teammates for quick strike scoring opportunities. He can rebound the ball rather well for a guard and is very instinctive as a defender. In his contest with Green his shot magically appeared and he put on a tremendous showing despite his team coming up short. With his well rounded skillset and good body control mixed with a nice basketball IQ I look for him to be a very hot recruit in the coming years. Franck Kepnang 6’10” 2021 C
McDuffie School (Granby, MA)
– Seldom is seen a Center prospect entering 9th grade who actually plays down low. Nowadays big guys want to be guards or wings but this young man realizes who he is and appears to embrace the role of big chief of the middle. He sets solid bone rattling screens and relishes getting the tough in traffic rebound or put back through contact. He has uncanny timing to block shots and while he’s not a speed demon running the floor he gets into position to make plays with an easy gait that throws off the opposition. From an offensive standpoint he is still working out the rough edges in his jump shot but he makes a high percentage of his attempts close to the basket which is a plus for any big man. His upside is sky high and I can see all the big East Coast schools starting off the recruiting war that is sure to materialize as he continues to improve his overall skillset.

That wraps up Pt. 2 of my standout players from the Hoop Group Future All American camp.

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